James Emmett Stidham.If those who claim that fortune has favored certain individuals above others will but investigate the cause of success and failure, it will be found that the former is largely due to the improvement of opportunity, and the latter to the neglect of it. Fortunate environments encompass most men at some stage in their career, but the strong man and the successful man is he who realizes that the proper moment has come, that the present and not the future holds his opportunity. The man who makes use of the Now and not the To Be is he who passes on the highway of life others who started ahead of him, and reaches the goal of prosperity far in advance of them. It is this quality in Mr. Stidham that has made him a leader in the world of affairs and won him a name that is widely known in connection with banking interests.
Mr. Stidham is now engaged as cashier of the Farmers' State Bank at Esbon, Kan., in Jeweli county, where he has been a resident since he came to Kansas with his parents in 1872. He was born in Darke county, Ohio, March 19, 1855, son of George W. and Eliza A. (Pitman) Stidham, the former of Swiss descent, born in Delaware in 1811, and the latter a native of Ohio. They were the parents of two childrenJames E. and a daughter, who is the widow of W. H. Bunch and resides in Beloit, Kan. In November, 1872, the family removed to Jewell county, Kansas, where the father spent his remaining days, passing away in 1895 at the age of eigty-four years.
James E. Stidham is indebted to the public school system and to Whitewater Academy at Whitewater, Ind., for the educational privileges which he enjoyed in his youth. He has added largely to his knowledge by experience, reading and observation. He was reared upon a farm, and as before stated, in November, 1872, came to Kansas, with his parents, in order to take advantage of the Government offer of cheap lands. The family settled one mile south of the present town of Jewell City, which at that time was a small collection of shacks around a sod fort. The son taught school in Jewell county six years, and in 1880 was appointed assistant postmaster at Jewell City. He later engaged in the book and stationery business, which he followed five years, and in 1886 entered the photograph business. He also bred and trained trotting and fancy driving horses and was very successful in that line of endeavor. In 1896 he was again appointed assistant postmaster at Jewell City and served four years. In 1901 he was appointed assistant postmaster at Beloit, Kan., but in 1902 returned to Jewell City and engaged in the real estate business. In 1904 he helped organize the Citizens' State Bank at Jewell City and served as assistant cashier until 1907, when he removed to Esbon, Kan., where he organized the Farmers' State Bank, of which he has been cashier up to the present time. In addition to his banking interests he is a stockholder in the Jewell City mill, and in many ways he has advanced the material interests of Esbon. He has a quarter-section of landthe Hutchinson homesteadin Jewell caunty,[sic] which is devoted to farming and grazing purposes. In his business affairs he has met with a high degree of success, being a man capable of management, with keen discrimination and far-sighted sagacity.
In 1907 Mr. Stidham was united in marriage to Miss Flora Hutchinson, daughter of David and Eliza Hutchinson, who homesteaded in Jewell county in 1872, where both died in the spring of 1905. Mr. and Mrs. Hutchinson were the parents of five children. One son, Benjamin, resides in Colorado, and four daughtersMrs. Eva McAllister, Mrs. Carrie White, Mrs. Ella Rose and Mrs. Stidhamare residents of Jewell county. Mrs. Stidham is assistant cashier in the Farmers' State Bank at Esbon. In his political views Mr. Stidham is an ardent and earnest Republican, laboring untiringly for the success of the party and the adoption of its principles. He served as a delegate to the Sixth district Republican convention in 1908. Fraternally he is a Mason, having membership in the Blue Lodge and the Chapter, and he is also a member of the Subordinate Lodge and Encampment of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, having served as representative in the Grand Lodge and as a member of the committee in the Grand Encampment. His religious faith is expressed by membership in the Methodist church.Pages 33-35 from a supplemental volume of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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