John Madison Dosbaugh

JOHN MADISON DOSBAUGH. Ready adaptation to opportunity, a capacity for gauging the possible value of investments and securities and the well developed speculative instinct that places the natural banker and business man in a class by himself, are factors which have directed the business and financial energy of John Madison Dosbaugh, president of the Dosbaugh National Bank of Cedar Vale, and one of his community's leading citizens and principal landholders. Mr. Dosbaugh has been identified with the bank of which he is now the directing head for more than a quarter of a century, during which period he has aided it materially in its development as one of the sound institutions of this part of the state, and at the same time has been interested in other ventures of a business and financial nature and has continuously done his full share of labor in the public service.

Mr. Dosbaugh was born on a farm in Clark County, Illinois, September 29, 1870, and is a son of John and Elizabeth (Mumford) Dosbaugh, natives of Ohio. He is of German descent, his grandfather, John Dosbaugh, having been born at Saarbrucken on the Saar River Alsace-Lorraine, when that province belonged to France. He fought as a soldier in the Napoleonic wars, as a private under the great Napoleon Bonaparte, and after his marriage emigrated to the United States and settled as a pioneer farmer in Stark County, Ohio. Later he removed to Clark County, Illinois, where he died on his farm before the birth of his grandson. John Dosbaugh married Miss Kaughman, also a native of Saarbrucken, and she likewise died in Clark County, Illinois.

John Dosbaugh, father of John Madison Dosbaugh, was born in 1834, on his father's farm in Stark County, Ohio. He was only eight years of age when he was taken by his parents to Clark County, Illinois, and there was reared and married. On November 12, 1864, he enlisted as a private in the Twelfth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, with which organization he served until the close of the war, taking part in numerous engagements and establishing a good record. Returning to Clark County, he remained there until 1868, when he came to Kansas and took up his residence at Leavenworth, although he remained there only for a short time and then went on to Labette County, where he engaged in farming. In 1871, he settled near Cedar Vale, in Chautauqua County, and engaged in farming, and continued as an agriculturist for thirteen years, when he settled in the city and founded the Cedar Vale Banking Company, an organization which was the beginning of the Dosbaugh National Bank. Subsequently this became the Dosbaugh Bank, and in 1903 was nationalized, the modern bank building, at the corner of Cedar and Lawrence streets, having been erected three years before. The capital is now $50,000, and the surplus $25,000, while the officers are J. M. Dosbaugh, president; Madison J. Dosbaugh, vice president; and A. N. Shaver, cashier. John Dosbaugh remained as president of this band until his death at Cedar Vale, in the spring of 1916, when he was succeeded by his son. The elder man was a democrat in politics, and took a somewhat active part in public affairs, being a member of the board of county commissioners for a number of years during the '70s. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity. Mr. Dosbaugh married Miss Elizabeth Mumford, who was born in 1836, in Ohio, and died at Cedar Vale in 1905, and five children were born to them: Esther, who died at Cedar Vale, at the age of twenty-two years; three daughters who died in infancy; and John Madison.

John Madison Dosbaugh was educated in the schools of Chautauqua County, where he received the equivalent of a high school training, and then attended the Southwest Kansas College, at Winfield, for one year, and the Kansas University at Lawrence for a like period. In the spring of 1890 he left the latter institution and entered the bank of his father, which was owned by his father and himself, and which at that time was known as the Dosbaugh Bank. Later it was nationalized and when his father died Mr. Dosbaugh became president. He is also president of the Hewins State Bank, vice president of the L. C. Adam Mercantile Company of Cedar Vale, president of the Cedar Vale Electric Company and president of the Hewins Park and Fair Association of Cedar Vale. He established the first telephone system in the county, which he operated for a number of years, and then sold out to the Missouri & Kansas Telephone Company, in 1906. This included all the telephone properties in Chautauqua County. Mr. Dosbaugh owns his modern residence on Cedar Street, built in 1903; has farm land adjoining Cedar Vale of over 1,200 acres, and 3,000 acres north of Cedar Vale; owns a one-half interest in two other farms; and has extensive interests in oil properties in Chautauqua County, where he is developing quite a production.

In politics Mr. Dosbaugh is a democrat, and frequently has been called to public office. For several years he was a member of the school board and of the city council, and was then elected to the mayoralty in which he acted for two terms, these being characterized by excellent handling of the city's affairs. Fraternally, he is connected with Chautauqua Lodge, No. 355, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Winfield Lodge, No. 732, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and Wichita Consistory, No. 2, thirty-second degree, and has been master of Chautauqua Lodge three times. He also holds membership in the Kansas Bankers' Association and the American Bankers' Association.

On October 30, 1892, Mr. Dosbaugh was married at Winfield, Kansas, to Miss Lydia A. Wright, daughter of Dr. W. T. and Lydia (Wilson) Wright. Doctor Wright, who is a retired physician and pioneer, is now residing at Cedar Vale, while Mrs. Wright is now deceased. Two children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Dosbaugh: Madison. J., born December 26, 1893, a graduate of Culver Military Academy, and a stockholder and director in and vice president of the Dosbaugh National Bank, was married October 11, 1916, to Miss Nadine Gray, of Webb City, Missouri; and William Mortimer, born August 28, 1896, a graduate of Culver Military Academy, and a freshman at Kansas University, married Miss Marie L. Bishop, of Webb City, Missouri, in July, 1916.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed November 11, 1998.

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