Fry W. Giles

FRY W. GILES, one of the founders of Topeka and its pioneer banker, was born at Littleton, New Hampshire, in 1819. In the fall of 1854 he left New England for Kansas, and on December 4th of that year arrived at the place where Topeka now stands. He was secretary of the association that laid out the city, and it is said named the new town. In March, 1855, he was appointed its first postmaster. During the early settlement of the county he kept a private record of real estate transfers, which was later made the legal records of Shawnee County by act of the Legislature. In 1857 he was elected county recorder and clerk, and in 1864 he opened the first bank at Topeka. Two years later he took a partner and the business was conducted for some time under the firm name of F. W. Giles & Co. When the Topeka National Bank was founded he became the first president of that institution. Mr. Giles was the author of a work entitled "Thirty Years in Topeka," which was published in 1886. In this work he relates many interesting incidents that occurred during that period--incidents that otherwise might have been forgotten. He died on June 9, 1898.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed October, 1997.
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