Arthur Leonard Guy

ARTHUR LEONARD GUY. That Kansas within the last half century has made rapid strides forward and has won a foremost place among the states of the Union is gratifying to those who love her and have grown up within her borders. It is not so remarkable, however, that this is true, because she had elemental strength to draw from and a stable citizenship to guard and guide her enterprises. One of her pioneers who came to Clay County shortly after the curtain had been rung down upon the great fractricidal period of war was William Guy, a man of great business enterprise and of sterling character. His honorable name and the business he founded are perpetuated in still wider development by his son Arthur Leonard Guy, one of Wakefield's most prominent citizens and able business men, who is president of the Farmers and Merchants Bank of Wakefield and is the directing head also of other enterprises which are important in commercial circles all over the state.

Arthur Leonard Guy was born at Shrewsbury, England, February 10, 1868 His parents were William and Mary (Matthews) Guy, both natives of England, the father born in 1832 at Lewes in County Sussex, and the mother in 1833 in the City of London. Both died at Wakefield, Kansas, the mother in 1907 and the father in 1910. They were the parents of six children, namely: John M., who resides on a farm near Longford, Kansas; Frederick W., who is a railroad mail clerk, resides at No. 228 East Thirty-fifth Street, Kansas City, Missouri; G. F., who is proprietor of the Pico Heights Lumber Company and planing mills, resides at No. 2200 Fourth Avenue, Los Angeles, California; Arthur Leonard; Selina Mary, the widow of William Male, who was the engineer on a Union Pacific passenger train in an accident in 1913, in which he lost his life, and she resides at No. 1122 Leighton Avenue, Los Angeles, California; and Eliza Annie, who is the wife of Robert Kerr, and they reside at Manhattan, Kansas.

William Guy was reared in his parents' home at Lewes, England, and attended school until he was sixteen years of age, when he was apprenticed to the dry goods business at Hastings, where, according to the law, he served three years. From Hastings he went to London-and was employed for two years in a mercantile establishment and then embarked in business for himself and up to 1869, when he came to America, had conducted his own stores at Tunbridge Wells, at Oxford and Shrewsbury. His marriage had taken place in London and with his wife and four children, in the above year he came to the United States and direct to Wakefield, Kansas. He was one of the early merchants here and in 1887 purchased the dry goods business which has been developed into the largest enterprise of its kind, a general department store, in this section of Kansas. In 1888 his son Arthur Leonard became associated with him and succeeded to his interests as residuary legatee on his death. William Guy was a man of strict integrity in all his business dealings, was a deacon in the Congregational Church and was a republican in politics. Although essentially a business man, he was ever mindful of his public responsibilities and at times served in township offices, carrying business principles into the performance of his duties.

Arthur Leonard Guy attended the public schools in Clay County, Kansas, later the Kansas State Agricultural College at Manhattan, and after leaving that institution in 1888 entered his father's mercantile business and shortly afterward became manager of the same. He continued in that relation until his father's death, and has remained manager as well as proprietor. Mr. Guy is also proprietor of the Wakefield Cash Clothing Store, a well-managed concern that is widely known because of its heavy stock carried and its complete assortment, a clothing store not equaled in any tows of the size of Wakefield in the state. In the banking field Mr. Guy has become prominent as the president of one of the soundest financial institutions in this part of the state, the Farmers and Merchants Bank of Wakefield being given a high rating.

Mr. Guy married in December, 1892, in St. John's Episcopal Church, Wakefield, Miss Frances A. Alsop. Her mother is deceased, but her father, Judge Richard Alsop, for many years a justice of the peace, survives and lives retired. Mr. and Mrs. Guy have three children, two sons and one daughter, namely: Francis Arthur, a student in the law department of the Kansas State University, is advance agent for the Ridpath-Horner Chautauqua Association; Richard William, who is a student in the Wakefield High School; and Eleanor Selina, who is also a student in the Wakefield High School. Mr. suy has property investments of value at Wakefield and these include his handsome residence on Main Street.

In his political life Mr. Guy has always been identified with the republican party. From infancy Wakefield has been his home and in its growth and development he has borne a part, little of importance having taken place in which he has not been in some manner interested for the benefit of the community. He has been a firm friend of the public schools and at present is serving his sixth consecutive term on the school board, of which he is treasurer. Fraternally Mr. Guy is identified with the Knights and Ladies of Security, Wakefield Council No. 60, and Council No 37, Wakefield, Sons and Daughters of Justice. He was reared in the Congregational Church, early united with this religious body, is a deacon in the church at Wakefield and for twenty-two years has been church organist.


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 1997.
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