Elster M. Haile

ELSTER M. HAILE is president of the Haile Investment Company of Kingman, his business partner and associate being Dan Callahan, president of the Federal Land Bank of Wichita. Until taking up his work in the domain of real estate several years ago Mr. Haile was an active minister of the Gospel, and at one time was in charge of one of the leading churches of the Christian denomination at Chicago.

He was born in Macon County, Tennessee, June 9, 1879, and is a son of the late Joshua F. Haile, who is regarded as one of the most constructive factors in the rehabilitation of the City of Kingman after the collapse of the boom of the '80s. Joshua F. Haile was born at Gainesboro, Tennessee, in 1847, and represented a family that established its home in Kentucky during early pioneer times. His father, Nathan Haile, was born either in Tennessee or Kentucky in 1818, and spent his life as a farmer in Tennessee, where he died in 1885. He married Nancy Hale, a native of Kentucky.

Joshua F. Haile grew up in his native Tennessee town of Gainesboro, was married in Macon County, that state, and early in life took up the study of law. He came to Kansas and settled in Kingman County in 1884, was admitted to the bar, but practiced only in connection with his own affairs. He engaged in real estate brokerage, and moved to the City of Kingman in 1890. At that time Kingman was practically dead, and more than any other man it is said he was responsible for injecting life and prosperity into the town. He acquired a large amount of real estate, which he owned at the time of his death in November, 1916. Politically he was a democrat, was an active member of the Christian Church, and affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Joshua F. Haile married Mattis McClellan. She was born near Carthage, Tennessee, December 25, 1850, and is still living at Kingman. Elster M. is the oldest of three children. Ora J. is the wife of Dan F. Callahan, president of the Federal Land Bank of Wichita. The third child, Grace, died in infancy.

Elster M. Haile was reared in Kingman County, graduating from the Kingman High School in 1898. Soon afterward he began study and preparation for the ministry of the Christian Church. For two years he was a student in Washburn College at Topeka, attended Drake University at Des Moines, Iowa, one year, and for two years was in the Texas Christian University, where he graduated with the degree of A. B. in 1905, and in 1906 received the degree Master of Arts. He also spent three years in graduate work at the University of Chicago. For two years Mr. Haile was president of the Panhandle Christian College in Texas, and then entered upon an active pastorate as minister of the Monroe Street Christian Church in Chicago, where he remained two years.

In 1914 he returned to Kingman and engaged in the general loan and real estate business as head of the Haile Investment Company.

Mr. Haile and his sister are interested in about 3,000 acres of their father's estate in Kingman County and he individually owns 1,600 acres in that county and 160 acres in Barber County. In 1917 Mr. Haile built a modern home on North Main Street in Kingman. He is a democrat in politics and is affiliated with Dodge City Lodge of Masons.

In 1909, at Hereford, Texas, he married Miss Pauline Shirley, daughter of T. E. and Virginia (Bean) Shirley. Her parents live at Hereford, Texas, her father being a retired capitalist. Mr. and Mrs. Haile have two children: Shirley, born in May, 1914, and Elster Meredith, born July 16, 1916.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, 1918, transcribed by students from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, March 28, 2000.

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