Transcribed from 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
WILLIAM HENRY HITE. In some individuals the business sense is remarkably developed and this proves the medium through which they may attain an eminence not to be gained by those who try to control affairs for which they have no aptitude. It is now generally recognized that no one reaches unusual success who works against his natural inclinations, and when competition is so keen men need every assistance that developed talent can give in order to take profitable advantage of offered opportunities and to be able to develop legitimate business chances. Especially is this true in communities where strong and able men gather, such as Cherryvale, where although the field of operation is broad, the rivalry is intense. Among the men of Cherryvale who have won success through the possession of marked business talent is William Henry Hite, proprietor of the Globe Clothing Store. When he entered upon his career at the early age of twelve years, he followed his inclination for business, and as his talents have developed he has fitted into his opportunities, so that now, in the prime of life, he finds himself at the head of the largest establishment of its kind in this part of the state.
Mr. Hite was born in Wheatland, Missouri, March 20, 1869, a member of an early Missouri pioneer family, probably from Virginia, and a son of William Henry and Martha (Van Noy) Hite. His father was born in Missouri, in 1849, and was reared on a farm, and naturally when he entered upon his own career chose farming as his vocation. Mr. Hite was an indirect victim of the Civil war, for while he never enlisted or fought as a soldier he was killed in a skirmish with "bushwhackers" in the disturbed time that followed the close of the great struggle, and died from the effect of a gun-shot wound in May, 1869. He was a democrat. Mr. Hite married Martha Van Noy, who was born in 1850, in Tennessee, and she still survives him and resides at Cherryvale with her son by a second marriage, Harry Kimey.
William Henry Hite was an infant of two months when his father died, and he was reared in the home of his maternal grandmother, Mrs. Mary Van Noy, at Wheatland, Hickory County, Missouri, where he received his education in the local school. The fact that his wages were needed and that he was anxious to enter upon his career caused him to leave school when but twelve years of age, and the greater part of his education has come in the school of experience and through coming into contact with men of real practical knowledge, with whom he has been forced to match wits in the business world. His first position was as a clerk in a general store at Wheatland, and during the six years that he held this position he became more or less familiar with almost every type of article which may be sold, the stock comprising a wide variety of goods. In 1888 he advanced himself when he went to Clinton, Missouri, and after one year spent as clerk there went to Deepwater, Missouri, where he remained as clerk in a clothing store for nine years. He had been connected with what was known as the Globe Clothing Store, and in 1898 the firm sent him to take charge of their branch at Pittsburg, Kansas, with which he was identified four years. During all this time Mr. Hite had been carefully saving his earnings with one end in viewthat of becoming the proprietor of an establishment of his own. His opportunity occurred in 1902, when he came to Cherryvale and formed a partnership with G. K. Withers, opening an establishment under the firm name of the Globe Clothing Store. The start was modest, but the people soon appreciated that the house was one where they could receive good value for their expenditures, and trade grew rapidly. The partnership continued until 1909, when Mr. Hite bought out his partner's interest and since that time he has been the sole proprietor. The store, situated at the corner of West Main and Neosho streets, has appointments of a modern character, with a well selected and carefully arranged stock of clothing, shoes, hats and furnishings, and the original policy of the store, to give full value for money received, has never been changed. The business has grown steadily until now it not only commands a large trade in Cherryvale, but attracts patronage from Thayer, Parsons and Mound Valley and the Globe splits the trade of this section with the large establishments of Coffeyville and Independence. In business circles Mr. Hite is accounted an astute business man, alive to every opportunity, but honorable in every way.
A republican in politics, Mr. Hite has been active in the ranks of his party, and has served as ward committeeman, and as delegate to county and state conventions, and was a delegate to the State Convention at Topeka, Kansas, in 1916. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church. Fraternally, he is also prominent, being a thirty-second degree Mason, and a member of Cherryvale Lodge No. 137, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Cherryvale Chapter No. 86, Royal Arch Masons, of which he is past high priest; Saint Bernard Commandery No. 10, Knights Templar, of Independence; Fort Scott Consistory No. 4; and Mirza Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, of Pittsburg, Kansas. He belongs also to Cherryvale Lodge No. 989, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; Cherryvale Camp No. 142, Independent Order of Odd Fellows; Cherryvale Camp No. 154, Woodmen of the World; and Jayhawker Camp No. 913, Modern Woodmen of America. He has been an active member of the Commercial Club for a long period, and his standing in business circles is indicated by the fact that he was president of this organization for about six years, and that he is now secretary and treasurer of the Kansas Retail Clothiers Association. He owns his own modern home, at No. 419 East Main Street.
At Austin, Missouri, in 1894, Mr. Hite was married to Miss Dell Woodard, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ichabod Woodard, who still live at Austin. Mr. Woodward, who is now a farmer, was a merchant at Austin and near Kansas City during the Civil war period. Mr. and Mrs. Hite are the parents of the following children: William Blaine, born September 21, 1895, a graduate of the Cherryvale High School, and now a sophomore at the University of Kansas; Woodward Van Noy, born September 6, 1897, a graduate of Cherryvale High School, who is a freshman at Lawrence University; Chester Henry, born August 17, 1910, attending the graded school; and Mary Elizabeth, born November 22, 1913.
Transcribed from volume 4, pages 2064-2065 of 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; originally transcribed 1998, modified 2003 by Carolyn Ward.
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