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
GILBERT LeROY JORDAN. Through persistent aspiration and unceasing labor, Gilbert LeRoy Jordan has won his way to the most satisfying and stable compensation of business life. Still a young man, with his best years before him, he is at the head of one of Topeka's prominent business establishments, the College Hill Bakery, located at 1509 Lane Street, an enterprise which he has built up solely through his own efforts. Mr. Jordan commenced his business career without the aiding influences afforded by the possession of financial resources and has been the builder of his own fortune. He has kept persistently at what he started out to do, and has not allowed himself to be diverted from the attainment of his goal.
Gilbert L. Jordan was born on a farm in the vicinity of Victor, Iowa County, Iowa, September 24, 1880, but has been a resident of Kansas since 1895. He is one of four children born to the marriage of R. W. and Caroline (Watson) Jordan, natives of Ohio. R. W. Jordan was reared and educated in his native state, and in 1875 removed to Iowa, where he was for some years engaged in farming at different points. This he continued until coming to Kansas, in 1895, since which time he has given up his agricultural activities and has engaged in various business ventures in different towns and cities. At the present time he is the proprietor of the Palisade Hotel, at Peabody, Kansas, and is one of that city's prominent and influential citizens.
Gilbert L. Jordan received his early education in the country schools of Iowa, dividing his boyhood between attending the district schools in the winter months and assisting his father in the work of the farm during the summer seasons. He also attended school for a time at La Cygne, Kansas, but at the age of sixteen years gave up his studies and commenced devoting his entire time to work. Mr. Jordan passed two years on the farm before he became convinced that farm life was not congenial to him. He had always had a liking for the bakery business, and when he was eighteen years of age left home and went to Kansas City, Missouri, where he secured employment with F. L. Burk, who conducted one of the largest bakeries of that city. There Mr. Jordan learned his trade and learned it well. He remained with Mr. Burk from 1899 until 1907, in which latter year he went to Horton, Kansas, and established himself in business. During the four years that he remained at Horton, he gained confidence and found that he could make the business pay. He found, however, that he needed a larger field for his activities, and accordingly, in 1911, came to Topeka and purchased the bakery at No. 1411 West Fifteenth Street. Under the impetus of his hard work and the excellence of his products, the business grew by leaps and bounds, and he was forced to seek larger quarters, eventually settling at 1509 Lane Street, where he installed modern machinery and implements. His trade here has grown to such proportions that recently he was compelled to add another story and install another oven, thus increasing the capacity of his output by 50 per cent. All this has been accomplished by Mr. Jordan within a space of five years at Topeka, and he is now the owner of one of the largest bakeries in the State of Kansas. His bakery is conducted in a sanitary manner, thus insuring its patrons of absolute cleanliness and purity, and as only the best of materials are used his patrons are assured of receiving a superior article of bakery goods. In business circles Mr. Jordan is accounted a shrewd but thoroughly honest man, capable of realizing his opportunities and able to make the most of them.
On October 8, 1902, Mr. Jordan was united in marriage with Miss Ethel Baughn, of Kansas, and to this union there have been born two sons: Norman and Lester. Mr. Jordan is not a politician, but generally gives his vote to the democratic party, although as a strong man of broad views on all subjects, he is liable to be independent in his choice of a candidate. He is prominent in Masonry, belonging to all the Topeka York Rite bodies and Orient Lodge No. 51, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and Abdallah Shrine of Leavenworth. Mrs. Jordan is a member of the Euclid Methodist Church and takes some interest in its movements. She is also well known in fraternal circles, being a member of the Eastern Star Lodge of Topeka.
Transcribed from volume 4, page 1738 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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