Benjamin Richmond

GILLIS Q. LAKE has been in the drug business at Kansas City, Kansas, for the past eighteen years. Most of the people of that city know how he has built up the two finest drug stores in Kansas City, Kansas. The druggist is both a professional and business man and Mr. Lake has apparently been equally strong in the professional and practical side of his business career.

He was born at Wooster in Wayne County, Ohio, August 14, 1863. His parents were Constant and Ann (McDonald) Lake, the former a native of Ohio and the latter of Charleston, South Carolina. His father was twice married, and altogether had a family of fourteen children. Gillis Q. was the child of his second union. The Lakes are of Welsh ancestry while the McDonalds were Scotch. Constant Lake was born in Ohio in 1812, his parents having located there when Ohio was partly Northwest Territory. Constant Lake was considered a successful general merchant in his day, and he provided a good home and gave his children exceptional education advantages. He was a democrat in politics. Three of his older sons fought as soldiers in the Union army. Two of them lost their lives during the war. One was Col. Joseph Lake, who gave up his life to the cause at Gettysburg. The other son was a private soldier. Some members of the Lake family had also given services to the patriot cause during the Revolutionary war.

Gillis Q. Lake attended the public schools at Wooster, Ohio, also the high school, and by practical experience and study he learned the drug trade. He passed the examination before the board of pharmacists, and then worked as a pharmacist's clerk in many sections of the country.

In 1886 he came to Kansas City, Missouri, where he was employed as a pharmacist until 1899. In that year he moved to Kansas City, Kansas, and associated with George W. Krebs bought the store at Sixth and Minnesota avenues. These partners were associated for eight years, and though they began with modest capital and small equipment they were constantly adding to the facilities and resources of their business in some direction or another. In 1907 Mr. Lake bought out his partner and on May 30, 1913, he established a second store at the corner of Tenth and Minnesota Avenue. These are the two largest stores in the retail drug trade in the city, and in point of service and equipment are equal to any drug stores found in any city. In the older store he employs fourteen persons, while there are seven employes in the second store. His individual work and his policies have been responsible for his noteworthy business success.

On October 10, 1888, Mr. Lake married Miss Viola Bedgood of Kansas City, Missouri. She was born in Indiana, daughter of Henry Bedgood, who for a number of years was in the real estate business in Kansas City, Missouri. Mr. Lake is a Scottish Rite Mason, a member of the Mystic Shrine at Leavenworth, and is also affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He belongs to the Kansas City, Kansas, Mercantile Club. In politics he is independent. He is a man known for his liberal spirit, and besides his individual success has always lent a hand in any movement for the betterment of his home city.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed by Destiny Bush, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, September 28, 1998

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