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
J. M. MASSEY. One of the live and prosperous communities of Southeastern Kansas which is offering unsurpassed opportunities for the development of men and large business interests is the growing City of Chanute. In this locality may be found many of the raw materials, or they can be easily obtained through railroad shipments. Here is an immense local market, and here are the men, solid, reliable and aggressive, ready and willing to push ahead to the ultimate end whatever enterprise they connect themselves with. Once an individual establishes himself in the line for which he is best fitted, if he possess business sense and acumen, it is certain that success of one or another kind will reward his efforts. One of the men of Chanute who has admirably proven his own worth and increased his value as a citizen by developing large interests, is J. M. Massey, junior member of the large clothing firm of Garvin & Massey, and vice president of the First National Bank. He has been a resident of Chanute since 1896 and during this time has steadily risen to a place of prominence through a recognition and ready grasp of the opportunities which have presented themselves.
Mr. Massey was born at Lock Haven, Clinton County, Pennsylvania, May 25, 1843, and is a son of Dr. A. B. and Ann R. (McMeen) Massey, and a member of a family which, originating in England, came to America and located in Maryland during the days of Lord Baltimore. His great-grandfather was Aquilla Massey, a planter and slaveholder of Maryland, and that name was also borne by his grandfather, who was born in Maryland in 1741. The latter was a farmer, owned a large plantation and many slaves, and attained a great age, being past his ninety-ninth birthday when he died at Darlington, Maryland, in 1851.
A. B. Massey was born in 1808 at Darlington, Hartford County, Maryland, received his education at Annapolis, and became a physician and surgeon. He was reared in his native place, but as a young man went to Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, where he was married, and where he practiced until the year 1857, when he came to Kansas. After a short stay at Kansas City, he went to Paola, but spent only two months at the latter place, then moving on to Trading Post, Linn County. There he opened a store and continued as a physician and merchant until the outbreak of the Civil war, when he became surgeon of the Second Kansas Infantry. He was with his command at Wilson Creek, with Gen. R. B. Mitchell in Tennessee, and in numerous engagements, and the rigors of the war probably were more than his constitution could stand, for in the fall of 1865 he passed away at Leavenworth, Kansas. Doctor Massey came of peaceful Quaker stock, which had never believed in war, but he was ready to assist his country when his services were needed. He was a republican in politics. Mrs. Massey was born in 1822, in Pennsylvania, and died at Leavenworth, Kansas, in March, 1909. There were two children in the family: J. M.; and Annie, who is a resident of Leavenworth, Kansas, and widow of Dr. J. McCormick, who was for fifty years engaged in the practice of medicine at that place.
J. M. Massey received his education in the public schools of Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, and academy at Williamsport, Pennsylvania. In 1857 he came to Kansas, and after a short stay moved on from Kansas City to Trading Post, Linn County, where he arrived in the spring of 1858. There he assisted his father in the store until the outbreak of the Civil war, at which time he moved to Leavenworth and joined the hospital service, later enlisting in the Seventh Regiment, Missouri Volunteer Infantry, with which he fought for nine months, being in the battles of Hickman's Mills, Westport, Independence and Mine Creek, during Price's raid. Following his military service, he went from Leavenworth to Benton, Montana, and following this spent five years in Texas, Arizona and New Mexico, later engaging in the wholesale merchandise business at Leavenworth and Chicago and in Michigan. Returning to Kansas in 1876, he located at Wichita, where for one year he was employed in the New York Store, conducted by Kohn Brothers. Later he went to Sedgwick, Kansas, where for a number of years he conducted a business of his own as a merchant, and January 1, 1896, came to Chanute and entered business in association with Mr. Garvin, whose partner's interest he purchased. They have since continued in business as clothing dealers, under the firm style of Garvin & Massey, with an establishment at No. 3 East Main Street, one of the substantial business houses of Chanute, with a large and constantly growing patronage. Mr. Massey enjoys an excellent reputation in business circles of Chanute and is vice president of the First National Bank and a stockholder therein. He possesses the qualities so necessary to success in commercial circles, shrewdness, acumen, foresight, aggressiveness and modern progressiveness, and the fact that his integrity has never been questioned is an asset to his business the worth of which cannot be properly estimated. He is the owner of his residence at No. 101 South Kansas Avenue, and other real estate at Chanute, and is interested in several farms in Neosho County. Politically a republican, Mr. Massey's only public service has been as a member of the school board. He is fraternally affiliated with Cedar Lodge No. 103, A. F. & A. M., and also belongs to Chanute Post of the Grand Army of the Republic, is past commander of the Grand Army Post at Conway Springs, Kansas, and is a member of the Loyal Legion.
Mr. Massey was married in 1878, at Sedgwick, Kansas, to Miss Alice Fuller, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Fuller, both of whom are now deceased. Mr. Fuller was a carriage manufacturer of Potsdam, New York, and later came to Kansas. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Massey: Aquilla B., who is a resident of Fresno, California; and Mark F., who holds a position in the Government employ in the Army and Navy Building, at Washington, D. C.
Transcribed from volume 4, pages 2151-2152 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 October 1997 , modified 2003 by Carolyn Ward.
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