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


Phares Root

PHARES ROOT, one of the well known business men of Independence, has spent nearly all his life in Kansas, his parents having moved to Elk County and taken their share of hardships and responsibilities as pioneers. Mr. Root has developed a prosperous business in the handling of automobile supplies and in operating a first class garage.

He was born in Indiana, September 26, 1869. His ancestors came from Germany in the early days and settled in Pennsylvania. His father, Joseph Root, was born in Ohio in 1844, but was reared and married in Starke County, Indiana. He is a tinner by trade, and in 1871 moved his family to Elk County, Kansas, and is still a resident and active business man of Elk Falls. Politically he is a republican. Joseph Root, though a young man at the time, made a creditable record as a soldier in the Union army. In 1861 he enlisted in the Indiana Infantry, and was in service until the close of the war. He married Amelia Nowlin, who was born in Indiana in 1839 and died at Elk Falls, Kansas, in 1911. They had two sons, and the older is William M., a painter living at Topeka.

Phares Root acquired his early education in the schools of Elk County. Since the age of sixteen he has been dependent upon his own energies. For about three years he was clerk in a grocery store at Elk Falls. Then at Weir, Kansas, he put in a number of years weighing coal and in other employment at the mines, and fortified with this experience came to Elk Falls, and after clerking in a hardware store three years bought the stock and business and successfully conducted it for the next ten years. Selling out his business at Elk Falls, Mr. Root came to Independence in the fall of 1912, and bought Lew Ernest's automobile supply house, then situated on West Main Street. In December of that year he removed his quarters to 301-303 Main Street, and now has a well equipped garage in addition to his shop for the handling of automobile supplies. His business occupies a two-story building, 50 by 140 feet. He is local agent for the Ford automobile, and does an extensive business in repairing and painting and upholstering automobiles.

Mr. Root is interested in two oil companies, and is almost sole owner and stockholder in the Bull Moose Oil Company. He is active in the Commercial Club and the Rotary Club at Independence, is a republican, and in Odd Fellowship is past noble grand of the subordinate lodge at Elk Falls, a member of the Rebekahs at the same place, and is affiliated with the encampment at Independence. His home is at 615 East Maple Street. In 1891, at Fort Scott, Kansas, he married Miss Jessie Smith, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Smith. Her father was a farmer, now deceased, and her mother resides at Danville, Illinois. To their marriage have been born four children: Stanley, who is manager of his father's business; Zora, a teacher in the Montgomery County High School; Leonard, in the freshman class of the high school; and Walter.


Transcribed from volume 4, pages 1749-1750 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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