George Slosson

GEORGE SLOSSON. Although one who usefully and nobly lived, like the late George Slosson, whose whole career was marked with accomplishment for the common good, and who left behind him substantial enterprises that he built up through his own vitalizing energy, that in the ramifications of business still go on benefiting a newer generation, may need no eulogy to perpetuate remembrance, there is a feeling that does the world credit, that such a man, honored and beloved as he was in private life, belonged more or less to his time and community. Thus his achievements should be gratefully brought to notice as an inspiration to others. He may be named as one who contributed most largely to the progress and prosperity of Coffeyville, his services to the public as a business man being indispensable for many years.

George Slosson was born at Ogdensburg, St. Lawrence County, New York, November 20, 1838. It was in that tumultuous period following the close of the great Civil War that Mr. Slosson came to Kansas, when the state was yet new as a member of the Union, and located at Lawrence, now one of the state's great educational centers, but at that time a prospering town that had suffered cruelly through military invasion. It was typical of Mr. Slosson to see no discouraging business outlook, his optimism giving him the courage to embark in the drug line, his specialty, for which he had been thoroughly educated in his eastern home, and he built up a fine business under conditions that might have well discouraged a less resourceful man.

While Kansas is now one of the most prosperous and important states of the Union, the time, as counted by years, is comparatively short when, with partisan conflicts over, capitalists were willing to invest in enterprises of moment there. It was not until 1871 that the first railroad entered the Town of Coffeyville, then on the border of Indian Territory. With the business foresight that seemed almost prophetic, Mr. Slosson determined to throw in his future with the town thus opened up to eastern and western commerce and was one of the earliest permanent business men in the place and founded the first drug store and continued in the drug business during the rest of his life. In this line as in all others honesty of character marked every transaction and at a time when there were no restraining laws to regulate the trade. But Mr. Slosson was much more than a competent and reliable druggist. No one better than he early recognized the necessity of ample banking facilities for the development of commercial progress, and through his wisdom and financial support, the First National Bank of Coffeyville was organized, of which he became vice president at that time and so continued until the time of his death, November 26, 1891. At a later date he became still more prominent in the financial field, as the president of the Caney Valley Bank, continuing in this relation from the founding of the institution until his death. To his remarkable business capacity, his wonderfully systematic mind and quickness of vision, much of the prosperity of these institutions may be attributed, for his character was such that his name alone brought a confident public to their doors, a public that through subsequent storms in the financial world was never betrayed.

In many other directions Mr. Slosson bore business responsibilities creditable both to himself and his city. He kept abreast of the times in all things and impressed all with whom he came in contact as forcible, able, efficient and honorable. He was looked up to in commercial circles as was justifiable, for his knowledge of men and affairs had nothing superficial about it but he was a real authority concerning matters with which he had to deal. His fellow citizens learned to heed his counsel and his personal influence became a strong factor in commercial circles, his high sense of commercial integrity giving added stability to every measure he recommended. These natural gifts of ability, and marvelous business insight would have been of little permanent worth without the high ideals that he ever cherished, and when George Slosson passed into the silence of another world, his community not only lost a business upbuilder but a living force that no section can part with without real bereavement.

In June, 1874, Mr. Slosson was united in marriage with Miss Minnie Hatch, at Lawrence, Kansas.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, 1918, transcribed by students from Baxter Springs Middle School, February 25, 2000.

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