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


William C. Suttle

WILLIAM C. SUTTLE. Under modern conditions the water works of any thriving and prosperous community is one of the most important branches of the civic service, and its management requires abilities far beyond the ordinary. Fredonia boasts of one of the best water systems in Southeastern Kansas, and much of the credit for the present excellent conditions existing in this enterprising city is due to the capable and experienced work of the superintendent of the water works, William C. Suttle, who has been connected with this department for about eleven years and has been in his present position since 1913.

Mr. Suttle is a native son of Kansas, and was born on a farm in Johnson County, July 27, 1870, his parents being Benjamin O. and Abigail (Hazelett) Suttle. The family is of English origin and has resided in America since colonial days when the original emigrant located in Virginia. Benjamin O. Suttle was born in 1821, in Virginia, and was reared and educated in the Old Dominion state, from whence he went to Kentucky as a young man and engaged in farming in the vicinity of Franklin. He was married in that state and in 1870 migrated to Kansas, settling in Johnson County, where he farmed for two years. He then changed his residence to Coffey County, settled on a farm, and continued to be engaged in agricultural pursuits until his death in 1881. He supported the republican ticket as a voter, and was a strong member of the Baptist Church, in which he served as a deacon. Mr. Suttle was married to Miss Abigail Hazelett, in Kentucky, in which state she was born in 1832. She died at Fredonia, Kansas, in 1913, having been the mother of four children, as follows: Katherine, who is the wife of Charles Best and resides in Kentucky; Maggie, who is the widow of John Adair, a farmer, and lives at Pasadena, California; R. M., who is engaged in farming and makes his home at San Diego, California; and William C.

William C. Suttle received his education in the rural schools of Coffey County and at the Burlington (Kansas) High School, from which he was graduated in 1889. He then gave his attention to the machinist's trade, for which he early showed a predilection, and worked in that capacity with railroads and mills until 1899, when he entered the employ of the water works department of Arkansas City, Kansas. After 2 1/2 years he went to Great Bend, Kansas, where he worked in a similar capacity, and in 1905 came to Fredonia. Entering the water works in a minor position he steadily worked his way up to the superintendency, to which he was appointed in 1913. He has proven an excellent official, careful, energetic and capable, and under his management the department is giving the city very satisfactory service. He maintains offices in the City Hall Building. The City of Fredonia has a gravity water plant, with a reservoir of 2,500,000 gallons capacity, and sixty-five pounds maximum pressure, and a direct pressure can be attained if necessary, although this is reserved for use during a serious conflagration. The plant has steam, water and electric power, is equipped with the most modern machinery throughout, and secured its water from Fall River.

Mr. Suttle is a republican. He belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he is a steward, and is fraternally affiliated with Constellation Lodge No. 18, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, of Ottawa, Kansas. He is a stockholder in a furniture factory at Ottawa, Kansas, where he also owns a business block, and has his own residence at No. 112 South Seventh Street, Fredonia. His career has been a successful one, and the position which he occupies has been gained solely through his own effort and ability.

Mr. Suttle was married in 1888, at Burlington, Kansas, to Miss Josie Baldwin, a daughter of the late James M. and Hannah (Baldwin) Baldwin, who were farming people of the vicinity of Burlington. Mr. and Mrs. Suttle have no children.


Transcribed from volume 4, pages 2168-2169 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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