Charles L. Sawyer

CHARLES L. SAWYER, mayor of the city of Galena, and prominently identified with the business, political and social life of this section, was born in 1863 at Carlinville, Illinois, and is a son of Thomas L. and Martha (Drew) Sawyer.

Thomas L. Sawyer was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and died at Galena, Kansas, in 1886. The mother was born in the parish of Stratbridge, County Dorset, England, May 27, 1832, and died at Galena, Kansas, in 1884. The two children of these parents were: Charles L., of this record, and Henrietta Louise, who is the wife of G. E. Lowdermilk, of Fayetteville, Arkansas. Thomas L. Sawyer was a resident of Carlinville, Macoupin Country, Illinois, for a number of years. He was a well known educator there and was instrumental in the founding of a college at Carlinville.

After locating in Galena, he established himself in an insurance business in which he remained interested until the close of his life.

Charles L. Sawyer's educational advantages were confined to the common schools and were terminated at the age of 14 years when he entered into commercial life as a clerk in a dry goods store. After coming to Galena, in 1878, he accepted a clerkship in a large clothing house, in which he continued until 1884 and then became associated with his father in the fire and accident insurance business, succeeding to the management upon the death of the older partner. This is one of the oldest and most reliable houses in the city, 17 of the leading insurance companies of the country being represented. The business is located at No. 215 Main street.

Mr. Sawyer was married first in January, 1885, to Nellie E. Neal, who was a native of Missouri. She died in November, 1887, and was survived by one daughter,—Eulah E. The second marriage took place in 1894 to Mila E. Yoder, of Ohio, and to this union one son has been born,—Max Yoder. The family residence is in a choice part of the city, at No. 41O Galena avenue.

Mr. Sawyer has been an active and popular member of the Democratic partv ever since his majority and has taken a deep interest in civic affairs both as a private citizen and as an official. He has frequently served as a member of the City Council and belonged to that body when the city was changed from the third to the second class, and in 1889, when the water franchise was passed on, and again, when on July 19, 1904, the council decided to buy the water plant. In 1889 he was chosen city clerk and was continued in office until 1897. From 1900 to 1902, he was treasurer of the Board of Education and in the latter year was elected, with 90 majority, to the highest municipal position in the gift of his fellow citizens. Thus closley identified with pubic affairs for so long, he is thoroughly qualified for the mayoralty and his administration has been of a character to continually add to his laurels.

Mr. Sawyer is a member of the Commercial Club and is fraternally associated with the Masons, Knights of Pythias, Elks, Woodmen of the world, Modern Woodmen of America and the Fraternal Aid Association. He is a member and treasurer of Christ Protestant Episcopal Church of Galena. Personally he is a gentleman, and his courteous mannner, both in private and official life, has won him many many friends. This urbanity, however, does not mean weakness, for in the cause of right or in the administration of civic law, Mr. Sawyer can show the firmness of an iron will.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens , ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by students from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 3/3/97


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