There are countless young men who start in business with a fair sized bank account to their credit, but totally inexperienced and a few years later ofttimes finds them bankrupt.
Then upon the other hand is the ambitious fellow who has a generous store of pluck, energy and brains; he begins at the foundation and is surprised ere many years have elapsed to find himself with the essential experience which he often combines with the proceeds of his savings and is far better equipped to succeed in the world of business than the former. To the latter class belongs E.A. Belisle, the subject of this sketch, who came to Concordia in April, 1878, and entered the employ of McKinnon & Company as a hardware clerk. He remained with them eight and one-half years, or until 1886, when he associated himself with Cyrus Twitchell, under the firm name of Twitchell & Belisle. Two years later W.F. Groesbeck succeeded to the interest of Mr. Twitchell and the growing business was known under the name of Groesbeck & Belisle. The firm prospered and Mr. Belisle became proficient with all the details of their stock in trade and early in the 'nineties consummated a deal whereby he became sole proprietor. He has steadily increased his stock until his capital now invested is about eleven thousand dollars. Mr. Belisle has dealt extensively in farm implements and machinery; he is closing out the stock in this line, but will continue his well selected department of harness and vehicles. He makes plumbing and tinning a specialty and has practically placed all the pipes and other apparatus pertaining to the water works in every building in Concordia. Under his supervision the city's water works, which is second to none in the country, were placed in 1902. He also piped the Caldwell bank building and the Barons house for steam heat, both of which are a perfect success. Mr. Belisle's trade reaches beyond the limits of Cloud county; in the cornice line he has had patronage from Beloit, Smith Center and other places. He employs the services of four men. Mr. Belisle's interests extend further than Concordia, being a member of the hardware firm known as Belisle, Holcomb & Turner, of Ft. Cobb, Oklahoma. F.L. Holcomb, the second named in the combination, was formerly in the employ of Mr. Belisle, as bookkeeper, for a half dozen years or more, and David Turner is a well-known ex-citizen of Clyde, a son of the late David Turner, Sr. (see sketch).
Mr. Belisle is a Vermonter, born in Montpelier in October, 1852. He removed with his parents, in 1855, to Kankakee, Illinois, and lived in that city until emigrating to Kansas in 1878. His father, Onesine Belisle, died in Concordia about four years ago. The family settled near Aurora and lived there until the father's death. Mr. Belisle's mother is still living and makes her home with her children. Of his father's family of eight children (three deceased), all are citizens of Cloud county, except one sister, who remains in Kankakee. Mrs. W.H. Fullerton, of Concordia, is a sister. His brothers are all prosperous farmers. Mr. Belisle was married in 1880 to Adeline Lavalle, a sister of Amedie Lavalle, a prominent hardware man of Clyde. Their family consists of eight children: Roy and Eddie A., Jr., are two manly boys, who give promise of becoming influential men. The former clerks in his father's store, the latter is a student on his second year in the Great Western Business College of Concordia. Their second child is a daughter, Blanche. Ruby is a junior of the high school. The younger children are George, Daisy, Edith and Lucile.
Mr. Belisle is a staunch Republican and has never wavered from the principles of his party. He has contributed liberally to the growth and prosperity of Concordia, both by industry and public spirit. He was a member of the council for one year under the reign of Mayor Messall and also for the same length of time during Mayor Stewart's term of office. He was an active member of the board of education for two years. Socially he is identified with the National Association of Master Plumbers and also with the State Association. He has been through all the chairs of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias and the Benevolent Order of Elks. He is a member of the Woodmen, and of the Knights and Ladies of Security.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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