The subject of this sketch, J.D. Fell, came to Concordia about nineteen years ago in the interests of the Howell Brothers' Lumber Company. In 1881 he removed to Colorado to assume charge of their yard there. They failed in July of that year and Mr. Fell returned and accepted the position that he has filled with recognized ability for about a dozen yearsthe management of the Chicago Lumber Company's Yards at Concordia.
Mr. Fell is a Canadian by birth. When four years old he removed with his parents to Ogle county, Illinois, where he received a high school education, alternating his pursuit of knowledge with work on the farm, for his father, Erastus Fell, was a tiller of the soil.
At the age of nineteen our subject began his career by working in a lumber yard. He was with a firm in Greenleaf, Kansas, prior to coming to Concordia. He has practically grown up in the lumber business and is a valued employe. In social and fraternal orders Mr. Fell is particularly prominent, having made an enviable record, much to the delight and approval of his brother co-workers. In less than a year after he was initiated into the mysteries of the Knights of Pythias Lodge, he was elected presiding officer and served as outer and inner guard of the grand lodge for two years. There was no opposition to his further advancement, but Mr. Fell's duties would not permit of his serving in the capacity of presiding office consequently he retired in favor of a brother knight. He served one term as master workman of the Ancient Order of United Workman, three years as master of St John's Lodge No. 113, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, two years as commander of the Commandery No. 42, and during both of these years the commandery ranked first in the state. This honor was awarded them by Inspector E.W. Wellington, their present official, who ranks among the most proficient in the country, Mr. Fell now holds the office of grand captain of the guard in the lodge of the Grand Commandery. His promotion has been rapid, as he has only been a member of the order about three years. He is also serving at the present time as king, of Concordia Chapter No. 45, and royal vizier of the Knights of Khorassan of Concordia. Mr. Fell is also a member of the Order of Elks, Zabud Council No. 4, Topeka, Kansas, Eastern Star, Woodmen Degree of Honor and Royal Neighbors. Politically Mr. Fell is a Republican. He was elected a member of the Concordia board of education on the independent ticket and served one year.
Mr. Fell was married in 1883 to Miss Laura Mahaffey, of Washington county, Kansas, but formerly of Ohio. Their family comprises three children: Nina, their only daughter, who finished a course in the Great Western Business College, is a stenographer and bookkeeper and is employed in her father's office. Claud and Ralph are school boys aged fifteen and ten years respectively. Mr. Fell maintains a modern residence at 521 West Seventh street.
The character of citizenship that marks the career of Mr. Fell is of the highest type. He is a polished, kindly gentleman, public-spirited, generous and progressive, the sort of man that would make friends anywhere.
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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