John H. Hess, chief engineer of the Pittsburg Gas and Electric Light Company, is well known in various parts of Kansas for the public works the installation of which he has superintended, and his career in Pittsburg has been in the same connection, having made this the center of his operations for a number of years. He is thoroughly acquainted with all the details of his business, has the necessary push and enterprise for a successful prosecution and carrying out of the important public works entrusted to his care, and has made a well deserved and highly creditable reputation for efficiency and integrity of character and action.
Mr. Hess was born near Baltimore, Maryland, in 1852, being the son of William H. and Anna (Sluss) Hess, who are still living in Baltimore. His father is a prosperous real estate owner there, and for a number of years was a successful farmer near that city.
Mr. J. H. Hess was educated at Eagleton Institute, where he was graduated, and also attended the college at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He began his business career by engaging in the sewing machine business, being connected with the well known Singer company, and from that went into the employ of the Champion Reaper Company. In 1879 he left Maryland and came west, and for several years followed mining quite extensively, first in the Black Hills, then at Cheyenne, and at Leadville and other places in Colorado, which country was then in its interesting boom days. During that period Mr. Hess was one of the founders of the mining town of Aspen, Colorado. He had the varied experiences of the mining man up to 1884, and in the early part of that year located in Dodge City, Kansas, where he was in business for several months. From there he went to Parsons, Kansas, in the same year, and there secured the work of putting in the water works, as also at Independence, Cherryvale and Ottawa, during a part of the time being associated with Captain Ewing. He left Ottawa to take up his abode in Pittsburg, where he has since resided. His first mission in Pittsburg was putting in the pumps and other apparatus for the city water works, and his work from then till now has been mainly along the line of foremanship on public works. He did considerable work for the Pittsburg Railway Company, both in and out of the city. In his present capacity as chief engineer for the Pittsburg Gas and Electric Light Company he has done much valuable service, his wide and successful experience making him just the man for the place and able to carry out with absolute precision and effectiveness the wishes of the company.
Mr. Hess is a loyal Republican, and has been favored with offices at the various places in which he has resided. In Pittsburg he is president of the city council, having been elected a member of the body from the first ward, in April, 1902. He is chairman of the fire committee, also of the purchasing committee, and is a member of the streets and alleys committee. Mr. Hess married Miss Sarah Steele, and they have two children, Edna B. and Bonnie.Pages 397-398 from A Twentieth century history and biographical record of Crawford County, Kansas, by Home Authors; Illustrated. Published by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL : 1905. 656 p. ill. Transcribed by Carolyn Ward, in November, 2003.
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