James Patmor, president of the First State Bank, of Pittsburg, Crawford county, Kansas, has had a career of unusual interest in the industrial and business world since he was a boy of thirteen years. He was gifted with an independent and enterprising nature, and at that early age he decided that he could "paddle his own canoe," and from that time to the present he has done so, with what success can he judged from the following narrative of the principal events of his life. He has been a resident of the thriving city of Pittsburg for over twenty-five years. He is one of those to whom principal credit is due for the opening up and development of the vast resources of the Pittsburg coal fields with their attendant industries. For twenty years he has been prominent in the financial affairs of the city, and is now the head and founder of a bank which promises as fine a record of prosperity as the other enterprises with which he has been associated. Besides taking such a leading part in the business matters of his city, he has been formost in advancing the interests of good government and building up the institutions which make for the general welfare. He is known everywhere for his devotion to family and friends, for his executive ability in control of business, and for his worthy and honorable character in all of life's activities.
Mr. Patmor was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, of English ancestry and a son of James and Marion (Sotcher) Patmor, who were both natives of Ohio. Mr. Patmor received most of his education in the schools of Cincinnati. When thirteen years old he went to work in the construction department of the railroad which was then building up the Ohio valley east of Cincinnati. He showed special talent in this line of work, and in a few years was in charge of a large force of men, and remained at this business for ten years. He was very much interested in construction machinery, and this turned his attention to coal mining. In 1877 he came west to investigate coal fields, and in the same year located in Pittsburg, Kansas. He was one of the pioneers in the opening up of the field in what is now the enormous coal industry of the Pittsburg district. He began with surface mining, but soon afterward, with machinery which he had brought with him from Cincinnati, he was one of the first to sink a shaft in this district. He was at first manager and a member of the firm of B. C. Redlon and Company, afterward changed to the Pittsburg Coal Company, of which he was vice-president and manager. This firm also carried on a mercantile business, and Mr. Patmor had charge of the second store in Pittsburg. They also operated a store and mine at Litchfield (then known as Carbon,) and at other places in this district.
In 1882 the Bank of Girard, at Girard, Crawford county, had established a branch institution in Pittsburg, and in 1883 Mr. Patmor was one of the purchasers of this branch, being associated with the Lanyons in this enterprise. The name then became the Bank of Pittsburg, and Mr. Patmor was made cashier, which position he held until it was organized, in 1886, as a national bank and the name changed to the National Bank of Pittsburg, of which he was then elected vice president. He devoted all his time to the bank's affairs, and in 1892, at the death of the cashier, Frank W. Lanyon, he was elected to that place, which he filled until November, 1903, when he resigned. During his connection with and management of the National Bank of Pittsburg, it experienced constant prosperity and became the largest bank of the county.
Since resigning from the National Bank Mr. Patmor has organized a new bank in Pittsburg, known as the First State Bank, which opened its doors for business on January 25, 1904, and of which he has been elected president. He has associated with him, as vice president, Mr. E. B. Hoyt, an old-time merchant and capitalist of the county, and Mr. Patmor's son, Jay N. Patmor, is cashier, with C. G. Henderlider, assistant cashier. The directors are James Patmor, A. J. Curran, E. B. Hoyt, A. H. Schlanger, E. H. Klock, H. C. Willard, J. N. Patmor, J. H. Beasley and George W. Smith.
Mr. Patmor is also connected with another of the large enterprises of Pittsburg. He is vice president of the Standard Ice and Fuel Company, which is building in Pittsburg one of the largest ice plants in the country, at a cost of fifty thousand dollars, and this will be a big addition to the industrial and commercial establishments of the city.
In other ways Mr. Patmor has been an important factor in building up this splendid city. He was for several years treasurer of the school board. In manner he is quiet and modest, but is always quick to act in matters of local concern, and lends his influence on the side of morality and good government.
Mr. Patmor's wife is Mrs. Bertha A. (Curran) Patmor, a sister of John P. and Andrew J. Curran, prominent lawyers of Pittsburg. They have three children, Jay N. Patmor, Miss Bertha E. and Miss Mary Gail Patmor.Pages 211-214 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 Hazel Hibbs and Ashley Merrill, students at Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, in January, 2003.
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