WILLIAM H. BISCOMB. - A man of undoubted ability and enterprise, intelligent and progressive in his views, William H. Biscomb holds a place of prominence among the leading citizens of Kansas City, Kansas, and as a man of varied resources takes pleasure in doing whatever he can to advance the material interests of the community in which he resides. A son of William Biscomb, he was born July 27, 1862, in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, coming from English ancestry.
Born and educated in Leeds, England, William Biscomb immigrated to the United States in 1851, locating in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, where he was employed as a contractor until 1869. Selling out his business in that year, he bought land in Sedalia, Missouri, and carried on general farming for a year and a half. Going back to Pittsburg in 1871, he resumed contracting, and for several seasons carried on a prosperous business. In 1878 he returned to Sedalia, Missouri, where, having rented his land, he settled as a contractor, remaining there until 1886, when he sold all of his possessions in that locality and bought property in Kansas City, Kansas, where he continued a resident until his death, March 28, 1906. His wife, whose maiden name was Ann Snowden, is now living at her pleasant home on the corner of Third and Steward streets. Seven children were born of their union, as follows: Sarah, wife of John Wright, of De Witt, Arkansas; Katherine, wife of Charles Miller, of Kansas City, Kansas; Samuel, of Marion, Indiana; William H., the subject of this sketch; James, of Independence, Kansas; Emma, wife of Arthur Van Doran and a twin sister of James, resides with her widowed mother; and George, of Brownwood, Texas.
Brought up in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, William H. Biscomb was educated in the graded and high schools of that city. In 1886 he came with the family to Kansas City, Kansas, and subsequently had charge of a crew of men engaged in construction work and bridge building on the Edgerton Elevated Railroad of Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri. In 1894 he was appointed by the Board of Education as superintendent of buildings and grounds and through his influence there was completed, in 1909, a store room and work shop, the building, which is two stories in height, with a basement, being fifty-two feet by one hundred and twenty feet and furnished with motor power. The shop is finely equipped with all the machinery and appliances in the construction and repairing of anything used in the schools or school buildings, even in concrete work, and saves the city annually thousands of dollars.
Mr. Biscomb married first, July 31, 1883, Effie Douglas, who was born in Sedalia, Missouri, a daughter of Newton and Chrissie Douglas, of Butler, Missouri. She died January 19, 1889. Two children were born of their union, namely: May, wife of Howard Wheeler, of Kansas City, Missouri; and Arthur, who died at the age of two years and five months. Mr. Biscomb married for his second wife, August 2, 1891, Minnie A. Bryant, who was born in Griggsville, Illinois, a daughter of Moses and Jennie (Scott) Bryant and granddaughter of Eben and Martha (Brown) Bryant, natives of North Cambridge, Massachusetts, and descendants of early Puritan ancestors. Moses Bryant was born in Griggsville, Illinois, but his wife was born and bred in Kentucky. Mr. Biscomb belongs to the Kansas City, Kansas, Mercantile Club, and is a member of Kansas City, Kansas, Lodge No. 1492 Modern Woodmen of America.
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