FRANK F. BRANDT. - Among the enterprising business men and loyal and public spirited citizens of Kansas City, Kansas, is Frank F. Brandt, who at the present time, in 1911, is secretary and treasurer of the Rainbow Amusement Company, which but recently organized and built the rink at Fifth and Armstrong avenues, at a cost of twenty-five thousand dollars.
Mr. Brandt was born at Hanover, Kansas, on the 4th of August, 1876, a son of Arnold and Mary (Klecan) Brandt, the former of whom was born in Germany, in 1843, and the latter of whom claimed the city of Vienna, Austria, as the place of her nativity. Arnold Brandt immigrated to the United States when a youth of thirteen years of age. He first located at Fort Madison, Iowa, where he engaged in the work of his trade, that of a cooper, which he had learned in the old country, and also steamboated on the Mississippi river for several years. In 1867 he removed to Hanover, Kansas, where he turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, his principal crop being broom corn, which he made into brooms.
In politics he accorded a stalwart allegiance to the principles and policies for which the Democratic party stands sponsor and his religious faith was in harmony with the tenets of the Catholic church, in which he was a communicant. In 1883 he gave up farming and engaged in the mercantile business in Hanover, and in March, 1887, removed to Westphalia, Kansas, and there, engaged in business. Subsequently he removed to Kansas City, in November, 1887, where he became foreman in the old Morris & Butt packing plant. In 1866 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Brandt to Miss Mary Klecan, who came to America with her parents in 1847, at which time she was an infant of but two years of age. Concerning her ancestry further data will be given in the following paragraph. To Mr. and Mrs. Brandt were born eight children: Katharine, who died in infancy; Mary, who is now the wife of Joseph M. Highberger, of Kansas City, Kansas; Mrs. Katharine Ross, of Climax Springs, Missouri; Sophia, who is housekeeper for Rev. Father McInerney; Frank F., who is the immediate subject of this review; John, who died in infancy; Barbara, whose death occurred when she was a child of eight years; and Amelia, who was summoned to the life eternal at the age of sixteen years. Mrs. Brandt was summoned to eternal rest in 1894, and her honored husband passed away in 1899.
Mary (Klecan) Brandt, mother of him whose name initiates this sketch, was born in Vienna, as already noted, and on the maternal side was descended from a class of people known as the "Austrian Ladies." Her parents were very wealthy and very influential in their native land. In crossing the Atlantic, however, the father was robbed of all his valuables, with the exception of six hundred dollars. He went to Peoria, Illinois, but after a short time he removed to Fort Madison, Iowa, where he started a vineyard, in which he was eminently successful. In 1869 he came to Kansas with a large colony of Germans, with whom he located at Hanover. During his lifetime he managed to accumulate quite a fortune and thus recuperate his former losses. He died in 1886, at the age of seventy-two, and his wife passed to her reward in 1907, at the age of eighty-eight years, the entire Klecan real estate passing to the youngest daughter, Miss Anna Klecan, who had devoted her time to the care of her aged parents, and the personal property was divided equally among the heirs.
Frank F. Brandt was reared to the age of seven years on the farm in Washington county, Kansas, and thereafter he attended school at Hanover until he had reached the age of eleven years, at which time the family removed to Westphalia, Kansas, where the home was maintained for the summer of 1887. He went to school in Kansas City for a few months, but his father becoming seriously ill he felt obliged to go to work. He was employed in Pratt's Cooper shop for a time at the salary of sixty-five cents per day, and later he went to work for the Kingan Packing Company, Ltd., for seventy-five cents per day. He continued to be identified with the latter concern for the ensuing three and a half years, during which time his salary had been increased to one dollar and seventy-five cents per day, he being then sixteen years of age. He was considered one of the best workmen in the plant, although a mere boy. Thereafter he entered the employ of his father in the Schwarzchild & Sulzberger Company, at the salary of fifteen dollars per week. Ambitious to see the country caused him to persuade the Schwarzchild & Sulzberger Company to send him to New York, where he remained in their employ for a period of six months. In 1898 his sisters, fearing that he might enlist in the Spanish-American war, induced him to return home. He then purchased a small grocery and meat market at Armourdale but later traded that establishment for real estate. For seven years he worked for the Gregory Grocerv[sic] Company, starting at fifty dollars per month and eventually drawing a salary of one hundred and twenty-five dollars as city salesman. In 1907 he promoted a fifty thousand dollar hall and skating rink in Kansas City, Missouri, but the panicy condition and bank trouble of that year caused that venture to fail, Mr. Brandt losing some four hundred and fifty dollars. In 1908, at the head of a company, he built the Rainbow Rink in Kansas City, Kansas, at an investment of twenty thousand dollars. This concern continued to do a thriving business until the 14th of October, 1909, at which time it was destroyed by fire. Twelve thousand, five hundred dollars were realized in insurance and in 1910 the Rainbow Amusement Company was incorporated under the laws of the state of Kansas, and constructed the rink at Fifth and Armstrong avenues, at a cost of twenty-five thousand dollars. The officers of this company are: C. J. Smith, president; and Frank F. Brandt, secretary and treasurer.
In 1900 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Brandt to Miss Mollie E. McMahon, who was born and reared in Wyandotte county and who is a daughter of Patrick and Mary (Cloonan) McMahon. To this union have been born two children, Loretta and Amelia, aged seven years and three years, respectively.
In politics Mr. Brandt is aligned as a loyal supporter of the cause of the Democratic party, and while he has never manifested aught of ambition for the honors of emoluments of public office of any description he has ever been on the alert and enthusiastically in sympathy with all measures advanced for the general welfare of the community and of the state at large. In a fraternal way he is affiliated with various organizations of representative character and he is a devout communicant of the Catholic church. That Mr. Brandt is a man of indefatigable industry will readily be seen when it is stated that from 1893 to 1897, while he was working in the packing house, he attended four terms of night school, at Spalding's Commercial College, Kansas City, Missouri, leaving work at six o'clock and answering roll call at school at seven. He is a man of fine mental vigor and marked business capacity, a man whose ambitions and ideals are of the highest type and one whose conduct as a loyal and public spirited citizen command to him the confidence and esteem of the entire community.
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