HARRY DARBY. - One of the important industrial enterprises of Kansas City, Kansas, is that conducted under the corporate title of the Missouri Boiler Works Company, and of this corporation Harry Darby, its founder, is president and general manager. The company was incorporated in 1905 and bases its operations upon ample capital and effective executive control. The well equipped plant has the best of facilities for the manufacturing of boilers, tanks and sheet-iron work, and the enterprise has been built up from a modest nucleus to one of such scope as to make it a valuable contribution to the industrial and commercial activities of Kansas City. At the beginning only seven or eight men were employed and the growth of the business is shown in the fact that at the present time a corps of fully sixty operatives is retained, - the most of the number being skilled mechanics. Mr. Darby has been president and general manager of the company since the time of its incorporation and is virtually the owner of the business, as he holds nearly all of its capital stock.
Harry Darby has the distinction of being a native of the national capital, as he was born in the city of Washington, D. C., on the 17th of June, 1865. He is a son of Henry C. and Mary (Hanna) Darby, the former a native of Virginia and the latter of Maryland, in which state their marriage was solemnized. The Darby family is of Scotch-Irish lineage and was founded in Virginia, the historic Old Dominion, in Colonial days. As a young man Henry C. Darby learned the trade of boilermaking, and he followed the same for some time in the city of Washington. In 1869 he removed with his family to Kansas City, Kansas, and here he held the position of foreman in the boiler shops of the Kansas Pacific Railroad, now a part of the Union Pacific system, for a period of twenty years. He then engaged in business on his own responsibility, by establishing the Kansas City Boiler Works, and through his earnest and honest endeavors he built up a prosperous enterprise, with which he continued to be identified until his death, which occurred in 1900, his widow being still a resident of this city. Henry C. Darby was a man of sterling character and ever held secure place in the confidence and esteem of the community in which he so long resided and in which he became a representative business man. He was a Republican in his political proclivities and while never a seeker of public office he served as a member of the city council in the early days of his residence in Kansas City. He was a communicant of the Protestant Episcopal church, as is also his widow, and he is survived by six sons and one daughter.
Harry Darby was a child of four years at the time of the family removal to Kansas City, where he was reared to maturity and where he was afforded the advantages of the public schools. When but fifteen years of age he began working in his father's shops and he eventually familiarized himself with every practical and technical detail of boilermaking. For some time he was in partnership with his father and eventually he became the head of the large and prosperous business, in the upbuilding of which he had played an important part. He is recognized as one of the substantial and enterprising business men of the city and as a citizen he is intrinsically loyal, liberal and progressive. He is a stalwart in the local camp of the Republican party and has given effective service in its cause. He served three years as a member of the board of county commissioners and then refused to become a candidate for re-election. Feeling that his business interests demand his entire time and attention he has never since consented to become a candidate for public office of any description, though he is ever ready to lend his cooperation in the furtherance of measures and enterprises projected for the general good of the community. Mr. Darby has completed the circle of York Rite Masonry, in which his maximum affiliation is with Ivanhoe Commandery, Knights Templar, and he has also received the thirty-second degree in the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, besides which he holds membership in the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine and in the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Both he and his wife are communicants of the Protestant Episcopal church and actively identified with the parish of Kansas City, Kansas.
In the year 1889 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Darby to Miss Florence Smith, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George S. Smith, of Ellis, Kansas. The three children of this union are Marie, Harry, Jr., and Florence.
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