Transcribed from History of Wyandotte County Kansas and its people ed. and comp. by Perl W. Morgan. Chicago, The Lewis publishing company, 1911. 2 v. front., illus., plates, ports., fold. map. 28 cm. [Vol. 2 contains biographical data. Paged continuously.] p. 606-608 transcribed by Caleb Williamson and Christopher Shockley, students from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, on 10-23-00.


Charles C. Ensley

CHARLES C. ENSLEY. - One of those thriving and well managed concerns which add in material fashion to the general prosperity and commercial prestige of the city is that of Ensley & McKay, dealers in glass and paint, of which firm Mr. Charles C. Ensley is a member. Although still a young man in years, he has already given proof of no small amount of ability and the business with which he is identified has experienced a sound and wholesome growth. In the legitimate channels of trade he has won the success which always crowns well directed labor, sound judgment and untiring perseverance, and at the same time he has concerned himself with the affairs of the community in an admirably public spirited fashion.

Mr. Ensley is a native son of the state, his birth having occurred in Greeley, Anderson county, December 30, 1885. He is a son of Nelson S. and Mary (Varner) Ensley. Nelson S. Ensley's birthplace was Franklin county, Kansas, and the date of his nativity July 26, 1860. His parents were John and Hattie (Allen) Ensley, the former a native of Hebron, Lincoln county, North Carolina, his birth occurring in 1830 and his demise in 1887; and the mother born in Blount county, Tennessee, in 1833, and dying August 25, 1899. The subject's grandparents were married near Marysville, Tennessee, and the four sons who came to bless their union were James A., Isaac A., John K. and the subject's father. The first son was born in Tennessee; the second in Illinois, shortly after the removal there; the third had Iowa as a native state, the family going there from Illinois; and Nelson S., youngest member of the quartet was born in Kansas, where this somewhat roving family finally set stakes. They located in Franklin county about the year 1858, the father being one of the pioneers in that section of the Sunflower state. He secured a most desirable homestead of one hundred and sixty acres and from time to time increased it by buying additional tracts, until his holdings represented about six hundred acres. Here he engaged successfully in general agriculture and stock raising and set out what developed into one of the finest apple orchards for many miles around. He was a prominent citizen and acted as justice of the peace for many years; while other offices to which he gave efficient service were those of township trustee and member of the school board. He was one of the founders of the Presbyterian church and in politics was a Whig, later, upon the organization of the new party, becoming a Republican. He was an abolitionist in conviction and a firm supporter of the Union cause at the time of the Civil war.

Nelson S. Ensley was reared in Kansas and upon coming to man's estate married Mary Varner, the date of their nuptials being February 17, 1885, and the place of its celebration Muscatine, Iowa. The mother is a native of Muscatine and a daughter of Harvey and Phoebe (Ridgeway) Varner, both native Iowans and both deceased. Mrs. Ensley has one brother, William. Mr. Varner, the father, was born on the old homestead in Iowa and there has spent all his days. He was deputy sheriff of his county at the time of his death and was chief of police at Muscatine, Iowa. He assisted in the support of the Methodist Episcopal church and was Republican in politics. During the great conflict between the states Mr. Varner served in the Iowa cavalry and after the war he became a prominent member of the Grand Army of the Republic.

Mr. Ensley's father received his education in the public schools of Franklin county, Kansas, and until the age of twenty-five years was engaged in the great basic industry. He then made a radical change of occupation and entered the field of general merchandise and lumber, locating at Welda, Anderson county and at Greeley, Kansas. His identification with Kansas City, Kansas, dates from the summer of 1891, although his first residence in this city was of brief duration, he devoting something over a year to the management of his real estate holdings. In the winter of 1893, he removed to Memphis, Tennessee, and there accepted a position with the Citizens' Electric Railroad which he retained for four years. In November, 1897, he returned to Kansas City, Kansas, and for twelve years was with the Metropolitan Street Railway Company in the capacity of a motorman. In February, 1910, his son having organized the business of Ensley & McKay, Mr. Ensley, senior, entered the employ of the same and has become a most useful factor in this thriving business. He and his wife have two children, a daughter Fay, being at home.

Charles C. Ensley, immediate subject of the review, was educated in various places, pursuing his studies in Greeley, Kansas, Kansas City, Kansas, and Memphis, Tennessee. He faced the serious issues of life at an early age, engaging with the Campbell Glass & Paint Company of Kansas City, Missouri, where in his six years identification with the concern he learned all the details of the business. Being a young man of initiative and independence, of the type from which come the country's successful men, he established a business of a similar kind in association with James E. McKay and prosperity has visited their efforts.

On June 1, 1910, Mr. Ensley was united in marriage to Miss Beulah Railsback, daughter of A. W. Railsback and a native of Winfield, Kansas, their home being one of the city's delightful abodes.

Mr. Ensley has various affiliations, belonging to Fellowship Lodge, No. 1, Knights of Pythias; to the Modern of America; to the Union Club; and to the Mercantile Club. In politics he is independent, esteeming the best man and the best principle far above mere partisanship. He and his wife are members of the Christian church.



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