WILLIAM B. GARLECK. - Incumbent of the responsible position of stock examiner of live stock in Kansas City, Kansas, Mr. Garleck is one of the representative citizens of the metropolis of Wyandotte county, within whose borders he has maintained his home since 1866, when he came here after having rendered most gallant service as a soldier of the Union throughout virtually the entire period of the Civil war. For many years he was one of the leading contractors and builders of Kansas City, and in this field of enterprise he contributed much to the development and upbuilding of the fine city to whose every interest he is so significantly loyal. He has taken marked interest in local affairs, has stood exemplar of progressive civic policies, and his sterling character has gained and retained to him inviolable confidence and esteem in the community. When he established his home in Wyandotte county, Kansas City was mainly represented by the old town of Wyandotte, which is now an integral part of the city, and that place was the scene of his early activities in the county.
William B. Garleck was born on a farm in Cass county, Illinois, on the 28th of July, 1839, and is a son of James and Mary (Platt) Garleck, both of whom were born and reared in England, where their marriage was solemnized and where the eldest of their three children was born. In 1835 they severed the ties that bound them to their native land and immigrated to America. They landed in the city of New Orleans and thence made the voyage up the Mississippi river to the state of Illiois, where they became pioneer settlers of Cass county. There the father secured a tract of government land and he reclaimed the same to cultivation, thus developing one of the valuble pioneer farms of that section of the state. He was a man of sterling integrity and mature judgment, and through his well directed industry he gained a due measure of prosperity in the state of his adoption. He continued to reside in Illinios until his death, in 1864, at the age of six-five years, and his devoted wife survived him by a number of years; she was seventy-six years of age when she was summoned to the life eternal. The eldest of their three children, Mary, was born in England, as already stated, and she is the widow of Robert Fielding, with residence in Cass county, Illinois, where she was reared to maturity; Joshua P., who now resides in San Francisco, California, was for nearly thirty years a successful and popular teacher in Oakland, that state, just across the bay from San Francisco, and he is now living retired, secure in the high regard of all who know him; William B., of this review, is the youngest of the children.
William B. Garleck was reared to adult age amidst the conditions and influences of the pioneer farm which was the place of his nativity, and in the meanwhile he was afforded the advantages of the common schools of the locality and period. When the Civil war was precipitated on the divided nation his youthful patriotism was roused to responsive protest and he forthwith tendered his services in defence of the Union, in response to President Lincoln's first call for volunteers. Early in 1861 he enlisted as a private in Company G, Thirteen Illinois Volunteer Infantry, which was assigned to the Missouri campaign, under General Curtis, and with this gallant command he took part in many of the most important battles marking the progess of the great conflict between the North and South. The history of his regiment practically constitutes the record of his military career, save that for one year he was held as a prisoner of war in a Confederate prison in Alabama. He was again taken prisoner about seven days before the close of his term of enlistment, and he was thus held in captivity until the termination of the war. It will thus be seen that his service covered the entire period of conflict, and his record as a soldier of the Union will stand to his lasting honor as one of the faithful and loyal sons of the republic whose intergrity he aided in preserving.
After the close of the war Mr. Garleck returned to his home in Cass county, Illinois, and his home coming was saddened by the absence of his honored father, whose death had occurred in the preceding years. In October, 1865, he returned to the south, where he remained for a short time, after which he remained with his widowed mother until the spring of 1866, when he came to Wyandotte county, Kansas, and established his permanent home. He located in what was then the village of Wyandotte, the virtual nucleus of the present metropolis of Kansas City, and here he engaged in the work of his trade, that of brick mason. He eventully became one of the most prominent contractors and builders of the county and to this line of enterprise he continued to devote his attention until 1897. Within this long period he erected many of the substantial residences and other buildings still standing in Kansas City, and his fidelity to a contract was ever on a parity with his recognized ability and his sterling integrity of character.
In 1892 Mr. Garleck received an appointment to the government position of stock examiner, but upon the change in national administration, with the election of President Cleveland, he was ousted from this position but he was reinstated after the election of President McKinley. In 1897 he was promoted to his present office of government stock examiner, and in the same he has given most careful and efficient service, in connection principally with the operations of the great stock yards and packing houses in Kansas City, Kansas, and its vicinity.
In politics Mr. Garleck has ever accorded a stalwart allegiance to the Republican party, in behalf of whose cause he has given effective service, and he has been influential in connection with public affairs in his home city. He served for three years as a member of the city council and his voice and influence were brought to bear in the furtherance of progressive municipal policies and government. He also had the distinction of serving two years as postmaster of the State Senate, and during his sojourn in the capital city of Kansas he formed the acquaintance of many of the representative men of the state. He has ever retained a deep interest in his old comrades in arms, and this is signified by his membership in Burnside Post, Grand Army of the Republic, in his home city, where he also holds membership in the Ancient Order of United Workmen. Mr. Garleck commands unqualified confidence and esteem in the community in which he has so long lived and labored to goodly ends, and he stands as a fine type of loyal and valuable citizenship.
In the year 1870 Mr. Garleck was united in marriage to Miss Ellen N. Sackett, who was born at Akron, Summitt county, Ohio, and who is a daughter of E. C. and Patty (Sackett) Sackett, the former of whom was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, and the latter of whom was a native of Ohio. Mr. Sackett was a boy at the time of his parents' removal from Connecticut to that state's historic Western Reserve in Ohio, where he was reared to maturity under the conditions of the pioneer era and where his marriage was solemnized. In September, 1855, he established his home in Cass county, Illinois, where he developed a farm and became a representative citizen. Both he and his wife continued to reside in that state until their death, and of their eight children all attained to years of maturity except two, who died in infancy. Mrs. Garleck was the youngest of the children and was nine years of age at the time of the family removal from Ohio to Illinois, where she was reared and educated. Her marriage to Mr. Garleck occurred in Macon county, that state, where her parents then maintained their home. Mr. and Mrs. Garleck have two daughters - Flora Coburn, who is the wife of Orville L. Helwig, of Garden City, Kansas; and Mary Platt, who remains at the parental home.
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