PETER W. GOEBEL. - The great empire of Germany has contributed most valuable element to the cosmopolitan social fabric of our American republic, which has had much to gain and nothing to lose from this source. Among the residents of Wyandotte county who can claim German birth and ancestry and who have here attained to marked precedence and success in connection with business affairs of broad scope is Peter W. Goebel, president of the Commercial National Bank of Kansas City, a citizen of sterling character and one who has been influential in both civic and business affairs in the city and county of his adoption. His career, marked by the wise application of splendid energies and powers, offers both lesson and incentive, as he is significantly the architect of his own fortune and has so ordered his course as to show forth the sturdy integrity and honor that ever beget objective confidence and esteem. As one of the essentially representative men of Wyandotte county he is well entitled to recognition in this history of the county and its people.
A native of the province of Nassau, Kingdom of Prussia, Germany, Peter William Goebel was born near the city of Langbecke, on the 18th of March, 1859. He is a son of Peter and Anna Mary (Mueller) Goebel, of whose eight children, four sons and three daughters are now living. The father was long in the government service as a forester, and he continued to reside in his native land until his death. His widow subsequently joined her children in the United States, and she passed the closing years of her life in the state of Kansas. He whose name heads this article is indebted to the excellent schools of his fatherland for his early educational discipline, and at the age of fourteen years he came to America, and here he effectively supplemented his early education through earnest study in a private way and through his active association with the practical affairs of life. He came to Kansas in 1873, and thereafter was employed about eighteen months on a farm in Miami county. Thereafter he looked after the domestic economies of the home of a Catholic priest of Paola, that county, and incidentally he profited greatly through his studies under the direction of this honored clergyman. Still later he was in the employ of a physician at Louisburg, in the same county, where he had further and excellent opportunities for the broadening of his education, in the meanwhile being employed in a drug store conducted by the physician. In the autumn of 1877 Mr. Goebel took an important step, as he was then married, and soon afterward he initiated his independent career by opening a drug and grocery store of his own in Louisburg. There he continued successful operations for the ensuing four years, within which he gained most valuable business experience and matured his judgment and powers. In 1882 he became cashier of the Bank of Louisburg, and with this institution he continued to be thus identified for the long period of eighteen years. He wielded potent influence in the upbuilding of the business of the bank and developed exceptional ability as an executive and financier. At the expiration of the period noted, in 1897, Mr. Goebel came to Kansas City and assumed the presidency of the Commercial State Bank, which was organized at that time. In the meanwhile he retained the position of cashier of the Bank of Louisburg until 1900, when he resigned this office and in the same town engaged in the financial loan business on his own responsibility, in the meanwhile dividing his time between Kansas City and Miami county. In 1900 he became vice president and a director of the Miami County Bank, at Paola, and he had much to do with directing the policies of this institution and thereby insuring its success. In February, 1907, Mr. Goebel established his permanent residence in Kansas City, and here he has gained prestige as one of the strongest and most influential figures in the financial circles of this part of the state. Here he has been president of the Commercial National Bank since 1897 and he is also president of the Citizens' State Savings & Trust Company, another of the important institutions of the city and county. He is also chairman of the board of directors of the Osage Fire Insurance Company and has otherwise closely identified himself with local interests. He is broad minded, liberal and loyal as a citizen, upright and sincere in all the relations of life, and he is ever ready to do his part in supporting measures and enterprises tending to advance the general welfare of the community.
In politics Mr. Goebel was formerly aligned with the Democratic party, as a candidate on whose ticket he was elected to represent Miami county in the state legislature. He was first elected in 1903 and was chosen as his own successor in the election of 1905. He brought to bear in this connection the same careful judgment and correct policies that had insured his success in business life, and he thus proved a valuable working member of the legislature. At the present time he pronounces himself independent of partisan lines and gives his support to the men and measures meeting the approval of his judgment. Both he and his wife are zealous communicants of the Catholic church.
In the autumn of the year 1877 at Louisburg, Miami county, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Goebel to Miss Mary Shaw, who has proved a devoted companion and helpmeet. She was born in the state of Kansas and is a daughter of the late William Shaw, an honored pioneer of Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. Goebel have five children: E. W., who married Ella Nevius and is resident of Tulsa, Oklahoma; A. F., who married Mary Wells, and they reside in Kansas City, Kansas; Mary, at home; J. P. and Rose, twins; Rose married E. J. Bannon, resident of Kansas City, Kansas; and J. P. is at home.
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