VINCENT J. LANE. - Not alone does this venerable citizen of Kansas City, Kansas, merit consideration in this work by reason of the fact that he is one of the honored pioneers of Wyandotte county, which has represented his home for more than half a century, but he also has been a most prominent and influential factor in the civic and material development and upbuilding of this favored section of the state, where his interests have been wide and varied. He may well be designated as the dean of the newspaper profession in Kansas, as he has figured as editor and publisher of one paper for a longer period than has any other man in the state. Though venerable in years, he retains his mental faculties unimpaired and is still actively in the harness in connection with the editorial supervision of the Wyandotte Herald, which he founded and which is published by the Lane Printing Company. No citizen of Wyandotte county is better known than Mr. Lane and none hold more secure vantage ground in popular confidence and esteem.
Mr. Lane claims the fine old Keystone state of the Union as the place of his nativity and he is a scion of one of its sterling pioneer families. He was born at West Middletown, Washington county, Pennsylvania, on the 27th of January, 1828, and is a son of Joseph and Margaret (McKeever) Lane, the former of whom was born in Pennsylvania, of English lineage, and the latter of whom was born in Virginia, of Scotch-Irish ancestry. The parents continued to reside in Washington county, Pennsylvania, until the close of their long and useful lives, and there, in the early days, the father was a manufacturer of furniture, at a time when all the work was done by hand. He was a man of industry and strong individuality, and both he and his wife ordered their lives according to the highest principles of integrity and honor, so that they were not denied the fullest measure of popular confidence and regard in the community that so long represented their home.
Vincent J. Lane was reared to adult age in his native town, where he duly availed himself of the advantages of the common schools and thus laid the foundation for the broad fund of diversified knowledge which he has since accumulated in connection with the experiences of a long and active business career. He left the parental rooftree when sixteen years of age and set forth to make for himself a place in connection with the economic activities of life. He applied his scholastic knowledge to good use by teaching in the schools of Virginia for a period of about two years, and in the early '50s he located in the southeastern part of Indiana, where he remained about four years.
In 1857 Mr. Lane came to Kansas and numbered himself among the pioneers of Wyandotte county. He located at Quindaro and assisted in the laying out of the town, in which he was one of the first settlers and where he was concerned with various lines of endeavor. In 1858 he was appointed postmast of the village, and he retained this office until 1861, after which he was engaged in farming for about four years. In the meanwhile he had also engaged in newspaper editorial work, both in a local way and as a correspondent, and he eventually matured his powers in this line until he became known as one of the vigorous and resourceful writers of his adopted state. In the late '60s Mr. Lane went to Montana, where the gold excitement was then at its height, and there he continued in the quest of the precious metal, with varying success, for nearly two years. He returned to Kansas and located in Kansas City, where he has maintained his home during the long intervening years. For a few years he acted as local representative and reporter for the Kansas City Times, of Kansas City, Missouri, and he then assumed a contract for the construction of twenty miles of the Kansas Pacific Railroad. After the completion of this work he engaged in newspaper work on his own responsibility, by founding the Wyandotte Herald, a weekly paper. With this paper he has since been continuously identified, and it is mainly due to his ability and well directed efforts that the Herald has so long maintained precedence as one of the strong and valued exponents not only of local interests but also those of the state at large. The Lane Printing Company has a well equipped and essentially modern plant, with the best of facilities for the issuing of the Herald, which is still a weekly edition, and also for the execution of the best type of job work of all kinds.
In politics Mr. Lane has wielded much and benignant influence in Kansas, where he has been a leader in the councils of the Democratic party, of whose principles and policies he has been an effective exemplar, both in the columns of his paper and through personal influence. He served two terms as register of deeds of Wyandotte county and was twice elected to represent the county in the lower house of the state legislature, in which he made a record for admirable and effective service in the promotion of wise legislation and the general conservation of the best interests of the Sunflower commonwealth. He served as postmaster of Kansas City for four years, under the first presidential administration of Grover Cleveland. He has been instant in work for all worthy causes and enterprises tending to advance the best interests of his home city and his civic loyalty and ideals are of the highest type. He was a member of the board of education for several years and has otherwise been influential in local affairs. He is affiliated with the lodge and chapter bodies of the Masonic fraternity and is identified with other civic organizations of representative character.
In the state of Indiana, in 1855, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Lane to Miss Sarah Jane Robinson, who was there born and reared. She was summoned to the life eternal and is survived by three children, Bush R., who is one of the interested principals in the Lane Printing Company; Jessie R., who is the wife of Charles C. Hall, a representative agriculturist of Johnson county, Kansas; and Mina, who is the wife of John E. E. Fanin, of Kansas City, Kansas.
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