ELDRIDGE H. LOVELACE. - He to whom this memoir is dedicated passed virtually his entire life within the borders of Wyandotte county, with whose history the family name has been prominently identified for more than half a century, and here he found ample scope for effective effort in connection with the productive activities of life. He gained definite precedence as one of the representative business men of the county, and his character, the positive expression of a strong and noble nature, was such as to gain and retain to him the unqualified confidence and regard of his fellow men. He was a citizen whose interest in the welfare of the community, was of the most benignant order and his loyalty to the state in which his life was passed was of insistent and appreciative type. Such was his standing as a man and such his accomplishment that it is altogether consonant that within the pages of this publication be incorporated a tribute to his memory.
Eldridge H. Lovelace was born at Raytown, Jackson county, Missouri, on the 31st of October 1856, and was a son of Charles and Louisa (Hewitt) Lovelace, the former of whom was born in Tennessee and the latter in the state of New York. Their marriage was solemnized at Raytown, Missouri, where the father was at the time identified with farming and in addition to which he was a railroad contractor. Mrs. Louisa (Hewitt) Lovelace, whose death occurred November 26, 1890, was a daughter of Dr. Richard Hewitt, who was one of the first white men to settle in Wyandotte county, whither he came as Indian agent from Ohio, in company with a party of Indians in the year 1844, and his daughter Louisa here attended school when a child, with none but Indian children as schoolmates. Dr. Hewitt served as surgeon in the Union army in the Civil war and then returned to Wyandotte county, where he practiced his profession for many years and where he also owned and operated a farm, in the meanwhile maintaining his residence in the village of Turner. Both he and his wife continued to reside in this county until their death. Charles Lovelace removed from Missouri to Wyandotte county in 1857 and established his home at Turner, where he has resided during the long intervening years. He is one of the venerable pioneers of the county, now eighty years of age (1911), and he holds secure place in the esteem of the people of the county, with whose civic and industrial development and upbuilding he has been prominently concerned. He was one of the intrepid argonauts who made the journey across the plains to California, with ox teams, in 1849.
Eldridge H. Lovelace was reared to maturity in Wyandotte county, where his parents established their home in the year following his birth, and here he was afforded the advantages of the public schools of the pioneer days, a discipline which was effectively supplemented by private study and reading and by close association with the practical affairs of life. He continued to reside at the parental home until the time of his marriage, and in the meanwhile he was associated with his father in the operation of the latter's flour mill at old Wyandotte, on the Missouri river. Soon afterward he became cashier of the Northrup Bank at Wyandotte in 1894, and he held this position until the institution failed, and after the death of Mr. Northrup he served for several years as one of the executors of the estate. In 1900 he opened a general hardware store at Argentine, this county, and his excellent management and high reputation enabled him to build up a large and prosperous business. Since his death, which occurred on the 30th of April, 1905, this enterprise has been continued by his widow, and the same is under the active management of their youngest son, Hewitt E. Mr. Lovelace was thoroughly progressive and public spirited as a citizen and was ever ready to lend his cooperation in the furtherance of measures for the general good of the community. Though he had no predilection for public office he was well fortified in his opinions and was a staunch adherent of the Republican party. He was affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America.
On the 25th of November, 1880, Mr. Lovelace was united in marriage to Miss Maggie White, who was born in the old town of Wyandotte, this county, now a part of Kansas City, and who further had the distinction of being the first white child to be born in the little frontier village, which was the virtual nucleus of the present thriving metropolis of the county. She is a daughter of Isaac M. and Harriet (Cable) White, the former of whom was born in Ireland and the latter in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The parents of Isaac M. White were of Scotch and Irish lineage and their marriage was solemnized on the Isle of Man, in the Irish sea. They came to America in an early day and were pioneers of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, where he was employed in the arsenal. Both are buried in Kansas City, Kansas. Isaac M. White removed with his family to Wyandotte county, Kansas, in 1856, and was accompanied by his venerable father, who here passed the residue of his life. The father of Mrs. Lovelace had previously been employed in the United States arsenal in Pittsburg, as stated, and here his marriage was solemnized. Upon coming to Kansas he brought from St. Louis, by means of boat, a stock of general merchandise, and he established his home in the village of Wyandotte, as one of its earliest merchants. Here he continued in active business, one of the honored and influential citizens of the county, until his death, which occurred in 1871. His widow long survived him and was summoned to the life eternal in the year June, 1890. He likewise was one of the historic band who made the long and hazardous journey across the plains to California in 1849, and there he continued his quest for gold for some time, after which he returned to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and thence he came to Kansas City. Concerning the children of Isaac M. and Harriet (Cable) White the following brief data is entered: Maria, is the wife of William Wagner, of Olathe, Kansas; Fannie is the wife of William Baldridge, of Escondido, California; Mollie, is the wife of Robert McKay, of Chicago, Illinois; Mrs. Lovelace was the next in order of birth; Emma, is the wife of William Nichols, of Berkeley, California; and Bessie, is the wife of Henry Haynes, of Kansas City, Kansas.
Mr. Lovelace is survived by three children, Charles W., who is the municipal purchasing agent of Kansas City, Kansas; Howard White, who is a telegraph operator in the city for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad; and Hewitt E., who remains with his widowed mother and has active charge of the business established by his father in the village of Argentine.
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