JEP HANSEN MAILAND, vice consul of Denmark in Kansas City for the state of Kansas, is also one of its most successful merchants and representative citizens. He has become known as a tradesman who can be relied on most implicitly. It is because of his trustworthiness that he has had the honor of being appointed to the vice-consulship. In his official capacity his record is unimpeachable. As a business man he has shown his ability and honesty. As a private individual he has the qualities that call forth esteem and respect from his family and his numerous friends.
Jep Hansen Mailand was born in Schleswig, then a province of Denmark, August 28, 1846. His father was Hans J. Mailand and his mother's name was Mette Maria Christensen before she was married. They were both Danes. Jep Hansen went to school in his home town and acted in the capacities of a farmer and musician in his home town, and after he came to America he engaged in brickmaking. He felt that he would never be able to accomplish much in Denmark, where good, honest work does not receive anything near the recognition and compensation that it does in this country. He was full of enthusiasm because of the wonderful stories that he had heard concerning the money to be made in America, and in November, 1865, before he was quite twenty years old, he left his home and friends to cross the ocean and come to the great unknown country. It was an unfortunate voyage in many respects. They were on the ocean three months, landing in February and forty-six people were lost from smallpox. Upon his arrival in the United States, Mr. Mailand went direct to Jefferson City, Missouri, and worked at his trade of brickmaker all the summer. In the winter time he secured a position with the railroad and was employed on construction work. For four years he continued in these two lines of work, changing as the seasons changed. In 1870, having saved some money, invested it in a grocery business at Jefferson City and was very successful there. Eventually, however, he saw that there were larger opportunities in Kansas City, and on October 26, 1873, he removed there with some of his stock, abandoning the place in Jefferson City and starting a store in Kansas City, Kansas, which was then a comparatively small place, with only about four thousand five hundred inhabitants. He has seen the city grown up around him and has done much to help its growth and advancement. Previous to taking up his residence here he had bought a lot and in 1873 he built a fine new store upon it, which he occupied for seven years. At the end of that time he found the store inadequate for the large business that he had built up, so he built another and much larger store. He managed the new store until 1899, when he gave it to his son as a wedding present. During the years he has been in Kansas City he accumulated a good deal of property and its management required so much of his time that he was glad to be relieved of all responsibility in connection with the store. In 1897 he had been appointed Danish consul and he has held that office continuously ever since. He finds that the duties which the consulship brings and the care of his various properties are quite sufficient to keep him busy.
On April 17, 1867, while he was living in Jefferson City, he was married to Helena Jessen, a young Danish girl who had come to this country with her parents, Christian Jessen and his wife, Anna Multzen. Helena was born February 27, 1848, and was reared in Missouri on her father's farm. There were very few Danish people in America when the two first met and they were naturally attracted to each other from the first. They have three children. The eldest is Anna, born August 18, 1869. She is married to R. T. Frederiksen and now lives in Omaha, Nebraska. She recently took a trip to Europe and visited the old home of her father and the scenes of his childhood about which he had so often spoken. On her return on a Danish boat the captain gave a banquet and presented a flag to one of each nation represented and she was the only American to receive a flag. She and her husband have five children: Helen, Madie, Fred, Edith and Walter. Helen, named for her maternal grandmother, married Axel Anderson and has one child, - Donald. The second daughter, born September 25, 1872, married Robert Anderson and they have two children, Helene and Mabel. Mr. Mailand's two eldest children were both born in Jefferson City, Missouri. The youngest, Walter Henry, was born August 15, 1878, in Kansas City, Kansas. He married Johanna, daughter of John Christopherson and two sons, Walter and Karl, have been born to the union. The family now lives in Omaha, Nebraska, where Walter Henry has a fine grocery and meat market.
Mr. Mailand became a member of the Commercial Club of Kansas City in 1909, and was formerly a member of the Merchants' Association. For ten years he was a very active member of the Knights of Pythias He has passed through all of the chairs and is the first past chancellor. He has represented his lodge in the Grand Lodge. Although Mr. Mailand is by no means an old man, he is a great-grandfather. The Danish people all marry young and his family have been no exception. He may well be proud of what he has accomplished since he came to America. He has not only done great things himself, but he has reared a family to be a credit to himself and to the community. A man can never altogether forget his love for his native country but in his case the interests of Kansas City rival those of Denmark in his affections. He is a man of whom it may well be said, let the tenor of his life speak for him. Mr. Mailand was the first president of the Danish Union Freia, started in 1877, to which he still belongs.
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