FRED SCHLEIFER. - During nearly all of the last forty-four years this widely and favorably known business man and promoter has been a resident of Kansas City, Kansas, and throughout the period has shown himself deeply and intelligently interested in its welfare and advancement. While he was in business here he contributed materially to its growth and development, and since his retirement from active pursuits his zeal for the improvement of the municipality and the enduring good of its people has not in any degree abated.
Mr. Schleifer was born in Prussia on October 8, 1838, where his parents passed the whole of their lives, as their ancestors had done for many generations before them. They died in that country and their remains were buried there, where the memory of their upright and serviceable lives lingers in the public mind of the community they made brighter and better. Their son Fred obtained his education in the public or state schools of his native land and learned the baker's trade there. He remained in Prussia until 1864, when he was twenty-six years old, then came to the United States, locating in St. Louis, Missouri. For one month after his arrival in that city he worked at his trade there, all the time looking for a suitable locality in which to go into business for himself. He found one across the Mississippi in Madison county, Illinois, and opened a bakery there, which he operated one year. Then a serious illness forced him to sell his business, and as soon as he recovered sufficiently he went to work in a grist mill, remaining until 1867, when he became a resident of what was then Wyandotte but is now Kansas City, Kansas.
After he became located in Kansas City Mr. Schleifer started a brick yard in company with his brother Louis at the corner of Seventh and Ohio streets. The brick factory continued to turn out large quantities of fine brick for the use of the people until 1880, when Louis Schleifer died, and then his brother disposed of it, turning his attention to other business. In 1878 he went to Silverton, Colorado, and began prospecting in the mining industry in that state. He remained two years and became possessed of two silver mines, which he has never worked or developed. But throughout his absence he retained his residence in Kansas City, and he has lived here ever since, with only temporary absences on trips to other parts of the country on business or pleasure.
The untimely death of his brother changed his base of eperations,[sic] as has been stated above. Giving up the making of brick, he purchased a very eligible tract of land at the corner of Sixth street and Armstrong avenue and erected five modern houses on it. He has always been somewhat interested in real estate transactions, and has shown excellent judgment in all his ventures in this department of business. But he has won his competency of this world's goods and has nothing now to do but enjoy it and render to others the service it enables him to give them.
In August, 1881, Mr. Schleifer was married to the widow of his brother Louis, who was Miss Louisa Voss prior to her first marriage. She was born in Franklin county, Missouri, but passed a large part of her life to the time of her death, on August 7, 1907, in this state. By her first marriage she became the mother of one child, her daughter Louisa M., who is now the wife of Herman Voigt, a highly respected resident of Kansas City, Kansas. Two children were born of her second marriage: Arthur, who is a member of Company No. 1, Kansas City, Kansas, fire department; and Alma, now the wife of George M. Harmon, who is proprietor of an establishment making and selling tinware of all kinds. Mrs. Harmon has always made her home with her father, and since her mother's death has looked carefully after the affairs of the household in his home.
Mr. Schleifer is essentially a self-made man. He attended school in his native land until he was fourteen years of age, and since then he has been obliged to shift for himself. His career is the fruit of his own business capacity, persevering industry and quickness and clearness of vision to see opportunities for advancement, coupled with the ability to make the most of them in use. He has been unaided by the favors of fortune, and circumstances have never been especially propitious for his purposes. He has relied on himself and taken conditions as he has found them, but in his strength of will and constancy of purpose he has overcome all obstacles and even made many minister to his welfare. In religious connection he is allied with the German Methodist Episcopal church, and in politics is a Republican except in reference to local affairs. When dealing with them he disregards all partisan claims and acts wholly for the public good as he sees it in the contest. He has never been an aspirant for public office, but at one time served very acceptably as commissioner of the poor in his home city for a period of four years. All who know his record respect him highly for the good he has done and the elevated standard of his citizenship, and all who know him admire and esteem him as one of the best and most representative men in Wyandotte county. Both in private character and public spirit he richly deserves the good opinion all have of him.
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