INGRAM J. TALBOTT is a native son of Kansas and has here attained to definite prestige and success in the practice of law in Wyandotte county, within whose borders he has resided since his boyhood days, and where he controls a large and important practice. Both by reason of his personal standing in the community and on the score of being a scion of one of the well known and highly honored pioneer families of the Sunflower state, Mr. Talbott is well entitled to recognition in this volume.
Ingram J. Talbott was born in the city of Leavenworth, Kansas, on the 3rd of August, 1873, and is the only child of Albert G. and Nellie (Tabor) Talbott, the former of whom was born at Greencastle, Putnam county, Indiana, in 1846, and the latter of whom was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The mother died at the age of twenty-two years, when her only son was an infant, and the father later married Miss Jennie Gray, of Leavenworth, Kansas, who survives him, as do also their two sons and four daughters. Albert G. Talbott passed the closing years of his life in Kansas City, this state, where his death occurred in 1901. He received limited educational advantages in his native state and when but twelve years of age he left his home in Indiana in company with his father, his mother having died, and went to California, where the gold excitement was then at its height. He embarked on a vessel in the port of New York city and the voyage to the New Eldorado on the Pacific coast was made by way of the Isthmus of Panama. In California he attained to adult age and there he eventually accumulated a very appreciable fortune through his identification with gold mining. With such fortification he finally established himself in business in San Francisco as a money broker, and through this venture, together with unfortunate investments in mining stocks, he lost the fortune which he had previously gained, in the amount of about one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. A man of invincible courage and indefatigable energy, he was not dismayed by these reverses, but boldly set forth to retrieve his fortune so far as possible. He went to Idaho, where he gained further experience in connection with frontier life. Alert in discerning opportunities, he secured from Ada county, that state, which was still a territory, a charter for the construction and maintenance of a toll wagon road from Boise City, in the valley of the Boise river, to Idaho City, a mining town in the mountains, the charter being given to cover a period of twenty years. He initiated the work of construction on the 4th of March, 1865, and by the first of May he had the road completed and open to the public, as fine a wagon road as could be found in any mountainous district. By the 1st of November of the same year his tolls had been sufficient to defray the cost of construction and give him a profit of twenty thousand dollars. In the month last mentioned a disastrous fire practically obliterated the business portion of Idaho City, and under these conditions, necessarily entailing at least a temporay reduction in the revenues from the toll road, Mr. Talbott sold the property and charter to Henry Greathouse, one of the principal stockholders of the Oregon & Idaho Stage Company. In April, 1866, he set forth from Boise City, in a train of twenty wagons and teams, for Fort Benton, Montana, then at the head of navigation on the Missouri river. He reached his destination on the 14th of May and then took passage on one of the litte[sic] river steamers, the "St. John," for Omaha, Nebraska. On reaching that place he invested his capital, on the advice of friends, and the result was another heavy financial loss to him. He later took passage on a steamer going south and he eventually visited all of the more important cities of the South. In February, 1868, while in New Orleans, he was in somewhat of a quandary as to whether he would better return to California or Leavenworth, Kansas, and he finally decided to leave the decision to chance, whose aid he invoked by the tossing up of a coin. The dictum was in favor of Leavenworth, and on the 1st of April he embarked on a packet boat, with that city as his destination.
Soon after his arrival in Leavenworth Mr. Talbott secured a position on the old Leavenworth Bulletin, at that time one of the leading newspapers in the state, and in this connection he rendered most valuable service in promoting the election of Hon. A. Caldwell to the United States Senate. Upon the consolidation of the Leavenworth Times and Leavenworth Bulletin, in the spring of 1872, he became a member of the advertising staff of the new paper, and after the same was purchased by Colonel D. R. Anthony he was retained in this position, from which he was soon afterward promoted to that of business manager. He did much to further the success of this newspaper and through his association with the same, gained a wide acquaintanceship among the representative men of the state. In October 1878, he resigned his position and located in Edwards county, this state, where he was engaged in the real estate and insurance business until April, 1880, on the 14th of which month he established his home in the old city of Wyandotte, the nucleus of the present thriving metropolis and judicial center of Wyandotte county. Here he soon became associated with L. H. Wood in the real estate and insurance business, under the firm name of Wood & Talbott, and in 1882 he sold his interest in the enterprise to his partner to become special agent for Kansas of the Continental Fire Insurance Company of New York, in the interests of which he traveled extensively throughout the state during the ensuing three years, within which he built up a large and substantial business for the company. His final resignation was made on account of his impaired health, and in 1885 he again engaged in the real estate business in Wyandotte. In the preceding year he was elected a member of the Republican state central committee of Kansas, and in the same he was chosen one of the five members of the executive committee that so successfully planned and directed the campaign that resulted in the election of Hon. John Martin to the office of governor of the state. For many years he was a valued and influential factor in connection with the maneuvering of political forces in Kansas, and he was specially prominent in the wise ordering of public affairs in Wyandotte county. His broad views, strong personality and sterling integrity made him a natural leader in thought and action, and he never was denied the fullest measure of popular confidence and approbation. He was a great admirer of the old Whig party but found in its virtual successor, the Republican party, an economic vehicle equally worthy of his stanch support. He was signally true in all the relations of life, was every ready to aid in movements and enterprises tending to advance the best interests of his home city, county and state, and his name merits an enduring place on the roster of the sterling pioneers of Kansas.
Ingram J. Talbott was about seven years of age at the time of the family removal from Leavenworth to what is now Kansas City, and here he was reared to manhood. His early educational discipline was secured in the public schools of the old city of Wyandotte and in preparation for the work of his chosen profession entered the Kansas City (Missouri) School of Law, in which he completed the prescribed course and in which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1906, duly receiving his well earned degree of Bachelor of Laws. He has since been engaged in the general practice of law in Kansas City, Kansas, and he controls a large and representative business. Reared in the faith of the Republican party, he has never wavered in his allegiance thereto, and he has given efficient service in behalf of its cause, though he has deemed his profession well worthy of his undivided attention and thus has shown no ambition for the honors or emoluments of public office. He is identified with the Knights of Pythias and other social organizations and his popularity in his home city is of the most unequivocal order.
Mr. Talbott was united in marriage to Miss Pearl Brayton, who was born and reared in Kansas City, Kansas, and who is a popular factor in the social activities of the community which has ever represented her home. The issue of this union is a son, Jack W.
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