EDWARD E. VENARD. - For more than a quarter of a century has Mr. Venard been actively identified with business interests in the metropolis of Wyandotte county, and he is today recognized as one of the influential citizens and business men of Kansas City, where his course has been such as to justify fully the uniform confidence and esteem accorded him in the community. He has given his support to those enterprises and measures that have conserved the development and civic prosperity of Kansas City and the county, and in business activities his success has been the result of well directed energy along normal lines of endeavor. He is now engaged in the building-material and coal business, and the enterprise which he thus conducts is one of the largest and most prosperous of its kind in the county.
Mr. Venard is a scion of sterling old southern stock and a representative of families whose names have been identified with the annals of American history since the Colonial epoch. He was born at Macomb, McDonough county, Illinois, on the 28th of April, 1862, and is a son of William E. and Elizabeth D. (Young) Venard, both of whom were natives of Kentucky, where the former was born in 1836 and the latter in 1839. Both families were founded in the old Blue Grass state in the early pioneer days and both were likewise found represented in the pioneer history of Illinois, where the parents of Edward E. Venard were reared and educated and where their marriage was solemnized. They continued to reside in that state until their death, the devoted wife and mother having been summoned to the life eternal on the 17th of October, 1909, and the bereaved husband having survived her by less than six months, as he passed away on the 15th of March, 1910. Of the eight children only two are living, Edward E. being the elder and his sister, Gabriella, being the wife of Edward E. Hanson, of Seattle. William E. Venard was but two years of age at the time of his parents' removal from Kentucky to Illinois, in the year 1838. The family located where Macomb, the thriving county seat of McDonough county, now stands and were numbered among the pioneer settlers of that section of the state. There William E. Venard was reared to manhood, and that he made good use of the educational advantages afforded him is assured by the fact that as a youth he proved himself eligible for pedagogic honors. He was a successful and popular teacher in the schools of his home county and thereafter continued to be actively identified with agricultural pursuits in that county for a number of years. He then removed from his farm to Macomb, where he engaged in the mercant business, in connection with which he occupied the one building for twenty-three years. He was one of the leading business men and most honored and influential citizens of his county, holding the inviolable confidence and esteem of all who knew him and standing exemplar of the highest personal integrity in all the relations of life. He served one term as mayor of Macomb and was a member of the board of education for many years. He was a stanch advocate of the Republican party and both he and his wife were earnest and zealous members of the Methodist Episcopal church. They continued to reside in Macomb until their death, and their names merit an enduring place on the roster of the honored pioneers of McDonough county.
Edward E. Venard was reared to maturity in the city of Macomb, Illinois, to whose excellent public schools he is indebted for his early educational discipline. He emulated the example of his honored father, in that he put his scholastic attainments to practical test and utilization by teaching in the district schools of his native county, where one year of devotion to the pedagogic profession seems to have satisfied his ambition in this direction. In 1882, shortly after attaining to his legal majority, Mr. Venard came to Wyandotte county, Kansas, and located in the old town of Wyandotte, the nucleus of the present metropolis of the county, Kansas City. He was engaged as a wholesale salesman for a large flouring mill until 1886, and for the ensuing five years he was here engaged in the lumber business. Ever alert to avail himself of opportunities, he next turned his attention to the buying and shipping of live stock, and with this line of enterprise he continued to be identified for six years, within which his transactions reached extensive scope. Upon his retirement from this line of enterprise he established himself in business as a dealer in building materials and coal, and he has since continued his activities in this field with constantly increasing success, giving him prestige as one of the essentially representative business men of the city that has so long represented his home and that has been the scene of his progressive activities since his youth.
Appreciative of those elements and agencies that conserve civic and material progress and prosperity, Mr. Venard has shown a lively interest in local affairs, and in politics he is found arrayed as a stalwart supporter of the cause of the Republican party. He served as a member of the city council from 1903 to 1907, and as president of this body it devolved upon him to assume the duties and prerogatives of mayor for a considerable period, during which the regular mayor was deposed from office, in 1906. While thus serving Mr. Venard had the distinction of being the first man to see that the saloons in Kansas City were closed entirely, in accordance with the laws of the state. He is a member of Quindaro Lodge, No. 559, Independent Order of Odd Fellows in which he is also identified with the encampment of Patriarchs Militant. He is also affiliated with Wyandotte Lodge, No. 440, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and with other leading social organizations of his home city.
On the 26th of November, 1883, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Venard to Miss Anna D. Ball, who was born in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, and who is a daughter of John and Sarah E. Ball, both of whom were likewise natives of the Keystone state and both of whom passed the closing years of their lives in Wyandotte, Kansas. They came to this place in 1871 and for some time thereafter Mr. Ball was employed as pattern maker in the shops of the Union Pacific Railroad. Upon severing this association he engaged in the undertaking business, in which he continued for many years, and the enterprise which he thus founded is now conducted by William B. Raymond. Mr. and Mrs. Ball became the parents of nine children, all of whom are living and of whom Mrs. Venard was the fifth in order of birth. Within a period of half a century death has invaded the family circle only twice, - when the loved and devoted parents were summoned to the life eternal. Mr. and Mrs. Venard have three children, - Gabriella, Edward E., Jr., and Helen M. Gabriella is the wife of Charles B. Kirk, of Portland, Texas, and the two younger children still remain at the parental home, both being popular in connection with the best social activities of the community.
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