JOHN W. WEST. - The history of a nation is nothing more than a history of the individuals comprising it, and as they are characterized by loftier or lower ideals, actuated by the spirit of ambition, or indifference, so it is with a state, county or town. Success along any line of endeavor would never be properly appreciated if it came with a single effort and unaccompanied by some hardships, for it is the knocks and bruises in life that make success taste so sweet. The failure accentuates the successes, thus making recollection of the former as dear as those of the latter for having been the stepping stone to achievement. The career of John W. West but accentuates the fact that success is bound to come to those who join brains with ambition and are willing to work.
John W. West, who has long been engaged in the wholesale and retail meat business at Kansas City, Kansas, is strictly a self made man and for that reason his success in life is the more gratifying to contemplate. He is a native of this city, having been born on the 6th of November, 1863, at which time this place was better known as Wyandotte. Henry West, father of him to whom this sketch is dedicated, was born in Germany and came to Ohio when quite a youth. He proceeded almost immediately to Wyandotte county, Kansas, settling in the city of Wyandotte in 1858. He learned his trade in Ohio and in 1858 he came to Wyandotte to run a store for Henry Grantman, which he ran with success for eleven years. In politics he was a staunch advocate of the Democratic party. He was married to Miss Harriet Arthur by Rev. Father Donley of Kansas City, Missouri. She was born and reared in Pennsylvania, whence she came to Wyandotte in the year 1857, in company with her married sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Burgard. After the death of her first husband Mrs. West removed to West Point, Iowa, where was solemnized her marriage to Frank X. Smith. By her first marriage she became the mother of two children, namely: John W., the immediate subject of this review, and Elizabeth, who is now a sister in St. Benedict's Convent at Nauvoo, Illinois. To Mr. and Mrs. Frank X. Smith has been born one daughter, Catherine, and a son who died when twenty-one years old.
Mr. West was a child of but six years of age at the time of his father's death, and in 1871 he accompanied his mother to West Point, Iowa. In 1884, however, he returned to Kansas City, Kansas, and here pursued a course in Spaulding's Business College. He then learned the meat market business and in 1886 engaged in that line of enterprise on his own responsibility. Later he disposed of his meat market but in 1895 he engaged in the wholesale and retail meat business, continuing to be identified therewith during the long intervening years to the present time. He is a very capable business man, one whose methods are always on the square and one whose integrity is of impregnable order. In 1906 he was elected a member of the city council and he served in that capacity until 1910. Mr. West ran on the Democratic ticket for mayor and carried five out of six wards.
On the 11th of October, 1887, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. West to Miss Rose Arrighi, who was born at Natchez, Mississippi, and who is a daughter of Joseph and Ann Eliza (O'Farrell) Arrighi, both of whom were likewise natives of Natchez, Mississippi, and both of whom are now deceased. Mrs. West was fifth in order of birth in a family of ten children, eight of whom are living at the present time. Mr. Arrighi was bookkeeper in the city recorder's office at Kansas City, Missouri, at the time of his death, which occurred in 1888. He came to Kansas City, Kansas, in 1885; was a Democrat in politics; and religiously was affiliated with the Catholic church. Mr. and Mrs. West became the parents of seven children, two of whom died in infancy and five of whom are living at the present time, namely: Gertrude G., George H., John W. Jr., Anna and Edward J., all of whom remain at the parental home.
In politics Mr. West accords a loyal allegiance to the cause of the Democratic party. He is a communicant of the Catholic church. In a fraternal way he is a valued and appreciative member of Damien Council, No. 826, Knights of Columbus; and he is also connected with the Knights of the Maccabees. Mr. West is deeply interested in community affairs and is a co-operant factor in connection with all projects advanced for progress and development.
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