JAMES P. WILES, who is one of the prominent and influential business men of Kansas City, Kansas, maintains his offices at 914 North Sixth street, where he conducts an extensive enterprise in insurance, loans and rentals. He has ever manifested a public spirited interest in all that pertains to the well being of Wyandotte county and Kansas at large, has served Kansas City in the capacity of councilman, and is very high in Masonry, having been honored with the thirty-third degree of the Scottish Rite.
A native of the fine old Buckeye state of the Union, James P. Wiles was born on a farm near Alliance, Stark county, Ohio, on the 4th of May, 1862. He is a son of William and Emily Jane (Roach) Wiles, both of whom were born in Jefferson county, Ohio, and both of whom are now living on the old farm, which has been their home since 1863. The father is engaged in diversified agriculture and the breeding of fine horses and high grade cattle. William Wiles is prominent in community affairs, is Republican in his political proclivities, and has given most efficient service as a member of the township school board. Of the eight children born to Mr. and Mrs. Wiles, six are living at the present time, in 1911, and of the number the subject of this review was the first born.
Reared under the invigorating influences of the old homestead farm, James P. Wiles early became associated with his father in the work and management of the estate and during the winter months he was a regular and interested attendant in the district schools. At the age of twenty years he turned his attention to the pedagogic profession and engaged in teaching in Portage county, Ohio. In 1884 he severed the ties which bound him to home and immigrated westward to Kansas, obtaining a school at Lawrenceburg, where he taught for a time and whence he removed to Sharon Springs, in Wallace county, this state. He continued to teach until 1890, at which time he became deputy county treasurer of Wallace county, retaining that incumbency up to 1894. In the latter year he was appointed principal of the Sharon Springs schools and after two more years devoted to educational work he resigned his principalship and came to Kansas City, where he purchased an insurance business at 9 South James street, later locating his office at 914 North Sixth street. He is a business man of no mean ability and is widely known for his strict integrity and fair and honorable dealings. His various projects have added materially to the progress and development of this city, and in addition to representing a number of prominent insurance companies he also conducts a loan and rental business.
On the 25th of June, 1888, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Wiles to Miss Maud P. Phillips, whose birth occurred at Mount Carroll, Illinois, and who is a daughter of William and Emma P. Phillips, both of whom are now residing on the farm near Clyde, Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. Wiles are the parents of eight children, all of whom remain at the parental home and all of whom are being afforded excellent educational advantages. The names of the children are here entered in respective order of birth: William G., Nellie A., James P. Jr., Marguerite A., Thomas W. R., Theodore R., Emily P. and Samuel S. In their religious faith the Wiles family are consistent members of the Methodist church and they are popular and prominent factors in connection with the best social activities of their home community.
In politics Mr. Wiles is aligned as a stalwart in the ranks of the Republican party, and while he has never had a great deal of time or ambition for the honors and emoluments of public office he has done all in his power to advance the best interests of the city in which he has so long maintained his home. He has served with all of honor and distinction as a member of the city council but further than that he has not been a seeker of public office. He is very prominent in fraternal orders in the state of Kansas. He has passed through the circle of Scottish Rite Masonry, being a member of Caswell Consistory, No. 5, and having attained to the thirty-second degree. He has also been honored with the thirty-third degree and is a valued member of Wyandotte Lodge, No. 3, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons. In the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, he is affiliated with Wyandotte Lodge, No. 440; and in the Knights of Pythias he is connected with Wide Awake Lodge, No. 153. Mr. Wiles is a man of fine intelligence and broad information. He is kind hearted and philanthropical, and it may be said concerning him that the circle of his friends is coincident with that of his acquaintances.
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