John Quincy Royce, a prominent citizen of Topeka, Kan., has for over thirty years been identified with the growing interests of the state and has always lent influence and assistance to those enterprises which would contribute to its upbuilding, not alone by reason of his identification with its commercial interests, but also through his prominence in the literary and political life of the state. Mr. Royce was born on a farm in Fayette county, Iowa, June 1, 1856. David Phineas Royce, his father, a native of Chautauqua county, New York, was born April 3, 1829, and devoted his active career to agricultural pursuits. He removed first from New York state to Portage county, Ohio, where he was married, in April, 1853, to Elizabeth Ann Haymaker, born in Portage county, Ohio, April 5, 1834. They removed to Fayette county, Iowa, in 1855, and from thence to a farm near Independence, Iowa, in 1865. Two years later they removed to the city of Independence, but they are now retired residents of the capital city of Des Moines, where, in 1904, they celebrated their golden wedding on the fifty-first anniversary of their marriage, the occasion having been deferred one year in order to enable them to complete a new home. Theirs was a union of peculiar happiness and adaptability, and they have been life companions for the unusual period of fifty-eight years. The father is an aged veteran of the Civil war, in which he devoted four years of valiant service to the preservation of the Union.
John Quincy Royce was reared to the age of nine on a farm in his native Iowa county, and then accompanied his parents to Independence, where the remainder of his youth was spent and where he received his public school education, graduating in the Independence High School at the age of eighteen. He then began his preparation for law by studying the office of Rickel & Clements, at West Union, Iowa, where he spent over two years. He completed his legal studies in the office of Bruckart & Ney, of Independence, Iowa, and was admitted to the bar at Independence, in April, 1879. In the following June he came to Kansas and located first at Smith Center, where he practiced his profession from June, 1879, to January, 1885, and from that date until January, i887, served as county attorney of Smith county. At the close of his politicial term as county attorney he engaged in newspaper work, in which line of endeavor he was a conspicuous figure for more than twenty years. He began as editor and proprietor of the Smith Center "Bulletin"; later he purchased the Smith Center "Pioneer" and consolidated the two papers, forming what was known as the "Pioneer-Bulletin." In 1893 he soId that paper and purchased the "Phillipsburg Dispatch," of which he was editor and proprietor for seventeen years. He also served as postmaster at Phillipsburg from Oct. 1, 1897, to May 10, 1905, having been three times appointed to the office, the first two appointments being made by McKinley and the last one by Roosevelt. He resigned that position, May 10, 1905, to accept the office of State Bank Commissioner, to which he had been appointed by Gov. E. W. Hoch. On Nov. 10, 1908, he resigned the office of State Bank Commissioner to accept the position he now holds, that of secretary of the Aetna Building & Loan Association, of Topeka. Mr. Royce is a Republican in politics and for many years has held a prominent place in state political councils. For sixteen years he was chairman of the Republican Congressional Committee of the Sixth Kansas district. For eight years he was assistant chief clerk of the Kansas house of representatives and for two years was assistant secretary of the state senate. He resigned both the office of postmaster and of State Bank Commissioner, and in each instance had the pleasure of dictating his successor. Mr. Royce has also taken part in national politics, having attended several national conventions. At the St. Louis convention of 1896 he served as a special sergeant-at-arms, and at the Philadelphia convention of 1900 he served as an assistant secretary.
Mr. Royce has been twice married. He was first united, Nov. 7, 1879, to Miss Carrie Sherman, of Smith Center, Kan., who died Nov. 26, 1880, leaving an infant daughter, which followed its mother to the grave a few months later. His second marriage occurred May 4, 1887, and united him to Mrs. Olive Irene Crane, nee Johnson, of Cawker City, Kan. She was born in Scotch Grove, Jones county, Iowa, May 4, 1858, and died in Topeka, Kan., June 16, 1910, leaving two sonsTatton Frank and LaRuethe former being the son of her first husband, whose name was Frank Crane. LaRue, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Royce, is a student of Washburn College. Mrs. Royce was a woman of refined and cultivated tastes and unusual sweetness and strength of character. Her entire life was one of devotion to her family and friends, to whom she was not only an inspiration, but also an ideal of kindness and good cheer. She was a writer of fine ability and took a very prominent part in the work of women's organizations in Kansas, as well as often lending her clear vision and sound judgment to the state political councils, where her husband has so long held a prominent place. As wife and mother she has left to her husband and sons a precious inheritance, a sweet remembrance of the rich companionship she gave while with them. She was a devoted member of the Presbyterian church.
Mr. Royce, besides his association with the Aetna Building & Loan Association, is also president of the Kansas Voting Machine Company, of Topeka. He is a prominent Mason and Knight Templar, and also affiliates fraternally with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Knights of Pythias, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Modern Woodmen of America, and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He is also a member of the Commercial Club of Topeka.Pages 240-242 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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