Arthur K. Lanyon, cashier of the National Bank of Pittsburg, is one of the prominent Lanyon family whose enterprises and business activity may be said to constitute the corner stone of Pittsburg's wonderful industrial development and prosperity. These remarkable business men came to Pittsburg when it hardly deserved a place on the map, and were the pioneers in utilizing the great ore and coal deposits of the district, their smelting plants having given a great impulse to the growth and settlement of the town. Subsequently they have concerned themselves also with the financial affairs of the city, and on almost every page of Pittsburg history their acts and influences appear. Mr. Lanyon, while thoroughly familiar with all the details of the smelting industry, has devoted his life almost entirely to banking, and is recognized as one of the foremost men in that business in southeastern Kansas. He is an adept in all matters connected with financial institutions of a general nature, and, furthemore, is so well acquainted with all conditions of trade and industry affecting the territory from which the National Bank draws its patronage that he has been of great assistance in making this one of the leading institutions of the kind in the state.
Some facts in regard to the National Bank of Pittsburg will indicate its influential position as both a safeguard and promoter of business and industry in Crawford county. It is the oldest bank in Pittsburg, having been established in 1882, but was not at first a national bank, being then known as the Bank of Pittsburg. In 1886 it was reorganized as the National Bank of Pittsburg, with a capital stock of fifty thousand dollars, which stock was increased in 1890 to one hundred thousand. Its first president and founder was Mr. S. H. Lanyon, father of the present cashier and one of the leading figures in Pittsburg history. The Lanyons have been in control of the institution from the beginning, and the present head of the bank is Edwin V. Lanyon, whose history is given on other pages of this work. The other officers of the National Bank of Pittsburg, besides the two named, are H. C. Willard, vice president, and A. H. Lanyon, assistant cashier. The directors are: E. V. Lanyon, A. H. Lanyon, A. K. Lanyon, Josiah Lanyon, William Lanyon, Jr., H. C. Willard and H. C. B. Flack. No better commentary can be made on the bank's wonderful growth and prosperity under its efficient management than a comparative statement of the deposits on the books on the last day of each year from 1886 to 1903, the official figures being as follows for the eighteen years: $45,878.22, 59,603.75, 75,590.15, 95,500.87, 112,388.26, 166,393.56, 184,265.67, 130,509.82, 147,332.03, 146,803.53, 141,594.33, 176,093.82, 215,524.15, 350,959.11, 418,316.51, 485,092.05, 560,290.54, and 875,495.63.
Mr. Arthur K. Lanyon was born at Mineral Point, Wisconsin, February 14, 1866, being a son of Simon H. and Emily M. (Dabb) Lanyon. Simon H. Lanyon was born in the parish of St. Allen, Cornwall, England and at the age of two years was brought to this country by his parents, who located at Mineral Point, Wisconsin. Other members of the Lanyon family followed later, several branches of the name being established on this side of the water. When the zinc ore industry began at Mineral Point the Lanyons took an active hand in its development, beginning in a small way as shippers of ore to the smelter at LaSalle, Illinois. S. H. Lanyon devoted most of his life to the business. In 1872 he, in connection with Robert Lanyon, established a smelter at LaSalle, Illinois, and they two should probably be called the founders of the Lanyon smelter industry, although several others of the family soon became associated with them, and almost all the men of the younger generation have grown up in the business, which has brought them fortunes. The zinc smelting interests in the Lanyon name and control are the most extensive in the world, and their plants are located at various points in the middle west.
S. H. Lanyon was the first to come to Pittsburg and begin the development of the zinc industry. He arrived in the summer of 1877, when there were not more than a dozen houses in the place and its population proportionately small. His family and Robert Lanyon and others of the name came in the following winter. Immediately on his arrival he began the erection of the Pittsburg Smelter, which grew into a great industry, and which is now being rebuilt. The Lanyons are also building a large smelter at Caney, Kansas. They established and owned for a number of years the zinc smelter at Iola, Kansas, but in recent years they have disposed of most of their stock in this, although it is still known as the Lanyon Zinc Company.
Mr. S. H. Lanyon died September 13, 1897, having filled out a life of exceeding usefulness and activity. His uncle, Robert Lanyon, is still living. Emily M. (Dabb) Lanyon lives in Pittsburg and is a much esteemed old lady among her many friends. She was born at Camborn, in Cornwall, England, and remained there until she was married to S. H. Lanyon, who, after reaching manhood, had gone back to his native land to gain her for his wife.
Mr. Arthur K. Lanyon received his education in the Pittsburg public schools and at the Kansas State Normal at Fort Scott, where he graduated in 1884. He then became connected with the Pittsburg Smelter and learned all the details of the intricate business. He has been with the bank continually since 1885, having entered the old institution in that year as bookkeeper. He was afterward promoted to assistant cashier, which position he held for twelve years, and since then has been cashier.
Mr. Lanyon is an ardent Republican in politics. In 1893 was elected city treasurer, and served two terms. In April, 1903, he was again elected to this office, and is still serving on that term. He has also been a member of the city council. He is a prominent Mason, being past high priest and past eminent commander of the Knights Templar, and has attained other degrees of the order, being a Shriner. He is a past exalted ruler of the Elks fraternity. Mr. Lanyon has one daughter, Rosalie.Pages 228-233 from A Twentieth century history and biographical record of Crawford County, Kansas, by Home Authors; Illustrated. Published by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL : 1905. 656 p. ill. Transcribed by Bryce Cullers and Morgan Todd, students at Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, in January, 2003.
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