DAVID BUCKLAND, the popular weigh master of the Board of Trade, of Kansas City, Missouri, has spent practically all of his life in the vicinity of Kansas City and Rosedale, where he is well known. Not only has he aided the industrial and commercial enterprises of the state, but he has become identified with political and civic prosperity and improvement. There is no more public spirited man in Rosedale than Mr. Buckland, nor is there one who has been more active in the furtherance of all matters of common betterment. A brief recital of the leading events of his life will serve to show that he has well earned the approbation which he has gained in this locality.
David Buckland was born in the city of Cardiff, the flourishing seaport town in South Wales, in the year 1872. His father, T. J. Buckland, is also a native of Wales, where his birth occurred in 1855, and he was reared in his native country. The Welsh tongue is gradually dying out, as it is no longer taught in the schools, and the only way in which it survives at all is through its being spoken in the homes and thus handed down from generation to generation. T. J. Buckland, therefore, although he spoke Welsh, was also perfectly familiar with the English language, which he learned at school. After he left school he learned the trade of a moulder, but the wages in Wales were very low and he felt that he possessed potentialties that needed other scenes for their development, and he waited an opportunity of making a change. When he was twenty-seven years old he married a little Welsh girl seventeen years of age. Within the next four years three children were born to the couple, and with the birth of each child, Mr. Buckland realized more and more the advisability of seeking other location if he would give his children the advantages he desired for them. In 1875, he determined to wait no longer, but as he had not enough money to bring his whole family to America and to support them while he searched for work - a more formidable undertaking in Wales than it is in America - he bade farewell to the little wife and his babies, took passage for New York and crossed the ocean, which had no terrors for him, as he had been brought up on the shores of the Bristol channel. Arrived in New York, he found work immediately, and as he was in reality a thorough workman, he was able to earn what seemed to him munificent wages. His tastes were simple, and he was unused to the American lavish expenditure of money, so that at the expiration of one year, he had accumulated enough money to warrant him in sending for his wife and children who had remained in Cardiff. To the older children the voyage was a delight, but the little mother, between homesickness and seasickness and her maternal duties found it a fearful experience. Her joyous anticipations of seeing her husband again, however, helped to make the trip supportable, and when they finally landed, all discomforts were forgotten in the comfort of being together once more. Mr. Buckland did not remain long in New York after his family joined him, but they moved to Lehigh county, Pennsylvania, and thence to Springfield, Missouri. In 1879 he came to Kansas City, Missouri, and in 1888 took up his residence in Rosedale, Kansas, where he worked in the big rolling mills, and there he still lives surrounded by his wife and five of their children. There were thirteen children born to Mr. and Mrs. Buckland, three in Wales, and the remaining ten in America, but only eight of this baker's dozen of children are living now. J. J. is a resident of Boston, where he is a salesman; William lives in Rosedale, engaged in the foundry business; David, we will speak of more fully below; Sadie is now Mrs. B. Spencer, of Rosedale; Anna is married to Mr. I. C. Lightfoot of Rosedale, while Elizabeth, Jenetta and Florence are at home with their parents.
David Buckland has but a dim recollection of his Welsh home and of his voyage across the ocean to America. Their sojourn in New York is but a dream to him, but he can distinctly remember when he first came to Kansas City, at the age of seven, and the school which he and his brothers and sisters attended. He was graduated from the Benton school in Kansas City, and he then learned the machinist trade, as he had from a child shown special aptitude at putting machinery together, beginning with his toy engines. He followed the trade of a mechanic until 1892, when he was injured and was laid up for two years, and he then gave up all idea of ever working with machines again. In 1895 he was elected on the Citizens' ticket to the office of street commissioner, which office he held for the term of two years. He has "made good" while he was serving in this capacity, and he was appointed state weigh master of Kansas, and in 1894 he was appointed by the Board of Trade as official weigh master, with headquarters at Rosedale. He served as police judge of Rosedale in 1909-10, and during his term of office the town was conspicuous for the order which was preserved. His decisions were remarkable for their mingling of justice and mercy, and he not only kept the town clean, but gained the good will of its citizens. He is now serving on the Board of Education, and has made some very valuable suggestions to the board.
On the 29th of June, 1903, Mr. Buckland was united in marriage to Miss Maraydd Rees, a young lady of Welsh ancestry, but whose nativity occurred in Rosedale, Kansas, where she has spent most of her life, and where her parents are still living. Mr. and Mrs. Buckland have one daughter, Lois, who is in school.
Mr. Buckland is affiliated with two fraternal orders, as he is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, and secretary of the Eagles. He is one of the leaders of Rosedale, politically, socially and commercially.
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