HENRY E. DEAN. - To the man who has won success through his own efforts the American people ever accord the fullest measure of honor, and in no other country are there so great opportunities for such advancement on the part of one dependent entirely upon his own powers and resources. Henry E. Dean, who is now one of the able and representative members of the bar of Wyandotte county and who is engaged in the successful practice of his profession in Kansas City, came to the state in 1885, as a young man, and here he first found employment in connection with farm work, from which he advanced to responsible positions in connection with the great meat-packing houses of Kansas City, but his ambition was not satisfied with such employment, even though lucrative, and he made a diametrical change by carefully preparing himself for the profession in which he has gained marked prestige and success, the while he has not been denied the fullest measure of popular confidence and esteem in the community that has long represented his home.
Henry Ezra is a native of the fine old Blue Grass commonwealth and is a scion of old and honored families of that state, to which his paternal grandparents removed in an early day from the state of New York, the lineage being traced back to stanch English origin and the family having been founded in America in the Colonial epoch of our national history. The maternal ancestors came from Ireland and the family name early became identified with industrial and civic activities in the state of Kentucky. Mr. Dean was born in Campbell county, Kentucky, on the 23rd of August, 1867, and is a son of Hiram Ezra and Matilda (McCollum) Dean, the former of whom was born in that same county and the latter in Kenton county, Kentucky. The father became a prosperous farmer of his native state and there continued to maintain his home until his death, in 1909, at the venerable age of seventy-nine years. There his widow still resides, and she is seventy-two years of age at the time of this writing, in 1911. Of the eleven children the subject of this review was the fifth in order of birth, and of the others, two sons and six daughters are now living. Hiram E. Dean was a loyal soldier of the Union in the Civil war, in which he served under General Buell in the Army of the Tennessee, and he gave his allegiance to the Republican party from the time of its organization until his death. He was a member of the Baptist church, as is also his widow, and his life was one of honest industry and constant rectitude, so that he held as his own the high regard of those with whom he came in contact.
The early experiences of Henry E. Dean were those gained in connection with the work of the old homestead farm, and he duly availed himself of the advantages of the public schools of the locality and period. In the autumn of 1885 he came to Kansas and soon after his arrival he secured employment on the farm of John R. Bell, in Leavenworth county. In the following spring he went to Franklin county, where he continued to be employed in connection with the agricultural industry until September, 1887, when he came to Kansas City and secured employment as driver of a team for the Allcutt Packing Company. With this concern he remained, in various capacities, until the spring of 1891, and he then entered the employ of Reed Brothers, another prominent concern in the same line of industry. He was finally advanced to the position of foreman in the curing department and he retained this incumbency until 1894, when the plant of the firm was destroyed by fire. In the meanwhile Mr. Dean had gained experience in connection with the various departments of this important line of enterprise, and from 1894 until 1900 he was a valued employe in the local plant of the great packing house of Swartzchild & Sulzberger. He was superintendent of the pork department during the last three years of his connection with this concern.
Seeking a broader and more individual field of endeavor, Mr. Dean had in the meanwhile determined to prepare himself for the legal profession, and with this end in view he availed himself of the night courses in the Kansas City (Missouri) Law School during the last three years of his identification with the packing industry. In this well ordered institution he was graduated as a member of the class of 1900, on the 10th of June, and duly received his degree of Bachelor of Laws. He was admitted to the bar of Missouri at this time and shortly afterward to that of Kansas, and in September, 1900, he instituted the practice of his profession in Kansas City, Kansas, where he has applied himself with all of diligence and with marked ability, with the result that he has gained an excellent clientage and has built up a substantial and lucrative practice of general order. That he has the high regard of his professional confreres needs no further voucher than that offered in the fact that he has served since 1909 as president of the Wyandotte County Bar Association. In April, 1910, he was elected a member of the city commission, and he served as county auditor for four years, retiring from this office in 1909.
In politics Mr. Dean is aligned as an uncompromising advocate of the principles and policies for which the Republican party stands sponsor, and he has taken an active part in its local affairs. He has received the K. C. C. H. degree in the Ancient, Accepted Scottish Rite of the Masonic fraternity and is also affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
On the 11th of October, 1893, Mr. Dean was united in marriage to Miss Jennie Bown, of Kansas City, this county. She was born at Terre Haute, Indiana, and is a daughter of William T. and Nancy Bown, now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Dean have had three children: Helen, deceased; Harry E., seven years of age; and J. Russell, three years old.
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