Transcribed from History of Wyandotte County Kansas and its people ed. and comp. by Perl W. Morgan. Chicago, The Lewis publishing company, 1911. 2 v. front., illus., plates, ports., fold. map. 28 cm. [Vol. 2 contains biographical data. Paged continuously.] p. 804-805 transcribed by Ashley Bolin and Tanya Lewis, students from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, on March 2, 2001.


John C. Falconer

JOHN C. FALCONER. - A well known figure in the commercial life of Kansas City, Kansas, is John C. Falconer, dealer in furniture, carpets, stoves and other commodities, his ware rooms also including such various articles as lace curtains, linoleum, gocarts, window shades, sewing machines, phonographs, refrigerators and trunks. He is located at 14-16 North James street and is one of the substantial merchants of the city.

Mr. Falconer is a native Ohioan his birth having, occurred July 11, 1861, in the Scotch settlement, Columbiana county. His parents were John and Nancy (Smith) Falconer. The father's birth occurred in the same district as his son's, in the year 1835, and his demise, in 1889. The mother was also born in that locality and passed on to the Great Beyond some five years previous to the death of her husband. These worthy people became the parents of seven children, six of whom are living, the subject being the eldest. In his boyhood Mr. Falconer's father divided his time between attending school and assisting his father in clearing a farm out of the wilderness. At the outbreak of the Civil war he enlisted in an Ohio regiment and risked his life for the defense of the Union, during the latter part of the great conflict between the states. At its termination he returned to the Buckeye state and there engaged in farming for the remainder of his days. He was a member of the Presbyterian church and in politics was Republican.

The Falconer family was founded in America by the great-grandparents of the subject, who were born in Invernessshire, Scotland. They left Caledonia on a sailing ship, with their family to come to this country, but owing to adverse winds landed on an island in the Atlantic Ocean, and on this island occurred the birth of John Falconer, the grandfather of the subject. They were eventually conveyed to the desired destination and soon thereafter found their way to the Scotch settlement in Columbiana county, Ohio. Soon after taking up their abode in the new state, John Falconer's parents died and he was left an orphan and a man of kindly inclination, named Andrew Smith, reared the little lad. When John came to years of strength and discretion he cleared for himself a farm out of the wilderness and there spent his days, living the peaceful, busy, wholesome life of the pioneer, with all its peculiar joys and sorrows. He was a member of the First Presbyterian church in his locality and became one of the elders.

John C. Falconer, the immediate subject of this review, received his education in the district schools and assisted his father in the conduct of the farm until the age of nineteen years. His first adventure as an active factor in the world of affairs was in the capacity of a teacher, becoming a pedagogue in the same school in which he had received his education. After having taught for a number of winter terms, in the spring of 1884 Mr. Falconer made a change of residence and went to Page county, Iowa, where he farmed in the summer months and taught school in the winter. In the fall of 1886 he made another change, this time going farther west to Kansas and tarrying four seasons in Wichita, and in Harper and Mead counties, buying land in the latter county with the money he had saved from school teaching. He returned to his native Buckeye state and visited his parents, with whom he remained throughout the winter. He then returned to Wichita, Kansas, and entered the employ in that city of a company of bed spring manufacturers, later assuming a more independent footing by establishing a like manufactory on a small scale in association with a Mr. Benbow, under the firm name of Benbow & Falconer.

Mr. Falconer, with his business partner, Mr. Benbow, arrived in Kansas City, Kansas, September 27, 1888, and in this city they continued the above business, their combined capital consisting of the modest sum of seventy dollars. They did all of the work themselves and surely, if slowly, established themselves. In the spring of 1890, Mr. Falconer bought out the interest of Mr. Benbow and has since continued operations on his own account, to the springs adding the commodities mentioned in a foregoing paragraph. In addition to his mercantile and industrial activities, he has other interests, being a director in the Commercial National Bank and the Kansas Trust Company.

On November 27, 1889, Mr. Falconer laid the foundation of a happy and congenial married life by his union with Miss Callie Robinson, who was born in Iowa and is the daughter of George W. and Rachel Robinson, the former a native of the state of New York. They are the parents of two sons and two daughters, viz: Mabel L., Clarence E., Harold C., and Margaret A. Mr. Falconer is a consistent member of the Presbyterian church and in politics gives heart and hand to the cause of the Republican party.



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