GUSTAV GAULKE. - This first-class mechanic and highly esteemed citizen of Kansas City, Kansas, who conducts one of the enterprising and profitable industries of that city and is one of the business men who give it its rank and importance in industrial and commercial circles, is a native of Germany, born on February 28, 1871. In all his activity in this country he has exemplified the solid traits of industry, frugality and persistent endeavor for which the race to which he belongs is renowned in all quarters of the world, no matter what lines of effort its members pursue.
Mr. Gaulke is a son of Carl and Fredericka (Schrank) Gaulke, scions of families long domesticated in the Fatherland and commendable examples of its sturdiest citizenship. His mother died in her native land in 1888, and in December, 1890, when he was nineteen years old, he came to the United States and joined one of his sisters then living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He had acquired a thorough knowledge of the trade of horseshoeing before leaving home, and armed with his skill in that and a good elementary education received in the state or public schools of Germany, felt well prepared for whatever might betide him in the land of his adoption. He soon secured employment at his trade in Philadelphia, and worked at it in that city until 1896.
The desire to go about and see what he could of the world possessed him strongly, however, and he was not content to keep on at monotonous labor day after day and year after year until he had gratified this longing. He therefore passed the next two years in traveling over the United States, enjoying his experiences and keeping in view his ultimate motive of finding a locality suited to his tastes for a permanent residence and business career. The promising and progressive city on the Kansas side of the Kaw looked good to him, and in 1898 he located in it and laid the foundation of his success and advancement by working four years diligently and faithfully at his trade as a journeyman.
The time became propitious and the circumstances favorable for him to start an enterprise of his own, and in 1902 he opened a horseshoeing shop at 42 Kansas avenue. This he conducted until 1909, when he moved to his present location at 59 Kansas avenue to meet the expanding requirements of his business. In the proprietorship of the first shop he was in partnership with James O'Mara. The one he now owns and carries on belongs to him exclusively, and in it his trade is extensive enough to necessitate the employment of three men. He knows his business thoroughly in all its details and latest developments, and will have none about him in the work but experienced and well qualified workmen. His care in this respect and his own complete mastery of his craft have given his shop a high reputation in all parts of the city and far beyond its limits. All the work in his line required by the Standard Oil Company and several other large operators in this part of the country is done at his shop, and it is but a just tribute to his skill and fair methods of dealing to state that he fully satisfies these exacting patrons.
In the public affairs of his city and county Mr. Gaulke is an influential and serviceable factor. He sees clearly and acts promptly in connection with all matters of public improvement, and by the excellence of his judgment helps materially to give the forces of development proper tread and impulse toward the best results for the enduring welfare of the community and the comfort and convenience of its people. In his view Wyandotte county is one of the choice regions of the country and must be made as attractive and advantageous as a place of residence and business center as it can be, and no half-hearted or slip-shop work in the development of its resources or the management of its public utilities will satisfy him.
Mr. Gaulke was married in May, 1900, to Miss Izora Terrell, who was born in Ohio and is a daughter of Alexander and Lydia Terrell, also natives of Ohio but now living in Harper county, Kansas, where the father carries on a thriving business in the lumber and implement trade, and in his operations supplies a large portion of the surrounding country with everything of the best quality in his lines of goods and finds an active market because of his high reputation as a merchant. Mr. and Mrs. Gaulke have one child, their son Alvin, who was born on December 5, 1904. The head of the house is a Freemason in the Scottish Rite, holding his membership in branches of the order most convenient to his home, and giving all the benefit of his wisdom in council, energy in action and agreeable disposition in social relations. In reference to public affairs he is bound by no strict party ties, but always considers first the good of the people and acts accordingly in the bestowal of his suffrage. In all respects and in regard to all the relations he holds up a lofty ideal of citizenship and is universally esteemed as one of the sturdiest, safest and most estimable men in the county which has the benefit of his residence, labor and influence.
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