December 8, 1908
Joseph Smith Chick, founder of the first bank in this city and for fifty years a citizen here, died at his home, 1039 Brooklyn avenue, at 4:30 yesterday morning. He had been ill several months, although he went to his offices until last week.
Mr. Chick was born in Howard county, Mo., August 3, 1828. His parents were from Virginia and the family lived on a farm. In 1830 the family moved to the town of Westport. Mr. Chick's father, Colonel William M. Chick, was one of the early purchasers of the original site on which Kansas City was built. At the time the family moved to Westport there were not a half a dozen families in Kansas City, called then Westport Landing. Joseph Chick went to the Westport schools, but at the age of 18 years put away his books and went into business. He became a clerk in the general store of H. M. Northrup, the largest shop of its kind in the town of Westport Landing. He worked hard and faithfully and in 1852 was admitted to a partnership in the firm.
Soon afterwards he and his partner conceived the idea of operating a bank in Kansas City and established one under the name of H. M. Northrup & Co. The company also took some interest in the trade across the plains to Santa Fe and in the year 1861 Mr. Chick and Mr. Northrup, with their wives, made the trip over the Santa Fe trail to trade with the Indians.
The next year, on account of the unsettled conditions prevailing, the company gave up its business in Kansas City and removed to New York, where they established a bank under the name of Northrup & Chick, on Wall street. For eleven years they continued in that city but in 1874 Mr. Chick sold out his interest and removed to this city, where he associated himself with some of the wealthy business men of the city and organized the Bank of Kansas City. In 1888 this institution was merged with the National Bank of Kansas City and Mr. Chick was chosen president, a position he held until the dissolution of the firm in 1895. Since then he had been in the real estate business with his son.
Mr. Chick was also connected with the St. Louis and Missouri River Telegraph Company, built to Kansas City in 1851; the Missouri Pacific Railroad, the macadamized road from Westport to the city, the first telephone company, the Kansas City Electric Light Company and the National Loan & Trust Company. He was once president of the board of trade.
For many years Mr. Chick had lived in the house where he died. Immediately after his return from New York he bought a large plot of ground in that neighborhood, ten acres facing on the street that is now Brooklyn avenue. Mr. Chick gave the street its present name after the city that he made his home when a banker in New York.
Since his early youth Mr. Chick was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, South, and a faithful attendant at church services. For the last twenty-five years he had been the president of the board of stewards of the Central Methodist Episcopal church.
Mr. Chick was married to Miss Julia Sexton of Howard county in 1855. Mrs. Chick is 76 years old. She is dangerously ill and may not survive her husband for long.
Two children survive, Joseph S. Chick, Jr., and Mrs. E. E. Porterfield, wife of Judge Porterfield, and three grandchildren, Mrs. Robert G. Caldwell, who lives in Indianapolis, Ind., E. E. Porterfield, Jr., and Miss Julia C. Porterfield.
The funeral services will be held Wednesday afternoon at 2 o'clock from the home. Burial will be in Mount Washington cemetery. The active pallbearers will be selected from Mr. Chick's nephews.
In both his public and his private life Mr. Chick bore the reputation for exemplary character. His business integrity was above reproach, and when the bank with which he was connected failed in 1895 on account of hard times, Mr. Chick assumed the task of paying off the debt. Five years ago the last dollar was paid, together with 8 per cent interest on the money. He was always benevolent in disposition and had given an efficient business training to many young men now scattered in many states. His bearing was erect and his address cheerful. He was beloved by many, and liked by all who knew him.
Labels: banking, Brooklyn avenue, cemetery, churches, death, history, Judge Porterfield, Mt. Washington, New York, pioneers, railroad, real estate, retailers, Santa Fe Trail, telephone, Utilities, Westport