May 19, 1909
As the result of a paralytic stroke which came to him over three weeks ago, Francis M. Furgason, president of the Furgason & Tabb Underwriting Company, with offices in the Dwight building, and a pioneer among the progressive men of this city, died quietly at his home, 1006 East Thirty-third street, at 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon. He was 76 years old.
Until a few days ago it was hoped that the stricken man might partially recover, although it was conceded by family physicians that a third stroke would cause his death. At times there seemed to be even chances that the third stroke would not come, for the patient and frequent rallies and the advantage of a hardy physique. Monday, however, he began to fail and early yesterday morning it was known that there was no hope for him. The funeral will be held Thursday afternoon at 3 o'clock from Calvary Baptist church. Dr. F. C. McConnell, Rev. J. M. Cromer and Rev. H. T. Ford will officiate in the services. The deacons of the church will act as active pallbearers. Interment will be in Elmwood cemetery.
Mr. Furgason was born near Indianapolis, Ind., April 1, 1833. His father was a pioneer of sturdy Scotch extraction, who had pushed west to the Hoosier state when it was yet a wilderness and staked out a farm at what is now the very center of Indianapolis. Mr. Furgason spent his first years on the farm, but at 18 his father sent him to Franklin college.
Mr. Furgason was graduated at Franklin when he was 22 years old, at the head of a large class for that time. The following year he was made a teacher at the college, and three years later elected to the presidency, which place hie filled, it is said, with credit to himself and the institution until the year 1867, when he gave up his collegiate work and came to Kansas City, where he became involved in the insurance trade.
In 1861 the Y. M. C. A., which was then only an infant organization, was in bad financial straits and temporarily suspended. The war, which had been the cause of the trouble, was now over and many members had returned and were anxious to revive the association on a more active basis than ever before. The board met and Mr. Furgason was elected president of the Y. M. C. A. D. A. Williams, an electrician, was made secretary. The move proved a fortunate one for the associaton.
Soon after his connection with Y. M. C. A., Mr. Furgson was hired as a teacher in the Franklin school at Fourteenth and Washington streets, and served in this capacity eight years. After this he resumed his former occupation of insurance agent and followed it until his retirement from active business a few years ago.
"He was one of the kindest and gentlest old men I have ever had the pleasure of knowing," said the Rev. F. C. McConnell of the Calvary Baptist church recently. "I knew Mr. Furgason for thirty-five years," said George Peake, a veteran accountant, who has offices in the First National bank building. "It seemed as if he had the perpetual desire to extend sunshine in all directions."
Mr. Furgason was married twice, once in the early 50s, the last time to Mrs. Laura Branham in 1858. His widow and one son, Frank, who has taken his place in the firm of Furgason & Tabb, survive him. A son, Arthur, and a daughter, Emma, died within a few months of each other three years ago.