Notable Kansas Citians from the Past

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"Men Who Are Making Kansas City"

Men Who Made Kansas City

Web adaptation of the book "Men Who Are Making Kansas City"
1902 George Creel & John Slavens


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The Son of Jesse James is Accused of a Train Robbery at Leeds ... Can he get a fair trial in Kansas City?
The Trial of
Jesse James, Jr.

As We See 'Em ~ Caricatures of Prominent Kansas Cityans

Send a Postcard from Old Kansas City

Spalding's Commercial College

Selected Writings of and Articles about Arthur Edward Stilwell

The History of Fairmount Park



William Edgar Benson

William Edgar Benson, secretary of the Board of Education, was born in Chicago June 27, 1851, and came to Kansas City with his parents in 1869.  The following year he was a general delivery clerk in the post office, a position which ill health forced him to relinquish.
     After some time in Colorado, Mr. Benson returned to Kansas City, and was in the insurance and real estate business with his father and brother until 1877, when he was appointed City Clerk by Mayor Slavens.  Not only the term under Mayor Slavens, but two terms under Mayor Shelley were served by Mr. Benson, and with such efficiency and capacity for the public business that Mayor Shelley secured an endorsement signed by fourteen ex-Mayors demanding Mr. Benson's retention in office.  This endorsement was all the more extraordinary from the fact that it was non-partisan, Mayor Shelley being a Democrat and Mr. Benson a Republican.  The Mayors also were of both political parties.
     The city's first were originated by Mr. Benson, including all ordinances and proceedings from 1857.
   But it was as secretary of the Board of ducation that Mr. Benson has chiefly distinguished himself, the system originated by him having been widely copied in other cities, and having made him known to educators and educational boards everywhere.  By his system any action of the board or document filed can be instantly referred to.
     Mr. Benson was married in Colorado in 1875 to Miss Sallie Stephens.  They have two sons.
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The Trial of Jesse James, Jr.

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