Notable Kansas Citians from the Past

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Spalding's Commercial College

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William Thornton Kemper
William Thornton Kemper

William Thornton Kemper was born in Gallatin, Missouri, November 2, 1867, and lived there until seventeen years old, when his parents moved to St. Joseph.

     He was educated in the public and high schools, and began his business career as salesman for a boot and shoe house.  After four years on the road, he started a bank and general store in Valley Falls, Kas., where he remained until 1893, when he came to Kansas City and formed the Kemper Grain Company.

     Mr. Kemper was president of the Grain Exchange in 1900, and in February, 1902, was appointed a member of the Board of Police Commissioners by Governor Dockery.

     He is also a director in the National Bank of Commerce, president of the Kemper Investment Company, and operates department stores in Leavenworth, Topeka, and Valley Falls.

     In 1890 he married Miss Lottie Crosby, of Valley Falls, Kas., and is the father of two children, James M. and Rufus Crosby.

     Mr. Kemper is a member of the Commercial Club, and is prominently identified with the political and business organizations in Kansas City
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