William B. Thayer was born in Louisville, Kentucky,
September 11, 1852, but spent his boyhood in Danville, where he went
to the public schools, and later took the academic course at Centre
In 1871 he came to Kansas City, landing here
with fifty cents in his pocket, but a heart full of courage. He
immediately secured a position in the office of Bullene, Moore &
Emery, and from the very start made himself indispensable. The
business increased, and there were changes in the firm, but Mr.
Thayer's ability and fidelity retained him in his position as general
office man, and in 1884 earned him admission to the firm. On
November 1, 1895, the style of the firm was changed from Bullene,
Moore, Emery & Co. to Emery, Bird, Thayer Dry Goods Company, and
the store is now the greatest in the West.
Mr. Thayer has always been an active public
man, despite his business cares, and has served as second and first
vice-president of the Commercial Club, and as its president during
1901-1902. He is also a Convention Hall Director and its
treasurer, this during the rebuilding of the great edifice.
Mr. Thayer is a thirty-second degree Mason,
Scottish Rite, and is president of the Kansas City Club.
He married Miss Sally Casey, daughter of Hon.
James B. Casey, of Covington, Ky., November 23, 1880, and they have
one son, W. B., Jr., aged 21.