Biography of Louis E. Horville

Louis E. Horville. During the decade of years that Louis E. Horville had figured prominently in financial circles of Iola, he had proven his ability as a banker and his worth as a business man. Primarily an agriculturist, with large land interests, in 1905 he became president of the Iola State Bank, and to its management brought executive ability, foresight and acumen that have enabled the institution to maintain a high place and an enviable reputation.

Louis E. Horville is a native son of Kansas and of Allen County, having been born on a farm located 1½ miles northwest of Iola, July 27, 1865. His father, D. Horville, was born in 1828, near Nancy, France, and was about thirteen years of age when he made the trip across the Atlantic to the United States, his first location being in New York City. Subsequently he moved to Lexington, Illinois, where he became a merchant and built up a small but profitable business, but it was his desire to get to the frontier and become the proprietor of a farm home of his own, and accordingly, in 1856, he arrived in Allen County, Kansas. Here he homesteaded a claim of 160 acres and embarked upon a career that eventually made him one of the largest landholders of this section. Mr. Horville passed through all the hardships of pioneer existence and met with numerous discouragements during his early years here, but through perseverance and industry he overcame all obstacles and won through to a well-earned success. He became a stockraiser and feeder of cattle, a field in which he prospered greatly, and at the time of his death, in 1902, he was the owner of 2,800 acres of land, in addition to having an interest in a number of business enterprises. Mr. Horville was one of his community’s most highly esteemed residents, an honorable man of business, a good citizen, and a public-spirited promoter of movements for the public welfare. A democrat in politics, he served his community as a member of the board of county commissioners for a number of years. His fraternal affiliation was with the Masons. Mr. Horville married Miss Margaret A. Bird, who was born in Ohio, in 1840, and still resided on the farm near Iola, and they became the parents of eight children: Flora, who resided with her mother; Louis E.; Bird, of Iola, who is the widow of John Foust, who was an attorney; Frank and Ralph, who reside on the home farm; Kate B., of Iola, who is the widow of Walter Teets, who was a printer at this place; Mary, who is the wife of Henry Puckett, connected with an Iola factory; and Grace, who is the wife of John B. Roberts, a music dealer of Iola.

Louis E. Horville was educated in the ruval schools of Allen County, Kansas, the Iola High School, from which he was graduated in 1885, and the Lawrence (Kansas) Business College, which he attended in 1886. He then returned to the home farm, which belongs to the estate of his father, and which he and his brothers, Frank and Ralph, still manage. While Mr. Horville makes his home on the farm, he is almost a daily visitor to Iola, where he discharges the duties connected with his position as president of the Iola State Bank, a post which he had held since 1905. The Iola State Bank was established in 1903, as a state institution, and had a capital of $50,000, and a surplus of $5,000. The present officers are: Louis E. Horville, president; A. W. Beck, vice president; J. H. Campbell, cashier; F. O. Benson and Francis McCall, assistant cashiers. The modern bank building, which was erected in 1907-8, is located at the corner of Madison and Jefferson Avenues.

Mr. Horville is a democrat. He had been a member of the school board of Iola Township since 1903, is president of the Allen County Fair Association and a member of the Iola Commercial Club, and in numerous ways had contributed to the city’s growth and development. Fraternally, he is affiliated with Iola Lodge No. 569, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and Iola Lodge No. 21, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of which latter he is past noble grand.

In 1903 Mr. Horville married Miss Ada Wright, daughter of A. E. and a Miss (Green) Wright, the latter deceased and the former a hardware merchant of Gas City, Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. Horville have no children.


Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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