Maynard L. Meek is the present mayor of Ellsworth, Kansas. Local citizens take a great deal of pride in referring to the efficiency and accomplishments of his administration, and express a great deal of satisfaction that Mr. Meek had consented to serve four consecutive terms.
Mr. Meek is first and last a thorough business man, and that accounts for his success in public life. Mayor Meek was born in Jones County, Iowa, September 8, 1869. He comes of an old American family, pioneers in Virginia and later in Ohio. His father, Eli C. Meek, was born in Meigs County, Ohio, in 1846. He grew, up and married there, took up the vocation of farming, and in 1869 located on a farm in Jones County, Iowa, where his son was born. In 1878 he removed from Iowa to Lincoln County, Kansas, homesteading 160 acres six miles south of Sylvan Grove. He soon had 480 acres under his ownership there, but sold out and removed to Ellsworth County in 1887. For ten years he followed the business of grain buying at Wilson, and in 1897 retired and moved to Ellsworth, and since 1915 had lived at Kansas City, Missouri. He is a republican and is affiliated with the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Eli Meek made a ereditable record as a soldier of the Union army. He enlisted in 1861 at the beginning of the war, when only fifteen years of age, in the Eighteenth Ohio Infantry. He was in service until just before the battle of Stone River, where he was wounded and permanently incapaeitated for further active duty. Eli Meek married Elizabeth Bissell, who was born in Meigs County, Ohio, in 1848, and died at Ellsworth, Kansas, in 1907. They were the parents of four children: Ettie is the wife of W. H. Berger, a merchant at Colyer, Kansas; Maynard L.; Mae, wife of A. R. Ogden, resident of Nevada, Iowa, Mr. Ogden being president of the Adventist Conference of that state; and Della, wife of a railroad man at Fall City, Nebraska.
Maynard L. Meek attended the rural schools of Lincoln County, Kansas, the grade schools at Wilson, and at the age of eighteen gave up his studies to begin work as a clerk at Wilson. In 1897 he removed to Ellsworth and spent ten years vory successfully in the grain business. After that he dealt in lands until 1915, and since then had conducted a very flourishing automobile business in Ellsworth. He leased a garage at the corner of First and Nebraska streets, and had the local agencies for the Ford and Studebaker cars.
Mr. Meek is a republican. For four terms he was a member of the city council of Ellsworth and also filled the office of county commissioner one term. He was first elected mayor in 1911 and had been re-elected every successive two-year term. Without going into the details of his very efficient administration, it will be sufficient to refer to two notable public improvements. One of these is the public library erected in the city. The other was the construction of an elaborate form drainage sewer, put in at a cost of $35,000, and eliminating much of the inconvenience and loss occasioned by heavy rainfalls.
Mr. Meek is a very successful business man and is one of the large land owners of Kansas. He owned a farm of 160 acres in Marshall County, one of 240 acres in Saline County, and three entire sections, aggregating 1,920 acres, in Gove County.
In fraternal matters he is affiliated with Ellsworth Lodge No. 146, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Ellsworth Chapter No. 54, Royal Arch Masons, Saint Aldamar Commandery No. 33, Knights Templar, of which he is past emincnt commander, Council No. 9, Royal and Select Masters, at Ellsworth, Wichita Consistory No. 2 of the thirty-second degree Scottish Rite, and is also a member of Wilson Lodge of the Inderendent Order of Odd Fellows and Wilson Lodge of the Knights of Pythias.
In 1910 Mr. Meek constructed a fine modern residence at Third Street and Missouri Avenue in Ellsworth. That is the home where he enjoys his delightful family. He married at Wilson, Kansas, in 1892, Miss Minnie Miller, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph C. Miller, both now deceased. Her father was formerly a merchant at McPherson and Chanute, Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. Meek have two children: Eva, a graduate of the local high school and still at home; and Lewis C., a graduate of the high school and now a student in the Kansas University at Lawrence.