Biography of Charles E. Spooner

Charles E. Spooner. When he started upon his wage-earning career, at the age of fifteen years, Charles E. Spooner began at the bottom of the ladder in the capacity of bundle-boy in a department store. No favors were shown him, for he had no important friends or other favoring influences, but his fidelity, energy and ability won him recognition and promotion and he soon grew beyond the opportunities of his immediate environment, and from that time his advancement has been sure and steady. In 1888 he became connected with the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad, in a minor position and in the service of this line he has continued to the present, his position at this time being that of general auditor of the line, with headquarters at Parsons.

Charles E. Spooner was born at Toronto, Ontario, Canada, March 11, 1858, and is a son of J. J. B. and Mary (Brewer) Spooner and a member of a family which originated in England and emigrated to New York during colonial days. His great-great-grandfather, William Spooner, fought as a soldier of the Continental line during the Revolutionary war, and his grandfather was “Col.” Alden Spooner, who passed his life at Brooklyn, New York, where he was publisher of the Long Island Star, a pioneer newspaper. J. J. B. Spooner, father of Charles E., was born in 1820, in Brooklyn, and as a lad was adopted by his maternal uncle, George W. Jermain, and was reared at Detroit, Michigan. He was married in the latter state, and there, having inherited his father’s journalistic abilities and inclinations, was for some time the publisher of a newspaper. Returning to New York, he located at Lockport and became cashier of the Lockport Bank and Trust Company, a position which he held for a half a century, with the exception of the years 1855 to 1858, when he lived at Torouto, Canada, and was clerk in a hotel. Mr. Spooner’s death occurred at Lockport, in 1907, and his loss was universally mourned in his community where he had been a good, strong and reliable citizen. A republican in his political views, he served as deputy county clerk of Niagara County, New York, as city clerk of Lockport, as clerk of the board of supervisors and as deputy county treasurer. His fraternal connection was with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Mr. Spooner married Miss Mary Brewer, who was born at Hartford, Connecticut, in 1819, and died at Lockport, New York, in 1900, and they became the parents of six children: Cornelia Jermain, who died unmarried at Lockport, New York, at the age of twenty-nine years; Sarah J., who is a resident of Evanston, Illinois; George A., who is a retired resident of Leavenworth, Kansas, having been formerly a paymaster in the service of the United States army, as well as being a veteran of the Civil war; Mary E., who is the wife of F. F. Dodge, employed in a railroad office at Galveston, Texas; Laura C., of Evanston, Illinois, wife of Prof. Edouard Baillot, who holds the chair of Romance Languages at the Northwestern University, Evanston; and Charles E., of this review.

Charles E. Spooner received his education in the public schools of Lockport and was fifteen years of age when he took his place among the world’s workers as a bundle-boy in a department store of his native place. He soon won promotion to the position of clerk, which he held for two years, and in 1876 first came to Kansas and located at Leavenworth, where for six months he was clerk in Clark & Company’s private banking house. Returning to Lockport, he was for one year a salesman in a clothing store, and then returned to the dry goods with which he had started his career, although this time in the post of bookkeeper. Mr. Spooner gained one year’s experience in this capacity and then went to Indianapolis, Indiana, where he was bookkeeper for the Owen Pixley Company for one and one-half years, and his next position was in Chicago, where for something over a year he was connected with the credit department of Butler Brothers. In 1880 he returned to Leavenworth and secured the position of secretary of the Union Stone Works, but after one year became a member of the firm of George A. Spooner & Brother, books and stationery, for one and one-half years. Disposing of his interests in this concern, Mr. Spooner returned to the East, as office manager at New York City for the firm of Butler Brothers, and remained in that position for more than three years, when he returned to Kansas, in 1888, and entered the employ of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad, at Sedalia, as revising clerk. He was next appointed to the joint accounts and then promoted to the office of chief clerk of the ledger desk, next to the auditor’s department at Parsons, in 1895, and in 1915 to the office of general auditor of the road, with his offices in the general offices of the line. His promotion has been won by merit alone and in railroad circles he is accounted the right man for the place. Mr. Spooner’s home is at No. 1615 Morgan Avenue. He is a republican in politics, and a member of the International and Rotary clubs, of Parsons, and of the Parsons Chamber of Commerce. As a citizen he lends his support to good measures and no worthy movement appeals to him in vain.

Mr. Spooner was married first in 1883 at Leavenworth, Kansas, to Miss Eliza Lucinda Watkins, daughter of the late S. E. Watkins, who was retired at the time of his death. Mrs. Spooner died at Saint Louis, Missouri, in 1894, having been the mother of three children, namely: Mary Elizabeth, who is the wife of F. Glen Taylor, of Little Rock, Arkansas, traveling livestock claim agent for the Rock Island Railroad; Jermain Alden, of Parsons, chief clerk of fuel accounts of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad; and Charles E., Jr., also of Parsons, ticket clerk for the same road. Mr. Spooner was again married in 1903, at Kansas City, Missouri, to Miss Nellie Inez Buzan, daughter of the late Squire Buzan, who up to the time of his death was a successful agriculturist of Forest City, Missouri. Mr. and Mrs. Spooner have had 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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