Biography of Charles H. Trott

Charles H. Trott, who died at his home in Junction City March 2, 1916, attained many of those ideals for which ambitious men will always strive. He proved a gallant and faithful soldier when the country’s integrity was in danger, was a merchant and business man of the finest integrity, was a good friend, a good Christian and a good citizen.

For half a century he lived in Kansas, and at the time of his death was one of the oldest if not the oldest business man of Junction City. He arrived in Junction City in the spring of 1866 a veteran soldier and officer of the Union Army. Junction City was then a thriving little town with splendid promise for the future. There were no railroads and Mr. Trott arrived by stage coach. Soon after reaching the town he was appointed postmaster, an office he filled with the systematic regard for his responsibilities which characterized every act of his life. He remained postmaster until 1871. When he went into the office he also bought the book and stationery store which the preceding postmaster had owned. It was as a merchant in books and stationery supplies that Mr. Trott performed his longest business service in Junction City, and only death stayed his hand and interrupted his active participation, the store having since been continued as a service to the community by his only son.

He was also a banker. At one time he was president of the old Central Kansas State Bank of Junction City and when that institution was reorganized as the Central National Bank in 1890 he became cashier and filled that position until 1896. In 1872 he was elected county clerk and after serving one term declined a renomination.

His lifetime covered a period of nearly eighty years. He was born in the City of Boston, Massachusetts, August 8, 1837. His great-grandfather, of English ancestry, was a watchmaker in Boston, where his son, Andrew Cunningham Trott, and also his grandson, Peter Trott, were workers in the same vocation. Peter Trott was the father of Charles H. Trott, and married Almira Tolman.

The early life of Mr. Trott was spent in Boston, and he graduated from high school in 1853, and for the following five years was an employe in the wholesale drug house of Samuel N. and W. A. Brewer. From time to time he was advanced in responsibilities and only left the business to seek better opportunities in the far West. In 1858 he journey by rail and boat to Iowa, where he arrived without either capital or influential friends. He soon afterwards made a trip to Minnesota, which was then the extreme northwest, and part of that journey he accomplished on foot during the middle of winter. After a brief investigation he returned to Iowa and located at Nashua in Chickasaw County, where in the course of the same year he formed a partnership with Caleb Green under the firm name of Trott & Green. They opened a stock of general merchandise, and in the course of a few years had built up a good trade.

In the early months of the Civil war these business partners, feeling a greater obligation to their country than to their private affairs, locked up their store and went into the army. Mr. Trott enlisted in July, 1861, in Company B of the Seventh Iowa Infantry. This regiment was attached to the First Brigade, Fourth Division, Fifteenth Army Corps, under Gen. John A. Logan. From the summer of 1861 until the close of hostilities Captain Trott was in continuous service. He helped overcome the opposition in the Mississippi Valley states of the Confederacy and afterwards was with Sherman on his historic campaign to Atlanta and the march to the sea, and then up through the Carolinas to Washington, where he marched in the Grand Review. For gallant and meritorious services he was promoted first to quartermaster sergeant, then to second lieutenant and acting regimental quartermaster, then to first lieutenant and regimental quartermaster, and finally to captain and assistant adjutant general. He was recommended for promotion to the rank of major, but the war closing about that time he was not commissioned. He was mustered out with the rank of captain and assistant adjutant general in September, 1865, more than four years from the time he had closed his store in Iowa and started for the front. The winter of 1865-66 he spent in his native City of Boston, and then began life anew in Junction City, Kansas.

Captain Trott was an active member of the Grand Army of the Republic, which organization attended his funeral. Some of the other interests and associations which were a vital part of his career were appreciatively described in a local paper at the time of his death in the following words: “The First Universalist Church of this city has been most actively and loyally supported by Captain Trott for more than a third of a century. Through his efforts and the liberal cooperation of friends this church has grown and prospered. As superintendent of the Sunday School for more than twenty-five years he has labored for Christ and the church. The handsome new church home has become a reality through the untiring efforts of a loyal band of co-workers, among whom he was a leader. An an officer of the local church, a trustee of the Universalist State Convention, he has always been a loyal, faithful, constructive worker. As president of the Highland Cemetery Association for years he has actively helped to make this beautifully located cemetery one of the best and most prosperous associations in the state.

Captain Trott in a quiet way was a man of influence in this community. By intelligent service and unwavering loyalty he proved himself to be a good citizen, a faithful friend, a Christian gentleman.”

On December 3, 1867, Captain Trott married Miss Josephine McBratney. Her father was Hon. Robert McBratney of Junction City, who at one time served as United States attorney and land agent. Mrs. Trott, who was also an active member of the Universalist Church, died August 17, 1912.

Hon. Loring Trott, only surviving son and child of the late Captain Trott, was born at Junction City, August 31, 1869. He was educated in the local schools and in 1890 graduated from Lombard University at Galesburg, Illinois. Since then for over a quarter of a century he has been an active merchant. For about ten years he was in business at Denver, Colorado, and then returned to Junction City to join his father as a partner in the Trott book and stationery store. He was its active manager for several years before his father’s death and since then has been sole proprietor.

Mr. Trott takes an active part in local affairs and is a leading republican, as was his father. In 1912 he was elected a member of the State Senate, and his term was a service highly creditable to himself and to his senatorial district. Mr. Trott is a Knight Templar Mason, a member of the Mystic Shrine, and has held the various offices in the local lodges of Masonry. He is a member of the Universalist Church.

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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