Biography of William Warring Gordon

William Warring Gordon is now in his second term as chief of police of Kansas City, Kansas. An office fraught with so much importance and complicated with so many difficulties and responsibilities had received an administration from Mr. Gordon which had been a splendid tribute to his tact, forcefulness and efficiency as a public official.

Mr. Gordon had spent the greater part of his life as a resident of Kansas and was a successful business man before he was called upon to administer his present office. He was born in Kentucky in Owen County on a farm June 13, 1874. He was the oldest of the four children of Samuel W. and Elizabeth (Warring) Gordon. Both parents were natives of Kentucky. His maternal grandfather, Dr. William Warring, came from Delaware, was a successful surgeon, and served in the Mexican war. Samuel W. Gordon during the Civil war served with the Home Guards. In 1881 when Chief Gordon was seven years old, the family removed to Kansas, locating west of Bonner Springs. Samuel W. Gordon had bought 160 acres of land, and he lived on the old farm until his death. He died in Kansas City, Kansas, October 13, 1894, but was laid to rest in the family burying ground on the old farm. His son Samuel was born and died on that farm and is also buried there. The only public office Samuel W. Gordon ever filled was that of membership on the school board. He was a Blue Lodge Mason, and both he and his wife very active members of the Baptist Church. He was considered a keen and successful business man, and many people resorted to him for advice on business and other subjects. Mrs. Gordon, his widow, is now living with her son Chief Gordon in Kansas City, Kansas.

William W. Gordon attended the district schools and later graduated from the Spaulding Commercial College of Kansas City, Missouri. For a time he and his father were associated together in the grocery business at Armourdale until his father’s illness caused them to sell out. W. W. Gordon then removed to Rosedale, where he became a general contractor. He built a number of flats and houses and was also employed by railway companies to build depots and roundhouses. He was active in that business until he accepted his present office.

Mr. Gordon in 1905 was elected police judge of Rosedale, serving two years. In the fall of 1906 he was elected to the Legislature from the country district of Wyandotte County, and served in the regular session of 1907 and the special session of 1908. In season and out of season Chief Gordon had been a strenuous advocate of good roads. Perhaps no one in Wyandotte County had done more to bring the good roads question forcibly home to the people. While a member of the Legislature he introduced and had passed sixteen bills providing for good roads work. From Rosedale he removed to Kansas City, Kansas, and was elected from the South City District to the Legislature in 1912. He was a member of the session of the following year. On April 8, 1913, C. W. Green, mayor, appointed him chief of police, and his handling of the local police force met with such general satisfaction that he was appointed for a second term.

Mr. Gordon had been through all the chairs of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and was grand master in 1916 and is now treasurer of the Home Board of the state. He is a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason and a member of the board of directors of the Scottish Rite Temple. He is a Knight of Pythias, an Elk had held subordinate offices in the Modern Woodmen of America, and was a national delegate at the conventions of the order in Buffalo and Chicago, participating in the stormy session at Chicago in 1911 over the rate question. His church home is the Baptist denomination. Mr. Gordon is a stockholder of the Kansas Life Insurance Company at Topeka. He was formerly a member of the Roads Club, and is active in the Mercantile Club.



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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