Arkansas City Daily Traveler
Arkansas City, Kansas
Monday, December 31, 1917
F.J. Hess Passed Away Sunday
Pioneer Citizen and Loyal Booster Has Been Called Away.
Frank J. Hess was Twice Elected Mayor of Arkansas City. - Saw Service on Border in Early Days.
Frank J. Hess of 426 South A street, who for a number of years past has been at the head of the Frank J. Hess Real Estate & Insurance company, and who has been ill of pneumonia for the past week, died at the family residence Sunday morning shortly after 6 o'clock.
While Mr. Hess had been reported from day to day as doing as well as expected and improving somewhat, he was very sick from the start and for some days it was feared that he was enduring his last attack of sickness.
Two years ago this winter Mr. Hess had a severe attack of pneumonia and came very near passing over the great river, but he came out victorious against the disease on that occasion and had again been quite active in business during the past year. He was a man of great vitality although small of stature, and one who was constantly employed at his business. In years gone by he had been one of the city's loyal boosters and served as mayor of Arkansas City for two terms. He had promoted and assisted in many enterprises that had helped materially in the city's growth. The transaction of real estate deals and locating new citizens and industries was his life's work and his hobby.
Frank J. Hess was a resident of Arkansas City for almost forty years and he was one of the best known men in the entire community, or the state of Kansas for that matter. He was almost 60 years of age at the time of his death.
Mr. Hess was a Mason of the 32nd degree and a member of the Wichita consistory of the Masonic order. He had been nominated for the 33rd degree work, but only recently declined this honor.
Mr. Hess leaves to mourn his death, a wife, one daughter, Mrs. Claude Vaughan, a granddaughter, Mary Katherine Vaughan, one brother, Richard C. Hess, of this city, and three sisters.
A Masonic funeral will be held for Mr. Hess on Wednesday afternoon, January 2, 1918, at 2:30 o'clock at the residence on South A street.
Born in Pennsylvania.
Frank J. Hess was born in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania, February 1, 1858, therefore he would have been 60 years of age had he lived until February 1, 1918. He was a son of Mr. and Mrs. James Hess. The family resided in Reading, Pennsylvania for a number of years and Mr. Hess's parents died when he was 12 years of age. He then went to Philadelphia at which place he resided until coming to Arkansas City in the year of 1876. He took up a claim in Pleasant Valley township in which locality he taught school for a number of years. In 1881, he opened up a real estate office in Arkansas City in the J.L. Huey bank.
Married in New Hampshire.
Frank Hess was married to Miss Mary Johnson at Suncook, New Hampshire, January 1, 1885, and after their marriage Mrs. Hess came to Arkansas City to reside and she has since made this city her home with her husband. To this union one daughter was born. She is now Mrs. Caroline Vaughan, wife of Claude Vaughan of Wichita. Mr. Hess also leaves one brother, R.U. Hess of this city, and three sisters, Mrs. W.W. Bright of Newkirk, Okla., Mrs. William Benthall, of Baltimore, Maryland and Mrs. Victor Ruelens of Philadelphia, Penn. The latter names is a half sister of Mr. Hess. Mrs. Mary E. Huey of Kansas City will be in Arkansas City to attend the funeral. She is the wife of the late J.L. Huey, who was a cousin of Mr. Hess. Mrs. Bright of Newkirk was here yesterday and will return on Wednesday to attend the funeral. The sisters in the east will be unable to come here for the funeral. Mrs. Frank J. Hess is the daughter of the late A.B. Johnson, formerly of the Johnson Loan & Trust company of this city.
In Real Estate Business.
After leaving the farm in Pleasant Valley where Mr. Hess was engaged as a school teacher, he located in the city and started in the real estate business. In 1886 he erected a building of his own on West Fifth avenue at which place he was engaged in business many years before moving to East Fifth avenue, his present location. His building on West Fifth avenue is now occupied by the Kansas Gas & Electric company and the A.C. Milling company's uptown office.
A Scout in Early Days.
In the early days of Arkansas City when it was a real border town, Mr. Hess was engaged as an Indian scout with the late Captain C.M. Scott, and for some time was employed in patrolling the border line between Kansas and the old Indian territory, south of Arkansas City. It is said that at one time he made it so hot for bootleggers and other lawbreakers in this section that he was compelled to leave here for a time and return to Philadelphia. However he did not quit to stay quit, but came back in a year or so and again took up his adobe here, having resided in this city ever since that time. Mr. Hess was also engaged as a deputy Unites States marshal for a time, having been employed in that capacity under Dr. Hughes, at the same time George H. McIntire, who still resides here, was deputy United States marshal under the late I.H. Bonsall. Mr. Hess wore long hair and carried two big six shooters at that time. During this period Dr. Hughes and Mr. Bonsall were United States commissioners for this district.
Mayor Two Terms.
Mr. Hess served as mayor of Arkansas City for two terms, having been first elected in 1899 and served one year. In 1909 he was again elected and served until the close of 1910. At this time the city was under the old council form of government and Mr. Hess also served as councilman for a number of terms. During this term as mayor he was very active in city affairs and in recent years he was also very active in the affairs of the local Commercial club, having assisted in securing several new industries. His real estate and insurance business had grown to such magnitude that he constantly employed a large office force to care of his business, although he personally looked after all of the real estate transactions.
Mason of High Standing.
Mr. Hess was a member of the following fraternal organizations: The Blue lodge, Chapter and Commandary, the Consistory and Shrine lodge, all of Wichita., A.O.U.W., Modern Woodmen, K. of P., K. & L. of S., and Elks, all of this city. He was the only Arkansas City Mason who had been nominated to the 33rd degree work of the consitory lodge at Wichita, but he had never reached the place when he desired to take the work.
Funeral on Wednesday.
Funeral services for Mr. Hess will be held Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock at the residence on South A street. The services will be under the auspices of the Masonic order and Rev. Frederick Busch, rector of the Trinity Episcopal church will preach the sermon.
Mayor C.N. Hunt today issued a proclamation asking that the business houses be closed on Wednesday during the hour of the funeral. The banks of the city and the real estate offices will close during the afternoon of the funeral out of respect for the memory of Mr. Hess.
Mrs. Georgia Bosworth, of Leominster, Mass., who is an aunt of Mrs. Hess and who is at present among the relatives who will be here for the funeral. It is expected that a number of the members of the Wichita consistory will be here on Wednesday to attend the funeral.
(transcribed by Judy Mayfield)
Mary A. Johnson Hess
1864–1941 (m. 1885)
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