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October 31, 1909



Thousands of Dollars Contributed
After Announcement That Re-
quired $50,000 Had
Been Obtained.

No longer is it the Franklin institute. Satisfied with the great response made to the institute's appeal for aid, S. W. Spangler, agent for Thomas H. Swope, who gave $50,000 in land and cash conditionally to the institute, and John J. Paxton and S. S. Fleming, administrators of the Swope estate, yesterday gave to the directors of the institute the deed to the land on which the Thomas H. Swope Institute is to be built, and Mr. Swope's pledge of $25,000 in money. The deed was filed yesterday afternoon.

The officers of the institute received about $55,000 in the canvass for funds. there was $9,101.29 in cash and the rest in pledges. Ralph P. Swofford, president of the institute, Fletcher Cowherd, treasurer; and Benjamin B. Lee, H. D. Faxon, Herbert V. Jones, D. L. James, directors, and James T. Chafin, head resident of the institute, took the certificates of deposit and the pledges to Mr. Spangler's office yesterday. Mr. Paxton and Mr. Fleming, Mr. Swope's nephew, arrived soon after.


"We are satisfied entirely with the result of the campaign and with the pledges," Mr. Paxton said. "Speaking for Mr. Fleming and myself, I wish to say that every one of the Swope family sympathized with your effort to raise the fund and with the purpose for which Mr. Swope made the gift."

"My uncle was deeply interested in the institute," Mr. Fleming said. "I am glad you were successful and trust that you will be able to make the institute all that you wish it to be."

A photograph of Mr. Swope was given the institute officers. It will be framed and placed in the new institute, which is to be named for Mr. Swope. Thousands of dollars were given to the institute fund yesterday after the announcement was made that the fund was complete. The latest mail yesterday brought more and it is believed that the flood of subscriptions which started Friday will not end for several days.


Dr. W. S. Woods, of the Commerce Trust Company, gave $500 after the fund was complete. The Kansas City Live Stock Traders' exchange considered a motion to give $100 to the fund. A member suggested that a collection be taken instead. The collection was $225. The Kansas City Live Stock exchange also gave $100. More than that amount was given by the employes of Emery, Bird, Thayer's, when nearly 300 persons working in the store gave 25 or 50 cents each, after the fund had closed. Six church societies, half of them Christian Endeavor bodies, also contributed.

"Personal Help," by Churchill Bridgeford, a live stock commission man, netted the institute $1,-34 from the stock yards district in the campaign. The board of trade raised $450 and its members gave, or solicited, $2,500 for the fund.

Officers of the institute will visit other cities for ideas before the plans of the new institute will be agreed upon. One of the great needs of Kansas City, the officers say, is a modern creche. The institute now cares for children 2 years old and more, but has not been equipped to care for infants. It has been necessary to refuse to care for the babies of several mothers who are employed because of this. It is probable a creche will be added to the activities of the institute in the new building.

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August 2, 1909


Summoned to Attend Mrs. Walton
H. Holmes, Jr., Who Is Ill.

Dr. J. F. Binnie left last night for New York, whence he will sail Wednesday to London, whither he has been summoned by the sudden illness of Mrs. Walton H. Holmes, Jr. He expects to reach the British metropolis Sunday.

No details have been received here of Mrs. Holmes's condition. W. S. Woods, her father, received the first cablegram, which asked that Dr. Binnie come to attend her. A later and more imperative cablegram asked that he "come at once."

Mr. and Mrs. Holmes had intended to leave London for home August 25 and that plan will be carried out if her condition will permit.

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April 21, 1909



Dr. W. S. Woods, David T. Beals and
W. T. Kemper Retire From
Active Interest in the

As the culmination of a deal by which St. Louis bankers gained control of the National Bank of Commerce, J. Wilson Perry, formerly vice president of the National Bank of Commerce in St. Louis, was elected yesterday to the presidency of the Kansas City institution to succeed David T. Beals, who retires from active business. Dr. W. S. Woods relinquished control of the bank to Mr. Perry yesterday morning, following which Mr. Perry's election immediately took place. Dr. Woods also retires from active business life.

With Mr. Perry, William L. Buechle of St. Louis, former national bank examiner for Missouri, was elected as vice president to succeed William T. Kemper, who has resigned, and George D. Ford, director, elected vice president, the position having been created for him. Mr. Kemper was elected president of the Commerce Trust Company yesterday afternoon to succeed Dr. Woods, and will devote his entire time to that institution. Dr. Woods will continue as chairman of the executive board of the trust company.

Mr. Perry commences his work with the Kansas City institution under the most favorable conditions. Forty years of persistent and competent effort on the part of his predecessors, recent reorganization and increased capital; a deposit account of more than $25,000,000, with a 42 per cent reserve, and an unusually strong and representative board of directors makes his success almost assured.


Speaking of the change, Dr. Woods said yesterday:

"I took this step for several reasons, but principally on account of my wife's health. It is necessary for her to spend most of her time in the South and California. We will probably go to California to live. The trips I was obliged to take in order to be with her and attend to the bank's affairs at the same time taxed me more than I cared, so I simply made up my mind to retire from active business and devote my time to my family and personal affairs.

"After forty years of business, all of which time has been spent in banking, I believe I have earned a respite. My health is good, but I need rest and I feel it proper that I should now step aside and let a younger man fill my place.

"My years of association with the officers and directors of the National Bank of Commerce have been of the most pleasant character. I feel I have gained their confidence and esteem as they have mine, and it is with some regret that I sever these pleasant relations. I shall watch with great interest the growth of the Commerce with the new man at the helm. I have known Mr. Perry for years as a successful business man. He deserves the support of the people of Kansas City and I commend him to them."

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November 21, 1908


Head of Commerce Will Be a "Good
Man," Says Dr. Woods.

Dr. W. S. Woods appeared yesterday in the managing director's room in the National Bank of Commerce, after an absence form it of nearly a year. J. J. Heim and William T. Kemper occupied the chairs of the vice presidents of the bank, the three old Commerce men succeeding W. B. Ridgely, George T. Cutts and Edward Ridgely. In the place of Cashier Edward Ridgely sat James T. Bradley, a United States bank examiner.

During the day Dr. Woods, Mr. Kemper and Mr. Heim had a conference with J. W. Perry of St. Louis National Bank of Commerce regarding the presidency of the Kansas City National Bank of Commerce, but just as he was leaving for his home in Excelsior Springs yesterday afternoon Dr. Woods said that neither Mr. Perry nor anyone else had been selected for president.

"On that point I can only say that I will not have the place. I want to spend more time in California than the duties of office would let me, and for that, if for no other reason, I cannot take the presidency."

"Who will likely get the place?" was asked.

"A good man," was the characteristic reply.

It is predicted that today will see important and most advantageous transactions in the bank, and that as chairman of the board of directors Dr. Woods will make an official announcement in detail. The presidency will go to one of two men, Mr. Perry being one of them. Mr. Bradley has forwarded to Washington his tender of resignation as bank examiner.

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November 20, 1908





Committee Is Appointed to Recom-
mend a Man for Presidency -- Dr.
Woods is Chairman of
Board of Directors.

After a session which lasted two hours yesterday afternoon the board of directors of the National Bank of Commerce chose its new officers and filled the vacancies on the board with one exception. The following is a list of the newly elected officers:

President -- Dr. W. S. Woods, resigned and committee appointed to recommend man for president.
Vice presidents -- W. T. Kemper and Joseph J. Heim.
Cashier -- J. T. Bradley
Directors -- W. T. Kemper, John Kelly and J. T. Bradley

Immediately upon going into session yesterday afternoon the board listened to a personal reading of the resignation of William B. Ridgely, former president, George J. Cutts, former vice president and Edward Ridgely, former cashier. These resignations were accepted forthwith and the board set about to fill the vacancies at once. Dr. W. S. Woods was unanimously elected president, but, owing to the great responsibilities that were to be met by the incumbent of that office, Dr. Woods tendered his resignation, after having thanked the directors for the honor. Because of this fact the board did not discuss any other person for the office of president and placed the matter in the hands of a committee consisting of Dr. Woods, Mr. Kemper, Mr. Heim and J. Z. Miller, Jr. instructing the committee to recommend a man for the presidency as soon as possible.

The office of chairman of board of directors, which had not previously existed, was created yesterday afternoon. Since Dr. Woods, who controls the majority of stock in the institution, resigned the presidency of the bank he was chosen as chairman of the board. This office Dr. Woods accepted.


William B. and Edward Ridgely will leave Kansas City for a short vacation and return here, where they will engage in business, the nature of which has not transpired. George S. Cutts, the ex-vice president will leave immediately for St. Louis, which is his home city. His family is there at the present time and he will join them for a short vacation.

Mr. Cutts does not relish the idea of being a victim of the official ax, and he doesn't hesitate to say so. "It was with the understanding that I was to come to Kansas City permanently that I gave up my former position and took the vice presidency of this bank. It was a loss as far as salary was concerned, but I had visions of helping to build a great banking institution here, so I left my home and good salary to come here. Anyhow, I am going to beat Mr. Ridgely out of town by three minutes."

Charles H. Moore, second vice-president of the bank will remain in hiS present position. Mr. Kemper, the new vice-president, will also remain vice president of the Commerce Trust company.

It is expected that the board of directors will hold another meeting before Sunday and the president will be chosen at that time. The newly chosen officers will take up their duties at once.

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November 18, 1908


Dr. W. S. Woods to Head Na-
tional Bank of Commerce.
Dr. William Stone Woods
Dr. W. S. Woods

Dr. W. S. Woods has purchased the Ridgely interests in the National Bank of Commerce. Several days ago Dr. Woods announced that he controlled a majority of the bank stock, and that he and his friends would again take active management of the bank's affairs. The change is expected to take place Saturday, when W. B. Ridgely, president; George T. Cutts, vice president, and Edward Ridgely, cashier, retire.

For some time Dr. Woods has been acquiring stock and recently secured 13,000 of the 20,000 shares. W. B. Ridgely and his friends sent out letters to the stockholders asking for proxies so they could control the annual election on January 12, and asking that the present management be continued. Yesterday it was announced that Mr. Ridgely and Dr. Woods had reached an agreement and that Mr. Ridgely would retire and Dr. Woods assume the presidency. Who will be the cashier has not been announced. It is said that a very few changes in the directorate of the bank will be made.

When Mr. Edward Ridgely was asked last night what plans he and his brother had in view after their retirement from the National Bank of Commerce, he said they had none.

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November 10. 1908



Bank Is to Be Reorganized in Janu-
ary and a New Set of Officers
Probably Will Go In -- Rule
Slated for Old Place.

Dr. W. S. Woods has again gained control of the affairs of the National Bank of Commerce.

The fact that Dr. Woods controlled a majority of the stock in the bank was made public yesterday morning, and banking circles immediately began to discuss the question. The election of a president was the chief topic, and it is generally conceded that the affairs of the bank have prospered under the management of W. B. Ridgely, president of the bank, and that he will be retained as one of the directors, if not the real head of the institution. Dr. Woods is not a candidate for the office of president, and, it is stated, will simply act as a member of the board of directors and control the policy of the bank.

W. T. Kemper, now vice-president of the Commerce Trust Company, has been mentioned as a probable successor to Mr. Ridgely, but Mr. Kemper is not sure what the reorganization will bring forth, and does not care to be quoted in connection with a discussion of a reorganization.

That there will be changes among other officers of the bank is assured. W. A. Rule probably will be returned to his former position as cashier, succeeding Edward Ridgely. The reorganization probably will not take place until the annual meeting of the board of directors, January 12, 1909, although under the charter granted by the state changes in the management can be made at any time by a majority vote of the controlling stock.


A gradual and substantial rise in the price of stock in the National Bank of Commerce as quoted in trade circles was the first intimation that a fight for control of the bank was being waged. Quoted at prices ranging from $124 to $128 per share three weeks ago, the shares of stock began to rise until last Saturday, $151 to $152 was bid and but little stock was offered for sale. Dr. Woods's efforts to regain control of the bank are said to be the reason for this sudden and unexpected rise, and when it came time for him to show his hand he calmly announced to the directors at a meeting last Thursday of he and his officials and depositors.

There has not been a fight between Dr. Woods and W. B. Ridgely. Mr. Ridgely has not sought to control the bank, and his efforts since the reopening in April, 1908, have been devoted solely to building up a strong and stable bank. Under his control the deposits have increased from $12,000,000 on the opening day to nearly $18,000,000 at the present time.


W. T. Kemper, vice president of the Commerce Trust Company, who has been mentioned as the probable successor or W. B. Ridgely as president of the bank, stated ysterday that he was not prepared to discuss the details of the reorganization of the bank. He says Dr. Woods has control of the bank and that he is ready and willing to serve in any capacity that will best serve the officials and the depositors.


William B. Ridgely, president of the bank, when seen yesterday, stated that he did not care to discuss the subject until further developments were reached. Mr. Ridgely says he will attend to the affairs of the bank as usual, and will give his best efforts to the success of the institution.

"I have nothing to say at the present," was the remark made by W. H. Winants, formerly vice president of the bank. "Things are not in shape to be discussed, and we really do not know what will happen. It is better to wait before giving out statements for the public."

Other directors of the bank have as little to say as the officers.


Dr. Woods still holds his original 1,700 shares, a block of stock he has never increased nor decreased, though he has, during the life of the bank, held other blocks. Since leaving the active management of the Commerce Dr. Woods has been buying shares on his own account and persuading his friends to, until yesterday he and his friends controlled over $1,100,000, or more than 50 per cent of the capital stock. The St. Louis shares are understood to be in the pool. Further than saying that he has enough stock to control the next election, Dr. Woods has not intimated who the new officers are to be. By common consent it was thought on the street yesterday that W. A. Rule would go back as cashier, and as a consequence his offices in the Commerce building were besieged and his telephone was ringing incessantly throughout the afternoon, after then news had got out that there was to be a change in the management of the bank. Mr. Rule declared himself in utter ignorance of everything connected with either the bank or his own home, and instead asked for news. He did not pretend to account for his frequent the East, visiting Commerce stockholders.

Dr. Woods has never ceased saying he was sorry to lose his bank. In its darkest days he declared himself proud of it. He was always of the way the present manager, W. B. Ridgely, was running it. The bank has grown prosperous under the direction of Mr. Ridgely, being in excellent shape to continue under its present management or to pass into other hands.


How well Dr. Woods has his colleagues drilled for the present emergency could only be gathered by listening to the answers all of them gave to questions. J. J. Heim, Hugh Ward, W. A. Rule, W. T. Kemper, W. H. Winants, Hughes Bryant and all of them had "Ask Dr. Woods" at the tips of their tongues. Insisting that his name be suppressed, one of them said:

"The bank will return to the old management after the next meeting. By the old management, I mean that Dr. Woods will be chairman of the board of directors and he will designate his own friends for president, cashier and vice presidents. I do not think he will take the office of president again. He will make the office of chairman more important, and occupy that.

"It is premature to mention anyone for president. The doctor has not done so. He may be expected to renew his old associations. A report that at the time Mr. Ridgely was brought West he had been given the voting power of a majority of the stock for two years was an error. The shares vote themselves and none of them has been pledged. Dr. Woods did not then hold them, so he could not vote them. Now he and his friends do, and they will vote them.

"The bank is very prosperous. Mr. Ridgely may be continued. He is a highly valuable man, and the Commerce is big enough to have several big men members of its board. However, Dr. Woods will be the guiding spirit after next January."

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May 17, 1908


Funeral Was to Be Held Yesterday.

Dr. W. S. Woods, who arrived from his California trip Friday night, received telegraphic news enroute that his brother, James M. Woods of Rapid City, S. D., had died. Word was also waiting Dr. Woods here that the funeral was to be held yesterday.

Dr. Woods's brother had often associated in Kansas City enterprises. He was 74 years old.

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April 12, 1908


The Kansas City World, Established
in 1894, Goes Out of Existence.

The Kansas City World, an evening newspaper owned by Edward W. Scripps and J. G. Scripps, announced in its issue yesterday that it had decided to quit business. The office force was discharged one week ago. It had been known for some time that the paper was gradually going out of business. Several months ago the United Press Association office was removed from Kansas City to St. Louis. The press association is owned by the same people who controlled the World. It is said that about $400,000 was spent on the paper.

The World was established January 11, 1894, by what was known as the World Newspaper Company, with L. V. Ashbaugh and Nain Grute as the principal stockholders. Mr. Grute was the first managing editor, and the paper, an eight-page, eight-column sheet, was edited and published at 815 Walnut street. In 1895 Bernard Corrigan and Dr. W. S. Woods secured controlling interest and the late Arthur Grissom became managing editor. On January 5, 1897, the Scripps-McRae League acquired the plant and made the World one of its string of newspapers. Arthur M. Hopkins was the managing editor. Shortly after the new owners assumed control, the building now occupied by the World was erected at 1116-1118 Oak street and the plant moved there.

Some years later the control of the plant passed into the Clover Leaf League of papers, which company published it for about one year, when it was again taken by E. W. Scripps and his son, J. G. Scripps, on January 5, 1907.

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December 6, 1907



Nineteen Millions of Deposits Paid Out
Since the Statement of August 22 -
Other Banks Are Not Affected
by the Suspension.

Overwhelmed by a wave of distrust that has been steadily wearing away its resources fro nearly two months, the National Bank of Commerce, the largest bank between St. Louis and San Francisco, suspended business yesterday morning and is in charge of the office of the comptroller of currency.

At 8:30 o'clock yesterday morning, James T. Bradley, national bank examiner,, brought to the bank this notice, copies of which a messenger posted on the windows:
"This bank has been closed by resolution of its board of directors, and is
now in charge of James T. Bradley, national bank examiner, by order of the
Comptroller of the Currency."

Yesterday afternoon Mr. Bradley received a telegram from the comptroller of the currency appointing him receiver. It is probable this appointment is temporary, though this is not known.


In about six weeks the bank has paid off 19 million dollars of its deposits, reduced its loans 3 1/2 millions, cut down its cash resources 11 3/4 millions, and sold 2 millions of high grade bonds, all in the effort to meet the demands upon it. But there has been a continued drain, culminating Wednesday with a clearing house debit balance of nearly $400,000, which the bank was forced to meet. Fearing that yesterday's exactions would be beyond its power to pay the directors decided to give up the fight and let the bank be liquidated.

The directors were in session last night until after midnight and again this morning at 7 o'clock, considering plans for continuing business, but they finally decided that the task was too great.


Inside the bank, when the notice was posted, the air of the office was that of a relaxation after a terrible strain. When a man has struggled to the limit of his capacity, physical or mental, and the end has come, he rarely shows feeling.

W. S. Woods, president of the bank, and W. A. Rule, the cashier, had slept little any night for a week, and they simply let down. W. H. Winants, vice president, worked on answering telephone calls, but he showed more feeling and his voice choked when he talked. The other directors were not to be seen about the bank during the first hour. The real fight had been made by Woods and Rule. It had been desperate. Dr. Woods said he had done his best and did not know how he could do more. He regarded the loss with regret, but did not show evidence of excitement.

Of approximately 16 millions in deposits tied up in the suspension, about 5 millions belongs to Kansas City people. The remaining 11 millions belongs to out of town banks.


The only banks affected by the suspension were the two small branches of the Commerce in the West bottoms, the Stock Yards Bank of Commerce and the Union Avenue Bank of Commerce, and the First State Bank of Argentine. These institutions together had only a few hundred thousand dollars in deposits. The first two did not open yesterday morning. The third closed at noon.

When the news of the suspension became generally known there were some withdrawals from other banks, chiefly by small depositors. These withdrawals, however, were more than compensated for by the new accounts opened. All the banks were in good condition.

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