Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
DUERRETT WHITE DOZIER. Whether the elements of success in life are innate attributes of the individual or whether they are quickened by a process of circumstantial development, it is impossible to clearly determine. Yet the study of a successful life, whatever the field of endeavor, is none the less interesting and profitable by reason of the existence of this same uncertainty. So much in excess of those of success are the records of failures or semi-failures, that one is constrained to attempt in analysis in either case and to determine the measure of causation in an approximate way. But in studying the life history of the late Duerrett White Dozier, a man of profound knowledge along electrical lines, whose career was a varied and interesting one his last years being spent on a fruit farm at Springfield, Missouri, we find many qualities in his make-up that always gain definite success in any career if properly directed, as his was evidently done, which resulted in a life of good to others as well as in a comfortable competency to his family. A man of strong mentality and vigorous moral fiber, he achieved signal success in a vocation in which few rise above mediocrity. Broad-minded, charitable and courteous in disposition, he never lacked for friends wherever his life work took him. They all heard with profound regret the news of his transition into a higher sphere of action, when he was still in the prime of manhood.
Mr. Dozier was born in Richmond, Kentucky, October 30, 1853, of fine old Southern stock on both sides of the house. He was a son of John and Nancy (Johnson) Dozier, the, former a native of Virginia and the latter a native of Madison county, Kentucky. There they spent their childhood, later moving to near Richmond, Kentucky, where the father owned and operated an extensive plantation, and owned a large number of slaves; he also engaged in merchandising and was a successful business man. He finally established the family home in Carroll county Missouri, and was at one time sheriff of that county and prominent in Democratic politics. There the death of our subject's mother occurred when he was about twelve years of age. The father died in St. Louis in 1904. Their family consisted of eleven children, four of whom are still living, namely: William Cassus, died in infancy; Margaret is next to the eldest; Mary is living; Elizabeth Holland died in infancy; Eliza Andrew died in infancy; Nancy Jane, deceased; Melisa, deceased; Susan, deceased; George Ann, living; Duerrett White, of this memoir; John, who is the youngest.
Our subject had little opportunity to get an education, but later in life he made up for this deficiency by wide home reading and by contact with the world. He was a fine type of the self-made man. When but a boy he turned his attention to electrical and steam engineering. He had the distinction of starting the first threshing engine in Missouri, which was while he lived in Carroll county. He eventually became a superintendent and designer of power houses and superintended the building of some of the finest electrical power houses in the United States. After leaving Carroll county he became electrical engineer for the E. P. Allis Company, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, remaining with this firm seven years, during which time he did a great deal of traveling, giving the company eminent satisfaction. In 1884 he came to Kansas City and was with the Metropolitan Street Railway Company for a period of sixteen years, successfully filling the responsible positions of superintendent and chief engineer. He then went to Washington, D. C., where he followed the same line of work for a year, then returned to Kansas City and resumed his position with the company with which he was before and retained the same for nine years, or until 1902, having given his usual high-grade service and being one of the potent factors in the building up of that great street railway system. He then became inspector of the glucose factories in Chicago and all factories east of that city under Dr. Wagner, of Chicago. Resigning after six months with this concern he went to Minneapolis, Minnesota, and took charge of the Twin City Rapid Transit Company, of Minneapolis and St. Paul, remaining there five years, during which time he had charge of the entire system, electrical and steam, under the direction of the president of the company, C. C. Goodrich, successor to Mr. Lowery. He was largely instrumental in building up one of the finest and most efficient street railway systems in the United States, but owing to failing health he was compelled to resign in 1907. He came to the Ozark country in the hopes of benefiting his health, and purchased the forty-acre orchard on South Campbell street, Springfield, which was considered one of the most desirable apple orchards in this section of the country. Later he purchased the five-acre tract on the Country Club lane, an attractive and desirable property, where his widow now resides.
Mr. Dozier was married October 23, 1888, in Kansas City, to Mamie L. Keough, a native of Hartford, Connecticut, and a daughter of William and Theresa (Carroll) Keough. The father was born in Canada, twelve miles from Montreal, in 1827, and his death occurred in Kansas City in 1912. Mrs. Dozier's mother was born in Ireland in 1829, and from that country she emigrated to America when a child. Her death occurred in Kansas City in 1898. These parents were married in Connecticut. Mr. Keough was a building contractor by profession, and was a successful business man. His family consisted of five children, two of whom are still living, namely: Mamie L., who married Mr. Dozier of this memoir: Susan is deceased; Nellie lives in Kansas City; William C. is. deceased; John P. also deceased.
Mrs. Dozier received excellent educational advantages. After passing through the public schools she attended the Episcopal Seminary at Dubuque, Iowa, from which institution she was graduated. Having decided natural musical talent she made herself proficient on the piano. She is a lady of culture and of amiable nature. She is a member of the St. Agnes Catholic church.
Mr. Dozier left two sons, namely: Edward, who is married and lives in the West; Thomas M., born November 14, 1882, was educated in the schools of Kansas City, and on June 18, 1913, he married Erma H. Lawson, born December 3, 1886, of that place, and they make their home in. Kansas City.
Politically Mr. Dozier was a Democrat, but was never an office seeker. He was a member of the Catholic church and faithful in his support of the same, and when he was summoned to his eternal rest on January 14, 1912,
his many friends felt that a good man and a good citizen had gone to his reward.
Springfield-Greene County Library