Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
ROBERT A. KIRKPATRICK. It is an unwritten law that the secret of success in life in all individual cases is the common property or heritage of all unfortunates of the human race. It is therefore eminently proper for the historian or delineator of character to review the lives of those individuals who have not only been successful in the various enterprises in which they have engaged, but as citizens and neighbors have won the lasting regard of all. Robert A. Kirkpatrick, an expert machinist, who is now timekeeper at the north side Frisco shops, Springfield, is deserving of the admiration of his friends in view of the fact that he has made a success in life through his individual efforts and despite obstacles, having come to our shores from a foreign strand without influential friends or capital, and began his career in a land where everything was quite different to what he had been used to in his earlier years.
Mr. Kirkpatrick was born in Londonderry, Ireland, and grew to manhood in his native land. He was given excellent educational advantages in a school under the auspices of the Presbyterian church. When twenty years of age he set sail for America, landing in due time in New York City. Penetrating into the interior, he located at Columbus, Ohio, where he worked at the machinist's trade for five years, then went to Keokuk, Iowa, where he followed his trade two years. From there he went to Mount Vernon, Illinois, where he worked as machinist six or seven years, then came to Springfield, Missouri, and secured employment at once in the Frisco's north side shops, where he has remained to the present time. He had a natural taste and talent for his trade, and has given eminent satisfaction to the various companies for which he has worked. After following his trade a number of years here he was promoted to the position of time-keeper, which he still holds. He is regarded as one of the trustworthy and faithful employees of this plant.
Mr. Kirkpatrick was united in marriage in Keokuk, Iowa, with Julia E. Mills, who was a native of Southampton, England, from which country she immigrated to the United States with her parents when five or six years old, and here she grew to womanhood and received her education. The Mills family lived for a number of years in Keokuk.
To Mr. and Mrs. Kirkpatrick seven children were born, three of whom died in infancy; those who grew to maturity are: Harry, who resides at Thayer, Missouri Nellie, to whom we are indebted for the data for this biography, is one of Springfield's popular teachers; she grew to maturity in this city and received an excellent education in the ward and high schools, graduating from the latter with the class of 1897, and in 1910 she was graduated from the local State Normal. She began teaching two years after graduating from high school, and for a period of nine years taught in the Waddill school, doing extension and summer work at the normal school during vacations. After teaching in the second, fifth and sixth grades she was made principal of the Bowerman school in 1908, which responsible position she still holds. She has always been a close student and has kept fully abreast of the times in all that pertains to her work; that she has given the highest satisfaction is indicated by the fact that she has been retained so long in Waddill and Bowerman schools. She is lady of pleasing personality and is popular with her pupils. Dimple Kirkpatrick, sixth of our subject's children, was the wife of James Sawyer, and her death occurred in 1910; Virginia, youngest of the children, is. the wife of W. S. Nelson, and they reside at Cleburne, Texas.
Politically, Mr. Kirkpatrick is a Republican, and fraternally he is a member of the Knights of Pythias, having passed the chairs in the local lodge of the same, and he is also a member of the Masonic order. He and his wife are active members of the First Congregational church, in which he has been trustee and in which she is deaconess. They have both long been influential in the affairs of this church and are highly regarded by all who know them.
Springfield-Greene County Library