Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens


ROBERT B. KITE. It is a well-authenticated fact that success comes as a result of legitimate and well-applied energy, unflagging determination and perseverance in a course of action when once decided upon. She is never known to bestow her largesses upon the indolent and ambitionless, and only those who seek her untiringly are recipients of her blessings. In tracing the history of Robert B. Kite, now living in retirement in Springfield after a long career as a railroader and in more recent years a farmer, it is plainly seen that the prosperity which he enjoys has been won by commendable qualities, and it is also his personal worth that has gained for him the high esteem of those who know him.

Mr. Kite was born in Cleveland, Ohio, May 8, 1857, He is a son of Hiram and Rosanna (Warren) Kite, the father a native of Pennsylvania and of Quaker stock, while the mother was a native of England, from which country she emigrated to America in girlhood and located in Pennsylvania, where the parents of our subject were married, but not long thereafter removed to Ohio, and there they lived until 1859, when they removed to Marshfield, Webster county, Missouri, and Hiram Kite built one of the first houses in that town. He was a leather worker by trade and was in business there when the Civil war broke out and joined the Home Guards, but did not become a soldier in the regular Union army. He finally removed to a farm near Strafford, Missouri, where he spent the rest of his life, but his wife died in Springfield. They were the parents of eight children five of whom are still living, namely: Madora E., Mary,.Lottie, Nettie, Frances is deceased; Robert B., of this review; Emma and Ida are both deceased.

Robert B. Kite received a limited education in the public school at Marshfield, but he is principally a self-educated man. He began his railroad career in 1873 as brakeman on the old Atlantic & Pacific railroad, now the Frisco system, and he remained a brakeman until 1880, when he was promoted to freight conductor, in which capacity he worked until he was promoted to passenger conductor, and ran as such for a period of fifteen years, or until 1901, living at Monett, Missouri, during that period. He was regarded as one of the most capable and most trusted conductors on the Frisco, and his continuous service of twenty-eight years would indicate he was a first-class railroader. Finally, tiring of the exacting work as conductor, he moved to his farm in 1901, just south of Springfield. His fine place there consisted of one hundred acres of the old Crenshaw homestead. This he brought up to a high state of improvement and a high state of cultivation, all but about ten acres. He made it a model farm in every respect. He installed the first water system in that part of the county, running hot and cold water to both his house and barn. He carried on general farming until 1907, when he sold out and moved to the corner of South and Madison streets, Springfield, where he owns two sets of four-apartment flats and two fine residence properties, all modern and desirable in every way, and he now spends his time looking after his personal property here.

Mr. Kite was married on September 17, 1883, in Rogers, Arkansas, to Vitae A. Powers, who was born in Newton county, Missouri, May 21, 1867. She is a daughter of Eli and Angeline (Wormington) Powers. The father was a native of North Carolina and the mother of Tennessee. They came from the South to Newton county, Missouri, in pioneer days, and there Mr. Powers engaged in farming and the milling business. His death occurred in 1875, his widow surviving thirty-five years, dying in 1910. They were the parents of five children, namely: Andrew B., deceased; Mrs. Belle Carnes died in 1907; Mrs. Addie Tudor died in 1880; Douglass lives in Carbonado, Washington; and Mrs. Vitae Kite, wife of our subject. She grew to womanhood in Newton county and received her education in the common schools.

Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Kite, named as follow: Olive, born on October 2, 1884, was educated in Monett, married Andrew Edmondson, and they live in Fort Smith, Arkansas; Rolland, born on September 10, 1886, was educated in. the Springfield high school and later attended Drury College, married May King, and they are living in Hollister, this state; Jessie May, born on August 11, 1888 was graduated from the Normal school in Springfield, then attended Columbia University, New York, City, and is now a successful teacher in Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri; Warren P., born on February 11, 1896, was graduated from the high school in Springfield with the class of 1914. He is a natural mechanic, is a skilled taxidermist, and he has a splendid collection of Indian relics. He has mounted a valuable collection of birds. He has built various kinds of boats, canoes, power boats, etc., which have been regarded by those who have seen them as equal to any on the market. The future evidently holds much of promise for this fine young lad, as indeed it must for all Mr. Kite's children, who are all intellectual and highly cultured, and well liked by their associates everywhere.

Politically, Mr. Kite is a Republican, and he at one time was candidate for sheriff of Greene county, but failed to get the nomination. He was a charter member of North Side Division No. 30, Order of, Railway Conductors. Fraternally, he belongs to the Masonic Order, in which he is active and prominent, being a past eminent commander; he is a Knight Templar, and a member of the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He also belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Religiously, he is a member of the Presbyterian church, and is a liberal supporter of the same. Mrs. Kite is a member of the Order of Eastern Star and the Rebekahs. The family stands high in all circles in which it moves.

[1575-1577]


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