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


WILLIAM P. POWELL. A gentleman of warm, sympathetic impulses, liberal and generous, William P. Powell, assistant foreman of the reclamation department of the South Side Frisco shops, Springfield, is a young man whom everyone, who has ever known him personally, likes and speaks well of. His manners are easy in social intercourse, with high conceptions of morality and honest, fraternal living. All these commendable traits, together with the fact that he has achieved such notable success in his field of endeavor at such an early age would augur for him a bright future in railroad service.

Mr. Powell was born at Saint Mary's, Sainte Genevieve county, Missouri, October 10, 1884. He is a son of Elisha T. Powell and a grandson of William Powell, a large tobacco grower of Kentucky in the early days. The father of our subject was born at Henderson, Kentucky, where he grew up, attended school and spent his life, engaged in raising, tobacco of a high grade and on an extensive scale. Later in life he removed to Sainte Genevieve county, Missouri, and established the family home. For some time he operated a cooperage business at Jackson, this state. The latter years of his life were spent in retirement at De Soto, this state, where he died at the age of fifty-seven years, and was buried there. Politically, he was a Democrat and he belonged to the Methodist Episcopal church. The mother of the subject of this sketch was known in her maidenhood as Della Van Winkle, and she was born at Jefferson City, Missouri, where she grew up and was educated, and she is now making her home in Springfield and is fifty years old. To these parents only two children were born, a daughter dying in infancy, and William P., of this sketch.

Our subject received his education in the common and high schools at De Soto, Missouri. After leaving school he went to Texas and became a clerk in the post office at the town of Brownwood, having taken the civil service examination for the same. Later he was for one year in the United States mail service in that state. He then came to Springfield, Missouri, in 1902, and took a position as helper in the blacksmith shops of the Frisco railroad, in the North Side shops, under John French, who was foreman there for eighteen months. Our subject then went with the United Iron Works in this city as blacksmith helper, where he remained nine months, then took a position in the Schmook Machine Foundry Company here as blacksmith, later taking a position in the South Side Frisco shops as blacksmith helper, but returned to the Schmook foundry as blacksmith, then came to the South Side Frisco shops as blacksmith, in 1913, and for some time he has been assistant foreman of the blacksmith shop in the reclamation department of these shops, and has given his usual high-grade service and satisfaction.

Mr. Powell has remained single. Politically, he is a Democrat. He belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America, the Knights of Pythias and the International Brotherhood of Blacksmith Helpers. Religiously, he is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.

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