Home PEOPLE By Name

Fuller. George W., parks' commissioner, 3521 Harrison Boulevard

"Kansas City, Missouri, Its History and Its People 1800-1908" by Carrie Westlake Whitney. 1908.

The financial circles of Kansas City find a worthy representative in George W. Fuller, the vice president of the Fidelity Trust Company. It is a notable fact that the great majority of those who have attained success in the business life have spent their youth upon farms. Such is the history of Mr. Fuller, who was born upon a farm in Henderson county, Illinois, December 22, 1845. The ancestors of the family came originally from England on the Mayflower and settled in Massachusetts, while later representatives of the name went to Maine. The grandfather, William Fuller, was a soldier of the Revolutionary war, serving with a Massachusetts, regiment. John M. Fuller, father of G. W. Fuller, a farmer in early life, afterward became a hardware and implement merchant. He was a native of Hollowell, Maine, and went to Pennsylvania in 1837 as a young man. There in Green county he was married to Miss Malinda Morris, a daughter of Amos Morris, a brother of Robert Morris, the financier of the Revolution, who loaned the government large sums of money and in this way tided the country over crises in its history when otherwise unpaid soldiers would have revolted. Removing to the west, John M. Fuller located in Ohio and afterward resided in Indiana and Illinois, settling in Henderson county of the latter state in 1844. In 1853 he removed to Oquawka, the county seat, where he engaged in the hardware business until he retired a few years prior to his death, which occurred in 1873. The family numbered four sons and two daughters, of whom five are yet living. One son, A. M. Fuller, is now city passenger agent for the Rock Island Railroad Company at Topeka, Kansas. A sister is Mrs. E. R. Bartlett, whose husband is the right of way agent of the Santa Fe Railroad. Mrs. N. A. Millikin is also living in Topeka. A younger brother, C. E. Fuller, of Salt Lake, Utah, is traveling salesman for T. M. James & Company of Kansas City.

George Fuller, George Fuller, Courtesy Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation Department

George W. Fuller, who was the fourth in order of birth in the family, spent his boyhood in Illinois and acquired his education in the public schools. At the age of seventeen he enlisted as a member of Company G, One Hundred and Thirty-ninth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served throughout the war [Civil], being mustered out in 1865. He then engaged in the hardware business at Briggsville, Illinois, until 1869, which year witnessed his arrival in Kansas City. The following year he entered the employ of Deere, Mansur & Company, wholesale dealers in implements, as a traveling salesman, and represented the house upon the road until 1882. He then went into the office as manager of the business and so continued until the dissolution of the firm in 1889, at which time the John Deere Plow Company was incorporated and Mr. Fuller was elected secretary and manager. He was thus associated with the business until October, 1904, when he sold his interest. In the meantime he had been making consecutive advancement in business circles and his name had long since become recognized as an honored one on commercial paper. On the 1st of January, 1905, he was elected the second vice president of the Fidelity Trust Company and is thus representing the financial interests of the city, having been one of the original incorporators, one of the first directors and a member of the executive committee from the organization of the company. He is also a director of the Traders Bank, of which he was one of the incorporators, and is interested in various other financial and commercial enterprises which constitute an important source of annual revenue to him.

Mr. Fuller was married in 1863 to Miss Tuttle and they became the parents of three children: Mrs. John J. Green, whose husband is of the T. J. Green Company, a real-estate firm of Kansas City; Mrs. J. C. English, whose husband is cashier of the Traders Bank; and W. H. Fuller, who is a general merchant of McAlester, Oklahoma. The wife and mother died September 4, 1904, and on the 7th of August, 1907, Mr. Fuller was married to Mrs. Carrie [Carolyn] Farwell Voorhees, a daughter of the late W. C. Farwell, of Kansas City. Mrs. Fuller is a member of the Kansas City Musical Society, possesses a fine contralto voice, and was teacher of vocal music in the Central high school for ten years.

While Mr. Fuller has attained notable success in business he has never allowed his commercial and financial interests to monopolize his time to the exclusion of outside interests, and, indeed, has been a most prominent factor in many movements of genuine public worth. He possesses marked ability to plan and devise and to shape into a harmonious whole complex interests, and his power in this direction has made his service a valued factor in many movements of public concern. He was honored with the presidency of the Commercial Club in 1884-5, and was one of the original committee of fifteen who solicited funds and erected the first convention hall. He is also a member of the board of park commissioners. He has been a director of the Young Men´s Christian Association for twenty years and is one of the trustees who hold the property. He was also one of the organizers, a member of its building committee and one of the trustees of the Independence Avenue Methodist Episcopal church. He was likewise one of the organizers and the president of the Helping Hand Institute. It seems but natural that he should be interested in such a work, for all through his life Mr. Fuller has extended a helping hand to others in business, in his social relations, in public affairs and in benevolent work. There is about him an atmosphere, of kindly assistance with arises from a deep interest in his fellowmen and their welfare.

Note: Mr. and Mrs. Fuller moved to 3521 Harrison in 1910. Both lived there until their death–George in 1919 and Carolyn in late 1930´s or early 1940´s. Mr. Fuller is buried in the Elmwood Cemetery.

Mr. Fuller was on the board of park commissioners in 1905 through 1909 and from 1916 through 1981. He was president during his last term.