William Montgomery

William Montgomery came to Marceline in February 1888, and bought several lots from the Santa Fe Land Company and started building a home at the northwest corner of the 100 Block of West Walker Street. Many of the early residences in the community were built by Mr. Montgomery. He also developed an area known as the Boswell and Montgomery addition to the City of Marceline.

Mrs. Montgomery arrived during the month of March from Cameron, Missouri, where she had been staying since their marriage. She helped organize the Methodist Episcopal Church, which was built in the 100 block of West Lake Street on the north side. The parsonage was across the street.

Mr. Monty, or “Monty,” as he was called by close friends, was as strong a Presbyterian as his wife was a Methodist. He became a charter member of the church which was located on Kansas Avenue across from the company store. He was a member of the school board when the first two-story brick public school was built. The members of the board traveled all over Missouri getting ideas for the most modern school. Central School was the result. He served at various times as alderman and, at his death in 1920, was president of the township board.

In the winters, Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery were active in supporting Lyceum Courses, which both entertained and enlightened audiences. The center of entertainment was the Cater Opera House. In the summer they were members of a group of sponsors who brought the Chautauqua which was held in a large tent in the park (where the Park School was built). Such men as Admiral Hobson, William Jennings Bryan, Admiral Cook, Bob Burdette, humorist, Senator Robert LaFollette, etc., shared their experiences with the townspeople. Many fine musicians appeared also.

Helen Montgomery Spradling, a daughter, lives at Carthage, Missouri, now.

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