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Montgomery County Biographies
"History of Montgomery County, Kansas, Illustrated," 1903

ALBERT PERRY MCBRIDE – In the subject of this personal review, is presented a native Kansan, whose name is familiar in almost every household in Montgomery county, and whose efforts in the past decade have yielded momentous results and have been of immeasurable importance and value to the material interests of the county. His name and fame have extended beyond the confines of his own state and, in the development of the subterranean resources of southeastern Kansas and the Indian Territory, the name of A.P. McBride stands the peer of all. Tunnelling the earth’s crust, has been his life work, and the hidden truths which his efforts have brought to light, have yielded to the geologist a fund of positive knowledge, and to commerce and the industries, an impetus that will endure permanently and increase with the lapse of years.

On the 20th day of February, 1862, Albert P. McBride was born in Miami county, Kansas. His paternal antecedents were from West Virginia and his maternal from Tennessee. His father, Thomas J. McBride, was born near Whitehall, Illinois, a son of James McBride, of Tennessee, whose paternal ancestor emigrated from the old Virginia state, as a pioneer to that state. They were of Scotch-Irish lineage and descended from a pioneer ancestor who established himself a citizen of the New World, in the year 1730.

Thomas J. McBride was born February 7, 1832, was brought up on a farm, subsequently learned the blacksmith trade and, finally, entered the ministry. He pioneered to Kansas in 1858 from Green county, Illinois – first stopping, for eighteen months, in Bates county, Missouri – and participating in the stirring events which took place there, both before and during the war. He enlisted in Company “E,” First Battalion of Missouri troops – from Cass county – and also served in George H. Hume’s Rangers. Since the war, he has, when actively engaged, been employed with the civil pursuits above mentioned, chiefly in Miami county, Kansas, and has, recently, become a resident of Independence, Kansas. In politics, he is a Democrat, and in religion, a Baptist. November 3, 1853, he married Lucinda Barnett, a daughter of john Barnet, formerly from Tennessee, who was killed, in 1862, by Capt. Irvin Walla’s gang. Eight children were the issue of this marriage, seven of whom are: John A., James H., William T., C.W., C.M., I.J. and W.F. The first four mentioned are Kansas farmers, and the others are gas and oil drillers at Butler, Missouri. The fourth son in the family is A.P., the subject of this notice.

James McBride, Sr., the great-grandfather of Thomas Jefferson McBride, comes to us as the original head of this numerous branch of the American McBrides. With four other brothers, he emigrated from the highlands of Scotland, about 1730, and made settlement in the Colony of Virginia, in America. The other brothers were: William, Jaseth, John and Andrew. The name of James McBride was deciphered from the bark of a beech tree, in 1755, as recited in Frost’s History of Kentucky, it having evidently been carved there by the owner, soon after his settlement in that state. These five brothers fought in the French and Indian war, under Gen. Braddock, and three of them were killed, William and James being the sole survivors of the battle of Ft. Duquense. William McBride was subsequently killed by and Indian and James remained a resident of Virginia, where he reared a family of sons and worked at his trade – gunsmith and shoemaker. He married a Crawford – a lady of noble English blood, and made his home on Clinch river. Among their family of ten children was a son, William, the grandfather of Thomas J. McBride, mentioned in this article. He married a Miss Lee and was the father of two sons and five daughters. James, their first son, was the father of Thomas J. McBride, and married a Nancy A. Taylor, who bore him thirteen children.

A.P. McBride grew up a country, Kansas lad. Conditions and circumstances were such that anything beyond a limited country school education, for him, was impossible. He began life as a well-driller and, in time, became associated with C.L. Bloom, doing a contract business in prospecting for gas and oil. In 1892, McBride & Bloom engaged in the gas business, on their own account, at Coffeyville, Kansas, and in 1893, came to Independence, from which point they have conducted their operations since. What is now believed to be the heart of the gas and oil field of Montgomery county, is under the control of the Independence Gas Company, of which these two gentlemen are the chief promoters and the executive head. In 1899, this company acquired interests in lease holdings near Bartlesville, in the Territory, and these are now being successfully and profitably developed.

Mr. McBride is not, alone, known as a developer of resources, but as a promoter of industries, as well. He was one of the organizers of the Coffeyville Gas Company, in 1892, of the Independence Gas Company, a year later, and of the Bartlesville Gas and Oil Company, in 1899. He is a large stockholder in the Independence Brick Company, which concern he also helped bring into existence. All other factories and industrial enterprises of Independence have felt the influence of his friendly interest, and the most flattering inducements are held out by him and his business colleagues, as an encouragement to legitimate investors, seeking factory locations, to the end that Independence may become the center of business activity and the hub of industrial enterprises of southeastern Kansas.

Mr. McBride is a busy man. His numerous personal interests and the extensive interests of the gas company – the growth and importance of which is presented in its proper place in this volume – fully occupy his time. He is a man of remarkable vigor, filled with enthusiasm and hope, and has a facility for accomplishing things, without loss of time. His influence with men is at once apparent and his opinions are valued as the results of practical experience. His interest in Independence is a warm and abiding one and the work he has done toward its ornamentation, is best detailed by a view of his handsome brick residence on North Pennsylvania avenue. He maintains an attitude of liberality toward deserving and worthy public enterprises and is optimistic in his position relatives to favors along this line. As a fraternity man, he holds a membership in the Knights of Pythias, the Odd Fellows, the Elks and the Masons. With his wife, he belongs to the Eastern Star, and has, himself, taken the Knight Templar degrees, belongs to the Mystic Shrine, and is a Scottish Rite, thirty-two degrees. He also belongs to the United Commercial Travellers.

Mr. McBride was united in marriage, January 7, 1884, with Laura A. Clampitt, a daughter of J.A. Clampitt, of Greeley, Kans., but who, for the past twelve years, has been residing in Los Angeles, California. Three children have been the result of their union, namely: Bert Thomas, Jesse Camdon and Maude Gertrude.

(contributed by Emily Jordan)

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