My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in History of Shawnee County, Kansas and Representative Citizens by James L. King, published by Richmond & Arnold, 1905.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

Charles R. Maunsell, superintendent and manager of the Edison Electric Illuminating Company of Topeka, one of the city’s largest and most important enterprises, was born February 19, 1865, in the city of Dublin, Ireland, and is a son of Robert Charles and Isabella (Hanks) Maunsell.

Mr. Maunsell came to America with his parents in 1869. His education was obtained in the public schools of Chicago and he received his technical training at the Chicago Athenaeum where he was graduated in 1886. He then entered the employ of the Chicago Edison Company and when the capitalists of Topeka wanted an experienced, capable and reliable man to manage and superintend the electric system here, Mr. Maunsell was chosen for the responsible position. In 1894 he became a resident of Topeka.

The Edison Electric Illuminating Company of Topeka was organized in 1887 by some of the city’s large capitalists and was one of the first electric enterprises in the State. The plant was built when such undertakings had many experimental features, but the officers of the company were progressive, sensible business men and the Topeka Edison plant is as near perfection as any such concern can be and the company is one which has never had any cause to complain as to its prosperity. The officers of the company are: Joab Mulvane, president; J. R. Mulvane, vice-president; Edward Wilder, secretary and treasurer; and Charles R. Maunsell, superintendent and manager.

This plant was built by the Thomas A. Edison Company, in 1887, consisting of three 150-horsepower boilers, three 125-horsepower engines and six “Edison” generators. The buildings were so designed that they would hold double the equipment, which was soon found necessary. At present the plant is equipped with 1,600-horsepower boilers and 1,700-horsepower engines and generators. Recently contracts have been let to make the engines and generators of 3,700-horsepower, and a new building in course of construction will have space for an additional 2,000-horsepower when needed. It is the company’s intention to furnish power to all manufacturing concerns whether they use 1 or 1,000-horsepower. All the buildings are fire-proof, this insuring reliable and permanent service; the switchboard is of marble; the boilers are of the water-tube, safety type with automatic stokers and coal-handling machinery. All the buildings in the central portion of Topeka are supplied with steam heat through underground mains from this company’s steam heating system, this branch of the business having been in operation since 1897. The company propose to extend this branch of service as the demands and growth of the city require. The plant is located at No. 722 Van Buren street and is one of the interesting sights of the capital city.

Mr. Maunsell was married June 1, 1887, to Angeline Curtice, and they have three children, Charles J., Burton R. and Bernard S., all attending school. Mr. Maunsell and family belong to the Protestant Episcopal Church. His fraternal associations are with the Topeka Lodge, No. 204, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and with the Woodmen of the World.

* * * *

This family biography is one of 206 biographies included in History of Shawnee County, Kansas and Representative Citizens by James L. King, published by Richmond & Arnold, 1905.  For the complete description, click here: Shawnee County, Kansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Shawnee County, Kansas family biographies here: Shawnee County, Kansas

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.