CHARLES D HUTCHINS
No city, no matter how great her natural resources, ever arose to any degree of prosperity that did not owe the credit of her position to the men within her limits, their ability to develop these resources and create new enterprises. To those who have faith in her future, who contribute substantially toward her prosperity by investing capital and identifying themselves in every possible manner with her interests, the question of failure is not only improbable but even impossible. For many years Mr. Hutchins has been numbered among the most prominent real estate dealers in Atchison. He was one of the first agents to locate in the city, and has carried on extensive operations. His business interests are, therefore, very closely interwoven with the history of Atchison, while his knowledge of locations and valuations is of vast benefit to purchasers. He is also a well-known insurance agent, and finds in this line of his business a profitable source of income.
Mr. Hutchins is a son of Timothy B. and Sarah F. (Mellen) Hutchins, and was born at Northampton, Hampshire county, Massachusetts. His father was of Scotch-Irish descent, and for a number of years engaged in merchandising in Northampton. A man of superior intelligence and strong will power, his influence was felt in the public life of his town. He was a strong abolitionist and was very loyal to the faith of that party. His wife was a native of Prescott, Massachusetts, and a representative of one of the old Puritan families. She possessed many excellent traits of character, was a faithful and active Christian, a devoted mother and a most estimable lady.
Charles D. Hutchins acquired his education in the common and high schools of his native place, and remained under the parental roof until he had attained his nineteenth year, when his father gave him his time and allowed him to start out in business for himself. He had but limited means, but possessed a vast amount of courage, perseverance and a strong determination to succeed. His first venture was in the oil fields in Pennsylvania, where he remained for four years. His health then failing, he was obliged to put aside his business cares during the succeeding three years. In 1882 he came to Atchison, and, being pleased with the city, he decided to make it his permanent home. Renting an office, he began dealing in real estate, handling city property principally. He purchased land and erected thereon good dwellings, after which he offered them for sale. Thus he has been prominently connected with the upbuilding of Atchison, and many of the pleasant homes of the town stand as monuments to his thrift and enterprise. He has also become a representative of several safe and reliable insurance companies, and so much confidence have they in his judgment that he is often called on to pass upon the losses of fires.
On the 12th of November, 1860, Mr. Hutchins was united in marriage to Miss Anna S. Fordham, of Sag Harbor, New York, in whose place she was born and reared. Her father, James Fordham, a man of sterling qualities, was an old and well-known sea captain, and beloved by a wide acquaintance. He lived to an advanced age, dying at the age of eighty-nine years. One child was born to Mr. and Mrs. Hutchins, A. Edna, who is the wife of O. C. Morgan, of Atchison, and has two children, Hazel and Roscoe Conkling.
Mr. Hutchins is a strong adherent of the Republican party, and keeps well informed on the issues of the day. He had never sought office for himself, but takes an active interest in securing the election of his friends who are candidates on the Republican ticket. A man of strong convictions, he is always positive in his views and always found on the side of law and order. He holds membership in no religious denomination, but is a liberal contributor to the church and is charitable to the poor. As a citizen he is ever ready to aid the projects which are conducive to the growth and development of the community, and is justly proud of the marked advancement which has been made in Atchison in the past few years, and to which he has contributed in no small measure. At all times Mr. Hutchins carries about with him one hundred dollars in gold for the purpose of defraying his funeral expenses -- a custom he has followed since 1847. He has made perhaps the only complete collection of historical envelopes in this country, most of these being gathered during the Civil war and bearing all kinds of emblems and inscriptions. They have been securely placed in a scrap-book, and he has refused the offer of a handsome sum of money for them. In 1893 he erected the fine residence which he now occupies and which is complete in every respect. He is a man of domestic tastes, finding his greatest delight in entertaining his friends at his own fireside. A gentleman of scholarly attainments, of marked courtesy and of genial disposition, he is very companionable, and has gained many friends throughout the community.