Biography of Thomas A. Kise
Riverside County, CA Biographies





THOMAS A. KISE
Although his identification with the business interests of Riverside does not cover a long period of years, Mr. Kise already has become known through his efficiency as a painter and finisher. At his headquarters, No. 565 West Eighth street, he may be found busily engaged with important contracts of refinishing, renovating pianos and furniture until they appear as new and taking charge of other high grade work. Recently he installed an electric elevator to provide for the handling of automobiles, other vehicles, pianos and furniture, between the ground floor and his finishing rooms on the second story. The elevator will accommodate vehicles 17x9 feet and is therefore of capacity for the largest automobile in the city. Since he came to his present location he has established a large business in piano refinishing and a constantly increasing trade in carriage and automobile painting. The business has grown to such an extent that the shop has come to be recognized as one of the best equipped in the state. This gratifying result with pianos is due to some extent to the kind of polish used in his work, which is his own manufacture, guaranteed as to quality and used in all of the work that goes from the shop.

A son of George W. and Melvina Kise, the gentleman whose name introduces this article was born at Springfield, Mo., February 26, 1872. George W Kise was born on a farm in Marion, Ohio, and there grew to manhood and at the age of eighteen years enlisted for service in the Mexican war. After the war he located in Arkansas, where he followed stock buying with good success. He was also interested in the state militia and when the Civil war broke out he was importuned to organize a company and drill them for service in the Southern cause, but being a Northern sympathizer he refused, and was threatened with death unless he complied. He then ran away and hid in a swamp for two weeks before he was captured and taken back. Finally he organized a company and drilled them and, gaining the confidence of the men, induced them to join him in making their escape to join the Northern army. Under cover of darkness they built a raft and the entire company embarked and floated down the river and soon were inside the lines of the Federal army. They were assigned to the Second Kansas Cavalry and Mr. Kise was made first lieutenant and served with distinction during the war. Afterward he was honorably discharged and returned to Springfield, Mo., where he again took up stock buying and where he died at the age of seventy eight years. His wife was a native of Virginia and they were united in marriage in Ft. Smith, Ark. During the Civil war she was a nurse on the battlefields. She now makes her home in Riverside and at the age of seventy eight years is hale and hearty.

Thomas A. Kise received a fair education in the schools of his native city. Upon leaving school in 1886 he began an apprenticeship to the trade of a carriage painter and when he had acquired a thorough knowledge of all details he secured employment as a journeyman, going in 1890 to St. Louis, Mo., where he worked for two years. After a year at his trade in his old home town he went to Cincinnati, Ohio, and found ready employment in a carriage painting shop, but after twelve months he returned to St. Louis, where for a year he was engaged as a piano finisher. For a similar period he held a like position in Chicago, from which city he went back to St. Louis and resumed work as a finisher of pianos. A year afterward he returned to Springfield, Mob., and for eight months be worked as a finisher in a furniture factory. Next he was employed as a carriage painter in Wichita, Kan., for six months, after which he earned high wages as a piano finisher in Kansas City, Mo. At the expiration of one year in that city he returned to Springfield, Mo., and for six months worked as a carriage painter.

A return to St. Louis and an experience of two years as a painter of carriages and pianos was followed by Mr. Kise's removal to Springfield, his native town, where for three years he followed carriage painting. After two years at Fort Worth, Tex., as a hardwood finisher he came to California in 1898 and settled in Riverside, where ever since he has successfully followed the lines of his chosen specialty. In this work he has few equals. Conscientious in his efforts, skilled in touch and quick in action, he has gained a reputation to which his merits fully entitle him, and among the workmen in his line he is regarded with the respect and admiration to which his success entitles him Giving his time closely to his chosen vocation, he does not mingle in public activities and takes no part in politics aside from voting the Republican ticket. In religion he is an adherent of the Christian Church. Fraternally he is identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America. While living in Springfield, Mo., he was there united in marriage, March 22, 1895, with Miss Lena L. De Friesse, a native of Chattanooga, Tenn., by whom hem is the father of one child, Dorothy L., now a student in the Riverside schools.

From:
History of Riverside County, California
With a Biographical Review
History by Elmer Wallace Holmes
And other well known writers
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1912


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