AMOS H. CAFFEE, M. D,
If those who claim that fortune has favored certain individuals above others will but investigate the cause of
success and failure, it will be found that the former is largely due to the improvement of opportunity, the latter
to the neglect of it. Fortunate environments encompass nearly every man at some stage in his career, but the strong
man and the successful man is he who realizes that the proper moment has come, that the present and not the future
holds his opportunity, The man who makes use of the Now and not the To Be is the one who passes on the highway
of life others who started out ahead of him, and reaches the goal of prosperity far in advance of them. It is this
quality in Dr. Caffee that has made him a leader in the business world and won him an enviable name in connection
with professional and commercial interests that is widely known.
Dr. Caffee was born in Newark, Ohio, in 1834, and is a son of M, M. and Elizabeth (Warden) Chaffee, the former
a native of Pennsylvania, the latter of Virginia. For a number of years the parents resided in Ohio and there the
Doctor was reared and educated. After the completion of his literary course he began preparation for the practice
of medicine as a student in the office and under the direction of Dr. J. N. Wilson, of Newark, and subsequently
he attended lectures in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Doctor first came to Jasper. county, Missouri, in 1857, but did not locate permanently until 1859. In the spring
of that year he began the practice of medicine in the western part of Jasper county, where he remained until after
the inauguration of the Civil war. After the battle of Pea Ridge he went to Cassville, Missouri, where he served
as assistant surgeon in the hospital. At the organization of the First Arkansas Cavalry Regiment he was commissioned
its assistant surgeon and continued to act in that capacity until January, 1864, when he was transferred to the
general hospital at Fort Smith. In the spring of 1864 he was promoted to surgeon of the Thirteenth Kansas Infantry,
and thus remained until the close of the war, being mustered out at Fort Leavenworth, in July, 1865.
In the autumn of the same year Dr. Caffee returned to Jasper county and has since been continuously connected with
its professional and commercial interests, his efforts being an important factor in the material development and
progress of this portion of the state. In the spring of 1866, in company with J. W. Young, he established the first
drug store in Jasper county. He continued in the active practice of medicine until 187o, when he abandoned that
vocation, and, purchasing the interest of his partner in the drug store, has since conducted the business, having
one of the finest and best equipped establishments of the kind in this portion of the state. In 1898 he organized
the Caffee Drug Company, of Joplin, and embarked in the wholesale drug business, erecting and occupying a fine
building, fifty by one hundred and twenty feet, and two stories in height. It is devoted exclusively to the wholesale
drug business, which is constantly growing in volume and importance and has already assumed considerable magnitude.
Several traveling salesmen represent the house upon the road, selling to the trade in Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas
and Oklahoma and Indian Territories.
Dr. Caffee is a man of resourceful business ability, determined and energetic, and his efforts have not been confined
alone to one line of commercial endeavor. In 1890 he was one of the organizers of the Central National Bank of
Carthage, and upon its establishment he was chosen president, which responsible position he has occupied continuously
since. A general banking business is carried on, and under the able supervision of the president the bank has won
a high reputation for reliability that has led to a constantly increasing business. He is also the owner of a large
amount of valuable real estate in the city, having made judicious investments in property.
On the 21st of May, 1867, the Doctor was united in marriage to Miss Lacie A. Burham, of Washington, Iowa, and unto
them have been born four daughters and one son, namely: Edna C., the wife of W. H. S. Brown, a pharmacist of Carthage;
Jessie, who married J. P. Newell, a real estate dealer of Carthage; Flora C., Amos H. and Lacie B. The Doctor is
a very prominent Mason, belonging to the Masonic lodge and chapter, and to Jasper Commandery, K. T., all of Carthage.
He takes a deep and abiding interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of his adopted city and county, and
his devotion to the general good has been recognized by election to office. He has twice been chosen mayor of the
city of Carthage, and in 1880 he was elected county treasurer. He indeed deserves mention among Jasper county's
most prominent merchants and among her representative citizens, and should find a place in the history of the men
of business and enterprise in the great west whose force of character, sterling integrity, control of circumstances
and whose marked success in establishing great industries have contributed in such an eminent degree to the solidity
and progress of the entire country. His life has been manly, his actions sincere, his manner unaffected and his
example is well worthy of emulation.
The Biographical History of Jasper County, Missouri
By Hon. Malcolm G. McGregor
The Lewis Publishing Co.
Jasper County, MO
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