By Kevin Fewell
Henry Charles “H.C.” Schwitzgebel was truly a native son of early Kansas City, having been born here in 1857. The son of a local brewer, H.C. saw his family’s wealth rise but then crash during the panic of 1872. Maybe that is why the young man decided to get an education in finance.
A graduate of Spaulding’s Commercial College, Schwitzgebel spent almost his entire career in the banking business, starting as a messenger boy with the German Savings Association in 1870. He left banking in 1875 when he obtained a position in the brewery of Frank Kump, but three years later he became bookkeeper for the Kansas City Savings Association, filling almost every position with the bank and its successor, the National Bank of Commerce, up to that of assistant cashier. In 1895 he became vice president of the Citizen’s National Bank, and he spent the rest of his career with that institution.
Henry C. Schwitzgebel
Source: State Historical Society of Missouri
Schwitzgebel was well known in professional and social circles. In 1920 the officers and directors of the Commerce Banks honored him with a dinner celebrating his 50 years in the banking industry.
Schwitzgebel married Carolyn Mintun in 1883. The couple had two sons, Jack and Carl.
Dinner celebrating H.C. Schwitzgebel’s 50 years in banking.
Source: Patricia Cleary Miller collection