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    At the age of thirty-two years, James Jesse Lynn, owner of the U. S. Epperson Underwriting Company, is found directing the destinies of a concern that does a business of three million dollars a year. His position was attained by hard work and a willingness to try. Neither prestige nor favoritism came to his aid. Mr. Lynn's success is but another example of the opportunities offered to young men of courage and determination in the development of Kansas City's varied industries.

    Mr. Lynn was born May 5, 1892, in the village of Archibald, Louisiana, son of Jesse William Lynn and Seletha Archibald Lynn. He was the fourth child in a family of six children, four boys and two girls. His father was a cotton farmer; and his grandfather, also a resident of Louisiana, owned a cotton plantation and a number of slaves. However, this property was lost during the reconstruction period following the close of the Civil War.

    Mr, Lynn worked during school vacations for one year assisting the railroad agent at Archibald, and after finishing the grade schools at the age of fourteen, took up railroad work and was first employed by the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company as assistant agent at Mangham, near his father's farm. He followed railroad work at various points, coming to Kansas City in September, 1909, to accept a position as accountant in the Division Civil Engineer’s office, where he was employed until October, 1910, when he entered the accounting department of the Bell Telephone Company. He remained in this position for two years and during this period entered the Kansas City School of Law. He worked in the day time and went to school at night. He did not have a high school education, so he entered night high school, alternating his nights between the Law School and High School. He was graduated from the Law School receiving his LL. B. degree in 1914.

    In 1913, Mr. Lynn went into the public accounting business for himself, becoming a certified public accountant in 1916. He was admitted to the State Bar of Missouri, December 31, 1913.

    In January, 1914, he engaged with Smith & Brodie, accountants, and remained with them until May, 1917, when he became associated with the U. S. Epperson Underwriting Company. While Mr. Lynn was engaged with Smith & Brodie, he made the annual audits for the Epperson firm and was also engaged by the Epperson firm as a special investigator of fire losses. Approving of his thorough business methods in handling these matters, Mr. Epperson tendered Mr. Lynn the position of General Manager, which was accepted, and from that beginning he was advanced until now he is sole owner of the company.

    In taking up his work with Mr. Epperson, the founder of the business, Mr. Lynn found himself associated with the ideal type of a man and gratefully acknowledges that his employer helped him beyond all imagination.

    Mr. Lynn's four rules of success, which he has proved in his own organization, are:

1. Work hard.

2. Be honest.

3. Whatever you do, do well.

4. Prepare yourself for the future.

    "The honesty rule is all important," declares Mr. Lynn. "If a person does not hew straight to the mark he will find himself tripped up or falling behind the field before the race is half over."

    As an expression of his faith in Kansas City, Mr. Lynn recently purchased the entire area on the South Side that is bounded by Sixty-fourth Street on the north, Meyer Boulevard on the south, Michigan Avenue on the west, and Olive Street on the east. This ground is adjacent to his home place, and he has recently completed a nine-hole golf course on it.

    He is a Director of the Peoples Trust Company, and belongs to a number of prominent clubs, including the Kansas City Club, Kansas City Athletic Club, Mission Hills Country Club, Blue Hills Country Club, Automobile Club. Also, he is a member of the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity. Politically, Mr. Lynn is independent in his views and efforts. He is fond of golf and a good player.

    On October 14, 1913, he was married to Freda Josephine Prill, of Kansas City. The family home is located at Michigan Avenue and Meyer Boulevard.

    The sequel of Mr. Lynn’s success seems due primarily to the fact that when he has found a matter ahead of him to be conquered he has buckled down to it, attacked it full force and refused to say quits until he was sitting on top of it.

This article is found in:
"Kansas City and its One Hundred Foremost Men"
Published 1924

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