Waite arrived in Joplin in 1880 at the age of 27. He grew up splitting rails in Nebraska and at the age of 21, applied and received a job at the country bank in Brownville, Nebraska. Thus began a lifetime career in the banking industry. Eventually he rode a “hog train” to St. Joseph, Missouri, and worked as a book keeper at the Merchant State Bank for Thomas Tootle. Tootle, meanwhile, was a partner of Joplin founding father, Patrick Murphy, in the ownership of the Miner’s Bank. It was a job at Miner’s Bank, located in the same building as the old Joplin Hotel, that brought Waite to Joplin.
Later on, Waite took a job as cashier at the Joplin National Bank, which for a time was located in the Keystone Hotel building. Eventually, Waite rose to the position of president of the bank. Established as a major figure in the Joplin banking community, he was the president of the Joplin National Bank and Trust Company, the Missouri Bankers Association, Jasper County Bankers’ Association and was a member of the Elks Lodge in Joplin.
Waite remained involved in banking and in the house that Garstang & Rea designed until his death in April, 1934.
Credits to Historicjoplin.com