Educated in the national schools of his native Ireland, Hugh Robert Ennis* came to America when he was 17. For many years he headed his own real estate firm, the H. R. Ennis Real Estate and Investment Company, dealing in general real estate brokerage, management, loans, and appraisal. He served the Real Estate Board of Kansas City, Missouri, as president for two years.
Active in the civic life of his community, Mr. Ennis was twice president of the Board of Public Welfare and for 30 years a director of the Research Hospital Association as well as its president for a term. He also served as president and director of the Kansas City Provident Association and as vice president of the Chamber of Commerce. He was a trustee of both the Art Institute and the Liberty Memorial Association of Kansas City. In 1912 he was named to the personal staff of Herbert S. Hadley, governor of Missouri. Later he was appointed to the staff of Governor Arthur M. Hyde.
As president of the National Association of Real Estate Boards, Mr. Ennis initiated on behalf of the Association a war against "horseback appraisals" that led eventually to the establishment of the profession of real estate appraisal. During this time, too, the National Association began the organization of a national real estate library, now the largest in the country.
As head of the anti-narcotic department of the Kansas City Law Enforcement Association, Mr. Ennis for a number of years was active in the prosecution of persons illegally selling habit-forming drugs. As a hobby, Mr. Ennis maintained a record of the activities of his many friends and acquaintances, among whom were numbered Kansas City's most prominent men. He prepared each year for the local newspapers a summary of the accomplishments of leading citizens who died during that year.
Source: Presidents of the National Association of REALTORS®, (Chicago: NAR, 1980).