Skip to main content

Full text of "Kansas City, Missouri : its history and its people 1808-1908"

See other formats

■■■■''<■■■■■■- ffl 

. ■ ■ ' i ' ■ i ' " ' • ; ' ! ; i ; !' " :i ;' ; 



•.. i . 1 •■■'■•'• " 

jj'iitit. I ■■■■ I ■ fcpiMivi-rtE ■ ^H 

■ .■■•■■■ -i ■ ■ ' ■ 








'::i' r !M ,lc 
.■ii!;-" ■'!!!■';■ 

a Mil m 

ilUffflu' malistt lit u 

itiifii! Bin 

ill ill 



;";;,;,.•■;;'■ .:: ■ 


.,.;•-• ,-.•■! ■■■■■"■■■ . 

' : ':': ■.'::.. , 
■■:■■':•■ ■":■"■. : ..' : ' 
• ■.:■■■■■■■•■•■■ 

^rtt¥j«w»HtiftK , ftffiafWitf!»^ 

B£H- H i-i-^--H 

-:.■;■■■ :;.v ;: :, /■■.■■■■ ..■•..•■.■■■ H ■ 
• mHn ■■■. I 

■11111 :.-„.:-.. ■ 

dBHH - 

'■ "fli I : - "■■■■■ M 

' ■ :.■■-■ ■ 




■— w — up™ 

■ H ' " ' ' I ' 

'.;■•' i •■•■■•'■•■■■ ■ 

■i ■ ■•" " "■' " r ' ' ' 















fi€ t 










833 01064 5239 














Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center 



Its History and Its People 




Its History and Its People 




Col. R. T. Van Horn 

Rev. William J. Dalton 

Sen. William Warner 

John C. Gage 

E. M. Clendening 

Frances Logan 

O. Van Millett 

Dr. James M. Greenwood 
J. V. C. Karnes 
Joseph L. Norman 
Milton Moore 
William H. Winants 
Mrs. William B. Thayer 
Frances A. Bishop 


Vol. I 









This volume as indicated by the title, "Kansas City. Missouri: it- his- 
tory and its people," is an attempt to give the characteristics of the people 
who made Kansas City and further to record the more important events that 
have made for the development of the city. 

The History of Kansas City will give the people a better appreciation 
of the motto of the Commercial Club, viz. : "Make Kansas City a Good 
Place to Live In," which originated with Mr. Frank A. Faxon. As the rec- 
ord of events in the growth of the city unfolds year by year, it may be inter- 
esting to note the hand that gave the master strokes here and there, toward 
the accomplishment of the spirit of this motto. 

The finality of Western history still lies in the distance. The many 
documents on the explorations, settlements and developments of the Western 
states simply attest future possibilities of the West. The AVestern element 
knows no note of decadence. The glowing ambition of youth always will 
predominate in this Western atmosphere. 

By the generous encouragement of the people of Kansas City, my work 
has been greatly facilitated. For chapters on special subjects I am indebted 
to those better fitted from their various positions to do the subjects justice. 

Referring to chapters on special subjects, may be noted the complete 
data on the Latter Day Saints, which was recorded by Mr. Frederick M. 
Smith of Independence, president of the Latter Day Saints. The chapter 
on railroads in Kansas City was given by Mr. E. S. Jewett. Mr. Jewett was 
the first ticket agent to open an office in Kansas City, coming here in 1867. 
Mr. E. R. Crutcher, president of the real estate exchange, contributed the 
excellent material on realty. Two valuable papers, one on Public Utilities 
and another on The City Charters, place the author under great obligations 
to Mr. Dante Barton. 

In the chapter on Civic Associations, the data relating to the Manu- 
facturers' and Merchants' club was received from the secretary. Mr. Justin 
A. Runyan; the Business Men's league from Mr. D. M. Bone, secretary: the 
Civic league from Mr. A. 0. Harrison: and the Commercial club from the 


secretary, Mr. E. M. Clendening. Credit is here given to Mr. Edmond D. 
Bigelow, secretary of the Board of Trade, for information on the Board of 
Trade. The sketch of Convention Hall is used by permission of Miss S. M. 

The complete history of education in Kansas City no one conld better 
write than onr worthy superintendent, Dr. J. M. Greenwood. For the com- 
pilation on church history, I have drawn fully from articles previously 
written. Credit is due to Rev. Father Dalton for the article on the Catholic 
church; to Bishop Hendrix for that on the Methodist Episcopal church 
(South); to the late Rev. J. O'B. Lowry for the Baptist denomination; to 
the late Dr. Henry Hopkins for the Congregational ; for the Presbyterian 
denomination to Rev. John B. Hill ; and for the Universalist church to Rev. 
Mary E. Andrews. 

Mr. George F. Damon in his position as superintendent of the Asso- 
ciated Charities, made every effort to gather together the historical sketches 
of the many charitable organizations and due credit is hereby given him ; 
also to Mr. Jacob Billikopf for the data on Jewish charities. No one in our 
city is more competent to tell of the fine park system and of the beautiful 
boulevards and parks of Kansas City, than the president of the Park Board, 
Mr. Franklin Hudson. The history of the art movements of Kansas City 
was written by Mrs. E. R. Weeks, one of our public spirted women who has 
always been associated with the art movements in Kansas City. The article 
on the Museum was written by Miss Mabel Green. Miss Anna C. Gilday's 
forte in ''doing things thoroughly,'' is shown in her excellent work on 
AVomen*s Clubs. Miss Elizabeth Butler Gentry collected the notes on Social 
Life from the descendants of the early families of the towns of Independence, 
Westport and Kansas City, and I am indebted to her for an exceedingly inter- 
esting chapter. 

Relative to authorities consulted, I do not present a complete biblio- 
graphical list, but only mention those of the greatest importance. The list 
of the most important works consulted is appended. 

I have not scrupled to quote at length from "Commerce of the Prairie" 
by Josiah Gregg, as the author was far more capable, in his graphic style, 
of describing the Western country in the early days. 

The valuable set of the Encyclopaedia of the history of Missouri and 
the admirable volumes of the Kansas Historical Society publications are in 
themselves a mine of information. 

Albach. J. R. Annals of the West. 

Barns, C. R. Commonwealth of Missouri. 

Billon, F. L. Annals of St. Louis. 

Bone, D. M. Kansas City annals. 


Boone County, History of. 

Brackenridge, H. M. Journal up the Missouri, 1811. 

Campbell, R. A. Gazetteer of Missouri, 1875. 

Case, Theodore. History of Kansas City, Missouri. 

Central Magazine. 

Ohanute, 0. and G. Morrison. Kansas City bridge. 

Chappell, Phil. History of the Missouri river. 

Chittenden, H. M. American fur trades of the far West. 

History of early steamboat navigation on the Missouri river. 

Coues, Elliott. Forty years a fur trader on the. Upper Missouri. 

Dalton, W. J. Historical sketches of Kansas City. 

Davis, W. B. and D. S. Durrie. History of Missouri. 

De Sonet, Father. Life and letters. 

Doniphan's expedition. 

Donohue, James. Greater Kansas City year book, 1904-a. 

Encyclopaedia of the history of Missouri. 

Gilpin, William. Central gold region. 

Gregg, Josiah. Commerce of the Prairie. 

Howard County, History of. 

Howe, Henry. Historical collections of the Great West. 

Inman, Henry. Old Santa Fe Trail. First Edition. 1881. 

Irving, Washington. Astoria. 

Tours on the Prairie. 

Jackson County. History of, to 1881. 

Kansas State Historical Society collections. 

Leftwich, W. M. Martyrdom of Missouri. 

Lewis and Clark, Journals. 

McCoy, J. G. Cattle Trade. 

Miller. W. H. History of Kansas City to 1881. 

Paxton. W. M. Platte County annals to 1897. 

Peck, J. M. Annals of the West. 

Perkins, J. H. Annals of the West. 

Platte County, History of, to 1885. 

Scharf, J. T. St. Louis City and County. 

Schoolcraft, H. R. Journal of a tour into the interior of Missouri and 

Switzler. W. F. History of Missouri. 

Trickett, W. P. Railroad systems of Kansas City. 1857-1000. 
Western History, Magazine of. 
Wetmore. Alphonso. Gazetteer of Missouri, 1837. 

Mrs. Carcte Westlake Wiiitxey. 
































Chapter XVI 











Chapter XXII 















Chapter XXX 

At the Kaw's Mouth 19 

Independence and Westport 32 

' Zion" Redeemed 63 

The Town of Kansas 88 

Hills and Hollows Transposed 109 

The Levee Outgrown 125 

On the Road to Santa Fe 149 

Civil War Period 179 

The New Era 204 

Banking and Finance 235 

The Story of the Railroads 246 

Realty in Kansas City 260 

The Public Utilities 269 

The Civic Associations 284 

Education 302 

Free Public Library 349 

The Press 364 

Churches 402 

Charities 446 

The Legal and Medical Professions 465 

The Great Industries 481 

Federal Department in Kansas City 493 

The Newer City 504 

Revival of River Transportation 526 

The City Charters 538 

Parks and Boulevards 569 

Art Movements in Kansas City 596 

Women's Clubs 616 

Social Life 641 

Kansas City in Prophecy 663 

Appendix 671 


Chapter I. — At the Kaw's Mouth. 

Portrait of James Bridger 25 

Portrait of Pierre Chouteau 18 

Portrait of Father de Smet 29 

Keelboat in the Fur Trade 33 

Indian Bullboat 23 

Pioneer Steamboat, 1820-30 33 

Chapter II. — Independence and Westport. 

Old Westport City Hall 61 

Colonel Doniphan's Army 45 

Portrait of L. W. Boggs 57 

Portrait of Isaac and Christiana McCoy 57 

Portrait of Colonel Alexander W. Doniphan 41 

Independence Female College 53 

Two-Story Brick Depot of Independence and Wavne City Railroad, Built 

in 1848 49 

Early Map of Westport, 1855 37 

Chapter III. — "Zion" Redeemed. 

The "Mormon Bible" 65 

From the Mormon Bible 71 

Chapter IV.— The Town of Kansas. 

Old Chick Homestead 89 

Walnut Street Between Sixth and Ninth Streets 105 

Home of James McGee, First Brick House in Jackson County 93 

McGee's Hotel on Grand Avenue 99 

Chapter V. — Hills and Hollows Transposed. 

"Petticoat Lane," Eleventh Street Between Main and Grand Ill 

Main Street Looking South from Twelfth 115 

Grand Avenue, North from Twelfth 125 

"The Grade" in Kansas City 110 

Wyandotte Street, from Third to the River 114 

Baltimore Avenue, from Ninth to Eleventh, in 1S90 118 

Old E. D. Parson's Homestead, Eighth and Cherry, 1867 119 

Chapter VI. — The Levee Outgrown. 

City Hall 147 

Main Street, North from Missouri Avenue, 1867 139 

Main Street, North from Tenth, 1867 135 

Kansas City in 1852 126 

Old Gillis House 131 

Kansas City, 1869. Topographical map 143 

Kansas City in 1855 I 27 

Chapter VII.— On the Road to Santa Fe. 

Advertisement of Santa Fe Trail from Journal of 1858 166 

Santa Fe Trail Markers 1 58 > 1 59 > 16 l 

Fort Zarah 167 

Indian Alarm on the Cimarron River 155 

Arrival of the Caravan at Santa Fe 1-55 

Pawnee Rock l 6 '^ 

Santa Fe Trail Marker in Pennsylvaia Valley Park, Kansas City, Mo 159 

Santa Fe Stage Company Building, Second and Main 171 

Pack Train to Santa Fe, 1S20 J J" 

Santa Fe Terminus of Old Santa Fe Trail 151 

Portrait of Josiah Gregg ]'° 

Map of old Santa Fe Trail lo °" 



Chapter VIII.— Civil War Period. 

Portrait of General Sterling Price 197 

Fort Union 201 

Chapter IX.— The New Era. 

Main Street Looking North from Eleventh Street 205 

Ninth and Main Streets, Showing Junction Building 217 

The Great Bend in the Missouri River, from an Old Print 213 

The Old Exposition Building 225 

Fire Department 209 

Chapter X. — Banking and Finance. 

First National Bank 241 

Chapter XI. — The Story of the Railroads. 

Map Showing Kansas City as a Transportation Center 247 

Kansas City Bridge, 1869 253 

Building Kansas City Bridge, 1868 257 

Chapter XIII.— The Public Utilities. 

Elevator for Raising and Lowering of Teams, Inter-City Viaduct 277 

Chapter XV. — Education. 

Central High School 335 

Westport High School 339 

Manual Training High School 343 

Washington School 307 

Humboldt School 303 

Franklin School 311 

Lincoln School 315, 319, 323 

Morse School 331 

Woodland School 327, 331 

Norman School 347 

Benton School 343 

Map Showing Growth of School District 338 

Chapter XVI.— The Free Public Library. 

Westport Branch Library 351 

Public Library 351 

Chapter XVII.— The Press. 

Kansas City Star Building 387 

Kansas City Star Paper Mill 387 

Octuple Hoe Press, Kansas City Star 389 

Journal Building 369 

Photograph of R. T. Van Horn 373 

Photograph of William Rockhill Nelson 381 

Chapter XVIII.— Churches. 

Institutional Church 415 

St. Paul's Episcopal Church 427 

M. E. Church, South Mt. Washington 427 

St. Francis Regis Church, First Catholic Church in Kansas City 405 

Day Nursery Dining Room of Institutional Church 415 

Chapter XX. — Legal and Medical Professions. 

Jackson County Courthouse 467 

Chapter XXL— The Great Industries. 

Live Stock Exchange Building 487 

Trading Pit in Board of Trade 491 

Plankinton & Armour Plant 483 

Exchange Building, 1871 483 


Chapter XXII. — Federal Department in Kansas City. 

Old Federal Building 495 

New Federal Building 499 

Chapter XXIII.— The Newer City. 

Willis Wood Theater 515 

Shubert Theater 511 

National Bank of Commerce 505 

Convention Hall 521 

Chapter XXIV. — Revival of River Transportation. 

Snag Boat "Suter" 535 

Arrival of the Lora, 1906 531 

Portrait of Lawrence M. Jones 531 

Portrait of E. C. Ellis 527 

The Tennessee 535 

Chapter XXVI. — Parks and Boulevards. 

Parade 593 

Cliff Drive 571 

Valentine Road 587 

Penn Valley Park 575 

Pergola on the Paseo 581 

Park and Boulevard System 570 

Kersey Coates Terrace 587 

North Terrace Park 581 

Chapter XXVII. — Art Movements in Kansas City. 

Portrait of George C. Bingham 603 

Order No. 11 607 

Kersey Coates Terrace, Before Grading 611 

Kersey Coates Terrace, After Grading 611 

Chapter XXVIII.— Women's Clubs. 

Portrait of Mrs. J. C. Horton 617 

Chapter XXIX.— Social Life. 

Fashions in Kansas City in Early Days 643 

Chapter XXX. — Kansas City in Prophecy. 

William Gilpin's Prophetic Map, 1859 667 



Its History and Its People 



It has been conceded since the earliest times that climate, soil and 
natural surroundings have vast importance in shaping the history of states. 
What is true of nations is even more true of cities. There is a good reason 
why every great metropolis is where it is. The physical conditions that sur- 
round a city — the rivers, seas, valleys, hills and plains — determine its great- 

In ancient and mediaeval times when "might made right," the clans 
and tribes of the Old World sought the fastnesses of the hills where all ap- 
proaches might be guarded, the more easily to defend themselves from the 
attacks of their enemies. Changing conditions later developed systems of 
barter and trade, and men devoted themselves more to commercial pursuits 
and less to strife and warfare. In the New World adventure developed com- 
merce and trade demanded means of transportation. Rivers and lakes, the 
highways of nature, solved the problem. The location of settlements, vil- 
lages and cities, in pioneer days, was determined largely by the blue strips 
of water in the form of rivers or lakes. 

Travel in the early days by boat, horseback or stage required stopping 
places for man and beast. In consequence settlements were established on 
river banks, in foothills, in valleys and on the plains where necessity required 
rest and refreshment for the travelers. These natural stopping places be- 
came commercial centers that developed into towns and cities. Trading 
posts, as some of the centers were called, attracted a thrifty class of people. 
Prosperous merchants, through their desire for better conditions of living, 
brought together various classes of tradespeople and mechanics, and in this 
manner progressive communities were formed. 

Kansas City, of all the great inland cities of America, is the most fortu- 
nately situated. A river, having a carrying capacity equal to one hundred 
railroads, flows past its port in an endless stream. For her tributary ter- 


ritory Kansas City has the great Southwest, an exceedingly fertile region. 
The center of the national domain, as demonstrated by William Gilpin in 
his discussion of "The Cosmopolitan Railway," is one hundred and twenty 
miles west of Kansas City. The author and philosopher discovered these 
interesting facts : 

"If from a point where the junction of several small streams forms 
the Kansas river, 120 miles due west from the Missouri as a center, a circle 
be described touching the boundary line of 49 as a tangent, the opposite 
circumference of the circle will pass through the seaport of Matagorda, in 
Texas, through New Orleans and Mobile. This point is, therefore, the cen- 
tre between the northern and southern boundaries of our country. If from 
the same center a larger circle be described, it will pass through San Fran- 
cisco, and through Vancouver City, on the Columbia, grazing almost the en- 
tire coast between them. The same circle will pass through Quebec and Bos- 
ton on the Atlantic, through Havana on the Gulf, and through the city of 
Mexico. The same point is then the center between the oceans. 

"Thus at the forks of the Kansas river a point exists, in latitude 38° 45', 
and longitude 97° west of Greenwich, which is the geographical center- 
north and south, east and west — not only of the Mississippi basin, but of our 
entire national domain." 

In the early days of Kansas City, the Missouri river and its tributaries 
drew from the mountains, hills and plains the riches supplied by nature 
for the use of the pioneers of commerce. From the distant regions of the 
Rocky mountains, where outposts had been established, down the treacherous 
waters of the Missouri, came small craft laden with furs to be sold to trad- 
ers at the Kaw's mouth. The fearless boatmen in the employ of the fur 
traders were the tentacles that reached out into the wilderness and brought 
forth its riches. To these traders, hunters, trappers and boatmen, Kansas 
City owes its beginning. The shrewd commercial instincts of the early 
pioneers led them to realize the geographical value of the site at the con- 
fluence of the Missouri and Kaw rivers as a location for a trading center. 

The importance of the fur trade as a factor in the colonization of the 
great West, must be appreciated to understand the beginning and develop- 
ment of Kansas City. To the Spanish explorer the gold and other precious 
metals of the South country brought reward, but no less profitable was the 
traffic in furs carried on by the early French settlers and English adven- 

From Louisiana up the Mississippi river came hunters and trappers in 
the employ of the trading firm whose junior partner was Pierre Laclede 
Liguest, known as Laclede, this company having, in 1762, obtained from 
the Governor-general of Louisiana exclusive control of the trade with the 



Indian tribes as far north as St. Peter's river. The fur trade extended from 
New York to Montreal, through Canada into the Northwest. 

The Louisiana Purchase in 1803 opened a new and wonderfully rich 
territory for the traffic of pelts. Transportation was afforded by means of 
Indian canoes, keelboats and other small river craft. The new acquisition 
included the great water shed of the Missouri river and a large part of the 
Western country. It was known throughout the Lewis and Clark expedition 
that this wilderness abounded in fur-producing animals. 

John Jacob Astor was not slow to perceive the possibilities of the fur 
trade in the new territory. He organized the American Fur company in 
1808 in New York, and established the Pacific Fur company in 1810. The 
fur trade along the Missouri river, however, was largely controlled by the 
Chouteaus. Chouteau is a name familiar in the annals of the West. The 
members of this French family were noted for their business foresight and 
their ability to deal successfully with the Indians. Auguste Chouteau, head 
of the family and one of the founders of St. Louis, was born in New Orleans, 
August 14, 1750. His brother, Pierre, with whom he was associated in the 
development of the fur trade in the Missouri river valley, was six years 
younger. With St. Louis as the base of operations, the Chouteaus extended 
their fur traffic west to the Kaw river and into the wilderness beyond. 

Increase in the volume of fur trade and the demand for more sys- 
tematic business methods led the Chouteaus and several associates to organ- 
ize the Missouri Fur company in 1808. After several years of intense rivalry 
between this company and the American Fur company, the two firms were 
merged in 1813. 

In an effort to monopolize the fur trade of the West, in 1821 the Amer- 
ican Fur Company sent Francois Chouteau, son of Pierre Chouteau, into this 
territory to establish new trading posts and to bring independent fur traders 
into subordination to the larger firm. A location was desired that would 
be accessible to the greatest number of trading points reached by river craft and 
by overland transportation. With the good judgment that characterized the 
Chouteaus, Francois discerned that a position near the junction of the Missouri 
and Kaw rivers would be the most desirable and he chose a site in the Missouri 
river bottom, opposite Randolph bluffs, about three miles down stream from 
Kansas City. He brought with him about thirty active men, couriers as the 
French called them, with whom he was able to concentrate at the central depot 
the trade of the Tran-Mississippi country. The family of Francois Chouteau 
came from St. Louis in canoes and pirogues, the journey requiring twenty 
days. Francois Chouteau's younger brother, Cyprian, came to the central 
agency in the following year and established a trading post on the north bank 
of the Kaw river near the site of Bonner Springs, and the post became known 


as "Four Houses." It derived this name from the fact that the defense con- 
sisted of four log houses arranged so as to inclose a square court. 

Misfortune came to Francois Chouteau in 1826 when a flood in the 
Missouri river washed away his warehouse. The merchandise and peltry 
saved from the flood were taken to the "Four Houses" post on the Kaw 
river. Later Chouteau rebuilt his warehouse farther up the Missouri river 
on higher ground, included afterwards in Guinotte's addition to Kansas 
City. This second station was the celebrated "Chouteau's warehouse" of the 
early traders. Francois Chouteau subsequently entered the land upon which 
his warehouse stood and he lived there until his death in 1840. Again, in 
1844, a flood destroyed Chouteau's warehouse. The family then gave up fur 
trading and. engaged in other business. 

Descendants of some of the Frenchmen who had been followers of 
Laclede and others of the same class living in the wilderness joined the 
Chouteaus at the mouth of the Kaw, shortly after the flood of 1826, and 
formed a settlement of several dozen families. The French traders were a 
people of peculiar traits. Thy possessed mild vivacity and gaiety and were 
distinguished for their inoffensive dispositions and their frugal, enterprising 
habits. The French settlement never was large, but for twenty-five years it 
was the center of an immense trade. 

With an expedition of the American Fur company, in 1815, came 
Monsieur Jacques Fournais, known as "Old Pino," one of the earliest of the 
pioneer trappers and hunters. AVhen he arrived in this locality the bluffs 
crowned by the two Kansas Citys were the haunts of many wild animals of 
the smaller class. "Old Pino" was a trapper in the Southwest sixty years 
and after he became too old to follow a life of such hardship, he came to the 
vicinity of Kansas City and lived almost thirty years at the home of William 
Mulkey, where he died, July 17, 1871, at the reputed age of 124 years. 

The life of the old huntsman overlapped our country's four Avars : the 
Revolution, War of 1812, Mexican war and Civil war. He remembered in- 
cidents of the Revolution and he was a soldier under General Jackson in 
New Orleans in the War of 1812. "Old Pino" lived long enough to see the 
first railroad train that came to Kansas City, and he regarded it as the great 
event of his life. 

Another celebrated pioneer in the same class with "Old Pino" was 
James Bridger, hunter, fur trader, explorer, guide, Indian fighter. He was 
born in Virginia, March 17, 1804. AVhen Bridger was ten years old, his 
father and mother having died, he began earning a living for himself and 
his sister by operating a flatboat at St. Louis. Stories that came from the 
frontier stirred the lad and when he was eighteen years old he joined a 
party of trappers and went to the West. After a life of thrilling adventure 



that covered a period of twenty-five years, Bridger settled on a tract of land 
near New Santa Fe in Jackson county, Southeast of Kansas City. It was 
the old scout's custom to spend the summers on the plains and the winters 
at home. He died at his home, July 17, 1881. 

Bridger's reputation rested on the extraordinary part he had in the ex- 
ploration of the West. Following is the record of his achievements, as given 
on his monument in Mount Washington cemetery in Kansas City: 

Discovered the Great Salt lake in 1824; the South pass in 1827; vis- 
ited Yellowstone lake and the geysers in 1830; founded Fort Bridger in 
1843; opened the overland route by Bridger's pass to the Great Salt lake; 
a guide for the United States, exploring expeditions, Albert Sidney John- 
son's army in 1857, G. M. Dodge in the Union Pacific railroad survey and 
the Indian campaigns of 1865-66. 

The immensity of the fur trade finally called for greater facilities for 
transportation and steamboat navigation had its beginning. To the Inde- 
pendence — John Nelson, captain- — belongs the honor of making the first 
steamboat voyage up the Missouri river. Leaving St. Louis, May 15, 1819, 
the packet came as far as the mouth of the Chariton river, near Glas- 
gow, Missouri. The boat stopped at Franklin in Howard county, May 28, 
on the up-trip and the officers were given a heartyy reception and a dinner. 
The Independence returned to St. Louis, June 15, 1819. 

Encouraged by the success of the Independence, a fleet of four steam- 
boats, under the command of Major Stephen H. Long of the United States 
army, left St. Louis in June, 1819, for a voyage up the Missouri river. 
This excursion, partly scientific and partly military in its nature, is known 
in history as "Long's expedition." The major had instructions to proceed 
up the river to the mouth of the Yellowstone to ascertain if the upper part 
of the Missouri was navigable and, at the same time, to overawe the Indians 
with a military display. 

The boats that comprised Long's fleet were the Thomas Jefferson, the R. 
M. Johnson, the Expedition and the Western Engineer. At the mouth of 
the Osage river the Thomas Jefferson struck a snag and sank, and thus was the 
first steamboat to find a grave in the Missouri river. The Expedition and 
the R. M. Johnson went no farther than Cantonment Martin, arriving there, 
September 18, 1819. This military post, the first established in Kansas, 
was situated just below Atchison on an island, called by the French, "Isle 
au Vache" and by the Americans, "Cow Island." The troops on board 
went into winter quarters and the boats returned to St. Louis the following 
spring. The Western Engineer, which proved to be the only boat of the 
four adapted to river navigation, proceeded to Council Bluffs, Iowa. Within 


five years after Long's experiment steamboat navigation was in successful op- 
eration on the Missouri river. 

The first white settlement in Jackson county clustered about Fort Osage, 
established in the summer of 1808 on a tract six miles square ceded by the 
Osage Indians. The fortifications were on the high river bluff on the site of 
Old Sibley. Fort Osage for several years was on the extreme frontier bor- 
der. The commander of the fort in 1809 was Captain Eli B. Clemson, First 
United States infantry. 

Fort Osage in the early days was an important military center and 
sometimes was headquarters for as many as one thousand men. A United 
States fort and factory were established there where the government bartered 
powder, traps and scalping knives for furs and peltry. The fort had an ex- 
cellent boat landing at the base of the bluff and a natural harbor formed by 
an eddy in the river. The post was abandoned in 1825. Writing from Fort 
Osage, March 29, 1817, George C. Sibley, government agent for whom the 
town of Sibley was named, gave this account of one of his journeys to St. 
Louis : 

"In December, 1809, business called me to St. Louis. I traveled the 
country from Fort Osage eighty miles to Arrow Rock where I crossed the 
Missouri river by swimming. From thence I traveled in a direct course toward 
St. Charles one hundred and twenty miles before I came to a house or mark 
of civilized beings. In February, I returned to this place and in my route 
overtook the first families who came to Boone's Lick, who were in number 
about six or eight." 

Soon after Fort Osage was established, the Osage Indians, by treaty 
with the government relinquished the title to lands south of the Missouri 
river, except a strip twenty-four miles wide, lying eastward from the western 
boundary of the state and extending south from the Missouri river into the 
territory of Arkansas. No settlements of any consequence were made in 
Jackson county until the Indians relinquished the title to the twenty-four 
mile strip in a treaty June 2, 1825. Prior to 1830, few white families lived 
west of the Blue river. Missouri at that time was sparsely settled. The 
western half of the state had been inhabited by white men in part, not ex- 
ceeding twenty years and the tide of immigration, although considered large 
at that time, was insignificant as compared with later movements of popula- 

Several kinds of quaint craft were in use by the fur traders on the 
Missouri, Kaw and Blue rivers and other streams in the vicinity of Kansas 
City before the coming of the steamboats. The canoe of the Indian, of 
course, was the most familiar to the early pioneers. The Indians' canoes, 
or "dug-outs" were made from logs ten to twenty-five feet long. The 



pirogue, used by the early French fur traders, was especially adapted to naviga- 
tion in shallow water. The craft was made with two canoes, fastened to- 
gether with a light frame-work on which a platform was built for the cargo. 
Both oars and sails were used in navigating the pirogue. The bateau, used 
also by the French voyageurs, was a clumsy, flat-bottomed boat, fifty to 
seventy-five feet long, and used generally for transporting cargoes down 
stream. It was propelled up stream with great difficulty. The Mackinaw 
boats were cheaply constructed and generally were intended for a single 
voyage down stream. These craft were about fifty feet long with a twelve- 
foot beam, and gunwales that extended three feet above the water line. 
The keelboat was a more substantial craft. It had a carrying capacity of 
ten to twenty-five tons. The keelboats usually were from fifty to seventy- 
five feet long with a beam fifteen to twenty feet. The bow and stern were 
pointed. Sometimes men walked along the shore and pulled the boat with 
a cable. Poles, oars and sails also were used in navigating the keelboats. 

Accompanying the trappers and traders, and sharing all of their hard- 
ships, but none of their gains, were the missionary priests. The wilderness 
held no terrors for these hardy zealots and their names are interwoven with 
the early history of the Western wilds. Their fortitude, their examples of 
rectitude and their enduring faith brighten the annals of those early strug- 
gles toward civilization. The Jesuit missionaries always were in advance of 
the civilizing influences that came to the wild tribes of Indians; fearlessly 
they groped their way into the wilderness. They penetrated the heart of 
the mountains and were found at the campfires of the Indians, teaching 
them the amenities of life, and in the rude huts of the fur traders. 

Foremost among the heroic missionary priests was Peter John de Smet. 
He came to America from Belgium in 1821 and joined the Jesuit society, 
proceeding immediately to the frontier where he labored a quarter of a cen- 
tury among the Indians of Missouri and the neighboring territories. In a 
series of letters and sketches Father de Smet told of his work among the wild 
tribes. The priest made an extensive exploring expedition to the Rocky 
Mountain region in the spring of 1840 to observe the customs of the Indians 
and to further his missionary work. The caravan of which the Jesuit was 
a member was under the command of Captain Andrew Dripps, one of the 
founders of the Missouri Fur company. In a letter written from the bank 
of the Platte river, June 2, 1841, Father de Smet gave this account of his 
visit to Westport: 

"In seven days from my departure from St. Louis, namely on the 30th 
of April I arrived at Westport, a frontier town on the west of the United 
States. It took us seven days on board a steamboat, to perform this journey 
of 900 miles, no unfair average of the time required to travel such a distance 


on the Missouri, at the breaking up of the winter, when, though the ice is 
melted, the water is still so slow, the sand banks so close together and the 
snags so numerous that the boats cannot make great headway. We landed 
on the right bank of the river, and took refuge in an abandoned little cabin, 
where a poor Indian woman had died a few days before, and in this retreat, 
so like that which once merited the preference of the Savior and for which 
was thenceforth to be substituted only the shelter of a tent in the wilderness, 
we took up our abode until the 10th of May — occupied as well as we might 
be in supplying the wants created by the burning of our baggage wagon on 
board the steamboat, the sickness of one of our horses which we were com- 
pelled to leave after us, and the loss of another that escaped from us at the 
moment of landing." 



Kansas City's early history is the history of Independence and West- 
port, towns that were important business centers in their day. The villages 
had a separate existence, but they were a part of one great community in 
the northwest corner of Jackson county. When the pioneers came to the 
county the early part of the Nineteenth century they perceived that some- 
where near the juncture of the Missouri and Kaw rivers, at the gateway to 
the West, was the place for a city. They had a definite idea, but were not 
certain of the exact location. Two attempts were made before the proper 
site was discovered. 

Independence was founded in 1827, and until 1840 it appeared that 
this was to be the great city of the West. Then the preponderance of trade 
centered at Westport, which had been established in 1833, and for fifteen 
years it seemed that this was to become the city of destiny. Kansas City 
was founded in 1839 at the river landing and quickly overshadowed both 
Independence and Westport. At last the site favored by Providence had 
been discovered. The little settlement at the river landing has developed 
marvellously in fifty years. From the river the city has grown out past 
Westport. The historic town was consolidated with Kansas City in 1899 
and now is part of the Fifth ward. Independence still (1908) retains a 
separate town government, but in reality it is a suburb of Kansas City. 
The business rush of other days is gone and the silent spirit of the past 
haunts the old public square. Kansas City is growing rapidly and it is 




a question of only a few years until Independence, too, will be merged in 
the larger stream. 

Daniel Morgan Boone, the third son of Daniel Boone, the Kentucky 
pioneer, was the first white man, according to a well-founded tradition, to 
visit the site of Independence. He crossed the wilderness alone from Ken- 
tucky to St. Louis, in 1787, when he was eighteen years old. For twelve 
years he spent the winters trapping beaver on the Little Blue river and other 
streams in the vicinity of Kansas City. Boone said Jackson county was the 
best country for beaver in those days that he had discovered. The pioneer 
was the commander of a company in the war of 1812. Afterwards he was 
appointed farmer to the Kaw Indians and was stationed four years near 
Lecompton, Kansas, on the Kaw river. Boone finally settled on a farm near 
Westport, where he died in 1832 from Asiatic cholera, 

Jackson county was organized by an act of the Missouri legislature, 
December 15, 1826. David Ward and Julius Emmons of Lafayette county, 
and John Bartleson of Clay county were appointed to select a site for the 
county seat, The commissioners preempted one hundred and sixty acres, 
employed John Dunston to survey it, and made a report at the first meet- 
ing of the circuit court, March 29, 1827. The session was held at the home 
of John Young, Judge David Todd of Howard county presiding. A plat 
of the town was made by George A. W. Rhodes and approved by the county 
court. The first sale of lots was held July 9 to 11, 1827, and the cash re- 
ceived was $374.57. Some of the lots were sold on credit. In regard to the 
naming of Independence, William Gilpin wrote in the Western Journal 
and Civilian in 1854: 

"Long ago, in 1824 and 1825, two counties sundered by the Missouri 
river, and flanked by the Western border line, sought at the same time their 
incorporation by the Legislature. On the North, the inhabitants mostly 
emigrants from Kentucky, and advocating that gentleman's elevation to the 
presidency, calling their county Clay, and its seat of Justice, Liberty. On the 
South, as if in rivalry, emigrants from Virginia, Carolina and Tennessee, 
selected the name of Jackson for their county, and Independence for their 

The county court of Jackson county held its first meeting in Inde- 
pendence, July 2, 1827. The judges were: Henry Burris, presiding, and 
Abraham McClellan and Richard Fristoe. L. W. Boggs, afterwards gover- 
nor of Missouri, was clerk of the court. 

The county court made an order, September 3, 1827, asking for bids 
for a court house. The proposals were opened, February 4, 1828, and the 
contract was awarded to Daniel P. Lewis who made a bid of $150. A log 
jail, sixteen feet square and two stories high, was built in 1827. Jackson 



county's first sheriff was Joseph Walker, appointed in 1827 by Governor 
John Miller. 

Colonel Henry Ellsworth, commissioner of Indian affairs, and a party 
of travelers, among whom was Washington Irving, passed through Inde- 
pendence in 1832 on a tour through the Indian country. The "Father of 
American Literature" wrote this letter to his sister Catherine, Mrs. Daniel 
Paris : 

"Independence, Missouri, September 26, 1832. — My dear Sister: We 
arrived at this place the day before yesterday, after nine days' traveling on 
horseback, from St. Louis. Our journey has been a very interesting one, 
leading us across fine prairies and through noble forests, dotted here and 
there by farms and log houses, at which we found rough but wholesome 
and abundant fare, and very civil treatment. Many parts of these prairies 
of the Missouri are extremely beautiful, resembling cultivated countries, 
embellished with parks and groves, rather than the savage rudeness of the 

"Yesterday I was out on a deer hunt in the vicinity of this place, which 
led me through some scenery that only wanted a castle, or a gentleman's 
seat here and there interspersed to have equalled some of the most cele- 
brated park scenery of England. 

"The fertility of all this western country is truly astonishing. The 
soil is like that of a garden, and the luxuriance and the beauty of the forests 
exceed any that I have seen. We have gradually been advancing, how- 
ever, toward rougher and rougher life, and are now at a little straggling 
frontier village that has only been five years in existence. From hence, in 
the course of a day or two, we take our departure southwardly, and shall 
soon bid adieu to civilization, and encamp at night in our tents. My health 
is good, though I have been much affected by the change of climate, diet, 
and water since my arrival in the West. Horse exercise, however, always 
agrees with me. I enjoy my journey exceedingly, and look for still greater 
gratification in the part which is now before me, which will present much 
greater wildness and novelty The climax will be our expedition with the 
Osages to their hunting grounds, and the sight of a buffalo hunt. Your brother, 

Washington Irving." 

The growth of Independence, between 1830 and 1833, was seriously 
retarded by the Mormon disturbances in Jackson county. The total de- 
struction of the town was threatened at one time, and the business of the 
new county seat received a set-back by the bitter contest between the Mor- 
mons and the Gentiles. 

The rise and spread of the Mormons, or Latter Day Saints, is one of 
the most remarkable movements of the last century. The Book of Mor- 


mon — a closely printed volume of between 500 and 600 pages takes its 

name from the prophet Mormon, who is said to have lived in the fourth 
century after Christ, and purports to have been written by him. It claims to 
have a history supplementary to the Bible of God's dealings with His people. 
But the events it records did not occur in Bible lands, but on the American 
continent. According to the Mormon theory a part of the Israelites, God's 
chosen people, in the far distant past wandered away from their native land 
and came to America, where they lived, a highly civilized race, long before 
those so-called aborigines, the Indians. The word "Mormon" is a hybrid 
term from the reformed Egyptian "mon" and the English "more," mean- 
ing "more good." 

The Book of Mormon had a peculiar origin. In 1815 "an angel of 
the Lord" appeared to Joseph Smith, a young man living near Palmyra, 
New York, and told him where he might find in "the hill cumorah," near 
Palmyra, certain plates on which the Lord, by the hand of his servant, Mor- 
mon, had engraved His will concerning His people. Smith found these 
plates, so he alleged. There were three of them, and they had the appear- 
ance of gold. The writing was in "reformed Egyptian characters," and 
Smith, by divine illumination, translated it into the Book of Mormon. The 
angel then took the plates and disappeared, but not until the finding and 
translation of them had been witnessed by Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer 
and Martin Harris. Whitmer died only a few ago at his home near Rich- 
mond, Missouri. Soon after the translation of the plates Smith founded the 
Mormon church and became its president. The official name adopted was 
"The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints." 

Soon after Joseph Smith founded the Mormon Church he had a revela- 
tion as to its future site. This was announced to the waiting Saints in these 
words: "Hearken, ye elders of my church, saith the Lord your God, who 
have assembled yourselves together to my commandment, in this land which 
I have appointed and consecrated for the gathering of the saints, wherefore 
this is the land of promise and the place for the City of Zion; behold the 
place which is now called Independence, Missouri, is the center place and 
spot for the temple; is lying westward upon a lot which is not far from the 

Jackson county had been organized about five years before and Inde- 
pendence was a prominent settlement. Thither the followers of the new 
faith turned. They secured tracts of land by entry and purchase and estab- 
lished a settlement which they named the "New Jerusalem." Here they 
established a polity of communism with a "Lord's storehouse." 

In August, 1831, the ceremony which dedicated the temple lot to the 
Lord as a site for His temple was conducted by President Joseph Smith in 


the presence of Sidney Rigdon, Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, Edward 
Pardridge, W. W. Phelps and Joseph Coe, elders of the church. The cere- 
mony was solemn and impressive. In order that there might be no mistake 
as to the exact spot where the ceremony took place, it was indicated by a 
sapling, from the two sides of which the bark was scraped. 

When the news spread that Zion had been found the Mormons of Ohio, 
Illinois and New York began an exodus to Jackson county. Smith pur- 
chased forty acres of land for the temple just west of the courthouse in In- 
dependence. The country around Independence soon was settled with Mor- 
mons. Mills and shops were started by them in the town and a paper called 
the Evening and Morning Star was established by W. W. Phelps. The orig- 
inal settlers of Jackson did not like their prosperous Mormon neighbors, 
and trouble followed. They made many charges against the Mormons, the 
principal one of which was that they were abolitionists. The editor of the 
Evening and Morning Star, organ of the "kings and priests of most high 
God," was mobbed, tarred, feathered and beaten, for condemning slavery 
and for maligning and threatening the Gentiles. 

In 1834 organized mobs perpetrated outrages on the Mormons, who, 
numbering about 1,200, were forced to flee across the Missouri River into 
Clay county. One Mormon was killed and many were wounded. Their 
property was either confiscated or destroyed. They drifted about over the 
state living in first one town and then in another until 1838, when the 
troubles between the Mormons and the Gentiles resulted in a miniature civil 
war. On October 27 of that year, 1838, Governor Boggs of Missouri issued 
an order directing that the Mormons "must be exterminated or driven from 
the state if necessary for the public good." Major General Clark enforced 
the order. Many of the Mormon leaders were taken prisoners, but most of 
them subsequently escaped. The rest of the Mormons of Missouri, who had 
grown to between 12,000 and 15,000 by this time, emigrated in the winter of 
1838-39 to Illinois, where they formed the town of Nauvoo. 

After the Mormons left Jackson county the temple lot in Independ- 
ence became a bone of contention between the factions into which the church 
was divided. When Smith purchased the lot it was deeded to Jane Cowdry, 
Joseph Smith Cowdry and John Cowdry, to be held in trust for the church. 
They died intestate, and then the Josephites, known as the reorganized 
Church of Latter Day Saints, Granville Hedrick, founder of the Mormon 
Church of Christ at Independence, and the Utah Mormons went to law for 
the possession of the lot. It finally was sold for taxes and purchased by the 
Hedrickites, who built a chapel on one corner. 

The Reorganized Saints claim Joseph Smith as their leader, and they 
are, therefore, known as the Josephites. They number about 700 in Inde- 



pendence, while there are only about fifty Hedrickites. Each faction claims 
to be a branch of the true Mormon church; each claims to teach the true 
faith as taught by Joseph Smith, the father of the church. The great 
church of Utah does not recognize either of the Independence factions. 

The Santa Fe trade began in Independence in 1831 and a boat landing 
was established at Blue Mills on the Missouri river, six miles distant. The 
business increased and the government established a customhouse for the 
accommodation of the early merchants. From the close of the Mexican war 
to 1857, Independence was an important outfitting point for western cara- 
vans. The manufacture of wagons and other equipment needed by travel- 
ers was a profitable business. Some of the men engaged in the trade were 
Lewis Jones, Hiram Young, John W. Modie and Robert Stone. The com- 
merce of Independence was seriously affected for a time when the Missouri 
river flood of 1844 washed away the boat landing at Wayne City. At a 
meeting of the old settlers' association of Jackson county, John C. McCoy 
gave this account of the outfitting business in Independence : 

"Independence in those early years was selected as a place of arrival 
and departure and as an outfitting place for trappers and hunters of the 
mountains and western plains. It was well worth the while to witness the 
arrival of some of the pack trains. Before entering they let us know of 
their coming by the shooting of guns, so that when they reached Owens and 
Aull's store a goodly number of people were there to welcome them. A 
greasy, dirty set of men they were. Water surely was a rare commodity 
with them. They little cared for it except to slack their thirst. Their ani- 
mals were loaded down with heavy packs of buffalo robes and peltry. Occa- 
sionally, they had a small wagon, which, after long usage, had the spokes 
and felloes wrapped with rawhide to keep the vehicle from falling to pieces. 

"So accustomed were they to their work that it took them little time 
to unload the burdens from the backs of the animals, store their goods in 
the warehouse. The trappers let the merchants attend to the shipping. The 
arrival in Independence was always a joyous ending of a hazardous trip, 
and when once safely over it they were always ready for a jolly good time, 
which they had to their hearts content. They made the welkin ring and 
filled the town with high carnival for many days. 

"The mountain trade at length gave way to the Mexican trade— this 
being on a much larger scale. Pack mules and donkeys were discarded and 
wagons drawn by mule and ox teams were substituted in their place. Such 
men as 'Doc' Waldo, Solomon Houke, William and Solomon Sublette, 
Josiah Gregg, St. Vrain, Chavez and others of like character were early ad- 
venturers, and as the governor gave permission to them to enter and trade 
with the people, they ventured across the plains regardless of the dangers." 


Samuel C. Owens, it is said, was the first trader in Independence. He 
came to Missouri from Kentucky when he was a young man. He was the 
first clerk of the circuit court of Jackson county. John Aull, his business 
partner, had owned a store in Lexington, Missouri. Owens and James Aull 
lost their lives while with Doniphan's expedition in Mexico. John C. McCoy 
gave this account of their unfortunate adventure: 

"Colonel Owens' acquaintance with the traders did much to retain In- 
dependence as the 'entropo' into Mexico, and until the troubles between 
the United States and Mexico began in 1845-46, other places were not used. 
In the year 1846 it was determined by the United States to send troops across 
the plains to overcome opposition. Doniphan raised a regiment of men 
which, being fully equipped, took up the march from this country. Quite 
a number of adventurers of all sorts accompanied the troops. Owens and 
Aull decided to send a wagon load of goods along, and Mr. Owens and James 
Aull took charge of it. Everything promised well and no opposition was 
met with until within sight of the Sacramento plains, between Santa Fe and 
Chihuahua, where the Mexicans were drawn up for battle. 

"The civilians, teamsters and others who had accompanied our troops 
were organized into a company with Colonel S. C. Owens as captain, to aid 
Doniphan's men. On the field the order was given to charge and Colonel 
Owens rashly dashed forward in front of his men and was killed, thus early 
in the strife. Great was the regret of his men to see one esteemed so highly 
cut off in the middle of life far from home and family. James Aull, who 
accompanied Colonel Owens, took charge of the merchandise, and offered 
it for sale in Chihuahua. Not mistrusting the perfidy of the Spaniards, he 
was murdered while quietly engaged in business and alone in his store. 
Much of his goods was stolen. Thus ended the lives of two as good men 
as ever lived in Jackson county. James Aull was one of the most unassum- 
ing gentlemen ever met with and his and Mr. Owens' name will never be 
forgotten as long as Independence and Jackson county exist." 

The First Regiment Missouri Mounted Volunteers, under command of 
Colonel Alexander W. Doniphan, was part of the "Army of the West," con- 
sisting of 1,659 men and sixteen pieces of artillery, that left Fort Leaven- 
worth, June 29, 1846, under command of General Stephen W. Kearney, on 
a daring march across the plains to invade Mexico. William Gilpin of In- 
dependence, afterwards governor of the territory of Colorado, was a major in 
Doniphan's regiment. After a march of fifty-two days, in which the troops 
suffered severe hardships and privation, the army entered Santa Fe without 

At Santa Fe the army was divided, General Stephen Kearney, with 400 
men, went to California, while the main body of the troops under Colonel 



Doniphan started south into Mexico on a campaign of brilliant marches, 
battles and victories. Doniphan's most notable success was near Chihuahua 
where a force of about 1,000 Missourians defeated 4,000 Mexicans. From 
Chihuahua, Doniphan marched to Monterey where General Taylor had his 
headquarters. Doniphan's men proceeded to the mouth of the Rio Grande 
river where their march of nearly 3,000 miles was ended. The troops em- 
barked for New Orleans where they were disbanded. 

Independence had two taverns in 1834, one owned by William 
Lawrence and the other by Leonard H. Rennich. Smallwood Noland suc- 
ceeded Lawrence and after the house burned, February 19, 1845, he built 
on the same site the Merchants' hotel. E. P. West established the City hotel. 
Lewis Jones and J. W. Modie built the Nebraska house in 1849. 

While Francis Parkman was in Westport in the spring of 1846, making 
preparations for a western journey, he visited Independence. The historian 
gave this account of his visit to the county seat : 

"Being at leisure one day, I rode over to Independence. The town 
was crowded. A multitude of shops had sprung up to furnish the emigrants 
and Santa Fe traders with necessaries for their journey; and there was an 
incessant hammering and banging from a dozen blacksmiths' sheds, where 
the heavy wagons were being repaired, and the horses and oxen shod. The 
streets were thronged with men, horses and mules. While I was in town, a 
train of emigrant wagons from Illinois passed through to join the camp on 
the prairie, and stopped in the principal street. A multitude of healthy 
children's faces were peeping out from under the covers of the wagons. 
Here and there a buxom damsel was seated on horseback, holding over her 
sunburnt face an old umbrella or a parasol, once gaudy enough, but now 
miserably faded. The men, very sober looking countrymen, stood about 
their oxen ; and as I passed I noticed three old fellows who, with their long 
whips in their hands, were zealously discussing the doctrine of regeneration. 
The emigrants, however, are not all of this stamp. Among them are some 
of the vilest outcasts in the country." 

The government opened a postoffice in Independence in 1827. The 
first overland mail route west of Missouri was established in 1850, between 
Independence and Salt Lake City, Utah, the distance of 1,200 miles. James 
Brown was given the government contract. The government awarded a 
contract the same year 1850, to David Waldo, Jacob Hale and William 
McCoy to carry the mail from Independence to Santa Fe. The first regular 
United States mail that was taken across the Missouri border left Independ- 
ence for Salt Lake City, July 1, 1850, strongly guarded against attacks from 
the Indians. The undertaking was regarded as extremely hazardous at that 
time and when the mail carriers returned in safety the second month the 


event was celebrated in Independence with much rejoicing. The men suc- 
cessfully fulfilled their first four years' contract, demonstrating that a mail 
service to Santa Fe and other points in the West was practicable. The firm 
of Hockaday and Hall made this announcement of a new stage line in the 
Western Journal of Commerce in Kansas City, in 1857 : 

"Santa Fe traders and those desirous of crossing the plains to New Mex- 
ico, are informed that the undersigned will carry the United States Mail 
from Independence to Santa Fe for four years, commencing on the first day 
of July, 1857, in stages drawn by six mules. 

"The stages will leave Independence and Santa Fe on the first and fif- 
teenth of each month. They will be entirely new and comfortable for pas- 
sengers, well guarded and running through each way, in from twenty to 
twenty-five days. Travelers to and from New Mexico will doubtless find this 
the safest and most expeditious and comfortable, as well as cheapest mode of 
crossing the plains. 

"Fare through: From November 1st to May 1st, $150.00; from May 
1st to November 1st, $125. 

"Provisions, arms and ammunition furnished by the proprietors. 

"Packages and extra baggage will be transported when possible to do so, 
at the rate of twenty-five cents per pound in summer, and fifty cents in win- 
ter, but no package will be charged less than one dollar. 

"The proprietors will not be responsible for any package worth more 
than fifty dollars, unless contents given and specifically contracted for, and 
all baggage at all times at the risk of the owner thereof. 

"In all cases the passage money must be paid in advance, and pas- 
sengers must stipulate to conform to the rules which may be established by 
the undersigned, for the government of their line of stages, and those travel- 
ing with them on the plains. 

"No passenger allowed more than forty pounds of baggage in addition 
to the necessary bedding. 

"Mr. Levi Spiekleburg, at Santa Fe, and J. & W. R. Bernard & Com- 
pany, at Westport, Missouri, and our conductor and agents are authorized 
to engage passengers and receipt for passage money. 

July 18, 1857. Hockaday and Hall." 

Flour mills were in operation in the vicinity of Independence as early 
as 1835, one on the Little Blue river, eight miles from town, was owned 
by Michael Rice. A flour mill was built in Independence in 1846 by Jacob 
Hallar. Independence was incorporated July 20, 1849. The first mayor 
was William McCoy. The city charter and general ordinances were re- 
vised and re-enacted, November 1, 1878. 


i dflfl 




<■": ^ 




■ ifiiM'llIT Tl KpW^E^? 




R. R,, BUILT IN 1848. 


In an effort to hold the overland trade that had begun to shift to 
Westport and other up-river towns, Independence, in 1849, built a rail- 
road to Wayne City, three and one-half miles north on the Missouri river. 
The line was known as the Independence & Wayne City, or Missouri River 
railroad. The railroad passed through Sugar Creek valley, where the 
Standard Oil company's refinery is situated. This, it is supposed, was the 
first railroad constructed west of the Mississippi river. AVooden rails with 
a thin strip of iron were used for the track. The four-wheeled flat care, drawn 
by teams of mules, carried both passengers and freight from the steamboat 
landing to Independence. The up-town terminus of the railroad was a two 
story brick depot. The project was not a success. The road was abandoned 
in 1851 and the wooden rails were left to decay. 

Independence has had superior educational advantages since about 1840. 
Several private schools and colleges have prospered at different times and 
gained some distinction in the West. H. D. Woodworth established the Inde- 
pendence academy in 1841. The school had a promising beginning, but 
a misunderstanding arose between the principal and residents of the town 
and the institution was closed after it had been in existence three years. 
Mrs. Gertrude Buchanan, a woman of culture and administrative ability, 
opened a school for young women in 1846 in the Presbyterian church. After 
one year Mrs. Buchanan transferred her school to David I. Caldwell. He needed 
more room and bought the Old Irish tavern on South Main street as an 
addition to the seminary. Prof. David J. Caldwell withdrew from the school 
in the spring of 1849 on account of ill health. 

The Rev. W. H. Lewis, a Southern Methodist minister who had been 
president of the Monticello academy in Howard county, Missouri, and prin- 
cipal of a seminary at Jefferson City, Missouri, opened a school, in 1853, in 
the Methodist church on Rock street. A stock company was organized the 
next year and a college building was erected on North Liberty street. The 
school received the hearty support of the residents of the town and students 
came from various parts of Western Missouri. The school was at the height 
of its success when the Civil war began and the Rev. Mr. Lewis was forced 
to flee from Independence. In the war the school building was occupied as 
barracks and a hospital by Federal soldiers. The Independence high school 
was organized in 1857 by H. W. Miller and continued until 1871. A school 
with a boarding department was established in 1847 by Miss Bettie T. 
Tillery and continued until the beginning of the Civil war. W. A. and W. 
Buckner, formerly principals of the Bourbon Female college at Paris, 
Kentucky, spent $17,000, in 1869, in establishing a school in the west part, 
of town that afterwards was known as Woodland college. 


Independence Female college was founded in 1871 by a corporation at 
an expense of $20,000. The school continued until December, 1898. St. 
Mary's academy was established in 1878 by Father Thomas Fitzgerald under 
the direction of the Sisters of Mercy. The public schools of Independence 
were organized September 18, 1866. 

Independence has had several prosperous churches since the early years 
of the town. The Cumberland Presbyterian church was established in 1832, 
and the Christian church in 1836. The Rev. J. P. Hulse organized the 
Methodist Episcopal church, South, in 1835. The Methodist church was or- 
ganized in 1867. The first baptism in St. Mary's Catholic church in Inde- 
pendence was performed by the Rev. Father Bernard Donnelly, February 
11, 1849. 

The first bank in Independence was organized in 1853 by Ulysses 
Turner and James T. Thornton. The institution continued in business until 
the Civil war. A branch of the Southern bank of St. Louis was established 
in 1856. After the war the branch became the First National bank and con- 
tinued in business until 1879 when it was consolidated with the Chrisman- 
Sawyer bank. McCoy & Son organized a bank in the building that had been 
occupied by the old First National bank. The bank continued until 1898 
when its affairs were liquidated. 

The Independence Savings bank was organized in 1857, and later be- 
came known as Stone, McCoy and Company. Again the name of the firm 
was changed and it became known as Chrisman, Sawyer & Co. This com- 
pany was incorporated, August 29, 1877, under the title of the Chrisman- 
Sawyer Banking company. Since the incorporation it has been a state bank. 
This is one of the oldest banking institutions in Missouri. The present First 
National bank of Independence is the outgrowth of the old banking firm of 
Brown, Hughes & Co., an early private institution. The first president of 
the First National bank was M. W. Anderson. The Bank of Independence, 
incorporated as a state institution, was opened for business, January 2, 1887. 
Dr. J. D. Wood was the first president. 

Several conflicts occurred in Independence during the Civil war. The 
town was raided by Union cavalry in 1861, and was occupied by Union 
troops in 1862. W. C. Quantrell, the guerrilla, made a dash into the town 
in the spring of 1862. The Union garrison in Independence, under com- 
mand of Lieutenant Colonel J. T. Buell, was attacked, August 11, 1862, by 
a Confederate force estimated at 600 to 800 men and the town was captured 
and 350 prisoners taken. General John T. Hughes was killed while leading 
a charge against the garrison. The town was reoccupied by Federal troops. 
Southern sympathizers were expelled, August 24, 1863. The town was oc- 
cupied by General Sterling Price, October 20, 1864, and was retaken four 



days later by General Alfred Pleasanton. General Lee's surrender in 1865 
did not bring immediate peace to Independence. A law and order associa- 
tion, organized, July 14, 1866, was able to suppress violence and restore 

A Baptist missionary, the Rev. Isaac McCoy, entered a tract of gov- 
ernment land in 1831, four miles south of Chouteau's warehouse on the road 
that led from Independence west to the plains. The next year his son, John 
C. McCoy, established a store on the land. The business prospered and in 
1833 John C. McCoy decided to become a town builder; he divided the land 
adjacent to the store into lots and called the settlement Westport. It is said 
that McCoy chose this name because the town was a port of entry into the 
great Western country. McCoy became a surveyor for the government in 
1836 and sold his store to William M. Chick. 

On the land purchased from the government by Isaac McCoy was the 
site of the village of the "Sauk" or "Saukee" Indians, the last tribal habita- 
tion in the vicinity of Kansas City. The Indian settlement was situated on 
a ridge one mile south of Bush Creek. A trail led from the Missouri river 
along the line of Prospect avenue, turning westward through the site of West- 
port to the prairies beyond. The Indians abandone'd their village in 1824. 

The Santa Fe traders adopted the custom, about 1837, of stopping at 
Westport to await the arrival of their goods at Blue Mills on the Missouri 
river. The prairie lands adjacent to Westport afforded excellent camping 
grounds. From AVestport it was only four miles to the French settlement 
on the Missouri river, while it was eighteen miles to the Blue Mills landing. 
Pierre Roi, a Frenchman, built a road from Westport directly north to the 
French settlement in the Missouri river bottom. The traders taking ad- 
vantage of the shorter distance, soon began having their goods landed at the 
French settlement rather than at Blue Mills. 

The superior advantages of Westport as a business center soon attracted 
various classes of merchants, tradespeople and mechanics. The Indians liv- 
ing in the country west of town received large annuities from the govern- 
ment and they spent their money freely. The country adjacent in all directions 
was being settled. The freighters on the Santa Fe trail attracted blacksmiths 
and wagon makers. The demand for furniture other than the home-made 
kind of the pioneers brought cabinet makers to Westport. 

The business houses of early Westport were situated, for the most part, 
on a little stream that flowed through town in the direction of the south- 
east, crossing the present Westport avenue at Mill street. Along the banks 
of the stream, inside the town limits and without, were a number of ex- 
cellent springs that were convenient to the townspeople and travelers. One 
of the best known of these watering places was "Cave Spring," a fountain 


that issued from a cavern near the present juncture of Charlotte and Thirty- 
eighth streets. Situated by the side of the road' between Westport and Inde- 
pendence, the spring was the camping place for many travelers. Enough 
water flowed from Cave spring in the early days to form a rivulet. Joseph 
Smith, the Mormon leader, established a school one hundred yards northeast 
of the cave's mouth two years before Westport was platted. The school was 
abandoned when the Mormons left the county in 1833. 

Westport's first tavern, owned by Daniel Yocum, was situated near the 
juncture of Westport avenue and Mill street. The hostelry was a gathering 
place for trappers, hunters, traders, Indians and soldiers. The second tavern 
was established by A. B. H. McGee at Westport avenue and Penn street. 
In 1847 McGee was succeeded by John Harris who conducted the "Harris 
house" there until 1864. James H. Hunter was at first a saddler and after- 
wards a successful merchant. Robert Johnson operated a tannery and was 
the owner of the first brick house west of the Blue river. Mrs. James Hallo- 
way was a tailoress and made wedding garments for the young men. The 
leading physicians were Dr. H. F. Hereford, Dr. Joel B. Morris, Dr. Parker 
and Dr. A. B. Earle, also postmaster. Park Lee was an early attorney. The 
bread-making business was profitable in early Westport. A. M. Eisele's 
bakery at the northeast corner of the present Westport avenue and Mill street 
made him a small fortune and he built one of the best two-story residences 
in town. 

A party of about fifteen rough appearing men. under the leadership of 
John McDaniels, went to Yocum's tavern one day in April, 1843. The 
strangers said they were on the way to the Texas border to fight the Mexicans. 
A few days after they left, going westward over the Santa Fe trail, word was 
received in Westport that Antonio Chavez, a wealthy Mexican merchant who 
was on the way there from Santa Fe to purchase supplies, had been murdered 
and robbed of about $12,000. Then Daniel Yocum realized that he had 
sheltered robbers at his inn. After committing the crime the thieves started 
on the return journey to Westport. They were met near Council Grove, 
Kansas, by a company of men from Jackson county, among whom was 
Sheriff George Buchanon. Ten of the outlaws were captured and part of 
the stolen money recovered. The robbery having been committed on Indian 
territory, outside the jurisdiction of Missouri, the prisoners were taken charge 
by the United States authorities and tried in St. Louis. Three of the out- 
laws were hanged and others received prison sentences. 

The government established a postoffice near the site of Westport in 
1832, giving it the name of Shawnee. The name in two years was changed 
to Westport. The first postmaster was Dr. Johnston Lykins, and the second 
John C. McCoy. Mail from Independence was carried to Westport once a 




week on horseback. A road was built across the state from St. Louis to 
Westport in 1839 and mail was brought by stage twice a week. 

The principal treadmill was operated by William Parish at the location 
of Thirty-third street and Cleveland avenue. Another mill was situated on 
Brush creek at the crossing of Westport and Wornall roads, and one on Indian 
creek near the state line. James H. McGee owned a corn cracker where Penn 
street crosses 0. K. creek. A larger water mill, owned by John and Robert 
Anil, was situated on the Little Blue river. William Parish and J. H. McGee 
operated a small distillery in the present Roanoke addition. 

One of the first large shipments of goods sent to Westport was for the 
firm of Meservey and Webb in Santa Fe. Boone & Bernard of Westport, 
acting as agents, received the goods at the landing and engaged wagons and 
teams for the overland transportation. The caravan required to haul this 
one consignment of goods consisted of sixty-three wagons, each carrying about 
6,000 pounds and drawn by six yoke of oxen. 

The outfitting business in Westport had an impetus in 1849 when Jose 
Chavez, a Mexican merchant, the brother of Antonio Chavez who had been 
murdered and robbed, came to town one day with 103,000 Mexican silver 
dollars, two wagon loads. The money was in raw hide bags, $4,000 to $5,000 
in a package. Westport had an extensive trade with Santa Fe in 1849 when 
the Californian immigration began, greatly increasing the business. It is 
estimated that 40,000 immigrants bought outfits in Westport in 1849 and 
1850. Companies of persons from all parts of the country came to Westport 
to organize caravans for journeys across the plains. The town was head- 
quarters for all classes of traders, hunters and Indians. Almost every type 
of man in the West could be seen on the streets of Westport. 

Early Westport was a market for cattle, mules, horses, wagons, harness, 
tents, saddles and all other equipment needed for travel. Several firms were 
wholly engaged in making ox yokes. The demand for guns and ammuni- 
tion was very great. Strychnine was sold in large quantities to hunters who 
killed wolves for their hides. In the town's early days Westport avenue was 
lined with various outfitting establishments from a point east of Broadway to 
Mill street. Similar business houses were situated on Penn street between 
Fortieth and Forty-second streets. The outfitting business was conducted on 
a cash basis and money was plentiful. When the immigrant trade was at its 
height the prairies south and east of Westport were dotted with tents and 
wagons and had the appearance of the camp of a great army. 

These are the names of some of the successful business men and firms of 
Westport: Kearney & Bernard, A. G. Boone, J. M. and J. Hunter, Baker 
& Street, William Dillon, S. P. and W. H. Keller, S. C. Roby, J. G. 
Hamilton, F. Gallup, Frederick Eslinger, Edward Price, Henry Sager, 


Francis Booth, J. Bucher, Antoney Richter, A. B. H. McGee, Louis Vogle, 
P. D. Elkins, father of Senator Stephen B. Elkins of West Virginia, F. G. 
Ewing, William M. Chick, Calvin Smith and Alfred Warfield. 

The firm of Kearney & Bernard of Westport outfitted 11,823 wagons 
for the western trade between 1853 and 1861. In 1858 Westport factories 
made two hundred and forty new wagons, 2,000 ox yokes, 3,000 tarpaulins 
and $25,000 worth of harness. Between 1855 and 1858 Westport reached the 
zenith of its prosperity with a population estimated at 5,000. Westport was 
incorporated February 12, 1857. The first mayor was T. J. Goforth. West- 
port at that time had thirteen merchandise stores, five wagon shops, several 
schools and churches, three hotels, one slaughter house and several saloons. 
The Civil war drove the trade from Westport to St. Joseph, Missouri, and 
Leavenworth, Kansas, where better military protection was offered, and when 
peace returned business centered in Kansas City. 

The educational facilities of early Westport naturally were limited. The 
village had two schools, one near the Blue river and the other in the edge 
of town near Cave spring. The school houses had no clocks; the children 
watched the sunlight on the floor and when it reached a certain mark they 
knew that it was recess time. The town at first had no churches, but religious 
services were held regularly at private homes. The Rev. James Porter was 
an active Methodist minister. The Rev. Isaac McCoy and Dr. Johnston 
Lykins were interested in missionary work among the Indians west of the 
state line. 

Shawnee mission in Kansas, three miles southwest of Westport, was 
closely identified with the early history of the town. The Rev. Thomas 
Johnson, founder of the mission, was intimately associated with Isaac McCoy, 
Dr. Lykins and other residents of Westport. Thomas Johnson established 
the first mission school for the Shawnee Indians in 1829 in the town of 
Shawnee, in John county, Kansas. The school had twenty-seven pupils in 
1835, and the church had a membership of seventy-four Shawnee Indians. 
The mission was removed to the location three miles from Westport in 1839 
where the government had given a. grant of 2,240 acres. Large buildings 
were erected on the new site and a manual training school established that 
continued in operation until 1862. 

O. K. creek in the early days of Westport was known as McGee creek. 
Preston Hamilton, owner of a store and feed yard at one of the principal 
crossings, is responsible for the change of name. On the entrance to the 
Wagon yard Hamilton displayed this sign, O. K., Drive In. From this 
legend the freighters called the stream O. K. creek. 

Francis Parkman, the historian, came to Jackson county in May, 1846, 



and went to Westport to equip an outfit for a western journey. He gave this 
description of Westport in his book, The Oregon Trail : 

"Westport was full of Indians, whose little shaggy ponies were tied by 
dozens along the houses and fences. Sacs and Foxes, with shaved heads and 
painted faces, Shawanoes and Delawares, fluttering in calico frocks and tur- 
bans, Wyandots dressed like white men, and a few wretched Kansans wrapped 
in old blankets, were strolling about the streets, or lounging in and out of 
the shops and houses. And later the historian observed: 'Whiskey, by the 
way, circulates more freely in Westport than is altogether safe in a place 
where every man carries a loaded pistol in his pocket.' " 

When Westport was established the principal steamboat landing in 
Jackson county was at Blue Mills, six miles below Independence. The West- 
port merchants found this landing inconvenient and they had their freight 
brought ashore farther up the river. Soon after John C. McCoy had the 
stock of goods for his store brought ashore in the woods above Chouteau's 
warehouse in 1832 from the steamboat, John Hancock, a regular landing 
place was established at the river bank where Grand avenue reaches the 
river. This was the beginning of the landing that afterward developed into 
Kansas City. 

"zion" redeemed. 

The coming of the Mormons to Independence when the town was 
young, their troubles with the "Gentile" settlers, their enforced exodus from 
the county, the return in after years and the honorable residence in Inde- 
pendence, their chosen Zion, make a chapter of interesting local history. 
The Mormons, it is said, had a revelation, seventy-five years ago, that Inde- 
pendence was to be their New Jerusalem, where they were to assemble and 
prepare for the second coming of Christ, In obedience to the Divine call, 
the pilgrims came, some by steamboat, others by wagon ; a few of the more 
unfortunate walked across Missouri from St. Louis. The, first band arrived 
in 1831. After three turbulent years the last one of the sect was driven 
from the county. When the Mormons began to return to Independence, 
shortly after the Civil war, they were wiser and the Gentiles, too, were more 

Men long have been prone to kill their neighbors because they differed 
from them in their idea of God, and all religions or churches in their in- 


cipient stages have been subjected to persecution. But who shall say that 
the Mormons have not had more than the,ir share? 

This peculiar sect originated in western New York, through the re- 
ligious experiences of Joseph Smith, which began when he was a mere lad. 
He recounted that he became religiously wrought upon by some revival meet- 
ings, and through prayer sought a solution of the problem of which church 
to join. In answer to his prayer, he states in his history, he was visited 
by a "heavenly messenger," who told him to join none of the existing 
churches, as they were, all wrong and "their creeds an abomination" in the 
sight of God — a sweeping statement which, when he repeated it, was sure to 
bring upon him the bitter opposition and resentment of zealous devotees of 
the other churches' denominations. Following the admonition received, he 
joined none of the churches represented at the revival meetings which had 
so affected him, but on April 6, 1830, with five others, he organized the 
"Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." That same year the Book 
of Mormon appeared, Joseph Smith and his followers claiming it to be an 
account of the prehistoric inhabitants of the Western hemisphere. Smith 
asserted that he had Divine assistance in translating the book from' golden 
plates that he found in the earth where, according to his story, they had 
been deposited by the last historian of the pre-Columbian Americans, many 
centuries ago. On the plates Smith said were engraved "reformed Egyptian" 
characters, which, by a peculiar gift from' God, he was enabled to translate. 
Smith also announced that a heavenly messenger, John the Baptist, had 
conferred upon him the priesthood of God which had long ago been taken 
from the earth because of transgressions. 

Smith and his followers were vigorous proselytizers, and converts were 
made rapidly, several "branches," or local churches of the faith, being organ- 
ized in New York and Pennsylvania. Shortly after the organization of the 
church, the leaders left New York and moved westward, settling at Kirt- 
land, Ohio ; Joseph Smith moved his family there the latter part of January, 
1831, and Kirtland for a time became headquarters. 

In the early part of 1831, P. P. Pratt and other elders of the church 
left Kirtland and went westward on a tour of investigation. In about four 
months they reached Independence, Missouri, where, according to their 
account, two of their number went to work as tailors. The others continued 
their journey across the, frontier to do missionary work among the Indians, 
or "Lamanites," as the Mormons called them. 

Oliver Cowdery, one of the band of missionaries, wrote a letter to a 
friend in the East that shortly afterward was published in one of the "Mor- 
mon" church publications. It was dated "Kaw Township, Missouri, May 
7, 1831," and described the conditions then existing here. Joseph Smith 



and a company of the "Saints" left Kirtland, Ohio, in June, 1831, for Inde- 
pendence, Missouri, where they arrived the middle of July, going by wagon 
and canal boat to Cincinnati, Ohio; thence by steamboat to St. Louis, and 
from St. Louis some traveled on foot to Independence, reaching there shortly 
before the remainder of the company who waited in St. Louis for a steam- 
boat. This was probably the first band of Latter Day Saints to reach Inde- 
pendence with the view of remaining in their new "Zion," as they termed 
it, the place having been revealed to them by God, they claimed, as the 
gathering place, for His Saints to prepare for the second coming of Christ. 
In July, 1831, Joseph Smith pointed out the spot on which a great temple 
should be erected to which Christ should come. This spot is believed to be 
on the famous "Temple lot" in Independence, frequently pointed out to 
visitors. The spot for the temple was formally dedicated, August 3, 1831. 

The "Saints" lost no time after their arrival, but began to build houses 
and to proselyte, two converts being baptized the first Sunday after the band 
arrived. Joseph Smith, in August, wrote to friends "back east:" 

"On the second day of August I assisted the Colesville branch of the 
church to lay the first log, for a house, as a foundation for Zion in Kaw 
township, twelve miles west of Independence." 

The influx of the religionists was steady. A printing press was bought 
in Cincinnati, Ohio, in the fall of 1831, and shipped to Independence. Paper 
was shipped in April, 1832, from Wheeling, West Virginia, to be used in 
printing a monthly newspaper. The Evening and Morning Star, made its 
appearance in June, 1832, and was published regularly until the office was 
destroyed by a mob in 1833. This newspaper played an important part in 
the trouble which arose between the "Mormons" and the residents of Inde- 
pendence and Jackson county. This announcement was made in a circular 
shortly before the first number of the newspaper was issued: 

"The Evening and Morning Star, besides the secret of the Lord, which is 
now with them that fear him, and the everlasting gospel, which must go 
to all nations, before the Holy One shall stand upon the Mount of Olivet, 
and upon the mighty ocean, even the great deep, and upon the islands of the 
sea, and upon the land of Zion, to destroy the wicked with the brightness of 
his coming — will also contain whatever of truth or information that can 
benefit the saints of God temporarily as well as spiritually, in politics, broils, 
or the gainsayings of the world. While some may say this paper is opposed 
to all combinations under whatever plausible character, others will know that 
it is for an eternal union wdiose maker and supporter is God; thus all must 
be as they are, inasmuch as they that plow iniquity and sow wickedness reap 
the same; but wisdom is justified of her children." 


At a general council of the Mormons held in Independence in April, 
1832, Joseph Smith was formally chosen president of the church. Soon 
after the Saints were well established, Smith went East, and the affairs of the 
church in "Zion"were left in the hands of Bishop Edward Partridge, Elders 
W. W. Phelps, Gilbert, and others. W. W. Phelps & Co. were the pub- 
lishers of the Evening and Morning Star, and they also issued some books 
for chui-ch purposes, besides issuing a weekly paper called the Upper Mis- 
souri Advertiser. 

The increasing band of Mormons were not long destined to enjoy peace 
in their "Zion." A mass meeting, attended by about three hundred citizens, 
was held in Independence, in April, 1833, at which were discussed "ways 
and means" to rid the county of the Mormons already there, and to prevent 
others from coming. No plan could be agreed upon, and the meeting ended 
without definite results. 

Two articles appeared in the Evening and Morning Star in July, 1833, 
that had a tendency to ripen the citizens' apparently growing hatred of the 
Mormons. One of the articles was an editorial, entitled "Free people of 
color," and the other was a general communication under the heading, "The 
Elders Stationed in Zion to the Churches Abroad." This was the edi- 
torial : 

"To prevent any misunderstanding among the churches abroad, respect- 
ing Free people of color, who may think of coming to the western boundaries 
of Missouri, as members of the church, we quote the following clauses from 
the Laws of Missouri : 

' 'Section 4. Be it further enacted, That hereafter no free negro or 
mulatto, other than a citizen of some one of the United States, shall come 
into or settle in this state under any pretext whatever; and upon complaint 
made to any justice of the peace, that such person is in his county, contrary 
to the provisions of this section, he shall cause such person to be brought 
before him. And if upon examination it shall appear that such person is a 
free negro or mulatto, and that he hath come into this state after the passage 
of this act, and such person shall not produce a certificate, attested by the 
seal of some court of record in some one of the United States, evidencing that 
he is a citizen of such state, the justice shall command him forthwith to 
depart from this state; and in case such negro or mulatto shall not depart 
from the state within thirty days after being commanded so to do as afore- 
said, any justice of the peace, upon complaint thereof to him made may cause 
such person to be brought before him, and may commit him to the common 
gaol of the county in which he may be found, until the next term of the 
circuit court to be holden in such county. And the said court shall cause 
such person to be brought before them, and examine into the cause of com- 


mitment; and if it shall appear that such person came into the state contrary 
to the provisions of this act, and continued therein after being commanded 
to depart as aforesaid, such court may sentence such person to receive ten 
lashes on his or her bare back, and order him to depart the state ; and if he 
or she shall not so depart, the same proceedings shall be had and punish- 
ment inflicted, as often as may be necessary, until such person shall depart 
the state.' 

" 'Section 5. Be it further enacted, That if any person shall, after the 
taking effect of this act, bring into this state any free negro or mulatto, not 
having in his possession a certificate of citizenship as required by this act 
(he or she), shall forfeit and pay, for every person so brought, the sum of 
five hundred dollars, to be recovered by action of debt in the name of the state, 
to the use of the university, in any court having competent jurisdiction; 
in which action the defendant may be held to bail, of right, and without 
affidavit; and it shall be the duty of the attorney-general or circuit attorney 
of the district in which any person so offending may be found, immediately 
upon information given of such offence, to commence and prosecute an action 
as aforesaid.' 

"Slaves are real estate in this and other states, and wisdom would dictate 
great care among the branches of the church of Christ, on this subject. So 
long as we have no special rule in the church, as to people of color, let pru- 
dence guide; and while they, as well as we, are in the hands of a merciful 
God, we say : Shun every appearance of evil. 

"While on the subject of law, it may not be amiss to quote some of the 
Constitution of Missouri. It shows a liberality of opinion of the great men 
of the West, and will vie with that of any other state. It is good; it is just, 
and it is the citizens' right: 

" '4. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship 
Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences; that no 
man can be compelled to erect, support or attend any place of worship, or to 
maintain any minister of the gospel or teacher of religion; that no human 
authority can control or interfere with the rights of conscience; that no per- 
son can ever be hurt, molested or restrained in his religious professions or 
sentiments, if he do not disturb others in their religious worship :' 

" '5. That no person, on account of his religious opinions, can be ren- 
dered ineligible to any office of trust or profit under this state; that no pref- 
erence can ever be given by law to any sect or mode of worship ; and that no 
religious corporation can ever be established in this state.' ' 

Following is the general communication that angered the early resi- 
dents of Jackson county: 


"Dear Brethren : One year having passed since we addressed the churches 
abroad on the situation of Zion, and the state of the gathering, it seems to 
be our duty, to again address the saints on the same subjects. Although 
you frequently learn through the medium of the Star, our situation and 
progress, yet we indulge a hope that a circular from us, particularly setting 
these things forth at this time, will be received by you in fellowship. 

"We have abundant reason to thank the Lord for his goodness and 
mercy manifested unto us, since we were planted in this land. With the 
exception of the wkiter season, the gathering has continued slowly. At 
present, w y e have not the exact number of the disciples, but suppose that 
there are near seven hundred. Include these, with their children, and those 
wdio belong to families, and the number will probably amount to more than 
twelve hundred souls. 

"Many have been planted upon their inheritances, where, blessed with a 
fruitful soil, and a healthy climate, they are beginning to enjoy some of the 
comforts of life; in connection with peace and satisfaction of pure and unde- 
filed religion; which is to visit the widow and the fatherless in their afflic- 
tions and to keep ourselver unspotted from the world: This brings down 
the blessings of peace and love from our Father, and confirms our faith in 
the promise, that we shall see him in the flesh, when he comes to be glorified 
in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe in that day. 

"Here let us remark, that our duty urges us to notice a few letters which 
have been sent from this place by persons seeking the loaves and fishes, or 
by such as have lost their standing among men of character in the world. In 
the letters alluded to are some facts: but the most of them are false. 

"It is said, that women go out to work: this is a fact, and not only 
women, but men too; for in the church of Christ, all that are able, have to 
work to fulfill the commandments of the Lord; and the situation in which 
many have come up here, has brought them under the necessity of seeking 
employment from those who do not belong to the church ; yet, we can say 
as far as our knowledge extends that they have been honorably compensated. 
And we are willing that the decree concerning mankind, thou shalt eat thy 
bread by the sweat of thy brow, should be fulfilled. Members of the church 
have, or will have, 'deeds' in their own name. 

"One Bates from New London, Ohio, who subscribed fifty dollars for 
the purpose of purchasing lands, and the necessaries for the saints, after his 
arrival here, sued Edward Partridge and obtained a judgment for the same. 
Bates shortly after denied the faith and ran away on Sunday, leaving debts 
unpaid. We do not mention this to cast reflections, but to give a sample of 
his work manifested since he came to this land. 



■ - 

■ . ■ 

-« „-• 



■' . .-.' i 

, , . , . .. . 

■ - 


■': ■ 
... fvf f 

.... ... 

,'.., ■ , ■ , \ ,'.--,'/•. 

. ■• ■' 

' •'. ,•- ■ i / " 

«. e&*/7Z-tt 

■; .......<■ 

... ... ... 



"No man that has consecrated property to the Lord, for the benefit of 
the poor and the needy, by a deed of gift according to the laws of the land, 
has thought of suing for it, any more than the men of the world, who give, 
or donate to build meeting houses and colleges; or to send missionaries to 
India, or the Cape of Good Hope. 

"Every saint that has come to this land to escape the desolation which 
awaits the wicked, and prepare for the coming of the Lord, is well satisfied 
with the country, and the order of the kingdom of our God ; and we are 
happy to say that the inhabitants of Zion are growing in grace, and in the 
knowledge of those things which lead to peace and eternal glory. And our 
hearts are filled with thanksgiving for the privilege of bearing this testimony 
concerning our brethren on this land. 

"One object in writing this epistle is, to give some instructions to those 
who come up to the land of Zion. Through a mistaken idea, many of the 
brethren abroad, that had property, have given some away; and sacrificed 
some, they hardly know how. This is not right, nor according to the com- 

"We would advise in the first place, that every disciple, if in his power, 
pay his just debts, so as to owe no man, and then if he has any property 
left, let him be careful of it ; and he can help the poor, by consecrating some 
for their inheritances: For as yet, there has not been enough consecrated to 
plant the poor in inheritances according to the regulation of the church, and 
the desire of the faithful. 

"This might have been done, had such as had property been prudent. 
It seems as though a notion was prevalent, in Babylon, that the church of 
Christ was a common stock concern. This ought not so to be, for it is not 
the case. When a disciple comes to Zion for an inheritance, it is his duty, 
if he has anything to consecrate to the Lord, for the benefit of the poor and 
the needy, or to purchase lands, to consecrate it according to the law of the 
Lord, and also according to the law of the land; and the Lord has said, that 
in keeping his laws, we have no need to break the laws of the land. And 
we have abundant reason to be thankful, that we are permitted to establish 
ourselves under the protection of a government that knows no exceptions to 
sect or society, but gives all its citizens a privilege of worshiping God accord- 
ing to their own desire. 

Again, while in the world, it is not the duty of a disciple to exhaust all 
his means in bringing the poor to Zion; and this because, if all should do 
so, there would be nothing to put in the storehouse in Zion, for the purpose 
which the Lord has commanded. 

"Do not think, brethren, by this that we would advise or direct that the 
poor be neglected in the least ; this is not the desire of our hearts : for we are 


mindful of the word of our Father, which informs us that in his bosom it is 
decreed that the poor and the meek of the earth shall possess it. 

"The welfare of the poor has always a place in our hearts; yet we are 
confident that our experience, even had we nothing else to prompt us to 
advise on this point, and that wholly for the good of the cause in which we 
labor, would be sufficient in the minds of our brethren abroad to excuse a 
plainness on this important part of our subject. 

"To see numbers of disciples come to this land, destitute of means to 
procure an inheritance, and much less the necessaries of life, awakens a 
sympathy in our bosoms of no ordinary feeling; and we should do injustice 
to the saints were we to remain silent when, perhaps, a few words by way of 
advice may be the means of instructing them, that hereafter great difficul- 
ties may be avoided. 

"For the disciples to suppose that they can come to this land without 
aught to eat, or to drink, or to wear, or anything to purchase these neces- 
saries with, is a vain thought. For them to suppose that the Lord will open 
the windows of heaven, and rain down angel's food for them by the way, 
when their whole journey lies through a fertile country, stored with the 
blessings of life from his own hand for them to subsist upon, is also vain. 

"For them to suppose that their clothes and shoes will not wear out 
upon the journey, when the whole of it lies through a country where there 
are thousands of sheep from which wool in abundance can be procured to 
make them garments, and cattle upon a thousand hills, to afford leather for 
shoes, is just as vain. 

"The circumstances of the saints in gathering to the land of Zion in 
these last days are very different from those of the children of Israel, after 
they despised the promised rest of the Lord, after they were brought out of 
the land of Egypt. Previous to that the Lord promised them, if they would 
obey his voice and keep his commandments, that he would send the hornet 
before them, and drive out those nations which then inhabited the promised 
land, so that they might have peaceable possession of the same; without the 
shedding of blood. But in consequence of their unbelief and rebellion they 
were compelled to obtain it by the sword, with the sacrifice of many lives. 

"But to suppose that we can come up here and take possession of this 
land by the shedding of blood would be setting at naught the law of the 
glorious gospel, and also the word of our great Redeemer: and to suppose 
that we can take possession of this country, without making regular pur- 
chases of the same according to the laws of our nation, would be reproaching 
this great Republic, in which the most of us were born, and under whose 
auspices we all have protection. 


"We feel as though enough was .said on this point, knowing that a word 
to the wise is sufficient ; and that all our brethren are aware of the fact that 
all tithes cannot be gathered into the storehouse of the Lord, that the win- 
dows of heaven may be opened, and a blessing be poured out that there is 
not room enough to vontain it, if all the means of the saints are exbausted, 
before they reach the place where they can have a privilege of so doing. 

"Do not conclude from these remarks, brethren, that we doubt in the 
least that the Lord will fail to provide for his saints in these last days; or 
that we would extend our hands to steady His ark, for this is not the case. We 
know that the saints have the unchangeable word of God, that they shall be 
provided for; yet we know, if any are imprudent, or lavish, or negligent, or 
indolent, in taking that proper care, and making that proper use of what the 
Lord has made them stewards over, which is their duty to, they are not 
counted wise; for a strict account of everyone's stewardship is required, not 
only in time, but will be in eternity. 

"Neither do we apprehend that we shall be considered as putting out 
our hands to steady the ark of God, by giving advice to our brethren upon 
important points relative to their coming to Zion, when the experience of 
almost two years' gathering has taught us to revere that sacred word from 
heaven, let not your flight be in haste, but let all things be pre- 
pared BEFORE YOU. 

"Then, brethren, we would advise that where there are many poor in a 
church, that the elders counsel together and make preparations to send a 
part at one time and a part at another. And let the poor rejoice in that they 
are exalted: but the rich in that they are made low, for there is no respect 
of persons in the sight of the Lord. 

"The disciples of Christ, blessed with immediate revelations from him, 
should be wise and not take the way of the world, nor build air-castles, but 
consider that when they have been gathered to Zion, means will be needed 
to purchase their inheritances, and means will be needed to purchase food 
and raiment for at least one year; or, at any rate, food: And where disciples, 
or churches, are blessed with means to do as much as this, they would be 
better off in Zion than in the world, troubled as it is, and will shortly be, 
with plagues, famines, pestilences, and utter destruction upon the ungodly. 

"On the subject of false reports, which are put in circulation by evil 
minded men to ridicule the idea of the gathering of Israel in these last days, 
we would say to our brethren abroad, believe them not: The Evening and 
the Morning Star was established expressly to publish the truth, and the word 
of the Lord, that the saints might not be deceived by such as make broad 
the borders of their garments and love the uppermost rooms at feasts: yea. 
by such as bind heavy burdens which are grievous to be borne, and lay them 


upon men's shoulders, but will not move them with one of their fingers. 
Yea, we give this caution that the disciples may not give heed to the gain- 
saying of those who seek the honor of this world and the glory of the same, 
rather than seek the honor of God and his glory: nor those who have turned 
away from the church of Christ, and denied the faith delivered to his saints 
in these last days. 

"Brethren, the Lord has begun to gather his children, even Israel, that 
they may prepare to enter into and enjoy his rest when he comes in his 
glory, and He will do it. No matter what your ideas or notions may be upon 
the subject; no matter what foolish reports the wicked may circulate to grat- 
ify an evil disposition, the Lord will continue to gather the righteous, and 
destroy the wicked, till the sound goes forth, IT IS FINISHED. 

"It ought to be known abroad that much improvement is needed in the 
cattle, sheep and hogs in this part of the country. For the sake of comfort 
and convenience, as cows here are worth from ten to fifteen dollars, our 
brethren would do well, and we would advise them to purchase before they 
arrive in this region. 

"In fact, if they jom*ney according to the commandments of the Lord, 
pitching their tents by the way, like Israel in days of old, it would be no 
more than right to drive cows enough to supply every family, or company, 
with milk on the way. 

"They would then have them when they arrived here; and, if they 
selected of the best breeds, they would lay a foundation for improvement, a 
thing of which all our brethren who are acquainted with raising stock will 
at once see the propriety. 

"The sheep of this state are large, but as their wool is coarse the breed 
would soon be. improved if our brethren would drive with them some 
Merinoes or Saxony. As soon as wool and flax are had among the brethren, 
sufficient for the purpose, they will manufacture cloth for their own use in 
the church. 

"The swine in this country are not good, being the old fashioned shak 
breed, and much inferior to the large white grass breed of the eastern states. 
If any could introduce this breed into the church in Zion, what little pork 
might be wanted in the winter would be much better and easier raised. 

"It is a matter of some surprise to us that our brethren should come, up 
to the land of Zion, as many do, without bringing garden seeds, and even 
seeds of all kinds. The Jaredites and Nephites took with them all kinds; 
and the Jaredites, all kinds of animals. And although the Lord has said that 
it was his business to provide for his saints, yet he has not said that he would 
do it, unless they kept his commandments. 


"And notwithstanding the fullness of the earth is for the saints, they 
can never expect it unless they use the means put into their hands to obtain 
the same in the manner provided by our Lord. When you flee to Zion, we 
enjoin the word, prepare all things, that you may be ready to labor for a 
living, for the Lord has promised to take the curse off the land of Zion in 
his own due time, and the willing and the obedient will eat the good of the 
same: not the idle, for they are to be had in remembrance before the Lord. 

"One very important requisition for the saints that come up to the land 
of Zion is, that, before they start, they procure a certificate from three elders 
of the church, or from the bishop in Ohio, according to the commandments; 
and when they arrive to present it to the bishop in Zion, otherwise they are 
not considered wise stewards, and cannot be received into fellowship with the 
church, till they prove themselves by their own goodness. 

"Some of our brethren may at the first instant think, perhaps, that this 
is useless and formal, but a few reflections will be sufficient for them to see 
the propriety of it, and more especially when they learn that it is a com- 
mandment given us of our Lord. 

"Our brethren will find an extract of the. law of this state, relative to free 
people of color, on another page of this paper. Great care should be taken 
on this point. The saints must shun every appearance of evil. As to slaves, 
we have nothing to say. In connection with the wonderful events of this 
age, much is doing towards abolishing slavery, and colonizing the blacks, in 

"The foregoing remarks have been addressed to our brethren abroad, 
considered as one general body, and have been designed as general informa- 
tion to all. We cannot close this epistle, compatible with our duty, without 
particularly addressing ourselves to our brethren, the elders, to whom is in- 
trusted the preaching of the everlasting gospel, the glad tidings of salvation to 
Israel, and to all the Gentiles, if they will listen to the invitation. 

"Brethren, we are aware of your many afflictions, or at least in part, 
some of us having been eye witnesses to the things of God, and having been 
called to bear testimony of the same from the first, since this gospel has 
been proclaimed in these last days. The desire of our hearts for your pros- 
perity we can truly say is inexpressible : for when you are prospered, we are, 
and when you are blessed, we are blessed also. The afflictions which you are 
necessarily called to undergo in these days of tribulation and vengeance upon 
the wicked, call forth from our hearts unceasing prayers to our common Parent 
in your behalf, that you may be enabled to deliver his message in the 
demonstration of his Spirit, and call together his elect from the ends of 
the earth, to the place of the name of the Lord of hosts, even to Mount Zion. 


"By those few expressions, you will see brethren, how important we 
view your callings. We do not consider that it is our duty to direct you in 
your missions; but we will give you in a few words what we have reason to 
expect relative, to the gathering of the saints, according to the revelations 
of the Lord. 

"By the authority of your callings and ordinances, you, no doubt, will 
admit, that it will be expected, that you will know your duty, and at all 
times and in all places, teach the disciples theirs; but we are sorry to say, 
that in some instances, some of our brethren have failed to do so. 

"We would remind our brethren of a clause in the Covenants, which 
informs us, that all who are ordained in this church, are to be ordained ac- 
cording to the gifts and callings of God unto them, by the power of the 
Holy Ghost which is the one who ordains them. We would also remind 
them of one valuable caution recorded in Paul's first letter to Timothy, 
which says, Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other 
men's sins. 

"Those cautions, however, are particularly addressed to our young breth- 
ren in the ministry. We know that many of our brethren are wise in these 
important parts of their labors, and have rid their garments of the blood 
of this generation, and are approved before the Lord. 

"We will proceed further, brethren, to notice some particular items 
immediately connected with your duties, and what, as we said before, we 
have reason to expect from you, according to the revelations. In one given 
December 4, 1831, we learn that it is the duty of the eldejs of the church 
in the east to render an acount of their stewardship, unto the bishop ap- 
pointed unto the church in that part of the Lord's vineyard. 

"The Lord says, And now, verily I say unto you, that as every elder in 
this part of the vineyard (the east) must give an account of his steward- 
ship unto the bishop in this part of the vineyard, a certificate from the 
judge or bishop in this part of the vineyard, unto the bishop in Zion, ren- 
dereth every man acceptable, and answereth all things for an inheritance, 
and to be received as a wise steward, and as a faithful laborer; otherwise 
he shall not be accepted of the bishop in Zion. 

"And now, verily I say unto you, let every elder who shall give an ac- 
count unto the bishop of the church, in this part of the vineyard (the east) 
be recommended by the church or churches, in which he labors, that he 
may render himself and his accounts approved in all things. 

"We hope, brethren, that you will be particular to teach the disciples 
abroad prudence and economy in all things. Teach them in plainness, that 
without regular recommends they cannot be received in fellowship with 
the church in Zion, until after they have proven themselves worthy by their 


godly walk. And those who are recommended by you, we expect will be such 
as are personally known to you to be disciples indeed, and worthy the confi- 
dence of all saints. 

"Viewing the quotation relative to your obtaining a certificate from the 
bishop in the east concerning your worthiness, you cannot blame us. breth- 
ren, if we are strict on this point. It may be understood, therefore, by our 
brethren, the elders, who come from the east, and do not bring a regular 
certificate showing that their labors have been accepted there, that they can- 
not be accepted in Zion. We do not set ourselves up as judges in this; we 
have only a desire to see the order of our Redeemer's kingdom observed in 
all things; for his commandments are precious with us: we have them in 
our hands, and they are sacred to our hearts. 

"Our brethren who labor in the churches a distance to the west of 
the residence of the bishop in the east, who do not render their accounts 
to him, should be particular to bring recommends from the churches in 
which they do labor, and present them, with the accounts of their labors, 
to the bishop immediately after their arrival here. And those elders who 
labor continually in preaching the gospel to the world, should also be par- 
ticular to render their account of the same, that they may show themselves 
approved in all things, and be known to be worthy of the high office in 
which they stand in the church of Christ. 

"Having said considerable concerning those particular points which 
are necessary to be observed by our brethren who journey to this land, and 
also a few words to the elders, we deem it a privilege, before we conclude to 
say something more to the church at large. In the previous remarks, how- 
ever, we presume our brethren may make many improvements, and. per- 
haps, discover some errors; if so, we can say that the best of motives have 
prompted us to write to our brethren, and if some small errors are to be 
found we are certain that the general ideas are correct, and will be a means 
of doing good, if those who are immediately interested in the same give 
heed to them. 

"Dear Brethren in the New Covenant, accept this as a token for a salu- 
tation in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, from your brethren in Zion. 
While we are permitted to witness the great things which are continually 
taking place in fulfillment of the prophecies concerning the last days, as 
the children of God are gathered home to prepare themselves for the sup- 
per of the Lamb, our language, that is the English tongue, fails to express 
our joy.'' 

The newspaper announced that the communication would be "contin- 
ued in our next," but the printing office was destroyed and the "next" never 
came. After the appearance of the. two articles the Saints soon were in 


trouble. The following circular, signed by about one hundred "Gentiles," 
was issued July 18, 1833 : 

"We, the undersigned, citizens of Jackson county, believing that an 
important crisis is at hand as regards our civil society, in consequence of a 
pretended religious sect of people that have settled and are still settling in 
our county, styling themselves Mormons, and intending as we do to rid 
our society peaceably if we, can, forcibly if we must, and believing as we 
do that the arm of the civil law does not afford us a guarantee, or at least 
a sufficient one against the evils which are now inflicted upon us, and seem 
to be increasing by the said religious se.ct, deem it expedient, and of the 
highest importance, to form ourselves into a company for the better and 
easier accomplishment of our purpose, a purpose which we deem it almost 
superfluous to say, is justified as well by the law of nature as by the law of 
self-preservation . 

"It is more than two years since the first of these fanatics or knaves 
(for one or the other they undoubtedly are) made their first appearance, 
amongst us, and pretending as they did and now do to hold personal com- 
munication and converse face to face with the most high God; to receive 
communications and revelations direct from heaven, to heal the sick by 
laying on hands; and, in short, to perform all the wonder-working miracles 
wrought by the inspired apostles and prophets of old. 

"We believed them deluded fanatics or weak and designing knaves, 
and that they and their pretensions would soon pass away; but in this we 
were deceived. The arts of a few designing leaders amongst them have thus 
far succeeded in holding them together as a society, and since the arrival 
of the first of them they have been daily increasing in numbers, and if they 
had been respectable citizens in society, and thus deluded, they would have 
been entitled to our pity rather than to our contempt and hatred; but 
from their appearance, from their manners, and from their conduct, since 
their coming among us, we have every reason to fear that with but very few ex- 
ceptions, they were of the very dregs of that society from which they came; 
lazy, idle and vicious. This we conceive is not idle assertion, but a fact 
susceptible of proof, for with these few exceptions above-named, they brought 
into our county little or no property with them, and left less behind them, and 
we infer that those only yoked themselves to the Mormon car who had noth- 
ing earthly or heavenly to lose, by the change; and we fear that if some of 
the leaders amongst them had paid the forfeit due to crime, instead of be- 
ing chosen ambassadors of the Most High, they would have been inmates 
of solitary cells. But their conduct here stamps their characters in their 
true colors. More than a year since, it was ascertained that they had been 
tampering with our slaves and endeavoring to sow dissensions and raise 


seditions amongst them. Of this their Mormon leaders were informed, and 
they said they would deal with any of their members who should again in 
like case offend. But how specious are appearances. In a late number of 
the Star, published in Independence by the leaders of the sect, there is an 
article inviting free negroes and mulattoes from other states to become Mor- 
mons and remove and settle among us. This exhibits them in still more odious 
colors. It manifests a desire on 'the part of their society to inflict on our so- 
ciety an injury that they know would be to us entirely insupportable, and 
one of the surest means of driving us from the county; for it would require 
none of the supernatural gifts that they pretend to, to see that the introduc- 
tion of such a caste amongst us would corrupt our blacks and instigate them 
to bloodshed. 

"They openly blaspheme the most high God and cast contempt on His 
Holy religion by pretending to receive revelations direct from heaven, by 
pretending to speak unknown tongues by direct inspiration, and by diverse 
pretense derogatory of God and religion, and to the utter subversion of 
human reason. 

"Thej T declare openly that their God hath given them this county of 
land, and that sooner or later they must and will have the possession of our 
lands for an inheritance, and in fine they have conducted themselves on 
many other occasions in such a manner that we believe it a duty we owe 
ourselves, to our wives and children, to the cause, of public morals, to re- 
move them from among us, as we are not prepared to give up our pleasant 
places and goodly possessions to them, or to receive into the bosom of our 
families as fit companions for our wives and daughters the degraded and 
corrupted free negroes and mulattoes that are now invited to settle among us. 

"Under such a state of things even our beautiful county would cease 
to be a desirable, residence, and our situation intolerable! We, therefore, 
agree, that after timely warning, and receiving an adequate compensation 
for what little property they cannot take with them, they refuse to leave us 
in peace, as they found us, we agree to use such means as may be sufficient 
to remove them, and to that end we each pledge to each other our bodily 
powers, our lives, fortunes and sacred honors. 

"We will meet at the courthouse at the town of Independence, on Sat- 
urday next, 20th inst., to consult ulterior movements." 

As announced by the circular, about four or five hundred citizens met, 
July 20, 1833, and appointed a committee to wait upon the Mormon lead- 
ers and demand the supension of the Evening and Morning Star, the im- 
mediate removal of the leaders from the county, and the checking of fur- 
ther Mormon immigration into the. county. The Mormons asked for thirty 
days to move their effects and dispose of their properties. This was refused. 


They asked for ten days and were refused. They were told fifteen minutes 
was long enough for them to start. The conference of the committees then 
broke ujd and rioting began. The frenzied citizens razed the printing plant 
of W. W. Phelps & Co., the. printing press was broken, the type "pied" and 
thrown into the streets, the furniture broken and thrown out of doors, and 
Mrs. Phelps, with several children — one of them ill — was turned out of the 
home. The mob, still unsatisfied, started to destroy the general store of Gil- 
bert, Whitney & Co., but Mr. Gilbert promised to pack the goods and move, 
and they desisted. But they caught Bishop Partridge and a Mr. Allen 
and tarred and feathered them. 

The citizens assembled on July 23, 1833, and issued threats against 
the Mormons, ordering them to leave at once or every man, woman and 
child would be whipped. John Corrill, John Whitmer, W. W. Phelps, A. 
S. Gilbert, Edward Partridge, Isaac Morley, and others of the leaders of 
the Saints placed themselves in the hands of the citizens. The citizens ap- 
pointed the following committee to meet a delegation from the Mormons: 
Samuel C. Owens, Leonidas Oldham, G. W. 'Simpson, M. L. Irwin, John 
Harris, Henry Childs, Harvey H. Younger, Hugh H. Brazeale, N. K. Olm- 
stead, James C. Sadler, William Bowers, Benjamin Majors, Zachariah Wal- 
ler, Harman Gregg, Aaron Overton, and Samuel Weston. 

The Mormons appointed the following: Edward Partridge, Isaac Mor- 
ley, John Corrill, W. W. Phelps, A. S. Gilbert and John Whitmer. This 
agreement was reached : 

"Memorandum of agreement between the undersigned of the Mormon 
society, in Jackson county, Missouri, and a committee appointed by a pub- 
lic meeting of the citizens of said county, made the 23d day of July, 1833. 

"It is understood that the undersigned members of the society do give 
their solemn pledge each for himself, as follows, to wit: "That Oliver Cow- 
dery, W. W. Phelps, William E. McLellin, Edward Partridge, Lyman 
Wight, Simeon Carter, Peter and John Whitmer, and Harvey Whitlock, 
shall remove with their families out of this county on or before the first 
day of January next, and that they, as well as the two herinafter named, 
use all their influence to induce all the brethren now here to remove as 
soon as possible — one-half, say, by the first of January next, and all by the 
first day of April next ; to advise and try all means in their power to stop 
any more of their sect from moving to this country; and as to those now 
on the. road, they will use their influence to prevent their settling perma- 
nently in the county, but that they shall only make arrangements for tem- 
porary shelter, till a new location is agreed on for the society. John Cor- 
rill and A. S. Gilbert are allowed to remain as general agents to wind up 
the, business of the society, so long as necessity shall require ; and said Gil- 


bert may sell out his merchandise now on hand, but is to make no new 

"The Star is not again to be published, nor a press .set up by any of 
the society of the county. 

"If the said Edward Partridge and W. W. Phelps move their families 
by the first day of January as aforesaid, that they themselves will be allowed 
to go and come in order to transact and wind up their business. 

"The committee pledge themselves to use all their influence to prevent 
any violence being used so long as a compliance with the foregoing terms 
is observed by the parties concerned." 

This agreement, be it said to the shame of those who made it, was not 
kept. In October, long before the time specified, open hostilities were re- 
sumed, and by gun, and stone, and club, the Saints, men and women and 
children, were driven from their homes, fleeing before those who in defiance 
of law were by violence attempting to rid themselves of unwelcome neigh- 

The first of the open hostilities after the agreement occurred October 
31, 1833, about two miles west of Independence. This was quickly followed 
by others. The Mormons in places tried to defend themselves and lives were 
lost on both sides. Colonel Thomas Pitcher, at the head of the militia dis- 
armed some of the Saints, taking fifty or sixty guns and pistols. 

A company of about fifty armed men, without any legal authority, vis- 
ited a settlement of Mormons on the Big Blue river, October 31, 1833, de- 
stroyed ten houses and whipped several men and frightened the women and 
children so that they fled to the outlying country for safety. Another party 
of Gentiles visited a Mormon settlement, twelve miles southwest of Inde- 
pendence, the night of November 1, where Parley P. Pratt had assembled 
a force of about sixty men. The attacking party camped for the night and 
stationed guards, two of whom had an encounter with Pratt, One of the 
guards struck the Mormon leader with a musket and knocked him down 
and then both of the sentinels were captured by the Mormons and detained 
over night, and the church storehouse was entered and the goods scattered 
in the street. 

About thirty Mormon families left Independence November 2, 1833, 
and assembled with other fugitives in the country for protection. The same 
day another attack was made on the Mormon settlement on the Big Blue 
river and a house was unroofed. Another settlement about six miles from- 
Independence was attacked. The Mormon settlement on the Big Blue river 
was attacked by a mob the second time, on Saturday night, November 2, 
and the first "battle" was fought, A sick woman received a pistol-shot wound 
in the head and one of the Mormons was wounded in the thigh. A delega- 


tion of Mormons went to Lexington, Missouri, the next day to ask protec- 
tion of the circuit court, but it was denied. Other Mormons applied to a 
justice of the peace in Independence without results. 

These conflicts increased the excitement on both sides, and many wild 
rumors were afloat in the county. The Mormons heard that they were to 
be massacred, and the residents of Independence were told that the Mor- 
mons were preparing to destroy the town. 

The residents took possession of a ferry across the Blue river, belong- 
ing to the Mormons, November 4, 1833, but soon abandoned it and assem- 
bled in greater numbers at a store one mile west of the ferry. A party of 
about thirty Mormons, started from an adjacent settlement to assist their 
friends on the. Big Blue river, but when they heard of the assembly at the 
store they fled through the corn fields. Later in the day there was a conflict 
on the prairie, twelve miles southwest of Independence, in which two of 
the. Gentiles, Hugh L. Brozeal and Thomas Linville, were killed and one 
Mormon mortally wounded. 

The conflict created great excitement, and the following day the citi- 
zens assembled to the number of several hundred from all parts of the county. 
The Mormons also rallied their forces. A bloody conflict was imminent, but 
the Mormons began to disperse, realizing that they were outnumbered and 
that they could not expect justice from the courts or any of the other county 

The Saints were driven from the county, most of them going north into 
Clay county, where they found temporary refuge, taking such of their move- 
able property as the, haste of their flight permitted. Some went into Van 
Buren county, from which they were again driven, some into Lafayette 
county, from where they were soon expelled. 

The work of the mob was complete. Every one of the Latter Day Saints 
was driven from the county. The local officers were appealed to by the 
Saints, but they were told to defend themselves. It may be said to the honor 
of Governor Daniel Dunklin and Attorney General Robert W. Wells that 
their official attitude, whatever may have been their personal feelings toward 
the Mormons, was one of fairness and liberal interpretation of the law. At- 
tempts were, made by these officers to have some of the perpetrators of the 
outrages indicted; but the local feeling in Jackson county against the Mor- 
mons was too intense. The residents had their way. 

The flight of the Mormons from their homes before an enraged pop- 
ulace, in the inclement season of the year, many of them destitute — bare- 
footed and improperly clad for the winter — constitutes a picture that no 
fair-minded Missourian can look upon with other than shame, no matter 
what provocation the Mormons may have given. Before the spring of 1834 


had far advanced every Mormon had left the county. Attempts were made 
to compromise the trouble, and make some adjustment with the Mormons 
concerning their abandoned property ; but all attempts at general compro- 
mise failed. What adjustments were made were individual matters. 

The majority of the Mormons who left Jackson county went to Clay 
county, where temporary refuge was found. Trouble soon arose, however, 
and the band went to Caldwell county. Still later they left Missouri and 
tied to Illinois, where they founded the town of Nauvoo. They rapidly in- 
creased in numbers. In 1844, however, Joseph Smith and his brother Hy- 
rum, presidents of the church, were murdered by a mob in Carthage jail, 
Illinois, and soon the church membership was torn by contentions of aspi- 
rants to the mantle of the slain leader and prophet. In 1846 and in sub- 
sequent years Brigham Young, one of the aspirants for the leadership, presi- 
dent of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles at the time of the death of Joseph 
Smith, lead away thousands of the Saints into the Rocky Mountains and 
settled in Utah, where they have increased until now they number about 
350,000. Many refused to acknowledge Brigham Young, and followed other 
leaders. James J. Strang led some into Wisconsin, and on Beaver Island 
founded the Court of St. James. Charles B. Thompson gathered some in 
western Iowa, and at Preparation founded a communistic society. Lyman 
Wight led others to Texas. Another faction, lead by Granville Hedrick, 
became known as "Hedrickites." 

One faction "reorganized" the church in 1851 and 1852 and denounced 
Brigham Young as the successor to Joseph Smith, pronounced polygamy 
and other doctrines introduced by Brigham Young as heresies and not in 
the doctrine of the church in Joseph Smith's life time, and in 1860 elected 
Joseph Smith, the eldest son of Joseph Smith, the founder of the church, 
as the president of the "Reorganized church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day 
Saints." This church is the strongest one of the factions except the Utah 
church, and twice has been declared in court to be the church in true suc- 
cession to the one founded by Joseph Smith. Its headquarters is at Lamoni, 
la., although most of its membership is in Jackson county. The largest 
congregation is in Independence. 

The differences between the Utah Mormons and the members of the 
Reorganized church are marked. The Reorganized Latter Day Saints de- 
nounce polygamy, Adam-God worship, and other prominent and characteris- 
tic doctrines of the Utah Mormons, and teach obedience to the laws of the 
land and good citizenship in general. 

Now for the Mormons' return to Independence. The latter part of the 
'60's and the early '70's several families of the Reorganized church came to 
Jackson county. The family of Albert W. Noble settled in Rush Bottom 


about 1887. This family soon was followed by others. A small band of 
Saints, under the leadership of Granville Hedrick, moved into Independence ' 
in 1867, from Bloomington and other points in Illinois, and in June, 1868, 
resumed the publication of Truth Teller, a newspaper that had been founded 
in Bloomington. A small congregation of these people have since remained 
in Independence, although the followers of Mr. Hedrick have never been 
numerically strong. At present the Hedrickites are in possession of the 
famous Temple lot on which they have a two-story frame building in which 
they hold meetings and from which is issued occasional numbers of the 
Evening and Morning Star. 

Members of the Reorganized church established the Independence 
branch of the church in May, 1873. The membership has grown steadily 
by accretion, by baptism and the return of the Saints to "Zion" to build 
up the "waste places" thereof, until now (1908) the Independence congre- 
gation numbers about two thousand souls. Their stone church on West 
Electric street is one, of the finest church buildings in Independence. But 
Independence has not received all the returning Saints; in Greater Kansas 
City there are eight or nine regularly organized branches or local churches 
of the Reorganized church, besides several regular "Missions." These are 
the congregations: First Kansas City branch, Second Kansas City branch, 
Third Kansas City branch, Fourth Kansas City branch, Central Kansas City 
branch; Armstrong, Kansas, branch; Argentine, Kansas, branch; Chelsea 
Park, Kansas, branch; Grand View, Kansas, branch. The Central branch pur- 
chased the old building of the Central Methodist church, South, at Ninth street 
and Lydia avenue, in 1908. 

The Utah Mormons for a number of years have maintained mission head- 
quarters of the Central States Mission in Jackson county; being in Kansas 
City until March, 1907, when they purchased and moved into new mission 
quarters at the corner of Kansas and Pleasant streets in Independence. 

The Mormons in Independence are engaged in numerous successful 
business enterprises. The Utah Mormons, besides their mission headquarters, 
rent a hall for regular meetings, and from other rented quarters publish 
their mission paper, The Liahona; the Elders' Journal, with a circulation 
of .about 10,000. They also built near the Missouri Pacific depot a large 
plow factory that supplied plows mostly for Utah. Only a few families of 
the Utah Mormons have moved into Jackson county, but one cannot long 
talk with any Utah Mormon without learning that he expects to return to 
Independence some day to help build the great temple.. The Hedrickites, 
as an organization, own little or no property except the Temple lot, although 
some of them are in business. 


The Reorganized Latter Day Saints own the most property, by far, and 
are the strongest of any other faction in Independence. Besides the large 
stone church with its annex, just opposite the Temple lot, the church owns 
a building near the corner of Osage and West Lexington streets in which 
is one of their church printing plants, from which is issued a weekly church 
paper called Zion's Ensign, with about 7,000 circulation. The members of 
the Reorganized church control the following business enterprises in Inde- 
pendence: A state bank, two planing mills, one coal mining company, two 
coal and feed stores, one foundry, one casket factory, one stationery store, 
three real estate firms, two firms of contractors and builders, one blacksmith, 
two millinery stores, two cement construction companies, six grocery stores, 
one bakery, one sewing machine store, three attorneys' offices, two candy fac- 
tories, one jewelry store, one publishing house, one house moving firm, two 
deep well drilling companies, one meat market, one undertaking establish- 
ment, one nursery, one laundry, three dental offices, two barber shops, one 
furniture company, two tailors, one hardware store, three physicians one 
plumbing company, two shoe shops, one machine shop, and one wagon 

On a five-acre tract on Blue avenue near the western limits of Inde- 
pendence, the church erected a large sanitarium at a cost of about $50,000. 
Surrounding it are the homes of a number of the Saints, built since the sani- 
tarium was established. Some of the finest residences in Independence are 
owned by the Saints. 

The sanitarium had its inception in a revelation. The General confer- 
ence of the Reorganized Latter Day Saints was holding an annual session in 
Independence in April, 1906. Late one afternoon, after a busy session, there 
was a lull. Joseph Smith, the venerable president of the church, a son of 
the original prophet and founder of Mormonism, arose and with much ap- 
parent emotion began to address the assembly. 

The big church was packed with delegates from all parts of the world. 
All felt that something extraordinary was about to happen. The congrega- 
tion listened in dead silence as the president spoke. It was a "revelation" to 
the head of the church. The Saints believe that direct revelations from God 
to His servants are just as possible and reasonable now as in apostolic times. 

The president told how the Lord had revealed to him that a sanitarium 
for the healing of the sick should be established at Independence. It created 
a profound impression. Plans were made at once to carry the revelation into 
effect. A year w r as spent in collecting money in the various congregations of 
the church, and in selecting a site. 

The sanitarium accommodates one hundred and fifty patients. It is 
built primarily as a church institution and preference is given to church 


members who are unable to pay for treatment. The Saints frequently use 
the Scriptural methods of healing — praying for the sick, anointing with oil 
and the laying on of the hands. 



The Missouri river landing, near Chouteau's warehouse, where the mer- 
chants of Westport had their goods brought ashore, was part of the two hun- 
dred and fifty-six acre tract owned by the estate of Gabriel Prudhomme, a 
Frenchman who died in 1836. The only buildings near the landing in 1838 
were Isaac Richard's saloon where the trappers and Indians resorted, a store 
owned by a Frenchman whose name has been forgotten and several small 
shanties. When steamboats arrived small crowds of traders gathered at the 
landing, and teamsters went there with their wagons to receive freight. The 
land adjacent to the river, for the most part, was a wildwood, and is de- 
scribed by John C. McCoy at a meeting of the old settlers of Jackson county, 
December 30, 1871: 

" I recall a clearing of a few acres, lying on the high ridge between Main 
and Wyandotte streets, and Second and Fifth streets, made and abandoned 
by a mountain trapper. A few old dead trees were standing in the field that 
was surrounded by a dilapidated rail fence. On all sides was a dense forest, 
the ground covered with vines, underbrush and fallen timber, and in several 
places there were deep, impassable gorges. A narrow, crooked roadway 
wound from a point at Twelfth and Walnut streets down the west side of a 
deep ravine, across the present public square, to the river at the foot of Grand 
avenue. A narrow path, barely wide enough for a single horseman, led 
along the river bank under the bluff, winding its way around fallen timber 
and deep ravines. An old log house on the river bank at the foot of Main 
street was occupied by a lean, cadaverous specimen of humanity named Ellis, 
with one blind eye and the other on a sharp lookout for stray horses, 
straggling Indians and squatters with whom to swap a tin cup of whiskey 
for a coon skin. Another old ruined log house stood on the point below the 
Pacific depot. The French mountain trappers had several small dwellings 
and clearings in the Kaw bottom, now West Kansas. Everywhere else in 
this locality was the solitude of the native forest, unbroken except by the 
snort of the startled deer, the bark of the squirrel, the howl of the wolf, the 





settler's cow bell, and mayhap the distant baying of the hunter's dog or the 
sharp report of his rifle." 

Mrs. Prosper Mercier, the daughter of Gabriel Prudhomme and one of 
the heirs to the estate, petitioned the circuit court of Jackson county, Octo- 
ber 30, 1837, for a division of the land. The court made an order, Decem- 
ber 9, 1837, appointing a commission to partition the Prudhomme estate. 
After making an investigation the board reported to the court that it was 
not possible to make a satisfactory division of the land. The court then 
ordered the land to be sold at auction, and James H. McGee, who was the 
guardian of the minor heirs of the Prudhomme estate, was appointed to act as 
crier. McGee was the first white man to own land within the present limits of 
the city. He purchased three hundred and twenty acres from the government, 
November 14, 1828. In advertising the sale of the Prudhomme tract, the 
■commissioners made this announcement: 

" The situation is admirably calculated for a ferry across the Missouri 
river, and also one of the best steamboat landings on the river; an excellent 
.situation for a warehouse or town site. 

When the sale was held, July 7, 1838, the only persons present were 
James H. McGee, Abraham Fonda, William Gillis, Michael Auther and per- 
haps two or three others. While the auction was in progress Gillis and 
Auther withdrew for a moment to consult in regard to the bidding. In their 
absence the land was sold to Fonda for $1,800. A remonstrance, charging 
that McGee and Fonda had conspired and that the sale was irregular, was 
filed with the court, August 8, 1838, two days before the sale was officially 
reported. The court made an order setting aside the sale and directing an- 
other to be held. The date advertised for the second sale was November 
14, 1838. 

Several residents of Jackson county who had observed the tendency of 
the trade to center at the river landing conceived the plan of founding a town 
on the Prudhomme estate. The idea took definite form and a town com- 
pany was organized with these members: William L. Sublette, Moses G. Wil- 
son, John C. McCoy, William Gillis, Fry P. McGee, Abraham Fonda, Wil- 
liam M. Chick, Oliver Caldwell, George W. Tate, Jacob Pagan, William 
Collins, James Smart, Samuel C. Owens and Russell Hicks. When the sale 
was held the company bought the land for $4,220. This was the original 
townsite of Kansas City. 

After the tract had been purchased the company held a meeting to de- 
cide on a name for the new town. Some of the members of the company had 
resolved to call the town "Port Fonda," in honor of Abraham Fonda, one of 
the proprietors of the site. Unfortunately for his fame, Fonda became in- 
volved in a quarrel with Henry Jobe, another part owner, who, with his 


friends, defeated the proposition to adopt the name Port Fonda. The pro- 
prietors decided to call the town "Kansas" after the Kansas river. The river 
was named after the Kansas Indians who lived along the banks of the stream. 
The Kansas Indians' name for themselves was " Kanzas," pronounced by the 
French traders " Kahns" a term that finally was adopted by the American set- 
tlers. In regard to the naming of the town, Charles C. Spalding makes this 
explanation in his "Annals of the City of Kansas," published in 1858: 

"Many persons, particularly the citizens of Kansas Territory have of 
late charged the citizens of Kansas City with 'stealing the name Kansas.' It 
is therefore due to ourselves to explain the matter. 

"When Kansas City was first selected as a town site, and the survey made, 
(in 1838) it was agreed, by the then proprietors of the town, that it should 
be called ' Kansas,' inasmuch as it was situated at the mouth of the Kansas 
river. Some suggested the name of ' Kawsmouth' ; but it was finally agreed 
that the name of the place should be Kansas. All of the territory to the 
west being at that time known as the Nebraska Territory. 

"It is evident, therefore, that no 'stealing' has been done on our part, 
for the purpose alleged by these persons, viz. : 'to convey the idea that this 
city is situated in the Territory of Kansas,' for no such Territory was known 
in the geography of our country till Kansas City had come to be a place of 
considerable trade." 

The official surveyor of the town was John C. McCoy who had platted 
Westport, but he was engaged in government work when the Prudhomme 
tract was bought and could not superintend the work of laying out the town. 
McCoy drew a plat for fifteen acres of the townsite and employed W. S. 
Donahue to make the survey. 

The town company's first sale was held in May, 1839, when nine lots 
were sold for $926.80, on one year's time at 10 per cent interest. Jacob 
Ragan bought three of the first nine lots sold ; John C. McCoy, two ; William 
B. Evans, two; James H. McGee, one; and F. Kleber, one. The town com- 
pany built a warehouse for the use of the traders, and William B. Evans was 
appointed keeper. Other building operations were begun. 

Shortly after the first sale of lots the town company met with difficulties 
that checked the enterprise and retarded the growth of the town for eight 
years. The law required the plat of the town to be signed by each member 
of the town company and filed with the county clerk before the title to lots 
could be transferred. The company had made arrangements to comply with 
the law on the morning of the sale of lots, but it happened that a quorum 
of the members was not present at the meeting and deed- to the lots sold 
could not be issued. The purchasers of lots were given title bonds. Another 
difficultv arose in the fact that two of the commissioners, Peter Booth and 



Elliott Johnson, appointed by the court to sell the Prudhomme tract, had 
died before the auction was held. For these reasons the legality of the 
transactions of the town company was questioned. The company was in- 
active until a test case, brought in the circuit court in 1846, cleared tbe title 
to the land. The residents of both Independence and Westport made sport 
of the idea of founding a town on the Prudhomme tract and while the town 
company was struggling against difficulties, called the town "Westport Land- 
ing" in derision. 

Some of the men who bought lots at the sale in 1839 built houses in 
spite of the discouragements and business began to develop. William B. 
Evans built a two-story log tavern on the river front in 1839. Thomas A. 
Smart was the first American to open a trading house in the new town. In 
1839 he established a store with an assortment of groceries and Indian goods. 
Next came, in 1840, Anthony Richters, with a stock of goods similar to 
Smart's. A. B. Canville, one of the early merchants, began business in 1840. 
Cahn & Block opened a store in 1843, with a stock of goods valued at $5,000. 
About the same time stores were established by E. P. Hart & Co. and William 
J. Jarboe. William M. Chick built a warehouse in 1844. Bent & St. Vrain, 
in 1845, received from the east the first cargo of goods shipped from the 
" Town of Kansas " to Santa Fe, New Mexico, in wagon trains. The trade with 
New Mexico gradually was centered at the " Town of Kansas." This commerce 
amounted to six hundred wagon loads in 1850. More than three hundred 
traders were engaged in the commerce with Santa Fe in 1853, and that year 
9,884 freight wagons carried merchandise across the plains valued at 5 mil- 
lion dollars. 

The town soon had an important local trade with the neighboring 
Indians, freighters, trappers and boatmen. The Indians bought blankets, 
saddles, bridles, powder, 'tobacco, jewelry, ribbons and whiskey. The traders 
often took advantage of the ignorance of the Indians. Brass finger rings 
that were bought in St. Louis for ten cents were sold to the Indians some- 
times for $5 or $6. As long as the Indians' annuity money lasted they paid 
cash for what they bought, but when they were without money they traded 
ponies, pelts, furs and silver ornaments for merchandise. The Indians that 
traded in the " Town of Kansas " in 1839 and 1840 were the Delawares, Mun- 
see Stockbridges, Shawnees; Kansas, or Kaws; Kickapoos, Osages, Pottawato- 
mies, Weas and Peorias. As early as 1840 it was not uncommon for two or 
three hundred men to assemble at the river landing to buy and trade when the 
boats arrived. 

W. G. and G. W. Ewing, successful Indian traders, built warehouses in 
the " Town of Kansas " in 1840. They had been receiving their goods at Blue 
Mills and at Chouteau's warehouse, but their business had increased and they 


desired to own depots in the new town. John C. Fremont, the celebrated 
western explorer, went to the " Town of Kansas " in 1842 on his first expedition 
across the plains. His headquarters were at Cyprian Chouteau's warehouse, 
.six miles up the Kaw river, but he bought his supplies at the levee. Fremont 
in his subsequent visits made his headquarters with William M. Chick. 
Hiram M. Northrup opened the largest merchandise store in 1844 that had 
been established up to that date. He was the first merchant to establish a 
jobbing trade with the retail dealers of the border. James H. McGee made 
brick on his farm south of town in 1845 and built the first brick house in the 
vicinity, which is still standing on 19th street. 

The residents of the little " Town of Kansas " suffered considerable loss in 
the Missouri river flood of 1844. The warehouse built by the town com- 
pany, Chouteau's and Ewing Brothers' warehouses and several log dwellings 
were washed away. Settlers in the river bottom near town lost their houses 
and live stock. The warehouse of William M. Chick, on high ground near 
the levee, was the only one that survived the high water. The goods saved 
from the other warehouses were stored in Chick's depot. The Chouteau ware- 
house while located opposite Randolph Bluffs, had been previously destroyed 
in the flood of 1826. 

The trade with Mexico was suppressed in August, 1843, when Santa 
Anna, President of Mexico, issued an embargo closing the ports of entry 
into Northern Mexico, in retaliation for the support the Americans had given 
Texas in the revolt. The owners of warehouses in the " Town of Kansas " were 
affected by the loss of the Mexican trade. The commerce with Mexico was 
resumed in 1845 in larger proportions than before. While preparations were 
being made at Fort Leavenworth and other places on the border in the winter 
of 1845-4*6 for the Mexican war, the business of the " Town of Kansas " was 
greatly increased. It was the nearest town to the Mexican border that could 
be reached by river transportation and for this reason became a starting 
point for expeditions. Army recruiting offices were opened in the border 
town and quartermasters went there to purchase supplies. The revival of 
the Santa Fe trade and the Mexican war preparations were followed by the 
California immigration in 1849. All of these movements contributed to the 
town's prosperity. 

Two vehicles that were common on the plains in the early days were 
the Concord coach and the prairie schooner. The coaches carried ten to fif- 
teen passengers. The schedule time between the town of Kansas and Santa 
Fe was thirteen days and six hours, the journey continuing day and night 
with stops only for meals and to change teams. At one time the fare for 
each passenger from the town of Kansas to Santa Fe was $175 in gold. The 
Overland Mail Express company, one of the firms that maintained an office 


on the levee, received $172,000 a year for carrying the United States mail. 
The mail, express packages and passengers yielded the company about 
$5,000 a round trip. 

A postoffice was established in the "Town of Kansas" in 1845, and Wil- 
liam M. Chick was appointed postmaster. He died soon afterwards and his 
son, W. H. Chick, succeeded him. The postoffice at first was situated on the 
levee. After being moved several times the postoffice occupied a two-story 
brick building at the southwest corner of Third and Main streets. 

The increase in trade and the encouraging prospects led the members 
of the town company to revive the project of developing the town. The mem- 
bers of the company held a meeting, February 28, 1846, at the home of 
William B. Evans and decided to advertise a sale of lots for April, 1846. At 
this sale one hundred and twenty-seven lots and two blocks were sold for 
$8,137.42. The two blocks, lying between Fourth and Fifth streets and 
Wyandotte and Main streets, were sold to Robert Campbell for $300. Wil- 
liam M. Chick paid $341 for a lot on the levee. Several other lots in the 
same vicinity sold for $200 to $300, but most of the lots were sold for less 
than $100. The population of the town at the time of the lot sale was esti- 
mated at about three hundred. 

The record of the sale of lots in 1846 gives the names of the purchasers 
with the vocation of each: Farmers — Jacob Ragan, N. Ross, W. G. Barclay, 
Fry P. McGee, JoTm Park, Peter McGee and Thomas A. Smart; merchants — 
William M. Chick, Hiram M. Northrup, Pierre M. Chouteau and Thomas 
Elliott; butchers — John Javins, Thomas Javins and H. Javins; physicians — 
J. O. Boggs, Benoist Troost and S. G. Harlan ; carpenters — Henry Jobe and 
M. Waldron; grocers — George Hudson and A. G. Yancy; traders — F. H. 
Booth and B. Linkingfelter ; laborers — Henson Javins and Peter Belanger; 
brick makers — William B. Priddy and James Priddy; brick layers — Wil- 
liam Champagne and Franklin Barnes; hotel owner — William B. Evans; 
steamboat pilot — Charles Dripps ; lawyer — L. Kaufman ; broker — Charles 
Horning; stone mason — D. Edgerton ; Santa Fe trader — B. Pruitt; sur- 
veyor — John C. McCoy; tailor — J. A. Stull; gunsmith — Gabriel Phillibert; 
wheelwright — Moise Belmar ; schoolmaster — Lott Coffman ; gentleman — -Wil- 
liam Gillis. Other men who purchased lots were: Robert Campbell, Thomas 
Breeze. E. F. Hand, Lewis Ford, David McWilliams, Robert Hudgins, Elijah 
Jackson and S. D. Ray, vocations not given. 

Fry P. McGee was elected collector for the " Town of Kansas," May 3, 
1847, and was the first man chosen for official duty in the town. 

The town company, in May, 1847, decided to plat the rest of the 
town site, and John C. McCoy was employed to make the survey. The com- 
pany let a contract for clearing the trees and brush from the land east of 


Grand avenue to "Phillibert's branch," near the present line of Campbell 
street, and extending south to Fifth street. Another sale was held, July 1-7, 
1847, when twenty-three lots were sold for an aggregate of $1,475.30. On 
the day of the sale the town company closed up its affairs, divided the profits 
and discontinued business. 

Soon after the town had been officially organized, May 3, 1847, the town 
(authorities cut a wagon road through the bluff at Main street. The town 
site was very rugged. Part of the land was covered with timber, and in places 
steep and rocky and traversed by deep ravines. The four larger "gullies" 
were known as the Gillis street, Holmes street, Grand avenue and Broadway 
ravines, all of them extending south from the river through the adjacent 
bluffs. Many of the homes of the early residents were built on the high 
ridges between the ravines. The irregular topography of the town site re- 
quired many deep cuts to be made for the streets. Second street from Grand 
avenue to Wyandotte street was cut thirty-five feet. Third street, between 
the same streets, was graded down twenty-five feet. The cut on Fourth street, 
between Main and Wyandotte streets, was fifteen feet deep. Delaware street 
from Sixth street to Ninth street was filled about fifteen feet, and between 
Second street and the river it was cut to the depth of about fifty feet. 

The first plat of the " Town of Kansas," filed in 1839, included the land 
from the Missouri river south to the present line of Independence avenue, 
and between Delaware street on the west and Grand avenue on the east. The 
territory from the river to the line of Independence avenue, and from Cen- 
tral street on the w T est to Oak street on the east, was included in the second 
plat of the town, filed in 1846. Tbe third plat, recorded June 7, 1849, in- 
cluded the land from the river south to Independence avenue, and from Cen- 
tral street east to Cherry street. The records of the first and third plats do 
not show by whom they were filed. The second plat was filed by William 
Gillis, Fry P. McGee, John C. McCoy, Jacob Pagan, Henry Jobe and Wil- 
liam B. Evans, and was acknowledged, April 1, 1846, before Walter Bales, 
justice of the peace. 

The territory included in the three plats was incorporated by the county 
court in Indpendence, February 4, 1850, under the name of the " Town of 
Kansas." These trustees, appointed by the county court, failed to qualify: 
Madison Walrond, John C. McCoy, Robert Kirkman, Pierre M. Chouteau 
and Hiram M. Northrup. By another order of the court, June 3, 1850, the 
town was given the right to local government, with William Gillis, Madison 
Walrond, Lewis Ford, Benoist Troost and Henry H. Brice as trustees. The 
town was governed by this board until it was granted a charter by the state 
legislature, February 22, 1853. 



The settlement of the territory of the "Platte Purchase" in the north- 
west part of the state of Missouri added to the prosperity of the new " Town 
of Kansas." This productive region, including the present counties of 
Platte, Atchison, Andrew, Buchanan, Holt and Nodaway, was purchased from 
the Indians in 1837 and added to the state. The territory included in the 
"Platte Purchase" was bounded on the north by Iowa, on the east by the 
west line of the state of Missouri, which up to that date had been a straight 
line from Arkansas to Iowa, on the west by the east bank of the Missouri 
river, and terminating in a point at the mouth of the Kaw river, near the 
"Town of Kansas," thus forming a triangle of three thousand square miles, or 
two millions acres, of thickly wooded and well-watered land. 

The Platte country was part of the Indian territory and was claimed 
by the Iowa, Sac and Fox tribes of Indians. General Andrew Hughes was 
agent for the three tribes with headquarters at Agency, in what is now 
Buchanan county, Missouri. These bands of Indians were located on the 
Des Moines river and had their hunting ground at the head waters of the 
"Little Platte," the "One-hundred-and-two" and the "Nodaway" rivers, streams 
that flowed through this triangular paradise and afterwards attracted home 
seekers to their banks. 

The government obtained permission from the Iowa, Sac and Fox In- 
dians, July 15, 1830, to locate, temporarily, other tribes of Indians on their 
reservation. The government offered the Delaware Indians a home in the 
Platte territory in 1832, but it was refused because of the scarcity of big 
game. Two bands of Pottawatomie Indians, however, were placed in the 
Platte country, temporarily, in 1834. The locating of other Indians and the 
encroachments of the white settlers caused dissatisfaction among the original 
tribes of Indians. Senator Lewis F. Linn of Missouri wrote to Hon. Henry 
Ellsworth, commissioner of Indian affairs, January 23, 1835, urging the an- 
nexation of the Platte country to the state of Missouri. Mr. Ellsworth 
answered on January 27, stating that the Indians complained of encroach- 
ments and had offered to exchange their location for a reservation north 
of the strip. Senator Linn also wrote to Major John Dougherty of Clay 
county, then agent of the Missouri river Indians, and received a reply from 
him recommending that the Indians relinquish the title to this triangle of 
land and that it be added to the state of Missouri. In the summer of 1835, 
a militia muster was held on the farm of Mr. Weekly Dale north of Lib- 
erty, Missouri. At this meeting, the subject, of the boundary extension was 
discussed. At the suggestion of Gen. Andrew Hughes, agent of the tribes of 
Indians then in the Platte country, a committee on annexation was ap- 
pointed, composed of David R. Atchison, Ed. M. Samuels, Alexander W. 
Doniphan, W. T. Wood and Peter H. Burnett, to prepare a memorial to 


Congress in favor of extending the state limits of Missouri. The territory 
desired included the entire Platte country. Judge W. T. Wood planned 
the instrument to which was attached a long list of petitioners. On the ur- 
gent appeal of Senator Benton at the next session of Congress, a bill was 
introduced for the acquisition of the new territory. The bill became a law 
June, 1838, and the territory was added to the state of Missouri the tract of 
land being in accordance with the following amendment: 

1820. RATIFIED, 1834-5. Article 2, Section 4. That the boundary of 
the state be so altered and extended as to include all that tract of land lying 
on the north side of the Missouri river, and west of the present boundary of 
this state, so that the same shall be bounded on the south by the middle of 
the main channel of the Missouri river, and on the north by the present 
northern boundary line of the state, as established by the constitution, when 
the same is continued in a right line to the west or to include so much of 
said tract of land as Congress may assent." 

Senator Thomas H. Benton was naturally interested in a measure affect- 
ing his own state, and his views concerning it were as follows : 

" This was a measure of great moment to Missouri, and full of difficulties 
in itself, and requiring a double process to accomplish it — an act of con- 
gress to extend the boundary, and an Indian treaty to remove the Indians 
to a new home. It was to extend the existing boundary of the State so as 
to include a triangle between the existing line and the Missouri river, large 
enough to form seven counties of the first class, and fertile enough to sustain 
the densest population. The difficulties were threefold: 1. To make still 
larger a State which was already one of the largest in the Union. 2. To 
remove Indians from a possession which had just been assigned to them in 
perpetuity. 3. To alter the Missouri compromise line in relation to slave 
territory, and thereby convert free soil into slave soil. The two first diffi- 
culties were serious — the third formidable: and in the then state of the pub- 
lic mind in relation to slave territory, this enlargement of a great slave 
State, and by converting free soil into slave, and impairing the compromise 
line, was an almost impossible undertaking, and in no way to be accomp- 
lished without a generous co-operation from the members of the free States. 
They were a majority in the House of Representatives, and no act of Con- 
gress could pass for altering the compromise line without their aid: they 
were equal in the Senate, where no treaty for the removal of the Indians 
could be ratified except by a concurrence of two thirds. And all these 
difficulties to be overcome at a time when Congress was inflamed with angry 
debates upon abolition petitions, transmission of incendiary publications, 
imputed designs to abolish slavery; and the appearance of the criminating 


article in South Carolina entitled the Crises, announcing a Southern con- 
vention and a secession if certain Northern States did not suppress the aboli- 
tion societies within their limits within a limited time. 

" In the face of all these discouraging obstacles the two Missouri sena- 
tors, Benton and Linn, commenced their operations. The first step was to 
procure a bill for the alteration of the compromise line and the extension of 
the boundary: it was obtained from the Judiciary Committee, reported by 
Mr. John M. Clayton of Delaware: and passed the Senate without material 
opposition. It went to the House of Representatives; and found there no 
serious opposition to its passage. A treaty was negotiated with the Sac and 
Fox Indians to whom the country had been assigned and was ratified by the 
requisite two thirds. And this, besides doing an act of generous justice to 
the State of Missouri, was the noble answer which Northern members gave 
to the imputed design of abolishing slavery in the States ! actually extending 
it! and by an addition equal in extent to such States as Delaware and Rhode 
Island; and by its fertility equal to one of the third class of States. And 
this accomplished by the extraordinary process of altering a compromise 
line intended to be perpetual, and the reconversion of the soil which had 
been slave, and made free, back again from free to slave. And all this 
when, had there been the least disposition to impede the proper extension 
of a slave State, there were plausible reasons enough to cover an opposition, 
in the serious objections to enlarging a State already the largest in the 
Union — to removing Indians again from a home to which they had just 
been removed under a national pledge of no more removals — and to dis- 
turbing the compromise line of 1820 on which the Missouri question had 
been settled; and the line between free and slave territory fixed for national 
reasons, to remain forever. The author of this View was part and parcel 
of all that transaction — remembers well the anxiety of the State to obtain 
the extension — her joy at obtaining it — the gratitude which all felt to the 
Northern members without whose aid it could not have been done; and 
whose magnanimous assistance under such trying circumstances he now 
records as one of the proofs — (this work contains many others) — of the 
willingness of the non-slaveholding part of the Union to be just and gen- 
erous to their slaveholding brethren, even in disregard of cherished pre- 
judices and offensive criminations. It was the second great proof to this 
effect at this identical session, the ratification of the Georgia Cherokee treaty 
being the other." 

The treaty with the Indians of the Platte country, ratified at Ft. Leaven- 
worth February 15, 1837, follows: 

Articles of a treaty made and concluded at Fort Leavenworth, on the 
Missouri river, between William Clark, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, 


on the part of the United States, of the one part, and the undersigned chiefs, 
warriors and counsellors of the Ioway tribe and the band of Sacks and Foxes 
of the Missouri (residing west of the state of Missouri,) in behalf of their 
respective tribes, of the other part. 

Article 1. By the first article of the treaty of Prairie du Chien, held 
the fifteenth day of July, 1830, (Proclaimed February 24, 1831) with the 
confederated tribes of Sacks, Foxes, Ioways, Omahaws, Missourias, Ottoes, 
and Sioux, the country ceded to the United States by that treaty is to be 
assigned and allotted under the direction of the President of the United 
States to the tribes living thereon, or to such other tribes as the President 
may locate thereon, for hunting and other purposes. And whereas it is 
further represented to us, the chiefs, warriors, and counsellors of the Ioways 
and Sack and Fox band aforesaid, to be desirable that the lands lying be- 
tween the state of Missouri, and the Missouri river should be attached to 
and became part of said State, and the Indian title thereto be entirely ex- 
tinguished ; but that, notwithstanding, as these lands compose a part of the 
country embraced by the provisions of said first article of the treaty afore- 
said, the stipulations thereof will be strictly observed until the assent of the 
Indians interested is given to the proposed measure. 

Now we, the chiefs, warriors, and counsellors of the Ioways and Mis- 
souri band of Sacks and Foxes, fully understanding the subject, and well 
satisfied from the local position of the lands in question, that they never 
can be made available for Indian purposes, and that an attempt to place an 
Indian population on them must inevitably lead to collisions with the citi- 
zens of the United States; and further believing that the extension of the 
State line in the direction indicated would have a happy effect, by presenting 
a natural boundary between the whites and Indians; and willing, moreover, 
to give the United States a renewed evidence of our attachment and friend- 
ship, do hereby for ourselves, and on behalf of our respective tribes, (hav- 
ing full power and authority to this effect,) forever cede, relinquish, and 
quit-claim, to the United States, all our right, title, and interest of what- 
soever nature in and to the lands lying between the State of Missouri and 
the Missouri River, and do freely and fully exonerate the United States from 
any guarantee, condition, or limitation, expressed or implied, under the 
treaty of Prairie du Chien aforesaid, or otherwise, as to the entire and abso- 
lute disposition of the said lands, fully authorizing the United States to do 
with the same whatever shall seem expedient or necessary. 

As a proof of the continued friendship and liberality of the United 
States toward the Ioways and band of Sacks and Foxes of the Missouri, and 
as an evidence of the sense entertained for the good-will manifested by said 
tribes to the citizens and Government of the United States, as evinced in 



the preceding cession or relinquishment, the undersigned, William Clark, 
agrees, on behalf of the United States, to pay as a present to the said Ioways 
and band of Sacks and Foxes seven thousand five hundred dollars in money, 
the receipt of which they hereby acknowledge. 

Article 2. As the said tribes of Ioways and Sacks and Foxes have ap- 
plied for a small piece of land, south of the Missouri, for a permanent home, 
on which they can settle, and request the assistance of the Government of 
the United States to place them on this land, in a situation at least equal to 
that they now enjoy on the land ceded by them: Therefore I. William 
Clark, superintendent of Indian affairs, do further agree, on behalf of the Uni- 
ted States, to assign to the loway tribe, and Missouri band of Sacks and 
Foxes, the small strip of land on the south side of the Missouri River, lying 
between the Kickapoo northern boundary-line and the Grand Nemahar 
River, and extending from the Missouri back and westwardly with the said 
Kickapoo line and the Grand Nemahar, making four hundred sections ; to be 
divided between the said Ioways and the Missouri band of Sacks and Foxes, 
the lower half to the Sacks and Foxes, and the upper half to the Ioways. 

Article 3. The Ioways and Missouri band of Sacks and Foxes further 
agree that they will move and settle on the lands assigned them in the above 
article, as soon as arrangements can be made by them ; and the undersigned, 
William Clark, in behalf of the United States, agrees that, as soon as the 
above tribes have selected a site for their villages, and places for their fields, 
and moved to them, to erect for the Ioways five comfortable houses; to en- 
close and break up for them two hundred acres of ground; to furnish them 
with a farmer, a blacksmith, school master, and interpreter, as long as the 
President of the United States may deem proper; to furnish them with such 
agricultural implements as may be necessary, for five years; to furnish them 
with rations for one year, commencing at the time of their arrival at their 
new homes; to furnish them with one ferry boat; to furnish them with one 
hundred cows and calves, and five bulls, and one hundred stock-hogs when 
they require them; to furnish them with a mill, and assist in removing 
them, to the extent of five hundred dollars. And to erect for the Sacks and 
Foxes three comfortable houses; to enclose and break up for them two hun- 
dred acres of ground; to furnish them with a farmer, blacksmith, school- 
master, and interpreter, as long as the President of the United States may 
deem proper; to furnish them with such agricultural implements as may be 
necessary, for five years; to furnish them Avith rations for one year, com- 
mencing at the time of their arrival at their new home ; to furnish them 
with one ferry boat ; to furnish them with one hundred cows and calves, and 
five bulls, one hundred stock-hogs when they require them ; to furnish them 


with a mill; and to assist in removing them to the extent of four hundred 

Article 4. This treaty shall be obligatory on the tribes, parties hereto, 
from and after the date hereof, and on the United States from and after its 
ratification by the Goverment thereof. 

The Platte country was destined to become one of the developing fea- 
tures of Kansas City. As early as the winter of 1810-1811 John Jacob 
Astor's first expedition to locate the "Northwest Fur Company" commanded 
by Wilson Price Hunt spent four months hunting and fishing in the dense 
forests and beautiful streams with which the country abounded. So great 
was the fame of this "hunting ground" that it reached the ears of the famous 
pioneer hunter and trapper of Kentucky and Missouri, Daniel Boone, who, 
it is claimed, at the age of eighty-two, lured by tales of the wonderful hunt- 
ing grounds at the headwaters of the Little Platte and the One-hundred- 
and-two Rivers, made that his last hunting trip. 

Joseph Robidoux Sr. connected with the American Fur Company, lo- 
cated near the confluence of the Black Snake Creek with the Missouri in 
1803 and remained there among the Indians as a fur trader. For many 
years Kings Hill and its one log cabin occupied the present site of the city 
of St. Joseph. 

The population of Kansas City increased in ten years from 1830-1840, 
five thousand. Opening the Platte country had much to do with this in- 
crease. Families came from Kentucky, Illinois, Ohio, and Tennessee. Men 
located in Clay county and other border counties, went into the Platte 
country to "make claims" either for themselves or their children. The 
ordinary way to locate a claim was to strip the bark from the side of a tree 
and inscribe a legend similar to this, " This is my claim, taken by me on the 
19th day of November, 1838, and every person is hereby notified not to 
jump it" — Henry Mills. 

Immigration into what has been known as the Platte Purchase since 
1837 began in 1838 quietly as compared to the opening of new territory of 
to-day. It has been estimated that not more than three hundred persons 
went into the country the first year. This increased population, however, 
and a somewhat fitful movement into the new territory from the South or 
Kansas City side of the river, made the necessity for a better means of trans- 
portation other than canoes, urgent. 

Pierre Roi whose father, Louis Roi had lived at the foot of Grand 
avenue since 1826, with the instinct of trade evidenced by all the people of 
the French settlement, established a flatboat ferry to accommodate the first 
settlers and facilitate the intercourse between Kansas City and the territory 
of Platte. 


The history of the ownership of the land on which Kansas City is sit- 
uated is as follows: The land was in possession of the Indians, the original 
owners, when this territory was discovered by Coronado in 1542 ; first claimed 
as a part of the colony of Virginia in 1(309; next by France in 1682; 
granted by France to the commercial domain of Crozat in 1712; granted 
to the Mississippi company in 1717; both surrendered to France in 1732; 
ceded by France to Spain in 1762; retroceded by Spain to France in 1800; 
sold by France to the United States and became a part of the Louisiana pur- 
chase in 1803 ; became a part of the district of Louisiana in 1804 ; a part of 
the territory governed by the governor and judges of Indiana Territory in 
1804 and 1805 ; made a part of the territory of Louisiana in 1805 ; became 
a part of the territory of Missouri in 1812 and a part of the state of Mis- 
souri in 1821; the Indians' title to the land was extinguished in 1825 and 
the first permanent white settlement was in 1828 ; the first plat of the new 
town was filed in 1839, the name officially designated as the " Town of Kan- 
sas" in 1850, the "City of Kansas" in 1853, and " Kansas City" in 1889. 



A row of business houses along the Levee, back of them a bluff with 
narrow streets cut through, and farther back homes that stood trembling 
on the verge of high hills; this was the picturesque Kansas City of the early 
'50s. From a narrow footing at the edge of the Missouri river, Kansas City 
has pushed back across the ridges. After half a century Kansas City has over- 
come the hills. In looking backward through the years to the dim horizon 
of fifty years ago, one can scarcely realize the wonderful transformation that 
has taken place, topographically, in Kansas City. It required wonderful 
perseverance and energy to make Kansas City sightly. 

Obstacles in the shape of elevations or depressions were met at every 
turn, tons and tons of rock have been torn from the crest of the hills and 
used to fill up the valleys and ravines, and out of the chaos a beautiful city 
with magnificent thoroughfares, has arisen. The cliffs and valleys that were 
left undisturbed later were utilized to beautify the driveways and boulevards. 
In the beginning of Kansas City, business houses were built along the Levee, 
facing the river, with their backs leaning against the high bluffs. Few of the 
houses were more than two stories high. In 1856 the grading down of 
Main street began, and an Herculean task it was to cut through the cliffs. 



The town with remarkable pluck and zeal rapidly pushed south and Grand 
avenue, Main, Delaware, Wyandotte streets and Broadway were cut through 
the hills, in some places eighty feet deep. Said Colonel Theodore S. Case: 

"As late as 1870, the site of our town was ridiculed. The newspapers 
in the surrounding towns were all fighting Kansas City bitterly. It was a 
standing news item that several persons had been killed in Kansas City by 
falling off some of the bluffs in the main part of the city onto the tops of 
four-story buildings." But the old Kansas City has almost vanished and 
it is essential to have a chapter on 'Kansas City as it was' in order to help 
the older inhabitants to recall the changes and to make the present and 
future generations appreciate what immense labor was required and what 
great energy was necessary to develop the topography of the town. 


In the early days of Kansas City no one realized the inestimable value 
of the strata of stone piled up, and no one considered the clearing of such 
irregular land until the crowded condition along the Levee created the 
necessity that gave the people the fortitude to grade a street through rock — 
to make a "cut" from forty to fify feet deep. There was plenty of work for 
picks and shovels and in later years for powder to assist in blasting out huge 
rocks. At Eleventh street and Grand avenue, a high hill had to be cut down, 
while at Eleventh and Walnut a ravine had to be filled. "The changes 
made in the earth's surface show how determined Kansas City people were 
to have a city. Nothing could stop that sort of men. If a hill was in the 
way, they cut it down. If a ravine interfered, they threw the hill into it." 



The grading of Main street and Market street, now Grand avenue, and 
the opening of Third street sent Shannon Bros.' store, the first exclusive 
dry goods house of the town — situated at the southeast corner of the Levee 
and Main street — and the office of The Journal, at the corner of Main street 
and Commercial alley, and the postoffice, from the river to the top of the 

With the commercial growth of this new out-post of the western terri- 
tory, the city council saw the necessity of making street improvements. The 
yellow banks of clay were insurmountable and not alone were clearings to 
be made but huge shelvings of rock had to be smoothed down. With each 
leveling of a new street "humps" of yellow clay, often seventy to eighty feet 
high, were left standing as monuments of what had to be accomplished in 
order to form a new thoroughfare. An examination of the old plat books 
of Kansas City gives very little impression of the present Kansas City. Only 
the few who have grown up with the city recognize the changes. The topog- 
raphy has been so changed that the old "City of Kansas" has vanished en- 

On a hill on the west side of Main street, between Second and Third 
streets, a quaint little cottage with a front balcony was built in 1853 by Dr. 
T. B. Lester. When Dr. Lester returned from a business trip down the 
river late one evening, he was dumbfounded at finding his modest cottage 
nearly twenty feet above the street. The grading of Main street, though 
opposed by property owners who objected to the expense, was accomplished 
in Dr. Lester's absence. Dr. Lester immediately decided to build a story 
under the cottage. But more grading became imperative, as the large prairie 
schooners blocked the narrow passage. After further deliberation the city 
officials decided on another "cut down" of about fifteen or twenty feet and 
Dr. Lester built another lower story. He added a ground floor which was 
occupied later by a general merchandise store. 

One of the most picturesque places in early Kansas City was the old- 
fashioned home of Judge T. A. Smart on a plot of ground bounded by Main 
street, Grand avenue, Eleventh and Twelfth streets. It stood in the midst 
of a beautiful blue-grass lawn, with shade trees and fruit trees. The house 
was sufficiently large to accommodate a large company of .guests. The 
massive hillside on the west was covered with forest trees; the eastern slope 
was a steep, barren bluff. In those days there was but one road by which 
to reach the southern part of the town with any degree of comfort, and that 
was by way of Main street as far as Eleventh street or Twelfth street and 
thence by way of Grand avenue. The grounds of Judge Smart were crossed 
by a road which made a "cut off" and was generally used. Another fine 
estate was that of William Gillis, through which the Shawnee road, now the 



Southwest boulevard, passed. The house had the appearance of an aristo- 
cratic mansion on a southern plantation. The furnishings of the home 
indicated old-time elegance and massiveness. The windows that reached 
to the floor, the low doorways, the fireplaces and the general style of the 
architecture was Colonial — the style adopted by wealthy planters at the time 
the house was built in 1842. The stairway was made of dark redwood brought 
from France. The costly farmhouse was "the pride and wonder of the 
town." One square mile of land, the greater part under fine cultivation, 
made a fine setting for the elegant home. 

(Wyandotte, from Third street to the river.') 

Just beyond the Gillis farm was a covered bridge on the Shawnee road. 
The surroundings made this spot unusually attractive. It spanned Turkey 
creek at a point where the great bluffs ran down to the stream. Along 
the east bluffs was the handsome home of John Campbell, a two-story brick 
with balconies facing the river; the homes of Fred and William Jarboe, the 
old-style home of the Chick family and that of Jesse Riddlebarger, a mer- 
chant. Mr. Riddlebarger had a beautiful house valued at $12,000 on the 
high bluff near Pearl street and the Missouri river. His house was left sixty 
feet above the street, after grading. There were no condemnation proceed- 
ings in those days, no juries to decide how much damage should be allowed 
the property owners in establishing grades, and Mr. Riddlebarger had no 
redress when the street was cut down to suit the demands of the time. 



"The McGee house was the big house of the town," said Colonel Van 
Horn, "and before Milt opened the hotel it was the stopping place of all 
travelers. There was no way out of it, for there was no place else that could 
furnish room. 

"When anyone of prominence came West they became the guests of the 
McGees. Washington Irving, when he came out to write about the prairies 
was, with his escort of army officers, the guest of the McGees. Hunting 
parties from the East and from Europe would outfit here. I remember an 
Englishman, Grantley Burkley, who took a great outfit of hunters and dogs 
on a hunt in the Indian country. The McGees kept open house in true 
southern style." 

It was at Colonel A. B. H. McGee's home that Senator Benton and 
General Fremont became reconciled over Mr. Fremont's elopement with 
Mr. Benton's daughter. The young lady was only fifteen years old and 
Mr. Benton seemed irreconcilable. Mr. Fremont was about to start on his 
dangerous expedition, and, no doubt, Mr. Benton felt that the parting should 
be a friendly one. Mr. A. B. H. McGee told the circumstances of the recon- 
ciliation in his characteristic way. "Fremont was buying his supplies and 
came home with me the night after Mr. Benton arrived. I left them in a 
room together, the old senator and his young son-in-law, and never tried to 
find out what they said to each other." 

The old stone barn which formerly stood on the McGee homestead at 
Thirty-seventh and Washington streets, stood as a landmark for fifty years, 
and was only torn down in 1897 that the site might be taken for the new 
house of A. B. H. McGee, Jr. It was a large barn, eighty feet long, forty feet 
wide, and, with walls, two feet thick. The loop holes for windows and a big 
wooden door studded with spikes gave one the impression of a fort rather than 
a barn. The stone barn was built so solidly because the old frame structure 
was set fire by Mr. McGee's enemies. Silverware and other valuables were 
buried in the ground in the stone barn during the border-war times previous 
and during the Civil war. When the building was torn down, a few years 
ago, the scrapers in grading down the site, uncovered dozens of bayonet 
points, which had been broken off in the attempt to get at the valuables. 

Joseph Guinotte came to Kansas City in 1848. Mr. Guinotte, a civil 
engineer, with the insight born of his profession, realized that in the future 
there would be a large city here. On one of the highest bluffs at Third 
street and Troost avenue he built his house in the spring of 1850. The bricks 
for the foundation and the chimneys were brought from St. Louis on a 
steamboat. The Southern style of architecture, a broad hallway through the 
center with large rooms on either side, was followed. Veranda and galleries 
surrounded one side of the house, overlooking the river. The Guinotte 



homestead was of unusual size for homes of that period and its doors were 
always open to the traveler. Mr. Guinotte was known as a great lover of 
flowers — the first dahlias that grew in Kansas City were in his flower garden, 
having been brought from Belgium. 



(The rocky wall at the left has been supplanted by the Willis Wood theater, the Home telephone building 
and the Dwight building. Peck's department store and Taylor's dry goods store now occupy the other side.) 

In the early days each land owner named the streets and determined 
their length and width. Plats did not conform to other surveys of the town, 
and large farms were cultivated between the platted city extensions. On 
the west side overlooking the bottom lands, Kersey Coates christened Broad- 
way in anticipation of a main road to Westport and the Santa Fe trail beyond. 
Colonel Coates later platted several additions on the west side of Main street 
called "Coates's hill," and erected the Coates hotel and the Coates opera 
house. In 1856 he built a large brick house at the southwest corner of 
Tenth — then Lancaster street — and Pennsylvania avenue. "Coates's hill" 
also was known as "Quality hill," and held this appellation for many years. 
The neighborhood was exclusive in those early days. A large tract of several 
hundred acres platted and sold upon liberal terms by the McGees, was sit- 
uated about a mile from the river and formed quite a small suburb. 

The nomenclature of the streets of Kansas City is an interesting subject. 
It appears that the pioneers sought to perpetuate the names of the members 


STREETS, 1867. 


of their families by giving their names to the streets. Whoever laid out 
an addition in those early days named the streets within its limits as he 
chose, and the names selected gave an instant clew to the pioneer owner's 
identity. The sons and daughters and other descendants of James H. McGee 
and E. Milton McGee were honored. These names of the McGee family are 
found in looking over old plats: Allen, Menard, Mobillion, Milton, Ger- 
trude, Catherine, Amelia and Adeline. Main street in the McGee addition 
south of Twelfth street was named Eleanor. 

James McGee settled on a tract of land adjoining the old townsite on 
the south in 1830. He lived in a log cabin for four years and then built a 
home at Twentieth street and Baltimore avenue. He died in 1838. McGee 
street was named in honor of Milton McGee, who made his addition to 
Kansas City in 1857 and built a small town on the land, offering liberal 
terms to buyers. 

Campbell and Charlotte streets were named after John Campbell and 
his wife, Charlotte. Holmes street was named after Nehemiah Holmes. 
Lydia avenue was named for Lydia Guinotte. Guinotte avenue indicates 
that the early family residence was in the East bottoms. Dripp street in the 
southwest part of the city suggests Major Andrew Dripps, the father of 
Mrs. William Mulkey. 

Many streets separated by hillsides or gullies received several names 
until the grading made a uniform thoroughfare and the street retained but 
one of numerous names, or was rechristened. In this manner a number of 
original street names were lost. What is now Market square was known as 
the public square in early Kansas City. Towns formerly were built around 
an open square or plaza. It appears that the idea was copied from the 
Mexican style of platting towns and cities with a plaza in the center. The 
old squares have since been utilized for courthouses, market places and other 
public buildings. 

Indian names were not popular with the early settlers. From the number 
of tribes with euphonious names only two streets were christened with Indian 
names. Wyandotte and Delaware streets were named after the Wyandotte 
Indians who lived just across the Kaw river and the Delaware Indians whose 
reservation was farther west. 

The shortest street is Cedar, which begins in the alley in the rear of 
1622 St. Louis avenue and runs north two hundred feet. Elm and Ord have 
the shortest names of the Kansas City streets. Maiden lane, which runs from 
Washington street to Bluff street between Sixth and Seventh streets, was 
named by Eugene Field in honor of the street in St. Joseph where his wife 
lived during their courtship. Steptoe street in old Westport is one of the 
oldest in Kansas City. 


Vine street was named after Mrs. Vienna Chase, whose home is at the 
southeast corner of Twelfth street and Garfield avenue. Wall street was once 
known as Amarette, in honor of Mrs. T. B. Bullene. Penn street was so 
called in honor of the state in which Kersey Coates was born. Troost avenue 
was named after Dr. Benoist Troost, an early physician. 

During the period shortly after the Civil war Walnut street, from Sixth 
to Eighth, was frequently impassable by reason of the soft clay, kept con- 
tinually wet by the overflow of a spring in the street between the present 
location of the Midland hotel and the Grand Opera House. John Johnson 
and his six sons were the first white settlers to cross the Blue river. The 
Johnson land, through which Woodland avenue was first laid out, was cov- 
ered with a heavy growth of timber which gave the name to the street. 

The peculiar bend in lower Main street is explained by the fact that 
when the street was opened and graded southward a serious obstacle was 
encountered at Missouri avenue. The late Thompson McDaniels lived in line 
of the new route and it was decided to pay him one hundred dollars for 
interfering with his well and dooryard. After several weeks spent in nego- 
tiation the council decided the city could not afford to pay for such im- 
provements. Then they compromised by turning the street westward, thus 
saving Mr. McDaniels' yard and well. 

These streets were named for Kansas City people : Guinotte, Hardesty, 
Shelley, Scarritt, Bales, Goodrich, McGee, Troost, Garland, Scott, Warner, 
Watkins, Winants, Tichenor, Smart, Ridge, Heist, Campbell, Chouteau, 
Merceir, Martin, Mastin, Hasbrook, Munford, Hale, Henderson, Gregory, 
Holmes, Hunter. Baird, Salisbury, Hopkins. Marsh, Sheaffer, Merrill, An- 
derson, Allen and Dunham. 

The following thoroughfares were named for cities and states: Balti- 
more, Denver, Brooklyn, Colorado, Quincy, Illinois, Delaware, Alton, In- 
diana, Misouri, Pennsylvania, Milwaukee, Michigan, Lawrence, Lexington, 
Rochester, Santa Fe, St. Louis, Virginia, Wyoming, St. Paul, Springfield, 
Fort Scott, Richmond, Winchester, Frankfort and Independence. 

These streets were named after statesmen, authors and soldiers: Mad- 
ison, Douglas, Lincoln, Lafayette, Franklin, Blaine, Monroe, Jefferson, 
Washington, Jackson, Cleveland, Harrison, Garfield, Benton, Fremont, Clay, 
Sherman, Hamilton, Gladstone, Irving, Whittier, Bryant, Randolph, Peery, 
Boone, Fulton, Aberdeen, Bayard, Pendleton. 

Numerous changes have been made in the names of Kansas City's 
streets since 1872. Previous to that time most of the streets bore the names 
of the members of the old pioneer families. A few have been retained. In 
February, 1872, an ordinance was approved by Junius Chaffee, acting mayor, 



and Dan Geary, city clerk, changing seventy-three names of streets at one 
time. For convenience the cross streets were changed from the names of 
time-honored citizens to numbers. 



A township justice of the peace and a constable were able to preserve 
order in the "Town of Kansas" until 1853. A circumstance occurred in 
December, 1852, that hastened the necessity for a municipal government. 
A man was arrested for some trivial offense and brought to trial, whereupon 
it was discovered that the officers who tried the case held commissions issued 
for the next township east, locating the jurisdiction of the justice of the peace 
and the constable six miles from where they had been exercising authority. 
The town at once applied to the Missouri legislature for a charter and, Feb- 
ruary 22, 1853, Governor Sterling Price placed his signature to a bill incor- 
porating the "City of Kansas." After the charter had been granted the 
following announcement was posted: 

"Notice is hereby given that, according to the provisions of an act of the 
general assembly of the State of Missouri, approved February 22, 1853, 
entitled 'An act to incorporate the City of Kansas,' an election will be held 
by the qualified voters within the limits of said city as defined by said act, 
at Kansas, on Monday, the 28th day of March, A. D. 1853, to ascertain 
whether they will accept or reject the act of incorporation." 

The election was held and the charter was ratified by a large majority. 
The boundaries of the town, as defined in the charter, were the river on the 
north, Ninth street on the south, Summit street, on the west and the alley 
between Holmes and Charlotte streets on the east. Not all of the land in- 
cluded in this territory was platted until several years after the charter was 

The charter obtained, the "City of Kansas" announced that an election 
would be held April 18, 1853, for the purpose of electing a mayor and alder- 
men. A proclamation to this effect signed by Dr. . Benoist Troost, Lott 
Coffman and Thompson McDauiels, was posted on the trees near the levee. 
At the election sixty-four votes were polled. William S. Gregory, the whig- 
candidate, was elected mayor with thirty-six votes. Dr. Benoist Troost, the 
Democratic candidate, received twenty^even votes'. A democratic council 
was elected, composed of the following: Dr. Johnston. Lykins, Thomas H. 



West, William G. Barclay, Thompson McDaniels, and Milton J. Payne and 
William J. Jarboe. N. B. Hedges was elected city marshal. The judges of 
the election were Thomas Wolf, Lott Coffman and J. P. Howe. Shortly after 
William S. Gregory had been elected mayor, it was learned that he had not 
lived within the city limits the required length of time to be eligible to the 
office. He at once resigned as mayor and Dr. Johnston Lykins, as president 
of the council, became mayor, completed the term and was elected mayor in 
1854. The other ante-bellum mayors of Kansas City were: John Johnson, 
1855; M. J. Payne, 1856-57-58-59; G. M. B. Maughs, 1860; R. T. Van 
Horn, 1861. 


[From Ballou's Pictorial. 1 

The representation above, of the city of Kansas was drawn for the Pictorial by Mr. Kilbum. the view being 
taken on the spot, and executed with his accustomed fidelity. The city is in Jackson County. Missouri, and is 
located on the south bank of the Missouri river, one hundred and thirty miles from Jefferson City. It is a place 
of considerable business, and embraces all the elements of future greatness. We present it as it appears today, 
but the cities of the West grow out of all recognition in a very few years. In the old world, the view of a town 
taken today would exhibit few changes from one a century old — the little settlements on the Rhine, for instince, 
are quite stationary — while rapid expansion and perpetual improvement are the features of our settlements, particularly 
in the great West, which is dotted here and there with foci of life and business, often a marvel even to us of 
Xew England, with whom progress and extension are the watchwords. 

At the first meeting of the city council, April 25, 1853, the following 
city officials were appointed: Pierre M. Chouteau, treasurer; S. W. Bouton, 
register; G. W. Wolf, assessor; Hallon Rice, wharf master and tax collector; 
Judge Nelson, city attorney. At this meeting a rasolution was adopted re- 
questing the old town company to settle its affairs and transfer its surplus 



fund to the city government. In compliance with this demand, Samuel 
Geir, treasurer for the town company, transferred $7.22 to the city treasurer, 
Pierre M. Chouteau. For the first few years after the town was incorporated 
the council meetings previous to 1857 were held quarterly, on the second 
Mondays of April, July, October and January. The revenue for the city for 
the first year was about five thousand dollars. 

One of the first acts of the new city government was to invite Senator 
Thomas H. Benton to visit the city and deliver an address. Mayor Gregory, 
accompanied by M. J. Payne and William G. Barclay, proceeded down the 
river to Randolph Bluffs, on the Clay county bank, and there met the 
steamer that was bringing the illustrious statesman. Senator Benton re- 
turned to Kansas City again the following year. Mrs. George Bingham, 
the widow of Dr. Johnston Lykins, gave the following reminiscences of Mr. 
Benton's last visit to Kansas City: 

"One evening in the summer of 1853 or 1854 several passengers landed 
from a steamer and walked across the levee to the Gillis hotel. From the 
porch of our little house on the bluff we could see the party and noticed that 
one of the gentleman was tall and of commanding presence. The doctor 
exclaimed: Tt is surely Thomas Benton and John C. Fremont!' The 
doctor was intimately acquainted with both. He hastily snatched his hat 
and visited the hotel to find that his surmise was correct. Fremont and Ben- 
ton had arrived in order to complete arrangments for an experiment with 
camels as beasts of burden in crossing the plains during the hot season. 
Colonel Benton entered heartily into the plan and gave his assistance in 
every way possible. It was thought that camels could stand the travel over 
the sandy plains better than oxen or horses. Owing to the shortness of the 
season in this northern latitude the project failed, although camels were 
imported for the purpose. Late in the evening Dr. Lykins returned to the 
house to inform me that he had invited the gentlemen to dine with us the 
following day. Colonel Benton and Mr. Fremont came, also Lieutenant 
Head, and the day was one long to be remembered. Colonel Benton was 
one of the most remarkable men I ever met. He was above the usual 
height, of splendid physique, clean shaven face, his black hair thickly 
sprinkled with gray. He wore a long frock coat and a wide black stock, 
which showed in sharp contrast against his faultless linen. The conversation 
was mainly upon the grand possibilities of the west. At the conclusion of the 
dinner we stepped out upon the porch, which commanded a delightful view 
of the river and surrounding country. Colonel Benton appeared in the 
height of good spirits and turning to me, said: 'Mrs. Lykins, you will take 
a trip to California on one of the camels, won't you?' 


" 'Hardly,' replied I, laughing. T would prefer a more comfortable 
mode of travel.' 

"The great statesman's face grew solemn as if in a spirit- of prophecy. 

" 'You are a very young woman,' said he, 'and you will live to see the 
day when the railroad will cross the plains and mountains to the Pacific 

" 'Colonel Benton,' replied I, 'with all due deference to you as a prophet, 
your prediction is as visionary as a trip to the moon.' 

" T will not live to see the prophecy verified, but the next generation 
will,' responded he firmly. This was the last visit of Colonel Benton to 
Kansas City. The party left by steamboat for St. Louis on the evening of 
the same day." 

The council meetings were held in a building on the levee, between 
Walnut and Main streets. This building was destroyed by fire in 1857, and 
the following year a city hall and market house were built on the site of 
the present city hall. Market street, now Grand avenue, was 'the main thor- 
oughfare at that time. It led along the side of a deep ravine, past the city 
hall and market, and was the road by which persons generally entered the 

Practically all of Kansas City, in 1854-55, was situated along the river 
front, with the exception of a few residences which had been built on the 
hills overlooking the river. The levee was a narrow chute barely wide enough 
for one team to pass through. On one side the rocks jutted out into the 
river and on the other the bluffs arose to the height of several hundred feet. 
Deep excavations had been made in the hill in .several places. Back of the 
levee the hills were covered with woods, except in the less broken portions 
where clearings had been made. A road wide enough for one wagon had 
been made along the side of the hill at the foot of Broadway, leading into 
the Kaw river bottom, which was a dense forest with the exception of a few 
patches cleared by the French traders. A deep ravine, beginning at the 
levee at the foot of Grand avenue, led to the southwest, across the present 
market square to Sixth and Delaware streets, thence southeast to the junction, 
entering the forest at Walnut and Fifteenth streets. 

When the territory of Kansas was organized, May 30, 1854, Kansas City 
at once became the gateway into the new country. Settlers rushed across the 
border from the northeast states to settle on the land and establish towns ; the 
Leavenworth town company was organized June 13, 1854, in Weston, Mo., 
and the Atchison town company, July 27, 1854. The movement of immi- 
gration gave an impetus to commerce, but the bitter strife between the pro- 
slavery and the anti-slavery forces in the new territory in some respects 
retarded the growth of Kansas City. 



The slave states had determined that Kansas should be a slave territory ; 
the free states had resolved to prevent slavery from being admitted. While 
the bills were pending in Congress both sides were preparing for the expected 
struggle, having announced in each case that force would be used, if neces- 
sary, to accomplish the desired result. Secret societies, such as the "Sons of 
the Union," "Sons of the South," "Blue Lodges" and "Social Bands," were 
organized in Missouri and other slave states as early as February, 1854, for 
the purpose of aiding the slavery cause in Kansas. The abolitionists of 
Boston organized the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Society, April 26, 1854j, 
and the New England Emigrant Aid Society July 24, 1854. Meetings were 
held along the border at which the Kansas question was discussed, and, not 
infrequently, orators made "inflammatory" speeches. Great excitement ex- 
isted at the time the new territory was organized and conflicts between the 
settlers of the two factions were imminent. 

The first party of anti-slave immigrants arrived in Kansas City July 27, 
1854, from Boston, Massachusetts, under the leadership of Charles H. Brams- 
eomb. Charles Robinson and S. C. Pomeroy, afterwards governor of Kansas, 
and later United States senator from Kansas, were among the immigrants. 
The party, with the exception of Mr. Pomeroy and several others, proceeded 
into Kansas, arriving at Wakarusa August 1, 1854, and founding near 
there, October 6, of the same year, a town which was called Lawrence, in 
honor of Amos J. Lawrence, of Boston, Massachusetts, one of the benefactors 
of the emigrant societies. Mr. Pomeroy remained in Kansas City and pur- 
chased the Union hotel, afterwards the American hotel and later the Gillis 
house, on the levee, to be used as headquarters for the anti-slave immigrants. 

One of the active free-state men was Kersey Coates, who came to Kansas 
City in the fall of 1854 to make investments for a company of Philadelphia 
capitalists. He had visited Leavenworth and Lawrence before he decided 
to live in Kansas City. Mr. Coates made extensive investments in real estate 
in the spring of 1855. Many of the residents of Kansas City did not agree 
with Mr. Coates' political views, but they regarded him as arbiter between 
them and people of Kansas and depended upon him to help retain the trade 
of the new territory. Mr. Coates had many bitter enemies among the pro- 
slavery party, and in the fall of 1856 when he went to Washington to inter- 
cede for free-state prisoners confined in Lecompton, Kansas, he was warned 
not to return to Kansas City. He spent the winter in Wisconsin, continuing 
his efforts to strengthen the anti-slavery movement in Kansas. 

Kansas City, being the place of debarkation for both the pro-slavery 
and the anti-slavery parties, was greatly disturbed by the disorder and busi- 
ness conditions were depressed. Murders, routs and battles were frequent 
on the border. The commerce with Santa Fe was reduced and local trade 


was seriously affected. Teamsters found it unsafe to haul merchandise across 
the plains because of the roving bands who had political pretexts, but in 
reality were banditti. It was necessary for the agents who distributed an- 
nuity money to the Indians to be strongly guarded against robbers when they 
visited the agencies. 

The new towns of Leavenworth, Lawrence and Atchison developed 
rapidly and soon were the rivals of Kansas City. Leavenworth, especially, 
was a strong competitor. The government strengthened Leavenworth's posi- 
tion by building roads to the town and making it the distributing point for 
freight. But in spite of these odds, Kansas City was able to maintain its bus- 
iness supremacy ; it was not possible for Leavenworth to divert the bulk of 
the trade 

Notwithstanding the turbulence that prevailed in the summer and fall 
of 1856, consequent to the slavery excitement in Kansas, thousands of persons 
came to Kansas City and hotels and boarding houses were crowded with trav- 
elers who came to visit the new AVest in search of homes on the prairies of 
Kansas or other points where they could engage in business. The fame of 
the new city which so suddenly had sprung up to battle for the commercial 
supremacy of the Mississippi valley was spreading through the East. The large 
freighting firms of Russell, Majors and Waddell, Irwin Jackson and Co., 
Parker and Co.. Brunswick and Co., Irvin Smith, G.B. Thomas and others of 
lesser importance were prospering and the daily increasing trade from Kan- 
sas began to attract the attention of investors from the East. In the fall of 
1856 a number of eastern capitalists came to Kansas City and made invest- 
ments in blocks of real estate and established several large mercantile houses. 
At this time not a street had been opened and all south of the levee still re : 
mained in its primitive condition. 

Business traffic was still confined to the river front. It was evident that 
the city must begin the work of expanding to the south. The levee was be- 
coming crowded, and the cost of erecting buildings was very great because 
of the narrow space between the river front and the bluffs. 

The city made a loan of $10,000 for local improvements in 1855, in the 
administration of M. J. Payne, mayor. The edge of the bluff near the river 
was graded down, and the levee widened and paved for the distance of one 
quarter of a mile. Within the next three years, Second, Third, Fourth and 
Fifth streets were improved; Broadway and Wyandotte, Delaware, Main and 
Market (Grand Avenue) streets were graded from the river south to Fifth 
street, A city loan of $100,000 for street improvements was authorized in 
1858, but there was some difficulty in obtaining the money and the fund was 
not available until 1859. 




At the beginning of the year 1857 the slavery question in Kansas was 
virtually settled. The crowds from the Southern States that came to make 
Kansas a slave state, and who made Kansas City the base of operations, had 
disappeared. Mayor Payne renewed his agitation for opening streets and other 
public improvements and finally was successful in having the council pass a 
resolution directing the city engineer to furnish estimates of the cost of grad- 
ing Main and Wyandotte streets from the levee to the junction of Delaware 
and Main streets, and Broadway to Fifth street. The council also included 
in this resolution an estimate of the cost of a building for the use of the city 
officials and a court room for the accommodation of the Kansas City court of 
common pleas. Soon after the estimates were furnished ordinances were 
passed to open the streets named and provision was made for building the city 
hall. The work, however, did not begin until after the re-election of Mayor 
Payne in April, 1857. 

A new council was elected in full sympathy with the Mayor and by De- 
cember of 1857 Main street was opened; work on the city hall concluded; 
Third street opened from Grand avenue to Main street, and other public im- 
provements completed. This was the beginning of a system of improvements 
that was necessary to keep pace with the demands of commerce and the increas- 
ing population The city had grown in four years from the 300 first enumer- 
ated on the townsite to almost 3,000. It was the result of the incessant agi- 
tation of Mayor Payne and his supporters. 

An ordinance was passed in the fall of 1859 for macadamizing Main 
street. A total of 28,100 dollars was expended for street improvements in 
1859 as follows: Delaware, $14,000; Walnut, $3,600; Sixth, $1,000; Fourth, 
$1,000; Bellvue, $900; Broadway, $600; Third, $400; Main, $300. 

The development of Kansas City had its beginning in these wise meas- 
ures planned by Mayor M. J. Payne and others who worked with unselfish 
hands to make Kansas City great. It was the commencement that had no 
ending — it was a pace set and still in evidence in the rapid strides the city 
is making toward fulfilling the destiny that the prophets and seers of 1857 
had proclaimed. 

At the close of the Kansas troubles in 1857, after the anti-slavery element 
had gained the ascendency, Kansas City began an era of remarkable develop- 
ment. The commerce of the plains resumed its former proportions and was 
increased. Practically all of the trade developed by the settlement of Southern 
Kansas came to Kansas City, and the outfitting business resumed its impor- 
tance. The number of steamboats on the Missouri river had increased; 
a great quantity of freight was unloaded at the Kansas City levee. 
It was estimated by river men that more freight was received in Kansas City 
than at any other five towns on the Missouri river. A correspondent for a 


St. Louis newspaper who visited Kansas City in 1857 reported "that the busi- 
ness of Kansas City is now more extensive than the business of any other 
place in the world, in proportion to population." 

The decade between 1850 and 1860 was the "Golden Era" of the steam- 
boat on the Missouri river. About sixty regular boats plied between Kansas 
City and St Louis in 1857, and thirty to forty transient boats known as 
"tramps," made one or two trips a season. A daily packet left the terminus 
of the Missouri Pacific railroad at Jefferson City, Mo. The steamboats began 
carrying the United States mail in May, 1857. and continued until the busi- 
ness was transferred to the railroads. A packet company made Kansas City 
its terminal point in August, 1857, and all freight for ports higher up the 
Missouri river was transferred to other boat lines here. After the Hannibal 
and St. Joseph railroad was completed to St. Joseph, Mo., March 1, 1859, a 
line of steamboats was placed in operation between Kansas City and that 
town. It was not unusual at this period to see five or six large steamboats 
at the Kansas City levee at the same time. In the season of 1857, seven hun- 
dred and twenty-nine steamboats arrived at Kansas City. So great was the 
volume of business in the '50s that the steamboats ran day and night. A 
speed of ten miles an hour up stream was not unusual, and a distance of one 
hundred and fifty miles was made down stream in a day. The "James H. 
Lucas," one of the fastest boats on the river, made the trip to St. Joseph from 
St. Louis, a distance of six hundred miles in sixty hours in July, 1856. The 
"Polar Star," another remarkably fast boat, had made the same trip in 1853 
in sixty-eight hours. The boating season was from March to November of 
each year. 

The center of attraction in Kansas City from 1850 to 1860 was the levee, 
where steamboats constantly were arriving and departing. The whistle of 
a steamer as it aproached the levee — and almost every boat was known by 
its whistle — was sufficient to draw a crowd to the wharf. Steamboat officers 
were very courteous and hospitable. The captains and clerks were personally 
acquainted with many of the business men in the towns along the river, and 
both as a matter of policy and from inborn hospitality, they made them wel- 
come on the boats whether for a short or a long journey, and it was rare that 
they were requested to pay fare. Passengers were made to "feel at home" on the 
boats and were at liberty to make themselves comfortable. Many of the 
steamboats had an orchestra, composed of the negro waiters, barbers and deck 
hands, and a dance was almost a nightly occurrence. 

Often when the steamers were detained at the levee over night, the 
captains would pass the word around to the young men of the town that the 
boat was at their service for a dance, and such opportunities were generally 
improved. Sometimes the captain's hospitality did not cease with his fur- 



nishing the boat and music, but he also would serve supper to a large company 
of guests. In recalling some of his early experiences in Kansas City as a 
telegraph operator, James Kennedy spoke of the Kansas City levee: 

"All of the business of Kansas City in 1855 was done on the levee. The 
town had a good retail trade and the Indian and Mexican trade was especially 
important. The warehouses were filled with freight brought up the Missouri 
river by steamboats in the spring. From the levee one could see the Mexicans 
loading wagons with freight for New Mexico. They used the old style schooner- 
shaped wagon, drawn by twelve spans of mules. Each wagon was loaded 
with freight weighing from 6,000 to 8,000 pounds. The merchandise con- 
sisted of sugar, flour, coffee and other commodities that could be placed in 
sacks. When the wagons were loaded the mules were driven by Mexicans 
carrying long black snake whips. A team of twenty-four mules would have 
four to six Mexican drivers. They would start down the levee and around 
up Grand avenue. Every driver prided himself on the loudness with which 
he .could crack his whip, and in a train of ten or twelve wagons the whip 
cracking would sound like the firing of muskets, only louder." 

The wharf-master was one of the most important of the city officials 
in the days when steamboating was at its height. He was master of the 
levee, and he bore great responsibility. The duties of the wharf-master were 
defined as follows by an early city ordinance: 

"To direct the landing and stationing of all water craft arriving or lying 
at any point on the river bank within the City, and the discharge and re- 
moval, and lading of their cargo, so as to prevent interference between differ- 
ent vessels and their cargoes ; to superintend the arrangement of merchandise 
and materials for repairs on the river bank, so that they shall occupy as 
little space and cause as little inconvenience as possible; to see that all com- 
bustible materials on the river bank are sufficiently protected from fire; to 
keep the wharf and river along the shore free from all improper obstructions ; 
to keep in repair the ring bolts and posts provided for fastening boats and 
vessels; to regulate and control, by proper rules to be established and pub- 
lished, all vehicles traversing the wharf; and to remove thence such as unnec- 
essarily obstruct free passage upon the wharf or street; and generally to 
exercise complete supervision and control over the wharf, river bank, landing 
and Front street. 

"To register, in a suitable book, the date of the arrival and departure 
of every water craft, except wood and coal boats, with its name, the name 
of its master, and the place whence it came ; and to make a report with the 
wharfage collected from each, to the City Register on the last Saturday of 
each month, and to report to the City Council, on the first day of each stated 


session, the whole number of arrivals during the preceding three months, the 
description of the boats and vessels, and the amount of wharfage collected. 

"The Wharfmaster shall, at all times, and forthwith cause to be removed 
all obstructions which may be found at any landing set apart at the Wharf 
for Ferry Boats, Packet boats or Scavenger boats, and whenever any such 
obstructions shall be found to exist, the Wharfmaster shall at once notify the 
persons having charge or control of such obstructions to remove them forth- 

"The Wharfmaster shall require any boat which is leaking so as to be 
in danger of sinking in the harbor, to be removed without delay, and if the 
person in charge of such boat fail to remove it, the Wharfmaster shall take 
possession at once and remove the boat. 

"Whenever any boat shall sink in the harbor of Kansas City, the Wharf- 
master shall require the same to be removed within such time and in such 
manner as he may prescribe, and shall require the persons having charge of, 
or any interest in any such vote, to give bond, with good security, so to re- 
move the obstruction and in case of a failure to give such bond, the Wharf- 
master shall proceed to remove the boat and sell such property as he may save 
from the wreck at public auction, and after deducting from the proceeds of such 
sale reasonable salvage for merchandise the cost of such removal and sale 
and a commission of 10 per cent on the amount of his disbursements as afore- 
said to himself, shall pay over a residue of such proceeds to the parties entitled 
to receive the same ; and in case such proceeds shall be insufficient to defray 
the expenses, the deficit shall be paid out of the City treasury. 

"All steamboats ascending the Missouri river, or plying between this 
point and points above, except Ferry Boats, Flat Boats, Keel Boats, Wood and 
Canal Boats, shall pay, as wharfage, the sum of $5.00 for every landing 
made within the City, provided that boats running from this point up the 
Kaw and Platte rivers shall not be charged more than ten dollars for all 
landings made in the course of such navigation in any one month, and that 
boats running from this point to St. Joseph or Atchison in connection with 
the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad, shall not be charged more than twenty 
dollars for all landings made in any one month in the due course of any such 

"The Wharfmaster shall have all the power of the City Marshal to make 
arrests for any breach of the ordinances of the city committed upon the 
wharf, and for all breaches of this ordinance, and for that purpose, may 
summon to his aid, any and all persons, and for such arrests and complaints, 
shall receive the same fee as the City Marshal." 

The county roads radiating from Kansas City were improved, also. A 
company was organized in July, 1857, to macadamize the road between Kan- 

i!l.-.<* ■ ■ . - -r^g* » £?»> >£r: ..., - *,„^« - for-*, fV&m^g^V.^V^ ^., - ,,, ^ 



sas City and Westport, used by the immigrants and the freighters. The work 
of improving the road was begun in September, 1857, but was delayed and 
not completed until after the Civil War. The Shawnee road and a bridge 
across Turkey creek were opened for travel in 1858. 

Gold was discovered in Colorado in 1858, and the emigration that imme- 
diately followed made new business for Kansas City. Leavenworth, Atchison, 
St. Joseph, Nebraska City and Omaha competed with Kansas City for the 
trade of the caravans. Each of the cities opened a new route across the plains 
and exploited its advantages. The rivalry was keen for a time, but Kansas 
City's superior boat landing and the advantages of its route across the plains 
enabled the city to retain the larger part of the trade. 

Kansas City's first banking establishment was organized in 1856 by the 
firm of Coates & Hood and operated in connection with its real estate business. 
Northrup & Co., afterwards Northrup and Chick, established a banking con- 
cern in 1857 which continued in business until 1864, when it was transferred 
to J. Q. Watkins & Co. A branch of the Mechanics' bank of St. Louis was 
organized, May 1, 1859. Dr. Johnston Lykins was president ; E. C. McCarty, 
cashier; and Lewis Ramage, attorney. These were the directors: J. P. 
Wheeler, Kersey Coates, Dr. Johnston Lykins, Joseph C. Ransom, F. Conant, 
William Gillis, John C. McCoy, J. Riddlesberger and W. J. Jarboe. A bank 
was organized in July, 1859, of which Hiram M. Northrup was the president 
and John S. Harris, the cashier. The directors were: Hiram M. Nortnrup, 
C. E. Karney, Thomas A. Smart, William H. Chick, Thomas Johnson, IN. 
T. Wheatley, Joab Bernard, Alexander Street and Edward T. Perry. 

Early in 1858 Kansas City received a proposition from Charles C. Steb- 
bins, president of the Missouri River Telegraph Company, to extend the 
Company's line to Kansas City for $2,500. The Missouri River Telegraph 
Company's lines were, at that time, in operation as far west as Booneville. 
The $2,500 was to be paid in telegraph service. The offer was accepted 
piomptly and the line was built west reaching Kansas City in December 20, 

The Journal Metropolitan newspaper was established in June, 1858, by 
Bales and Gilson. The Missouri Post, the first German newspaper in Kansas 
City, appeared in January, 1859. August Wuertz was the owner. The Daily 
Inquirer was established in 1860. 

The Board of Trade, a voluntary association, was organized by the mer- 
chants of Kansas City in 1856. It did not meet the needs of the commercial 
interests and the Chamber of Commerce was established, and a charter was 
obtained from the Missouri legislature, November 9, 1857. These were the 
incorporators: Dr. Johnston Lykins, W. A. Hopkins, John Johnson, M. J. 
Payne, Thomas H. Swope, S. W. Bouton, Kersey Coates, Joseph C. Ransom, 


E. C. McCarty, Hiram M. Northrup, H. H. King, J. M. Ashburn, William 
Gillis, Dr. Benoist Troost, John Campbell and R. G. Stephens. Afterwards 
R. T. Van Horn. T. S. Case, Dr. D. Y. Chalfant, Ermine Case and several 
others became interested in the association. The Chamber of Commerce occu- 
pied an important part in the commercial development of Kansas City previous 
to the Civil war. The association was disorganized by the war. 

The city charter was amended January "29, 1S57, to extend the city limits 
to the west state line, south to Twelfth street and east to the half section line 
in the alley between McGee and Oak streets. The growth of the city within 
the next year made another amendment to the charter necessary. The legis- 
lature again enlarged the corporate limits in 1859, extending the boundary 
south to Twentieth street and east along that street to Troost avenue; thence 
north to Twelfth street and then east to Lydia avenue, north to Independence 
avenue ; thence west to the quarter section line just west of Lydia avenue, 
and then north to the Missouri river. In the same act the city council was 
divided into two branches, but the division was repealed the following De- 
cember. The city council was directed to divide the city into three wards. 
An ordinance was passed. March 5, 1858, making all of the city aast of Grand 
avenue the First ward; the district between Grand avenue and Delaware street, 
and Main street south of the Junction, the Second ward; all of the territory 
west of Delaware street and Main street, south of the Junction, the Third ward. 

The population of Kansas City in 1855 was 478; in 1857, 3,224; in 1859, 
7,180. The assessed valuation of taxable property was $54,000 in 1855; 
$1,200,000 in 1857, and $3,311,730 in 1859. 

The more important additions to Kansas City previous to the Civil war 
were: McGee addition, one hundred and sixty acres lying south of Twelfth 
street, between Main street and Holmes street, platted in the summer of 1855; 
Swope's addition joined McGee*s addition on the north. Ross and Scarritt's 
addition of forty acres; north of Ross and Scarritt's addition, Peery place; 
McGee & Holmes' addition. King's addition. Bellvue place, Lykin's addition, 
Coates' addition. Bouton's addition, Ransom's addition, Lawrence's addition, 
Guinotte's addition and McDaniel's addition. 

A correspondent for the New York Herald came to Kansas City in 1860 
and made the following report of the city's commerce with the great plains 
for the year in comparison with that of rival towns: Kansas City, 7,084 
men and 3.033 wagons; Leavenworth. 1,216 men and 1,003 wagons; Atchison, 
1,591 men and 1,280 wagons; St. Joseph, 490 men and 418 wagons. Quantity 
of freight in pounds: Kansas City. 16.439,134; Leavenworth, 5,656,082; 
Atchison, 6,097,943; St. Joseph. 1,672,000. 

The Western Journal of Commerce estimated in November, 1857, that 
$5,100,000 was in circulation on the Missouri border, divided as follows: 

1 \ i 

H «V^i ^SIH l^k^^, 1 "T^SfiSP 1 ^^*"*^ 



United States army expenditures, $2,000,000 ; amount derived from the trade 
with New Mexico, $1,500,000; Indian annuity money, $1,100,000; cash 
spent by immigrants $300,000; paid for delivering the United States mail, 

At the close of the year 1860 Kansas City had three Masonic lodges, two 
Odd Fellows lodges, one Good Templars lodge, a Turnverein, a Shamrock 
society, the Orpheus singing society, a chess club and a Bible society. Suth- 
erland's directory of Kansas City for 1860-61 gives these newspapers and 
periodicals : 

The Western Journal of Commerce, daily, tri-weekly and weekly, D K. 
Abeel, proprietor, corner of Main and Commercial streets; Enquirer, weekly, 
Hodgson & McMurry, owners, Main street, between Second and Third streets; 
Missouri Post, German, weekly, August Wuerz, editor and owner, Main street, 
between Second and Third streets; Free State Republican, N. T. Doane, editor, 
Main street, between Second and Third streets; Kansas City Medical and 
Surgical Review, edited and published by Dr. G. M. B. Maughs and Dr. The- 
odore S. Case. 

The following churches were given in the directory: Methodist church, 
South, Fifth street, between Delaware and Wyandotte streets, the Rev. W. M. 
Leftwich, pastor ; Methodist church, North, in Concert Hall ; Episcopal church, 
at Concert Hall, the Rev. J. I. Corbyn, pastor; Reformed church, Main and 
Ottawa streets, the Rev. John O'Kane, pastor ; Catholic church, corner Broad- 
way and Chouteau avenue (now Eleventh street), the Rev. Father Bernard 
Donnelly, priest; Presbyterian church, Third and Main streets; Cumberland 
Presbyterian church, no regular house of worship; Baptist church, on May 



Santa Fe is a name steeped in romance. Its historic setting has made 
the town the Mecca for the antiquarian. Santa Fe rests in the shadowy mys- 
tery and ancient glory of the pre-historic Aztecs, the people of tradition and 
myths, discovered by the wandering Spanish explorers. To these adventurers 
and their followers "New Mexico was the Egypt of America and Santa Fe its 
Thebes." Few pages of history are so full of dramatic incident and weighty 
consequence as those pages that tell of the discovery and conquest of the Az- 
tecs by the Castilians. The Spanish explorers were followed by the mission- 



aries, who, with the zeal of their calling, reduced the natives to a state of sub- 
jection and forced them to work in the various mines of gold, silver and tur- 
quoise, and to attend worship on Sundays in the chapel of San Miguel. 

The earliest record of Santa Fe is found in the accounts of the wander- 
ings of Cabeza de Vaca and Coronado while on their explorations in search 
of gold in 1540. Three hundred years later, from the town of Old Franklin 
in Missouri, a party of men started, and, along a tortuous path, about seven 
hundred miles in length, afterward known as the Santa Fe trail, carried the 
first merchandise into the quaint old town of Santa Fe. 

"When the masts of the Mayflower yet grew in the forest and the Pil- 
grim Fathers' fathers yet slept in their cradles, Cabeza de Vaca, a Spanish 
iEneas, led his shipwrecked party through the Rio Grande valley." The. Spanish 
adventurers saw the advantage of the situation of Santa Fe as a strategic point, 
and there, in 1605, established their headquarters and base of supplies. The 
Pueblo Indians fought for their freedom again and again, but readily were 
subdued by their captors. At last, about 1688, they were successful in over- 
throwing the Spanish authority and were independent for twelve years. 

The Spaniards were driven out of the country; the priests were tortured 
in very conceivable way, mutilated and their bodies left a prey to the wild 
beasts. Every vestige of Spanish rule was obliterated. The people were com- 
manded to forget their conquerors, not to remember anything that had been 
taught by them. In their twelve years of freedom the natives returned to 
their ancient ways, and a vow was forced upon each one that no foreigner 
ever again should know of their mines. The official records of the Spanish 
dominion were used as fuel for a bonfire in the plaza. The Spanish again 
gained supremacy in 1700, but with the promise that the mines were not 
to be worked. The rich mines in the vicinity of Santa Fe were not opened 
until the nineteenth century, when the American prospectors entered New 

In the earlier years of the Santa Fe trade, before the route had been es- 
tablished, the merchandise was conveyed in packs by men and animals. The 
caravans in 1824 and 1825 were composed partly of pack animals and partly 
of wagons. Wagons were used almost exclusively after 1826. The regula- 
tion high box "prairie schooner" was introduced about 1839. These wagons 
were drawn by five to ten yoke of oxen or as many teams of mules, and had a 
carrying capacity of about three tons. 

The first American trader to penetrate his way to Santa Fe was James 
Pursley, an adventurer who had heard strange stories of the city and its in- 
habitants. While Pursley was wandering over the unexplored regions west 
of the Mississippi river he met a band of Indians on the Platte river who gave 
him information concerning the settlements in New Mexico. In company with 


the savages he went to Santa Fe in 1805 with a small pack of good*. He re- 
mained there, worked as a carpenter and accumulated a small fortune. Purs- 
ley was kept under close surveillance by the Mexicans who were extremely 
suspicious of foreigners. He was forbidden to write letters. Pursley re- 
mained in Santa Fe until his death. 

The first commercial enterprise of any consequence from the North came 
in 1804 through a leading merchant of the Mississippi valley, AVilliam Mor- 
rison, of Kaskaskia, 111., who also had heard of the city of Santa Fe, and 
as an experiment sent Baptiste La Lande, a French Creole, to introduce his 
goods into New Mexico. A small assortment of cotton goods and other fab- 
rics was taken to Santa Fe with the view of establishing a trade with the 
Mexicans. La Lande reached his destination after a severe journey and was 
kindly received by the people who bought his goods. The Mexicans, desir- 
ing to have the trader become a resident, gave him land and other induce- 
ments. La Lande did not anticipate the return trip with any degree of pleas- 
ure; he forgot his obligation to his employer, AVilliam Morrison, and sojourned 
among the Mexicans. The supposition is that the residents of Santa Fe de- 
tained La Lande there for fear of innovations from the North, should he re- 
turn to his native land and report the commercial conditions in New Mexico. 

The first officer of the United States government to visit Santa Fe was 
Lieutenant Zebulon Montgomery Pike, of the Sixth United States infantry, 
the discoverer of Pike's Peak. The government sent him on an exploring 
expedition up the Arkansas river in 180b\ with instructions to travel to the 
sources of the Red river, for which the head waters of the Canadian river 
then were mistaken. Pike entered Kansas near Xenia in Bourbon county, 
September 5, 1805, and traveled to the village of the Pawnee republic, where, 
September 29, 180o. he held a conference with the Pawnee Indians and had 
the Spanish flag hauled down and the United States flag raised for the first 
time in the territory now included in the state of Kansas. 

It was inevitable that Pike's journey should lead him into Spanish ter- 
ritory. He passed around the headwaters of the Canadian river and, crossing 
the mountains with great suffering and peril, descended upon the Rio del 
Norte with his party of fifteen men. Believing himself to be on the Red river, 
within the bounds of the United States, he erected small fortifications for his 
company to lie used until the opening of the spring of 1807, when he might 
be enabled to continue his journey. As Pike was within Mexican territory, 
within sixty to eighty miles from the northern settlements, his position soon 
was discovered by the Mexicans and a force sent to capture him. 

Lieutenant Pike was the victim of a treacherous deceit on the part of the 
Mexicans. The Mexican officer when he arrived at the camp informed the 
explorer that the Spanish governor, learning that he had lost his way, had 





sent animals and an escort to convey him to a navigable point on the Red river 
and that his Excellency desired to see him in Santa Fe before he took leave 
of the country. The offer was accepted, but Pike soon learned that he was 
a prisoner instead of a guest. The governor sent Pike to the Commandant 
General in Chihuahua, where most of his papers were seized and he and his 
party were escorted to the United States border. 

Previous to the American trade, New Mexico had no outside market for 
its products and no source of supply except Old Mexico, through Chihua- 
hua. The Mexicans exported sheep, buffalo robes, dressed deer, salt, tobacco 
and finely wrought copper vessels. In return came cotton, silk and velvet, 
confections, arms, iron, steel, ammunition and choice liquors. High grade 
imported cloth, according to Pike's account, sold in Santa Fe as high as $20 
to $25 a yard, linen at $4 a yard and other dry goods in proportion. 



An expedition of twelve men, under the leadership of Robert McKnight, 
James Baird and Samuel Chambers, went to Santa Fe in 1812. The traders 
were induced to make the journey in the belief that the Spanish authority 
in Mexico had been overthrown by Hidalgo, the revolutionary chief, and 
that they would find the baneful customs and regulations that were prohibi- 
tive to foreign trade, removed. But the adventurers were destined to suffer 
trials and hardships of which they had formed no conception. While the 
merchants were making the long journey across the plains the Hidalgo move- 
ment failed and the patriot was captured and slain. The Spanish authorities 
were intensely suspicious of Americans at that time and when the luckless 
traders arrived their goods were seized and they were arrested as spies and 
thrown into the "calabozos" of Chihuahua, where they remained in rigorous 
confinement for nine years. 

§ -T^^ 1 




'V 1 







When the republican forces under Iturbide gained the ascendency the 
traders were set at liberty. John McKnight, brother to the trader, went to 
New Mexico in 1821 and both returned with several other traders in 1822. 
Baird also returned in 1822. Chambers returned to the United States in the 
fall of 1821 in a canoe down the Canadian fork of the Arkansas river. 

Old Franklin may be called the "Cradle of the Santa Fe trade." In 
the early days of the trade the town was the most important in Missouri west 
of St. Louis ; it was two hundred and five miles west by river from St. Louis, 
and one hundred and eighty-seven miles east below the mouth of the Kaw 
river, opposite the present site of Booneville, Mo. The early expeditions to 
Santa Fe started from Old Franklin. Nothing remains to mark the site of 
the town of Old Franklin, the entire town site having been washed into the 
river in 1828. The town of New Franklin now stands one mile back from 
the river. 

Captain William Becknell is regarded as the founder of the Santa Fe 
trade and the "Father of the Santa Fe Trail," having made the first success- 
ful trading trip to Santa Fe. He was the first to pass along the general 
route followed later. Captain Becknell, in 1821, with four trusty compan- 
ions, started from Old Franklin, Howard county, Mo., to trade with the 
Comanche Indians, carrying their goods in packs upon their backs. They, 
however, fell in with a party of Mexican rangers and were persuaded to go 
to Santa Fe, where they disposed of their merchandise at a good profit. 
Becknell returned to the United States the succeeding winter and on June 10, 
1822, had an advertisement in the Missouri Intelligencer of Old Franklin, 
Mo., calling for a company of seventy men "to go westward for the purpose 
of trading for horses and mules and catching wild animals of every descrip- 
tion." Although Santa Fe was not mentioned in the announcement it was 
understood that it was the destination. Becknell's party of thirty men 
and about $5,000 worth of merchandise started from Old Franklin August 
4, 1822, crossed the Missouri river at Arrow Rock, Mo., September 1 ; reached 
the Arkansas river September 24, and Santa Fe, November 16, 1822. Beck- 
nell received enormous prices for his goods in Santa Fe; he sold plain do- 
mestic cotton for $2 to $3 a yard. Becknell had discovered a rich field for 
trade and returned to Old Franklin to tell of his wonderful "luck." Other 
and larger trading trips soon followed. 

The first wagon train, or caravan, of any importance to Santa Fe started 
in the early spring of 1823 from Old Franklin, Mo. The expedition was 
followed in 1824 by Francis Storrs, also of Old Franklin. When he returned 
from Santa Fe he made an elaborate report to Senator Thomas H. Benton, 
concerning the wonderful trade possibilities with New Mexico and Northern 


Old Mexico. Senator Benton induced Congress to make an appropriation to 
survey the Santa Fe trail and appoint a commission to treat with the Little 
Osage and the Great Osage tribes of Indians who claimed most of the land 
through which the road was to pass. 

The commissioners appointed by the government met the representatives 
of the Osage tribes, August 10, 18*25, under the oak trees near the present 
site of Council Grove, Kas., and, after negotiations that lasted several days, 
concluded a treaty in which the Indians granted concessions for the estab- 
lishment of the Santa Fe trail. The town derived its name from this cele- 
brated council. 

It required three years to survey the road and gain proper recognition 
for the route. Water determined the line of the roadway, and the camping 
places were as fixed as the trail itself. About five hundred miles of the Santa 
Fe trail was in the present state of Kansas. The trail entered the state from 
the east near the town of Glenn in Johnson county, according to Hiram M. 
Chittenden in his "History of the American Fur Trade," and crossed the 
following counties: Johnson, Douglas, Osage, Wabaunsee, Lyon, Morris, 
Marion, McPherson, Rice, Barton, Pawnee, Edwards. Ford, Gray, Haskell, 
Grant, Stevens and Marion. Chittenden gives the more important camping 
places on the Santa Fe trail with the distance in miles from Independence: 

Blue Camp, 20; "A charming spot on the western boundary of Missouri." 

Round Grove, or Lone Elm, 35; a regular stopping place. 

Oregon Trail junction, 43. There on the naked prairie stood a sign post 
with the inscription, "Road to Oregon." 

Black Jack point, 47; so called from the dwarf oak trees growing there. 

The Narrows, 65; "a narrow ridge which separates the Osage and Kansas 

"One Hundred and Ten Mile" creek, 100. The name of this creek refers 
to its distance from old Fort Osage. 

Bridge creek, 108. 

Switzler's creek, 116; "a fine running water." 

Council Grove, 150. This was one of the most important stopping places 
on the trail. The thickly wooded river bottom at this point, one-half a mile 
to one mile in width and of indefinite length, afforded an abundant supply of 
wood for the campers. The caravans usually went to Council Grove in detached 
parties and there met in council and organized for the perilous journey across 
the plains. The caravans usually elected captains and other minor officers. 

Diamond spring, 165; "a crystal fountain discharging itself into a small 
brook, to which in recent years, caravans have sometimes advanced before or- 



Lost spring, 180. 

Cottonwood creek, 192. 

Turkey creek, 217. 

Little Arkansas, 234. 

Cow creek, 254. 

Arkansas river, 270. This stream, which for all its length west of the 
100th meridian was the frontier between the United States and Spanish ter- 
ritories, was of great importance to the traders in that region. It was not 
navigable in that part of its course, unless the possibility of descending in light 
craft in flood time entitles it to that distinction. Its importance arose in part 
from the fact of its being the national frontier, and partly because the coun- 
try around its headwaters was rich trapping territory. The road followed 
along the left bank of the river. 

Walnut creek, 278. 

Pawnee Rock, 293. This rock was to the Santa Fe trail what the Inde- 
pendence rock was to the Oregon trail. It was a mass of sandstone that 
rose twenty feet high on the right hand side of the road, about two miles 
back from the river. The rock was covered with inscriptions both by the 
white men and Indians. "Here was a confused medley of cognomens," an 
early traveler said. "English, French, Spanish, German, Irish, Scotch — all 
entered upon the register of fancied immortality." Some of the names re- 
corded on Pawnee Rock found a permanent place in Western history. The 
name of the rock, according to tradition, "came from a siege there, once 
upon a time, of a small party of Pawnees by the Comanche hordes ; the rocky 
mound was impregnable, but alas for valor! They were parched with thirst, 
and the shining river glided in their sight through green meadows! They 
drank their horses' blood and vowed to Wah-Condah that their fates should 
be one. Death before slavery ! Finally in a desperate effort to cut their way 
to liberty, they all met heroic death; ushering their spirits with defiant 
shouts to the very threshold of the happy hunting grounds ! The Comanches, 
after their melancholy success, were full of admiration and erected on the 
summit a small pyramid which we see to this day." 
Ash creek, 297. 
Pawnee Fork, 303. 
Coon creek, 336. 

"The Caches," 372 ; so named from the fact that James Baird and Sam- 
uel Chambers, two of the unfortunate men who were imprisoned in Santa Fe 
nine years, when they made a return trip in 1822 were forced to stop at that 
place and "cache," or conceal their goods, having lost their animals in the 
severe winter, they camped there. The term cache, meaning a place of con- 
cealment in the ground, seems to have been used originally by the French 

the onlv dif- 
the attacks. 

s disturbance 
it a thy from 
Digest, ve or 
io two cases 
e the same 

have cured 
•able from 
.ne appro- 
ere is not 
fficient to 
of a cure 
ttainty of 

r anyone 
ted. can 
iption of 
ct them. 
Vrite to- 

in hard 
■ith pay. 

lese de- 
3 obtain 
^S, 355 P>, 

>f this 



re you. 

on the 
Df the 
Is the 
* com- 

ls and 

■snt to 

isery ! 





i my 


ns in 

ve it 

above number 

n21t. Agems, Kansas City. 







C A'NTA FE Traders, and those desirous 
^ of crossing the Plains to New Mexico, 
are informed that the undersigned wdll 
carry the United States Mail, from Inde- 
pendence to Santa Fe, for four years, 
commencing on the first day of July, 1S57, 
in stages drawn by six mules. 

The Stages will leave Independence and 
Santa Fe on the first and fifteenth of each 
month They will be entirely new. and 
comfortable for passengers well guarded, 
and running through each way, in from 
twenty to twenty-five days. Travellers to 
and from New Mexico, will doubtless find 
this the safest, and most expeditious and 
comfortable, as well as the cheapest 
mode o£ crossing the plains. 


From November 1st to May 1st $150 00 

May 1st to November 1st 125 00 

Provisions, arms and ammunition fur- 
nished by the proprietors. 

packages and extra baggage will be 
transported when possible to do so, at 
the rate of 35 cents per pound in summer, 
and 50 cents in winter, but no package 
will be charged less than one dollar. 

The proprietors will not be responsible 
for any package worth more than fifty 
dollars, unless contents given and special- 
ly contracted for, and all baggage at all 
times at the risk of the owner thereof. 
t^f" In all cases the passage money 

must be paid in advance, and passengers 
must stipulate to conform to the rules 
which may be established by the under- 
signed, for the government of their line 
of stages, and those travelling with them 
on the plains. 

No passenger allowed more than forty 
pounds of baggage in addition to the 
necessary bedding. 

Mr. Levi Speidieburg, at Santa Fe, and 
J & W R. Bernard & Co., at Westport, 
Mo., and our conductor and agents are 
authorised to engage passengers and re- 
ceipt for passage money 


July IS, 1857. n42-tf 

The undersigned announce to the Pub- 
lic that they keep on hand at all times a 
fine assortment of Fancy Candies, Fru*' 
N-"'" and all ki' ■? Cake= to su s ' 

Treatment I feel 

he proper t 
as successful « 
me and now, I 
thanking you f 
while tieatin? 



Dr. Cath 
ful figure 
success t"u 
show you 
ceeds w v 
to send 




you for t 

anyone t 
them to 

v; TEVr 
■ the f 

P. S. 

the 1 
that > 








trappers and hunters. The location of "The Caches" was five miles west of 
the site of Dodge City, Kas. 

Ford of the Arkansas river, 392. This was the regular crossing after 
1829 and was known as the Cimarron crossing. Its location was twenty miles 
above Dodge City. The ford was about half way between Independence and 
Santa Fe. 

Battle ground, 407; so called from a battle in which a small band of 
Texans defeated a larger band of Mexicans. 

Cimarron river, Lower spring, 450. This "river" had no water flowing 
in its bed in the dry season except at the springs. This part of the route 
was especially dreaded because of the scarcity of water. 

Middle spring of the Cimarron, 486. 

Willow Bar, 512. 

Upper spring, 530. 

Cold spring, 535; at this point the road left the valley of the Cimarron 

McNees' creek, 560. This was the site of one of the melancholy tragedies 
of the trail. McNees and Daniel Munroe, traders of Franklin, Mo., started 
to return from Santa Fe in the summer of 1828. The exact circumstances of 
their death are not known, but it is supposed that Pawnee Indians crept up 
to the traders as they slept near the caravan and shot them with their own 
guns. McNees was found lifeless and was buried on the banks of the stream 
that bore his name. Monroe lived several hours after he was found before 
he died. He was buried in the valley of the Cimarron. 

Rabbit Ear creek, 580. This name arose from the fancied resemblance 
of two hills nearly to rabbit's ears. The elevations were a guide to travel- 
ers on that part of the journey. It was near the head of Rabbit Ear creek 
that Major Stephen H. Long passed in 1820 in his futile search for the Red 

Round Mound, 588; a notable landmark that was important as a guide 
to travelers before the route had been fully established. The height of the 
mound above the plain was six hundred and ten feet. 

Rock creek, 596. 

Point of Rocks, 615. 

Rio Colorado, 635. This stream was supposed to be the upper course of 
Red river until 1820 when Major Stephen H. Long discovered that it was 
the upper course of the Canadian river. 

Ocate creek, 641. 

Santa Clara spring, near Wagon Mound, 662. It was there that the 
mountain branch from Bent's fort joined the main trail. 


Rio Mora, 684; last of the Canadian waters. 

Rio Gallinas, 704. 

Ojo de Bernal spring, 721. 

San Miguel, 727 ; the first settlement of any consequence before reaching 
Santa Fe. 

Pecos village, 750. 

Santa Fe, 775. 

Wetmore's gazeteer of Missouri, for 1837, gives the list of places and 
distances from New Franklin through Independence to Santa Fe as follows: 

From New Franklin to Independence in Jackson County: 


To Arrow Rock 12 

" Smith's 10 

" Carthay's 20 

" Grand Pass 12 

" Demoss' 2 

" Webb's 6 

" Lexington 25 

" Rennick's 12 

" Independence 28 

From Jackson County to Santa Fe: 


To Camp Grove 16 

" Big Blue river ford 20 

" Round Grove 14 

" Belmont 20 

" Left-Hand Grove 18 

" Right-Hand Grove 18 

" Elk Creek 5 

" Marie des Cignes 11 

" Rock Creek 5 

" Prairie Camp 13 

" Indian Camp 9 

" High-water Creek 15 

" Council Grove on Neosho 8 

" Plain Creek 5 

" Diamond Spring 8 

" Prairie Spring 8 

" Hook's Spring (in prairie) 8 

' Cottonwood Grove 13 

Lake Camp 18 


North West Corner of Second and Main Streets 


To Small Creek M 2(P 

Little Arkansas 18 

Branch of Cow Creek 12 

Main Cow Creek 13 

Arkansas river 15 

Walnut Creek (up the Arkansas) 20 

Ash Creek 24 

Pawnee Fork of Arkansas 8 

Plain Camp 15 

Little Pond 21 

Small Drain 20 

Anderson's Caches on the Arkansas 20 

Pond Camp west of Arkansas river 7 

The Two Ponds 22 

Several Ponds 19 

The Lake 12 

Sandy Creek 12 

Lone Pond 14 

Small Pool .' 22 

The Semiron 8 

The Lower Spring 2 

Salt Camp 8 

Nitre Camp 21 

The Willows 7 

Saltpetre Camp, in view of Sugarhouse 

Mound 10 

Upper Semiron spring 10 

Seven Mile Creek 7 

Drain Camp 8 

Two Pools 17 

Rocky Pool 8 

Bad Water 7 

Sugar Loaf 5 

Kiawa Camp 10 

Sabine Camp 15 

Round Mound 4 

Rocky Branch 12 

Summit Level, in view of Rocky 

Mountains 8 

Harl's Camp 6 

Point of Rocks 10 



To Deep Hollow 7 

" Canadian Fork 15 

" Mule Creek 6 

" Pilot Knobs 19 

" Tar Kiln Grove 20 

" El Moro 10 

" El Sapiote 2 

" Rio Las Guienas 18 

" San Magil (village) 25 

" Santa Fe 40 

The original historian of the Santa Fe trail was Josiah Gregg, a prac- 
tical trader and author. His "Commerce of the Prairies," published in 1844. 
is regarded as the classic of the Santa Fe trail literature. A return jour- 
ney from Santa Fe, as described by Gregg, was characteristic of travel on 
the celebrated highway: 

"On the 4th of April, 1838, we departed from Santa Fe. Our little party 
was found to consist of twenty-three Americans, with twelve Mexican ser- 
vants. We had seven wagons, one dearborn, and two small field pieces, be- 
sides a large assortment of small arms. The principal proprietors carried 
between them about $150,000 in specie and bullion, being for the most part 
the proceeds of the previous year's adventure. 

"We moved on at a brisk and joyous pace until we reached Ocate creek, 
a tributary of the Colorado, a distance of a hundred and thirty miles from 
Santa Fe, where we encountered a very sudden bereavement in the death 
of Mr. Langham, one of our most respected proprietors. This gentleman 
was known to be in weak health, but no fears were entertained for his safety. 
We were all actively engaged in assisting the more heavily laden wagons 
over the miry stream, when he was seized with a fit of apoplexy and expired 
instantly. As we had not the means of giving the deceased a decent burial, 
we were compelled to consign him to the earth in a shroud of blankets. A 
grave was accordingly dug on an elevated spot near the north bank of the 
creek, and on the morning of the 13th, ere the sun had risen in the east', the 
mortal remains of this most worthy man and valued friend were deposited 
in their last abode, — without a tomb-stone to consecrate the spot, or an epi- 
taph to commemorate his virtues. The deceased was from St. Louis, though 
he had passed the last eleven years of his life in Santa Fe, during the whole 
of which period he had seen neither his home nor his relatives. 

"The melancholy rites being concluded, we resumed our line of march. 
We now continued for several days without the occurrence of any important 
accident or adventure. On the 19th we camped in the Cimarron valley, about 
twelve miles below the Willow Bar. The very sight of this desolate region, 



i i 

frequented as it is by the most savage tribes of Indians, was sufficient to strike 
dismay into the hearts of our party; but as we had not as yet encountered 
any of them, we felt comparatively at ease. Our mules and horses were 
'staked' as usual around the wagons, and every man, except the watch, betook 
himself to his blanket, in anticipation of a good night's rest. The hour of 
midnight had passed away, and nothing had been heard except the tramping 
of the men on guard, and the peculiar grating of the mules' teeth, nibbling 
the short grass of the valley. Ere long, however, one of our sentinels got a 
glimpse of some object moving stealthily along, and as he was straining his 
eyes to ascertain what sort of apparition it could be, a loud Indian yell sud- 
denly revealed the mystery. This was quickly followed by a discharge of fire- 
arms, and the shrill note of the 'Pawnee whistle,' which at once made 
known the character of our visitors. As usual, the utmost confusion pre- 
vailed in our camp; some who had been snatched from the land of dreams, 
ran their heads against the wagons — others called out for their guns while 
they had them in their hands. During the height of the bustle and uproar, a 
Mexican servant was observed leaning with his back against a wagon, and 
his fusil elevated at an angle of forty-five degrees, cocking and pulling the 
trigger without ceasing, and exclaiming at every snap, 'Carajo, no sirve! 
(Curse it, it's good for nothing).' 

"The firing still continued — the yells grew fiercer and more frequent; 
and everything betokened the approach of a terrible conflict. Meanwhile a 
number of persons were engaged in securing the mules and horses which were 
staked around the encampment ; and in a few minutes they were all shut up 
in the corral — a hundred head or more in a pen formed by seven wagons. The 
enemy failing in their principal object — to frighten off our stock — soon be- 
gan to retreat ; and in a few minutes nothing more was to be heard of them. 
All that we could discover the next morning was, that none of our party had 
sustained any injury, and that we had not lost a single animal. 

"The Pawnees have been among the most formidable and treacherous 
enemies of the Santa Fe traders. But the former have also suffered a little 
in return from the caravans. In 1832, a company of traders was approached 
by a single Pawnee chief, who commenced a parley with them, when he 
was shot down by a Pueblo Indian of New Mexico, who happened to be with 
the caravan. Though this cruel act met with the decided reprobation of the 
traders generally, yet they were of course held responsible for it by the In- 
dians. * * * * 

"We forded the Arkansas without difficulty, and pursued our journey 
to the Missouri border with comparative ease; being only now and then dis- 
turbed at night by the hideous howling of wolves, a pack of which had con- 
stituted themselves into a kind of 'guard of honor,' and followed in our wake 


for several hundred miles — in fact to the very border of the settlements. They 
were at first attracted no doubt by the remains of buffalo which were killed 
by us upon the high plains, and afterwards enticed on by an occasional fagged 
animal, which we were compelled to leave behind, as well as by the bones and 
scraps of food, which they picked up about our camps. Not a few of them 
paid the penalty of their lives for their temerity." 

The Santa Fe trail had no greater hero than Felix Xavier Aubrey. For 
a wager of $1,000, the wiry Frenchman rode horseback from Santa Fe to In- 
dependence, the distance of 775 miles, in five days and nineteen hours. 
Before starting on this celebrated journey, he had swift horses stationed along 
the route for relays. Aubrey left the old town of Santa Fe in a swift gallop 
and he kept up the pace, stopping only to change horses, until he was taken 
in a faint from his foam-covered horse in the Independence public square. 
Friends carried the daring rider to a hotel and he remained in a stupor for 
two days. The feat cost the lives of several of Aubrey's best horses. 

Aubrey was the first trader to take a loaded wagon from Missouri to New 
Mexico in the winter time. It is said that he drove a herd of sheep to Cali- 
fornia and made a financial success out of the venture. A third route to 
Santa Fe was discovered by Aubrey in 1850. Previously there were only 
two routes; one by way of the Cimarron river, and the other by way of the 
mountains that at a later date was followed by the Atchison, Topeka & 
Santa Fe railroad. Aubrey's route crossed the Arkansas river below the 
mouth of the Big Sandy river. The greatest distance without water on that 
course was thirty miles, while the greatest distance without water on the 
Cimarron road was sixty miles. But for various reasons the Aubrey route 
was not generally used. 

Aubrey was killed in a drunken brawl in Santa Fe. William R. Ber- 
nard, a merchant of early Westport, gave this account of the Frenchman's 
death in an article contributed to the Kansas State Historical society: 

Previous to Aubrey's trip to California, Major Richard H. Weightman, 
who afterwards distinguished himself as a commander in the Confederate 
army, had been conducting a small newspaper in Santa Fe and through its 
columns had cast some doubt upon the discovery of a new pass through the 
mountains claimed by Aubrey. Some time thereafter Aubrey returned to 
Santa Fe, and meeting Major Weightman the two adjourned to a neighboring 
saloon. Both men called for brandy. Aubrey raised his glass to his lips and 
then putting it down inquired: 

"What has become of your paper?" 

"Dead," replied Major Weightman. 

"What killed it?" asked the other. 

"Lack of support," the major said. 


"The lie it told on me killed it," retorted Aubrey. 

Without replying Major Weightman threw a glass of brandy in the 
Frenchman's face and while he was blinded by its effects, stabbed him to 
death. Major Weightman afterwards said that Aubrey was angry and was 
drawing his pistol and that he stabbed him in self-defense. 

The Road to Santa Fe, as it appears now, was a long line of historic 
places. After a lapse of forty years, it is realized that the old highway had 
a most interesting part in the settlement of the West, and that its heroes 
are worth remembering. Now it may be seen that the Santa Fe trail was as 
important in the development of the West as the "Wilderness road" was in 
the opening of the west. 

It was in a spirit of appreciation that the suggestion came that the course 
of the old trail, as much of it as possible, be preserved to future generations 
by a series of monuments or "markers." The Kansas City council appro- 
priated $20,000, November 6, 1905, to pay for markers to define the line of 
the Santa Fe road through the city. 

In Kansas a legislative appropriation of $20,000 was made for markers 
to outline the Santa Fe trail through the state. The amount was not suffi- 
cient and it was supplemented by contributions from the school children. 
Each school child in the state was asked to contribute one penny to the fund, 
and 369,166 responded. The markers, purchased and prepared by the 
Daughters of the American Revolution in Kansas, have been set in place. 
Four or five markers were erected in each county where the later highways 
crossed the old trail. In the towns through which the roads passed, bronze 
markers were placed on the sidewalks and buildings. This is the inscription 
on the granite monuments : 

The Santa Fe Trail, 1822-1872. 

Marked by the Daughters of the American Revolution and the 

State of Kansas, 1906. 



In presenting a history or a historical period, it is necessary to set down 
step by step the several facts that the events may unfold by degrees and thus 
present a. picture of the whole situation. The history of the Civil war condi- 
tions in Kansas City and its effects cannot be understood without a char con- 
ception of the causes and events of the Civil war. 


Virginia ceded to Congress its claims to land in the northwestern terri- 
tory, March 1, 1784, and the. same day Thomas Jefferson as chairman of a 
committee reported to Congress a plan of government for the new acquisition. 
Congress adopted Jefferson's plan, April 23d, 1784, but it did not become 
effective and was abrogated by that "immortal prohibition of slavery," the 
"Ordinance of 1787." From the introduction of Jefferson's ordinance in 
1784 until the final Ordinance of 1787, of which it was said, "no act of Amer- 
ican legislation has called out more eloquent applause," various other ordi- 
nances were submitted to Congress. Master minds of the North and the South 
framed the Ordinance of 1787 on a basis of enlightened statesmanship. It 
was presented to and rejected by Congress several times in different forms. 
At its first presentation, in 1784, the clause prohibiting slavery in the North- 
western territory, inserted by Jefferson, was stricken out by Congress. The 
ordinance, however, seemed only to gain strength from each rebuff. Men, 
broad of intellect, strong of will, forgetful of self, a majority from the slave- 
holding states of the South, labored harmoniously to provide for every 
emergency. Parcels of land were set apart for schools and churches for the 
pioneers who braved the hardships of the wilderness. The northwest territory 
to which the Ordinance of 1787 applied included an area of about 265,878 
square miles, from which the following states were formed: Ohio, Indiana, 
Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and part of Minnesota. 

George Bancroft, writing of the. final peaceful adoption of the ordinance, 
said: "Before the federal convention had referred its resolutions to a com- 
mittee of detail, an interlude in Congress was shaping the character and des- 
tiny of the United States of America, Sublime and humane and eventful in 
the history of mankind as was the, result, it will not take many words to tell 
how it was brought about, For a time wisdom and peace and justice dwelt 
among men, and the great ordinance, which could alone give continuance to 
the Union, came in serenity and stillness. Every man that had a share in 
it seemed to be led by an invisble hand to do just what was wanted of him; 
all that was wrongfully undertaken fell to the ground to wither by the way- 
side; whatever was needed for the completion of the mighty work arrived 
opportunely and just at the right moment moved into its place,." 

Five of the eight states that voted for the ordinance in peace and har- 
mony were slave states and three were, free. Of the eighteen votes cast, eleven 
were slave state delegates, seven free state delegates. Daniel Webster said of 
this ordinance: "We are accustomd to praise the lawgivers of antiquity; we 
help to perpetuate the fame of Solon and Lycurgus ; but I doubt whether one 
single law of any lawgiver, ancient or modern, has produced effects of more 
distinct, marked and lasting character than the Ordinance of 1787." 


Statesmen, historians and jurists have vied with one another in celebrat- 
ing its praises. In one respect it has a proud pre-eminence over all other acts 
of legislation on the American statute books. It alone is known by the date 
of its enactment, and not by its subject matter. 

The Ordinance of 1787 gave a wonderful impetus to the development 
of the, country west of the Mississippi river, on account of the vast influx 
of slave-holding immigrants from the slave-prohibited territory. Nine 
years later, in 1796, the Spanish authorities in St. Louis, harassed by a 
threatened invasion of English from Canada, offered every inducement to 
immigrants, in order to further strengthen their defense. The Spaniards 
especially desired immigrants from the United States, believing their hatred 
of the English would make them stronger allies. 

Immigrants were offered immense tracts of land merely for the cost of 
surveying and the small legal fees incident to the purchase. All slave 
holders in the northwest territory were forced by the Ordinance of 1787 
to either give up their slaves or leave the territory. Streams of immi- 
grants, going into the Northwest territory through Kentucky and Ten- 
nessee from the South and through Ohio and along the Lakes from the 
Northeast, met in Indiana and Illinois and crossed to the west side of the 
Mississippi river into the country, part of which finally was included in the 
state of Missouri. 

Following the Ordinance of 1787, with its important influence on the 
development of the great West, more especially Missouri, came a trans- 
action of unusual importance, which took place in that chain of remarkable 
events that culminated in a great national duel. It is said of the clause 
in the Louisiana Purchase treaty, describing the boundary line, "that the, 
words flow smoothly but it is doubtful if the same number of words in a 
treaty ever before concealed so many seeds of controversy." Article three 
of the treaty became the apple of discord when Missouri sought admission 
to the Union in 1819. In that clause it said, "The, people of the Louisiana 
Purchase shall be maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their 
liberty, property and the religion which they profess." The religion of the 
people of that territory was unmolested, but the, "property" clause was 
threshed out on the floor of Congress and the "Missouri compromise," with 
the 36° 30' restriction, was the result. 

Previous to the acquisition of the Louisiana territory one of every 
seven of Missouri's inhabitants was a slave. After 1803 the population of 
the territory that became Missouri increased rapidly, tripling between 1810 
and 1820. The aggregate number of inhabitants in the state of Missouri 
in 1860, the last national enumeration while slavery existed, was 1.182.012, 


of which 114,931 were slaves. Missouri advanced from twenty-third in 
population among the states and territories in 1810, to eighth place in 1860. 

Up to 1817 the, "balance of power" had been maintained between the 
slave states and the free states according to the constitution of the United 
States. When the Fifteenth Congress assembled in July, 1817, the free, 
states had a large majority in the House of Representatives. In the Senate, 
however, with a representation based, not on population, but on states, the 
representatives of the free and slave states were more evenly divided. Early 
in the first session of the Fifteenth Congress, Mississippi, a slave state, was 
admitted to the Union, and a year later, in December, 1818, Illinois, a free 
state, was admitted, thus preserving in the Union the "balance of power." 
Unfortunately, however, the South with its slave system expanded more 
rapidly than the North, and to make matters worse, in the, second session of 
the Fifteenth Congress of 1818-19, both Alabama and Missouri asked per- 
mission to frame constitutions preparatory to becoming states. At that time 
there were twenty states in the Union, ten free and ten slave. 

Georgia had stipulated a slave policy to Alabama when ceding the terri- 
tory to form that state, and this act was regarded by the northern representa- 
tives as final; and the Louisiana Purchase treaty, too, had guaranteed to the 
people of that territory peaceful possession of their property, including slaves. 
Congress had given the Georgia stipulation validity; the Louisiana Purchase 
treaty had received the same, indorsement. Alabama was received with open 
arms, December, 1819, while Missouri, at the same time, pleading for the 
same privilege, under the same conditions governing Alabama, was opposed 
by the northern representatives who insisted upon the people of Missouri 
adopting an anti-slavery clause in their constitution. This issue engen- 
dered a debate, the first in the history of the country where a geographical 
line divided the contestants, and resulted in that episode in the history of 
Missouri, filled with hatred, vengeance and bloodshed, a history that finally 
ended with the war between the states. 

A northern Democrat, Representative James Talmage of New York, 
proposed in February, 1819, as an amendment to the bill for the admission 
of Missouri: "That the further introduction of slavery or involuntary servi- 
tude shall be prohibited, except for the punishment of crimes whereof the 
party shall have been fully convicted; and that all children born within 
the state after the admission thereof shall be free at the age of twenty-five 

Slavery had existed in Missouri since the first white settlement, and in 
the, treaty of purchase by which Louisiana was acquired from France, it 
was expressly stipulated that slavery should be protected. The discussion 
that followed the amendment, proposed in 1819, by James Talmage, was 


hot and speculative. Should the amendment be, accepted and go into effect, 
the next move would, no doubt, be toward the old institution of slavery in 
the Southern states. This measure was the cause of bitter and lengthy 
debates in Congress. There were many issues at that time that tend to 
the conclusion today that slavery was not the real cause of the debates of 
1803 relative to the Louisiana Purchase treaty and the later fight for the 
"Missouri compromise," but that it was a struggle for political power. The 
admission of Alabama and Arkansas in 1819 and 1820 without contention 
as to slavery and that, too, while Missouri's fate was still pending, showed 
small interest in the abolition of the institution of slavery. With the Tal- 
mage amendment, a contest began that had dark forebodings for Thomas 
Jefferson. "The Missouri question," said Jefferson, "is the most portentous 
that ever threatened the Union. In the gloomiest moments of the Revolu- 
tionary war I never had any apprehension equal to that I feel from this 

In his letter of April 22, 1820, to John Holmes, Jefferson said: "This 
momentous question, like a fire bell in .the night, awakened and filled me 
with terror. I considered it at once as the knell of the Union. It is hushed, 
indeed, for the moment; but this is a reprieve only, not a final sentence. 
A geographical line, coinciding with a marked principle, moral and politi- 
cal, once conceived and held up to the angry passions of men, never will be 
obliterated, and every new irritation will mark it deeper and deeper." 

Twice the house, in which the North was predominant, passed the bill 
with the anti-slavery proviso, but the restriction was each time defeated in 
the Senate. The Senate at last yoked Maine, which was ready for admis- 
sion, with Missouri, the South agreeing to let Maine in as a free state if the 
North would allow Missouri to come in with slavery. This adjustment was 
proposed by a 'northern Democrat of pro-slavery proclivities, Senator Jesse 
B. Thomas of Illinois, by w T hich Maine was to be admitted as a free state 
and Missouri to enter with slavery with the 36° 30' north latitude pro- 
viso, prohibiting slavery in the Louisiana Purchase, territory with the excep- 
tion of Missouri. This proposition, which the house fought for a time but 
which at last, in 1820, was accepted, was the "Missouri compromise" proper. 

This question disposed of, another'* arose. Missouri's constitution con- 
tained a clause that prohibited the entrance of free negroes into the state. 
This provision precipitated further debate in Congress. The question was 
settled by a compromise offered by Henry Clay, under which Missouri agreed 
not to exclude any one recognized as a citizen by any other state. At 
that time negroes were recognized by several northern states. 

The close of the Mexican war of 1845-46 brought new territory to the 
United States. By the terms of the treaties the United States acquired 


Texas, New Mexico, California and Arizona. Should these acquisitions be 
slave or free territories? The Wilmot proviso of 1848, stipulating that in 
all territory acquired from Mexico slavery should be prohibited, was re- 
jected. However, when California asked to be admitted as a state, in 1849, 
its constitution prohibited slavery. Much discord ensued and in the midst 
of the excitement Henry Clay, who was in the Senate, tried conciliation by 
introducing the "Compromise of 1850," which included resolutions on all 
pending issues. Congress admitted California without restriction, establish- 
ing territorial governments without stipulations regarding slavery. Con- 
gress at the same time declared it inexpedient to abolish slavery in the 
District of Columbia, but prohibited the introduction of slaves into the 
District for mercenary purposes or for transportation. These resolutions on 
open questions of such vital interest were debated in the Senate from the 
time Clay availed himself of his position to present them in January, 1850, 
through the winter and spring and throughout a long, hot summer until 
Congress adjourned in September of the same year. 

Henry Clay's resolutions were, not adopted by Congress as presented, 
but bills, based on their principles, worked their way through the long ses- 
sion. The measures of compromise finally were signed by President Millard 
Fillmore, who knew that a failure of the. compromise measures of 1850 
surely would bring disunion. 

It was decreed by conventions of the Whig and the Democratic parties 
that the compromise measures of 1850 were a final settlement in "principle 
and substance" of the question of slavery. Daniel Webster, who had con- 
tributed such brilliant oratory to their success, congratulated himself and 
the, country, as he drew near death in 1852, that there was no part of the 
territory of the United States in which the subject of slavery had not been 
determined and disposed of by positive law. President Franklin Pierce, in 
his first message in 1853, was impelled to speak of those measures as having 
"given renewed vigor to our institutions, and restored a sense of repose and 
security to the public mind throughout the confederacy." 

The Kansas-Nebraska bill of 1854, for the organization of the terri- 
tories of Kansas and Nebraska, abrogated the Missouri Compromise of 1820. 
No one chapter of the political history of the United States is more directly 
connected with the Civil war than the Missouri question. It was the pre- 
lude to the tremendous struggle. The Kansas-Nebraska bill first was offered, 
without the "squatter sovereignty" provision, by Senator August C. Dodge 
of Iowa, and Representative Richard Richardson of Illinois, in the Senate 
and in the House on February 2 and February 3, 1853. The measure re- 
mained with the committee on territories until January 23, 1854, when 
Senator Stephen A. Douglas reported it to the Senate. It then contained 


the proviso relegating chattel .slavery to a local vote, which was regarded by 
William H. Seward as a gauntlet flung to the free states. 

After a memorable, debate of one month, the bill passed and went to 
the House. Within two days there occurred a remarkable episode — the one 
unbroken legislative "day" of nearly one thousand four hundred hours of 
time. The, minority resisted so strenuously that the deadlock at last was 
broken only by the refusal of Gerritt Smith of New York to longer bear the 
physical strain required to hold the House together. Watches had been 
organized by the minority and relieved one another regularly until the 
break came. The Kansas-Nebraska act then became a law, passing May 22, 
1854, and being at once signed by President Franklin Pierce. 

The repeal of the Missouri compromise, which for more than thirty 
years had been regarded as permanent and which, whether right or wrong, 
had become invested with authority, was the basis of the conflict in Mis- 
souri. The dissatisfaction caused by this transaction did not subside, but 
increased. Pro-slavery feeling in the South grew more intense, the institu- 
tion of slavery having become the very corner stone of its social structure. 
In the, North abolitionists became more active and came in increasing num- 
bers under the spell of the great anti-slavery advocates. When Douglas 
embodied the doctrine of "squatter sovereignty" in the Kansas-Nebraska 
bill, the great war of words that was the, prelude to the clash of arms began. 

Kansas, which had been separated from Nebraska, became the seat of 
turmoil, the Northern immigrants coming in such numbers as to arouse in 
the South the fear that "squatter sovereignty" would result in the loss of 
their cause. Incursions of "border ruffians" were encouraged to prevent 
such a catastrophe. In Kansas the runaway negro received protection 
through the "underground railroad." 

In retaliation for the activity of the Northern sympathizers, the "bor- 
der ruffians" defied the Eastern immigrants to settle, in Kansas. And thus 
began the real conflict between the North and the South, as represented by 
Kansas and Missouri. The border warfare was conducted by such a con- 
glomerate force as could have gathered nowhere but in this locality, a mix- 
ture of races. The white man, the red man and the black man were engaged 
in conflict, with the negro as the "bone of contention." 

In 1856 the conditions on the border were such as no one can easily 
conceive. So bitter were the prejudices, so fierce the hostilities, so desperate 
the strife on all sides that to be known as an anti-slavery or a pro-slavery 
sympathizer was to bring death at the hands of the opposing party that 
happened to be in power at the time. Murders were frequent. Men were 
called from their houses at night and shot down without warning, property 
was wantonly destroyed and general confusion reigned. Kansas "redlegs" 


raided Missouri and Missouri "bushwhackers" invaded Kansas. Kansas 
City suffered from both. 

The strife was intensified, prolonged and made unnecessarily bitter by 
the sectional feeling that found its way into almost every home. Children 
quarreled over politics while at play, women made it an excuse for all man- 
ner of social discrimination, and preachers in their pulpits stirred up the 
faithful at every turn, making matters worse by their wrangling over the 
righteousness of secession or the holiness of abolitionism. 

Thus the state of Missouri early became the seat of the conflict between 
the North and the South. In the period of disturbance between Kansas 
and Missouri, military forces were called upon, first, to protect the immi- 
grants of Kansas from the Missourians, and then to guard Missouri from 
predatory incursions of armed bands of Kansans. No important battles 
were fought in the years of doubt and delay between 1854 and 1860, but 
the border was disturbed with murders, routs and a petty, irritating war- 
fare. Brigadier-Geueral D. M. Frost's skeleton brigade of St. Louis and 
later General William Harney of the United States army were stationed 
in Missouri to prevent Kansas invasions, and Captain James Montgomery in 
Kansas was active in subduing the Missourians. 

South Carolina led the way out of the, Union, December 20, 1860, a 
state convention on that date adopting unanimously the ordinance of seces- 
sion. The election of Lincoln on November 6, 1830, decided those who 
had wavered in 1852, and South Carolina seceded. Mississippi, Florida, 
Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas followed in close succession. With 
these, however, voluntary secession ended and it was not until measures 
of coercion were, employed that the other Southern states followed. Arkan- 
sas held back until May 6, 1861, and North Carolina until May 20, 1861. 
Virginia's ordinance was not ratified until May 23, 1861, and Tennessee's 
was not submitted to a vote until June 8, 1861. The ordinance emanated 
from conventions in all of the staters except the last named. 

An attempt had been made to call a convention in Tennessee, but the 
proposition to that effect, submitted by the legislature, had been voted down, 
February, 1861, by a majority of 11,875. Soon afterwards coercive meas- 
ures by the seceded states were inaugurated and the, legislature was sum- 
moned. It ratified' a league, May 7, 1861, which the governor had con- 
cluded with the Confederacy and then proceeded to frame an ordinance of 
secession, which was submitted to the people and ratified, June 8, 1861, by 
a majority of 57,675. In two other states, Virginia and Texas, the ordinances 
were (submitted to the people for ratification. In Texas there had been 
some irregularity in the call of the convention and, therefore, the approval 
of the people was desired. The ordinance, adopted February 1, 1831, was 


ratified February 23. The Virginia ordinance, adopted April 17, 1861, 
was ratified May 23, 1861. 

President Lincoln announced, April 15, 1861, that the execution of 
the laws of the Union had been obstructed in South Carolina, Georgia, Ala- 
bama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas by "combinations too pow- 
erful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, or by 
the powers vested in the marshals by law." He called out the militia to 
the number of 75,000. Seeing that the insurgents had not dispersed in the 
states named and that the inhabitants of Virginia, Arkansas, North Caro- 
lina and Tennessee had joined them, he issued this proclamation, August 
16, 1861: 

"Whereas, on the 15th day of April, 1861, the President of the United 
States, in view of an insurrection against laws, Constitution, and Govern- 
ment of the United States, which has broken out within the states of South 
Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, and 
in pursuance of the provisions of the Act entitled 'An act to provide for 
calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insur- 
rections, and repel invasions, and to repeal the act now in force for that 
purpose,' approved February 28, 1795, did call forth the militia to suppress 
said insurrection, and cause the laws of the Union to be duly executed, and 
the insurgents having failed to disperse by the time directed by the President; 
and whereas such insurrection has since broken out and yet exists within the 
states of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas; and whereas 
the insurgents in all the said states claim to act under the authority thereof, 
and such claim is not disclaimed or repudiated by the persons exercising the 
functions of government in such state or states, or in the part or parts thereof 
in which combinations exist, nor has any such insurrection been suppressed 
by said states: 

"Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, in 
pursuance of an act of Congress approved July 13, 1861, do hereby declare 
that the inhabitants of the said states of Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, 
North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Missis- 
sippi and Florida (except the inhabitants of that part of Virginia lying west 
of the Allegheny Mountains, and of such other parts of that state and the 
other states hereinbefore named as may maintain a loyal adhesion to the 
Union and the. Constitution or may be from time to time occupied and con- 
trolled by the forces of the United States engaged in the dispersion of said 
insurgents) are in a state of insurrection against the United States; and that 
all commercial intercourse between the same and the inhabitants thereof, 
with the exceptions aforesaid, and the citizens of other states and other parts 
of the United States, is unlawful, and will remain unlawful until such in- 


surrection shall cease or has been suppressed; that all goods and chattels, 
wares and merchandise, coming from any of said states with the exception 
aforesaid, into other parts of the United States, without the special license 
and permission of the President, through the Secretary of the Treasury, or 
proceeding to any said States, with the exceptions aforesaid, by land or 
water, together with the vessel or vehicle conveying the same or convey- 
ing persons to or from said States, with said exceptions, will be for- 
feited to the United States; and that from and after fifteen days from the 
issuing of this proclamation all ships and vessels belonging in whole or in 
part to any citizen or inhabitant of any of said States with said exceptions 
found at sea or in any port of the United States will be forfeited to the United 
States, and I hereby enjoin upon all district attorneys, marshals, and offi- 
cers of the revenue and of the military and naval forces of the United States 
to be, vigilant in the execution of said act, and in the enforcement of the 
penalties and forfeitures imposed or declared by it ; leaving any party who 
may think himself agreed thereby to his application to the Secretary of the 
Treasury for the remission of any penalty of forfeiture, which the said Sec- 
retary is authorized by law to grant, if, in his judgment, the special cir- 
cumstances of any case shall require such remission. 

" In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal 
of the United States to be affixed. 

" Done at the City of "Washington, this sixteenth day of August, in the 
the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and of 
the independence of the United States of America the eighty-sixth year. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

The Missouri Secessionists held a public meeting, January 8, 1831. at 
which Thomas C. Reynolds, Lieutenant governor of Missouri, made a strong 
speech in favor of the Southern cause. This resolution was adopted at the 

"Resolved, That we pledge Missouri to a hearty cooperation with our sis- 
ter Southern states, in such measures as shall be deemed necessary, for our 
mutual protection against the encroachments of Northern fanaticism and 
coercion of the federal government." 

A number of political clubs, called the "Wide-Awakes,'' were organ- 
ized in St. Louis by the Republicans during the presidential campaign of 
1860. After the election these clubs were disbanded, their- usefulness seem- 
ingly over. Later, Francis P. Blair, Jr., advised their reorganization on 
account of political conditions, but another revolution of the wheel of pol- 
itics caused the Republicans to discontinue the organization of "Wide- 
Awakes." A meeting of Unconditional Union men. or Republicans, was 
called for the night of January 11, 1861, its purpose being to organize asso- 


ciations to be known as "Union clubs." Preceding the called meeting of Janu- 
ary 11, 1861, a number of meetings were held in St. Louis by different 
political bodies. Threats of breaking up the meeting of January 11 were 
made, but were not carried out, and the Unconditional Union men met in 
Washington hall, January 11, 1861, and provided for the organization of 
"Union clubs," to supersede the once famous "Wide-Awakes." 

Previous to the meeting of January 11, 1861, at Washington hall, St. 
Louis, a number of Republicans and Union Democrats had agreed to hold 
a grand rally of Union men at the Court house on Saturday, January 12, 
1861, ''to declare the sentiments of St. Louis on the great issues befox-e the 
country," but on the morning of the day set for the meeting the newspapers 
announced that the "meeting was expected to assert its loyalty to the Union" 
and at the same time to endorse the Crittenden proposition, as a fair basis 
for the adjustment of all differences between the free and slave states. This 
proposition met with objection from the Republicans. 

When the Southern states were threatening secession in 1860, John J. 
Crittenden of Kentucky offered a resolution that the Constitution be 
amended as follows: That slavery be prohibited in all territory north of 36° 
30' ; in all territory south of that line slavery was to be protected. The resolu- 
tion further declared that Congress had no power to abolish slavery in the 
District of Columbia so long as it existed either in Virginia or Maryland, 
nor without the consent of the inhabitants and compensation to non-as- 
senting slave owners. The fugitive slave laws were declared unconstitutional, 
and changes were recommended requesting the state legislatures to repeal 
or modify the " personal liberty " laws. The resolution concluded with a 
denunciation of the African slave trade. The resolution was not adopted. 
The states that had seceded had blocked the way that would lead to a 
compromise; South Carolina had laid down an ultimatum, the immediate 
evacuation of Fort Sumter or war; the Star of the West, sent to the relief 
of that fort, had been fired on ; the Senators from Georgia, Florida, Ala- 
bama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas had advised their states 
to secede at once and organize the Confederacy. Governor Joseph E. Brown 
of Georgia had sent a detachment of state troops, under Alexander R. Law- 
ton, to seize and occupy Fort Pulaski, which commanded the approach of 
Savannah, Georgia, which order was executed January 3, 1881 ; Governor 
Andrew B. Moore, of Alabama, had seized the arsenal at Mount Vernon, 
January 4, 1861, and Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines that guarded the ap- 
proach to Mobile, Alabama, were occupied; Florida seized the arsenal at 
Apalachicola, January 7, 1861 ; Louisiana took possession of Fort St. Philip 
and Fort Jackson, that commanded the entrance to the Mississippi river, 
and seized the arsenal at Baton Rouge. 


In view of these events, President Buchanan declared in his message 
to Congress, January 9, 1861, " that the fact could no longer be disguised, 
that the. country was in the midst of a great revolution." The Southern 
states had inaugurated war and committed acts of hostility against the United 
States government. 

Francis P. Blair, jr., after consulting with the leading men of his party, 
decided that the proper course to pursue would be to declare unalterable 
fidelity to the Union under all circumstances. This result could not be 
accomplished under the manifest purposes of the proposed meeting in St. 
Louis, without causing angry controversies that might lead to serious re- 
sults and antagonism among the Union men. It was evident from the at- 
titude of the seceding states that no compromise would be acceptable to 
them, and that the Union men who still hoped for a settlement, finding 
that all of their efforts were in vain, would unite in forming an Uncondi- 
tional Union party, such as had been suggested at the meeting of January 
11 in St. Louis. The following placard, announcing a Union meeting, was 
posted on the streets of St. Louis: 

" To the Republicans — As it seems to be the determination of those 
who called the union meeting today to take narrower grounds in support 
of the union of the states than that which the Republicans of this city have 
already assumed, we have judged it expedient to advise the Republicans 
not to participate in the meeting today, but to maintain the position already 
assumed in favor of the union under all circumstances " ; signed by F. B. 
Blair, P. L. Foy, William McKee, F. A. Dick, S. T. Glover and R. S. Hart, 

The meeting held a.t the court house was largely attended. It was 
composed of many of the leading men of the city and some from the 
country. Republicans attended the gathering and there was one prominent 
Republican on the list of vice-presidents. All were sincerely desirous of 
preserving the Union. Colonel Robert Campbell was chosen president, and 
E. N. Tracy and J. B. S. Lemoine secretaries. Judge Hamilton R. Gamble 
addressed the meeting, and at the conclusion of his remarks, John D. Coal- 
ter, as chairman of the committee, reported the resolutions. The Critten- 
den propositions of compromise were approved, and the resolutions unani- 
mously adopted. The resolutions expressed ardent attachment to the Union 
and declared that its dissolution would be disastrous to our country and 
" as tending to injure the cause of rational liberty throughout the world." 

The resolution in regard to slavery declared: "That the possession of 
slave property is a constitutional right, and as such ought to be ever recog- 
nized by the federal government ; that if the federal government shall fail 
and refuse to secure this right, the Southern states should be found united 
in its defense, in which event Missouri will share the common danger of 


the South." At that time there was no denial of the constitutional right to 
hold slave property, however much a large portion of the Republican party 
might deprecate the existence of the institution, as Jefferson and Washing- 
ton both had done. The Republican party at its national convention had 
disavowed an intention to interfere with slavery in the states. 

John J. Crittenden, to whose counsel they appealed, had, in his prop- 
osition of December, 1860, opposed the repeal of the Missouri compromise, 
and was in favor of its restoration and of making it a part of the constitu- 
tion and also of providing by constitutional amendment against interference 
by Congress with slavery wherever it should be legally established. Crit- 
tenden also supported Lincoln's administration; and in July, 1851, by res- 
olution, held that it was the right and duty of the government to maintain 
the Union by force. It followed, therefore, that the able and patriotic men 
who spoke the sentiments of the meeting of January 12, would not be slow 
to unite with the Unconditional Union men in support of the federal gov- 
ernment in its efforts to preserve the Union when they should find that no 
compromise would satisfy the South, and that the slave-holding states were 
determined to form a Southern Confederacy. 

The meeting of January 12 was not without the most beneficial re- 
sults. The leading men who participated in its proceedings and the large 
majority of men who composed it were sincerely desirous of preserving an 
unbroken Union. The voice which uttered such sentiments came from St. 
Louis; it came from the leading men in all departments of industry and 
from all professions, men whose names were respected and honored through- 
out the state. It fell upon the ears of anxious listeners, and had much to 
do with securing the election of the Union candidates for the convention. 
Between January 12 and January 31 there was a disposition shown to act 
with the Republicans under their resolution of January 11, by which all 
Union men were invited to unite with them in the foundation of a Union 
party. At the Library hall meeting of January 31, a committee was ap- 
pointed to name candidates for the convention, and February 6, fifteen can- 
didates for the convention were selected, four of whom were Republicans 
and the other eleven were composed of those who had supported Douglas, or 
Bell and Everett. The Unconditional Union ticket was elected by more 
than five thousand majority. 

At the meeting of January 11 authority was given for the formation 
of a committee of safety and it was understood that Francis P. Blair, jr., 
and Dr. Porter, who were named as an executive commiteee of the Uncon- 
ditional Union men, should, upon consultation with others, appoint that 
committee with full power to act for the Union party. That committee 
consisted of Chauncev I. Fillev, Samuel T. Glover, Francis P. Blair, jr., J. 


J. Witzig, John Howe and James 0. Broadhead; of these C. I. Filley was 
chosen president and James O. Broadhead secretary. A detective force was 
provided for, of which J. E. D. Couzins, formerly chief of police, was the 
head. The detectives were paid for their services, and they were to report 
from time to time any material facts that came to their knowledge touch- 
ing the movements of the Secessionists. For a long time and during this 
most exciting period they met every night at Turner hall. Blair, of course, 
was frequently absent, as he was then a member of Congress. 

The meeting at Washington hall in St. Louis on the night of January 
11, at which the Republican party was for the time being dissolved and 
merged into the Union party, was the initial step in a series of movements 
which finally were instrumental in securing the state of Missouri to the 
Union. Had the Republican party in St. Louis insisted on maintaining 
that its members were the only true Union men or had they in force attended 
the meeting of January 12 at the court house and resisted the adoption of 
the Crittenden compromise, an antagonism, calculated to imperil if it had 
not destroyed all hopes of the Union cause in Missouri, would have resulted. 

Local history receives the impress of national history. The four years 
of the Civil war disrupted the nation, and as the nation, so the smaller local- 
ities were affected. The little town of Kansas City was absorbed into the 
maelstrom. It was a time of feverish suspense; the feeling of uncertainty 
overwhelmed everything. Business interests were neglected and the devel- 
opment of the town, which had been uppermost in the minds of the best 
citizens, was swept aside in the suspense of the hour. The frequent meet- 
ings held to discuss civic improvements, to decide on a railroad proposition 
and to formulate business projects were abandoned, and instead the residents 
discussed the one important consideration of the day, whether to remain 
loyal to the Union or to sympathize with the Southern states. Where neigh- 
bors formerly had stood together in the united effort to improve the town, 
they now avoided each other in the fear of differences of opinion. 

The election for delegates to a state convention to ! convene February 
28, 1861, to determine the position of Missouri relative to secession, was 
called February 18. James K. Sheeley, Abram Comings and R. A. Brown 
were chosen to represent Jackson, Cass and Bates counties. The convention 
did not pass the necesary ordinance of secession, which only aggravated the 
situation. The domestic pursuits of Kansas City were deplorably neglected 
and irritation and resentment reigned in the hearts of the citizens. 

A Confederate flag was unfurled in the principal square of the city 
amidst great enthusiasm, but was immediately torn down. Many " flags 
of the South" were displayed at the homes of the Southren sympathizers, 
The most influential newspaper of the city, the Western Journal of Com- 


merce, in existence about five years, suspended publication March 7, 1881, 
on account of lack of support and the condition of public sentiment in Kan- 
sas City. Theodore S. Case's Free State Republican, a campaign paper, 
ceased publication two weeks later, and the proprietor of a German news- 
paper, the Missouri Post, a publication that favored the. Union cause, deemed 
it wiser to move across the state line into Wyandotte, Kansas. 

In the spring election of 1861 the candidate of the secessionist sympa- 
thizers, Dr. G. M. B. Maughs, was defeated for the office of mayor, and R, 
T. Van Horn was elected by the Union party. Mayor Van Horn found a 
difficult situation when he entered on the duties of his office. In the win- 
ter of Mayor Van Horn's term the legislature created a metropolitan police 
system for Kansas City, granting the commissioners extraordinary powers. 
The commissioners acted independently of the mayor and they favored the 
cause of the Secessionists. The men in favor of the Union were no longer 
tolerated in peace, and Mayor Van Horn, finding that he could give no 
assistance himself, left the city and went to St. Louis to organize a battalion 
of troops for the preservation of law and order in Kansas City. 

Kansas City realized the force of the war June 12, 1861. Through 
Mayor Van Horn's solicitation for United States troops in Kansas City, Cap- 
tain W. E. Prince, of Fort Leavenworth, came with two companies of in- 
fantry and three of cavalry and caused in the city. This was the first mil- 
itary occupation of Kansas City. The first conflict of the war in Jackson 
county was in Independence, June 13, 1861. The day after Captain Prince 
arrived the Secessionists withdrew to Independence. In a sharp conflict near 
Rock creek between Captain Prince's men and the Secessionists, three were 
killed and two were wounded. The Secessionists retired to Blue Springs, 
and Captain Prince, with part of his command, visited Independence the 
following day, but returned to Kansas City in the evening. No Confederate 
troops entered Kansas City, but they occupied Independence several times. 
and they were so close most of the time during the whole war that it was 
impossible for Union sympathizers to go to Independence or Westport in 
safety without an escort. 

"Van Horn's Battalion of United States Volunteer Reserve corps" 
relieved the regular troops in Kansas City, June 21, 1861. There were 
three companies, respectively called the American, the German and the 
Irish companies, organized, recruited and mustered into service. The corps 
consisted of Major R, T. Van Horn; surgeon. Joshua Thorne; Company A, 
Captain William Van Daun ; first lieutenant, Frederick Loos; second lieu- 
tenant. Frederick Klinger; Company B, Captain William Miller; first lieu- 
tenant. Daniel Cahill ; second lieutenant, David O'Neill; Company C. Cap- 


tain George C. Bingham; first lieutenant, Henry Spears; second lieutenant, 
Theodore S. Case. 

The first headquarters of the battalion were on Walnut street, between 
Eleventh and Twelfth streets, at the Smart homestead. Afterwards the Van 
Horn battalion constructed a small fort, called "Camp Union," at the south- 
west corner of Tenth and Central streets, just east of the site of the, Coates 
House. The foundation of the Coates House, which had been laid the pre- 
vious year, was boarded over and used as a cavalry stable. There breastworks 
were built, a large iron cannon mounted — a relic of the Kansas war — and 
two small howitzers. Drilling was done on Broadway, between Tentb and 
Twelfth streets, and maneuvering on the hills east and west of Broadway, 
south of Twelfth street, which was then covered with stumps and a dog- 
fennel. Several false alarms were experienced, at which times the big gun 
was fired as a signal for the Union people to rally to the support at the fort. • 

The quartermaster's stables and yards were on the opposite side of 
Tenth street from the fort. The commissary warehouse was on the river 
bank west of Broadway. The hospital was in charge of Dr. Joshua Thorne, 
and was established and maintained throughout the whole war at the Farm- 
ers' hotel on Grand avenue, near Sixteenth street. 

The city still attempted to keep up a show of civic government, had its 
council meetings, maintained its public schools with four teachers at an ex- 
pense of $1,500 a year; the Young Men's Christian Association went through 
the form of electing officers. But it was more of a farce than real business. 

The year 1861 slowly wore away and 1832 opened with little better 
prospects. The Western Journal of Commerce resumed publication in the 
spring and, strange to say, while it could afford to publish a daily bulletin, 
it could not make a weekly edition pay, so thoroughly unsettled and dis- 
turbed was the neighboring country districts. The newspaper copied its 
telegrams from the St. Louis and St. Joseph newspapers, because the tele- 
graph lines passed around Missouri through Iowa, The St. Louis papers 
were brought from Cameron, Missouri, to Kansas City by a boy on horse- 
back, ten hours ahead of the mail. 

The city became indebted to Thomas Burke to the amount of $600, and 
issued warrants which were ordered sold at the best cash prices, forty to 
fifty per cent, to pay him. No mails were received at one time for eleven 
days. In June, 1863, Ross, Steel & Co. commenced work on the Union 
Pacific railroad here and at Lawrence, Kansas. The Missouri Pacific rail- 
road commenced laying tracks between Kansas City and Independence, Mis- 
souri. The wagon trains for New Mexico were escorted by troops as far 
west as Fort Larned, one hundred and fifty miles out. The bushwhackers 


suddenly made a raid on Shawnee, Kansas, robbed and destroyed the town, 
and soon commenced firing on the steamboats on the river. The city and 
surrounding country was thrown into disorder. United States volunteers, 
militia, bushwhackers, redlegs and Kaw Indian cavalry infected the border. 
The wheat could harvested because of no "hands." The negro labor- 
ers had all run away, the white men were in the army or in the brush. All 
skiffs for miles along the river were destroyed to prevent runaway negroes 
from using them in crossing. 

General Thomas Ewing was ordered to Kansas City in June, 1883, and 
established the " district of the border," including the border counties in 
both states for about one hundred miles south. On August 21, 1863, the 
Lawrence massacre occurred and on August 25, 1833, General Ewing's 
" Order No. 11 " followed, driving out the entire population of Jackson, 
Cass, Bates and part of Vernon counties, except those living within one 
mile of Independence, Hickman's Mill, Pleasant Hill and Harrisonville 
and that portion of Kaw township in Jackson county north of Brush creek 
and west of the Big- Blue river. This order was carefully executed and had 
the effect of quieting the operations of the bushwhackers for the remainder 
of the year 1883, because they were now deprived of the encouragement, sup- 
port and information previously given them by the people of those counties. 
The enforcing of Order No. 11 was one of the memorable events of the Civil 
war in western Missouri. The celebrated picture, "Order No. 11," by George 
C. Bingham, has added odium to the transaction. Following is the order: 

" 1st. All persons living in Jackson, Cass and Bates counties, Missouri, 
and in that part of Vernon included iq this district, except those living 
within one mile of the limits of Independence, Hickman's Mill, Pleasant 
Hill and Harrisonville, and except those living north of Brush creek and 
west of the Big Blue, are hereby ordered to remove from their present places 
of residence within fifteen days from the date thereof. Those who, within that 
time, establish their loyalty to the satisfaction of the commanding officer 
of the military station nearest their present places of residence, will receive 
from him certificates stating the fact of their loyalty and the names of the 
witnesses by whom it can be shown. All who receive such certificates will 
be permitted to remove to any military station in the district, or to any part 
of the state of Kansas except the counties on the eastern border of the state. 
All others shall move out of this district. Officers commanding companies 
and detachments serving in the counties named will see that this paragraph 
is promptly obeyed. 

" 2d. All grain or hay in the field or under shelter, in the district 
from which the inhabitants are required to remove, in reach of military sta- 
tions, after the 9th day of September next, will be taken to such stations 


and turned over to the proper officers there, and report of the amount so 
turned over made to the district headquarters, specifying the names of all 
loyal owners and the amount of such produce taken from them. All grain 
and hay found in such district after the 9th of September next, not con- 
venient to such stations, will be destroyed. 

" 3d. The provisions of general order No. 10, from these headquart- 
ers, will be vigorously executed by officers commanding in parts of the dis- 
trict and at the stations not subject to the operations of paragraph 1st of 
this order, and especially in the towns of Independence, Westport and Kan- 
sas City. 

" 4th. Paragraph No. 3, General Order No. 10, is revoked as to all 
who have borne arms against the government in this district since the 20th 
of August, 1863. 

" By order of Brigadier-General Ewing. 

H. Hannah, Adjutant." 

The state of Kansas, on account of the general lawlessness, was placed 
under martial law. Gold was at a premium of $2.50 in July, 1863. Mexican 
trade for the first six months of 1863 was 1,385 wagon loads, nearly 6,500,- 
000 pounds, amounting to about one million dollars. In the fall the depre- 
dations of the guerillas increased; bridges were burned, caravans robbed and 
other outrages committed. Quantrell, the guerrilla leader, and his band 
sacked and burned Lawrence, Kansas, August 21, 1863. 

Great alarm was felt in September, 1864, on account of a general up- 
rising of the bushwhackers in all parts of Missouri. General Sterling Price 
was reported to be advancing. The Kansas militia was called out and Kan- 
sas City was regarded in great danger. All citizens were called to arms. 
Major Van Horn was placed in command and the city was fortified. Lines 
of breastworks were thrown up diagonally across the town from southwest 
to northeast. Cannon were mounted under the direction of Colonel Kersey 
Coates. Major General Samuel R. Curtis, in command of the Department 
of Kansas, took command of the troops and established a line of defense 
along the Big Blue river. 

A note of warning of the coming calamity was sounded that " struck a 
chill of terror deep into the hearts of the people of the busy little town by the 
river," which had become more quiet since the disturbances of 1862. It was re- 
ported that General Sterling Price had come out of Arkansas on an expedi- 
tion of conquest. A large, well-equipped force with fighting generals were 
with him ; General James F. Fagan with five brigades and a battery of artil- 
lery; General Joseph O. Shelby with three brigades and a battery; and General 
John S. Marmaduke with two brigades and a battery. The intention of this Con- 



federate army was to sack Westport and Kansas City, pass over into Kansas, 
march to Fort Leavenworth and then retreat to the South. No small won- 
der that disquietude and gloom settled on the peaceful river town, where pros- 
perity was just beginning to raise its head. 

The beautiful Indian summer days had come, nature was glorious in 
the glowing colors of the crimson, brown and yellow leaves, the dwellers 
of the busy little " City of Kansas " were pursuing their peaceful occupa- 
tions and business was brisk. Into the atmosphere of contentment a disturb- 
ing alarm was heard. The excitement became intense. From day to day 
news items were eagerly read of " Price's raid," as it came to be called. A 
long week of fearful days, of tense expectation and of wild rumors passed 
by. On the shores of the stream east of the town of Independence, known 
as the Little Blue, Price's vanguard, under General Marmaduke, had a hard 
fight, Friday, October 21, 1864, with the forces of Generals James Ford and 
Thomas Moonlight of Volunteers, and General James G. Blunt's Kansas 
militia, under General Curtis. The federals were driven through Independ- 
ence. General Price fought the Kansans along the Blue river and Major- 
General Alfred S. Pleasanton's pursuing troopers through the streets of Inde- 
pendence, and on Saturday the fight was continued, the Confederates reach- 
ing Brush creek and the Wornall road. The next day the sun shone on an 
ideal Sabbath, but long before the hour for the chimes proclaiming the day, 
at early sunrise, the battle of Westport had begun. 

The " Battle of Westport " was, by several thousand men, in point of 
numbers, engaged, one of the largest of all land actions of the war west of 
the Mississippi river. Twenty-nine thousand men fought within the limits 
of Jackson county, October 21, 22, 23, 1864, until the afternoon of the third 
day of fighting when the force of superior numbers, superior weapons and 
superior discipline wore away like the fierce resistance of General Marma- 
duke's rear guard and the dashing charges of General Shelby's troopers. 
The great attempt of the Confederacy to break the Union defense west of 
the Mississippi river failed and they fell back in retreat. About one thou- 
sand were killed in the three days' engagement. 

Curtis' regiments moved forward through Westport against General 
Joseph 0. Shelby's troopers; General Pleasanton threw his entire force 
against General Marmaduke's men at the river, and the Confederates under 
General Price, beset on west and north and east, in van and flank, threw 
themselves behind their dead horses, stripped their own dead for ammuni- 
tion, gathered repeatedly for desperate charges against overwhelming num- 
bers, and fought a rear guard action at the Blue river such as few of its vet- 
eran participants had seen on any field. 


The old hotel, the " Harris House," in Westport, served as General Cur- 
tis' headquarters, and from its roof he watched the early stages of the fight 
until he took the command in person. Curtis had with him several volun- 
teer aides, one a young man of twenty-three years, Joseph L. Norman, who 
proved his bravery when Curtis asked for a volunteer to undertake a peril- 
ous ride to deliver dispatches. Joseph L. Norman quietly stepped forward 
and announced his readiness to go. 

Mr. Norman had a subscription school in Kansas City when the war 
reached here. A neighbor came to his school on August 14, 1862, and re- 
ported that the Confederates had captured Independence and were on their 
way to attack Kansas City. Mr. Norman hurriedly dismissed his school and 
took five of his pupils to the fort, called Camp of Fort Union and offered hi& 
services in defense of the post. The offer was readily accepted. For three 
years Joseph L. Norman served the Union faithfully in Company A, Twelfth 
Kansas Infantry. The other volunteer aide was a young politician from 
Kansas who later was well known as Senator Plumb. 

On the hills and housetops of the town the non-combatant Kansas 
Cityans watched the clouds of smoke rising from the fields and listened in 
terror to the furious roar of cannon and the incessant din of musketry. 

It was shortly before noon that the hour of the federal victory came. 
Before Westport itself on the present golf links of the Country Club at Fifty- 
first street and Wornall road, just south of the little lake, Colonel James H. 
McGhee's regiment of Arkansas cavalry charged upon the artillery under 
command of the then Major Robert H. Hunt, chief of artillery on Curtis' 
staff, who had gained the high grounds and had placed their howitzers and 
field guns at almost the spot where the club house stafids today. It was at 
this point and immediately after this charge that an artillery duel occurred, 
the Confederate guns being on the Wornall road and south of the Wornall 
homestead, Major Hunt dismounted his horse and told a gunner to let him 
aim the piece, which was done, and this shot dismounted the Confederate 
gun and started the final retreat. For services in this campaign Major Hunt 
was brevetted lieutenant-colonel. Hunt was afterwards mayor of Kansas City 
and again a member of the School Board of this city. 

In a fearful melee of plunging horses and cracking pistols, clashing sabres 
and shouting men, the forces met, stirrup to stirrup and pistol to breast until 
in a man-to-man encounter Captain Curtis Johnson, of the Company E, Fif- 
teenth Kansas Volunteer cavalry, shot the Confederate colonel. James H. 
McGhee, from his horse. It was one of those critical moments when the suc- 
cess or failure of a single charge may determine the outcome of the whole 
battle. The fall of their dashing leader disheartened McGhee's remaining 



men, and in their rout more than one Southern writer finds the beginning 
of the Confederate defeat on this western side of the field. 

At almost the same hour that McGhee fell, General Marmaduke made 
his last great stand along the Blue river in the endeavor to hold back General 
Pleasanton's men. Bullets sown like pebbles in the fields and gardens, some 
1,500 feet north of the north line of Swope park and along the line of what 
is now Elmwood avenue, mark the spot where the brigades charged up the 
slope in the face of a withering fire from the men in gray behind the fences 
and log cabins that stood in the timber along the crest. 

A log cabin that stood until 1895 was estimated to bear the marks of 
5,000 bullets, received in this engagement. Colonel E. F. Winslow was shot 
down as he tried to force his men on, and turned over his command to Lieu- 
tenant Colonel F. W. Benteen. Ex-Governor T. T. Crittenden, at the time 
commanding the Seventh Missouri Federal cavalry, was severely wounded and 
left on the field when his men finally advanced. 

The charge itself, that gathered the whole federal force and hurled it 
up the hill until even General Marmaduke's men could no longer hold their 
ground, was thus practically under the command of Colonel John F. Philips, 
later United States federal judge for the Western district of Missouri, to whom 
Brown's brigade had been entrusted earlier in the day by General Pleasanton. 

With this collapse of the Confederate rear guard at the Blue river, Pleas- 
anton's field guns were brought to bear on the already breaking ranks of the 
whole Confederate army before Westport, and under this joint attack in front 
and flank, General Price's men fell slowly but surely back from the vicinity 
of Kansas City and the battle drew rapidly to a close. A last desperate attempt 
at a stand, on an east and west line marked by the beautiful monument 
erected by the Daughters of the Confederacy in Forest Hill cemetery, was of no 

Following the battle of Westport peace was restored in Kansas City. 
There was no more fighting in Missouri, although for many months the bush- 
whackers continued to make trouble. Kansas City hegan to revive. At the 
spring election in 1865, Patrick Shannon was elected mayor, the total vote 
of the city being 573. There was considerable excitement in town over the 
fact that one of the merchants, L. Hammerslough, received goods by rail from 
New York in eight days. 

The war was officially declared ended April 9, 1865, the men were mus- 
tered out of the army and returned to civic occupations. At that time the 
population of Kansas City was probably not over 3,500, but the town began 
at once to develop so that the census of 1870, taken five years later, showed 
that the population had increased more than 600 per cent. 




The country adjacent to Kansas City was in comparative peace at the 
beginning of 1865. Most of the bushwhackers who had infested the country 
and harassed local residents had gone south with General Sterling Price after 
his raid in 1864. It was evident that hostilities were drawing to a close and 
that so far as Kansas City's territory was concerned, there would be no more 
war. The people were left free to cast about and begin the work of repair- 
ing shattered fortunes and crippled business enterprises, and to prepare for 
the future. The population of the city had been reduced to about three 
thousand five hundred, the streets were out of repair, the houses were dilap- 
idated and the brisk trade of earlier years was gone. The outlook was any- 
thing but encouraging. 

Leavenworth, Kansas City's formidable rival before the war, had been 
the headquarters of army operations in the struggle and had prospered while 
Kansas City suffered. Leavenworth had grown to be a city of about fifteen 
thousand population and had gained control of the trade with southern Kan- 
sas and part of the commerce with New Mexico and Colorado. Kansas City, 
at the close of the Civil war, appeared to be well nigh out of the race for 
commercial supremacy, and would have been so regarded except for the 
town's natural advantages and the fact that it was the terminus of the main 
line of the Union Pacific railroad that already was in operation to Lawrence, 
Kansas. These advantages gave hope to the dejected residents; they re- 
newed the activities of earlier years and an era of wonderful development 

On the northwest corner of Missouri avenue and Main street, a small 
merchandise store was opened in 1863 by Mr. T. B. Bullene and his brother, 
Lathrop Bullene. Its entire force of employes consisted of but eight per- 
sons, and most of the merchandise was bought in St. Louis and brought up 
the Missouri river to Kansas City. Mr. W. E. Emery of New York became 
associated with this store in 1867, causing the firm name to be changed to 
Bullene Brothers and Emery. The little store was patronized and expanded 
with the city's growth until in January, 1870, it was moved to a new build- 
ing on the corner of Main and Seventh streets. This was considered a large 
store for the size of the city. The building was three stories in height, had 
a frontage of twenty-eight feet upon Main street and ran through to Dela- 
ware street. In 1870, L. T. Moore came from Kentucky and purchased the 
interest of Mr. Lathrop Bullene and was taken in as a partner. The firm name 
became Bullene, Moore & Emery. Mr. L. R. Moore, brother of L. T. Moore, 












sold his plantation in Kentucky and became a member of the firm one year 
later. In 1881, Jos. T. Bird was admitted to the firm and in 1884 Mr. W. 
B. Thayer was made a partner. In 1890 the phenomenal growth of the bus- 
iness made a great change necessary. The store was moved up town to 
Eleventh streeth and Grand avenue. Mr. T. B. Bullene died in 1894 and 
since then the firm has been known as Emery, Bird, Thayer & Co. 

Doggett & Orrison were also among the early merchants, their store 
opened in the year 1866 on the southeast corner of Missouri avenue and 
Main street. The firm built a three story brick building near the corner of 
Seventh and Main streets and moved into it in 1871. Mr. Orrison retired 
from the firm in 1873 and joined with Mr. Abernathy and North and 
formed the firm of Abernathy, North & Orrison Furniture Co., located 
on the northeast corner of Sixth and Main. The firm then changed to 
John Doggett until Mr. B. R. Bacon and Mr. Sam Latz were admitted to 
the firm when it was known as John Doggett & Co. In 1878, Mr. G. Y. 
Smith bought an interest in the firm and the name changed to Doggett & 
Smith. In 1880, Mr. G. Y. Smith bought Mr. Doggett's interest and 
changed the firm's name to G. Y. Smith & Co., Mr. Bacon and Mr. Latz 
being the company. In 1881, G. Y. Smith & Co. pioneered the corner of 
Eleventh and Main, which at that time was considered out of the business 
district. In 1890, G. Y. Smith moved his stock to Ft. Worth, Texas, 
where he is at the present time. Mr. 'Doggett after retiring from the firm 
of Bullene, Moore & Emery, organized the Doggett Dry Goods Company, in 
1888. Mr. Doggett retired in 1900 and died in 1903. 

In 1871 Mr. H. E. Roll came to Kansas City and was employed in the 
store of Bullene, Moore & Emeiy. He became manager and superintendent 
of the store. The Roll, Thayer & Williams Dry Goods house, located on 
Main between Missouri avenue and Sixth street, was a well patronized store 
from its beginning in 1878. Later the firm moved to the east side of Main 
between Eleventh and Twelfth streets. The firm supended business in 1884. 

Few cities have been so fortunate as Kansas City in escaping disastrous 
fires. From the time log-cabins fell into disuse and frame business and 
dwelling houses began to appear, Kansas City has had fire protection. In 
the "beginning," neighbor helped neighbor. Later fire companies were 
formed which were also social organizations. The Honorable T. B. Bullene 
was foreman of the first fire company of the social order. Associated with 
him both socially and in "time of fire" were Frank Foster, Matt Foster, S. K. 
Green, James Smith, Adam Long and John Long. 

After the war with the revival of commercial enterprises and with the 
erection of new buildings, filled with merchandise, came the need of better 
fire protection. The first fire company in Kansas City was organized in 1887 


and named "John Campbell" in honor of a citizen who contributed gener- 
ously to the expense of establishing the service. It was a "gala day" in 
Kansas City when the first fire engine was received with the pomp and cere- 
mony shown an honored guest. A volunteer company of twenty-five men 
were formed with Colonel Frank Foster as chief, and Colonel T. B. Bullene, 
foreman. When the boat slowly swung into the landing at the levee, with 
the new engine abroad, Colonel Foster and his men in uniforms of red 
shirts with pearl buttons and blue trousers, were drawn up in imposing ar- 
ray to welcome the new arrival, while all the town turned out to applaud. 
With elaborate ceremony the christening took place and the "John Camp- 
bell" became the protector of Kansas City property. From the time of its 
advent in Kansas City until 1871 the "John Campbell" enjoyed the proud 
distinction of being the only steam fire engine in a town on the Missouri 
river, from St. Louis to Kansas City. 

The McGee Hook and Ladder Truck company was organized in 1869 
with Hyatt St. Clair foreman. In 1871, a new steam engine company was 
formed and a new engine, the "Dr. Lykins," was placed in service. Many in- 
novations were introduced in time, the Babcock extinguishers, new trucks and 
hose reels, until in 1872, the fire department increased to such an extent that 
it became a department of the municipality with paid firemen. 

The "John Campbell" company was reorganized early in 1872. Joseph 
McArdle was employed as hoseman, fhe first paid fireman of whom there is 
any record. He was quickly followed by George C. Hale, who was offered 
the position of engineer by Mayor William Warner, and accepted. 

The employment of Joseph McArdle and George C. Hale as paid fire- 
men was one of the results of a conflagation in July 1871 that destroyed a 
number of buildings at Sixth and Main streets, and when a few months 
later the west side of Union avenue opposite the depot was almost wiped out 
of existence, the town authorities concluded to further enlarge the paid de- 
partment by the employment of Nick Byrnes and Dick Beadle. Three new 
companies were speedily organized and placed in service, the Washington 
No. 2, Phoenix hook and ladder No. 2, and the German hook and ladder 
No. 3. 

The present fire company employs 280 regular men and 20 substi- 
tutes. One hundred and sixteen horses valued at $200 to $250 each belong 
to the company. Thirty-eight thousand feet of hose are in service. The 
yearly expenses for the last year 1907 and 1908, including the pay roll and 
running expenses, were $337,862.53, and $110,000 was spent for improve- 
ments in the erection of new engine houses and apparatus. During the 
year, 1,701 alarms have been recorded. The department also has twenty-four 
hose companies, of which nine are engine companies, eight hook and ladders, 



one water tower, a tool wagon and a fuel wagon. The present officers are; 
Chief, J. C. Egner; first assistant, Alex Henderson, second assistant, D. S, 
Donovan; third assistant, Edward Cassidy; fourth assistant, John Leonard; 
fifth assistant, G. E. Hughes; sixth assistant, M. M. Mahoney; chief of util- 
ities, Maurice O'Connor; master mechanic, L. E. Hale; superintendent of 
fire alarms, B. C. Haldeman; veterinary, C. R. Treadway; secretary, W. R. 
Smith; assistant secretary, Leo- McGuire; fire warden, Edward Trickett. 

R. T. Van Horn bought the Western Journal of Commerce in May, 
1865, and began publishing a series of inspiring articles. This editorial is 
from the issue of August 3, 1865 : 

"There is a tide in the affairs of men — and the same is true of cities. 
We are now approaching the flood. If taken advantage of, we shall be car- 
ried on to fortune. If we do not act at the tide of our opportunities our 
future history will be a record of failure and humiliation. 

"The present is bright; we can, if we will, be the architects of our own 
fortune. To be so, we must be earnest, industrious and enterprising. Visions 
of the future show half a dozen railroads coverging at this point; it shows 
the river port for the plains; a point of trans-shipment for the minerals, the 
wool and other products of the South, Southwest and West, as also the art- 
icles from the East and foreign countries. It shows us then great central 
mart for the distribution of the wealth of half a continent — rich, powerful 
and magnificent. Providence never assisted a lazy man — fortune never 
smiled on an indolent community. The price paid for prosperity is labor, 
energy, enterprise. With a lively policy — by throwing old fogy notions 
to the winds — by placing our mark high and working up to it, we shall 
become in two or three years all that we have described." 

The citizens heeded the call of the enthusiasts and began at once the work 
of building a great city at the Kaw's mouth. From 1865 to 1870 the popula- 
tion increased from about three thousand five hundred to thirty two thou- 
sand, two hundred and sixty, as shown by the government census; seven 
railroads and the Hannibal bridge were completed; gas works built, the 
Board of Trade established, the first stock yards built, first packing house 
built, public school system established, Kansas City Times founded, First 
National bank established, Coates Opera house begun, Twelfth street 
widened and graded, and other improvements made. The city spent one 
million, five hundred thousand dollars for street improvements between 1865 
and 1874. 

Bernard & Mastin organized a bank in February, 1866, that was suc- 
ceeded by the Mastin bank. The First National bank was established about 
the same time with G. W. Branham as president. The firm of Marsh, Hill- 
iker & Co. constructed a bridge across the Kaw river between Kansas City 


and Wyandotte, Kansas, that was completed in December, 1866, with much re- 

The city council appointed a committee early in 1867 to compile a 
.statement of the city's trade and progress for the year 1883. This report 
was submitted: Population, fifteen thousand, sixty-four; buildings erected 
seven hundred and sixty-eight at a cost of $2,186,500; amount of total trade 
in all lines, $33,006,827. At the time of the report there were in Kansas 
City: Fourteen church's, two colleges, two academies, twelve primary 
schools, twenty-one dry goods stores, eight grocery stores, thirteen clothing 
establishments, eight saloons, fifteen boot and shoe stores, eight hotels, two 
daily and three weekly newspapers, seven miles of macadamized streets, and 
three railroads in operation, all terminating here — the Missouri Pacific; 
Union Pacific, eastern division; and the Missouri river railroad. The latter 
line connected Kansas City and Leavenworth, and later became a part of the 
Missouri Pacific system. The Missouri legislature amended the city charter, 
March 12, 1883, and defined the wards as follows: First ward, east of Dela- 
ware street and north of Ninth street ; Second ward, eas! of Main street and 
south of Ninth street ; Third ward, all territory west of Main and Delaware 

The Missouri legislature enacted a law in Mai'ch, 1883, providing for 
the establishment of public schools in the cities and towns of the state. The 
Kansas City Board of Education was organized in August, 1887, under the 
authority of the new law. These were the members of the first board: Pres- 
ident, W. E. Sheffield; secretary, H. C. Kumpf; treasurer, J. A. Bachman ; 
E. II. Allen, T. B. Lester and E. H. Spalding. J. B. Brady was appointed 
superintendent of schools. Immediately after the organization of the board, 
Mr. Kumpf retired and A. A. Bainbridge was chosen to fill the vacancy. 
When the public school system was established there were about two thou- 
sand children of school age in Kansas City. 

The old Chamber of Commerce , organized in 1857 having lost its use- 
fulness after the Civil war, the Board of Trade was organized, February 6, 
1869, with a membership of sixty-seven. The following officers were elected: 
President, T. K. Hanna; first vice-president, M. Dively; second vice-president, 
S. S. Mathews; secretary, D. M. Keen; and treasurer, H. M. Holden. The 
organization at once became active in promoting enterprises for the benefit 
of the town. The gas company was incorporated in February 1865, and 
permanently organized, October 26, 1867. The Union Stock Yards com- 
pany was formed early in 1871, and opened its yards for business, June 1, 

At the close of 1870, Kansas City had eight railroads and seven banks, 
and had built during the year nine hundred and twenty-seven houses at an 


aggregate cost of $3,454,500. The jobbing trade for the year was estimated 
as follows: Dry goods, $2,511,840; groceries, $2,614,425; liquors, $618,108; 
miscellaneous lines, $3,004,320; making a total of $8,748,693. The whole 
volume for the year was estimated at $34,794,880. 

The extraordinary expansion of the city immediately after the Civil 
war made it necessary to plat many additions to accommodate the new resi- 
dents. The following new additions were platted in the period between 1865 
and 1870: Resurvey of Reed's addition, January 12, 1865; McElroy's sub- 
division, June 3, 1865; T. S. Case's sub-division, October 4, 1865; Pacific 
Place addition, October 5, 1865; S. S. Smith's sub-division, October 17, 
1865 ; Cottage Place addition, December 15, McGee Place addition, Decem- 
ber 18, 1865; Vineyard's Second addition, February 19, 1866; Rice's ad- 
dition, February 27, 1866; West Kansas addition, No. 2, April 9, 1866; 
Bailis Place addition, May 2, 1866; Krey's sub-division, May 21, 1866; A. 
J. Lloyd's sub-division, May 24, 1866; T. A. Smart's Second addition, May 
30, 1866; McLane's sub-division, August 7, 1866; Smart's Place addition, 
October 1, 1866; Long & White's sub-division, December 11, 1866; T. S. 
Case's addition, January 9, 1867; Guinotte Bluff addition, April 22, 1867; 
Gillis' addition, October 8, 1867 ; Case & Bailis' sub-division, November 18, 
1867, T. A. Smart's Third addition, May 11, 1868; E. M. McGee's sub- 
division, May 22, 1868; extension to West Kansas addition, No. 1, June 11, 
1868; B. F. Evans' addition, July 24, 1868; Bidwell's sub-division, August 
19, 1868 ; William Toms' addition, October 2, 1868 ; Seegar's addition, Octo- 
ber 30, 1868; Armfield's addition, November 2, 1868; Broadway addition, 
November 5, 1868; Mulkey's addition, December 1, 1868; Second Resurvey 
of Reed's addition, April 21, 1869; Hammerslough's sub-division, May 4, 
1869; Hurck's sub-division of Guinotte's Bluff addition, May 21, 1869; 
Matthew & Hill's sub-division, June 29, 1869; Thomas Green's sub-division 
of lot 116, Hurck's sub-division, July 29, 1869; Lykin's Place addition, 
September 12, 1869; Branham's sub-division, September 12, 1869; Gall- 
fly's addition, September 18, 1869; and Bank Street Block addition, October 
5, 1869. 

Campbell's gazetteer of Missouri, published in 1875, says this of Kansas 
City: "In 1866 actual recuperation commenced, and in the rapid increase of 
the city in population, in the immense amount of public and private im- 
provements, and in all the substantial and important interests which go to 
build up a great city, it has, perhaps, no parallel in the history of the con- 
tinent. In four years from that time (viz. 1870) the official census shows 
a population of 32,268, being an increase of more than 400 per cent in four 
years. The number and cost of public schools and churches, the magnifi- 
cent railroad and passenger bridge spanning the Missouri, the Exposition 


grounds of ninety acres with their adornments, the water works, the gas 
works, the commodius courthouse, the hotels, opera house and blocks of 
costly business and private dwellings, all attest unparalleled growth. Ten 
lines of railway concentrate within her limits, and four other lines are in 
process of construction, and the citizens of Kansas City, at least, regard it as 
a fixed certainty that, as she is now, and so she will remain, the great rail- 
road center west of St. Louis." 

Practically all of the business in Kansas City, previous to 1870. was 
transacted north of Ninth street, with the business center on Main street, 
between Second and Fifth streets, and another at the Junction of Delaware 
and Main streets. Hotels were numerous; several were situated on the levee 
and others along Main street and Grand avenue. The Pacific House was 
at the corner of Fourth and Delaware streets. 

Colonel E. S. Jewett came to Kansas City in September, 1837, and 
opened a ticket office for the Missouri Pacific Railroad company in connec- 
tion with Barlow, Sanderson & Co.'s stage office in the Pacific House. The 
ticket office was in a room on Delaware street adjoining the office of the 
hotel. After the furniture and tickets arrived, the new agent opened the 
door for business one Friday morning. That night the Pacific House 
burned. In a few days another room was secured at the corner of Fifth and 
Main streets that was partly rented by a candy store. The rent for these 
small quarters was $100 a month. After the Pacific House was rebuilt the 
ticket office was moved back to the original location, where it remained for 
five years. The removal of this office up town from time to time, in an 
effort to keep in the heart of the business district, shows how the business 
center has gradually moved south from the levee. From the Pacific House 
the ticket office was moved to the corner of Missouri and Main streets. From 
there it went to Eighth and Main streets and then to Ninth and Main streets, 
at the Junction. 

The Nelson hotel at the northeast corner of Second a-nd Main streets, 
was intended to cost $100,000 and to be an especially fine hostelry, but the 
company, of which Colonel Frank Foster was the president, failed and the 
building was sold to the county and used as a courthouse. The building- 
was destroyed by the cyclone of May 11, 1886, and six men were killed in 
the crash. 

In the early seventeen hundreds, the forest trees and little white tepees 
were the hotels, game and fish the food, furs and buckskin the covering. 
Gradually log cabins were scattered on the bluffs and in the bottoms, fol- 
lowed by log houses; then the trapper was followed by the trader, until in 
1846. Mr. Thompson McDaniel built a frame house for a hotel, on the 
southwest corner of Main street and the levee, containing a living room, a 
















bar and an office "all in one," lodging rooms above. A stable connected at the 
back. Numerous lodging houses followed "Mr. McDaniel's hotel" : The Gil- 
lis hotel, known at various times as the "Western," the "American," the 
"Eldridge" and the "Union" hotel. Dr. Benoist Troost built this hotel in 
1849 at the beginning of the California gold fever. The history of this old 
hotel from 1849 to 1870, to a great extent, was the history of Kansas City. 
Standing as it did facing the levee, between Delaware and Wyandotte streets, 
the house was the headquarters for river men and strangers arriving in the 
city during almost the whole period of river navigation. Year after year 
the halls and galleries of the old Gillis house resounded with the tread of 
many guests of every age, every nationality, and of every degree of life, 
nearly all of whom have now been gathered to their long rest. In later 
years the Gillis was made five stories high and presented a picturesque ap- 
pearance to the passengers upon approaching steamboats. 

The Gillis house was well supplied with galleries for the accommodation 
of the guests in summer time, and bore an air of thrift which made it 
famous in the West. Here the Santa Fe traders caught a hasty glimpse of 
civilization while outfitting for their arduous journey across the plains, and 
here hundreds of gold seekers and hunters rested in preparation for their 
entrance upon the prospector's life. The overland stage for many years 
made headquarters at the Gillis house. In the Civil war the Gillis hotel 
was the scene of many an encounter and dark deed whose history will never 
be given to the light of day. The escape of Governor Reeder of Kansas from 
the hotel in the disguise of a laborer is one of the celebrated incidents of 
the border war. 

Next in hospitality and also in construction came the old Farmers' 
hotel, Colonel Milton McGee's "Wayside Inn." This old hotel was built 
and opened by Milton McGee, and stood on Grand avenue — McGee's addi- 
tion — near Sixteenth street, and was a "half way house" between West- 
port and the river landing. 

The Union hotel was built in 1858 at Main street and Missouri avenue, 
on the side of the present Nelson block. The hotel was torn down in 1884. 
Following these hotels came the Pacific house, the Morgan house, and so on 
down through the years to the palmy days of the old Coates house in 1868. 
The old Pacific house stood for seven years at the southeast corner of Fourth 
and Delaware streets. A. B. Cross drew up the plans of the old hotel which 
was destroyed by fire in 1867, but rebuilt the following year on a more pre- 
tentious plan. The Pacific house was the headquarters for cattle men for 
many years. In the Civil war the old hotel was seized several times and held 
as headquarters for federal soldiers. The Morgan house on Fifth street, be- 
tween Wyandotte and Delaware streets was one of the old hotels of the city. 


In the spring of 1855, the house was occupied as a private residence, but 
later was transformed into a boarding school. The house then was sur- 
rounded by a beautiful yard with shade trees, and stood on an elevation. 
Fifth street was graded in 1866, leaving the house standing on a high bank. 

The Tremont house, near Wyandotte on Fifth street, was built about 
1870 and has since been operated as a hotel. The Lindell opened in 1871 
at the northwest corner of Fifth street and Wyandotte, but later was torn 
down to make room for the Xew Lindell, which cost $200,000. The Metro- 
politan and Delmonico hotels of Fifth street, the Blossom house on Union 
avenue, the £>t. James hotel on Walnut and the Grand Missouri and Centrop- 
olis, are all among the historic hotel structures and have enjoyed a good share 
of business. During the rush to the opening of Oklahoma and the Indian 
Territory for homesteads in 1885 and '86, the Blossom house, owing to its 
location at the Union depot, did an unprecedented business. The Vic- 
toria and the Warder hotel, now the Auditorium, were completed within 
the years of 1885 and 1890. 

The original Coates house was projected before the war but was not car- 
ried higher than its foundations until 1866, when the project was revived 
and the house was completed in 1868. For years the Coates house was the 
only first class hotel of the city and entertained many distinguished guests, 
from the President of the United States through all the ranks of official life. 
The hotel was remodeled and enlarged a few years ago, and now contains 325 
rooms and is supplied with every device known to the best hotels of the 

Colonel Kersey Coates. owner of the hotel which bears his name, was 
an important man in Kansas City before and after the war. He came West 
in 1854 as agent for a party of Philadelphia capitalists. After looking over 
the field, with a far-seeing sagacity which characterized his business trans- 
actions through life, he came to Kansas City. In the spring of 1855 he pur- 
chased large tracts of land in the city and vicinity, laying the foundation of 
a great fortune. Colonel Coates died in Kansas City in 1887. 

The Midland hotel, from its central location, great size and completeness 
in arrangements for the comforts of its guests, vied with the Coates house. 
The building was seven stories high and was completed and thrown open to 
the public in the fall of 1888, with Charles Hill as its manager. The 
structure was one of the largest and finest in the city, and every resource of 
mechanical skill was drawn upon in designing and carrying out the w T ork. 
The house was perfectly lighted and was recognized as thoroughly fire-proof. 
May 27, 1908, the Midland closed its doors as a hotel and when the doors 
are opened again it will be as an office building. The work is now (1908) 
under construction and will be completed during the following year. With 


the closing of its doors, one of Kansas City's well known hotels passes into 
history. The old Midland was not a home for Kansas City people, but for 
twenty years it has been the stopping place of many of the notable visitors 
to the city, the headquarters of the politicians who made parlor "S" famous 
for political gatherings, the Western stockmen and a favorite meeting place 
for conventions. It was in the old Midland that Elihu Root, the Secretary 
of State and E. H. Harriman came right up to the verge of a clash over the 
Roosevelt policies during a banquet of the Commercial club. 

The newspapers in Kansas City, in the summer of 1871, began to urge 
the establishment of an industrial exposition. The public favored the idea, 
and a company was organized to give an experimental exposition in the fall 
of that year. The fair was held and was regarded as highly successful. 
Tremendous enthusiasm attended the opening of the exposition in the fall 
of 1871, when for the first time the products of the adjacent country were 
brought together in one display. From 1871 to 1893, Kansas City had a 
fair regularly every autumn. 

It was the original plan of the Industrial Exposition association organ- 
ized in 1871, to have no exposition grounds, but to display the exhibits in 
different parts of the city. There were to be booths in the courthouse for the 
light machinery and smaller exhibits, horses and mules were to be shown on 
the public square, the cattle market was to be situated in the West bottoms, 
the speed trials in the driving park in McGee's addition, and a special build- 
ing was to be erected for the agricultural implements and heavy machinery. 

But the directors of the exposition association decided that the exhibits 
must be grouped, and a site was selected on the McGee farm, bounded by 
Fifteenth, Sixteenth, Campbell and Cherry streets. Here were erected four 
temporary structures, an agricultural implement and machinery hall, a fine 
arts hall, a horticultural building and a main building. 

The early fairs and expositions held in Kansas City were of such great 
public interest that they were given the personal support of almost every 
one of the inhabitants. Almost the entire population of the city, if reports 
are correct, witnessed the opening of the first fair, October 13, 1871. The 
public schools were closed and practically all business was suspended for the 
day. Almost every house on Main street between Third and Twelfth 
streets, was decorated. The throng that gathered on Main street early on 
the morning of the opening day was described as "dense." It was Kansas 
City's first great gala day. It was estimated that 20,000 persons, half of the 
population of the city, marched in the parade. Every benevolent society, 
trades union and military organization in the city was fully represented. 
The entire fire department ''turned out." Local brass bands and bands from 


Fort Leavenworth, Fort Riley and several neighboring towns headed the 
various divisions of the parade. 

The opening address was delivered by Norman J. Colman of St. Louis. 
Mayor William Warner of Kansas City and Kersey Coates, president of the 
exposition company, spoke. These are some of the incidents of the exposi- 
tion as given in the old Kansas City Times: 

"There are many pens for hogs on the grounds and yesterday a huge 
porker escaped and in his route ran under a lady and triumphantly carried 
her the distance of some fifteen or twenty yards, apparently well pleased with 
his burden. Andrew Reno was seated upon the railing at the top of the 
seats, twenty feet from the ground. A favorite horse took the premium and 
while vociferously applauding he lost his balance, fell to the ground and 
broke his shoulder blade ; he was from Clinton county. One of the cows, per- 
haps a little irritated because she failed to get the premium ribbon, on leaving 
the ring took little Johnnie Bayles on her horns and tossed him a complete 
somersault ; he was more scared than hurt. 

The visitors at this early fair seem to have been impressed especially 
by the exhibits of machinery and farming implements. Sewing machines 
were not as common then as at a later date, and they attracted attention. A 
machine that made button holes was an especial object of wonder at the fair 
of 1871. 

The attendance at the fair increased as the week progressed until one day 
there were 40,000 paid admissions. According to the press reports 1,500 
persons came from North Missouri, and on one occasion forty-one persons 
were seen riding on the roof of a one-horse street car that was constructed 
to carry only twelve passengers. The principal attractions for the last day 
of the exposition were a brass band tournament, base ball games, running 
races a slow mule race and a baby show. Ninety-six infants were entered 
in the baby show. The prize a baby carriage with satin lining and gold and 
silver mountings, was awarded to Florence, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. 
J. T. Leverige. 

The experimental fair of 1871 was a financial success and was highly 
satisfactory to the residents. The Kansas City Industrial Exposition associa- 
tion was incorporated at once, and obtained a six years' lease on ninety-seven 
acres, between Twelfth street and Fifteenth street, known as the Evans tract 
and later called Dundee place. The fair grounds in the fall of 1871 were 
small and the equipment was inadequate, but there was ample room on the 
Evans tract for a grand stand that seated 20,000 persons, a circular race 
track, several large buildings for exhibits and stables and pens for the live 
stock and poultry. 


The new fair grounds were a natural park. The land was rolling and 
in places was high enough to give a view of the entire enclosure and part 
of the surrounding country. There was a fine grove of oak trees and blue 
grass, and wild flowers grew in luxuriance. An old fashioned mansion that 
stood on the property was used as the administration building. The old 
homestead had a spacious gallery that was supported by fluted columns and 
classic Corinthian capitals. 

The exposition held in the fall of 1872 in every way surpassed that of 
the previous year. The exhibits were large and better and the attendance 
was increased. The prosperity of the exposition attracted the attention of 
the Jesse James gang of bandits, and on September 26, 1872, occurred the 
famous robbery of the box office at the fair grounds. 

At sundown on the "big Thursday" of exposition week, three masked 
men mounted on horses rode to the ticket office at the Twelfth street entrance 
to the grounds. One of the men, said to be Jesse James, dismounted and 
«vent to the ticket booth. He "covered" Benjamin "Wallace, the ticket seller, 
with a revolver and took $978 from a tin box. The robbers escaped. 

The name of the exposition company was changed in 1873 to the Kansas 
City Industrial Exposition and Agricultural Fair association. In the fall 
of 1873, the Farmers' and Cattle Men's convention was held the same week 
as the exposition and there were daily live stock sales. The premiums 
amounted to $20,000; an offer of $5,000 was made for the best display of 
raw cotton. Some of the most noted speed horses in America raced at the 
exposition in the fall of 1874. The exhibits of farm products, live stock 
and poultry were especially satisfactory that year. The feature of the expo- 
sition held in the fall of 1875 was the visit of Jefferson Davis and his address 
on agriculture. The distinguished guest was given a public reception at the 
Coates House. At the exposition grounds he was introduced by Kersey 
Coates. In the opening remarks of his speech, Mr. Davis said: 

"I have heard of the rich country of the Northwest Missouri. I have 
heard much of your soil, teeming with all that is necessary for the support 
of man. I have heard of your undeveloped mines, and I have had occasion 
to know something of your gallant people. But I say to you as the Queen 
of Sheba said to the, King of Israel — 'the half has not been told me.' ' 

There is nothing special to say about the expositions held from 1875 
to 1883, except that they were successful. Goldsmith Maid, the trotting 
mare, made her famous race against time for a purse of $2,000 in 1877. 
The Kansas City Exposition association became a member of the Great West- 
ern Fair and Racing circuit in 1878. The grandstand and the main hall 
on the exposition grounds were destroyed by fire in 1881, causing a loss of 


A company known as the Interstate Fair association equipped exposition 
grounds in Westport in what is now the Roanoke residence district, and the 
exhibitions were held there from 1883 to 1886. This land soon became too 
valuable to be used for expositions and then the fair grounds were established 
between Twelfth and Fifteenth streets at Kansas avenue. A building modeled 
after the Crystal Palace in London was projected by James Goodwin as an 
individual enterprise. After vexatious delays, Goodwin called on the public 
for money to complete the work and $200,000 was subscribed. The opening 
was held October 6, 1887. 

The exposition building for several years was one of the chief attractions 
of Kansas City. It had seventeen acres of floor space and 80,000 square feet 
of glass formed its roof. The cost of the building was $265,000 and the 
equipment $30,000. 

The opening of the fair of 1887 was a brilliant event. There had been 
nothing in Kansas City to compare with it in public interest since the opening 
of the first exposition in 1871. Bishop E. R. Hendrix of the Methodist 
Episcopal church, South, made the invocation, and the principal address 
was given by Major William Warner. Gilmore's band was one of the features 
of the exposition. President and Mrs. G rover Cleveland visited the fair and 
a crowd estimated at 50,000 passed in review before them. Chauncey M. 
Depew and Cornelius Vanderbilt were other noted visitors. 

The numerous special days, such as children's day, Kansas day and 
Irish day, attracted large crowds. The total attendance was 400,000 and the 
cash receipts were $60,000. The results of the exposition were very grati- 
fying but the exhibitions held the following years were not so successful. 
In 1892 the exposition association lost about $12,000 and in the fall of 1893 
the last exposition was held in the great "Crystal Palace." 

Exposition hall, an empty shell, with most of its 80,000 square feet 
of glass shattered by hail stones, stood until August 5, 1901, when it was 
destroyed by fire. A week before it had been announced that dynamite would 
be used in tearing down the building, but some one thought of a safer method. 
Fire was discovered in three parts of the building about the same time. 

With the inrush of gold seekers, there came to Kansas City traveling 
shows, gambling devices, shooting galleries and all other amusements that 
are an adjunct to, and followers of a miscellaneous traveling public. As 
these conditions passed and Kansas City became more settled, lecture halls 
were built and the amusements became of a higher type. Debating societies 
were formed in churches, lecture courses were established, increasing in interest 
and improving in quality, until the need of a theater for the production of 
first class plays became apparent. 









i— i 



The Coates Opera house, Kansas City's first popular playhouse, built 
by Kersey Coates, was begun in January, 1869 and dedicated October 6, 1870. 
Kersey Coates built the walls from brick made at his kiln at Twelfth street 
and Broadway. For thirty years it was the city'- most popular theater. The 
opening of the theatre in September, 1871, was an important event in Kan- 
sas City. The performance began with the singing of the national anthem; 
applause followed each stanza. E. H. Allen, after a short address, intro- 
duced T. Dwight Thacher of Lawrence, Kansas. Mr. Thacher praised Kan- 
sas City's enterprise in having so fine a theatre, and he spoke of the residents' 
culture and love of art and of the city's "magnificent railway systems, the 
splendid bridge, the vast and beautiful commercial emporiums and the superb 
public schools." In conclusion the Kansan spoke of the energy and good citi- 
zenship of Kersey Coates. 

Mr. Coates and his family were seated in a box the opening night. There 
was a stamping of feet, whistling and loud calls for Mr. Coates. He finally 
climbed from the box to the stage and spoke briefly. Then the orchestra 
played and "Money," the play of the evening, began. The following night 
"The Lady of Lyons" was given. 

The original cost of the Coates Opera house was $105,000. The build- 
ing was remodeled in 1881 at a cost of $45,000. The total amount of money 
spent on the theatre at various times amounted to about $200,000. The 
building was ninety-five by one hundred feet and was two stories high. Orig- 
inally the theater occupied only the second story, the lower floor being used 
for store rooms. When the building was remodeled the stage was built on 
the first floor, giving the theatre a parquet, balcony and gallery. The seat- 
ing capacity was 1,800. 

In the early days Kersey Coates managed the theatre. The first manager 
employed by Mr. Coates was Charles Lock, afterwards a successful theatre man- 
ager in San Francisco, California. After Lock came Melville Hudson, who 
managed the theatre until the death of Mr. Coates, April 24, 1887, and for 
the Coates estate until 1891. Mr. Hudson was the lessee when the building 
burned in 1901. 

For several years the Coates Opera House had the reputation of being 
the finest theatre between the Mississippi river and the Pacific coast. St. Jo- 
seph was a bitter rival of Kansas City in the early '70's and was jealous of 
the handsome playhouse. Several years later the Tootle Grand theatre was 
\ ailt in the up-river town to surpass the Coates Opera House. 

The last play seen at the Coates Opera House was " Heart and Sword," 
in which Walker Whiteside played the leading role. Fifteen minutes after 
the audience left, the night of January 31, 1901, the building was in flames. 
The fire stalled in the boiler rooms under the stage. The building was a 


total loss, and the Whiteside company lost all its scenery and costumes, includ- 
ing a Shakesperean wardrobe valued at $15,000, and three valuable manu- 
scripts of new plays. 

For years the Coates opera house was the only theatre the city had, but 
when the Gilliss theatre at Fifth and Walnut streets was built in 1883, the 
latter became a close rival. The Gilliss theatre owes its existence to Mrs. 
Mary A. Gilliss Troost, who died in 1872 and left a will, in which a portion 
of her estate was left to be used for the erection of an opera house, the proceeds 
of which were to b? used for specified charities. The opera house was not 
built until 1883, on account of the estate being in litigation. The opening 
night of the Gilliss was September 10, with Mile. Rhea in " Adrienne Lecouv- 
rer," Mayor James Gibson and Senator Major William Warner were the 
speakers of the evening. 

Colonel George W. Warder, in 1886, became possessed with the idea 
that the city needed another theatre, and that the Coates and Gilliss opera 
houses were not sufficient to furnish the city's theatrical amusement. He 
therefore announced his intention of building another playhouse. Ground 
was purchased at the northeast corner of Ninth and Holmes streets and work 
was immediately begun. The building was called the Warder-Grand and cost 
$100,000. Six months after the work was commenced the theatre was an- 
nounced ready for its first performance. The date of the opening was set for 
October 25, 1887, and the opening attraction was Edwin Booth and Lawrence 
Barrett in "Othello."' At 6 o'clock of the evening of the 25th the theatre 
contained no chairs and the hole in the roof was covered by a tarpaiilin. 
When the performance began the audience were seated in camp chairs and 
shivering with the cold, for the night was a chilly one, and the building as 
yet did not contain a heating plant. The play was done in one act, owing to 
lack of scenery, and the curtain, a white cloth, slid on a wire. Altogether the 
performance was not a success financially and the house lost money from 
the very first. In 1890 Colonel Warder lost control of the theatre and the 
name was then changed from the Warder-Grand to the Auditorium. 

The Grand opera house was opened October 3, 1891, with Patti Rosa 
as the attraction. The Grand was built on the site of the old Midland theatre, 
which was formerly the old Panorama house in which the famous spectacle 
" The Battle of Gettysburg," was portrayed. 

The present Orpheum theatre building stands upon the site of the old 
Ninth Street opera house, which was built in 1886 by H. D. Clark. The 
theatre was destroyed by fire in 1891. Mr. Clark rebuilt the theatre the 
following year and assumed the management himself. The "Old Ninth 
Sti'eet theatre" was one of the city's best paying investments. 


In February of 1898 the Orpheum circuit entered the field in Kansas 
City. The playhouse was leased from Mr. Clark and Martin Lehman was 
sent here from San Francisco to manage the new enterprise. Kansas City 
people knew very little about vaudeville in those days, and the general pre- 
diction was that the show would last about two weeks and then go into the 
hands of a receiver. The first season was disastrous and when the theatre 
closed in May, 1898, the Orpheum theatre had lost $20,000. But the man- 
agement was not discouraged, they had not expected that Kansas City people 
would appreciate vaudeville at once, and the next season the house opened 
early. After the second season there remained no doubt that Kansas City 
liked vaudeville. The Orpheum is now in its eleventh successful season and 
in February, 1908, it celebrated the occasion of its opening ten years ago. 

Among the old halls that were built for amusement purposes was Music 
hall on Broadway between 9th and 10th streets. It has long since been torn 
down and a towering wholesale house takes its place. The hall was built in 
1883 by Melville H. Hudson, who then had control of the Coates and Gilliss 
theatres. These two houses were booked so closely that the city had no place 
whatever to hold lectures and amateur theatricals; Music hall filled this long 
felt want. The hall became popular also for giving private dances and social 
functions. The Casino, since its remodeling called the New Casino, now 
takes the place of the old Music Hall. During the first three summers of Music 
hall's existence an opera stock company gave performances there, but the 
people out grew this novelty when other interests took hold of the city. 

Lyceum hall on west 9th was another of Kansas City's buildings that has 
long since served its usefulness. It was bought by the old Missouri, Kansas 
and Texas Trust Co. about 1892 and remodeled into an office building with a 
hall for entertainments. Here were held the musicales, dances and other 
society amusements. 

It has been the primeval thought of men to band themselves together, 
whether for social interests or warfare, and a city's clubs of today are only 
greatly modified forms of the pow-wows of the Indians of yesterday. Kansas 
City has followed in the footsteps of her older sister cities in club organizations 
and now, in 1908, for a man or woman not to belong to some sort of an organ- 
ization is indeed passe. Kansas City early became interested in clubs. Begin- 
ning with the social association of the early fire department in 1867, the city 
has rapidly increased in club organizations, including the business and civic 
clubs of 1908. 

The famous old " Craig Rifles " owed its existence to the great railroad 
strike in 1877. Three emergency military companies were formed to protect 
the people and out of these three temporal organizations grew the Craig 
Rifles which later became more of a social club. The organization was made 


complete in the Merchants' Exchange building at the corner of Fifth and 
Delaware streets. H. H. Craig who had been the captain of one of the three 
companies, refused the captaincy of the new company. The company was 
named for him, however, and he was made the president of the civil organiza- 
tion. The military officers were: J. N. Dubois, captain; E. V. Wilkes, 1st lieu- 
tenant ; John Conover, 2d lieutenant ; and John A. Duncan, 3d lieutenant. 
The Craig Rifles were the heroes of Kansas City twenty-five years ago; to 
wear a Craig Rifle brass button was the secret desire of every maid in town 
and it kept the young " Craigs " busy making excuses to their superior officers 
in trying to supply the demand. These young men were the young men of 
the town. Their dances were the social events of the sea.on and their annual 
balls were always given early in January, — the first ones were held in the 
Merchants' Exchange hall but the first year that the Gilliss house opened, 
the ball was held there. The entertainments, other than dancing, popular 
with the Craig Rifles were their concerts, and these concerts were well attended 
by the people of Kansas City. The company had a rifle range out at Dundee 
place in the neighborhood of what is now Fifteenth street and Troost avenue, 
and once the company went to Fort Leavenworth to participate in a rifle 
shoot contest with the soldiers of the regular army. Among the young men 
who were associated with this organization were: W. B. Thayer who helped 
to organize the band, Chester A. Snider, who was drum-major and Dr. M. A. 
Bogie, surgeon. The company was disbanded in 1884 and at that time John 
A. Duncan was captain of the company. 

The Kansas City club, organized December 10, 1882, has been a most 
successful social and business association, composed as it is of leading profes- 
sional and business men. The purpose of the club is the organization and 
support of commercial affairs. of public importance and the encouragement 
of such public movements as conduce to the material welfare of the city. The 
club was housed for six years in two apartments at the northeast corner of 
Eleventh street and Broadway, at that time the very center of " Quality Hill." 
On the ground floor were the billiard room, reading room, kitchen and din- 
ing room, and on the second floor, the library and living rooms. The club 
functions were always given in the Casino and were most lavish entertainments. 
The grand ball, given annually, was one of the most important social events 
of the year. Colonel A. A. Tomlinson was the first president; the vice presi- 
dents were: E. V. Wilkes, E. H. Allen, G. H. Nettleton. Charles E. Has- 
brook was secretary and C. S. Wheeler, treasurer. Owing to its steady increase 
of members, the club was obliged to seek a new location. The present site at 
the northeast corner of Twelfth and Wyandotte streets was selected, upon 
which was erected, in 1888, a commodious club house at a cost of $150,000. 
The old University club, whose home was at Tenth and Bluff streets, was ab- 


sorbed by the Kansas City Club in 1892, the latter club thereby gaining a 
membership of about one hundred new members. Of the present membership 
of the Kansas City club only eight were among the original incorporators. 
They are: Colonel A. A. Tomlinson, James H. Oglebay, Senator William 
Warner, Sanford B. Ladd, Gardiner Lathrop, George D. Huling, L. F. Wilson 
and Sylvester T. Smith. The last two named are now non-resident members. 
The present (1908) officers of the club are: President, C. A. Lawler; vice presi- 
dents, C. L. Ross, M. V. Watson and F. A. Taylor; treasurer, V. W. Flowerree. 
The secretary is A. A. Austin who has held that office since 1899. There are 
about four hundred and fifty active members and over a hundred non-resident 
members — well known men in the United States and foreign countries. 

Quite an important factor in these organizations is the University club 
whose membership consists of men who " shall have received a degree from 
a College or University in good standing, or who shall have attended such 
College or University, the United States Military Academy or the United 
States Naval Academy for two years." The club was formerly at home in the 
old S. B. Armour residence at 1216 Broadway, but later was removed to spa- 
cious quarters at the corner of Eleventh street and Baltimore avenue. The 
club was founded November, 1900, and incorporated March, 1901. 

The Kansas City Athletic club, more popularly known as the K.C. A. Cs., 
is just what its name implies, purely athletic. The present club is the out- 
growth of an organization similarly named, which was organized in the early 
'90s. The organization then had quarters at Fairmont park, where they had 
athletic grounds and a quarter mile track. Owing to the inconvenient loca- 
tion of the club and mode of transportation, the present club was organized 
with rooms in Strope's hall at Ninth and Central streets. The gymnasium 
equipment then consisted of two punching bags and a vaulting horse; the 
other furnishings were in keeping with the limited finances of the organiza- 
tion. The first officers of the club were B. E. Fryer, president; E. J. Dillon, 
secretary; and Hood Lyle, treasurer. 

The club was obliged to seek larger quarters owing to the increase in 
membership, in 1900, and leased rooms in the Pepper building, now the 
Studio building, on Ninth and Locust streets. For a time, funds were so low 
that it appeared that the club would go under, but a few loyal members came 
forward, signed personal notes and helped the club to get onto its feet. The 
membership increased until now the club ranks among the first of its kind in 
the country. On August 22, 1906, the club threw open the doors of a new 
club house, a building of their own designed especially for their use by archi- 
tect club members. The new building located at 1016 Central street, has a 
gymnasium 56x122 feet and 28 feet high, and the largest assembly room, 
outside of Convention hall, in the city. The building is three stories high and 


so constructed that two more stories may be added at a future time. The cost 
of the building was about $50,000 and the furnishings $20,000. The club 
also has about four acres of ground between Gillham Road and Oak street, 
and Thirty-second and Thirty-fourth streets, which are laid out in an athletic 
field of the most approved style. 

Every up-to-date city has its country club, generally a great, rambling, 
picturesque house, situated in the suburbs of the city, surrounded by beautiful 
forest trees and rolling grounds. 

Such are the country clubs of America to-day, of which Kansas City 
has three — only one, however, being known as " The Country club," the other 
two are the " Evanston Golf club," and " Elm Ridge." The " Country club " 
was incorporated for forty-nine years, May 1, 1896, "for the purpose of 
advancing by rational amusement, the mental and bodily health of themselves 
and their associates." The incorporators were Hugh C. Ward, Charles F. 
Morse, the late Jefferson Brumback, H. L. Harmon, A. W. Childs, C. J. Hub- 
bard, J. E. Logan, Gardiner Lathrop, St. Clair Street, Ford Harvey, Egbert 
H. Chapman, Edward S. Washburn, the late William B. Clarke. Membership 
in the club is limited to 275, of whom 25 may be juniors, between 21 and 27 
years of age. The social features of this club are emphasized. Every Saturday 
night from the middle of May until fall, dinner is served on the porch of the 
club house after which music and dancing follows. On Decoration day, Inde- 
pendence day, and all other holidays, golf competitions are held for cups 
given either by the club or directors. Open house is always kept New Year's 
day and Christmas day. 

During the year 1908, $30,000 was spent in improvements, part of this 
amount on the athletic field which is intended primarily as a polo field, but 
provides also for other sports as well. Previous to the year 1908, an athletic 
field was not so much a necessity, for the Hunt and Polo club had its own 
grounds; but since its merging with the Country club, such grounds are re- 
quired. All members of the former organization, with the exception of eight 
or nine, were members of the Country club and the consolidation had practi- 
cally little effect, except to do away with two sets of grounds. The club is 
beautifully situated on nearly a quarter section of land, at Fifty-second and 
Broadway, part of the Hugh C. Ward estate. 

The "Evanston Golf Club" was organized about 1897, when golf was new 
to the West and "is the club with the one idea," the second word in its title 
giving the keynote of its organization. When the club first started, the links 
were at Fairmont park. Seven of those original members are still active. 
They are: R, W. Hodge, Dr. George B. Norberg, John Harriss, John Lump- 
kin, Ernest A. Cronin, Neal S. Doran and Albert Young. The club moved 
from Fairmont park on March 12, 1901, to Evanston on the Independence 


line some distance east of Colond Van Horn's country home on the high ground 
north of the Fifteenth street road. When Washington park was taken for 
a cemetery, the park bath-house was moved to Evanston and used by the 
Evanston Golf club for a locker house, and a new and spacious club house 
was built at Evanston. At that time George Mathews was president and George 
B. Peck, vice president. In the spring of 1905, the old Swope home and 
grounds, opposite the entrance to Swope park were leased for a term of fif- 
teen years. The old residence was left standing and additions were built on 
either side. The Swope homestead had been noted for years as one of the most 
attractive country seats in Jackson county. Aside from the necessary improve- 
ments in transforming the grounds into a golf course and the erection of suit- 
able buildings, nothing has been done to mar the natural beauty of the sur- 

Like the "Country club," the social feature is not neglected. Dancing is 
indulged in every Saturday during the summer and every two weeks in the 
winter, under the rules of this club, the wives and daughters of members are 
also active members. About fifteen rooms are reserved for the use of members 
who wish to live at the club during the summer, but as these are in such de- 
mand, no one is allowed to remain longer than two weeks. The present mem- 
bership is 300. The officers of the club are J. C. Fennell, president; Frank 
P. Sebree, vice president; Alex. Jaussen, treasurer; Geo. B. Flack, secretary. 

The "Elm Ridge club" is the outgrowth of the "Kansas City Jockey 
club and Fair association" which was incorporated December 6, 1902. In 
this club, as in the "Country club" and "Evanston," the social feature pre- 
dominates. Golf, tennis and other sports are indulged in, bat horse racing 
is really the sport most favored. The club has built what is considered the 
most complete horse racing plant in the West. Membership is limited to 
400 and there are now more than 300. The present officers are: Frank Roz- 
zelle, president; F. A. Britton, 1st vice president; C. C. Peters, 2d vice presi- 
dent; J. PI. Felty, secretary; and W. A. Rule, treasurer. 

The Knife and Fork club has filled a place in the social and literary life 
of our city that has been unoccupied prior to its advent. The club is a social 
organization composed of men representative of the principal business and 
professional interests, devoted to the idea of good dinners and good fellow- 
ship, with a discussion over the cigars of current events and other 
topics of interest pertaining to the betterment of mankind and the advance- 
ment of civilization. 

In the month of October, 1898, the plan of such an organization was 
suggested and the preliminary work begun by Herbert S. Hadley, now (1908) 
Republican candidate for governor of Missouri, Denton Dunn and J. J. Vine- 
yard. November 29, 1898, 50 or more gentlemen assembled in the club room 


of the Coates House in answer to letters that had been sent out. The idea 
of the club was taken up with enthusiasm, officers were elected, a committee 
on constitution appointed and the first dinner announced for December 15, 
1898, at which time a constitution and by-laws were adopted. These dinners 
have been held monthly except during the summer, and a speaker of some note 
is generally the guest of the club. 

The Knife and Fork club aims to be more of a good fellowship club, as 
its unique name indicates. It is, however, not at all without its instructive 
side, for aside from the value of the papers and the addresses themselves, the 
interchange of ideas by men of different points of view, is an opportunity 
hardly offered elsewhere. 

A club quite as unique in organization as the Knife and Fork club in 
name, is the Women's Dining club, composed entirely of women who are in 
the business world. The club's history is brief as it has only been organized 
since February, 1908. 

The "Women's Athletic club" was organized in May, 1908. The athletic 
and dining features predominate here and everything is in accordance that 
helps to make a pleasant recreation place for women. Mrs. Viola Dale McMur- 
ray is director of the club. 

The Progress club is a Jewish organization. The first meeting called in 
1881 was for the purpose of promoting sociability and culture among the 
Jews. About 40 responded and became charter members. The following offi- 
cers were elected: B. A. Flineman, president; Sam'l Latz, vice president; 
Harry Benjamin, secretary and Harry Ezekiel, treasurer. The first meetings 
and gatherings were held on the third floor of the John Taylor Dry Goods 
company. Three years later the club moved to a hall on Twelfth and Main 
streets. Here they remained for seven or eight years until sufficient funds 
were raised to erect the present club house, which is on Washington near 
Tenth street. This club represents the cultured strata of Jewish society and has 
always aimed at the highest and best in social functions. The present member- 
ship is about 150 with the following men holding office: Al Rothenberg, pres- 
ident; Theodore Griff, vice president; E. Allbright, secretary; Dan Lyons, 

The City club was organized Washington's birthday, February 22, 1908. 
On that day about 50 business and professional men met at the Sexton 
hotel and the club was organized with this purpose : "To aid through its own 
efforts and co-operation with other agencies and with those in authority in 
getting the things efficiently done which tend to promote the public welfare 
of Kansas City." Alexander New was made president; C. W. Moore, vice 
president; and D. L. James, treasurer. The organization has nothing whatever 
to do with politics and reform ; the idea is merely to help the civic authorities 


In perfecting plans which have been passed upon by the council. Municipal 
affairs are the chief topics of discussion at these luncheons. The ordinance 
for the registration of dairies was one of the first matters to be pushed through. 
The club has had such people to address them as: Minnie Maddern Fiske, 
B. Fay Mills and John Spargo. The present officers of the club are: Presi- 
dent, Henry F. Hoit ; vice president, Charles Sumner; secretary, Henry D. 
Faxon ; treasurer, Thornton Cooke. 

The Midday club, generally speaking, is a noon day edition of the Com- 
mercial club, with a membership limited to 400 business or professional men 
in good standing. The club was organized in March 8, 1908 and has its rooms 
on the entire fourteenth floor of the Commerce building. The idea of the 
club is to have a place where these different men may meet to plan and dis- 
cuss business over the luncheon table. The man of to-day realizes that every 
minute counts and he feels that even during this one hour he must not leave 
his business. In this way the club rooms are the start and finish of many a 
business enterprise. The officers are : Hugh C. Ward, president ; Charles W. Ar- 
mour, fust vice president; Ford Harvey, second vice president; H. L. Harmon, 
third vice president; W. R. Clarke, secretary; and 0. C. Snider, treasurer. 



In the years of Kansas City's early history the nearest banks were in 
Lexington, and to that point prospective borrowers and holders of large checks 
and drafts were compelled to go. In the winter season very little business 
requiring exchange was transacted. Occasionally such accommodations were 
obtained from the government at Fort Leavenworth. Branches of banks 
organized under the state laws were established early in the '50s in Liberty, 
Missouri, and Independence, Missouri, and the banking facilities for Kansas 
City business men were brought much nearer home. In a few years Kansas 
City without banks had become more important commercially than the neigh- 
boring towns that boasted of banking facilities. Since the year 1856, when the 
first bank was established, Kansas City has steadily increased in importance 
as a banking center. The banks of Kansas City are important factors in the 
financial development of the West. 

The first banking house in Kansas City was that of Northrup & Chick, 
established in 1856. In the preceding year these wholesale merchants, who 
had acquired a high standing in financial circles and who held large deposits 


for the people of town and country, opened an office for buying and selling 
exchange, and this grew into the first bank in the city that has reason to be 
proud of its institutions of this class. Northrup & Chick sold their bank to 
J. Q. Watkins & Co. in 1865. 

A branch of the Mechanics' Bank of St. Louis was established in Kansas 
city in 1857. The business of this institution during the first few years of its 
existence was satisfactory. The troubles attending the Civil war reduced 
profits and caused complications, but in spite of numerous difficulties the bank 
continued business until 1871, when its affairs were closed. 

A branch of the Union Bank of St. Louis was organized in Kansas City 
in 1857. The business of this bank, like that of the branch of the Mechanics' 
Bank of St, Louis, was entirely satisfactory up to the time of the Civil war. 
In 1861 the Union Bank removed its Kansas City funds to St. Louis and 
closed up the affairs of the branch establishment. Thomas Johnson, a well- 
known pioneer of western Missouri, took an important part in the affairs of 
this bank in the Civil war, at one time going to Leavenworth, Kansas, with 
the bank's cash and securities in order to insure their safety. 

The Kansas City Savings association was organized in April, 1865, with 
a capital of $20,000. In 1873 Dr. James Buchanan Bell, who had been 
identified with the banking interests of Chillicothe, Missouri, became the 
president, and C. J. White cashier. W A. Powell afterward bought the in- 
terest of Dr. Bell and became president of the association. The capital was 
increased at different times and the organization increased in strength. Dr. 
W. S. Woods bought Powell's interest in 1881 and became president. The 
statutes regulating banks were changed by the legislature so that the stock- 
holders found it expedient to surrender their charter as a savings bank and 
organize as the Bank of Commerce. The capital then was $200,000. An 
organization was effected in 1881. The affairs of the old bank were absorbed 
by the new and the former officers were retained. In the summer of 1887 
the bank was placed under government control and became known as the 
National Bank of Commerce. 

J. Q. Watkins & Co. purchased the pioneer banking business of Northrup 
& Chick, the transaction being made in 1865. The firm continued business 
until December, 1877, when its interests were sold to the National Bank of 
Kansas City. W. H. Seeger, afterward the second vice president of the Union 
National Bank, was connected with the Watkins bank. 

The old First National bank was organized in 1865 and two years later 
Howard M. Holden bought a controlling interest in the institution and became 
the cashier This bank was prosperous and in 1872 its capital was increased 
to $500,000, its capital up to this time having been only one quarter million 
dollars. In 1872, when the increase was made, Mr. Holden became the 


president; M. W. St. Clair was made cashier, and W. II. Winants was chosen 
assistant cashier. The First National temporarily suspended payment; Sep- 
tember 25, 1873, as a result of the financial panic of that year. A short time 
later it was reopened and became the chief promoter of the grain and cattle 
business. The bank was compelled to close its doors again January 29, 1878, 
and passed into the hands of a receiver appointed by the comptroller of the 
currency. The bank had become the correspondent of a large number of 
western banks at this time, and its suspension naturally brought about much 
embarrassment, but the unmarketed products found purchasers in the East, 
and the currency necessary to move the salable grain and cattle soon was at 
hand. James T. Howenstein was first appointed receiver for this bank and 
Walter J. Johnson succeeded him, closing up the bank's affairs in 1881. The 
depositors were paid in full. 

The Mastin bank was organized in February, 1866. This state organi- 
zation, with deposits aggregating $1,300,000, closed its doors August 3, 1878. 
It was a private banking house originally under the name of John J. Mastin 
& Co. It was organized in 1871 under the state laws, with Seth Ward as 

The German Savings association was organized in February, 1868, with 
a capital of $100,000, twenty per cent of which was paid in. Anthony Sauer 
was president of this association and Henry J. Huhn was cashier. The Union 
German Savings bank also was organized in 1868, with a capital of $100,000. 
Peter W. Ditsch was president and John S. Harris cashier. These two banks 
were consolidated in 1871, with Henry Tobener as president and under the 
name of the Union German Savings bank continued business until 1873, 
when final failure came. 

The Kansas City National bank opened for business November 27, 1871, 
and continued until November 13, 1875, when it went into voluntary liquida- 
tion. This institution had no connection with the National bank of Kansas 
City. John B. Wornall was the first president of the Kansas City National 
bank and D. L. Shouse was the first cashier. In the cessation of business its 
affairs were transferred to the Bank of Kansas City, in 1875, which in 1878 
became the National Bank of Kansas City. The Commercial National bank 
began business June 3, 1872. Operations were continued until February 11, 
1878, when the affairs of the bank were placed in the hands of a receiver. 

The Bank of Kansas City was organized in 1875 with J. S. Chick as 
president. It became a national bank in 1878 under the name of the National 
Bank of Kansas City. From 1881 to 1887 it was the largest bank in the city, 
and when the panic of 1893 came its deposits were about four million dollars. 
These deposits were rapidly witdrawn, causing the bank to close its doors in 
July of that year. The following October the bank was re-opened with J. S. 


Chick as president and J. Q. Watkins, Jr., as cashier. Business was continued 
until March, 1896, when the doors were finally closed and the affairs of the 
bank placed under the direction of John Perry, government receiver. All of 
the depositors were paid in full, 6 and 55-100 per cent interest being paid 
on the face of all claims. 

The Armour Brother Banking company was organized in 1878. A. W. 
Armour was president; S. B. Armour, vice president; and C. H. Prescott 
cashier. The business of the Armour Brothers Banking company was bought 
January 1, 1889, by the Midland National bank and the two banks were 
united under the name of the Midland National bank. Its officers were 
Witten McDonald, president; A. W. Armour, vice president; W. H Winants, 
cashier. The business of this bank was absorbed by the National Bank of 
Commerce in July, 1897. 

The Citizens' National bank was organized in 1882, with J. A. Cooper as 
president and J. J. Squier, vice president. The latter afterward became pres- 
ident and manager of the bank. A. A. Whipple and S. J. Fitzhugh also were 
connected with the bank. In 1898 its business was sold to the Union National 

H. P. Churchill and others, in 1883, organized the Kansas City Safe 
Deposit and Savings bank. It failed in 1893, with liabilities amounting to 
about $2,000,000 having at that time about seven thousand depositors. In 
September, 1893, Howard M. Holden was appointed assignee for the bank. 

The Traders' bank was established in 1883, James T. Thornton and 
others being associated in its organization The particular accommodation of 
cattle dealers and the handling of paper based on business of this character 
were the main purposes of the organizers. This bank was purchased by the 
Union National bank in 1887. 

The leading banks of Kansas City had immense interests at the stock- 
yards from the time of the establishment of the great packing industries 
here. Before the organization of a bank at the stockyards this class of busi- 
ness was transacted by clerks especially appointed for that purpose. This 
system was not satisfactory, however, and, in order to supply a real need, the 
Kansas City Stockyards bank was organized in 1884, with a capital of $200,- 
000. C. F. Morse, president of the Kansas City Stockyards company, was 
president of the bank, and M. W. St. Clair was cashier. In 1890 it was 
found that the capital was insufficient, and the bank was reorganized under 
the name of the Inter-State National bank. 

The New England Safe Deposit and Trust company was organized and 
began business January 1, 1889, with a paid up capital of $100,000. A. W. 
Armour was president. J. F. Downing as vice president and A. W. Childs as* 
treasurer were in active management of the business. The banking trust 


and safe deposit business of this concern has been very profitable, but a 
decision of the Supreme Court of Missouri to the effect that the charters of 
Missouri trust companies required them to pay interest on deposits caused 
the directory to separate the trust and safe deposit departments from the 
banking department This resulted in the organization of the New England 
National bank in 1896, with a capital of $200,000. 

The bank of H. S. Mills was organized in 1889 with a capital of $100,000, 
January 1, 1889. After establishing a successful business, it was succeeded 
by the Western Exchange bank, organized under the laws of Missouri. The 
Aetna National bank was organized in March, 1890, and went into voluntary 
liquidation in March, 1893. The depositors were paid in full. The officers 
of this bank were: A. W. Allen, president; R. E. Talpey, vice president; 
R. J. Hawkins, cashier. The Metropolitan National bank was established in 
November, 1890, and at that time the German American National bank and 
the Mercantile bank were absorbed by it. In November, 1891, the Merchants' 
National bank also was absorbed by the Metropolitan National bank. R. W. 
Hocker and W. E. Hall retired from the management of the bank in January, 
1895, being succeeded by J. K. Burnham as president and C. S. Morey as 
vice president and J. G. Strean as cashier. In May, 1897, the business of the 
Metropolitan National bank became a part of the National Bank of Com- 
merce, the depositors being paid in full. 

The private banking house of Lombard Brothers was established in 
April, 1885, with a paid-in capital of $100,000. The partners in this bank 
were B. Lombard, Jr., of Boston, Mass., and James L. Lombard, of Kansas 
City, the latter having the active management of the bank's affairs. The 
deposits were about $600,000, and the business was profitably conducted until 
1886, when the First National bank was organized. To the latter institution 
the interests of Lombard Brothers were transferred, James L. Lombard be- 
coming the president of the First National bank. 

The Missouri Valley bank was established in 1878 and conducted a 
successful business for several years, but finally failed. It was the outgrowth 
of the Farmers and Drovers' bank, situated in the West bottoms of Kansas 
City, and which moved up town and became the Missouri Valley bank. The- 
odore Kraus was the first president and Robert J. Alther was the first cashier. 
The Missouri National bank was organized in 1891, with a capital 
of $250,000. D. V. Reiger, who was chiefly instrumental in establishing it, 
was the first president, and R, D. Covington was the cashier. The bank was 
affected by the financial panic of 1893, and the doors were closed for a short 
time. Business was resumed and carried on until 1896, when the bank 
suspended and the affairs passed into the hands of a receiver. The German 
Savings bank was organized in 1891 by Dr. Joseph Feld. In 1893 its business 


was liquidated through the Mechanics' bank. The life of the Continental 
National bank was short, It was established in 1892, opening its doors August 
2 of that year, and went into voluntary liquidation November 11 of the same 

The Mechanics' bank was the outgrowth of the Mechanics' Savings bank 
which was organized in 1890 by Robert M. Snyder with a capital of $50,000. 
In 1893 it was organized as a state bank with a capital of $50,000. Robert 
M. Snyder was chosen president, and George P. Snyder, cashier; A. L. Mc- 
Bride, assistant cashier. This bank closed business January 31, 1900. 

The German American National bank was organized in 1888, and was 
situated at Seventh and Delaware streets in a building that has been occupied 
by various financial institutions. J. K. Burnham was the president of this 
bank. W. F. Wyman, w T ho was the vice-president at the time of organization, 
was succeeded in this position by J. W. Swain. Louis Bauerlein, the first 
cashier, was succeeded by J. G. Stream The bank ceased business November 
13, 1890, when its accounts, with those of the Mercantile bank, were turned 
over to the Metropolitan National bank. 

The Mercantile bank was in business for several years until 1893, when 
its depositors were paid in full and the affairs sold to the Metropolitan National 
bank. Charles Russell was the first president, and after serving in this 
capacity for one year, served as vice president for about six months, at the 
end of that time retiring from active connection with the bank. E. L. Martin 
was elected president to succeed Mr. Russell. This bank purchased the Ger- 
man Savings bank from Dr. Joseph Feld. Its capital was $200,000. 

The Merchants' National Bank of Kansas City was organized November 
28, 1879, with a capital of $250,000. The incorporators and first board of 
directors were: Victor B. Buck, T. K. Hanna, Alvah Mansur, W. A. M. 
Vaughan, John C. Gage, John Long, F. L. Underwood and J. M. Coburn. 
The first officers were: F. L. Underwood, president; W. A. M. Vaughan, 
vice president, and J. M. Coburn, cashier. The capital was increased to $500,- 
000 June 16, 1881. The only change in the organization at that time was 
the election of C. S. Wheeler to succeed Alvah Mansur. The bank was situ- 
ated at the corner of Missouri avenue and Delaware street until September, 
1889, when it moved to the New York Life building. The capital was in- 
creased to one million dollars October 22, 1889, and the following officers 
w r ere elected: W. B. Clarke, president; C. S. Wheeler, vice president; O. P. 
Dickinson, second vice president; J. W. Barney, cashier, and C. H. Rockwell, 
assistant cashier. The bank transacted a sucessful business until November, 
1891, when the directors determined to retire from business. This con- 
clusion was reached after the collapse of the real estate boom had caused 
losses that might have been increased by continuance in business. The stock- 



holders agreed with the directors, and the bank retired from business No- 
vember 7, 1891. All depositors were immediately paid, the board of directors 
retaining custody of the capital and surplus invested in loans and securities 
for collection and distribution to the stockholders. 

The Bank of Grand avenue was established August 25, 1884, with a 
capital of $50,000 and a surplus of $50,000. L. A. Lambert was its first 
president, and Henry C. Lambert was cashier. In January, 1899, L. A. 
Lambert was succeded by Henry C. Lambert as president. J. W. Lambert 
became cashier. The Bank of Grand avenue was succeeded by the present 
organization, the German-American bank, in 1901. This bank's officers are 
J. W. Wagner, president ; H. C. Lambert, cashier, and G. Resting, assistant 
cashier, and the deposits amount to $1,000,000. 

The American National bank was organized in 1880, with a capital of 
$250,000. It was reorganized in 1898, with a capital of $250,000. W. B. 
Grimes was its first president and H. P. Stimson its first cashier. This bank 
was closed for about seventy days in 1891, but was reorganized and again 
opened for business, the depositors being paid six per cent interest on their 
deposits for the time their funds were held. The stock of the American 
National bank was bought in June, 1902, by a group of Kansas City men, 
headed by William Huttig. Some of the men associated with Mr. Iluttig 
were Colonel Willis Wood, William Kenefick and John Worthington. By 
permission of the Treasury department, the name of the concern was changed 
to the National Bank of the Republic. When the new institution opened 
for business in June, 1907, it had a paid up capital of one-half million dollars, 
with a cash surplus of $50,000. These were the officers: William Huttig, 
president; J. H. Berkshire, vice president; John Worthington, vice president, 
and John C. Hughes, cashier. 

By special permission of the comptroller of the currency, a bank organ- 
ized in Kansas City in 1886 was given the name of the First National bank. 
Another institution of this name had been in existence, but had gone into the 
hands of a receiver and its affairs had been closed up. The second First 
National bank was a new and entirely separate establishment. James L. 
Lombard was president, the bank practically growing out of the banking house 
of Lombard Brothers. C. H. V. Lewis was the first cashier. E. F. Swinney 
became cashier in 1887. 

In the summer of 1887 the Bank of Commerce, a prosperous linanciai 
institution which grew out of the Kansas City Savings association, was or- 
ganized under the national banking laws and the name became the National 
Bank of Commerce. In May, 1897, it absorbed the Metropolitan National 
bank. The Midland National bank, which in January, 1889, bought the 
business of the Armour Bro+her Banking company, was consolidated with the 


National Bank of Commerce in July, 1897. The officials of the latter named 
bank owned the capital stock of the Stock Yards Bank of Commerce and the 
Union Avenue Bank of Commerce, both of which were organized under the 
state laws. The business of the National Bank of Commerce increased until 
it became the largest bank west of Chicago, with one exception in St. Louis. 
It had a remarkably large clientage among the country banks tributary to 
Kansas City. 

Overwhelmed by a wave of distrust that steadily wore away its resources, 
the National Bank of Commerce suspended business December 5, 1907. In 
about six weeks the bank had paid off nineteen million dolars of its deposits, 
reduced its loans three and one-half millions, cut down its cash resources 
eleven and three-quarter millions and sold two millions of high grade bonds, 
all in the effort to meet the demands upon it. . But there had been a continual 
drain, culminating in a clearing house debit balance of $400,000 that the bank 
was forced to meet. 

George T. Cutts was appointed receiver December 17, 1907, and the 
work of reorganization began at once. After it became apparent that the 
bank would reopen, W. B. Ridgely, comptroller of the currency, was asked 
to become president of the reorganized institution. He resigned as comptroller 
of the currency to accept the offer. The capital stock was increased and the 
bank was reopened March 21, 1908, without loss to the depositors. 

The Union National bank that succeeded the Traders' bank, was or- 
ganized in 1887 by David T. Beals, George R. Barse, C. W. Whitehead, F. 
L. LaForce, H. J. Rosencrans and others. It has grown to be one of the solid 
financial institutions of the West. In 1898 the business of the Citizens' 
National bank was sold to the Union National bank. 

The Kansas City State bank was organized October 23, 1888, with a 
capital of $20,000. It grew to be one of the most important banks of its kind. 

The Missouri Savings bank was organized in 1891, with a capital of 
$50,000. Watt Webb became president of this bank and W. S. Webb cashier. 
It had a surplus of $25,000, which, with its capital, was invested in United 
States bonds. The bank is prosperous and its affairs well managed by the 
following officers and directors: Watt Webb, president; W. S. Webb, cashier; 
Eugene Carlat, Stuart Carkener, Oliver Carlat and W. L. Kessinger. 

The Western Exchange bank, organized January 1, 1899, under the 
state laws, succeeded the bank of H. S. Mills, which was organized in 1889. 
Its successor organized with J. S. Lillis as president, and H. Koehler as cashier. 
This bank was capitalized at $100,000, and had a surplus of $10,000 and 
deposits aggregating $550,000. The present deposits of the bank are one 
and one-half million dollars. 


The City National bank was opened February 2, 1900, with a paid-up 
capital of $250,000 and a surplus of $25,000. This bank began business 
under most auspicious circumstances. R. M. Snyder is president, J. G. Strean 
is vice president, and George P. Snyder is cashier. The bank owns its own 
building, the handsome structure at 545 Delaware street, formerly occupied 
by the National Bank of Commerce, and one suited to the purposes. Eleven 
days after the bank opened for business the deposits were over $400,000. 
The directors are John Long, J. Crawford James, Milton Moore and P. I. 
Bonebreak. The latter is the president of the Central National bank of 
Topeka, Kansas. 

The Traders' bank of Kansas City was opened for business October 15, 
1900, with a capital stock of $100,000. The directors were George W. Fuller, 
Frank H. Woodbury, Sanford B. Ladd, C. C. Clemons, Ellis Short, John S. 
Morrin and A. J. Poor. The officers were J. R. Dominick, president ; E. J. 
Colvin, vice president; J. C. English, cashier, and L. C. Parmenter, assistant 
cashier. The Corn Belt bank was established in June, 1905, with a capital of 

The Fidelity Trust company, with a capital of one million dollars, does 
a general trust and savings bank business. It owns and occupies as a bank- 
ing house the old Federal building at Ninth and Walnut streets, which it 
bought for $260,000 and remodeled. The Pioneer Trust company opened its 
doors January 20, 1903. It does a general banking, financial, real estate, trust 
and bond business. The United States Trust company does a strictly trust com- 
pany business. It has a capital of $250,000. The United States and Mexican 
Trust company was organized in April, 1901. It does a general trust business, 
acting as trustee for issues of bonds, cares for and sells real estate and makes 
loans on real estate and approved collateral. This company is the fiscal agent for 
the Kansas City, Mexico & Orient Railway company, handles the securities for 
the construction companies, for which it is trustee, and has charge of the land 
interests of the railroad company along the line of the road in the United 
States and Mexico, including the town sites. A. E. Stillwell, president of the 
Kansas City, Mexico & Orient railroad, is president of the trust company. 
The Commerce Trust company opened for business October 1, 1906, with a 
paid-up capital of one million dollars. 

With bank deposits aggregating $114,365,493, and with bank clear- 
ings amounting to $1,649,375,013, Kansas City at the beginning of 1908 
took high rank among the great centers of finance in the United States. Only 
New York, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Pittsburg were in 
advance of Kansas City on January 1, 1908, in the volume of business repre- 
sented by bank clearings, while many older cities, including San Francisco, 


Cincinnati, Baltimore, New Orleans, Cleveland, Detroit and Louisville, were 
surpassed by Kansas City. 

The rapid growth of Kansas City as a financial bulwark is shown com- 
prehensively in this statement of bank deposits and bank clearings covering 
totals for each one of the past ten years: 1898, deposits $35,814,000, clear- 
ings $585,294,637 ; 1899, deposits $48,019,000, clearings $648,270,711 ; 1900, 
deposits $55,277,580, clearings $775,264,813; 1901, deposits $73,799,588, 
clearings $918,198,416; 1902, deposits $77,250,577, clearings $988,294,998; 
1903, deposits $78,245,525, clearings $1,074,878,589; 1904, deposits $84, 
228,000, clearings $1,097,887,155; 1905, deposits $91,665,721, clearings 
$1,197,905,556; 1906, deposits $102,215,000 clearings $1,331,673,055; 1907, 
deposits $114,365,493, clearings $1,649,375,013. 

The increase of $317,701,958 in the clearings for 1907 over the total 
for 1906 was greater than the total increase of bank clearings for the six years 
from 1880 to 1886, during which time Kansas City's famous "boom" occurred. 
From 1889 to 1896 little progress was made, but since 1896 the growth has 
been rapid. The total bank deposits in Kansas City banks were more than 
300 per cent greater at the close of 1907 than the largest total of deposits 
reached in the year 1898, ten years previous. 

Reasons for Kansas City's growth and stability in banking are not diffi- 
cult to discover. Since the early '50s, when the Northrup & Chick bank was 
started here, Kansas City has been recognized as a point for the distribution 
of merchandise and supplies for a vast territory. It has also developed along 
with its wholesale and jobbing trade, a great market for the products of this 
territory, as well as the building up of many lines of manufacture. These, 
in addition to the fact that it is a recognized money center for its trade terri- 
tory, necessarily call for sound banks and safe banking methods. 



Kansas City has twenty systems of railroads and thirty-nine separate 
lines, making it the second largest railroad center in America. The railroads 
entering Kansas City have an aggregate mileage of about 50,000, nearly 
one-fourth of the mileage of all the railroads in the United States. The lines 
radiating from Kansas City traverse thirty-one states and territories. From 
this center the capitals of sixteen states can be reached without changing 

















M . 















»— i 










cars. The various lines reach 10,146 cities and towns direct. More than 
two hundred passenger trains enter and disappear from the Union depot daily. 
About three hundred freight trains, with an average of about 11,000 cars, 
pass in and out of the city daily. 

No other city anywhere can offer merchants and manufactures better 
shipping facilities than Kansas City. One of the city's greatest inducements 
to new capital is its superior transportation facilities. It is the point from 
which the railroads can gather the largest tonnage over the greatest area. 
Kansas City has for its trade territory the Southwest — equal to one-third of 
the United States, with a population of more than 20 million. This is the 
market controlled by Kansas City without competition from any other city 
capable of surpassing it in the matter of freight rates. This condition must 
continue as true of the future as of the past, since Kansas City has the natural 
advantages that will enable it to have and to hold forever its market ascen- 
dency in the vast region. The Northwest is a business battle-field between 
Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Duluth. The cities of the East and South 
are hampered with competition, but the great Southwest belongs to Kansas 

It was a round about journey from Kansas City to the East before the 
advent of the Pacific railroad of Missouri, now known as the Missouri Pacific 
railroad. The steamer Emile, Captain Sam Burks, left Kansas City every day 
for Leavenworth, Kas., and Weston, Mo. At Weston connection was made 
with the Platte Valley railroad to St. Joseph, Mo., connecting there with the 
Hannibal & St. Joseph railroad, leaving St. Joseph at midnight for Hannibal 
and connecting at Macon, Mo., with the North Missouri railroad, now the 
Wabash railroad, for St. Louis. At Hannibal connections were made with 
the Keokuk and St. Louis packets for St. Louis. Passengers for Chicago and 
Eastern points boarded the steamer Mollie McPike at Hannibal for Quincy, 
connecting with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, or Great Western railway 
of Illinois. The trip from Kansas City to Chicago was made in forty hours — 
one train a day each way, only one line and no choice of roads. 

The Platte Valley railroad was completed May 24, 1860, from St. Joseph 
to Weston. Steamboat E. Hensley, Captain John Nicely, ran daily between 
Weston and Leavenworth and between Weston and Kansas City. The Platte 
Valley railroad afterwards was built from Weston to Kansas City and completed 
to Harlem, opposite Kansas City, in the spring of 1869, and was known as the 
Kansas City, St. Joseph & Council Bluffs railroad. The first conductor on 
the Platte Valley railroad and afterwards the first conductor on the Atchison 
& Pike's Peake railroad west of Atchison, was Colonel Richard B. Morris, a 
resident of Atchison. Railroad fare was high in the early days. The pas- 
senger fare from Kansas City to St. Louis was $14.50; to Chicago, $24.50; to 


Cincinnati, $29.00; to New York City, $48.00; to Boston, $52.00; and inter- 
mediate points in proportion. 

Ground was broken in Kansas City for the Pacific railroad of Missouri, 
July 25, 1860, building towards Pleasant Hill, Mo., to connect with the main 
line coming west from St. Louis. The first engine for this railroad came from 
St. Louis by steamboat and was landed at Kansas City in June, 1864, about 
the site of Kelly's flour mill, East Bottoms. This engine was unloaded and 
placed on the rails under the direction of H. Hale, who built the railroad to 
Pleasant Hill and afterwards was the superintendent of the Western division, 
Sedalia to Kansas City. Mr. Hale was well known to the old-time citizens of 
Kansas City. He was at one time superintendent of the Union depot. In 
1908 he was a member of the Soldiers' home at Leavenworth, and was upwards 
of 90 years old. 

The railroad was completed to Little Blue station, July 4, 1864. Mr. 
Hale invited the citizens to Little Blue for a picnic. He took his engine and 
four flat cars on which he constructed board seats and ran this train on the 
holiday between the two points to handle the crowds. Many of the old-time 
citizens, Judge J. E. Guinotte, then a lad, among them, had their first rail- 
road ride on that occasion. 

The first passenger train came into the East bottoms of Kansas City from 
St. Louis September 25, 1865. Later in the fall, Nov. 15, 1865, the track 
was extended to the present Grand Avenue depot. Grading was started to 
Leavenworth. The first through passenger train was run from Leavenworth 
to St. Louis, July 1, 1866. The road was completed from Leavenworth to 
Atchison, Kas., September 10, 1869. 

In the early days, there were two trains daily between Kansas City and 
St. Louis. The trip to St. Louis required eighteen hours. The fare was $14.50. 
The time now between the two cities is about eight hours by five different 
railroads with about twenty trains daily at a ticket rate of $5.50. The Missouri 
Pacific was built as a broad gauge railroad, five feet six inches. The gauge 
was changed to the present standard gauge. In the year 1870, this was done 
between St. Louis and Leavenworth in less than ten hours and was considered 
a wonderful feat at that time. 

In 1867, there was built by the Missouri Pacific railroad and the Kansas 
Pacific railroad a big hotel and a station house in the West Bottoms, known 
as the State Line House and Station. All passengers were transferred at that 
point by both roads. On the completion of the Cameron branch and until 
the bridge across the Missouri river was finished, the Kansas Pacific came East 
on the Missouri tracks on the levee to the Gilliss House. Passengers were 
transferred from one road to the other by a ferry that operated between Kan- 
sas City and Harlem. 


The Pacific railroad of Missouri was the only railroad running into Kan- 
sas City that contributed to the city for its right-of-way. It paid $20,000 for 
the privilege of running over the levee, from Grand avenue to the State line 
to connect with the Kansas Pacific railroad going West. This money was 
turned over to three enterprising citizens who helped lay the foundation for 
a prosperous future for Kansas City. These three were Kersey Coates, Charles 
E. Kearney and R. T. Van Horn. With the money, as small amount as 
it was, they secured for Kansas City the Cameron branch of the Hannibal & 
St. Joseph railroad and with it followed the building of the Missouri river 
bridge; the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf railroad to Baxter Springs, Kas. ; 
and the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston railroad to Ottawa and Southern 
Kansas. This was the great turning point in Kansas City's history. 

The next great enterprise was the building of the railroad bridge across 
the Missouri river between Kansas City and Harlem. Octave Chanute, the 
chief engineer, and George Morrison, assistant engineer, gave a history of 
this project, so important to Kansas City, in a book published in 1870: 

"The movement that led ultimately to the building of the Kansas City 
bridge, dates from the incorporation of the 'Kansas City, Galveston & Lake 
Superior railroad' by the state of Missouri, in 1857. This high sounding title 
and the extent of the enterprise, that contemplated some 1,500 miles of rail- 
road, occasioned much merriment in the legislature, especially as only 129 
miles of the proposed road would be in Missouri, within the jurisdiction of the 
body granting the charter, and it also was understood that the projectors 
would, for the present, be satisfied with the building of fifty-two miles of the 
line, as a branch of another railroad. 

But the enterprising citizens of the infant Kansas City, which had at that 
time about 2,000 inhabitants, proved wiser than those who laughed at their 
plans. In 1860, a contract was let for building that portion of the road extend- 
ing from the town of Cameron, Mo., on the Hannibal & St. Joseph railroad, 
to the Missouri river, opposite Kansas City. 

Considerable work was done and $200,000 was expended, but the Civil 
war put an end to all active operations in the spring of 1861, and for the 
next five years the project slumbered forgotten in the strife that desolated 
the border between Missouri and Kansas. 

A charter was obtained from the Missouri legislature in 1865 for a car- 
riage and railroad bridge at Kansas City. This movement, however, was 
speculative and the corporators, having failed to secure the necessary capital, 
never organized under it and merely held the charter as a ready means of 
benefiting the town by giving it to any capitalist willing to undertake the con- 
struction of the bridge, should circumstances ever make such an undertaking 


A general act of Congress was approved, July 25, 1868, authorizing the 
construction of bridges across the Mississippi river at Quincy, Burlington, 
Hannibal, Prairie du Chien, Keokuk, Winona, Dubuque and St. Louis, which 
by a special clause was made to apply to the Missouri river at Kansas City. 

The Kansas City & Cameron railroad, being fully reorganized in 1866, 
with C. E. Kearney of Kansas City as president, obtained additional subscrip- 
tions and undertook to secure aid and a connection with the Hannibal & St. 
Joseph Railroad. A curious incident that occurred in connection with this 
road showed on how slender a thread sometimes hangs the fate of infant pro- 
jects and communities. Even before the Civil war, a strong rivalry existed 
between Kansas City and Leavenworth, the latter city being situated on the 
same bank some twenty-five miles up the river. Both had begun railroads 
to Cameron, both had temporarily abandoned their enterprise in the war, 
and both sought the aid of Eastern capitalists controlling the Hannibal & 
St. Joseph railroad to revive them. Leavenworth, which had enjoyed a large 
and prosperous trade during the war, in consequence of being near an im- 
portant military post and fort, was earliest in the field, and when Kansas City 
heard of it, had almost closed a contract for the necessary aid with Eastern capi- 
talists. A few days more and it would have been too late; everything would 
have been arranged, and the road built to Leavenworth, which probably would 
have been able to hamper its rival. Immediate personal appeals and proposi- 
tions brought about a suspension of final judgment, until the claims and. 
merits of the two cities could be investigated. 

The delay was granted by James E. Joy, who as president of the Michigan 
Central; Chicago, Burlington & Quincy; Hannibal & St. Joseph, and other 
railroads, was at that time preparing to have bridges built across the Missis- 
sippi river both at Burlington and Quincy. He visited Leavenworth and Kan- 
sas City and decided that the latter was the best point to reach and that a 
bridge must be built there to make the road of value. Arrangements were 
made, therefore, with the Kansas City & Cameron and the Hannibal & St. Jo- 
seph railroads, by which they agreed to furnish the iron for the new line and 
to build the bridge at Kansas City. 

The railroad was completed from Cameron to the north bank of the 
river opposite Kansas City, November 30, 1867, and from that date until the 
completion of the bridge in July, 1869, the road was operated as a branch of 
the Hannibal & St. Joseph railroad, freight and passengers being transferred 
by ferry. 

A preliminary survey and report on the bridge site was made in August, 
1866, by M. Hjortsberg, chief engineer of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 
railroad. Octave Chanute became chief engineer of the bridge February 7, 
1866, and the work was urged from that time until the bridge was completed. 




I— I 







The corner stone of the south abutment was laid August 21, 1867, with appro- 
priate festivities. The last stone, completing the masonry of the bridge was 
laid May 5, 1869. The draw was swung June 15, 1869, and the first engine 
crossed the bridge ten days later. The bridge was publicly opened, Saturday, 
July 3, 1869. It was one of Kansas City's most memorable celebrations. The 
residents seemed to fully realize the importance of the occasion." A few head- 
lines of the Daily Journal of issue Sunday, July 4, 1869, the day after the 
bridge celebration, follow: 

" Kansas City's Glorious Fourth of July." 

" Grand Celebration of the Opening of the" First Railroad Bridge Over 
the Missouri River ! " 

"The Only Bridge Across the Missouri River! !" 

" An Elegant Warm Day ! ! " 

" Great Crowds of People From Missouri and Kansas ! " 

" Holman made a Sucessful Ascension in His Balloon From the Public 
Square (the present City Hall location), Amid the Cheers of the Crowd and 
the Firing of the Cannon ! " 

" Grand Banquet at the Broadway Hotel (now the Coates House)." 

" Kansas City From Now On Will Boom ! " 

The building of the Union Pacific Eastern division, afterwards called the 
Kansas Pacific railway, and now the Union Pacific railway, was an important 
enterprise. Samuel Hallett, a contractor, began work on what was to be the 
future great overland railroad between Kansas City and the Pacific ocean, 
August 10, 1863. On July 27, 1864, Mr. Hallett was killed in Wyandotte, 
Kas. The work was continued by Shoemaker Miller & Co., a firm of contract- 
ors. The first passenger train was run to Lawrence, Kas., November 28, 1864. 
On January 19, 1865, the Kansas legislature adjourned to go to Lawrence to 
take a railroad excursion from Lawrence to Wyandotte and return. The branch 
line from Leavenworth to Lawrence was completed May 15, 1866, and in June 
the main line was completed to Topeka with one passenger train daily. It 
required one day to go to Topeka and the next day to return. The same dis- 
tance is traveled now in two hours with many passenger trains on three dif- 
ferent roads. 

This road passed the 385 mile post going West, April 7, 1868, and was com- 
pleted to Denver, Col., and October 18, gave an excursion from Kansas City 
to Denver. It required the most of two nights and one day for the trip. West 
of Fort Ellsworth, the trains had to run slowly on account of the large herds 
of buffalo. The buffalo often delayed the trains until they had crossed the 
track because it was impossible to pass through the herds. One way passenger 
fare from Kansas City to Denver, was $45.00. 


In the month of June, 1867, construction was begun on the Kansas City, 
Fort Scott & Gulf railroad under the management of Major B. S. Henning 
as general superintendent. December 13, 1868, the road was completed to 
Olathe, Kas., and December 20, 1869, the road was completed to Fort Scott, 
Kas., one hundred miles. Early the following spring of 1870, this road was 
completed to Baxter Springs, Kas., 166 miles south of Kansas City. This line 
now is part of the Frisco system. It is interesting to notice how lines that 
were started from other Missouri river points as main lines are now branch 
lines, their main lines running into Kansas City. 

Ground was broken at Atchison, Kas., June 13, 1860, for the Atchison 
& Pike's Peak railroad and it was built to Downs, one hundred miles. It is now a 
system of 440 miles, known as the Central Branch division of the Missouri 
Pacific railroad. The great system of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe was 
started from Atchison, Kas., in the summer of 1868, and the first locomotive 
with a train from Atchison passed over the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe 
bridge over the Kaw river at Topeka, March 30, 1869. The engine was the 
" C. K. Holliday." This road was built westward very rapidly, reaching the 
Colorado line at Granada, January 1, 1873. 

The first rail was laid on the Lawrence & Topeka railroad, April 11, 1874, 
afterwards known as the Kansas Midland railroad. As soon as it was com- 
pleted from Kansas City to Topeka this line was bought by the Santa Fe 
system and is part of the Santa Fe system's main line from Kansas City to 
the Pacific coast terminals, San Diego and San Francisco. For the Kansas 
Midland railroad, Kaw township voted $100,000.00 in bonds and it proved to 
be a good investment, since it placed Kansas City on the main line between 
the Pacific coast and Chicago. 

The Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston railroad started at Lawrence. 
In the year of 1869 it was built to Ottawa. This road was completed from 
Olathe to Ottawa, August 19, 1870, so as to have a Kansas City connection, 
using the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf railroad to Olathe. This line was 
extended to Independence, Kas., and on to Wellington, Kas., and afterwards 
built an independent line from Kansas City to Olathe. The Leavenworth, 
Lawrence & Gulf railroad of early days is now a part of the Santa Fe system. 
The St. Louis & Lawrence railroad was completed from Pleasant Hill, 
Mo., to Lawrence, Kas., fifty-eight miles, in 1877. This road was a failure. 
The Missouri, Kansas & Texas railroad built a line from Holden, Mo., to 
Paola, Kas., in 1872, another cut-off that was of no value. 

Kaw township voted $150,000 in bonds for the Kansas City & Northwest- 
ern railroad, in 1872. These bonds afterwards were re-voted for the, Kansas 
City & Eastern railroad, a narrow gauge railroad that was built from Kansas 
City to Independence and Lexington, Mo. This investment proved to be a 


i — i 



— i 





failure and was disastrous to all who invested their money in the enterprise. 
The road finally became a part of the Missouri Pacific system and was made a 
broad gauge line, it is now (1908) the Lexington division. 

The Cameron branch of the Hannibal & St. Joseph railroad that reached 
Harlem August 22, 1867, is now the main line of the Burlington system and 
the branch is from Cameron to St. Joseph. The north Missouri railroad, now 
the Wabash railroad, was built from Moberly west and completed to Harlem, 
December 8, 1868. The Hannibal & St, Joseph; the- North Missouri & Kan- 
sas City; and the St. Joseph & Council Bluffs railroads had their terminals at 
Harlem, from eight to ten months before the Missouri river bridge was com- 
pleted. After the opening of the bridge, July 3, 1869, the three railroads 
crossed the river, and with the Kansas Pacific, the Kansas City, Fort Scott 
& Gulf; and the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston railroads occupied the 
first Union depot in Kansas City. 

In the spring of 1870, the Missouri Pacific railway built the incline that 
brought the trains through the "gooseneck," giving them an entrance to the 
Union depot, on the site of the present depot, This building afterwards 
burned, and the present depot was built. 

The Union depot was completed and occupied April 7, 1878. The total 
cost, including the land, was $410,028. The depot company was organized 
under an act of the Missouri legislature passed in 1871. The bill was intro- 
duced by St. Louis people and gave authority for the old Union station in 
St. Louis, but its provisions were general and a company was organized in 
Kansas City, October 28, 1875, taking advantage of the law. The incor- 
porators were George H. Nettleton, Wallace Pratt, C. H. Prescott, T. F. Oakes 
and B. S. Henning. The company secured some of its land by dedication, but 
most of it by condemnation proceedings in July, 1877. The Union depot was 
remodeled in 1880 at a cost of $224,083. 

The Chicago & Alton railroad built west from Mexico, Mo., to Kansas 
City and completed its line May 11, 1879, to Kansas City. The Kansas City, 
Fort Scott & Gulf railroad built a line from Olathe to Springfield, via Clinton. 
Later the "Blair road," known as the Kansas City, Osceola & Springfield, 
was built. Both these lines were taken over by the Frisco system. Later the 
Kansas City, Wyandotte & Northwestern railroad was built and bought by 
the Missouri Pacific system. 

In later years came the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific railroad from 
Chicago through Kansas City to Denver, El Paso and Fort Worth; the Mis- 
souri, Kansas & Texas railroad south to Denison, San Antonio and Galveston; 
the Frisco system to Tennessee, Oklahoma and Texas ; the Kansas City South- 
ern railroad to Texarkana, Shreveport and Port Arthur on the Gulf of Mex- 
ico; the Chicago, Great Western railroad to St. Paul, Minneapolis and Chicago; 


the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul to Chicago and the great Northwest; 
the St. Joseph & Grand Island railroad to St. Joseph and Grand Island, 
Neb., The Quincy, Omaha & Kansas City, Kansas City to Quincy. The 
Kansas City, Mexico & Orient railroad, the short line to the Pacific ocean, 
was partly completed in 1908. 

Some of the railroad officials who co-operated with Kansas City in the 
early days in making it a great railroad center were : Octave Chanute, George 
H. Nettleton, D. R. Garrison, Oliver Garrison, Thomas McKissock, T. F. Oakes, 
Sly T. Smith, C. W. Mead, L. W. Towne, C. F. Morse and Jay Gould. These 
were the early railroad builders of Kansas City and had the confidence of 
James T. Joy and the Adams family of Boston and other noted Eastern capi- 
talists, who had faith in their works and furnished the money to carry out 
their plans. 



The most prosperous cities, it is recognized, are those in which real estate 
transactions show greatest activity and in which values are on a solid basis. 
The early history of Kansas City real estate does not differ materially from 
that of other new western towns, and the only abnormal conditions that ever 
existed here were caused by the boom of 1886-87. At that time values were 
on a plane entirely out of relation to the business and population of the city, 
but all evil effects of that period gradually were wiped out in the slow period 
of liquidation extending to 1903. Outsiders who had lost money as a result 
of their ill-advised operations, were disposed for a time to distrust the real 
estate business in Kansas City. The home people, appreciating the evil effects 
of over-speculation, became very conservative, and as a result Kansas City 
real estate for several years was considered as worth what it would bring, just 
as it is in many old and settled communities. This sort of judgment was car- 
ried too far, and prices on inside business property and choice outside residence 
properties had a steady and slow growth. Up to about 1900, $2,000 a front 
foot was considered a high price for inside retail business property and $60 
a foot an extravagant price for choice residence lots. This condition con- 
tinued in spite of the tremendous prosperity in Kansas City's trade territory, 
resulting from the bumper crops of the period from 1896 to 1908. The holders 
of business property did not improve it, and rents became abnormally high 
considering the character of the buildings. To men who traveled and learned 


things, it soon became evident that Kansas City values were ridiculously low 
as compared with those in other cities. 

A demand sprung up for inside business property and one piece after 
another was sold at prices so far above what had been considered reasonable 
values that holders refused to sell, except at great advances. Purchases con- 
tinued by outside investors until the residents were awakened, and the demand 
for inside business property became so great as to amount to a small boom in 
the spring and summer of 1907. It was in the fall of 1907 that the financial 
disturbances of the East frightened the bankers of the country, and Kansas 
City suffered a bankers' panic. It was predicted that real estate values would 
suffer a heavy decline. These prophecies were not fulfilled because values 
then were only what they should have been to correspond with values in 
cities in less than one-half the size of Kansas City. No forced sales took place, 
and heavy sales were made in 1908 at prices that exceeded those of 1907. 
Kansas City, in 1908, was on a solid basis and the supply of money for loans 
on improved real estate was greater than the demand. 

Many miles of streets had been paved with asphalt or converted into 
boulevards through the residence districts, and added to this, 25 million dol- 
lars had been paid out for the acquisition and improvement of the park sys- 
tem. These outlays naturally had a depressing effect on vacant lots, but after 
the bargains had been removed from the market, the residence property began 
to command prices more nearly representing the actual values. 

Many fortunes have been made and a very few lost through operations in 
town lots and suburban tracts. It is difficult for a Kansas Cityan to talk or 
write about real estate without dragging in the hogs, the cattle, the bank 
clearings and the railroads, all of which are so numerous as to surge and swell, 
roll over and almost submerge everything else in ever increasing volume. 

It may be demonstrated that there are more individual owners of real 
estate in Kansas City in proportion to population than in almost any other 
great city in the world. It also is true that there is a larger proportion of pro- 
fessional men, wage earners and those engaged in general business who actively 
operate in building and trading and general speculation in real estate than in 
almost any other city, excepting where a so-called "boom" is in progress. This 
condition accounts for the fact that more than twenty-five hundred persons 
are dependent for a living on the sale of real estate as agents or employees 
of agents. The basis for this universal interest is the underlying confidence 
that this town is actually "builded on a rock," metaphorically as well as geo- 

Kansas City real estate had its trials and ups and downs in the '70s and 
'80s from natural causes. As the surrounding country grew Kansas City in- 
creased in wealth. The disgust for inflated real estate values that caused the 


panic of 1886-87 and the depression that culminated in the panic of 1893, 
caused the residents to become indifferent to nominal high prices on real estate 
that could not be realized. The building activity had become less and less 
until in 1892 it reached the lowest point in the thirty years period between 
1878 and 1908. Prices were correspondingly low. Then began the real growth 
of Kansas City. 

Streets were paved, sewers built and a park system begun. How were 
the residents to pay for these extensive improvements? What to do was soon 
determined. It was determined to issue the ever ready special tax bills running 
four to twenty years, interest and penalties 7 per cent to 15 per cent, thus 
giving property owners the option to pay spot cash or take time on the bills 
at ruinous rates of interest. 

This plan was criticised and prophecies of bankruptcy were made, and 
with much justification. These prophecies were not fulfilled, however. Con- 
demnations were commenced and the taxpayers actually were compelled to 
pay for the property taken, in cash before the city acquired it, or else pay 
heavy interest charges. If an owner permitted tax bills to be issued and af- 
terward decided to sell, these tax bills must be paid by him out of the proceeds 
of sale. Property owners paid out 25 million dollars in this way which should 
have remained as working capital, and on which future owners could have 
carried the debt at an interest tax of S 1 /* to 4 per cent a year. It is a wonder 
that this terrific cash drain had an effect on real estate prices? This is the 
explanation of the fact that up to 1906, real estate values were lower than in 
any other city of 100,000 population. 

The real estate business began in Kansas City in 1838, when by order 
of the circuit court of Jackson county a tract of land containing 256 acres, 
belonging to the estate of Gabriel Prudhomme, was sold to a syndicate for 
$4,220. A portion of this land was plotted and a few of the lots were sold in 
1839. Legal complications prevented further sales until 1848, when a reor- 
ganized company acquiring the property and, after extending the plat of 1839, 
had a sale of lots at which $8,265 was received. John C. McCoy platted the 
remainder of the Prudhomme tract in June, 1847, and twenty-three lots were 
sold July 17, 1847. 

The town of Kansas was fully organized in June, 1850, and in April, 
1853, a city organization was effected and thoughtful men began to see its 
great possibilities. The subdivision of new areas of land was Hubbard's addi- 
tion, made November 29, 1855, at which time the number of inhabitants was 
about 500 and the valuation of property, $54,000. Additions then were made 
rapidly ; three in 1856 ; seventeen in 1857 ; nine in 1858 ; and nine in 1859. 
In 1857, 527 houses were built and the population increased to 3,224 with 
an assessment of $1,200,000. There was a great combination sale of lots to 


persons who would build, October 20, 1858. In 1859 the population had in- 
creased to 7,180, and the assessment to $3,311,730. The same causes that were 
then making Kansas City a trade center, operated to bring real estate into 
the market, — the line of boats to St. Joseph, to which point the Hannibal & 
St. Joseph railroad had just been completed, being an important factor. 

The West Hannibal Land company, of which William McCoy was presi- 
dent and Solomon Houck was secretary and treasurer, bought land in the 
West bottoms between the state line and the bluffs, and platted it, but few sales 
were made until after the Civil war. Near the close of the war, Case & Balis 
platted Pacific place, and L. K. Thacher the Depot addition. The price of 
lots at that time was $6 to $8 a front foot. Turner & Co.'s addition extended 
from St. Louis avenue to Fourteenth street, and from the Union depot to 
Pacific place. From its proximity to the Union depot, in 1868 it became 
the center of the wholesale implement trade, and the price of lots advanced 
to $300 a front foot, but under the inflated values of 1887 they brought such 
fabulous prices as $1,000, while immediately opposite the Union depot the 
price was as high as $1,500. Some lots in the old town sold at about the 
same prices. Ashburn's addition lies between Ninth and Twelfth streets and 
Broadway and Baltimore avenues, and the lots there sold in 1865 at $12 to 
$28 a front foot, and advanced to from $600 to $1,600. The McGee addition 
lies between Main and Holmes streets and Twelfth and Twentieth streets; 
it brought $8 a front foot and advanced to $250 in 1887. 

Appraisers appointed by the Jackson county court, in 1895-96, fixed 
the value of $195,000 upon sixty-seven feet of ground at the southeast corner 
of Twelfth and Main streets, belonging to the Mason estate. In 1869, a tract 
of six acres between Ninth and Twelfth streets, east of Tracy avenue was bought 
for $450 an acre, out of which lots were sold at $300 each in 1887. Dundee 
place consisted of ninety-eight acres lying between Twelfth and Eighteenth 
streets and Virginia and Campbell streets, and was bought by a Scotch com- 
pany in 1881 for $415,000, or $4,235 per acre. It was platted and the lots 
sold at $25 to $40 a front foot, or at the rate of $6,250 to $10,000 per acre. 
East Dundee place, comprising an adjoining ten acres, in 1886, sold by the 
front foot at the rate of $16,500 an acre. In 1882 land between Ninth and 
Twelfth streets, and Prospect avenue and Olive street, sold for $1,400 an 
acre. Lots sold at first for $25 a front foot, advancing to $150 in 1887. 
Eighty acres east of Broadway and north of Twenty-first street, which sold 
in 1878 at $450 an acre, was bought at $10,325 an acre by a syndicate in 1886. 
Lots in the business centers sold in 1887 at $1,200 to $2,500 a front foot, 
and in the West bottoms at $600 to $750 ; some lots in Turner & Co.'s addition 
sold for $1,000 a front foot. 


A wave of extravagant speculation passed around the world in 1886-87. 
It 'appeared that almost every sort of commodity dealt in by man became 
subject to wide fluctuation and prices became a matter of indifference to those 
who wished to buy. Kansas City real estate received the full force of this 
flood of speculation and lots were bought and sold with the same facility as po- 
tatoes and apples. The supply of town lots not being sufficient, tracts in the 
out-lying country were platted and "choice" corners that were sold at fancy 
prices then, still are abandoned to undergrowth, or still are used for pastures 
or truck gardens. The "boom" became an era in the history of Kansas City. 
Fortunes were made and lost, and some of the most substantial men built 
firm foundations in 1886-87, while others became financial wrecks. Deeds were 
given in a minority of cases when sales were made, contracts being passed 
from hand to hand by assignment, frequently several times in one day. 

The stories of the transactions of those exciting days are interesting now 
to disinterested persons. One of the most notable of the deals was the sale 
of lots in the Goodrich addition, between Broadway and Baltimore avenue and 
Seventeenth and Twenty-first streets. A syndicate was formed and purchased 
the tract for $800,000. When the opening day of sale arrived, buyers lined 
up in front of the agent's office and had tickets issued in order that everyone 
might buy in his proper turn. The line was a long one before the doors were 
opened. All lots appeared alike to the buyer; he simply wanted a lot or lots. 
Within one year the entire tract was closed out for $1,800,000, and the million 
dollars was divided among the members of the syndicate. 

Prices in the Goodrich addition underwent a slow decline until one tract 
of about two hundred feet which formerly was rated at $200 a front foot was 
sold in 1903 for $35 a front foot. In 1908, the same tract was sold by the 
purchaser at $300 a foot, a clear profit, less taxes and interest, of $265 a foot 
on the investment. Land was purchased on South Broadway in 1886 for $200 
a front foot and upward, because it appeared that the railroad companies de- 
sired to construct a new Union Passenger station at Twenty-third street and 
Broadway. Twenty-three years later, the railroads announced that they would 
build a Union station at Twenty-third and Main streets. In the interim values 
swung down to $25 and back again. This shows how steady a locality can 
become with proper support and also gives an uncomfortable hint as to the 
significance of "Number 23." 

Numerous investment and loan corporations, capitalized at from $200,000 
to $2,500,000, operating with Eastern and European funds, contributed 
largely to the conditions that brought on the boom. These were money lend- 
ing enterprises, and most of them extended their transactions over a large 
scope of tributary country. The local real estate agencies of that same period 
contributed in a large degree to the substantial development of the city, and 


with few exceptions their operations were conducted prudently and with the 
fullest measure of financial integrity. Several hundred agents were engaged 
in buying and selling realty and the aggregate of the transactions was enor- 
mous, increasing from $2,021,600 in 1872 and $4,634,401 in 1879 to $26,- 
500,000 in 1886. The latter figures are those of recorded transactions in that 
phenomenal year. Large aggregate values have been quoted but are only 
estimates based on deals made on the street, in which there was no real trans- 
fer of property. The growth in commercial lines and the vast concentration 
of eastern capital through the trust and investment companies, with the possi- 
bility of Kansas City becoming a successful rival of Chicago and St. Louis 
in various industries, unduly stimulated the real estate market and inflated 

Dealing in city lots became a craze, and even men dependent upon small 
salaries, as clerks and mechanics, bought on monthly payments. The time 
came when dealers had exhausted their purchasing powers and buyers ceased 
to bid for property at any price. In the reaction, fictitious values were oblit- 
erated and much of the highly priced property relapsed to sellers under mort- 
gage proceedings. 

The first organization of the real estate dealers of Kansas City was ef- 
fected in 1886 in the boom period. The first annual report of the organization, 
which was known as the Kansas City Real Estate and Stock exchange, shows 
that the object of the dealers who became the incorporators, was to regulate 
the business which had become degraded because of improper practices of irre- 
sponsible persons. Many took advantage of the excitement of the day, when 
speculation was wild, and dealt in real estate without financial or moral back- 
ing. Owners of property became distrustful and dissatisfied on account of 
treatment received from the "curbstones" and frequently law suits grew out 
of their improper and unwarranted actions. 

It was found necessary by the regular dealers to remove this stigma and 
to place the real estate business on an equally high plane, which it deserved, 
with all other legitimate lines of business. At that time there was more than 
three hundred persons and firms advertising themselves as real estate agents, 
each one acting on his own plans and governed only by his own ideas of 
justice and morals. The final plans of organization were completed on the date 
of the great cyclone of May 11, 1886, and the members were actually assem- 
bling at the old Natatorium on Eighth street between Central and May streets, 
in the center of the path of the cyclone when the storm burst. The baptism 
of wind did not check the activity of the real estate men. 

Membership in the Real Estate exchange in 1908 was limited to those 
dealers who were regularly licensed and who had a recognized standing in 
the community for integrity and reliability. In the beginning the member- 


ship was limited by the bylaws to one hundred, but the rapid growth of the 
city made this a hardship on deserving applicants and the limit was dropped. 
The initiation fees and the annual dues were much larger in the early days 
of the Exchange than in later years. 

The benefits derived from organization were so great that it was deter- 
mined to purchase a lot and erect a building for the use of the association. 
This enterprise, in later years, became a burden on the organization and 
finally was abandoned. In dull times following the collapse of values, it be- 
came difficult to sustain a live interest in the Exchange, which was an incor- 
porated company with a capital stock of $10,000. The building finally passed 
out of the hands of the organization because of the depreciation in values 
and decrease in business of the members. 

In the first year of the Exchange, certain other agents who were excluded 
from membership, formed an organiaztion with a similar title. The Secretary 
of State refused to grant a charter on representations made by the original 
body and the case was taken to the Suppreme court of Missouri, which upheld 
the Secretary of State in his refusal to grant a charter. The preliminary or- 
ganization was concluded on May 17, 1886, and on July 22, 1886, the formal 
opening took place. The officers for the first year were: Theodore S. Case, 
president; E. M. "Wright, vice president; A. A. Whipple, treasurer; W. V. 
Lippincott, Jr., secretary; and S. E. Swanson, assistant secretary. Some of the 
objects of the Exchange, announced at that time, were as follows: To secure 
uniform rates of brokerage on real estate transactions; to maintain principles 
of honesty and fair dealing in the operations of licensed real estate brokers ; 
to establish and maintain the calling of the real estate agent in a position of 
dignity and responsibility; to devise, encourage and foster schemes of public 
improvement and benefit to the city at large. 

These men who were charter members of the Exchange were members 
in 1908: John Bayha, T. T. Crittenden, Jr., John F. Downing, T. J. Green, 
J. Scott Harrison, George Hoffman, P. H. Madden, George Law, W. H. Royer, 
Simpson & Groves, R. L. Winter, C. W. Whitehead, B. T. Whipple, A. A. 
Whipple, W. S. Woods. 

The proper conduct of the real estate business is a potent factor in deter- 
mining the future of the city. The investment of outside capital in purchases 
of real property, in loans on such security, and in the erection of buildings of 
all sorts, is largely governed by the treatment of outside investors by the real 
estate agent. In 1901, when it became evident that the real estate association 
could work to better advantage under new organization, application was made 
to the Secretary of State for a charter and the new association was formed. 
The purposes of the association, as stated before, were to promote knowledge 
of municipapl affairs and of taxation, with special reference to real estate; 


to collect information and data; to increase acquaintanceship among the mem- 
bers of the association and to maintain suitable rooms or quarters for meetings 
of the members and for study, discussion and social intercourse; to aid at all 
times in the development and improvement of the city. 

As an indication of the conservatism of leading members of this body, 
a resolution was introduced at a directors' meeting in February, 1901, pro- 
viding that the Board of Park commissioners be petitioned not to make any 
further expenditures in the way of acquisition of new parks and boulevards 
in the west, north and south districts. It does not appear that the general body 
approved the resolution, however. In January, 1902, a motion was passed 
excluding newspaper reporters from the monthly dinners. There was a general 
protest against this policy, and all times since invitations have regularly been 
issued to newspaper men, who have made public all important actions of the 
Exchange, and in this way increased its influence. A determined effort was 
made by the Exchange members in .1903 to secure the adoption by the Legis- 
lature of a law, establishing the Torrens system of real estate transfers. Attor- 
neys were employed, committees visited Jefferson City and much time and 
money was spent in the effort to place in the Statutes of Missouri this necessary 
enactment.- The opposition of abstracters of real estate titles, and of many 
attorneys throughout the state, defeated the bill. A committee was appointed 
in 1903 to oppose the arbitrary actions of the State Factory inspector who at- 
tempted to arrest and impose fines upon property owners by putting his own 
construction on the law, regulating fire escapes. A committee of the Exchange 
working with the city officials had a new fire escape bill passed which was 
fairly satisfactory as a compromise, but not as it should be. In the same year, 
the Exchange took up the question of open specifications and competition on 
city contracts as a check on the system which had prevailed, favoring certain 
bidders. A special meeting was called in March, 1903, to discuss the question 
of issuing bonds to improve the water works, parks, and for. building a new 
city hospital. George M. Shelley and D. J. Haff addressed the Exchange on 
these subjects. There was a full attendance and resolutions were adopted favor- 
ing not less than one million dollars for parks, one million dollars for water 
works and $400,000 for the hospital. The agitation for a bond issue induced 
Mayor J. A. Reed to form a Bond commission to consider fully the necessities 
in the matter and to act in an advisory capacity with the City council The 
real estate dealers were fully represented on this commission and materially 
influenced its final action, favoring improvements in the water works and 
park system and a new city hospital. 

A few days before the crest of the 1903 flood reached Kansas City, the 
Exchange went on record at a called meeting with the following resolution: 
Resolved that the Honorable Mayor and Common Council of the city be urged 


to take such steps as may be necessary and with the utmost expedition to hold 
an election for the amendment of the charter at the earliest possible day in 
the future ; that in view of the great disaster to the Water Works System and 
the necessity for placing the plant beyond any possibility of similar injuries 
in the future, a large increase in the amount of bonds is necessary but the 
immediate action required, is the forwarding of the proposed election for 
amendment of the charter, empowering the city to issue the necessary bonds. 

In October, 1903, at the largest meeting ever held by the Exchange up 
to time, strong resolutions again were adopted, demanding flood protec- 
tion. At this meeting the guests and speakers were: Colonel C. F. Morse, S. 
Waters Fox, United States Engineer; Congressman W. S. Cowherd; 0. V. 
Dodge, President of Manufacturers' and Merchants' association; E. J. Roe, 
vice-president of the Commercial club; J. S. Silvey, secretary of the Mercan- 
tile club of Kansas City, Kas. ; George M. Shelley; H. S. Boice, president of 
Live Stock exchange; W. C. Goffe, vice-president of the Board of Trade. 

The Exchange in October, 1903, took up the work of raising $15,000 to 
make a practical representation of Kansas City at the World's Fair in St. 
Louis. The money was expended on the Casino, one of the most attractive 
small buildings at the fair. The regulation of the smoke nuisance ; the offer- 
ing of rewards for the apprehension of plumbing thieves; for the conviction of 
persons destroying the "For Sale" signs; the proper regulation of fire escapes; 
the proper construction and care of apartment houses and tenement houses; 
and other reforms were urged by the real estate Exchange. The Exchange 
in 1904 urged appropriations from Congress for the improvement of the 
Missouri river, and in 1905, made subscriptions for the capital stock of a boat 

The morals of the City Hall were not overlooked, and in 1904, resolu- 
tions were put through, urging on the City Treasurer and City Auditor that 
they should employ none but efficient honest men in their respective offices, 
regardless of politics. The real estate dealers in 1904 took up the movement 
to encourage the establishment of cotton mills in Kansas City and the mem- 
bers were largely responsible for the establishment of the large cotton mill in 
Kansas City, Kas., two of them traveling through the South, collecting infor- 
mation for the benefit of the public. It was in 1904 that the Real Estate 
exchange began insisting that a new city charter be adopted and it continued 
to urge this matter, in spite of a defeat at the polls, until the charter of 1908 
was adopted. The members of the Exchange took a prominent part in framing 
the new charter. The Real Estate exchange members assisted in the fight 
for cheap gas and only discontinued their work when cheap gas was obtained. 

When it was suggested that a $20,000 fund be raised to advertise Kansas 


City seventeen subscriptions were made by the real estate dealers at the first 
meeting and nearly 50 per cent of the amount was subscribed by them. 

When the proposed Constitutional amendments prepared for consideration 
at the election of November, 1908, were made public, the Real Estate exchange 
called for a public discussion and invited the Honorable F. N. Judson, the 
Chairman of the Tax commission, to come to Kansas City, to address the Ex- 
change and invited guests. A delegation of real estate dealers from Kansas 
City attended the national convention of real estate dealers in Chicago in 
1908, and assisted in the organization of a National association. 

These are the names of the presidents of the old Real Estate exchange: 
C. W. Whitehead, P. H. Madden, C. D. Parker, J. Scott Harrison, V. F. Boor, 
E. H. Phelps. Colonel Phelps always was an active member and it was largely 
to his efforts that the continuous existence of the Exchange is due. He served 
as president several terms when the interest was at a low tide. 

Following are the names of the presidents of the new Real Estate ex- 
change of Kansas City with the date of their service : C. J. Hubbard, 1901 ; 
P. H. Phelps, 1902; John A. Moore, 1903; A. A. Whipple, 1904; E. F. Allen, 
1905; A. C. Cowan, 1906; B. T. Whipple, 1907; E. R. Crutcher, 1908. 

The headquarters of the Exchange have been at various times in the 
Natatorium building on Eighth street, near Central; Armour building, Fifth 
and Delaware streets ; Real Estate building, Wall street between Seventh and 
Eighth streets; and the New York Life building. Since the reorganization 
of the Exchange in 1901, the office of the president has been considered the 
headquarters, no regular meeting place being provided. 



Kansas City owns and operates (in 1908) one of its public utilities. This 
is the water service. Its other utilities depending upon public franchises — 
street railways, electric lighting, gas, telephone, refrigerating and heat and 
power service — are under private ownership and operation. A variety of con- 
ditions affect the regulation of these privately owned public utilities, according 
to the terms of their franchises and the state of the laws at the time these 
rights accrued. 

Only those services which are purely municipal or at most municipal 
and suburban in their scope are here considered. Steam railways, with their 
terminal facilities, are for the most part under state jurisdiction, and, besides, 


the usual nomenclature of such things does not include as municipal public 
utilities the railways whose entrance here makes Kansas City the second most 
important railway center in America. 

The Water Works was purchased by Kansas City from its private owner, 
the National Water Company, in 1895. The purchase was the result of 
much discussion and litigation, the city finally gaining possession by the 
payment of $3,175,000. Of this sum $3,100,000 was paid for the general 
water works and $75,000 for the Westport pipe line. In the period since 
that time the service has been greatly extended, the plant very largely made 
over and reequipped. A conservative estimate of its value in 1908 was 
ings of the service, the bonds issued for the purpose, in addition to the orig- 
in the sinking fund for their further reduction. 

inal purchase issue, being $1,100,000. In the same period bonds were re- 
tired. The bonded debt in 1908 was $3,492,000 with about $250,000 

The plant thus shows a profit of approximately five million dollars 
in the value of the existing physical property. But this is not all, the city 
receiving free water service for fire hydrants, street cleaning, sewer flush- 
ing and public building uses that would have cost the city at the prevailing 
water rates, $210,300 a year. The city has not saved this sum each year 
since the municipalization of the plant because the average amount used 
has not been so great as for the year 1907, but the total actual saving in 
these departments for the thirteen years has been more than one and one- 
half million dollars. 

In this period, too, the rates to customers of all classes were reduced 
on an average of nearly 25 per cent from those in force under private own- 
ership. The first reduction was of 15 per cent, the second was of 10 per 
cent under the first reduced scale of prices. It would be conjectural to state 
whether these reductions are greater or less than might have been expected 
had a water franchise remained in private control. Without attempting 
any comparison with a supposititious private ownership it yet has been a 
subject of much interest whether it would not be more equitable to reduce 
the rates to consumers to cover the cost of services to them than to hold 
the rates at a level when the actual users of water pay not only for what 
$8,500,000. The improvements have been chiefly paid for from the earn- 
they get, but for the service through the public hydrants and, as well, for 
the extension and maintenance of a property that virtually belongs to the 
land and in which the water users, as such, can have no permanent interest. 

The water supply is drawn from the Missouri river, four miles above 
Kansas City, Kansas. This is near the site of the old town of Quindaro 
and the pumping station at this point is called the Quindaro station. It is 
equipped with six pumps of a total daily capacity of one hundred and seven 


million gallons. The intake in the river at this point is not wholly secure nor 
adequate, and there an early betterment is contemplated. The settling basins 
at Quindaro have a capacity of forty-five million gallons. 

The great flood in the Kaw and Missouri rivers in 1903 carried away 
the flow line, which before that time crossed the Kaw river on a low bridge, 
and left Kansas City without the water service for two weeks. 

This disaster hastened the work of rehabilitating the entire physical 
system in accordance with plans that had been recommended a year earlier 
by an expert commission composed of George H. Benzenberg of Milwaukee, 
Stephen A. Mitchell and John Donnelly of Kansas City. The largest de- 
tail of the improvement was the laying of a new thirty-six inch flow line 
from the Quindaro supply station to the west bank of the Kaw river and the 
construction under the bed of the river through the solid rock of a six foot 
aqueduct crossing to the east bank of the stream. There a connection is 
made with two thirty-inch pipes leading to the Turkey Creek station. 

At the Turkey Creek station are storage basins with a capacity of 
nine million gallons and a pumping plant equipped with six pumps having 
a combined daily capacity of sixty-one million gallons. The pumps here 
force the water to the Holly street reservoir, holding nine million gallons. 
and throughout the city's three hundred and seventy-one miles of distrib- 
uting mains. It was part of the plan of ultimate enlargement of the water 
works system to establish other reservoirs through the city — a detail which, 
in 1908, is being pressed by the superintendent and the water commissioners. 
The water service has now no filtering system. It has been estimated 
that adequate filtering beds would cost three million dollars. The plan is 
to provide them, though nothing definite had been done to that end in 
1908. Larger settling basins are first to be secured. In those already es- 
tablished a solution of lime and alum is used to precipitate the foreign sub- 
stances in the supply drawn from the river and to clarify the water. The 
city chemist asserts that this water is much purer and freer of germs than 
the average of the water from springs. Analyses showed variously forty, 
fifty, one hundred and seventy, two hundred and thirty and three hundred 
germs per cubic centimeter in samples of city water tested. Water contain- 
ing fewer than five hundred germs per centimeter is considered wholesome. 
In the samples taken no pathogenic, or disease-producing, germs were dis- 
covered. Experiments have traced no late cases of typhoid fever to the city 
water supply, but several have been found attributable to spring and well 
water and to milk. Deaths from typhoid have averaged sixty a year. This 
is not abnormal among cities, but it is too high; that is. much of the mor- 
tality can be prevented by improving the water service. Dr. "Walter M. 
Cross, the city chemist, explains that while turbid water is not more likely 


to be impure than clear water, many persons drink impure clear water from 
cisterns, wells and springs from fear of the much purer city water which 
has not been well clarified. 

The general management of the water works is under the control of 
the board of public works, the members of that board sitting, in this regard, 
as a board of water commissioners. The physical or constructive phases of 
the service are directly controlled by a chief engineer and superintendent. 
The two offices have at times been filled by one man. The financial con- 
duct of the plant, under the general supervision of the water commissioners, 
is in the hands of the assessor and collector of water rates. But the entire 
waterworks department is under the general and final authority of the city 
council. Appointments to positions in both branches of the service are in 
the hands of the mayor or his appointed board of public works. The head 
officers must be confirmed in their appointment by the upper house of the 
council. Under the city charter adopted August 4, 1908, the subordinate 
employees are protected by the merit system of civil service, as are the em- 
ployees of other municipal departments. 

The officers, in July, 1908, are: Board of Water Commissioners: Rob- 
ert L. Gregory, president; Lynn S. Banks, R. H. Williams, Wallace Love; 
superintendent, S. Y. High ; chief engineer, William G. Goodwin ; and as- 
sessor and collector, George M. Shelley. 

The largest public utility corporation in Kansas City in 1908 is the 
Kansas City Railway and Light Company, owning and controlling the Met- 
ropolitan Street Railway Company and the Kansas City Electric Light Com- 
pany. The corporation is stocked and bonded for approximately forty-five 
million dollars. Of this, twelve and one-half million is in preferred stock, 
twelve and one-half million in common stock and twenty million dollars is 
in bonds, much of the bonds being held in the treasury to issue against the 
bonds of the constituent companies as they fall due. The market value of 
the corporation securities is about thirty-three and three-quarter million dol- 
lars, the bonds selling for practically par, the preferred stock at seventy 
cents on the dollar and the common stock at forty. 

The Metropolitan Street Railway Company operates in Kansas City, 
Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas, a consolidation of several street railway 
lines that received franchises at various periods in the city's growth. Some 
of the lines were once horse car lines, some cable lines and some electric. 
All are electric in 1908, except a portion of the Twelfth street lines, between 
Washington street and the stock yards. The cable line is used pending the 
construction of some kind of a trafficway between the higher and lower levels 
of the city. 


The franchises of the several constituent companies were harmonized 
and given the same terms by extension ordinances of 1899 and 1902. The 
latter of these, known as the "peace agreement," confirmed and limited all 
franchises to a period expiring June 1, 1925. It required or permitted the 
company to make certain extensions of its lines, confirmed a five-cent fare, 
established universal free transfers and provided a five-cent fare to the city's 
Swope park, outside the city limits. The company agreed to pay the city 
8 per cent of its gross earnings, out of which the city was first to pay all the 
state, school and county taxes levied against the company and keep the res- 
idue in lieu of any municipal general property tax, car, license, occupation 
or other taxes. But if the city's receipts from the 8 per cent should not 
equal in one year the sum that the city might exact under the general taxing 
power pins the possible receipts from a car tax of $50 a car, the city could 
levy and collect taxes to make up the deficit. The agreement also provided 
time schedules for the running of the cars. 

The Metropolitan Street Railway company operates all the street rail- 
ways in both Kansas Citys except the line of the Kansas City-Leavenworth 
electric line. It also operates the lines to Independence, Fairmount park, 
Swope park and Marlborough. The system in 1908 includes 223 miles of sin- 
gle track. The maximum number of its cars in service is about six hundred. 
As shown by the published report of the holding corporation the street car 
company carried in the twelve months ending May 31, 1907, something over 
one hundred and thirty-six million persons. The gross earnings of the 
street railway fof the same period were $4,821,902. This was a gain of 
nearly $400,000 over the previous twelve months. 

While a few building owners supply electric light and power to limited 
surrounding areas, and many factories, stores and office structures are 
equipped with their own electric plants, the greatest bulk of this public 
service is furnished by the Kansas City Electric Light Company, affiliated 
with the Metropolitan Street Railway Company under the ownership of 
the Kansas City Railway and Light Company. This company operates un- 
der any one or all of several varying franchises that were granted to orig- 
inal companies before the city charter of 1889 was adopted. At least two of the 
franchises grant perpetual rights. They exact no compensation from the 
company to the city and place no restrictions upon the rates the company 
may charge. It may demand as much per kilowatt hour — the standard of 
measurement — as a consumer will be willing to pay, or may grant to some 
one else as low a rate as it pleases. The rates charged the city are a matter 
of contract. By ordinance, embodying a contract, arc street lights are fur- 
nished at $65 each year. The Electric Light Company's gross earnings for 
the fiscal year ending May 31, 1907, were $893,436.66. 


Another utility company controlled by the Kansas City Railway and 
Light Company is the Kansas City Heating Company, operating under a 
franchise granted in 1906 to Bernard Corrigan and C. X. Black. This 
company distributed steam for heating and laid pipes through a consider- 
able portion of the business section of the city. 

The officers and directors of the Kansas City Railway and Light Com- 
pany for 1908 are: Officers — Bernard Corrigan. president: Charles X. 
Black, vice-president and general manager; W. E. Kirkpatrick, secretary 
and treasurer; J. A. Harder, auditor and assistant secretary and treasurer. 
Directors — Samuel McRoberts of Chicago, chairman; J. Ogden Armour. Chi- 
cago; Charles W. Armour, Kansas City; Charles X. Black, Kansas City: 
George W. Bacon. New York; Bernard Corrigan. Kansas City; Henry C. 
Flower, Kansas City; Edward George. Kansas City: Joseph J. Heim. Kan- 
sas City: L. E. James, Kansas City; H. 0. Coughlin, Jersey City. X. J.; 
Kenneth K. McLaren, Jersey City. X. J. : E. F. Swinney, Kansas City ; 
Hugh C. Ward. Kansas City. 

Kansas City has two telephone systems, one, the older, the Missouri 
and Kansas Telephone Company controlled by. or affiliated with, the Bell 
organization ; the other, the Home Telephone Company. 

The Missouri and Kansas Company has no municipal franchise. It op- 
erates under the general law of the state and assumed its privileges before 
the city charter of 1S89 was adopted. It pays to the city 2 per cent of its 
annual gross earnings. It also pays a yearly conduit tax. at the rate of 30 
cents a linear foot for the first six miles of conduits and 20 cents a foot for 
all in excess of that length. It has four miles of conduits. Whether it 
must also pay an imposed wire and pole and conduit tax is a legal question 
that has not been determined. The company, however, is subject to the 
general police power of the city, affecting its right to erect poles and string 
overhead wires. The Bell Company in 1908 has about 20,000 telephone in- 
struments in service. The company is not limited in its rates of charge. 
Its revenues for the year ending December 31, 1907, were $2,428,892; its 
expenses $1,740,071. 

The Home Telephone Company acquired the thirty-year franchise that 
was granted to John Enoch by the city council in Xovember, 1901. Cnder 
this franchise the company was to pay 2 per cent of its gross receipts, fur- 
nish 30 free telephones to the city hall and was limited in its rates of charge 
to $36 a year for residence service and $60 a year for business sendee. The 
itemized reports for the company show 20,146 telephones in use, of which 
the yearly gross earnings per telephone for the year ending March 31, 1908, 
were $39.07; its expenses were $21.04; net income, $18.03; interest allow- 
ance, $7.64, leaving a surplus net income of $10.39 for each telephone in 


use. The year's gross earnings of the company were $766,945, and for the 
same period, expenses, $412,970; net earnings, $353,974; interest charges, 
$150,101 ; surplus, $203,873. Its long distance service for the year ending 
March 31 1908, gave these fiscal returns: Gross earnings, $188,265; ex- 
penses, $79,340; net earnings, $108,926; interest charges, $53,882; surplus, 
$55,043. The Home Company is subject to the same taxes and police pow- 
ers operative against the Missouri and Kansas Company. Both companies 
have long distance connections. 

The utility of gas is under the control of McGowan, Small and Mor- 
gan, grantees under a franchise, for thirty years period, granted September 
27, 1906. These grantees represent the same interests that controlled the 
Kansas City, Missouri, Gas Company that furnished artificial gas at $1.00 
a thousand cubic feet. "McGowan, Small and Morgan, grantees," consti- 
tute the gas interests for the municipality of Kansas City, Missouri. But the 
supply of gas is brought by pipe line from the natural gas fields in south- 
eastern Kansas, the gas fields and pipe lines being controlled by separate 
corporations known as the Kansas Natural Gas Company, the Kansas City 
Pipe Line Company and the Kaw Gas Company. The interrelation and 
various specific functions of these several companies are difficult to deter- 
mine — so difficult that the lawyers in the employ of Kansas City are not 
quite clear on the point. Some of the company's pipe lines are 125 miles 
long. The gas is pumped from the wells, the principal pumping stations 
being at Petrolia, Kansas, and Scipio, Kansas. 

Under the franchise the grantees or their assignees are permitted to 
charge for domestic consumption 25 cents a thousand cubic feet for the first 
five years, 27 cents for the succeeding five years, and 30 cents for each year 
thereafter. If at the end of ten years they can show that the gas cannot be 
profitably supplied at the 30 cent rate they may increase the charge. But if 
they do this the city's right to purchase the plant or to regulate the rates 
becomes operative. The city receives 2 per cent of the company's gross earn- 
ings. For the six months ending July 1, 1908, these gross earnings - amounted 
to $1,003,449.78. This attested a remarkable increase in the sale of natural 
gas. For the six months ending July 1, 1907, the first full semi-annual 
period after the change from artificial to natural gas, the earnings were 
$189,316.08; for the period ending with December 31, 1907, the earnings 
were $428,844.19. The advance of more than $800,000 in a year's time was 
due to the general substitution of gas for coal as a fuel for cooking and heat- 
ing in dwellings and very largely in hotels and office buildings and even to 
a considerable extent in manufacturing establishments. The rate of charge 
for manufacturer's uses is ten cents a thousand cubic feet. The boulevards 
and many of the other residence streets are equipped with gas lamps. The 


city pays $12 a lamp, yearly, the fixtures being supplied by the gas com- 

The Kansas City Viaduct and Terminal Railway Company owns a toll 
viaduct crossing all the lowlands and the Kaw river that lie between Sixth 
and Bluff streets in Kansas City, Missouri, and Third street and Minnesota 
avenue, in Kansas City, Kansas. The viaduct is a monumental structure 
one and a half miles long with a, broad asphalted road-way and double tracks 
for street cars. It is supported on heavy steel pillars and trusses, strong 
enough to carry steam railway traffic. Approaches intersecting from streets 
in the West bottoms are equipped with steam elevators for lifting horses 
and heavily loaded drays from the street below to the top viaduct level. The 
viaduct is for the use of pedestrians and vehicles and street cars. The 
company pays 2 per cent of its gross earnings from street railway traffic 
to Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas, the former municipal- 
ity receiving 51 per cent of the 2 per cent, and the latter 49 per cent. Kan- 
sas City, Missouri, also receives 2 per cent of all tolls collected at its entrance 
to the viaduct, while Kansas City, Kansas, is paid 2 per cent of all re- 
ceipts at the Kansas end of the structure. 

Kansas City did not avail itself of its full municipal powers under the 
authority of the state constitution of 1875 until the adoption of a charter 
in 1889. Before that time it had only limited police powers over its pub- 
lic service corporations, which operated under franchises granted by the 
state. Under the later constitutional charter the city granted franchises 
limited by the charter to not greater than thirty-year periods, and possessed 
and exercised the authority to regulate service and conform it to not only 
specific contract requirements but to the reasonable demands of public con- 
venience and safety. As an instance of this authority the city council or- 
dained that the wires of telephone, telegraph, signal service and electric 
light plants should be placed under ground in the district lying between 
Second and Twentieth streets and Jefferson streets and Forest avenue. This 
requirement was only partly complied with. It developed, however, that the 
power to regulate and prescribe rates of charge for public utilities had not 
been delegated to the city and still remained with the state legislature. To 
supply this deficiency in the municipal powers the legislature of 1907, at a 
special session, passed what is known as an enabling act conferring on every 
incorporated town and city in the state the right to fix rates of charge for pub- 
lic utilities. To determine what are reasonable regulations of charges a city 
council may authorize or appoint a commission to make investigation into all 
facts and conditions affecting the establishing of public service rates. To this 
end the commission can compel the attendance of witnesses and the produc- 
tion of books and papers of the companies investigated. The commission 



reports its discoveries to the city council for action. If the council takes 
action on this report, or on its own initiative without the aid of a commis- 
sion, and if the corporations allege that the action is unreasonable they 
have an expressed right to a court review of the action taken. 

By authority of this general enabling act the city council of Kansas 
City provided for a Public Utilities commission of seven members to be 
appointed by the mayor and having the authority to employ a legal coun- 
selor and an expert on public service corporation affairs in the statutory in- 
quiries. The commission which was named by Mayor T. T. Crittenden, 
jr., is composed of E. W. Hayes, I. E. Bernheimer, John J. Green, John 
N. Payne, George M. Myers, John T. Smith and R. W. Hocker. The com- 
mission was appointed May 31, 1908. 

The history of the public utilities is an important part of the annals 
of Kansas City. The establishment of the first gas works, the first water 
works system, the first electric light plant and the first street! car system 
were historical events in Kansas City. 

The city obtained a charter for gas works from the Missouri legisla- 
ture in 1866, but a plant was not constructed until 1867. In April of that 
year Thomas Pratt of St. Louis bought the franchise of the company and 
constructed a plant that was placed in operation in October, 1867. 

The Kansas City Electric Light Company, organized in 1882, was the 
first concern to furnish commercial electricity in Kansas City. The original 
plant was situated at the corner of Eighth and Santa Fe streets. The Thom- 
son-Houston system of arc lighting was used. The station was equipped 
with Corliss engines and Babcock & Wilcox boilers. It is said that the Kan- 
sas City Electric Light Company's old powerhouse was the first central elec- 
tric light station in the world to be equipped with the Thomson-Houston 
system. One of the original bi-polar dynamos, invented by Thomas -A. 
Edison, was used at the old electric light plant. 

There were forty arc lights on the first circuit of the Kansas City Elec- 
tric Light Company. Most- of the lights were in stores in the down-town 
district, where they were a great attraction to the crowds on the streets. No 
electric lights were used on the streets until an explosion at the gas com- 
pany plant in 1885. Twenty-five lights were installed for the city. The 
Thomson-Houston incandescent system was placed in use in 1885-86. The 
•second electric light concern in Kansas City was the Sperry Company, or- 
ganized in 1886, using the invention of Elmer A. Sperry of Chicago, and 
the illuminating system of incandescent lighting under patents by West- 
inghouse, Schallenberger, and Telsa. The Edison Electric Light Company 
came next in 1887. Its original station was situated at Seventh and Wall 


streets. The Consolidated Electric Light and Power Company of Kansas 
City, Kansas, was the next to enter the field. It established a plant in 1888. 

The need of a water works system in Kansas City. became apparent early 
in 1870, and the residents began to discuss plans for obtaining a plant. The 
city council passed an ordinance recommending a bond issue of $300,000 
to build a water works system. The proposition was submitted to the people 
and ratified in an election, June 2, 1870. Afterwards it was ascertained 
that the election was irregular because persons had been permitted to vote 
who had not registered according to law. The informality of the election 
would have made the bonds of doubtful validity, and the proposition to 
build a water-works plant was abandoned, but not until after much discus- 

The residents continued to urge the construction of a water plant, 
and the city council, in April, 1871, passed an ordinance authorizing the 
building of a system. A local company was organized with Kersey Coates 
as president and H. M. Holden as secretary and treasurer. A contract to 
build the plant was awarded to Locke & Walruff, with the stipulation that 
the work was to begin within six months. The time expired without the 
work of construction having been begun and the contract was forfeited. 

The Missouri legislature passed an act March 24, 1873, granting the 
city the authority to contract with a company to construct a water-works 
system. Under the authority of this law, two propositions were submitted 
to the city in the spring of 1873, and both were rejected. The city' made a 
contract with the water-works company of New York city in October 27, 
1873, that was approved by the citizens. The system was completed in Jan- 
uary, 1875. It consisted of a pumping station with a capacity of five mil- 
lion gallons a day, about sixteen miles of street main and two hundred and 
fifty hydrants. 

The city, according to the contract, guaranteed to the water company 
net earnings to the amount of $56,000 annually until that amount should 
be received from the earnings. The company reported in the winter of 
1875 that the system was complete and demanded that the rents for water 
for fire purposes and the guaranty should begin. At this point a dispute 
arose between the city and the water company that was made an issue in 
the local election in the spring of 1876, and was not adjusted for several 

The source of supply was the Kansas river. The pumping station was 
situated one and a half miles south of the Union depot at the juncture of 
the Kaw river and Turkey Creek. Under the building was a deep well, the 
bottom of which was seven feet below low water in the river. From the well a 
twenty-four inch syphon extended to the river, a distance of 1,350 feet. 


From the well the water was pumped to the settling basins south of the 
station. The capacity of the basins was such that the water remained five 
days before it reached the outlet where it was pumped into the mains by 
the high-pressure machinery. The water used in the lower part of town 
was pumped to a reservoir on a hill near Twenty-first and Holly streets. The 
elevation of the water in the reservoir was 232 feet above the low water 
mark in the Kaw river. 

The original plant consisted of a Holly quadruplex pumping engine, 
compound condensing, with a capacity of about four million gallons a day, 
and a single engine that operated an auxiliary quadruplex pump. The 
machinery was designed by G. W. Pearsons, chief engineer of the water 
works company, and B. Holly, superintendent of the Holly Manufacturing 
company. Soon afterwards a large quadruplex condensing engine, an ad- 
ditional low service pump and a Gaskill compound condensing engine were 
added to the plant. 

Benjamin F. Jones was superintendent of the National Water Works 
Company. The president of the company was Giles E. Taintor, of New 
York city, a member of a well known family of Taintors who were closely 
identified with the commercial and financial history of New York city. The 
Taintors came to America from Wales in 1630, and settled in Colchester, 
Connecticut, ten years after the landing of the Pilgrims. 

The city developed so rapidly that it taxed the capacity of the water 
company to furnish the supply. The Kaw river as a source of supply was 
found to be inadequate and the company began looking for a site for a 
pumping station on the Missouri river. A location was selected at Quin- 
daro on the west bank of the river, five miles up-stream from Kansas City, 
where a reservoir was built with a capacity of 60,000,000 gallons. At Kaw 
point, another pumping station with a capacity of nine million gallons daily 
was built from which water was supplied to the low grounds of Kansas City 
and all of Kansas City, Kansas. 

The city water works system was enlarged and improved at various 
times to keep pace with the growth of the city. About one million dollars 
was expended for improvements in 1887. 

The first street railway was built in 1870, from the corner of Fourth 
and Main streets, by way of Fourth, Walnut and Twelfth streets and Grand 
avenue to Sixteenth street. The line was constructed by the Kansas City 
and Westport Horse Railroad Company, promoted in 1869 by Nehemiah 
Holmes. The incorporators, besides Mr. Holmes, were: W. R. Bernard, Ed- 
ward Price, George W. Briant, E. M. McGee, J. Q. Watkins and William 
Dunlap. The venture was not a financial success. Nehemiah Holmes died 
in 1874 and the company was sold under a deed of trust to a reorganized 


company, known as the Westport and Kansas City Railroad Company, char- 
tered February 5, 1874. Walton H. Holmes, son of the original promoter, 
became manager of the street railway in 1880 and an era of prosperity be- 
gan. The line was sold to the Grand Avenue Cable Company in 1886, and 
converted into a cable railway. 

The Jackson County Horse Railroad Company was organized in 1870 by 
J. Q. Watkins, F. R, Long, A. C. Dyas, D. 0. Smart and C. E. Walrond. 
The company built a street car line in 1873, from the corner of Fourth and 
Main streets west to the State line. The Union Depot Street Railway Com- 
pany built a street car line, 1874, from the corner of Fifth and Delaware 
streets to the stock yards. The Union Depot line and the Jackson County 
line were consolidated under one management. These roads and several 
others became known as the Corrigan system, under the management of 
Thomas Corrigan. The lines were sold to the Metropolitan Street Railway 
Company in 1886 for $1,250,000. 

The Inter-State Rapid Transit Company was organized in December, 
1883, to build a street railway between Kansas City and Wyandotte, Kan- 
sas. The original capital was $600,000. The promoter of the line was D. M. 
Edgerton. Work was begun in May, 1886, and cars were placed in opera- 
tion in October of the same year. The Inter-State Rapid Transit Company 
was merged into other lines and a new organization was known as the In- 
ter-State Consolidated Rapid Transit Railway Company. The elevated rail- 
way through the West bottoms and the Eighth street tunnel were parts of 
the system. Work on the tunnel division of the line, from the Union depot 
to Eighth and Delaware streets, was begun in May, 1887, and the first cars 
were, operated on the tracks in April, 1888. The digging of the tunnel 
through the bluff was a gigantic undertaking. It extended 800 feet through 
slate and solid limestone rock. 

Robert Gillham, a successful civil engineer, was the originator of the 
idea of a cable system in Kansas City. He came to Kansas City poor in 
everything except mental resources, and won distinction in his profession. 
Cable railways had their origin in San Francisco in 1873. The Clay Street 
Hill road in that city, one mile in length, was the first in the world. Kan- 
sas City was the, third city in the world to operate cable railways, Chicago 
being the second. 

Previous to 1885, all of the street cars in Kansas City were operated 
with horses or mules. The Kansas City Cable Railway Company was organ- 
ized in 1885. The promters were: Robert Gillham, William J. Smith and 
George J. Keating. The original cable road extended from the Union depot 
east on Ninth street to Grand avenue, thence north to Eighth street and 
then east to AVoodland avenue where a power house was situated. It was 


the beginning of a new era of development in Kansas City when the cable 
company operated the first car over its road, June 24, 1885. The residents 
had a celebration when the line was completed and the promoters were con- 

The Ninth street incline, a part of the cable railway system, was one of 
the landmarks of the city. This approach to the Union depot waa very 
steep and was greatly dreaded by timid persons. The incline, however, was 
singularly free from fatal accidents. No one was injured until August 23, 
1902, when a down-going car got beyond the control of the gripman and 
crashed into another cable car that had just stopped at the waiting room. W. 
D. Taylor, the gripman on the runaway car, was instantly killed in the 
wreck and fifteen passengers were injured. After the accident two grip cars 
were used on each train that passed over the viaduct. The Ninth street 
incline was abandoned in March, 1904. 

Mr. Smith sold his interest in the Kansas City Cable Railway Company 
for $852,000 in 1894, and it was consolidated with the Grand Avenue Cable 
Railway, that had superseded the old mule cars. This was the beginning 
of several combinations that ultimately resulted in one corporation, the 
Metropolitan Street Railway Company, controlling all the street car lines 
in Kansas City. 

The old Metropolitan Street Railway Company was incorporated July 
24, 1886. The officers were: C. F. Morse, president; W. J. Ferry, secretary; 
A. W. Armour, treasurer. The company was capitalized at $1,250,000, for 
which amount it purchased the Thomas Corrigan system of horse railways. 
The Fifth street, Twelfth street and Eighteenth street horse car lines were 
changed into cable lines at once. The Holmes street line was rebuilt as a 
cable in 1887-88. 

Remarkable progress was made in the construction of cable roads. At 
the beginning of 1887 there, were thirteen miles of cable road in service, 
but at the close of 1887 there were twenty-seven miles practically finished, 
with twenty-two miles in operation. The total additions to the street car 
system in 1887 amounted to thirty-four miles, making in all fifty-three 
miles of street railroad in Kansas City and its suburbs. 

An official statement issued in July, 1890, reported 62.84 miles of street 
railway, of which thirty-six were cable lines, twelve and one-half steam 
dummy lines, eight horse car lines, and six and one-half electric lines. 

The Kansas City, Independence and Park Railway completed a line 
between Kansas City and Independence, September 15, 1887, over which 
it operated cars with steam "dummies." The railway originally extended 
from Fifteenth street and Askew avenue to Independence. The incorpora- 
tors of the company were: W. E. Winner, president; H. E. Marshall, sec- 


retary; J. S. Chick, treasurer; John W. Byers, James M. Love, A. M. Win- 
ner and J. P. Harper. The original capital stock was $120,000. 

The Fifth street cable line was the first to be transferred into an elec- 
tric line. The change was made in November, 1898. The Brooklyn avenue., 
or Tenth street line, was the second to be changed to electricity, in Decem- 
ber, 1899 ; the Westport cable line, changed to electricity in May, 1900, 
was the third. The change from cable to electric lines was rapid after 1900. 

While the Metropolitan Street Railway Company was converting the 
cable lines into electric lines it, at the same time, was forced to provide for the 
increase of business due to the rapid development of the city. In addition 
to reconstructing the roadbed, it was necessary to buy new rolling stock and 
make an enormous increase in the electrical machinery needed for generat- 
ing the necessary power. The changes in the system and the increase in 
business required an expenditure of approximately ten million dollars in 
four years. 



Kansas City's reputation as a commercial center is due, to a very great 
extent, to several aggressive civic associations that have made it their chief 
business to tell the world of the city's unsurpassed advantages and to uphold 
its business integrity. Several commercial associations having worthy pur- 
poses, were organized in the early years of the city's existence, but they ex- 
pired during the Civil war or afterward. 

As the city grew and as greater possibilities for trade developed, the neces- 
sity for a comprehensive organization that would unite the business interests 
of the city and strive for the general advancement of public prosperity, became 
apparent. To meet this need the Commercial club was organized, July 18, 
1887, with fifty-seven members, and incorporated in December of the same 
year under the laws of Missouri. In its articles of incorporation the club gave 
these as its purposes: 

" The objects of the association shall be to promote the progress, extension, 
and increase of the trade and industries of Kansas City, acquire and dissem- 
inate valuable commercial and economical information, promote just and 
equitable principles of trade, and foster the highest commercial integrity 
among those engaged in the various lines of business represented; to increase 
acquaintanceship among its members, and facilitate the speedy adjustment, 


by arbitration, of business disputes; to interchange views, and secure con- 
certed action upon matters of public interest, freely discuss and correct abuses, 
using such means as may be best calculated to promote the interests and 
rights of its members as business men and citizens, looking chiefly toward 
the commercial development of the city." 

These avowed purposes have been accomplished to a great extent. The 
organization became known as the "Club that Does." This complimentary 
notice is from the New York Times: 

" The greatest thing in Kansas City — chief maker of Kansas City, its 
prophet apostle and crowner is the Club That Does. 'The Commercial Club' 
is the incorporate title of it. It is not among the new, hustling elements of 
Kansas City. It has lived long enough to have inspired, started, strengthened, 
developed and rounded out good things multitudinous for the town. From the 
very start it accomplished things, and age inflicts neither languor nor lame- 
ness. Fifteen years ago it started upon its campaign of Kansas City upbuild- 
ing. It had public approval from its beginning; now it commands public 
enthusiasm. More than 800 Kansas City business men are on its rolls, and 
not one laggard on its list." 

The first board of directors of the Commercial club was composed of 
the following: W. B. Grimes, L. E. Irwin, E. L. Martin, W. J. Anderson, 
Ryerson Ritchie, T. B. Bullene, E. M. Brannick, K. L. Barton, Joseph Cahii, 
G. W. Fuller, S. W. Gregory, A. R. Meyer, J. M. Nave, J. G. Stowe, A. G. 
Trumbull and T. F. Willis. From those were named the following officers: 
W. B. Grimes, president; L. E. Irwin, first vice-president; E. L. Martin, sec- 
ond vice-president; W. J. Anderson, treasurer; Ryerson Ritchie, secretary. 

The Commercial club always has been willing to foster any enterprise 
that would benefit Kansas City. Its chief endeavor has been to promote the 
commercial interests of the city. The Commercial club began to urge a re- 
duction in freight rates in 1889. After a contest lasting more than one year, 
the club won a notable victory. The question of transportation rates became 
so important that the Commercial club founded the Transportation bureau, 
presided over by a freight expert, whose business it is to guard the interests 
of Kansas City shippers and especially to correct discrimination in freight 
rates. The Transportation bureau was organized in 1889, in the administra- 
tion of Frank A. Faxon. The first commissioner of transportation was A. J. 
Vanlandingham, appointed November 21, 1889. 

The Commercial club was interested in the movement to re-establish 
steamboat navigation on the Missouri river The organization used its influ- 
ence to induce Congress to make an appropriation for improving the Missouri 
river, and to have a United States engineer located in Kansas City to have 
charge of river improvements. 


The objects and purposes of the Commercial club were clearly set forth 
in an address by A. R. Meyer at his inauguration as president of the club in 
August, 1895: 

" It may be truly said that since the foundation of this association there 
has been no movement seeking the advantage of our city and its business, 
social and moral interests, which, if not indeed originally organized by you, 
at least received received through your endorsement and support that en- 
couragement and character to which success was largely due. The name you 
bear — Commercial Club — does you injustice. It no longer fairly expresses 
the character and object of this association. Starting out with the object 
of promoting social intercourse and mutual helpfulness among men of busi- 
ness, its members, it has become a training school of citizenship, the recognized 
authority and judge of all matters concerning the welfare of our city, the 
genial host of visitors, the accredited representative of the city and its spokes- 
man in all relations with the world about us. 

" To correctly estimate the power of this association for good and for 
the advancement of this city, and in order to show to you, my friends and 
fellow members, the true sphere of activity and the true object and purpose 
of this association, let me ask you to picture to yourselves, if, indeed, your 
imagination can undertake such perilous flight, let me ask you to consider 
what this city might be if all her sons gave to her cause the same generous loy- 
alty and unselfish care, and to their duties as citizens the same attention that 
is given by this association. 

" I ask you again, to make the usefulness and possibilities of this association 
yet more clear, that you contrast with this picture that of a city without 
public spirit and public enterprise; a city populated by people too selfish and 
narrow to realize that individual and the common success and advantage 
are indissolubly connected ; that a healthy soul is impossible without a healthy 
body; that happiness and enjoyment of life are prerequisites to business suc- 
cess and to every other success." 

The Commercial club has branched out far beyond its original purposes 
of having freight, rates reduced, making trade trips and securing other busi- 
ness reforms; not less conspicuous in its records are the campaigns for clean 
streets, public sanitation, and for better park and boulevard system. The Com- 
mercial club advocated the issuance of bonds by the school district to build 
the public library and the Manual Training High school. 

The greatest monument to the Commercial club is Convention hall. The 
club took the initial step toward having the hall built by calling a special 
committee and authorizing the presiding officer to appoint an executive com- 
mittee to solicit subscriptions for the building fund. The meeting was held 
in June, 1897, after the close of a very sucessful " Home product " show 


managed by the Commercial club. Convention hall was dedicated in Febru- 
ary, 1899. When the hall was destroyed by fire. April 4. 1900, it was the 
Commercial club co-operating with the directors of Convention hall that im- 
mediately began to make plans to construct the second building. 

The celebrated slogan of the Commercial club, " Make Kansas City a 
Good Place to Live In," originated with Frank A. Faxon, president of the 
club in 1889-90. 

One of the effective methods employed by the Commercial club to bring 
trade to Kansas City and strengthen business relations with the tributary 
territory is the yearly trade excursion. The trade trips have made friends 
for Kansas City and extended commerce. The first trade excursion of the 
Commercial club was taken in November, 1888, to Holton, Kans. The longest 
trade extension trip was taken in 1903, May 12 to 23, when the journey ex- 
tended to New Mexico. The Commercial club, it is said, was the first organi- 
zation of the kind in the United States to give trade extension trips. 

The Commercial club on many occasions has acted as host for Kansas 
city and entertained distinguished visitors. The club gave a reception to 
Admiral Schley, November 20, 1902. These are the names of some of the 
other noted men entertained by the Commercial club: 

Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, Theodore Roosevelt, Jay Gould, 
Cornelius Vanderbilt, Chauncey Depew, General McArthur, General Funston, 
Lieutenant Hobson, Right Hon. Lord Munson and William M. Chinney of 
London, John Home, Jr., president of the New York Board of Trade; George 
W. Childs, John Wanamaker, Don Francisco Caseo of Old Mexico, and 
Chinese Minister, AVu-Ting-Fang. 

The first annual banquet of the Commercial club was given, November 
19, 1894, to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the commercial 
independence of the United States, or the signing of the treaty between this 
country and Great Britain, negotiated by John Jay. The first annual dinner 
was held at the Coates House and these were among the speakers: Ex-gov- 
ernor Alexander M. Dockery, Senator Y\ T illiam Warner, General McD. Cook, 
Morrison Munford, E. H. Allen and Judge John F. Philips. 

The Commercial club is a legislative body, and no subject of any impor- 
tance is ever determined except by the club in regular or special session. 
Either the standing or special committees must make a report to the club, 
and upon the action of the club depends whether or not the report of any 
committee shall be adopted or rejected. The standing committees of the 
Commercial club are as follows: Arbitration, auditing, executive, entertain- 
ment, house, insurance, municipal legislation, state and national legislation, 
transportation, manufacturers, trade extension, membership and inter-city 


A board of directors of fifteen members is elected annually, and from 
their number the officers for the ensuing year are chosen. The secretary is 
elected by the board of directors. There have been only two secretaries of 
the club since its organization : Ryerson Ritchie, who served from 1887 to 
1892, and E. M. Clendenning, elected in September, 1892 and serving in 
1908. It is an unwritten law in the club that no man shall serve more than 
one year as president. The term begins in September. These are the names 
of the presidents : 

William B. Grimes, 1887-88; L. E. Irwin, 1888-89; Frank A. Faxon, 
1889-90 ; J. M. Patterson, 1890-91 ; G. F. Putman, 1891-92 ; Charles Campbell, 
1892-93; J. C. James, 1893-94; George W. Fuller, 1894-95; A. R. Meyer, 
1895-98; M. V. Watson, 1898-97; William Barton, 1897-98; H. W. Evans, 
1898-99; U. S. Epperson. 1899-00; C. J. Schmelzer, 1900-01; W. B. Thayer, 
1901-02; J. F. Richards, 1902-03; A. D. Parker, 1903-04; L. M. Miller, 
1904-05; J. D. Robertson, 1905-06; O. V. Dodge, 1906-07; H. B. Topping, 

The membership of the Commercial club in 1908 included nine honorary 
and 437 active firms, or an active membership of 1,130 individuals. The 
membership of the club represents about 75 million dollars in capital. The 
Commercial club moved into its present (1908) quarters in the Board of 
Trade building, August 1, 1888. 

A small group of business men met early in the spring of 1898 to dis- 
cuss the formation of an organization that would foster and develop the 
young business interests of the city— a field somewhat different from that 
ocupied by the Commercial club. The first gathering led to another and finally 
a meeting was held, May 26, 1898, to perfect the desired association. C. A. 
Shepard, president of an oil company, called the meeting to order, and the 
talk of organizing the association that has proved to be a power in Kansas 
City, was begun. 

Walter S. Dickey, who had been chosen temporary chairman, and John 
N. Powell, who had been elected temporary secretary, -began their work. R. G. 
Weber suggested the name, " The Manufacturers Association of Kansas City, 
U. S. A.," and it was adopted. Thereupon W. J. Berkowitz, R. T. Neilson, 
R, W. Hilliker, A. M. Egbert, Walter S. Dickey, R. G. Weber, J. J. Heim, 
C. S. Morey and John H. Powell devolved the task of drafting the by-laws 
and articles of agreement. And in these by-laws and articles of agreement 
were included everything that could be suggested for the good of the organi- 
zation and the city. 

' The purposes of the corporation shall be educational, social, fraternal 
and beneficial," the articles read. " It shall have no capital stock, and it is 
not organized for pecuniary gain or profit, Its aim shall be to promote the 


welfare of the manufacturing interests of Kansas City and its vicinity, and to 
contribute to the development and extension of such interests m all lawful 
ways; to encourage a deeper concern in and a better understanding of the 
importance of manufacture as a factor in our material development and pros- 
perity, and to further educate public sentiment in respect, thereof; to collect 
and compile records, statistics and other information concerning manufac- 
tures, commerce and kindred matters pertaining to a proper understanding 
of the importance and mission of our common country, and to publish and 
disseminate the same; to establish a library of books, periodicals and other 
publications designed and calculated to inculcate patriotic disposition and to 
inspire a deeper interest in the subject of our manufacturing industries; to im- 
press just the equitable principles of trade, to foster the observance of the 
highest standard of commercial integrity; to animate the cultivation of social 
relations and intercourse between its members; to facilitate the speedy and 
amicable adjustment of business differences; to secure an interchange of 
fiews and concerted action relative to all matters affecting the commercial 
development of Kansas City and of the territory thereto; and, generally, to 
take such steps as may conduce to an expansion of the manufacturing interests 
of the United States, and thereby to emphasize the dignity and consequence 
of Imperial America among the nations of the Earth." 

The first regular meeting of the association was held June 9, 1898, and 
these directors were chosen: G. L. Brinkman, J. R. Nave, R. G. Weber, 
Walter S. Dickey, J. H. Powell, C. S. Ullman, A. W. Peet, C. A. Shepard, 
W. J. Berkowitz, J. J. Heim, C. A. Murdock, A. M. Egbert, R. W. Hilliker, 
R. T. Neilson and C. S. Morey. The directors held a meeting the following 
day and elected Walter S. Dickey president. At the next meeting, June 23, 
1898, W. C. Winsborough was elected permanent secretary. In selecting these 
two officers the association made an encouraging beginning. Dickey was re- 
sourceful and was able to overcome the early difficulties that beset the new 
association. Winsborough performed valuable services as secretary; he proved 
to be a master of vexing detail. 

Kansas City soon became aware of the existence of the new association. 
In a short time it became a strong factor in the development and growth of 
Kansas City. The activity of the earlier years of the association were confined 
to fostering the existing manufacturing industries and such civic questions 
as primarily concerned those institutions. 

With the second year of the association — 1899-00 — came more work 
and a broadening of the scope of activity. R. P. Brinkman was elected presi- 
dent for that year and in his term of office a women's auxiliary was inaug- 
urated, giving the association a still larger field of labor. To these women 
Kansas City is indebted for much of the sentiment favorng a better, a cleaner 


and a more beautiful city. After accomplishing a good work, the women's 
auxiliary was dissolved by common consent in October, 1905. 

The Manufacturers' association acomplished beneficial results by giving 
a " home products " show in Convention hall in 1901, to display the manu- 
factured products of Kansas City. The exhibition was given while W. J. Berko- 
witz was president. Another home products show, more successful than the 
first was given in 1902. 0. V. Dodge was chosen president in 1902. The Manu- 
facturers' association consolidated with the Retail Merchants' association in 
1903 under the name of " The Manufacturers' and Merchants' association," 
the name which the association now (1908) bears. J. J. Swofford was elected 
president of the association in 1903. 

The Manufacturers' and Merchants' association accomplished an impor- 
tant work in 1904, the year of the World's Fair in St. Louis. It was the duty 
of Kansas City to make a display that would advertise the city and strengthen 
it as a commercial center. Through the efforts of F. D. Crabbs and J. H. 
Tschudy, the president, the "Kansas City Casino"' was established at the 
fair. There it was that visitors were entertained. In the casino the beauties 
and advantages of Kansas City were made known. 

James Donahue was chosen secretary of the Manufacturers' and Mer- 
chant-' association in November, 1903, to succeed W. C. Winsborough. At 
the time of Winsborough's retirement, the board of directors showed its appre- 
ciation of his work by passing complimentary resolutions upon his services 
as secretary. Donahue was secretary two years. In 1905 he was succeeded 
by Justin A. Runyan. then Kansas City solicitor for R. G. Dun & Company. 
In his duties as solicitor for the mercantile agency, Runyan had been closely 
associated with the manufacturing and commercial interests of Kansas City. 
He was familiar with those interests and was capable of handling the business 
the Manufacturers' and Merchants' association must transact with them. 

F. D. Crabbs was elected president of the association in 1905 as a recog- 
nition of his good work as chairman of the "Casino" committee at the World's 
fair. It was Crabb's first task to show the association that it needed finer 
and larger quarters. The rooms in use were insufficient for the work to be 
done and the association moved to better quarters, 1114 Grand avenue. Crabbs 
secured the offices, providing the organization with commodious club rooms, 
including the secretary's office, board of directors' room and a large audi- 
torium for meetings. At the time of Crabb's election, the contest for the nat- 
ural gas franchise was of especial interest in Kansas City. In his inaugural 
address, Crabbs insisted that the manufacturers and domestic users of natural 
gas should be protected, and that they should be able to buy gas at the lowest 
possible cost. As a consequence the Manufacturers' and Merchants' associa- 
tion used its influence in obtaining cheap fuel for Kansas City. 


Early in 1906, in Crabb's administration, J. A. Runyan, the secretary, 
suggested that a plan should be adopted for advertising the great possibilities 
of Kansas City as a manufacturing center. " The people in Kansas City 
know of these advantages," he said to Crabbs. " But how about the manu- 
facturers of other cities? Do they know the advantages of this place as a man- 
ufacturing center? We should advertise. Let the world know of the natural 
advantages of this location ; the cheap coal, gas and superior shipping facilities. 
They will come and help to build up the city." 

The suggestion to advertise Kansas City was made at the next meeting 
of the board of directors. As a result A. A. Whipple visited Detroit, Milwaukee 
and many other cities on a trip of investigation, to learn how Kansas City 
compared with cities of similar population and resources. On his return, 
Whipple made this partial report of his trip, September 12, 1906: 

" Kansas City must let the rest of the country know of her possibilities. 
In my recent trip in the North and Northwest, I found that cities of a size, 
equal to ours are sending out agents through the East and Northeast to seek 
manufacturing and industrial firms. We must do the same — but our field must 
be the whole United States." 

The result of Whipple's talk was a new interest in the work of adver- 
tising Kansas City. He was requested to make a more complete report of his 
trip and in the meanwhile — October, 1906 — the annual election of officers 
was held. F. D. Crabbs was re-elected but he declined to serve because of the 
pressure of private business. George H. Tefft was elected president. 

An important meeting of the Manufacturers' and Merchants' association 
with far-reaching effects was held November 26, 1906, early in Tefft's admin- 
istration. The resumption of navigation on the Missouri river, as a means of 
equalizing freight rates, was being advocated in Kansas City at that time. 
The members of the Manufacturers' and Merchants' association determined 
that no efforts should be spared in accomplishing that purpose. A meeting 
was called for the purpose of sending Congressman E. C. Ellis to Washington 
with strong endorsements and the support of business men of Kansas 
City, in an effort to induce Congress to make an appropriation for improving 
the Missouri river. 

Almost every civic and business organization of Kansas City was repre- 
sented at the meeting. The request was made that fifty Kansas City business 
men go to Washington and place the claims of Kansas City for river improve- 
ment before the Secretary of War. At first it did not seem possible that fifty 
business men would leave their business long enough to make a trip to Wash- 
ington on such a mission ; but as usual the Kansas City spirit prevailed. The 
Manufacturers' and Merchants' association agreed to send and did send six- 
teen delegates and the other business interests of Kansas City sent twenty-nine 


delegates. This large delegation created a favorable impression in Washington 
and aided Congressman Ellis in his efforts. 

The " City advertising scheme " especially appealed to Tefft and he made 
that plan the main feature of his year's work. At the annual meeting of the 
association, October 26, 1906, Tefft urged the necessity of taking some action. 
At that meeting Whipple read a full report of the trip to the North. The 
subject of the address was " Factories — What Kansas City Must Do to Get 
Them." Some suggestions were made in regard to the best plan for Kansas 
City to use in making known its advantages as a manufacturing center. Five 
thousand copies of the address were printed and distributed by the association. 
That meeting was the beginning of an awakening. The business men of the 
city began to realize that Kansas City must enter the municipal advertising 
field with Boston, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Detroit, San Francisco, Portland and 
other progressive cities. 

Money was needed and the question how to obtain it faced the associa- 
tion. At the next meeting $10,000 was suggested as the amount needed for 
the advertising fund. Whipple said that there were fifty individuals and firms 
in Kansas City that would subscribe $100. That would mean $5,000 for the. 
advertising fund. It was suggested that the other $5,000 could be obtained 
in smaller amounts. After further investigation the association decided that 
100 individuals and firms in Kansas City would contribute $100 to the fund. 
Finally it was decided to ask the business men to contribute $20,000 to adver- 
tise Kansas City. 

The civic bodies, the professional and the commercial organizations of 
the city, including the Commercial club, the Real Estate exchange, the Board 
of Trade, the Business Men's league, the Jackson County Medical society 
and the Kansas City Ad. club, met in the club rooms of the Manufacturers' 
and Merchants' association, June 6, 1907. The necessity of advertising Kan- 
sas City's advantages as a manufacturing center was urged by F. D. Crabbs, 
J. Logan Jones, W. S. Dickey, B. T. Whipple, O. V. Dodge, E. D. Bigelow, 
A. E. Hutchins, E. S. Horn, E. M. Clendening and others. 

A. A. Whipple made an appeal for funds and $1,600 was pledged. The 
soliciting committee appointed at the general meeting began work at once. 
It was mid-summer, that time of year when business usually is at low ebb, 
but the $20,000 was secured, and more. 

A publicity committee was appointed at the meeting of the board of di- 
rectors, August 13, 1907. George H. Tefft, A. A. Whipple, E. L. Howe, J. 
Logan Jones, A. P. Nichols, J. H. Neff and C. E. Gould were selected to plan 
the publicity campaign. Plans that called for a vast amount of detail work 
and investigating, were made. The committee learned that in other cities 
the work of publicity was confined simply to exploiting the particular city, 


without making comparisons. The committee decided to furnish statistics 
to show the superior advantages of Kansas City as compared to other cities. 
To do this required long, careful and faithful study and investigation. All 
of the members of the committee were business men, with business cares, but 
they found time for the new work. The committee met at luncheon, where 
plans w r ere discussed and the statistics compiled. 

Gradually the plans that at first were meager and unsatisfactory were 
brought to a focus. The Saturday Evening Post was agreed upon as the most 
desirable advertising medium, and accordingly a double page advertisement, 
showing the location of Kansas City, its railroads, and giving tabulated sta- 
tistics regarding the facilities afforded here, was printed. As a result of the 
advertisement, more than 3,000 requests were made for " Factory Facts," 
a booklet giving a detailed account of the natural advantages of the city. Re- 
quests came from almost every state in the Union, from Vancouver, British 
Columbia, British South Africa, England, Germany, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, 
Ireland and even from China. The booklet, " Factory Facts," gave many items 
of interest concerning the advantages of Kansas City as a manufacturing cen- 
ter. These extracts are from "Factory Facts:" 

" The manufacturing public is just beginning to realize Kansas City's 
great central location. Its great shipping facilities both by rail and water are 
above those of other cities — the possibilities in this line cannot be excelled. 
This question is of vital importance when considered in comparison with the 
New England cotton industries. In New England, it will take from two to 
five days for the freight to get from the factory to the trunk line which 
carries it to the markets. This problem is faced with in-bound and out-bound 

" Kansas City possesses the cheapest fuel for power purposes of any city 
in the country. Crude oil, gas and coal abound and can be obtained cheaply. 
We have water in abundance and of the best quality. Our labor is far above the 
average and this city has less labor trouble than any city of the same size in 
the United States, which shows our high class of citizenship. 

" Another advantage to Kansas City manufacturers is the loyalty of the 
home people, who assist in every way to develop their home plants. One of 
the greatest inducements for a factory to locate in Kansas City is the great 
Southwest territory, which is almost a virgin territory, containing more than 
20,000,000 persons of high standing, and increasing yearly at the rate of 
1,000,000. What other city has such a territory behind it? Lastly, we do 
not want to forget Kansas City's parks, boulevards and homes No other city 
possesses as many good homes ranging from $3,500 to $10,000 in value, con- 
sidering the size." 


When Judge W. T. Bland succeeded George H. Tefft as president, in 
October, 1907, he continued the efforts for publicity for Kansas City. The 
publicity committee, appointed in the beginning of the campaign for fac- 
tories, was kept at work. More than 12,500 copies of "Factory Facts" and 
7,000 copies of another booklet, "Better Lose the Factory Than Let 
the Factory Lose," were distributed to various parts of the world. As a result 
of the practical and comprehensive publicity plan, fostered by the Manufac- 
turers' and Merchants' association, many new factories located here, and the 
reputation of Kansas City as a business center was greatly increased. 

The Business Men's league was organized January 30, 1906, with eighty- 
four members. The purposes of the organization are "to encourage and pro- 
mote the study of municipal, commercial and social problems — especially 
those relating to the welfare of Kansas City and its immediate trade territory; 
to assist the educational, charitable and fraternal institutions of Kansas City; 
to encourage honorable dealing between business men; to adjust business dif- 
ferences; to extend acquaintance and induce friendly and social relations 
between the members of the league; and to advance by all legitimate means 
the best interests of Kansas City." 

The membership of the Business Men's league consists of three classes: 
Active, associate and honorary. Active members include individuals, firms and 
corporations engaged in any legitimate business in or near Kansas City. The 
associate members are non-resident and are not required to pay dues. Honor- 
ary members may be elected because of distinguished services or noted achieve- 
ments in their various lines of activity. 

The Business Men's league took the lead, in 1908, in the movement to 
secure a better system of lighting for the down-town district. A committee 
appointed by the league made an exhaustive investigation of methods for 
street lighting in other cities of the United States, and then made recommen- 
dations to the city that were favorably received. 

B. Howard Smith was president of the Business Men's league in 1906; 
J. W. McCoy was president in 1907. D. M. Bone, secretary of the Business 
Men's league, publishes an illustrated Annual Review of Greater Kansas City 
that has a wide circulation. 

Dissatisfaction with the conduct of certain public officials in Kansas City 
led to the organization of the Civic league, November 29, 1901. The avowed 
object of the league was "to secure the nomination and election of aggressively 
honest and capable men to all city, township and county offices." These were 
the first officers of the Civic league: Judge Henry L. McCune, president; 
Elbert L. McClure, vice president; Allan O. Harrison, secretary; and Clarence 
E. Gould, treasurer. 


The Civic league was incorporated under the laws of Missouri January 
11, 1902, with the following fifty directors for the first year: J. V. Kendall, 
William Carter, Ph. D., E. E. Richardson, H. M. Beardsley, C. S. Bishop, 
0. B. Dart, J. M. Love, Judge H. L. McCune, H. S. Boice, W. W. Adams, 
Dr. Matt. S. Hughes, T. K. Hanna, E. H. Gill, A. 0. Harrison, M. D. Scruggs, 
H. L. Harmon, J. W. Perkins, J. P. Townley, M. B. Wright, A. G. Trunbull, 
E. P. Graves, G. C. Smith, J. K. Burnham, William Volker, C. A. Pugsley, 
E. L. McClure, J. H. Waite, C. E. Gould, J. W. Jenkins, S. A. Pierce, Dr. 
Wm. A. Quayle, James B. Welsh, George W. Campbell, George N. Neff, R. L. 
Davidson, L. R. Moore, Edward E. Holmes, Dr. Henry Hopkins, W. F. Rich- 
ardson, D. D., Bishop E. R. Hendrix, Albert Marty, R. A. Long, Dr. Edward 
Schauffler, John L. Peak, W. R. Bernard, L. S. Mohr, ex-Governor T. T. 
Crittenden, J. F. Mister, G. W. Tourtelot and J. J. Swofford. 

The method used by the league was similar to that of the Municipal 
Voters' League of Chicago. This system, briefly, is as follows: The league 
keeps watch on the records of local public officials, and before the end of their 
terms, and prior to the nomination of their successors, the league issues a 
public bulletin giving the records made by these officials. If this record is not 
satisfactory it is so stated and their retirement recommended, but, if good, 
their re-nomination and re-election usually is favored. After the nomina- 
tions are made the league investigates the character and fitness of the various 
candidates and issues another bulletin to the public, favoring those who are 
best qualified and opposing those who are not qualified. 

At first the league had a special committee of six, three Democrats and 
three Republicans, to pass upon the qualifications of candidates, but in recent 
campaigns this work has been done by the executive committee, the members 
of which are usually about equally divided between the two leading political 
parties. The league has not found it difficult to find honest, high-minded men 
to unite in opposing or favoring candidates, regardless of politics, as the facts 
may warrant. 

The Civic league started with a general membership of about seven 
hundred. The members are called together once a year. They elect ten 
members of the board of directors to serve for five years, ten directors retiring 
each year. Shortly after the annual meeting of the league the annual meeting 
of the board of directors is held. The directors hear and approve the annual 
reports of the secretary and treasurer. They also elect from their number 
the officers of the league, and in addition five members who, with the officers 
of the league, compose the executive committee of nine men. 

The league, in 1908, had issued a report to the public on the fitness of 
candidates preceding each city and county election since 1901. There was 
evidence in each election that the information furnished by the league was 


appreciated by the voters. In many eases, men endorsed by the league have 
been elected, while men on the same ticket opposed by the league have been 
defeated. Republican districts often have elected a Democrat endorsed by the 
league, and Democratic districts have elected a Republican endorsed by the 
league. Perhaps the best service of the league has been the encouragement 
it has given competent men to run for public office and the discouragement it 
has given unworthy men. As a result the public service was improved in 
both city and county. 

At the time of the organization of the Civic league, it was generally known 
that election frauds were a common practice in Kansas City. The league did 
not desire to be diverted from its one purpose of electing high class men to 
public office, but the members of the league were forced to take notice of 
election frauds. It was useless to influence men to vote for honest officials 
when their votes were being offset by fraudulent votes. In the county cam- 
paign of 1904, the league undertook to prevent and prosecute election frauds. 
The league sent about one hundred citizens to keep watch at the polls in the 
precincts where fraud had been common. It also employed lawyers to aid the 
prosecuting attorney in prosecuting all violations of the law. As a direct result 
of the league's efforts, six men were convicted ; four were sentenced to the 
penitentiary for two years and two were sent to jail for the longest terms that 
could be given them under the law for the offenses of which they were guilty. 
The league did not lose a single case that it brought to trial. So far as could 
be learned these were the first men ever convicted of election frauds by the 
Criminal court of Jackson county. 

When the Civic league was organized, some of the practical politicians 
scoffed and said the league would have little influence in public affairs. But 
when several campaigns passed, they found that the league had a wide in- 
fluence. Then they began to resent its interference in what they claimed as 
their prerogatives. They united their forces in the Missouri legislature of 
1907 and forced through a bill that would disqualify the Civic league. This 
bill provided among other things that: "Leagues, committees, associations or 
societies incorporated or unincorporated, formed for the purpose of investi- 
gating the character, fitness of qualifications of candidates or nominees for 
public office and making reports on the same, shall in each and every printed 
or published report or recommendation as to such candidates or nominees, 
STATE, IN FULL, on what FACTS they base their report or recommenda- 
tion, giving the NAME and ADDRESS, IN FULL, of ALL PERSONS fur- 
nishing the information of and concerning such candidate or nominee, and 


The supporters of the bill knew that the information ''in full" concern- 
ing any one candidate would be absurdly voluminous, and that the publica- 
tion of such a report on 50 to 150 candidates would be a physical impossi- 
bility; besides, no one would read such a report if it should be published. 

The league ignored the bill, believing it to be unconstitutional. The 
first chance the league had to test the constitutionality of the law was at the 
special election for Sheriff Baldwin in the autumn of 1907. The league issued 
a report on the two candidates in violation of the law. A. O. Harrison, secretary 
of the league, submitted to arrest, March 11, 1908, for violating this law. His 
case was taken at once to the Supreme court of Missouri on a writ of habeas 
corpus, the unconstitutionality of the law being pleaded. The Supreme court 
made a decision May 19, 1908, holding that the law was unconstitutional 
and utterly void, and discharged the prisoner. The Civic league is a member 
of the National Municipal league which has headquarters in Philadelphia, 
Pa. Attorney General Charles J. Bonaparte is president and the Honorable 
Clinton Rogers Woodruff is secretary of the National league. The National 
league is composed of a number of leagues throughout the country similar to 
the Civic league in Kansas City. 

The presidents of the Kansas City Civic league have been Judge H. L. 
McCune, I. N. Watson, L. A. Laughlin, Judge J. McD. Trimble and George 
W. Tourtelot. A. O. Harrison was secretary of the league from its organiza- 
iton until May, 1908, when he declined re-election and Francis E. House 
was chosen. 

The revenues of the league are derived from the voluntary contributions 
of the business men of Kansas City. These contributions vary from $5.00 to 
$25.00. A total of about $2,000.00 is .subscribed each year for the running 
expenses of the league. 

The Civic league exists upon the theory that representative government 
will not prove a failure so long as the representatives of the people in fact 
and in truth represent the majority of the people. But in order for the people 
to elect representatives who will reflect the real sentiments of the people, the 
people must know for whom they are voting. A part of the people may desire 
unscrupulous men to represent them and a part of the people doubtless desire 
competent men to represent them. This being true, both classes should be 
willing to be informed as to the character of the men for whom they vote. 
It may be argued that it is the province of political parties to set forth the 
qualifications of candidates, but experience teaches that in large cities political 
leaders have betrayed this trust. They have set forth dishonest and incom- 
petent candidates as possessing merit equal to honest and competent candi- 
dates. It is impractical and impossible to expect the great masses of the 
voters to investigate and ascertain for themselves the true merits of all the 


candidates. Hence the need of some reliable, unbiased body of citizens to 
investigate and ascertain the truth regarding candidates, and to fearlessly 
publish their findings to all voters. 

In order that the league may be free from bias in making its estimate 
of candidates, it never accepts contributions from candidates or from any one 
known to represent a candidate. The constitution of the league provides that 
when any member of the league becomes a candidate or accepts a public 
office, he must resign from the league. This rule does not apply to those 
who hold positions in the public service without compensation. 

Kansas City has been widely advertised in its tributary territory by the 
Priests of Pallas, an organization that gives an annual fall festival. The mem- 
bership of the association includes many of the most active and progressive 
business men of the city. The work of providing an annual festival called for 
the maximum amount of work with the minimum of reward, and that the 
onerous task was not shirked is a high tribute to the public spirit of the city. 
Busy men have been willing to give their time to the work of the Priests of 
Pallas because it annually attracts thousands of visitors to Kansas City who 
may see and be convinced of Kansas City's advantages. 

The Priest of Pallas festivities originated with the Flambeau club, a 
public spirited organization of the early '80s. It was composed of the leading 
young business men of the town, and, while it was organized as a political 
club, it was non-partisan in its efforts to advance the interests of Kansas City. 
The Flambeau club went to Chicago in 1884 to participate in the national 
Republican convention in the interest of James G. Blaine. The club paraded 
both day and night and attracted an unusual amount of attention. The 
organization from Kansas City appeared in the parades and gave exhibitions 
two nights on the Lake front. The Chicago newspapers exploited the Flam- 
beau club, gave accounts of the individual members and mentioned its home 
town. This was valuable advertising for Kansas City. 

When the Flambeau club returned to Kansas City, it received numerous 
invitations to participate in entertainments in neighboring towns. Then the 
idea came to the club — why not stay at home- and give a big celebration? A 
meeting was held September 29, 1886, in old Turner hall, to discuss plans 
for an annual fall festival. These men were present at the meeting: L. E. 
Irwin, J. E. Herrick, E. M. Clendenning, F. B. Ray, R. H. Hunt, W. D. 
Charde, W. H. Miller, J. C. Cameron, C. D. Axman, J. B. White, F. W. 
Butterfield, S. W. Gregory, E. E. Menges, M. J. Payne, L. F. Williamson and 
Isaac Whitaker. 

As a result of the meeting a parade of the civic and military organiza- 
tions of the city was given that fall, 1886. Crowds came from nearby towns 
and seemed to be entertained. The results convinced the business men that 


they were working in the right direction and encouraged them to make greater 
efforts. In the winter of 1886-87 a committee composed of three, L. E. Irwin, 
J. E. Herrick and E. M. Clendenning, was appointed to visit the Mardi Gras 
and get suggestions for a more ambitious parade. After much research and 
thought the Goddess Pallas Athene was selected to reign over the city on these 
occasions and to be the city's patron divinity. So in 1887 the first Priests of 
Pallas parade was given. Crowds surged up and down Main street all day and 
night. Boys went through the crowds selling folders printed in gorgeous 
colors, and portraying the wonders of the coming parade. And more won- 
derful still — the President of the United States, Grover Cleveland, came 
bringing with him his lovely young wife, and together they stood on the steps 
of the old postoffice at Ninth and Walnut streets and greeted the populace. 
Great crowds stood in front of the Coates House where the President and Mrs. 
Cleveland were entertained and waited for a glimpse of them. They were 
rewarded in the evening, for Mr. Cleveland and his wife occupied seats on the 
balcony on the Broadway side and viewed the parade from there. 

As compared with the later pageants, the first parade of the Priests of 
Pallas was crude and inartistic in many ways, but the crowds were pleased. 
First in line, with a flare of light and a thunder of sound came the Flambeau 
club, announced by its own drum corps. Rockets burst from the moving 
rants in a continuous roar and flash. The members of the organization were 
uniformed in white, and wore helmets of burnished metal. Next in line came 
the Craig Rifles, then the Kansas City light cavalry, and then the floats. 
The floats were drawn by four horses, handsomely caparisoned. At the head 
of each leader was a groom in domino and cowl, with two more at the brake 
in the rear, similarly gowned. Out-riders in gorgeous velvet and satin suits 
clashed back and forth, giving orders, and a double row of mounted priests 
guarded Pallas and her float. The characters on the floats were assumed by 
prominent business men. The floats were lighted by torches upheld by men 
who also were disguised. 

In 1895 another organization came in for a share of public attention 
during the Carnival season. This was the Kansas City Karnival Krewe, which 
proved very popular for a number of years. The originators were J. C. Schmel- 
zer, E. G. E. Jaccard, John S. Clark, William E. Benson, William A. Lawton 
Emil Scharnagel, A. S. Woolf, Dent Yates, A. D. L. Hamilton, Frank Cooper, 
John Sullivan and M. V. Watson. The "K.K.K. "originated the masked ball, 
which proved one of the big attractions of Carnival week. The K. K. K 
gave a street parade in the day time. But with the passing of the old-style 
parade, the usefulness of the K. K. K. began to wane. There had also crept 
into these carnival nights an element of roughness, contrary to law and order. 


In 1903 the Priests of Pallas absorbed the charter of the K. K. K. and this 
marked the end of the riotous carnival night in Kansas City. 

The change in " parade styles " brought about in 1902, was decided upon 
after much discussion, because it was the prevalent opinion that an electric 
pageant was impossible. George Myers, president of the P. 0. P. in 1908, was 
given the credit of having first suggested the use of electricity in connection 
with the parade. At first it was thought of only as a means of illumination, 
a way to abolish the flaring smoking torches. Fred Doggett was at that time 
president of the Priests of Pallas, and with Mr. Myers he sent for Fawcett 
Robinson, the association's artist and float designer. They presented the 
subject to him and he said that an electrical parade was impossible. He finally 
was persuaded to try it. Mr Doggett furnished him a room and told him to 
stay there as long as he liked, and Mr. Robinson went to work. For models 
he took four pasteboard suit boxes, such as tailors use, and painted them in 
different colors and designs, and fitted wiring into them. The result was 
four miniature floats, representing a pond lily, a chrysanthemum, American 
beauty rose and a sunflower. The small models were complete in each detail, 
had " high points " like big floats and were peopled with tiny dolls, daintily 
dressed. The miniature flowers opened and closed their petals. The tiny 
toys were fitted with the tiniest of incandescent bulbs, and a border outlined the 
sides and clusters were placed to illuminate and further decorate them. Mr. 
Robinson sent word to the Priests of Pallas that he was ready to receive them. 
They went in a body and were ushered into a room which was immediately 
darkened. Then Mr. Robinson turned the current on his tiny floats and the 
greatest excitement manifested itself. The men were delighted with what had 
been accomplished. It was decided that electrical parades could be made a 
success, and they were. From the first president, Colonel L. E. Irwin, to W. H. 
Winants, president in 1908, the Priests of Pallas were fortunate in having 
capable men to manage the affairs of the association. 

It was a bit of homely sentiment, a desire to get better acquainted with 
each other, that inspired those, who helped make Kansas City, who came 
here in the early days, to formulate the organization now known as the 
Kansas City Historical Society. 

In pursuance of this action on December 15 and 16th, 1895, the fol- 
lowing notice appeared in the daily papers of Kansas City: 

"We fbe undersigned citizens of Kansas City, Missouri, since the year 
1865, herewith call on all those who resided in Kansas City, Missouri, at 
that time to meet with the society on Tuesday, Dec. 17th, 1895, at Turner 
Hall, at 3 o'clock p. m. Having lived in Kansas City these thirty years 
past, it is the purpose of the undersigned to become better acquainted at 


this meeting and to take .steps to further this purpose. Signed — Henry C. 
Kumpf, Dr. Joseph Feld, J. F. Spaulding, John H. Ramsey, William 
Warner, L. E. Prindle, G. W. Lovejoy, Henry N. Ess, Henry T. Wright, 
Dr. S. S. Todd, Frank Hudson, A. A. Tomlinson, James Smith, D. Ellison, 
Dr. D. R, Porter, C. O. Tichenor, M. B. Wright, S. P. Twiss, J. V. C. 
Karnes, D. S. Twitchell, Louis Dragon, W. H. Winants." 

Pursuant to the above notice a large number of Pioneers and Old Set- 
tlers assembled at Turner Hall, 12th and Oak streets, Dec. 17, 1895. 

The meeting was called to order by Hon. Henry C. Kumpf and on mo- 
tion "duly seconded Col. Daniel S. Twitchell was made chairman and E. R. 
Hunter, secretary. The chairman delivered an address and remarks were 
also made by Col. Charles E. Kearney and M. J. Payne. 

On motion duly seconded it was resolved that a committee of 10 be 
appointed by the chair whose duty it should be to formulate a plan of or- 
ganization by which the Old Settlers and Pioneers in Kansas City and 
vicinity should be organized into a society. The above committee was also 
authorized to draw up a constitution and by-laws by which the organization 
should be governed, and to present the same at a future meeting of the Old 
Settlers and Pioneers to be called at Turner Hall by the chairman, Daniel 
S. Twitchell. The chair appointed on said committee — Henry C. Kumpf, 
Charles E. Kearney, J. V. C. Karnes, J. A. Bachman, M. J. Payne, Joseph 
S. Chick, Dr. S. S. Todd. Robert Salisbury, J. F. Spaulding and Peter 
Reinhart. On motion duly seconded the chairman and secretary were added 
to the committee. 

The committee held a number of meetings in the Temple Block, in 
the office of Daniel S. Twitchell. The work assigned to the committee was 
subdivided among its members ; the chairman and secretary corresponded 
with the secretary of the Kansas Historical Society and the Society of 
Pioneers of 1849, in San Francisco. 

A constitution and by-laws were drawn up, and the chairman, by notice, 
published in the Kansas City daily papers, called on all Old Settlers and 
Pioneers to meet at Turner Hall to hear the report of the committee. 

After the adoption of the constitution and by-laws, a committee of three 
was appointed by the chair to propose the names of ninety-nine persons as 
directors, thirty-three to serve for three years, thirty-three for two years, and 
thirty-three to serve for a term of one year. 

The directors elected met in February, 1893, officially organized the 
society to be known as the "Early Settlers of Kansas City and Vicinity," and 
elected the following officers and committee: Daniel S. Twitchell, president; 
Henry C. Kumpf, 1st vice-president; Col. Charles E. Kearney, 2d vice-presi- 


dent; Hon. M. J. Payne, 3d vice-president; E. R. Hunter, secretary; Frank 
Muehlschuster, corresponding secretary; and J. A. Bachman, treasurer. The 
executive committee: H. W. Cooper, Joseph Lorie, R. C. Crowell, Samuel 
Bales, Daniel O'Flaherty, Peter Reinhart and M. D. Trefren. 

The "Old Settlers' Association" after carrying out its purpose of be- 
coming a united body, did little active work the first year of its existence. 
That the members of the association had done some thinking, however, was 
evidenced by the fact that on the first anniversary of this organization, Jan- 
uary 5, 1897, an amendment to the constitution was proposed that "This as- 
sociation shall, hereafter, be known as The Early Settlers and Historical So- 
ciety of Kansas City, Missouri." This amendment was accepted. 

Finally on February 9, 1906, the society became known as "The Kansas 
City Historical Society of Kansas City, Missouri." The first three years of 
the existence of the society saw many changes in meeting places ; however, 
in 1898 the society secured a permanent place of meeting in the Free Public 
Library building of Kansas City, Missouri. 

The present officers, 1908, are: Dr. W. L. Campbell, president; Frank 
Titus, vice-president; Mrs. Carrie Westlake Whitney, corresponding secre- 
tary; William H. H. Tainter, secretary; and J. A. Bachman, treasurer. 

On August 5, 1898, at a regular meeting of the society, Mr. William 
H. H. Tainter was elected secretary. Since its organization the collections 
of the society have not been published. There are, however, in the valuable 
re-cords kept by Mr. Tainter, and the number of general, historical and 
biographical papers read before the society at various times, a sufficient num- 
ber of documents to make a volume of historical collections which is now 
in course of preparation. 



Missouri was practically without an efficient public school system until 
1868. Private schools and colleges that had flourished in other years for 
the most part had been abandoned or turned into hospitals during the Civil 
war. Even the State university scarcely had sufficient life to open its hall 
doors for the admission of students. In the strife, which had been waged 
for four years in all parts of the state, the minds of the people had been 
diverted from all peaceful and ennobling pursuits; their affections alien- 




ated, so that neighbor, not infrequently, regarded neighbor with feelings 
of suspicion or distrust, and at times with intense hatred. Society was torn 
asunder, and amid this general convulsion the education of the youth had 
been entirely neglected. The children were growing up illiterates, and un- 
less something could be done, and that speedily, a cloud of ignorance soon 
would overshadow the whole state. Immediately following this crisis, laws 
were enacted specifying how to organize country, village, town and city 
schools; also the mode of levying taxes for buildings and other school pur- 
poses. The duties and qualifications of school officers and teachers were 
clearly set forth in a statutory enactment. 

The idea of a public school system was new in Missouri, and the meas- 
ure met with violent opposition in many parts of the state. Missouri 
always had had a system of schools, partly public and partly private, but now 
the conflict raged in town and country. In some localities the residents 
positively refused to organize for school purposes, and displayed their hos- 
tility to the measure in various ways. 

The press, the public educator, in some counties fell in with the oppo- 
sition or maintained a " lofty silence." Kansas City did not fare much bet- 
ter than some other localities. Public opinion was divided here as else- 
where in the state. Business interests and industries of the West, East and 
South soon drew people here from all parts of the Union. The rankling pas- 
sions that other and bitter years had produced, soon were extinguished or 
silenced. Reason, parental love and philanthropy prevailed. That schools 
must be established and the. children educated was the decision of the 
majority here as elsewhere in Missouri. 

The Kansas City school district was organized under a law entitled, 
" An act authorizing any city, town or village to organize for school pur- 
poses, with special privileges," approved March 15, 1866; also a measure 
entitled "An act authorizing any city, town or village to organize for school 
purposes with special privileges," approved March 19, 1866. 

Under the authority of this act the Board of Education of Kansas City 
was organized August 1, 1867, composed of the following: W. E. Sheffield, 
president; H. C. Kumpf, secretary; J. A. Bachman, treasurer; E. H. Allen, 
T. B. Lester and E. H. Spalding. J. B. Bradley was elected superintendent 
and teacher in the Central school. 

Immediately after the organization of the board, Mr. Kumpf retired, 
and A. A. Bainbridge was chosen to fill the vacancy. There were at that 
time 2,150 children of school age living within the limits of the school dis- 
trict. There was not a public school building in the city. The city was 
destitute of school accommodations, and there was not a dollar available 


for school expenses. The. buildings that could be rented for school pur- 
poses were old, deserted dwellings, unoccupied storerooms and damp, gloomy 
basements in some of the churches. But the board was in earnest, and every 
effort was made to place the schools in operation. The schools were formerly 
opened in October, 1867, in rented rooms that had been hastily and scantily 
furnished. Into the unattractive buildings the children were huddled to- 
gether to receive instruction. A superintendent and sixteen teachers were 
lemployed the first year. While the work in the schools was unsatisfactory, 
the energy of the board was unabated. Preparations for a larger work oc- 
cupied the attention of the board. Sites were purchased, bonds issued, and 
school houses erected. The rapid and marvelous growth of the city brought 
a large influx of school population, but did not produce a corresponding in- 
crease in the valuation of the taxable property in the district. 

Of the school year of 1868-69, with the exception of the improvements 
of buildings and the proceedings of a purely business character, there is 
scarcely a trace of statistical information. Enough is preserved to show that 
the schools were taught, but the Superintendent made no report to the Board 
of Education. One change was made in the board. Patrick Shannon was 
chosen the successor of Mr. Spalding. Professor E. P. Tucke was elected 
superintendent, holding the position for one year. There also was a tre- 
mendous increase in the. number of school children. The number reported 
was 3,287, a gain of 53 per cent over the previous year. At the close of 
the year twelve rooms belonged to the district and twenty-one teachers had 
been employed. 

The Washington school at the southwest corner of Independence avenue 
and Cherry street was the first of the school buildings. It was opened in 
April, 1868, and enlarged in 1869. The building had eight rooms and a 
seating capacity of 500. The Humboldt school at the northwest corner of 
Twelfth and Locust streets was opened in November, 1868. The building 
had six rooms. A branch with three rooms was established at Eleventh and 
Locust streets in 1875, giving the school a seating capacity of 540. Addi- 
tions were made to the Humboldt school from time to time until it was sold 
in 1903, and a site purchased at Eleventh and Holmes streets, where a beau- 
tiful modern structure of sixteen rooms, with a seating capacity of 900 pupils, 
was erected. The new school was opened in September, 1904. On Sep- 
tember 17, 1867, Central High school was opened in the lower floor of 
Starke's building at Eleventh and Locust streets. January 6, 1868, this 
property was purchased by the Board of Education. In 1883 a new build- 
ing was erected south of the old building and the building abandoned. In 
1892 this old building was torn down and in its place the present building 



was erected. The south part, built in 1883, was remodeled and connected 
with the main building. In September, 1908, the old buildings were again 
remodelled and another addition built on the east, making the present com- 
modious building of 62 rooms. The Franklin school at the northeast cor- 
ner of Fourteenth and Jefferson streets was opened in October, 1868, with 
seven rooms and a seating capacity of 420. Joseph L. Norman, president 
of the Board of Education, gave this history of the Franklin school in an 
address, May 25, 1898: 

" The ' Kansas City Board of Public Schools ' was incorporated by an 
act of the legislature, approved March 28, 1861. On September 5, 1865, 
Dr. Johnston Lykins, for a consideration of $700, deeded to the ' Kansas 
City Board of Public Schools,' its successors and assigns forever, lots 1, 2, 
3, 4, 5 and 6 in block 3 of Robert's addition to the city of Kansas, being 
the land on which this schoolhouse now stands. All this was before the 
adoption of the free school system of today, and this is the only school site 
remaining in Kansas City which was purchased at so early a day; the site 
of the Humboldt was purchased on September 1, 1867, and that of the 
Washington on September 30, 1867, both under the free school law, and 
two years after the Franklin. 

" On April 8, 1865, representatives of the people of the state then in 
convention assembled, at the city of St. Louis, ordained and established a 
constitution of the state of Missouri, commonly known as the ' Drake con- 
stitution ' because the Honorable Charles D 4 Drake was the leading spirit 
of the. convention. Article 9, section 1, of this constitution reads : ' A gen- 
eral diffusion of knowledge and intelligence being essential to the preserva- 
tion of the rights and liberties of the people, the General Assembly shall 
establish and maintain free schools for the gratuitous instruction of all per- 
sons in this state between the ages of 5 and 21 years.' The present consti- 
tution reads, 'between the ages of 6 and 20 years.' 

"The General Statutes of Missouri, enacted March 20, 1868, and 
amended March 13, 1867, provide for the organization of any incorporated 
city into a single school district under the corporate name of Board of Edu- 
cation of the city, and for the erection of primary school buildings and 
other school buildings' of higher grade in such city, and for the main- 
tenance of schools therein; and further provide that the admission to the 
schools be free to the children, wards and apprentices of all actual residents 
of the school district. That constitution and that statute were the beginning 
of the free schools of Kansas City. 

" The first meeting of the Board of Education was held in the office of 
Sheffield & Twitchell, at the northwest corner of Main and Fifth streets, 
on August 1, 1867. On May 23, 1869, the school district of this city being 


divided into three school wards, and the Washington and Humboldt school 
houses being already built, a contract was let by the Board of Education to 
Hoffman & Co., to build this, the third school house, sometimes called the 
Third Ward school house, for $14,850; and at the same time the board 
ordered the sale of school bonds at seventy-three and one-third cents on the 
dollar; these bonds bore ten per cent interest, the interest payable semi-an- 
nually. The members of the board were: W. E. Sheffield, president; A. 
A. Bainbridge, secretary; J. A. Bachman, treasurer; Patrick Shannon, Ed- 
ward H. Allen and Dr. Thomas B. Lester. 

"On April 4, 1872, all the members of the board being present and 
composed of W. E. Sheffield, president; James Craig, secretary; J. V. C. 
Karnes, treasurer; Thomas K. Hanna, Henry R. Seeger and Dr. Joseph 
Feld, the eight school buildings then in the district which before that date 
had been called by numbers, were given names. The order of their num- 
bering and their names as given are: Washington, Humboldt, Franklin, 
Lathrop, Benton, Morse, Woodland and Lincoln. At the same meeting of 
the board this resolution was adopted: 

" 'Resolved, that the Board of Education deem it necessary to erect a 
high school on the grounds recently purchased for a site for such building.' 

" On June 7, 1879, a contract was let by the board to W. B. Everhart 
to build the addition to the Franklin for $4,320; J. V. C. Karnes, president; 
Henry Switzer, secretary; E. L. Martin, treasurer; James Craig, R. L. Yeager 
and C. A. Chace. 

" During all these years since the beginning of the free school system, 
Kansas City has had only four superintendents of its schools: J. B. Brad- 
ley, appointed September 17, 1867; E. P. Tucke, September 12, 1868; John 
R. Phillips, August 3, 1869; and James M. Greenwood, July 16, 1874. 

" The names of the persons who have been principals of the Franklin 
school and dates of their appointments are: Thomas P. Jaudon, 1869, 
resigned in December; Jeremiah Enright, January 1, 1870, transferred to 
the Morse to the same year; F. M. Ferguson, 1870; Margaret E. MacFar- 
lane, 1874; Henry A. White, 1875. Professor White resigned his position 
as president of the Board of Education to take charge of this school, and 
was, in 1877, made principal of the Morse, and afterwards of the Woodland, 
holding the latter position until his failing health compelled him to resign 
a short time before his death; no principal ever had more love for school 
work or was ever nearer to the hearts of his pupils. 

" It would require much time and be a tax on your patience to tell you 
how many classes have graduated from this school, and the names of those 
now prominent in business circles, in the professions, in the arts and in 
war, who have here been taught ' the idea how to shoot ' since the day the 

Franku/i School 

Cor foURTe£rtTf. 
a. VCaSH'/^Ton Srj. 



tablet was placed on the front of this precious old building; precious be- 
cause of what has been accomplished in it, and precious because of the mem- 
ory of those who have passed through it. 

" The Franklin school is the oldest in location, the third in date of its 
building, always one of the best, and at no time in its history better than now. 
This old building, bearing on its front the tablet inscribed, ' Primary School 
No. 3, 1869,' was on April 4, 1872, named Franklin in memory of Dr. Ben- 
jamin Franklin, the American philosopher and statesman." In 1900 the 
old building was razed and the present handsome structure erected. 

Lincoln school on Ninth street was opened in November, 1869, and re- 
moved to Eleventh and Campbell streets in 1878. It had six rooms and a 
seating capacity of 400 pupils. It was enlarged later to twelve rooms with 
a seating capacity of 600. The Lathrop school at the southeast corner of 
Eighth and May streets was completed in March, 1870; it had seven rooms 
and a seating capacity of 450. It was destroyed by cyclone May 11, 1886. 
The school was rebuilt at Thirteenth and Central streets in 1887, and de- 
stroyed by the fire which destroyed the Convention Hall, April 4, 1900, and 
a large, up-to-date building erected in its place. The old Benton school, 
now West Kansas, was erected in 1870 at the northeast corner of Fourteenth 
and Liberty streets, and enlarged in 1871, having eight rooms and seats for 
480 pupils. The school was enlarged in 1872 to twelve rooms. The name 
Benton was in 1905 transferred to a new building erected at Thirtieth street 
and Benton boulevard, and the old school was renamed " West Kansas." At 
present the West Kansas school is attended by only a few pupils, the dwel- 
lings in the vicinity having been crowded out by business houses. The 
Morse school was built at Twentieth and Charlotte streets and opened in 
October, 1870. In 1871 it was enlarged to an eight room building. In 
1906 the new Morse school building was erected at Twenty-second and 
Charlotte. This building of 19 rooms was opened September, 1907. The 
Woodland school at Eighth street and Woodland avenue, in the eastern 
part of the district, was opened in November, 1871, with four rooms and 
seats for 240 pupils. The building was enlarged at different times until now 
it has twenty-two rooms and a seating capacity of 900. 

Two changes were made in the Board of Education in 1869. The re- 
tiring members were J. A. Bachman and E. H. Allen. James Craig and 
J. V. C. Kames was chosen as their successors. The organization of the 
board, September, 1869, was as follows: W. E. Sheffield, president; A. A. 
Bainbridge, secretary; James Craig, treasurer; John R. Phillips, superin- 
tendent; T. B. Lester, Patrick Shannon, J. V. C. Karnes. This school year 
marked a new era in the history and progress of the schools. Prior to the 


organization in September, Professor John R. Phillips was elected superin- 
tendent, filling the position until August, 1874. 

The work in the school room was now molded into definite form. Classi- 
fication and grading which had been neglected were enforced at the be- 
ginning of the first term ; the teachers were required to adhere as nearly 
as possible to the tabulated courses of study. The history of the United 
States and the elements of physiology were taught for the first time since 
the. organization of the schools. Notwithstanding the one-sided culture that 
the pupils had received in former years, the close of the year in 1870 found 
the schools in a prosperous condition. The number of pupils enrolled was 
3,034; average daily attendance, 1,388; per cent of attendance, 83. 

The board, organized in September, 1870, was as follows: W. E. Shef- 
field, president; Joseph Feld, secretary; J. V. C. Karnes, treasurer; James 
Craig, T. B. Lester and Henry Tobener. The statistics of that year- show 
decided progress and increased prosperity. The number of pupils was larger, 
the attendance more regular and punctual, the discipline more healthy and 
judicious, the instruction more exact and thorough than in any preceding 
year. The enumeration of school children was 4,046; the enrollment, 
3,866; the average daily attendance, 91. The number of teachers employed 
was 42. 

Some changes were made in the Board of Education in 1871-72. W. 
E. Sheffield was president; James Craig, secretary; J. V. C. Karnes, treas- 
urer; Joseph Feld, H. H. Buckner and Henry Seeger, members. The total 
number of persons in the district of school age was 5,850 ; the enrollment, 
4,042; the average daily attendance, 2,035; the number of teachers em- 
ployed, 50; the percentage of attendance, 91. 

The course of study was modified in the winter of 1871-72. Too much 
prominence had been given to geography and it was discontinued in the 
two highest grades, and botany introduced instead, which alternated with 
the history of the United States. Some advancement was made in the 
study of vocal music under a special instructor. The regular teachers, so it 
appears from the published report of that year, had, with a few exceptions, 
not encouraged the music teacher in his labors. Drawing had a worse fate 
than music. The instruction was not systematic and, therefore, unproduc- 
tive of practical results. John R. Phillips, superintendent of schools, said: 
" I see no remedy except in employing a thoroughly competent special 
teacher to superintend and direct the teaching of mechanical and object 
drawing in all the schools." 

No report of the schools was published from 1872 to 1874. The super- 
intendent preserved some of the statistics, which indicate continued progress 
in the quantity and quality of the work. Public sentiment in favor of the 





schools was forming and crystallizing and whatever opposition there once 
had been was rapidly dying out. When the board was organized in Septem- 
ber, 1872, W. E. Sheffield was elected president; James Craig, secretary; 
and J. V. C. Karnes, treasurer. The other members were: T. K. Hanna, 
Henry R. Seeger and Joseph Feld, and John R. Phillips was superintendent. 
The enumeration of school children in 1872 was 6,198, of whom 4,138 
were enrolled in the schools. The average daily attendance was 2,034. There 
were employed 57 teachers, including a special teacher of music and two 
instructors in German. In the school year of 1873-74, Henry A. White 
and C. A. Chace were elected the successors of W. E. Sheffield and Joseph 
Feld, the retiring members of the board. The only change in the officers 
was the election of Mr. White as president. The secretary and treasurer 
were re-elected. 

The public schools continued to improve. The pupils were more reg- 
ular in their attendance, better discipline was maintained, and there was a 
perceptible improvement in the methods of instruction. The total number 
of teachers in 1873-74 was 56. The number of children of school age was 
6,636, a small increase over the preceding year. There were enrolled in the 
schools 4,164 pupils, the average daily attendance being 2,328. 

John R. Phillips resigned as superintendent in July, 1874, after hav- 
ing had charge of the city schools for five years. He found the schools un- 
organized, ungraded and each school independent of the others. There was 
an entire absence of anything like a common unity in the work. He began 
at once the work of improving the school system. A course of study, such 
as had the sanction of the best educators of the country, was adopted, em- 
bracing seven years for the ward schools and four years for the high school 
department. The administration of Mr. Phillips was successful, and he laid 
a solid foundation at the beginning of his work, to which he conscientiously 

Mr. Phillips died in November, 1874, after a brief illness, at his home 
on Forest avenue. J. M. Greenwood was appointed, July 16, 1874, by the 
board to fill the vacancy. 

Under the state law of 1867, astablishing city, town and village schools, 
the Board of Education was organized consisting of six members, two being 
elected every year, making the tenure of office three years. This law con- 
tinued in force until 1894, when it was amended so that the school elections 
were held biennially. Two members, under the present law (1908), are 
elected every two years, for a period of six years. The change was made so 
that the school elections would conform to the municipal elections. 

The leading members of both political parties decided, in 1880, that the 
Board of Education should be equally represented by the two great political 


parties; namely, three Democrats and the same number of Republicans. This 
plan has been strictly followed since it was adopted, and it has become the fixed 
policy of both parties. Many cities and towns have adopted this system. Kan- 
sas City set the example for non-partisan or bi-partisan school boards. 

The leading residents of Kansas City believed that the personnel of 
the school board should be free from the influences of politics and sec- 
tarianism. Acting on this policy, the city has been fortunate in having an 
efficient Board of Education. 

From the first organization of the board in 1867 to 1908, only thirty 
different members had been elected or appointed on the board. Up to 1908 
there had been five presidents of the Board of Education: W. E. Sheffield, 
1867 to 1872; Henry A. White, 1873 to 1875; J. V. C. Karnes, 1875 to 
1881; Robert L. Yeager, 1881 to 1900; Joseph L. Norman, elected in 1900 
and serving in 1908. 

The Board of Education in 1874 was composed of Henry A. White, 
president; J. V. C. Karnes, secretary; James Craig, treasurer; and Thomas 
K. Hanna, C. A. Chace and R. A. Hunt. The schools opened the first Mon- 
day in September with a teaching corps of eight principals and forty teach- 
ers. There were nine school buildings occupied; one high school, seven 
elementary schools for white children and one school for negro children. 
The total enrollment of pupils was 4,262, and the average daily attendance 
was 2,442. In that year the teaching force was increased from 49 to 58. 
The number of pupils in the high school was 170. In the eight elementary 
schools, six of the principals were women; the two male principals were 
J. W. Perkins and J. D. Bowser. In the high school were four teachers 
besides the principal. 

On account of the ill health of Superintendent Phillips in the winter 
of 1872-73, the members of the board had divided the supervision among 
themselves, but when Superintendent Greenwood entered upon the duties 
of his office he spent much time visiting the schools, so that the members 
of the board were relieved from the responsibility. The office of the Board 
of Education and the Superintendent's office were removed from the high 
school building to the second floor of a building at the northwest corner of 
Eighth and Main streets. 

The schools in use in the winter of 1873-74, were the Benton (now 
West Kansas), six teachers; Franklin, six teachers; Humboldt, ten teachers; 
Lathrop, seven teachers; Morse, six teachers; Washington, eight teachers; 
Woodland, four teachers; Lincoln, four teachers; high school, five teachers; 
and two special teachers of German for the elementary schools. These were 
the principals of the schools: Charles S. Sheffield, high school; Fannie J. 
Baker, Benton; Margaret E. MacFarlane, Franklin; A. Josephine Warren, 



Humboldt; Clara Hoffman, Lathrop; Mary E. Lewis, Morse; J. W. Per- 
kins, Washington; Elizabeth B. Densmore, Woodland; and J. D. Bowser, 

Henry A. White, president of the Board of Education, expressed a 
desire in 1874 to re-engage in teaching. When Margaret E. MacFarlane 
resigned as principal of the Franklin school in 1875, he was appointed to 
fill the vacancy. At the school election in September, 1875, E. L. Martin 
and Henry Switzer were elected to fill the two vacancies on the board caused 
by the retirement of Henry A. White and Thomas K. Hanna. J. V. C. 
Karnes was elected president; Henry Switzer, secretary; James Craig, treas- 
urer and business agent. In the school year of 1875-76 the high school was 
renamed " Central." No new school buildings were erected. The total 
number of teachers was 60; one was added to the high school corps. In that 
year the new constitution for Missouri was adopted. This changed the age 
limit of admission to the public school from five to six years, the legal age 
in 1908. The enrollment of pupils was 4,267; average daily attendance, 
2,550. The high school attendance was 249, an increase of 79 over the 
previous year. 

On account of some cases of injudicious corporal punishment, the board 
adopted the rule of requiring the permission of the child's parents or of the 
superintendent of schools. At the time of the adoption of the rule, J. V. C. 
Karnes, president of the Board of Education, and J. M. Greenwood, the 
superintendent of schools, were in favor of abolishing corporal punishment. 
The resolution adopted was drawn by James Craig and Mr. Greenwood. 

The only change in school principals for the school year of 1875-76 
was the Benton school. Fannie A. Baker resigned as principal and J. D. 
Parker was elected before the close of the year. C. E. Sheffield resigned his 
position in the Central school at the close of the year, and Professor E. C. 
White was elected to fill the vacancy. The board decided to make the high 
school course two years on account of the lack of money. The full high 
school course was restored the next year, but the teachers' salaries were 
reduced from necessity. A library was established under the immediate 
supervision of the board. It consisted of a few hundred volumes. 

The officers and members of the board remained unchanged in the 
school year of 1876-77. The question of how to found a public library en- 
gaged much of the board's attention. A beginning had been made, and in 
addition $936.50 had been expended in new books, $490 of it being contrib- 
uted by the Ladies' Centennial association. Gifts of books by residents 
also had been received until there were more than 2,000 volumes. That 
year, on account of financial straits, it was decided to shorten the high school 
course to two years; but the plan was abandoned before school opened the 


following September. The work throughout the year had been quietly and 
effectively done. The teaching force was not increased, and two German 
teachers who gave lessons in the elementary schools were dropped from the 
roll because the instruction was of doubtful value. The enrollment of pupils 
was 4,334; and average daily attendance, 2,530. 

The school law of the state governing cities, towns and villages was 
amended by the state legislature in the winter of 1877-78, changing the time 
of holding school elections from September to April. Under the new law 
the former board was re-elected and re-organized with only one change ; E. 
L. Martin was elected treasurer. James Craig was continued as business man- 
ager. In the winter of 1877-78 new and more commodious rooms were rented 
in the Piper building, 546 Main street, for offices and library purposes, with 
a free reading room. Arrangements were made for the construction of a 
suitable building for the Lincoln school at a cost of $7,000. The number 
of teachers employed was 59 ; the total enrollment of pupils, 4,612. The 
high school enrollment was 220. At that time the Central school offered 
two courses of study: a general course and a classical course, each extending 
over four years. The year's work was especially successful. 

At the school's election in April, 1879, all the officers of the board were 
re-elected. Robert L. Yeager was chosen to fill the vacancy caused by the 
retirement of Colonel R. H. Hunt. On account of the crowded condition 
of the Humboldt and Franklin schools, four new rooms were added to each 
building at a total cost of $8,640. The entire teaching force numbered 62 
persons, seven men and 55 women. There were seven teachers in the Cen- 
tral school and 55 in the elementary schools. The total enrollment of pupils 
was 5,309; the enrollment in Central school was 217. 

E. C. White, principal of the Central school, directed the musical in- 
struction in the elementary schools in the afternoon, for which he was paid 
$250 as extra compensation. In 1879 I. C. McNeil was elected principal 
of the Washington school ; Henry A. White was, at his request, transferred 
from the Franklin to the Morse school and Gertrude T. Johnson was assigned 
to the Franklin. 

The only change in the composition of the Board of Education in the 
year 1879-1880 was caused by the removal of James Craig from the city, 
after having served on the board continuously for more than ten years. 
Frank Askew was chosen his successor. Upon the removal of James Craig, 
J. W. Perkins was chosen business agent. The duties of this office were 
various; such as keeping the books of the board, recording its proceedings, 
attending to the repairing of sidewalks, and the giving out of books in the 
library in the absence of the superintendent. Whenever a new school 
building or additions to buildings were in process of construction, the busi- 



ness agent was the inspector to see that the contractors did their work ac- 
cording to the specifications. 

Henry Switzer, secretary of the Board of Education, died April 29, 
1880, leaving vacant a position that he had held since September 21, 1875. 
The vacancy thus created was filled by Henry C. Kumpf, a man of wide 
experience in public affairs. J. W. Perkins resigned as business agent in 
that year and W. E. Benson, who for several years had been city clerk, was 
appointed. Additions were made to the Lincoln, Lathrop and Woodland 
school buildings. Sites were purchased at Fourth street and Troost avenue, 
on which the Karnes school was built, and on Wyoming street between 
Ninth street and St. Louis avenue, for a negro school, which is now (1908) 
the Sumner school. Remarkable progress was made in the schools in the 
year. The teaching force had increased to 73. The total enrollment of 
pupils was 6,593 and of this number 260 had been enrolled in the night 

The experiment with night schools did not prove to be a success. At 
first the novelty of the experiment attracted a satisfactory attendance of 
white boys to the Central and and Washington schools, but their conduct 
was intolerable and the two night schools soon were closed. At the Benton 
and the Lincoln schools good order prevailed and the pupils were much 
interested and made rapid progress in their studies. It was, however, clearly 
evident that Kansas City was not yet ready for night schools and the board 
abandoned the plan, to be revived later. 

J. D. Bowser resigned as principal of the Lincoln school in the summer 
of 1879-80 and A. J. Agee was elected his successor. I. C. McNeil resigned 
as principal of the Washington school and 0. M. Schee succeeded him. The 
same winter a school was established in East Kansas City and Mary Long 
was appointed teacher. 

At the organization of the board in April, 1881, Henry C. Kumpf was 
chosen secretary. The year's work was marked by steady progress. Addi- 
tions were made to the. Lathrop and Woodland schools; the Karnes school 
was completed, and additions were ordered made to the Benton, Morse and 
Lincoln schools, and a new building was ordered erected at Fourteenth and 
Vine streets. This afterward was named the Chace school in honor of C. A. 
Chace, who had been elected a member of the board in April, 1880. J. V. 
C. Karnes predicted that on account of the rapid growth of the city, it 
would be necessary to add from ten to twenty rooms each year to accom- 
modate the increasing enrollment. 

The school year was shortened in June, 1881, from forty to thirty-six 
weeks on account of a shortage of funds. One of the needs of the city was 
a large circulating library with reading rooms and an art gallery. This 


was declared to be of prime necessity. The year closed with 87 teachers on 
the pay roll; a total enrollment of 8,026 pupils, and an average daily attend- 
ance of 4,510. Gertrude T. Johnson was transferred from the Franklin 
school to the Karnes school and John T. Buchanan was elected principal, 
and I. C. McNeill of the Washington school to succeed 0. M. Schee, who 
resigned; and D. V. A. Nero was appointed principal of the Lincoln school 
to succeed A. J. Agee. 

Two changes were made in the Board of Education in the school year 
of 1881-82. J. V. C. Karnes resigned, and Robert L. Yeager was elected 
president; and Gardiner Lathrop was elected to fill the vacancy caused by 
the resignation of Mr. Karnes. Mrs. Carrie Westlake Whitney was appointed 
librarian and assistant to the superintendent of the schools. In his annual 
address, President Yeager said, "Our school laws are out of joint; they do 
not meet the requirements of the hour." The board still was embarrassed 
for lack of school room, although the Chace and Switzer were erected in 
the year and in use, and large additions had been made to the Old Benton, 
Morse, Karnes and Lincoln schools. A tax of two mills had been voted to 
make additions to the Washington, Woodland and Morse schools and to 
build the Switzer school. There was- a constant demand for more school 

The teaching force at the end of the school year of 1881-82 numbered 
103; the total enrollment of pupils, 8,422. S. Ellen Smith was elected prin- 
cipal of the Switzer, and Jennie Hewette of the Chace. The Chace was 
opened in November, 1881, and the Switzer in January, 1882. Joseph C. 
Davis was elected principal of the Benton school to succeed J. D. Parker, 
who resigned ; and John H. Jackson filled the .unexpired term of D. V. A, 
Nero, and Grace T. Horn became principal of the Sumner school. 

No changes were made in the Board of Education in the winter of 
1882-83. Great difficulty was experienced by the board in providing school 
room. Four rooms were added to the Woodland school, five to the Chace 
school, two to the Morse and four to the Switzer. Sites were purchased for 
two other buildings, one in West Kansas City and one in the East bottoms. 
These are now the Sumner and Martin schools. The board decided to heat 
the Woodland, Chace, Switzer and Sumner schools with steam and as soon 
as practicable to place steam heating plants in the other buildings in which 
they could be installed. An amendment to the school laws was enacted by 
the legislature that authorized the Board of Education in Kansas City to 
appropriate annually from the. general fund for the uses of the library such 
sums as the board might advise, not to exceed $2,500 a year. That year 
marked another movement to establish libraries in the elementary schools. 
Mrs. F. L. Underwood gave $200 to found a library in the Switzer school, 



and Mrs. Henry Switzer gave $50 for the same purpose; 0. P. Dickinson 
gave $200 to start a library in the Benton school. There were in the employ 
of the board at the end of the. school year 118 teachers; 8,847 pupils had 
been enrolled. 

The only change in the membership of the board at its reorganization 
in April, 1884, was the election of J. C. James to fill the vacancy caused by 
the retirement of C. A. Chace. M. A. Diaz was elected a.s architect of the 
school board. The offices of the Board of Education and the public library 
were changed to the northwest corner of Eighth and Walnut streets. Twen- 
ty-four rooms were added to the schools; six rooms to the Chace, four to the 
Woodland, four to the Switzer, five to the Sumner, three to the Martin, of 
which F. B. Tharpe was chosen principal, and two to the Morse. The board 
also decided to make a large addition to the Central school by erecting a new 
building south of the one then in use. When the new building was com- 
pleted the old Central school building was to be used as an annex to the 
Humboldt school. A new building later named Jefferson was in process 
of construction at Seventeenth street and Garfield avenue, to accommodate 
the residents in the. southeast part of the city. The number of teachers was 
137 ; the enrollment of pupils, 9,723. 

The following assignment of principals were made in April, 1884 : 
Emma G. Wright succeeded Clara Hoffman at the Lathrop school ; S. R. 
Bailey succeeded John H. Jackson at the Lincoln ; W. W. Yates was sent 
to the Cherry street school ; F. D. Tharpe, to the Martin ; I. C. McNeil, to the 
Morse; Henry A. White, transferred to the Woodland; Elizabeth Densmore, 
to the Switzer; D. V. A. Nero, to the Sumner. 

Ground was purchased in the winter of 1884-85 on Cherry street be- 
tween Nineteenth and Twentieth streets for a new building, later known as 
the Wendell Phillips school. A site was purchased at the northwest corner 
of Seventeenth and Wyandotte streets for the Webster school. The teachers 
were increased to 147 and the, enrollmut of pupils for the year was 10,549. 
W. H. Williams succeeded George D. Lutz as principal of the Chace school 
and Irene Gilbert was appointed principal of the Jefferson school. In Jan- 
uary, 1886, Emma McDonald was elected to teach in a one-room school 
building at Twenty-fourth and Mercier streets. This was the beginning of 
the Adams school. 

The Garfield, Bryant and Adams schools were completed in 1886. The 
board decided to sell the Lathrop school and purchase a new site for a build- 
ing that would offer better accommodations to the pupils of that district 
of the city. The year was marked with remarkable progress in the public 
schools, but was marred by the destructive cyclone that swept over the city 
May 11, 1886. The heavy tower of the Lathrop school was picked up and 


hurled, bottom upward, on the. central part of the building, killing thirteen 

Frank Askew resigned from the Board of Education in 1887 and Joseph 
L. Norman was elected. Gardiner Lathrop was elected vice-president of the 
board. A site was purchased on Central street between Twelfth and Thir- 
teenth streets, for tha new Lathrop school, and ground was purchased at 
Twenty-fourth street and Prospect avenue for the Irving school. An amend- 
ment to the school law was introduced in the state legislature by Senator. 
George W. Ballingall of Kansas City, authorizing the board to extend the 
limits of the school district without the residents of the district being com- 
pelled to vote on the proposition of annexation. Under this act, the board 
annexed the Oakley district to the Kansas City district, April 7, 1887. Wil- 
liam F. Hackney succeeded M. A. Diaz as architect of the school board. 
Professor Carl Betz was appointed director of calisthenics. The employing 
of Professor Betz was an advance movement in physical education. 

I. I. Cammack was appointed principal of the new Lathrop school in 
1888. J. M. Shelton was elected principal of the Bryant school to succeed 
E. L. Ripley. John T. Buchanan was transferred from' the Franklin to the 
Central school. The number of teachers employed was 239 and the enroll- 
ment of pupils for the year 16,950. 

The improvements in the school system for the year 1888-89 were the 
completion of the Longfellow and Scarritt school, the purchasing of a site 
for the Garrison school and the building, and the building of several addi- 
tions to schools. The Lincoln high school was built at Eleventh and Camp- 
bell streets; the Emerson, Whittier and Hamilton schools had been completed 
in the winter of 1888-89, and were occupied. There was an increase of 36 
teachers over the previous year, making a teaching force of 286. The en- 
rollment of pupils for the year was 17,772. The Jackson and Madison 
schools were completed and occupied in the winter of 1889-90. The enroll- 
ment at Central high school for the year was 765. H .C. Kumpf resigned 
from the board in 1891 and L. K. Thacher was chosen to fill the vacancy. 
The office of business agent was abolished and W. E. Benson, who had held 
the position for ten years, was elected secretary to succeed Mr. Kumpf. 
Frank A. Fitzpatrick was elected Assistant Superintendent and resigned at 
the end of the year, and Principal I. C. McNeill was elected his successor 
and held the position till June 17, 1896. The number of teachers employed 
in the school year of 1891-92 was 320 and the enrollment of pupils was 
17,213. Gardiner Lathrop, vice-president of the board, moved from the 
school district in 1893, and was succeeded by J. V. C. Karnes, E. F. Swinney 
was elected treasurer of the Board of Education in 1894. This was the first 
time in the history of the board that a treasurer was elected outside of the 


Woodland School . 

C°r. Eighth £.\X'oo&Un& 



membership. Ground was purchased at Nineteenth street and Indiana ave- 
nue in 1894 for the Yeager school, named in honor of Robert L. Yeager, 
president of the Board of Education. 

L. K. Thacher died October 31, 1894, and Frank A. Faxon was ap- 
pointed to fill the unexpired term on the Board of Education. E. L. Martin 
resigned from the Board of Education on February 8, 1896, after nineteen 
years of service, most of that time as treasurer without compensation. The 
contract for the new public library building was awarded in 1895 to Wil- 
liam A. Kelly. 

The Manual Training High school on Fifteenth street between Forest 
and Tracy avenue was opened in the autumn of 1897, with Professor G. B. 
Morrison as principal. John T. Buchanan resigned as principal of the Cen- 
tral High school at the end of the year to become principal of the DeWitt 
Clinton High School in New York city. Dr. E. C. White, who had been vice- 
principal, succeeded Professor Buchanan at Central High school. I. I. 
Cammack, principal of the Lathrop school, was elected vice-president of Cen- 
tral High school. The enrollment for the school year of 1897-98 was 23,204. 
The number of teachers employed was 476. Professor Carl Betz, supervisor 
of calisthenics, died April 28, 1898. He was succeeded by Dr. Fred Burger. 
F. D. Tharpe and George B. Longan were elected assistant superintendents 
at the beginning of the school term in 1899. S. A. Underwood was appointed 
principal of the Westport High school in 1899. 

Robert L. Yeager resigned from the Board of Education February 6, 
1901, after a continuous service of nearly twenty-two years as a member of 
the board, nineteen years of that time as president. Joseph L. Norman was 
chosen president and Milton Moore was elected as a member of the board in 
place of Mr. Yeager. When Mr. Yeager became a member of the board, 
April 12, 1879, there were eight elementary schools and one high school: 
He had seen the system grow until it included thirty-eight elementary 
schools and four high schools. The enrollment had increased from 5,309 to 
28,280, and the number of teachers from 62 to 637. 

W. R. Nelson, owner of The Kansas City Star, gave his choice art col- 
lection to the Board of Education on January 16, 1902, for use in a public 
gallery. The board named the collection the " Nelson Gallery of Art." 

Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States, visited Kansas City, 
May 1, 1903, and 30,000 school children carrying American flags, with the 
principals and teachers in charge, were in line on either side of the Paseo, 
between Ninth and Fifteenth streets, to greet him. 

Gardiner Lathrop resigned from the board August 17, 1905, and J. C. 
James was elected vice-president. Hale H. Cook succeeded Gardiner Lathrop. 
Mr. Lathrop became a member of the board in 1882 and served continu- 


ously for eleven years. After an interval of six years, he was re-elected and 
served six years until he resigned. 

The total number of persons employed by the Board of Education at 
the end of the fiscal year of 1905 was 903, distributed as follows: Princi- 
pals, teachers and supervisors, 771 ; in the public library building, 37 ; 
janitors, engineers and watchmen, 80; in the building and repair depart- 
ment, 7 ; in the business department, the secretary's office, 4 ; and in the 
department of instruction, 4. 

J. W. Baldwin, principal of the Sumner school, died September 27, 
1906, after more than seventeen years of continuous service. The number 
of teachers employed in the school year of 1906-07 was 868, and the number 
of pupils enrolled was 32,673. Special attention was given to the manual 
training and domestic departments of instruction in the elementary schools. 
Manual training centers had been established in thirteen elementary schools; 
domestic science in eleven schools and sewing in twenty-seven other schools, 

The early schoolhouses erected in Kansas City were plain brick of four, 
six and eight rooms, with narrow stairways, and no inclosed cloak rooms. 
The old buildings were provided with comfortable seats, but were heated 
with coal stoves, and in cold weather were ventilated by raising or lowering 
the windows. 

With the erection of the Chace, Lincoln, Switzer, Garfield, Martin, 
Bryant, Jefferson, Webster, New Lathrop, Sumner and Phillips schools, 
marked improvements were made in the internal arrangement and con- 
venience of the school rooms. Better methods of heating, ventilating, seat- 
ing and lighting were adopted. But with the erection of the Emerson, 
Irving, Scarritt, Linwood, Longfellow, Madison, Jackson, Hamilton, Whit- 
tier, Horace Mann, Clay, New Humboldt, Franklin, Morse, Thacher, Green- 
wood, Rollins schools and the new Westport High school and Lincoln High 
school, much more attention was given to ventilation and elegance of the 
buildings. Large, airy rooms, spacious halls and wide stairways, neat and 
convenient cloak rooms, play and lunch rooms in many of the basements, 
were provided in the new school buildings. The many additions to the 
buildings made from time to time were constructed with a special view to 
comforts. The newer buildings embody the best that has been devised in 
school architecture in the United States. 

The Central High school building, one of the most commodious and 
extensive high school structures in the United States, is a growth rather than 
a unified development. It is an aggregation of buildings fashioned to meet 
the demands of an ever-increasing attendance. The Manual Training High 
school building and the Westport High school buildings are regarded as the 
best examples of school architecture in Kansas City. 

... ■:'. MISSO 



The oldest literary organization connected with the public school system 
is the Greenwood club, organized in 1874 by J. M. Greenwood, superin- 
tendent of the schools, and a coterie of friends. The association was organ- 
ized for the purpose of making a study of the modern systems of philosophy, 
and was called, at first, the "Philosophical club." Two years later the name 
was changed to the "Kant club," the members having made a special study 
of the writings of Immanuel Kant. Ten years later, the scope of the topics 
having been widened, the organization became known as the "Literary 
club." Later the name was changed to the "Greenwood club" in honor of 
the founder. The primary object of the organization is to give depth and a 
wider scope to the general scholarship of the teachers of the city. 

The schools, date of opening, and rooms now occupied in each building: 

Central High School, opened September 17, 1867 46 Rooms 

Washington School, opened April, 1868 15 

Old Humboldt School, opened November, 1868 20 

Franklin School, opened October, 1869 12 

Lincoln School, opened November, 1869 (colored) 9 

Lathrop School, opened March, 1870 15 

West Kansas (formerly Benton) School, opened November, 1870. 12 

Morse School, opened October, 1870 16 

Woodland School, opened November, 1871 20 

Karnes School, opened November, 1880 7 

Chace School, opened November, 1881 13 

Switzer School, opened January, 1882 16 

Sumner School, opened September, 1883 5 

Phillips School, opened September, 1883 8 

Martin School, opened November, 1883 6 

Jefferson School, opened November, 1884 14 

Webster School, opened January, 1886 13 

Garfield School, opened September, 1886 14 

Bryant School, opened September, 1886 17 

Adams School, opened November, 1886 11 

Garrison School, opened October, 1886 (colored) 7 

Oakley School, opened April, 1887 9 

Madison School, opened October, 1886 8 

Douglass School, opened October, 1886 (colored) 8 

Lincoln High School, opened September, 1887 (colored) 5 

Emerson School, opened September, 1887 8 

Clay School, opened April, 1888 3 

Irving School, opened September, 1888 16 

Jackson School, opened September, 1888 4 



Whittier School, opened September, 1889 16 Rooms 

Hamilton School, opened January, 1890 12 " 

Lowell School, opened February, 1890 10 " 

Linwood School, opened April, 1890 16 " 

Longfellow School, opened November, 1890 9 " 

Scarritt School, opened February, 1891 9 

Page School, opened September, 1890 2 

Attucks School, opened September, 1893 (colored) 3 

Yeager School, opened September, 1894 12 " 

Manual Training High School, opened September, 1897 32 

Bruce School, opened September, 1898 (colored) 4 

Thacher School, opened 1898 17 " 

Allen School, 1899* 10 " 

Ashland School, 1899* 8 " 

Hedrick School (now Rollins) , 1899* 3 " 

Hyde Park School, 1899* 12 " 

Ivanhoe School (now Horace Mann), 1899* 2 " 

Kensington School, 1899* 8 " 

Manchester School, 1899* 8 " 

Penn School, 1899* 2 " 

Westport High School, 1899**. 10 " 

Greenwood School, opened November, 1900 10 

Norman School, opened November, 1901 10 

James School, opened September, 1902 7 

Booker Washington School, opened December, 1902 (colored) . . 1 

Benjamin Harrison (Annex), opened April, 1903 4 

Blue Valley School, opened October, 1903 1 " 

Rollins School, opened April, 1904 11 " 

Bancroft School, opened September, 1904 5 

Van Horn School, opened October, 1904 4 

New Humboldt School, opened September, 1905 18 

New Attucks School, opened September, 1906 (colored) 8 

New Lincoln High School, opened September, 1906 (colored) ... 12 

Lykins School, opened January, 1907 8 

New Clay School, opened March, 1907 9 " 

New Morse School, opened September, 1907 19 

Faxon School, opened March, 1907 

McCoy School, opened September, 1908 3 

E. C. White School, opened September, 1908. 

New Westport High School, opened September, 1908 

* Annexed to Kansas City School District in 1899. 


EMPLOYES JUNE 30, 1907. 


Office, Ninth and Locust Streets. 

Per Month. 

J. M. Greenwood, Superintendent $375.00 

F. D. Tharpe, Assistant Superintendent 250.00 

G. B. Longan, Assistant Superintendent 250.00 

Anna P. Lumpkin, Stenographer 75.00 

Nellie Flanigan, Clerk Compulsory Education Department 60.00 


Office, Ninth and Locust Streets. 

W. E. Benson, Secretary $250,000 

James B. Jackson, Jr., Assistant Secretary 125.00 

Jane E. Flagler, Stenographer and Record Clerk 75.00 

George C. Tinker, Clerk 50.00 

Marcia Meade, Telephone Operator 35.00 

Treasurer's Office at First National Bank. 

E. F. Swinney, Treasurer 100.00 


Office, Room 722-3 Dwight Building. 

Charles A. Smith, Architect $250.00 


Office and Shop, 1526 Campbell Street. 

J. H. Brady, Chief Engineer $250.00 

Alex. McDonald, Foreman 110.00 

Annette Moore, Clerk 75.00 

A. Sanquist, Teamster 45.00 


Carrie W. Whitney, Librarian $183.33 

Frances A. Bishop, Assistant Librarian 110.00 

Grace F. Hudson, Superintendent Delivery Desk 90.00 

Ida M. Wolfe, Superintendent Reading Room 70.00 

Helen S. Read, Superintendent Children's Room 80.00 

Mrs. Ann Bosworth, Application Clerk 55.00 

May Sheppard, Assistant Delivery Desk 65.00 

Joe Yungfleisch, Assistant Reference Department 65.00 

Jane Gray, Assistant 55.00 

Minnie Neal, Assistant Circulating Department 65.00 

Mary Blake Woodson, Assistant Children's Room 40.00 

Chastine McKinney, Sub-station Supervisor 50.00 

Laura F. Gibson, Night and Sunday Librarian 65.00 




John Fowlston, Night Reading Room 35.00 

George Pfeiffer, Night Assistant 35.00 

Grace Berger, Assistant Children's Room 55.00 

Mona L. Smith, Assistant 40.00 

G. B. Morrison, Assistant 50.00 

Early Schools, Private. — Private, schools were in existence in Kansas 
City when the town was a mere "settlement" and held sway up to the time 
the first public schoolhouse was built, which was in 1868. 

About 1840 the Hickman log schoolhouse was built in what is now 
Elmwood Cemetery. In 1844 Dr. Stone bought the place, and it was known 
for several years as Stone's plantation, the school being patronized by the 
best families of the surrounding country. An old school record of 1859 
shows that B. P. Noteman was a teacher at that time and that the school 
term was from April 18th to September 22nd. 

In 1846 John Buchanan taught a district school in an old log house 
which stood on a hill near the corner of Missouri and Grand avenues. In 
1848 Mrs. Donahue, an English woman who was a daughter of Mr. Royle 
of Lexington, Missouri, and an aunt of Milton Royle, the playwright and 
actor, opened her school at about what is now the intersection of Fourth and 
Wyandotte streets. The building was a white frame with a veranda running 
across the front. Miss Endicott, also of Lexington, came a few years later 
and took over the school. 

The Rev. John Luther, a Baptist minister, in the early '50s began teach- 
ing school in a double log house not far from the present Coates House. This 
proved such a successful adventure that Mr. Luther was obliged to move 
into more spacious quarters. It was a large two-story building at what is 
about Ninth and May, and was opened as a. young ladies' seminary. The 
school was especially well equipped in every department. The Rev. Luther, 
a scholarly man, was at its head, and with the help of several instructors, 
music, elocution, composition and the common branches, were taught, the 
home boarding department being filled to its greatest capacity with young 
ladies of the very best families. The school prospered until the opening of 
the Civil war, when all families were scattered. The school was then obliged 
to close its doors and they were never again reopened. 

At about the time the Rev. Luther was conducting his school, a second 
institution was drawing patronage from another section of the country. The 
teacher was Patterson Stewart and the school was a small frame building on 
the country road, which today is Twelfth street, between Forest and Troost 
avenues. Patterson Stewart was at that time a very earnest, clerical-looking 
young man and taught school until after the war, when he was made a 
deputy marshal of the court of common pleas, and became interested in 


horse trading and later on a noted horseman, the owner and trainer of many 
race horses. 

During the winters of '58 and '59 Miss Lizzie Ferguson taught school 
upstairs in a building that Colonel McGee built in his addition at about 
Thirteenth street and Grand avenue. 

Nathan Scarritt, in 1862, taught school on Main street near Missouri 

The first school of any prominence after the war was conducted by the 
Rev. X. X. Buckner in the basement of the old Baptist church. At the end 
of a year the professorship of this school was assumed by Lawson Dewey. 
In its successful days its register showed an enrollment of over 200 pupils. 

In the year 1860-61 the city boasted of a Young Gentlemen's semi- 
nary, which was situated at the northeast corner of May street a.nd Cumber- 
land avenue, with Rev. R. S. Symington as principal, and the Kansas City 
Female seminary, also situated at the corner of May and Cumberland ave- 
nues, with Charles Fish as principal. 

The following advertisements taken from the city directory of 1860-61 
set forth the various branches taught and the prices charged by two of the 
private schools which existed in Kansas City at that time: 


(Cor. of May and Cumberland Avenue.) 

Charles Fish Principal: 

Ebenezer Fish Assistant. 

Mrs. G. C. Bingham Piano and Melodeon. 

Miss Cora Bingham 

French, German, Drawing, and Embroidery. 

The year is divided into two sessions of five months each. First session 
commences September 3d. Second session commences February 5th. 


Primary English $10.00 

Higher English and Mathematics 12.00 

Classics and Higher Mathematics . 15.00 

Lessons on Piano and Melodeon 20.00 

Use of Instrument 5.00 

Incidentals (for fuel, sweeping, etc.) 50 

French, German, Drawing and Embroidery. (Tuition extra.) 

Lessons in Vocal Music to School. (Without charge.) 

Vocal training 5.00 




N. E. Cor. May Street and Cumberland Avenue, 
Kansas City, Missouri. 
The first term of this Institution will commence in the building for- 
merly occupied by J. H. Luther, the first Monday in September, and continue 
five months. 


Primary Department $ 9.00 

Intermediate 12.00 

Grammar School 15.00 

High School 20.00 

Payment one-half in advance and the balance at the end of the term. 

Pupils will be charged from the date of their entrance, and no deduc- 
tion will be made for absentees, except in cases of protracted illness. 

The chief aim of the teachers, in all departments of. the Seminary, will 
be to drill the learner in the elementary principles, and to teach him to think 
and think independently. 

The facilities offered for getting a good classical and accomplished edu- 
cation in this Institution will be found, we hope, to be equal to any in the 

We confidently appeal to all friends of education, and especially to all 
who feel an interest in building up permanent schools in our young and 
growing city, to co-operate with us in establishing a good Seminary of learn- 
ing. R. S. Symington, Principal. 



The first official action for the purpose of establishing a public library 
in Kansas City was taken in .November, 1873, when the Board of Educa- 
tion, composed of the following: Henry A. White, president; James Craig, 
secretary; J. V. C. Karnes, treasurer; C. A. Chace, T. K. Hanna and Henry 
R. Seeger, made arrangements for a course of six popular lectures to raise 
a fund for the purchase of books. The following resolutions were offered 
by J. V. C. Karnes, and adopted: 

" Resolved, That there be established in connection with our schools a 
library for the use of the officers, teachers and scholars of the public schools 
of this district, to be known as the Public Librarv of Kansas Citv. 


" Resolved, That an annual appropriation be made, of such sums as 
the Board of Education may deem expedient, to be used exclusively as a 
library fund, and that all money received from any other source in aid of 
the library be added thereto, and the treasurer be required to keep a separate 
account with such library fund, and that all orders drawn upon such fund, 
designate that they were given for such library purposes. 

" Resolved, That there be a standing committee on the library who shall 
be charged with the management and control thereof, subject to the super- 
vision of this board. " 

A book case which is now (1908) used in the children's room for refer- 
ence books, was bought for $8.00 from W. E. Sheffield and placed in a room 
in the old high school building at Eleventh and Locust streets. In this 
case was placed the beginning of the present public library, the result of 
the lectures that netted about $100. In December, 1874, the Board of Edu- 
cation moved its offices to Eighth and Main streets, in the Sage building. 
But little was accomplished until early in 1876, when a new impetus was 
given to the project. A Ladies' Centennial association was organized in 
1875 to represent Kansas City at Philadelphia, By some means the enter- 
prise was abandoned, and one-half of the centennial fund amounting to $490, 
after some discussion, was given to the public library fund. The other half 
was used toward a Children's Home now located at Twenty-second street and 
Tracy avenue. The ladies of the Centennial association were: Mrs. L. R. 
Moore, president; Mrs. St. Clair, treasurer; Mrs. Kersey Coates, Mrs. H. M. 
Holden, Mrs. Millette Anderson Mumford, Mrs. Henry N. Ess, Mrs. J. K. 
Cravens, Mrs. D. S. Twitchell and Mrs. R. E. Wilson. 

In May, 1876, Hon. J. V. C. Karnes, then president of the Board of 
Education made a financial statement that was approved by the board. The 
report showed a balance of $129, with outstanding orders for books to cost 
about $100, and a subscription list of periodicals billed at $39.60. Mr. 
Karnes said the fund would be exhausted, but the library was on a firm basis 
and was ready for use. He recommended the adoption of suitable rules and 
regulations governing the library, and these, among others were adopted. 

" The Board of Education of the city of Kansas shall constitute a board 
of managers who shall have general charge of the library; appoint a suit- 
able person to act as librarian, and also an assistant librarian. The librarian 
shall at the annual organization of the Board of Education, make a report 
to the board respecting the number of volumes and their conditions. 

" The librarian shall be responsible to the Board of Education for all 
matters connected with the library, and upon accepting the office he shall 
give the secretary of the board a receipt containing the number and condition 
of the volumes in the library, and upon surrendering his trust he shall give 




a satisfactory account of the volumes entrusted to him. If new books are 
added, he shall give an additional receipt containing the number and condi- 
tion of the same. For their services, the librarian and his assistant shall 
receive such compensation as the board may decide to be sufficient. The 
librarian shall keep an account of all money received by him, and report, 
quarterly, the same to the Board of Education. " 

Books that were in popular demand were carefully selected, and sub- 
jects were chosen with due regard to the trend of thought. This plan of 
buying books has been followed since the library was established. 

Several bookcases were placed in the office of the board, and James 
Craig, agent of the Board of Education, and J. M. Greenwood, superintendent 
of schools, cared for the books. Many books were given by public spirited 
citizens and thus the growth of the library was assured. 

When W. E. Benson was appointed business agent of the Board of Edu- 
cation in August, 1880, the supervision of the library was divided between 
him and Superintendent Greenwood. 

J. V. C. Karnes, president of the Board, offered these resolutions in No- 
vember, 1879: 

" Whereas, There exists a necessity for a reading room and library in 
the city, and 

" Whereas, The rooms of the Board of Education, and the Public School 
library there situated, offer the best accommodations that can be afforded at 
present, therefore, be it 

" Resolved, That said rooms, lighted and warmed, with the library, be 
tendered to the public as a reading room from December 1 to April 1, to 
be kept open for such purposes from 7 to 10 p. m. of each day, Sunday 

excepted. " 

In his annual report for 1881, President Karnes of the Board of Edu- 
cation makes a clear statement of the condition of the library: 

" We are pleased to announce that during the year there have been 
many valuable accessions made to the library, and that it steadily grows in 
public favor. This important auxiliary to our school system has so far been 
supported entirely from private sources. The effort was made last winter to 
have the law so amended as to allow a liberal appropriation for this purpose, 
but, strange to say, the measure failed. Since then an appeal has been made 
to our liberal people for gifts of money and books, and in this way several 
thousand volumes will be added to the library. The importance of this enter- 
prise cannot be overestimated. Our city is rapidly assuming metropolitan 
proportions. We need a circulating library, with reading room, art galleries 
and the like — a fountain of intelligence and refinement, whose pure waters 
shall flow into the palace of the rich and the cottage of the poor, bringing 


health, prosperity and happiness. It can be relied upon that this library is 

permanent, and much may be expected from it. " 

J. W. Perkins, principal of the Washington school, during his summer 

vacation, was asked by the Board of Education to solicit books from house 

to house, for the Library; the Board of Education to hire a wagon for the 


At the meeting on December 1, 1881, the following reports by Mr. J. C. 

Davis and Major H. A. White were submitted and ordered to be entered upon 

the records, showing the amount of cash received and by whom contributed, 

for the benefit of the Library. 

Mr. J. C. Davis reported collections as follows: 

Smith & Keating $100.00 

Plankington & Armour 100.00 

John C. Gage 50.00 

J. Brumback 50.00 

V. B. Buck 50.00 

F. M. Black 50.00 

W. C. Lobenstein 50.00 

T. V. Bryant 25.00 

D. B. Holmes 5.00 

Homer Reed (also a lot of books) 5.00 

A. W. Armour 25.00 

Albert Marty 25.00 

Meyer Bros 10.00 

Wood Bros 5.00 

Frank J. Baird 5.00 

Woodward, Faxon & Co 10.00 

B. Estill 25.00 

R. L. Yeager 25.00 

C. D. Lucas '. 5.00 

H. H. Craig 5.00 

Cady & Olmstead 10.00 

Browne Book Co 5.00 

N. Lories & Co 5.00 

H. Switzer 5.00 

Keith & Henry 5.00 

Keevil & Waples 5.00 

Ridenour, Baker & Co 25.00 

Deere, Mansur & Co. . . 25.00 

Trubull, Reynolds & Allen . . . 25.00 

Ramsey & Millett 10.00 


C. C. Quinlan $20.00 

C. W. Whitehead 10.00 

G. H. Conover 10.00 

M. J. Payne 10.00 

Jas. Hewson & Co 10.00 

G. W. Lovejoy 10.00 

Abernathy, North & Orrison 25.00 

Roll, Thayer & Williams 15.00 

Judge T. A. Gill 25.00 

Total to date $875.00 

Major H. A. White reported collections as follows: 

Louis Hammerslough $100.00 

J. V. C. Karnes 100.00 

G. Y. Smith 50.00 

Isaac Writaker 50.00 

S. F. Scott 50.00 

Henry Kahn 10.00 

W. Warner 10.00 

C. O. Tichenor 10.00 

W. Adams 5.00 

Total $385.00 

Mrs. Carrie Westlake Whitney was appointed librarian in March, 1881. 
In her first annual report, she said: 

"On March 16, 1881, I entered upon the duties of librarian and such 
other clerical work in connection with my position as assistant to the super- 
intendent of schools and the agent of the Board of Education. 

" There are over a thousand volumes catalogued, and on the shelves of 
the library exclusive of miscellaneous reports, official documents, periodicals, 
Magazines and pamphlets, making a total collection of nearly 2,000 volumes, 
many of which are works of merit. 

" The amount of subscriptions received during the year closing June 30, 
1881, was $201.35, and the balance now on hand is $46.44. I have all the 
vouchers for expenditures, subject to inspection at your pleasure. 

" As nearly as I can estimate, 700 volumes were added to the library 
this year by purchase and by gifts. 

" Since February 1, 1881, 1,483 books have been drawn from the library 
by regular subscribers — an average of ten books to each subscriber in five 


" One of the special needs of the library is a commodious reading room 
furnished with tables and seats. A reading room should be quiet, pleasant 
and attractive. The consultation of books is as much the function of a library 
as the circulation of books. The library is an educational center for the spe- 
cial as well as for the general reader. " 

Hon. J. V. C. Karnes resigned in 1882, and R. L. Yeager was elected 
president of the Board of Education. In the report of 1882, Mr. Yeager ap- 
pealed to the citizens to interest themselves in the library and to endeavor 
in every way to build a substantial library on the foundation which had 
been laid with so much care. Judging from the growth as shown in the 
reports of the librarian, the appeal was not without effect. 

In order to secure a certain sum to meet the expenditure necessary to 
maintain the library and allow for a continual growth, the board, in 1883, 
became instrumental in having the school laws amended, authorizing cities 
of 20,000, and under 100,000 inhabitants, to appropriate a sum not exceed- 
ing $2,500 annually for the maintenance of the library. Later the law was 
amended, without limitation of amount. 

In 1884 the necessity of more room became so urgent that a removal 
was decided upon, and the entire second floor of the building on the north- 
east corner of Eighth and Walnut streets was secured. The library was closed 
during the month of June, when the offices of the Board of Education and 
the library were removed to the new quarters that were better lighted and 
more attractive in every way. Formerly, bound periodicals were allowed to 
circulate, but with the growth of the library it was deemed advisable to keep 
the magazines in the library to be used for general' reference. 

In the fall of 1884, the board carried the motion, made by Gardiner 
Latbrop, to have the library open from 7 a. m. to 10 p. m., except on Sun- 
days, when it should be open from 9 to 11 a. m. Mr. Benson acted as li- 
brarian during these hours. In the following spring, it was decided to close 
at night and on Sundays for the summer months, June, July and August; 
and tbe rest of the year to be open from 8 a. m. to 10 p. m. At a board 
meeting in November, 1885, the librarian placed before the board the sug- 
gestion that tickets be given to the pupils for six months for one-half the 
annual subscription rate. During the summer of 1887 the library was closed 
for five months for the purpose of making a new and complete catalogue. 

At a meeting of the Board of Education the question of the erection of 
a library building was considered, and March 5, 1888, the following opinion 
of Gage, Ladd & Small, attorneys for the board, relative to the erection of 
a library building or the issuing of bonds therefor, was submitted by Presi- 
dent Yeager of the board, and ordered spread upon the records: 


" Kansas City, Mo., March 5, 1888. 
" Honorable R. L. Yeager, President of the Board of Education : 

"Dear Sir: The board of directors of the school district of the City 
of Kansas has, through you, asked our opinion as to the power of the dis- 
trict to issue bonds for the purpose of erecting a library building. The 
proposition having first submitted to the voters of the district at an elec- 
tion, and their sanction having first been obtained, our impression was against 
the existence of such a power, and further reflection and a somewhat careful 
examination of the school laws of the State have confirmed us in this view. 

" It is to be remembered that the school district belong to a class known 
as quasi corporation — a class for which the doctrines of implication in the 
construction of its powers will do less for than any other species of corpora- 
tion of the law. 

" For two purposes only have school districts such as this power to issue 
bonds. One for the purpose of erecting schoolhouses, and is provided for in 
sections 7,032 and 7,033 of the Revised Statutes of 1879. This can only be 
done after a vote of the people has been taken in the manner provided for 
in those sections. 

" For one other purpose only can bonds be issued. Under section 7,034 
the board of directors of the district is authorized to issue renewal funding 
bonds to be exchanged for outstanding bonds of the district or sold for the 
purpose of meeting and paying any matured or maturing bonded indebted- 
ness thereof. These it may issue without having submitted the question to 
the voters. 

" The expense of maintaining schools, and every other outlay which 
the district is authorized to make, must, with the two exceptions we have 
mentioned, and for which bonds may be issued, be met by taxation. The 
methods of estimating, levying and collecting this tax are minutely pro- 
vided in the statutes. Every disbursement made by the board except for the 
purposes of erecting schoolhouses and renewing or paying off bonded in- 
debtedness, must be derived from the proceeds of this tax. 

" Our attention has been called to section 7,154 as enacted by the last 
General Assembly. It is as follows: 'In all such districts as are mentioned 
in this article, that have a population of 50,000 and not exceeding 200,000 
inhabitants, the board of directors of such school districts shall have full power 
by an affirmative vote of not less than two-thirds of all members of such 
board, to locate and direct and authorize the purchase of sites for school- 
houses, libraries and school offices, and by a like vote to direct and authorize 
the sale of any real estate or other property belonging to such school district.' 

" The result sought to be accomplished by a part of this section is not 
clear. But so far as it may be supposed to have any bearing upon the ques- 


tion submitted to us, it is manifest that it does not authorize the issue of 
bonds for any purpose whatever. It does authorize the board, without a vote 
of the people, to locate and purchase sites for certain structures, including 
libraries. But it does not authorize the issue of bonds with or without the 
vote of the people to pay for such sites. Much less can it be held under any 
cause of construction with which we are familiar, that it authorized the issue 
of bonds for the purpose of erecting a public library. With quite as much 
cogency it might be said to grant authority to issue bonds for the purpose 
of erecting schoolhouses. But such an interpretation would be absurd for the 
very good reason that legislation upon that subject was not needed. Ample 
authority for that purpose had existed for years. 

" In our opinion, the power of the boards as conferred by that part of 
the section under consideration must be limited to its action in reference 
to sites. 

" We think it would be going very far indeed to say that under this sec- 
tion the board would be authorized to appropriate from the general fund 
derived from taxation, money with which to erect a library building. Only 
by aid of a most liberal and, as we think, wholly unjustifiable exercise of 
the rules of inference and implication in the construction of statutes, could 
even this result be reached. 

" But upon the question of power to issue bonds for the erection of a 
library building, even with the support of a vote of the people, we have no 
doubt. The district has no such power, and the bonds if issued would be 

"Gage, Ladd & Small." 

The continuous demand for more room and for better accommodations 
from President Yeager of the board, and from the librarian, resulted in a 
move in 1889 when, at the session of the legislature, the school law was so 
amended as to authorize the Board of Education to erect buildings for the 
use of libraries. 

A proposition was made by Walter J. Bales, whose interest in the library 
led to his offering the board, on very liberal terms, a lease on the ground 
at the southwest corner of Eighth and Oak streets. 

At a meeting of the Board of Education, March 11, 1889, the presi- 
dent of the board was authorized to negotiate with Walter J. Bales, owner 
of the land on the southwest corner of Eighth and Oak streets, for a three 
or five years' lease at the best terms he could make. The ground was secured 
at a rental of $300 a year. The architect was instructed to perfect the plans 
for the library building in accordance with a sketch furnished him. 


At a meeting of the Board of Education, April 18, 1889, the architect 
was instructed to receive bids for constructing the library building. The 
Board of Education met in special session, April 27, 1889, and there were 
present R. L. Yeager, E. L. Martin, J. C. James and J. L. Norman. On 
motion of Mr. James, the bid of William Harmon, at $9,291, was accepted 
and the contract awarded to him. He gave bond for $5,000 to complete 
the work by July 1, 1889. In accordance with this action, the library build- 
ing was built, at a total cost of $11,100.33. The rent of the ground was 
$300 a year. 

The new home of the library was opened to the public in September, 
1889, the library having closed, for the removal of books, during July. The 
library staff then consisted of four day assistants and two night assistants. 

A pleasing innovation was made in December, 1890, when the board 
granted to the third and fourth year students of the high school free use 
of the library. One hundred and forty tickets were issued. The library 
was then a subscription library and the patrons paid $2 for an annual sub- 
scription. The report of the librarian for the year 1892 states that the priv- 
ilege of the free use of the library had been extended to all high school 
students, and that 837 tickets were in use. 

In September, 1893, at the request of the librarian, free library tickets 
were issued to pupils of the sixth and seventh grades of the ward schools as 
well as to all high school students. Twenty-four hundred were distributed 
among the white pupils and one hundred and fifty-eight among the negro 

There was a marked increase in circulation during the fiscal year end- 
ing in June, 1894. The report showed that 19,550 more books were taken 
out than in the previous year. Frances A. Bishop was appointed assistant 
librarian in February, 1895, having held the position of head cataloguer 
since August, 1893. 

With the development of the library, every effort was made to elevate 
the literary standing; to lead the patrons, more especially the youth of Kan- 
sas City, to an appreciation of a higher class of literature. Special lists of 
well selected books for the young were compiled and given to the teachers 
to be distributed among the pupils, and only the best in fiction was placed 
in the library. An author catalogue of fiction and one of juvenile books 
were made in 1895 and distributed free to the patrons of the library. 

After occupying the building for five years, the crowded conditions made 
it imperative for the board to again provide new quarters and a permanent 
home for the library. It was resolved that there be submitted to the qualified 
voters of the school district of Kansas City, at the biennial election of school 
directors to be held April 3, 1894. a proposition authorizing the Board of 


Education of the school district of Kansas City to borrow the sum, of $200,000 
for the purpose of erecting a public library building and for the payment 
thereof to issue bonds. On July 2, 1894, the bonds were issued, payable in 
New York, twenty years from date of issue, rate of interest 4 per cent. The 
site for the new library building on Ninth and Locust streets was bought 
for $30,000. The $200,000 was expended for the building and furnishings. 

In view of the removal into the new building, special efforts were made 
to improve the facilities of the various departments. A complete catalogue 
of art was made for the art reference room; all art books and art magazines 
were fully indexed. A card index to "Harper's Weekly" was made from 
volume one to date, an invaluable aid in the reference department, and "St. 
Nicholas" was indexed for the juvenile room. 

The new library building at the northeast corner of Ninth and Locust 
streets was opened to the public in September, 1897. The preparations for 
moving and the actual move, were made in July and August, during which 
time the library was closed. The arrangements for moving were simple and 
systematic. The 30,000 volumes were moved in three days without the mis- 
placement of a single book. 

When the portals of the new Kansas City public library were opened to 
the public, September 1, 1897, a long cherished hope was realized. Anticipa- 
tion was great, and, although much was expected by the residents, the new 
public library, so complete in all its appointments, was a great surprise. A 
reception was held for two successive days, from 9 a. m. to 10 p. m., and 
fully 20,000 people availed themselves of the opportunity to inspect the new 
building. The building was beautifully decorated with palms and cut 
flowers. The members of the Board of Education, assisted by their wives 
and the librarian, received the guests. The attendants assisted in entertain- 
ing in the different rooms, while high school cadets did duty as ushers. 

The library is situated on a lot 132 feet by 144 feet in size. A broad 
vestibule forms an entrance to the rotunda, at the back of which is the de- 
livery desk, and to the right of this is the stack room, with a capacity of 
150,000 volumes. Opening into the rotunda are the reading room, catalogu- 
ing room, reference room, reception room, children's rooms and the librarian's 
office. One of the most pleasing features of the new building is the chil- 
dren's department, two large, airy, southeast rooms, where all the juvenile 
books and periodicals are placed; where the children may select their books 
from the shelves. 

On the second floor is a special reference room for the high school stu- 
dents, several reference rooms, art gallery, assembly hall, room for bound 
newspapers, and the offices of the Board of Education. In the basement is 
a museum, a fully equipped bindery under the management of the librarian, 


a large lunch room for the use of the employees, and several unassigned 

Through the generosity of George Sheidley, $25,000 was placed in the 
hands of the Board of Education in October. 1S97, for the purchase of books. 
In commemoration of this gift a bronze tablet, bearing an intaglio head of 
Mr. Sheidley, was placed in the rotunda of the library. Upon the tablet ap- 
pears the following inscription : "George Sheidley. Born Feb. 22, 1835. 
Died Mch. 2, 1896. An unassuming, generous, public-spirited citizen of 
Kansas City, Missouri. A lover of his fellow men, who gave twenty-five 
thousand dollars to this library. Let this noble act be ever remembered and 
cherished by a grateful people." 

That this sum might be expended in a broad, judicious and helpful 
manner, Alfred Gregory, the Rev. Henry Hopkins, the Rev. Cameron Mann, 
Miss Ethel Allen, Mrs. Silas C. Delap, Mrs. Laura Scammon, Miss Frances 
Logan, J. M. Greenwood, superintendent of schools, and Mrs. Carrie West- 
lake Whitney, the librarian, were appointed on a special committee to select 
the books. By a partial expenditure of this money the number of volumes 
was increased from 30,000 to 40,000. In selecting the books the different 
classes were "rounded out," and the art and reference books materially im- 
proved. Books for special departments, such as science, club work and 
manual training school work, were added. Lists were placed before the book 
committee by specialists, guaranteeing the best selections on all scientific 
subjects. Books in German, French, Spanish, Italian and Swedish were se- 
lected from lists prepared by those familiar with the languages. 

The Jackson County Medical library was placed in the public library 
March 7, 1898, and thoroughly catalogued, to be used by any one bringing 
a permit from a member of that association. In 1897 James M. Greenwood, 
superintendent of the public schools, gave the library a valuable collection 
of arithmetics, numbering 300 volumes, one of the most complete in the 
United States. 

All subscribers to the library surrendered their cards January 1, 1898, 
and a free circulating and reference library was inaugurated. The new 
system of free distribution caused a remarkable increase in circulation. The 
library then contained about 45,000 carefully selected volumes. The West- 
port library called the Allen library, with 1,300 volumes, was added as a 
branch to the Kansas City public library in July, 1899, when Westport was 
annexed to Kansas City, and was opened in November as its Westport branch. 

In the librarian's report for the year ending June 30, 1899, J. V. C. 
Karnes, chairman of the library committee, mentioned for the first time 
the probable need of an annex to the present building. He said: "There 
is a great need for increased room for the work in the children's department 


and the prediction is ventured that it will only be a short time when an 
annex to the library building will be demanded." The need of an annex 
was urged also by the librarian. In the following year, Robert L. Yeager, 
president of the Board of Education, in a preface to the librarian's report, 
said : " Already the library is taxed almost to its utmost capacity in the 
several departments, and especially in the children's room. It is crowded, 
and the board is now studying the problem of enlarging this department, 
as the aim of the board, as a means toward a better citizenship, is to in- 
fluence the youth of our city. We feel that if we can only get control of 
the small boys and girls and start them on the right path of reading, we 
have made a great step towards improving the citizenship. 

" As this is the last report that I, as president, will have the pleasure 
of submitting to the people, I earnestly invoke their support and countenance 
of the library, and especially in devising means for the increase of the chil- 
dren's department." 

The crowded condition of the children's room made an addition abso- 
lutely necessary in 1900. A small room north of the children's department, 
formerly used as a reception room, was equipped for a children's reading- 
room. Although this addition afforded temporary relief, the increasing num- 
ber of small patrons soon made more room necessary. 

The Kansas City public library sustained a great loss when J. V. C. 
Karnes, vice-president of the Board of Education, and chairman of the 
library committee, resigned, August 24, 1899. Mr. Karnes took an especial 
interest in the library and he was a friend to every member of the staff. 
An appreciation of Mr. Karnes was expressed by Mrs. Whitney, the librarian, 
on the occasion of the unveiling of a portrait of Mr. Karnes that had been 
presented to the library: "Could the heart of the Honorable J. V. C. Karnes 
be unveiled tonight as is his portrait, upon it would be found the imprint of 
the Kansas City public library." Hon. Gardiner Lathrop was chosen to fill 
the vacancy caused by the resignation of Mr. Karnes. 

The year ending June 30, 1906, completed the twenty-fifth year of active 
service of Mrs. Whitney as librarian. It has been a quarter century of 
steady growth, of rise and progress; no retrogression or adversity had been 
felt in the history of the Kansas City public library. The important changes 
and advancement in the character of the work had been made in a gradual 
and thoroughly systematic manner, due to the broad co-operation of the 
Board of Education. While the growth was not marvelous, the library ad- 
vanced step by step until it ranks among the advanced libraries of the 

The general complaint of librarians throughout the country, whether 
they are situated in large cities or in small communities, is that the citizens, 


although enthusiastic over almost everything pertaining to the betterment of 
their towns, although interested in all phases of municipal government and 
in municipal art — for some reason cannot be persuaded, or even cajoled into 
an appreciation of what should be the first institution of a city, the free 
public library. In Kansas City, it may be on account of the library being 
so closely allied with the schools — they are governed by the same board and 
are maintained by the same fund — the citizens always have understood the 
value of a library in a community and they have always been sufficiently 
interested to use the library and to appreciate its worth. 

The Kansas City public library is not only a part of the educational sys- 
tem of the city, but it is regarded as an important factor in civic progress. 
While statistics indicate definitely the growth and development of the 
library, no conception is given, through figures, of the moral and intellectual 
influence of the institution on the residents of the community, or its influence 
in the development of the future generations, the boys and girls. 

When the present library building was opened to the public in Septem- 
ber, 1897, it seemed a very large structure; it did not appear that there 
would be a need of " more room " for at least twenty-five years. The build- 
ing in 1908 was inadequate for the various departments; the children's 
rooms were very much crowded; the newly devised fiction room was merely 
a temporary arrangement. The space was too limited for the books and the 
patrons. It was evident that an addition must be built to keep pace with the 

Twenty-six library sub-stations had been established in the out-lying 
public schools in 1908. The school libraries are under the supervision of 
the principals. The sub-stations aid in giving the books of the library a 
wider circulation. 

The library staff in 1908 was composed of the librarian, assistant 
librarian, ten regular assistants, eight pages; three special night assistants; 
and three extra Sunday assistants. A foreman and four assistants were em- 
ployed in the bindery. 

The number of volumes in the Kansas City public library in 1908 was 

The Public Library Quarterly — in January, 1901, the Kansas City Pub- 
lic library organ was launched. The institution had long realized the neces- 
sity of a library organ as a means of communication to the public and to 
other libraries, and to this end, beginning with January, nineteen hundred 
published. The purpose of the Bulletin was to publish lists of new books 
to supplement the printed catalogues; to publish bibliographies of special 
subjects, announcements of current publications and general library news 


of interest to the reading public, it being the desire of the library that the peo- 
ple of Kansas City become more generally cognizant of the aim and influence 
of the library work. The Library Quarterly presented itself to the reading 
public, pleading as a raison d'etre, a supplementary catalogue of new books, 
accompanied by several pages of local library notes; this purpose has been 
strengthened by publishing with each number a complete dictionary cata- 
logue of some one class of books. The Twentieth annual report of the pub- 
lic library for the year ending June 30, 1901 was published in the January 
1902 issue of the Kansas City Public Library Quarterly, with a view of plac- 
ing the annual reports more generally before the library patrons. The re- 
ports since have been published in the quarterlies following the close of each 
fiscal vear. 



Years before Missouri had become a territory, Western enterprise had 
established a newspaper within its boundaries that was published under diffi- 
culties unknown to modern journalism. At one time, publication was sus- 
pended temporarily for want of white paper; again, mails were delayed for two 
months; on another occasion dearth of news made publication impossible. 
But these hindrances were regarded as mere incidents by the pioneer jour- 

The St. Louis Republic, the father of Missouri newspapers, was established 
as the Missouri Gazette, a weekly periodical, July 12, 1808, in St. Louis, then a 
village of less than one thousand inhabitants. It was printed on foolscap paper 
with an old fashioned hand press. The newspaper was a success from the begin- 
ning and increased steadily in size and in importance. It appeared as the Lou- 
isiana Gazette, December 7, 1808, so as to appeal to a general rather than a local 
field, Missouri being then a part of the territory of Louisiana. When Missouri 
became a territory, the newspaper resumed its original title. The publication 
having changed editors, became known as the Missouri Republican, in 1822, 
under which title it was known until 1888, when it became The St. Louis 
Republic. This paper was changed from a weekly to a daily on Sept. 20, 
1836. The second newspaper established within the borders of Missouri, the 
Western Journal, was first published in 1815, and was a rival of the Missouri 
Gazette. Under a variety of names, it lived a checkered career until 1832, 
when it expired as The Beacon. The St. Louis Times, founded in 1829, lived 


and died four times and finally, in 1881, was bought by the owners of the 
Missouri Republican and absorbed by that publication. The St. Louis Globe- 
Democrat was evolved from the W orkingman' s Advocate, a Democratic news- 
paper established in 1831. The Advocate was transformed into The Argus, 
again into the Missouri Reporter, the Union, the Missouri Democrat, and 
finally, in 1875, was merged with The Globe, becoming the Globe-Democrat. 
The first newspaper published west of St. Louis was the Missouri Intelligencer, 
established in Franklin, Mo., in 1819. 

Kansas City's first newspaper, the Kansas Ledger, was established in 
1851, when the town had a population of about 500. At the end of two years 
it suspended and for eighteen months Kansas City was without a newspaper. 
The Kansas City Enterprise appeared in October, 1854 ; later it was known as 
the Western Journal of Commerce and finally became The Kansas City Jour- 
nal. The Western Metropolitan was established in 1858 as a rival of the 
Western Journal of Commerce. It afterwards was known as the Kansas City 
Enquirer, one of the newspapers that suspended publication during the Civil 
war. In the border war in 1856, a newspaper named the Border Star was 
published in Westport. Its politics were extremely pro-slavery. 

At the close of the Civil war there were only two newspapers in Kansas 
City, the Western Journal of Commerce and the Daily Kansas City Post, 
German. The first newspaper that was established after the Civil war was 
the Advertiser, which struggled for four years and then was discontinued. 
With the growth of the city the field of journalism broadened and there was a 
demand for better newspaper service. 

The first issue of The Kansas City Times appeared in 1868. For two 
years it found existence a hard struggle, but, in 1870, having changed manage- 
ment, a successful era began. Publication of the Evening Mail began in 1875 
and continued until 1882 when it was consolidated with The Kansas City 
Star. Another newspaper known as The Mail was established in 1892. It con- 
tinued until October, 1902, when it was absorbed by the Kansas City Record. 
The Kansas City Star, an evening newspaper, was founded in 1880. The publi- 
cation, under the management of William R. Nelson, has had a career of un- 
broken prosperity. The Evening News was published from 1885 to 1890. One 
of its editors was Willis J. Abbott, distinguished as a writer of stories for boys, 
and who became political editor of the New York Journal. The Kansas City 
Globe was established in 1889 and lived two years. Louis Hammerslough was 
the editor and owner. The Kansas City Presse, established in 1883, has be- 
come one of the leading German daily newspapers of Western Missouri. The 
Daily Record, the official newspaper of Jackson county, was established in 
1888. The Kansas City World, an evening newspaper, was published from 


1S94 to 1908. The Independent, a weekly newspaper, was founded in 1899. 
The Kansas City Post, a Democratic evening newspaper, was founded in 1906. 

"When the Kansas City Enterprise was established, September 23. 1854, 
William A. Strong of North Carolina, had charge of the editorial department 
and David K. Abeel. from Michigan, of the mechanical department. Andrew 
J. Martin of Tennessee became associated with Mr. Strong in the editorial 
management of the newspaper in the spring of 1855. Robert T. Van Horn 
bought the Kansas City Enterprise. October 1. 1855. Under his management 
the newspaper prospered and became a power in the community. Colonel 
Van Horn related how he happened to buy The, Enterprise: 

"1 purchased, or rather bargained for the paper when it was ten months 
old, agreeing to take possession at the close of Volume 1. or on October 1, 
1855. It was then a five-column, four-page weekly, and called The Enterprise, 
a very descriptive title for the time and the circumstances. In July, 1855, 
I was in charge of a steam boat belonging to my brother-in-law. I had lost 
an uninsured printing office by fire and was putting in time steamboating until 
I could find a location and paper suited to my money and means. 

"At the Virginia hotel in St. Louis, where I stopped, I was introduced to 
a gentleman. William A. Strong, a lawyer from Kansas City, and he finding 
my real vocation was that of a printer, told me of The Enterprise of which 
he was one of the editors. He was a fine talker as was proved by his prevail- 
ing on me to go home with him and look over the situation, assuring me 
that the paper was for sale. Accompanying Mr. Strong on his return, I 
landed from the steamer "Polar Star"" at Kansas City on the last day of July, 
1855. Looking over the situation and talking with several of the owners, 
I was referred to Jesse Riddlebarger. a commission merchant, and Gains 
Jenkins, who had been delegated to sell the paper. As they offered to take 
five hundred dollars for it. two hundred and fifty dollars cash and a note 
for the balance in a year. I accepted the offer and left for St. Louis and Ohio 
to get ready. 

"On the last day of October. I called at the business place of Mr. Riddle- 
barger and informed him that I was there to pay the money and take pos- 
session of the printing office. He seemed surprised and very frankly told me 
that he was very glad to see me as he had not expected to do so and was 
waiting that day simply to keep his own word. To my inquiry why he was so 
surprised, he said that everybody had said he was a fool for taking the mere 
word of an utter stranger and keeping others from buying. But as they 
had never said anything about it before me he was 'mighty glad" I had 
come to take it. He gave me a receipt for the first payment, took my note for 
the other, and walking with me a block, from Delaware to Main street on 
the levee, put me in possession of the office and the paper. But at the end 


of the year came my surprise. On my calling to pay the note when due, 
it was handed me receipted 'by valuable service' and so it was that the price 
paid for the paper was actually two hundred and fifty dollars." 

D. K. Abeel, who had had charge of the mechanical department since 
the paper's first issue, purchased a one-half interest from Colonel Van Horn, 
January 1, 1857. The following October the newspaper was enlarged and 
its name changed to the Western Journal of Commerce. In 1858, the name 
;of the newspaper was changed to The Kansas City Journal and June 15 of 
that year it appeared as a morning daily and since has continued as such. 
A telegraph line was completed from St. Louis to Boonville, Mo., in June, 
1858. The owners of The Journal made arrangements for the telegraph news 
reports, receiving them by express from Boonville. 

The Kansas City Journal, at first, appeared six times a week, including 
Sunday, but omitting Monday. The Sunday issue was regarded with disfavor 
by some members of the clergy and some of the' citizens. On one occasion 
Colonel Van Horn invited a number of the censors to his newspaper office 
and showed them just why a Sunday issue involved no Sabbath-breaking, 
explaining that all editorial and mechanical work was done on Saturday and 
that a Monday issue would require all this work to be done on Sunday. Thus 
it was seen that a Sunday issue preserved the sanctity of the Sabbath, which 
a Monday issue could not do. 

Previous to the Civil war, The Journal accomplished an important work 
in encouraging civic improvement in Kansas City. It gave plans and schemes 
for the betterment of the city, encouraging the building of railroads and fos- 
tering other projects. Through the intervening years the newspaper has been 
ardent in advocating local improvements. 

Colonel Van Horn was a Douglas Democrat and a Unionist. His news- 
paper was Democratic until the close of the presidential campaign of 1860, 
in which it supported Douglas as the representative of the Union element in 
the Democratic party. Colonel Van Horn could not be induced to advocate 
the cause of the South, and his newspaper declared in favor of the Union 
and soon became the leader and exponent of the loyal element. The posi- 
tion of The Journal was made known immediately after the close of the 
campaign of 1860. Thus The Journal became a Republican newspaper in 
1861, and it has ever since continued as such. 

Colonel Van Horn sold his interest in The Journal to D. K. Abeel in the 
summer of 1860, but he remained on the editorial staff until the beginning 
of the Civil war. Mr. Abeel continued the publication of the newspaper until 
June 14. 1863, when T. Dwight Thacher purchased it. The newspaper 
ceased publication, March 7, 1861, and was suspended for about one year on 


account of the hostilities. It was issued as a daily news bulletin from May 
16 to August 20, 1861. 

Colonel Van Horn, with A. H. Hallowell bought The Journal from T. 
Dwight Thacher, March 23, 1865, after the close of the Civil war. With 
Colonel Van Horn once more at its editorial head, The Journal, with renewed 
vigor, used all its power and influence in helping to upbuild the city. It 
resumed its former aggressive campaign in favor of the advancement of rail- 
roads and municipal improvements. It urged and was instrumental in the 
reorganization of the Chamber of Commerce, which had ceased to exist dur- 
ing the Civil war. The Journal is credited at this particular time with having 
done more than all other agencies combined to encourage the commercial 
development of the city. Colonel Van Horn retired from the newspaper 
March 2, 1867, having been elected to Congress. 

In the fall of 1867, The Journal moved from Main street and Commer- 
cial alley, Commercial alley being then the first street from the Levee, running 
east and west from Main street, to a building on the east side of Main street, 
just south of Second street. This was the first move the paper had made in 
ten years. The Journal's first place of publication was on the second floor 
of a brick building on the southeast corner of Main street and the Levee, the 
lower floor being occupied by "Kit" Cole's saloon. But as the whole building 
later was taken by the Shannon Brothers for the first exclusive dry goods house 
in Kansas City, The Journal moved to a new frame building one-half block 
east of Walnut street on the Levee. This proved to be too far from the 
business center, and William Campbell of Clay county erected the three-story 
brick building at the corner of Main street and Commercial alley where the 
newspaper was published until the fall of 1867. It was while The Journal 
was at its first place of publication that there "occurred an incident fraught 
with larger consequences than any one event connected with the enterprise of 
The Journal, but which has been strangely overlooked — the beginning of the 
Pike's Peak gold excitement and the consequent opening and wonderful 
growth of Colorado." 

Not only did it print, as an editorial, the first newspaper article ever pub- 
lished concerning gold in Colorado, but The Journal alone of the newspa- 
pers west of the Mississippi river, continued to exploit the new field in spite 
of ridicule, until the emigrants began to buy outfits to cross the plains. So 
bitter was the press of Leavenworth, Kas., and St. Joseph, Mo., that at one 
time mob violence against The Journal was threatened and covertly en- 

When The Journal printed the first article concerning the discovery of 
gold in Colorado, Pike's Peak was the one popularly known topographical fea- 
ture of the Rocky Mountain region. Cherry creek, the site of Denver, where 



gold was found, then was an unknown locality except to trappers and fur 
traders. The article speaks of "gold in Kansas territory" ; there was no Col- 
orado then, and Cherry creek was in Kansas. These are the bulletins printed 

in The Journal, August 26, 1858, under the headline, "The New Eldorado 

Gold in Kansas Territory": 

"We were surprised this morning to meet Mons. Bordeau and company, 
old mountain traders just in from Pike's Peak. 

"They came for outfits, tools, etc., for working the newly discovered gold 
mines on Cherry Creek, a tributary of the South Platte. 

"They bring several ounces of gold dug up by the trappers of that region, 
which in fineness, equals the choicest of California specimens. 

"Mr. John Cantrell, an old citizen of Westport, has three ounces of the 
precious dust, which he dug with an ax. 

"Mons. Poesinette has several rich specimens. 

"The party consists of nine men, all of them old mountaineers, who 
have spent their lives in the mountains. Mons. Bordeau has not been in the 
states for nine years, until the present time. 

"We have refrained from giving too great credence to these gold discov- 
eries until assured of their truth, but it would be unjust to the country to 
longer withhold the facts of which there can no longer be a doubt. 

"Kansas City is alive with excitement and parties are already prepar- 
ing for the diggings. 

"The locality of the Mines. — -In order to give a correct idea of the locality 
of these mines, we will state that they are on Cherry creek, one of the most 
southern branches of the South Platte river, in the center of the best hunting 
grounds of the Rocky mountains. Game exists in great abundance and 
plenty of timber, water and grass. They are in Latitude 39 deg., and doubt- 
less extend to all the streams of that region. The waters of the Arkansas and 
the south fork of the Platte rise together about the same parallel, and no 
doubt all partake of the same auriferous character. 

"The Route to the Mines. — -The best route for emigration is by the Santa 
Fe Trail to Council Grove, Walnut creek or the crossing of the Arkansas, by 
Beale, Fremont and Gunnison's route to the Huerfeno, thence following the 
Arkansas river, which will lead them into the heart of the mining region. 

"Outfits can be procured either at St. Louis, Independence, Kansas City 
or Westport, and the best natural road in the world for two-thirds of the dis- 
tance. We will give more details tomorrow, as we are compelled to go to 
press with only a synopsis of the intelligence we have." 

This announcement was followed as promised by a full account of what 
had been discovered and by interviews with some of the prospectors. In fact, 
the history of the early findings and the names of Russell, Gregory and 


others that later became familiar, originally were printed in The Journal 
and now vindicate the newspaper's position. 

Colonel John Wilder who was editor of The Journal, was shot and killed 
March 9, 1870, by James Hutchinson on account of a personal difficulty. In 
May, 1870, Colonel Van Horn, at the end of his third term in Congress, 
bought Colonel Wilder's interest. A few days later, D. K. Abeel joined his 
old partner by purchasing other interests and the firm became known as R. 
T. Van Horn & Co. C. G. Foster still retained his interests and remained with 
the newspaper. 

On account of the continual growth of the paper, The Journal, in 1871, 
moved from its Main street quarters to No. 6 West Fifth street. With this 
move, as with each preceding one, the newspaper's facilities were increased 
and larger and better accommodations were obtained. Colonel Van Horn 
purchased C. G. Foster's interests August 30, 1871. The Journal company 
was organized and incorporated under the state laws, February 15, 1872, 
Colonel Van Horn was editor-in-chief; Mr. Abeel business manager until 
August 9, 1872, when Isaac P. Moore purchased the stock of Mr. Abeel and 
became the business manager. D. K. Abeel, Charles N. Brooks, M. H. 
Stevens and W. A. Bunker purchased a controlling interest in the newspaper, 
August 8, 1877. Colonel Van Horn remained president of the company and 
editor-in-chief; D. K. Abeel became vice-president and business manager, 
and M. H. Stevens, managing editor. Near the close of 1877 The Journal 
moved to 529 Delaware street and a few months later a double cylinder Hoe 
press, the first of its kind in Kansas City, was installed. Also at this time the 
publication of a Monday issue was begun. 

The Journal's quarters still were too small for the increasing business 
of the newspaper. A site was purchased at the southwest corner of Sixth and 
Delaware streets, where a building was completed in December, 1879. When 
Colonel Van Horn was elected to Congress in the fall of 1880, John L. Bit- 
tinger became an editorial writer and later managing editor of The Journal. 
M. H. Stevens retired in August, 1882, his stock being purchased by a mem- 
ber of the company. J. B. Lawrence became assistant editor in January, 
1882, and at that time F. N. Wood who had been on the city editorial force 
since early in 1881, purchased stock in the company. At the annual meet- 
ing of the stockholders in 1885, Colonel Van Horn, his son, R. C. Van 
Horn, James A. Mann, F. N. Wood and J. B. Lawrence were elected direc- 
tors. This year also saw large additions and improvements made on the 

The Journal had outgrown its quarters at Sixth and Delaware streets in 
1886 and a new location was bought at Tenth and Walnut streets. Work was 
begun on the building in the latter part of 1886 and by October, 1887, The 



Journal was at home in its new quarters. The sale of this site to the Bank of 
Commeroe required The Journal to move. The newspaper, in 1897, moved 
to the first floor of the Rialto building at the corner of Ninth street and 
Grand avenue. It remained there until March 14, 1904, when it moved into 
its new building at the northeast corner of Eighth and McGee streets, one 
of the best equipped newspaper plants in the United States. 

Colonel Van Horn and W. A. Bunker sold The Journal in June, 1896, 
and a company was formed with the following officers : C. S. Gleed, president ; 
Hal Gaylord, secretary and treasurer; Harvey Fleming, managing editor; 
and W. F. Craig, editorial writer. This transaction ended the journalistic 
career of Colonel Van Horn, which covered forty years of almost continuous 
newspaper work. 

Colonel Robert Thompson Van Horn, to whom The Kansas City Jour- 
nal owes its existence and success, was born May 24, 1824, in East Mahoning, 
Indiana Co., Fa. His ancestors were from Holland and came to this country 
more than two hundred and sixty years ago, settling at New Amsterdam in 
1645. The colonel's early life was spent on the farm until the age of fifteen, 
when he was apprenticed to learn the printing trade. From 1843 to 1855, his 
occupations were varied. For a time he worked as a journeyman printer, 
taught school, published and edited a newspaper, ran a steamboat and later 
studied law. 

Colonel Van Horn has done more for Kansas City than any other citizen, 
coming here as he did when the city was a little strugglig frontier town. He 
put his shoulder to the wheel and helped to "boost" the city to the front rank 
where it stands today. He never permitted an opportunity to pass ungrasped, 
if he could say something favorable of Kansas City. He advised, he coun- 
seled, he talked, and through his paper, The Kansas City Journal, he had 
means of reaching thousands and of exerting an influence on all classes of 
society. He cared naught for official position, but because of his deep, intel- 
ligent interest in all public questions and original, practical ideas, caused him 
to be sought frequently for public office. The official positions he served 
faithfully and well because, like all true Americans, he had at heart the love 
of his country and his city. After his many years of public service, Colonel 
Van Horn lives a retired, unassuming life at his country seat near Evans- 
ton, Mo. 

The present management of The Journal (1908) consists of Charles S. 
Gleed, president of the Journal company ; Hal Gaylord, secretary and general 
manager; and William F. Craig, editor. C. S. Gleed became financially inter- 
ested in The Journal in the year 1892, and in the same year the terms of 
service of Hal Gaylord and W. F. Craig began — the former as assistant busi- 
ness manager and the latter as editorial writer. 


If loyalty is expressed by length of service, The Journal has every cause 
to be proud of its staff, as evidenced by the number of years the various 
heads of departments have remained with the paper. Mr. Harvey Fleming 
was with The Journal 16 years as managing editor and is now its special 
Eastern representative. He was born in West Virginia. His first newspaper 
work was in Wheeling, then in Wichita, Kansas, from which town he went 
to Washington, D. O, as correspondent for The Journal and other news- 
papers. Mr. Celbe C. Cline, news editor, was born in West Virginia, came 
West in early life and practically has grown up in the newspaper business. 
He has resided in Kansas City most of the time for the past 15 years, 
serving as reporter and later city editor on various local papers. Edgar P. 
Allen, editorial writer, was born in Kansas; he has been -with The Journal 
as reporter, dramatic editor and in other positions for ten years and has oc- 
cupied his present position as associate editor four years. Thomas A. 
Marshall, editorial writer, was born in Mississippi, served on the editorial 
staff of New Orleans, Louisville and Denver papers and has been in his 
present position with The Journal since 1904. Frank A. Marshall is an 
editorial writer and dramatic critic. He was born in Kansas and has been 
with The Journal as reporter, city editor and in his present position since 
1892. Mr. Henry Stone is telegraph operator of The Journal. Miss Julia 
Berger is a special writer on the paper. Mr. George Foster is its Sunday 

Others are: Mrs. Virginia Price, society editor; Edward M. Cochrane, 
sporting editor; Henry C. Norberg, head of the art department; Lionel 
Moise, treasurer, who has been with The Journal 28 years; and Charles E. 
Rodgers, auditor. Charles Sessions, Washington correspondent, has been 
with The Journal 12 years; Albert T. Reid is cartoonist; Walter G. Bryan, 
advertising manager; Jamas F. Kelley, manager of the country circulation, 
has been with The Journal 16 years; Gomer M. Thomas, manager of the city 
circulation; Alice Marksbury, cashier. Walter C. Withers, foreman of the 
mailing department, has been with The Journal over 39 years; Frank 
Withers, assistant foreman, has been with the paper 36 years. John M. 
Roddy, superintendent of machinery and foreman of the press room, has 
been with The Journal 14 years. Charles Sumner is foreman of the ste- 
reoptype room, and D. B. Carpenter who has been with The Journal 26 
years, is foreman of the composing room ; Harry S. Michael, assistant fore- 
man of the composing room, has been with The Journal 14 years. T. Philip 
Brown, editor of the weekly Kansas City Journal, has been with the paper 
37 years. W. L. Wynne is etcher and James B. DeWolf, head proofreader, 
has been with The Journal 18 years. 


Mr. Gleed is a native of Vermont, but has lived practically all of his 
life in Kansas. His earlier years were spent at Lawrence, where he was edu- 
cated, and where he was married, later removing to Topeka, his present home. 
Hal Gaylord, a native of Iowa, has lived all his life in the West, and has 
been in newspaper work since boyhood. He was connected with the Denver 
papers for years, coming to Kansas City in 1891 to take the business manage- 
ment of the old Kansas City Times. W. F. Craig was born in Tennessee. 
He came West in the early '80s, locating at Emporia, Kas., where he did 
newspaper work for a number of years before coming to Kansas City and 
The Journal. He has had editorial charge of the paper since 1896. 

'Brigadier General Frederick Funston, after he left the University of Kan- 
sas, came to Kansas City in 1890. He became a reporter for The Kansas City 
Journal. He worked three weeks and then went to Arkansas and accepted 
a position on a country daily. In the editor's absence Funston published an 
editorial in opposition to the paper's policy which brought the editor home 
in a hurry. Funston left town in haste, and this ended the Brigadier Gen- 
eral's newspaper career. 

In its early days, The Kansas City Times was known as "The New York 
Herald of the West." The newspaper was founded as a Democratic organ 
by R. B. Drury & Co., the first issue appearing September 8, 1868. It was 
an eight-column folio. The newspaper did not prosper at first and in Decem- 
ber, 18'68, it was transferred to The Kansas City Times Publishing Company, 
composed of W. E. Dunscombe, Charles Durfee, J. D. Williams and R. B. 
Drury as directors; Mr. Williams was business manager. John N. Edwards 
and John C. Moore became its editors. The first office of The Times was on 
Main street, near the Junction. James E. McHenry became business man- 
ager in April, 1869. He was succeeded in June, 1869, by C. E. Chichester. 
The office was removed to the corner of Fifth and Main streets, September 
29, 1869. 

The company was dissolved February, 1870, and the newspaper was for 
sale, the purchasers being Charles Dougherty of Independence, John C. 
Moore and John N. Edwards. A new company was formed August 20, 1871, 
of which Amos Green was president; Thomas H. Mastin, treasurer; Dr. 
Morrison Munford, secretary and manager. John N. Edwards was editor. 
With Dr. Munford came prosperity. He had had little journalistic experi- 
ence — about one year as proprietor, most of the time non-resident, of the 
Tipton (Tenn.), Weekly Record — but he was a born newspaper man, a 
forceful writer, a good judge of news and fearless in his utterances. 

The Times removed to new offices on Fourth street between Main and 
Delaware streets, in September, 1871. The newspaper was enlarged to a nine 


column folio, January 3, 1872, and that issue contained an exhaustive review 
of Kansas City in supplemental form. T. H. Mastin retired as treasurer 
of the company in April, 1872, and Dr. Munford's uncle, J. E. Munford, 
took his place. The Times survived the financial panic of 1873 and lent its 
energies to the re-establishing of business enterprises and inspiring of confi- 
dence. Amos Green, president of the company, sold his interests to the Mun- 
fords in May, 1875. The company was dissolved in November, 1875, and 
The Kansas City Times company was formed by the two Munfords and Sam- 
uel Williams. The newspaper had remarkable success and won more than a 
local reputation. The Times opposed the nomination of Samuel J. Tilden 
for President in 1876. It established a complete duplicate office in St. Louis 
and printed a special edition there for the delegates to the national conven- 
tion. In the campaign that followed, The Times established a complete 
plat in Denver, where was printed a Colorado edition so that its readers in the 
Rocky Mountain regions might have the news as quickly as those in Kansas 
City. It was The Times that originated the great movement for the opening 
of Oklahoma and the Indian territory in 1885-86. The newspaper was iden- 
tified with the movements to develop the southwest. It was in those days 
that The Times chartered special trains to Topeka to carry its issues contain- 
ing the proceedings of the Kansas legislature because the regular train sched- 
ules were not satisfactory. In spite of these expensive enterprises the news- 
paper made a large profit for its owners. It outgrew its plant several times. 
The Times moved to Fifth street, between Main and Delaware streets, in 
1878, and in December, 1885, to its own building at the Junction which was 
said at that time to be "the finest, most elegantly equipped newspaper office 
in the world." 

Charles F. Hasbrook became business manager of The Times in 1878. 
Soon afterward Dr. Munford became engaged in real estate speculation that 
involved the newspaper in debt. Dr. Munford had become a bit dictatorial 
in his attitude toward his party's local leaders and it was resented. There 
was bad feeling and it finally culminated in an open breech in 1886. Dr. 
Munford purchased the interest of James E. Munford in 1886. He became 
president and general manager with Charles E. Hasbrook as secretary and 
business manager. At that period The Times was one of the remarkable 
achievements of Western journalism. Its boldness and enterprise gave it a 
national prominence that few other newspapers possessed. Its special edi- 
tion of October 15, 1887, the day following President Cleveland's visit to Kan- 
sas City, was regarded as a special feat of journalism. 

The Times was greatly affected by the "boom" of 1886. Dr. Munford 
had unbounded faith in Kansas City and he invested heavily in real estate, 


and lost. Dr. Munford, a man of resolute determination and tireless energy, 
concentrated all his efforts to discharge his obligations, and recover his losses, 
but he was not able to do so, and the creditors enforced their claim in June, 
1891. Dr. Munford had previously established the Evening Times, which 
existed from October 9, 1890, to December 12, 1891. In the fall of 1892, 
Dr. Munford resigned as editor and Witten McDonald took charge until 
September 18, 1895, when a receiver was appointed. During this time jour- 
nalistic chaos prevailed in The Times office. 

McDonald made a desperate struggle. He cut down expenses whenever 
it was possible. He moved the office from its old place at the Junction to 
more modest quarters at Ninth and Walnut streets, but debts continued to 
accumulate. After two years, in the summer of 1895, Witten McDonald 
gave up the struggle and The Times was transferred to Wiley O. Cox, presi- 
dent of the Kansas City State bank, as receiver. The Times then owed about 
$200,000. Mr. Cox published The Times about six months and came to the 
conclusion that if freed from debt, it might be made to pay. So, when the 
paper was ordered sold, February 25, 1896, he bought it for $83,000. R. 
H. Lindsay, now Washington correspondent of The Kansas City Star, became 
managing editor and Frank P. Fuoss, business manager. Mr. Cox, though 
a believer in the gold standard, advocated free silver. On account of politi- 
cal disappointments, Mr. Cox finally disagreed with both factions of the local 
Democratic parties and with the state administration, too. Subscriptions fell 
off and business decreased. 

Hiram J. Groves next became interested in The Times. He had been 
editing the Independence Sentinel for G. L. Chrisman. Mr. Groves interested 
Judge Chrisman in The Times and December 9, 1899, the newspaper was 
purchased by G. L. Chrisman, A. A. Lesueur, Senator William J. Stone and 
Mr. Groves. Judge Chrisman was made president of the new company and 
A. A. Lesueur, editor and manager. The Times did not succeed under the 
new management. In eighteen months the net losses amounted to about 
$100,000 in addition to the original investment. Captain Lesueur resigned 
as editor-in-chief. Mr. Groves was then made editor-in-chief. After Captain 
Lesueur resigned, the burden became very heavy for Judge Chrisman to carry 
alone, Senator Stone having retired from the company. Soon it became 
known that The Times again was on the market. William R. Nelson, owner 
of The Kansas City Star, bought The Times in October, 1901, for approxi- 
mately $140,000, and it became the morning edition of The Star. 

Several men who won distinction in journalism and literature were con- 
nected with the old Kansas City Times. Eugene Field, whose drollery, humor 
and varied temperament made him such a delightful writer, especially to the 


literary Bohemian, became managing editor of The Times in 1880. He 
filled the position with singular ability and success. 

Under the management of Eugene Field, The Times became the most 
widely quoted newspaper west of the Mississippi river. He made it the ve- 
hicle for almost every sort of quaint and exaggerated story that the West 
could furnish. Field wrote for The Times both humorous and pathetic sto- 
ries and poems. His own experiences were not all comedies, but his genius 
would not permit him to accept the serious side of life, though often pre- 
sented to him. When editor of The Times, Eugene Field wrote the humorous 
poem entitled "In Memoriam," afterwards published as "The Little Peach." 
This is the poem, published originally in The Times of August 18, 1880: 

"A little peach in the orchard grew — 
A little peach of emerald hue; 
Warmed by the sun and wet by the dew, 
It grew. 

"One day, passing that orchard through, 
That little peach dawned on the view 
Of Johnnie Jones and his sister Sue — 
Them two. 

"Up at that peach a club they threw — 
Down from the stem on which it grew 
Fell the little peach of emerald hue — 
Mon Dieu! 

"Sue took a bite and John a chew, 
And then the trouble began to brew — 
Trouble the doctor couldn't subdue — 
Too true! 

"Under the turf where the daisies grew 
They planted John and his sister Sue, 
And their little souls to the angels flew — 
Boo-hoo ! 

"But what of the peach of emerald hue, 
Warmed by the sun and wet by the dew; 
Ah, well, its mission on earth is through — 
Adieu I" 


The poem traveled all over the world, and was found anonymously 
printed in the corner of an obscure country paper, by Hubbard T. Smith of 
Washington. It was set by him to an ear-tickling melody. Because of the 
exigency of the music, Mr. Smith added the refrain: 

"Hard trials for them two, 
Johnny Jones and his sister Sue; 
Boo-hoo ! Boo-hoo ! 
Listen to my tale of woe." 

John N. Edwards, one of the editors of The Times, had no peer in Mis- 
souri as an editorial writer. His style was original, highly figurative and 
ornate. Edwards was editor of The Times from 1868 to 1873, when he went 
to St. Louis and was employed on the staff of The Dispatch. He returned 
to Kansas City and again became editor of The Times in 1887, occupying 
the position until his death, in 1889. Edwards published "Shelby and His 
Men" in 1867; "Shelby's Expedition to Mexico" in 1872; and "Noted Guer- 
rillas," in 1880. This editorial, entitled "Poor Carlotta," published in The 
Times of May 29, 1870, is a fair example of Edward's style : 

"Dispatches from Europe say that the malady is at its worst, and that 
the young widow of Maximillian is near her death hour. Ah! when the 
grim king does come, he will bring to her a blessing and a benediction. The 
beautiful brown eyes have been lusterless these many months; the tresses of 
her sunny hair have long ago been scorched with fever and pain ; the beau- 
tiful and brave young Spartan, rich in energy, in love, in passionate devo- 
tion, knows no more the roses and lawns of Miramar ; the Mediterranean brings 
no more from over perilous seas the silken pennon of her fair-haired royal 
sailor lover. It is quiet about Lacken, where the Empress lays a-dying; but 
time will never see such another woman die until the world dies. 

"It is not much to die in one's own bed, peaceful of conscience and weary. 
The naked age is crowded thick with little loves, and rose-water lines, and 
the pink and the white of the bridal toilettes. Here is a queen now in ex- 
tremity, who reigned in the tropics and whose fate has over it the lurid 
grandeur of a volcano. A sweet Catholic school-girl she was when the Aus- 
trian came a-wooing, with a ship of the line for chariot. She played mu- 
sical instruments; she had painted rare pictures of Helen, and Omphale in 
the arms of Hercules, and Jeanne d'Arc with the yellow hair, and the pen- 
sive Roland — her of the Norman face — over whose black doom there still flits 
a ruddy fervor, streaks of bright Southern tint, not wholly swallowed up of 
death. Yes! it was a love-match, rare in king-craft and court cunning. 
Old Leopold's daughter married with the flags of three nations waving over 


her, amid the roar of artillery and the broadsides of battleships. The sea 
gave its sapphire bloom and the skies their benison. Afar off French eagles 
were seen, alas! to shadow all the life of the bride with the blood of the 
husband. The nineteenth century witnessed the heroic epic which darkened 
to such a tragedy. She came to Mexico bringing in her gentle hands two 
milk white doves, as it were, Charity and Religion. 

•'Pure as all women; stainless as an angel guarded child; proud as Edith 
of the swan's neck; beautiful; a queen of all hearts where honor dwelt mis- 
tress of the realms of music; rare in the embroidery she wove; having time 
for literature and letters; sensuous only in the melody of her voice; nevei 
a mother — it was as though God had sent an angel of light to redeem a 
barbaric race and sanctify a degraded people. How she tried and how she 
suffered, let the fever which is burning her up give answer. It is not often 
that the world looks upon such a death-bed. Yet in the rosy and radiant 
toils of the honeymoon, a bride came to govern an empire where armies did 
her bidding, and French Marshals, scarred at Inkermann and Solferino, 
kissed with loyal lips her jeweled hand and murmured through their gray 
moustaches words of soldierly truth and valor. She sate herself down in the 
palace of the Montezumas and looked out amid the old elms where Cortez's 
swart cavaliers had made love in the moonlight, their blades not dry with 
the blood of morning's battle ; upon Chepultepec, that had seen the cold 
glitter of American steel and the gleam of defiant battle flags ; upon the Ale- 
mada where Alvarada took the Indian maiden to kiss, who drove the steel 
straight for his heart, and missed, and found a surer lodgment in her own. 

"All these were bridal gifts to the Austrian's bride — the brown-eyed, 
beautiful Carlotta. Noble white vision in a land of red harlots, with soft, 
pitying, queenly face; hair flowing down to the girdle and as true a heart as 
ever beat in woman's bosom. As a Grecian statue, serenely complete, she 
shines out in that black wreck of things a star. 

"It came suddenly, that death of her lover and her husband. It dared 
not draw near when the French eagles flew, but afterward what a fate for 
one so royal and so brave. God shielded the tried heart from the blow of his 
last words, for they were so tender as to carry a sorrow they could not heal. 
'Poor Carlotta!' Youth, health, reason, crown, throne, empire, armies, hus- 
band, all gone. Why should the fates be so pitiless and so unsparing? 

"Somewhere in eternity within some golden palace walls, where old im- 
perial banners float, and Launcelots keep guard, and Arthurs reign, and all 
the patriot heroes dwell, her Maxmillian is waiting for his bride. Long ago 
that spotless soul has been there. Let death come quickly and take the body, 
and end its misery and subdue its pain. All that is immortal of Carlotta 
is with her husband. The tragedy is nearly over. In an age of iron and 



steam and armies and a world at peace, it remained for a woman to teach 
nations how an empress loves and dies. Who shall dare to say hereafter that 
there is nothing in blood or birth? What gentle sister in the struggle and 
turmoil of life, will look away from that death-bed in Lacken Castle, and not 
bless God for being a woman and of the sex of her who is dying for her 
king and her empire? Sleep! the angels have no need of sleep. Nothing 
suffices love. Having happiness, one wishes for Paradise; having Paradise, 
one wishes for Heaven. There is a starry transfiguration mingled with her 
crucifixion. The crown is almost hers, and in the beautiful garden of souls 
she will find once more the monarch of her youth." 

Augustus Thomas, the playwright, worked for the old Kansas City 
Times. His last important assignment was the "story" of President Cleve- 
land's visit in October, 1887. Arthur Brisbane, the $50,000 a year editorial 
writer for the publications of William R. Hearst, was a writer for The Times. 

The Kansas City Star was founded as a four-page evening newspaper, 
September 18, 1880. In January, 1882, it purchased and absorbed the Even- 
ing Mail, and older newspaper. The Star purchased The Kansas City Times, 
a morning newspaper, in October, 1901, which it issued for a few weeks at 
a separate subscription price. The Times appeared as a morning edition of 
The Star, November 18, 1901, retaining its distinctive title for convenience 
only. Since that date, the evening, morning and Sunday editions of The 
Star have been circulated for a single subscription price. 

The Sunday edition of The Star was established April 29, 1894. A 
weekly edition of The Star was founded March 5, 1890. It was the first 
weekly newspaper in America to be sold for a subscription price of 25 cents 
a year. 

William R. Nelson and Samuel E. Morss, who had been owners of the 
Fort Wayne (Ind.) Sentinel, were the founders of The- Kansas City Star. 
Mr. Morss's connection with the enterprise was brief. Within a few months 
his health failed so seriously that he was obliged to give up work entirely 
and devote several years to his physical restoration. Later Mr. Morss became 
the owner of the Indianapolis (Ind.) Sentinel and in President Cleveland's 
second administration he was Consul General at Paris. 

William Rockhill Nelson was born in Fort Wayne, Ind., March 7, 1841. 
His father, Isaac deGroff Nelson, a native of New York state, held various 
public trusts, and was identified with the upbuilding of the state during the 
greater part of a long and busy life which ended in 1891. W. R. Nelson 
studied law and was admitted to the bar, but soon entered other and more 
active fields of employment. He was interested in the Nicholson pavement 
patents and introduced that pavement into many cities. For a time he built 
bridges and for another period was a cotton planter in Georgia. His inces- 


sant energy and business ability gave him a comfortable fortune which he 
afterward lost, and, when in 1880, he came to Kansas City to found a news- 
paper, he was far from being a wealthy man. 

Mr. Nelson concentrated upon the development of The Star extraordinary- 
resource in the form of energy, foresight, practical knowledge and courage, 
qualities which have been conspicuous throughout the whole career of the 
paper. Kansas City, in the early '80s, was prosperous and confident, but 
uncouth and unattractive. Land speculation was feverishly active and real 
estate was bought and sold at jumping advances in prices, but there was 
almost no thought given to the permanent form and character of the city. 
Raw, unpaved, unarchitectural, crude, Kansas City nevertheless had caught 
a glimpse of its destiny and was engaged in trading upon that vaguely re- 
vealed future, for the immediate profits of the trade. The time was oppor- 
tune for the intervention of an influence, which throwing a light beyond the 
mere days' transactions, should bring thought to bear upon the city that 
must remain when reckless real estate speculation had run its course. 

With this thought in mind, Mr. Nelson, full of faith in Kansas City's 
future, yoked his Star to the cause of the City's betterment, a cause which 
has constantly been a foremost consideration in all of the policies of the 
paper, broadening its range as the city grew. Paving, architecture, transporta- 
tion, city beautification, civic pride, public entertainment, parks, art galleries, 
clean politics, the water supply, home-owning, playgrounds, hospitals, hy- 
giene, cleanliness, good government — these are the things upon which The 
Star has continuously expounded, advised, exhorted, iterated and reiterated, 
tirelessly and without discouragement. It has been a power of immeasurable 
magnitude in the development of the beautiful Kansas City of to-day — a city 
of homes, which, be they cheap or costly, large or small, individually seek 
to add to the harmonizing sightliness of their neighborhoods. 

The greatest single achievement of The Star — one for which it is un- 
hesitatingly awarded the credit, but for which it labored against violent op- 
position for years — is the system of parks and boulevards, which, within fif- 
teen years, has become a marvel for visitors and an object lesson for all 
American cities. 

Complete j>olitical independence has characterized The Star from the 
first. It supports only such candidates as it considers suitable and worthy 
and supports them with conspicuous energy, but is never seriously disheart- 
ened by defeat at the polls, holding that principles survive though candidates 
may fail. In 1904 The Star supported a Republican for President, a Demo- 
crat for Governor and a Republican for Mayor, and had the unique grati- 
fication of seeing all three elected and all three carry Kansas City. 





The Star was the first newspaper in America to successfully manufacture 
its own white paper. When The Star established its paper mill in 1903 only- 
two or three other newspapers in the world owned paper mills. The Star's 
paper mill in Kansas City, in a single day, makes enough white paper to 
stretch in a strip nearly nine feet wide for a distance of 250 miles. 

In the fourteen years of its occupancy of the building at Eleventh street 
and Grand avenue, which now (1908) it is preparing to vacate for new and 
larger offices, The Star's circulation increased from a daily average of 55,- 
611 evening and Sunday, to an average more than 140,000 twice a day and 
Sunday. The circulation of the Weekly Star has increased from 101,723 to 

riP 1 


In the last full year (1893) before The Star moved from 804-06 Wyan- 
dotte streeet to Eleventh street and Grand avenue, it consumed a little more 
1,300 tons of white paper. In 1907 it consumed a little less than 13,000 
tons — 500 tons more than the displacement of the United States battle ship 
Missouri. In 1893 The Star was printed on three single perfecting presses 
with a total capacity of 36,000 eight-page papers an hour. In 1908 it was 
printed on seven Hoe quadruple perfecting presses, with a combined capacity 
of 168,000 eight-page papers an hour. The number of persons employed in 
The Star's building in 1908 was 539, four hundred more than were employed 
in 1893. For postage and express carriage, The Star paid $107,829.80 in 
1907, about seven times 1 the amount of that expense in 1893. It is estimated 
that an average of 2,600 persons a day visit the offices of The Star for the 
transaction of business. The pay roll and the white paper expense of 


The Star combined made an item in excess of one and one-fourth million 
dollars in 1907. 

The subscription price of The Star never has been changed. At the be- 
ginning the price was 10 cents a week for six days' issues. When the Sunday 
edition was added fourteen years later, the price remained the same. When, 
in 1901, a morning edition was added, and thirteen papers a week were fur- 
nished to readers, the price remained at 10 cents a week. 

James B. Runnion, an author and critic of distinction, was one of the 
early managing editors of The Star. He was associated with Wilbur F. Storey 
on the Chicago Times, and with Horace White and Joseph Medill on the 
Chicago Tribune. Mr. Runnion came to Kansas City in 1884 and became 
identified with The Star. He and Mr. Nelson had been fellow students at 
Notre Dame college. 

When Mr. Runnion came to Kansas City he had passed his fortieth 
year. He displayed in his daily work on The Star the fine qualities of his 
earlier labors. Mr. Runnion lived in Kansas City twelve years. He died at 
the Coates House May 6, 1897. 

Aside from Mr. Runnion, the men who have assisted Mr. Nelson most 
in making The Star a great newspaper are : Thomas W. Johnston, and Alex- 
ander Butts, associate editors; August F. Seested, manager, and Ralph E. 
Stout, managing editor. Mr. Stout formerly was city editor of the old Kansas 
City Times. Mr. Johnston came to Kansas City at the solicitation of James 
Steel Whitney, an early editorial writer on The Star. 

These were the heads of the other departments of The Star in 1908: 
Henry Schott, night editor; Charles I. Blood, night city editor; Howard B. 
Huselton, musical editor and editor of the Kansas City Weekly Star; Herbert 
Grissom, Sunday editor, employed by The Star at different times as writer 
and illustrator; H. L. Nicolet, commercial editor; Miss Eleanor McGee, so- 
ciety editor; W. A. Taylor, exchange editor; J. W. Morrison, day telegraph 
editor; Marvin H. Creagor, night telegraph editor; Harry E. Wood, head of 
the art department; Claude Johnson, sporting editor; Austin Latchaw, dra- 
matic critic and editorial writer. The other editorial writers are, H. J. Has- 
kell, formerly city editor; Dante Barton and F. C. Trigg. 

The Star announced in July, 1908, that it had purchased a building site 
at 1713-1735 Grand avenue, where an immense publishing plant would be 
built. The present Star building has been inadequate for the newspaper's 
business for several years. 

It was as a member of the staff of The Star in 1892 that a "young fel- 
low from Willow Creek," William Allen White, began to win a reputation 
as a newspaper writer. About six weeks before Mr. White was to have been 
graduated from the University of Kansas, he was offered a place as manager 


of the El Dorado Republican at $18 a week. The salary was sufficient in- 
ducement for him to leave the university. He had had experience as local 
reporter, printer and editorial writer. His work on the El Dorado Republi- 
can attracted immediate attention. A few months later, the Kansas City 
newspapers began to take notice of the new writer and he was offered posi- 
tions by The Journal and The Star at about the same time in 1891. 

He decided to accept the offer of The Journal. Mr. White's department 
on The Journal was the Kansas editorials and Kansas politics. The confining 
work was not to his liking and for one year Mr. White lived at Topeka as 
the political correspondent of The Journal. When the campaign of 1892 
closed, Mr. White was employed by The Kansas City Star, as editorial writer. 
In 1895 he bought the Emporia Gazette, which he published as a daily and a 

While Mr. White was on the editorial staff of The Kansas City Star, 
the Sunday edition was established in April, 1894. The members of the staff 
were asked to contribute a local feature story for the Sunday edition. Mr. 
White knew his characters and simply wrote short stories and placed them 
in typical Kansas City localities. In the two and a half years he was em- 
ployed by The Star, he wrote twenty- four local fiction stories. These stories 
laid the foundation for Mr. White's first book, "The Real Issue," published 
in New York in 1899, The "Court of Boyville," another book of short stories, 
was published the same year. 

"Stratagems and Spoils," from the. printing press of Scribner's in 1901, 
is a book in which the author speaks for the West with intimate knowledge 
and with unbiased understanding. Mr. White's book, "In Our Town," pubr 
lished in 1906, is considered his most artistic work. He writes of people 
known to the residents of Emporia with such marvelous insight, such sin- 
cerity and with such literary finish as to appeal to a large number of per- 
sons. Real fame did not come to Mr. White until after the publication in 
the Emporia Gazette of the sarcastic editorial, "What's the Matter With Kan- 
sas?" in the presidential campaign of 1896. The Republican national com- 
mittee had the editorial reprinted and spread broadcast through the country 
as campaign literature. The editorial was especially pleasing to Mark Hanna 
who was managing William McKinley's campaign for President. This is 
the editorial published in the Emporia Gazette of August 15, 1896, that 
made William Allen White famous: 

"Today the Kansas department of agriculture sent out a statement 
which indicates that Kansas has gained less than 2,000 people in the last 
year. There are about 225,000 families in the state, and there were about 
10,000 babies born in Kansas, and yet so many people have left the state 
that the natural increase is cut down to less than 2,000 net. 


"This has been going on for eight years. 

"If there had been a high brick wall around the state eight years ago 
and not a soul had been admitted or permitted to leave, Kansas would be a 
half million souls better off than she is to-day. And yet the nation has in- 
creased in population. In five years ten million people have been added to 
the national population, yet instead of gaining a share of this — say half a 
million — Kansas has apparently been a plague spot, and in the very garden 
of the world, has lost population by the ten thousands every year. 

"Not only has she lost population, but she has lost money. Every 
moneyed man in the state who could get out without loss is gone. Every 
month in every community sees someone who had a little money pack up 
and leave the state. This has been going on for eight years. Money has 
been drained out all the time. In towns where ten years ago there were three 
or four or half a dozen money lending concerns stimulating industry by fur- 
nishing capital, there is now none or one or two that are looking after the 
interests or principal already outstanding. 

"No one brings any money into Kansas any more. What community 
knows over one or two men who have moved in with more than $5,000 in 
the past three years? And what community cannot count half a score of 
men in that time who have left taking all the money they could scrape to- 

"Yet the nation has grown rich, other states have increased in popula- 
tion and wealth — other neighboring states, Missouri has gained over two 
million, while Kansas has been losing half a million. Nebraska has gained 
in wealth and population while Kansas has gone down hill. Colorado has 
gained every way while Kansas has lost every way since 1888. 

"What's the matter with Kansas? 

"There is no substantial city in the state. Every big town save one has 
lost in population. Yet Kansas City, Omaha, Lincoln, St Louis, Denver, 
Colorado Springs, Sedalia, the cities of the Dakotas, St. Paul and Minne- 
apolis and Des Moines — all cities and towns in the West, have steadily grown. 

"Take up the Government Bluebook and you will see that Kansas is 
virtually off the map. Two or three little scrubby consular places, in yellow 
fever stricken communities that do not aggregate $100,000 a year is all the 
recognition Kansas has. Nebraska draws about $10,000; little old North 
Dakota draws about $50,000; Oklahoma doubles Kansas; Missouri leaves her 
a thousand miles behind; Colorado is almost seven times greater than Kan- 
sas — the whole West is ahead of Kansas. 

"Take it by any standard you please, Kansas is not in it. 

"Go East and you hear them laugh at Kansas, go West and they sneer 
at her, go South and they 'cuss' her go North and they have forgotten her. 


Go into any crowd of intelligent people gathered anywhere on the globe, 
and you will find the Kansas man on the defensive. The newspaper col- 
umns and magazines once devoted to praise of her, to boastful facts and 
startling figures concerning her resources, are now filled with cartoons, gibes 
and Pefferian speeches. Kansas just naturally isn't in it. She has traded 
places with Arkansas and Timbuctoo. 

"What's the matter with Kansas? 

"We all know yet here we are at it again. We have an old Mossback 
Jacksonian who snorts and howls because there is a bath-tub in the state 
house; we are running that old jay for governor. We have another shabby, 
wild-eyed, rattle-brained fanatic who has said openly in a dozen speeches that 
'The rights of the user are paramount to the rights of the owner' ; we are 
running him for chief justice, so that the capital will come tumbling over 
itself to get into the state. We have raked the old ash heap of failure in the 
state and found an old human hoop skirt who has failed as a business man, 
who has failed as an editor, who has failed as a teacher, and we are going 
to run him for congressman at large. He will help the looks of the Kansas 
delegation at Washington. Then we have discovered a kid without a law 
practice and have decided to run him for attorney general. Then for fear 
some hint that the state had become respectable might percolate through 
the civilized portions of the nation, we have decided to send three or four 
harpies out lecturing, telling the people that Kansas is raising hell and let- 
ting the corn go to weeds. 

"Oh, this is a state to be proud of! We are a people who can hold up 
our heads! What we need here is more money, less capital, fewer white 
shirts and brains, fewer men with business judgment, and more of those 
fellows who boast that they are just ordinary clodhoppers, but they know 
more in a minute about finance than John Sherman; we need more men 
who are 'posted/ who can bellow about the crime of '73, who hate prosperity, 
and who think because a man believes in national honor, he is a tool of 
Wall street. We have had a few of them, some 150,000 — but we need more. 
We need several thousand gibbering idiots to scream about the 'Great Red 
Dragon' of Lombard street. We don't need population, we don't need wealth, 
we don't need well dressed men on the street, we don't need standing in the 
Nation, we don't need cities on the fertile prairies; you bet we don't. What 
we are after is the money power. Because we have become poorer and 
onrier and meaner fhan a spavined, distempered mule, we, the people of 
Kansas, propose to kick; we don't care to build up, we wish to tear down. 

" 'There are two ideas of government,' said our noble Bryan at Chicago. 
'There are those who believe that if you just legislate to make the well- 
to-do prosperous this prosperity will leak through on those below. The Dem- 


ocratic idea has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous 
their prosperity will find its way up and through every class and rest upon 

"That's the stuff! Give the prosperous man the dickens! Legislate the 
thriftless man into ease, whack the stuffings out of the creditors and tell the 
debtors who borrowed the money five years ago, when the money 'per cap- 
ita' was greater than it is now. that the contraction of the currency gives him 
a right to repudiate. 

''"Whoop it up for the ragged trousers; put the lazy greasy fizzle who 
can't pay his debts on an altar, and bow down and worship him. Let the 
state ideal be high. What we need is not the respect of our fellow men, but 
the chance to get something for nothing. 

"Oh, yes Kansas is a great state. Here are people fleeing from it by 
the score every day, capital going out of the state by the hundreds of dol- 
lars, and every industry but farming paralyzed, and that crippled, because 
its products have to go across the ocean before they can find a laboring man 
at work who can afford to buy them. Let's don't stop this year. Let's 
drive all the decent, self-respecting men out of the state. Let's keep the old 
clodhoppers who know it all. Let's encourage the man who is 'posted.' He 
can talk and what we need is not mill hands to eat our meat, nor factory 
hands to eat our wheat, nor cities to oppress the farmer by consuming his 
butter and eggs and chickens and produce. What Kansas needs is men 
who can talk, who have large leisure to argue the currency question while 
their wives wait at home for that nickel's worth of bluing. 

"What's the matter with Kansas? 

"Nothing under the shining sun. She is losing wealth, population and 
standing. She has got her statesman and the money power is afraid of her. 
Kansas is all right. She has started in to raise hell, as Mrs. Lease advised, 
and she seems to have an over-production. But that doesn't matter. Kansas 
never did believe in diversified crops. Kansas is all right. There is abso- 
lutely nothing wrong with Kansas. 'Every prospect pleases and only man 
is vile.' " 

Alfred Henry Lewis, "Dan Quin," began his literary career as a writer 
for The Star. Long before he went East he used to lean back in his chair in 
his law-office and plan his "Wolfville" stories. Lewis gave up his law practice 
to write for The Star in 1892. He was formerly police attorney of Cleve- 
land, Ohio ; he was driven West to seek a more healthful climate. Lewis lived 
an out-door life with the cowboys in New Mexico. It was there that he made 
the acquaintance of the "Old Cattleman" and other characters made famous 


in his "Wolfville" stories. Other eminent authors who were employed by 
The Star were Noble L. Prentis, Colonel Henry Inman and Roswell Field. 

The Kansas City Post was founded as an afternoon newspaper, March 
14, 1906, by A. F. Brooker. The newspaper had remarkable success from 
the beginning, in two years gaining recognition as one of the leading Dem- 
ocratic dailies of the West. Starting with a circulation of 6,000, The Post 
in two years gained a circulation of 65,000. In its brief career, The Post 
has assisted in winning several important victories for the local Democratic 
party. The Sheridan Publishing Company, which took charge of the news- 
paper, December 1, 1906, was incorporated under the laws of Missouri, No- 
vember 24, 1906. The first anniversary of The Post was celebrated March 
16, 1907, by a forty-page edition. The first Sunday edition of The Post was 
issued, November 3, 1907. The following are the heads of the various edi- 
torial departments of The Post: Arthur La Hines, city editor; Mrs. Lillian 
C. Hutton, society editor, L. H. Mitchell, telegraph and dramatic editor; 
David D. Downing, commercial editor, and Frank Ellis, sporting editor. 

The Kansas City World was established January 11, 1894, by the World 
Publishing company, incorporated under the laws of Missouri. Hal K. Tay- 
lor, an Ohio capitalist, was the controlling spirit in the organization. He 
selected L. V. Ashbaugh, later manager of the St. Paul News, as business 
manager and Nain Grute, later with the New York Herald, as managing 
editor. The management believed that there was an open field for an inde- 
pendent daily newspaper without encroaching upon any of the other pub- 
lications. In 1895 Bernard Corrigan and Dr. W. S. Woods secured control- 
ling interest and the late Arthur Grissom became managing editor. The 
name of Arthur Grissom is well known in the literary world as a writer of 
verse and the author of many clever short stories. Mr. Grissom was editor 
of the Smart Set in New York City when he died in December, 1901. The 
Scripps-McRae league acquired the plant, January 5, 1897, and made The 
World one of its string of newspapers. Arthur M. Hopkins was the manag- 
ing editor. Shortly after the new owners assumed control, the building later 
occupied by The World was erected at 1116-1118 Oak street and the plant 
moved there. 

Several years later the control of the plant passed into the possession of 
the Clover Leaf league of papers, which company published it for about one 
year, when it again was controlled by E. W. Scripps and his son, J. G. 
Scripps, beginning January 5, 1907. The World was suspended April 11, 

The first issue of The Independent appeared March 11. 1899, with 
Arthur Grissom and George Creel as its editors and owners. It was during 


an intimate association in the New York newspaper field that these writers 
conceived the idea of a high-class Western weekly that would stand for a 
cultivated public taste and make for social advancement. Kansas City, their 
home town, was quite naturally selected as the community for the experi- 

The Independent, selecting the style, size and general appearance since 
made famous by the Saturday Evening Post, aroused national, as well as 
local interest from the very first issue. Politics, society, literature, art, the 
drama, and all the varied activities of the town were crisply commented 
upon, and a reputation for cleanness and absolute honesty was soon estab- 
lished. By reason of their literary standing and New York association, Mr. 
Grissom and Mr. Creel were able to enlist the services of famous writers and 
well known artists; and competent critics were not backward in pronoun- 
cing the paper "one of the best in the country." 

Mr. Grissom returned to New York in December, 1899, to accept the 
editorship of the Smart Set, just launching, and Mr. Creel took over his 
interested itself in state, as well as local, reforms. Carefully avoiding parti- 
Independent grew in circulation and power, and boldly declaring that the 
"day of wielding influence by pandering to partisan prejudice" had passed, 
interested itself in state, as well as local reforms. Carefully avoiding parti- 
sanship and neutrality, the truth was told about men and measures without 
recourse to sensationalism. 

The Independent was the first newspaper to cry out against the "state 
ring," and hail the rising star of Joseph W. Folk, and its support contrib- 
uted to the whirlwind change in Missouri's political conditions. 

The Independent, in March, 1908, was selected by a group of thinkers 
and reformers as the best medium for the exploitation of certain ideas con- 
nected with widespread social and political reforms. This group, including 
such men as Edwin Markham, Julian Hawthorne, Gerald Stanley Lee, 
Charles Ferguson, Brand Whitlock and Charles Zueblin, dreamed of a chain 
of weekly newspapers from coast to coast, and a great quarterly that would 
give a more permanent expression to the thought of the weeklies. Plans 
were carefully laid, a giant corporation made ready for the launching, prom- 
ises of money having been secured. 

As a first step, The Independent changed its name to The Newsbook, 
and also changed the character of its contents. It was at this time that the 
full force of the financial depression commenced to be felt, and the rich men 
behind the movement were compelled to defer their contributions. The 
idea of a "chain" had to be abandoned, likewise the quarterly expression, so 
that the whole burden of the propaganda's expression fell upon the one 
weekly. Mr. Creel, realizing the inadequacy of this, and believing that it 


would be best to "quit and wait," rather than to drag along until the time 
should again be ripe, severed his connection with the group, and the news- 
paper appeared under its old name. Encouraged by the success of his news- 
paper in Kansas City and Missouri, Mr. Creel plans its enlargement both in 
size and field, believing that the West is ready for a weekly magazine all its 

The Daily Record was first issued November 18, 1888, and was pub- 
lished by Ernest E. Smith and W. C. Winsborough until 1895, when Mr. 
Winsborough disposed of his interest and retired. In the meantime a cor- 
poration was formed known as the Law and Credit company. Ernest E. 
Smith was chosen president and general manager, which position he has 
held continuously since that date. Following the retirement of Mr. Wins- 
borough in 1895, Elbert E. Smith was made secretary. 

For some years The Record was regarded merely as the daily report of 
a mercantile agency, but each year new fields were entered until all classes 
of business news were reported and the publication assumed its place in the 
the legitimate newspaper field. The legal status of The Record was undeter- 
mined however, until May 25, 1897, when the Supreme court of Missouri 
declared it to be a newspaper in the legal sense, a conclusion which the pub- 
lic had reached long before. Immediately following this decision The 
Record entered its wider field of usefulness in legal advertising. A reputa- 
tion for accuracy had been established in preceding years of careful work 
and attorneys naturally entrusted their important legal advertisements to 
The Record. Making a specialty of this work brought further business until 
a large proportion of the general legal advertising of Kansas City and Jack- 
son county is published in this newspaper. Many of the banks, trust com- 
panies and other corporations depend upon The Record for legal publication 
of their notices. 

The board of public works of Kansas City, Missouri, in 1904, awarded 
to The Record the contract for doing all legal printing required by the city, 
which contract has been renewed from year to year. The Record is also the 
official newspaper for the county court of Jackson county, and all notices 
emanating from that body which require publication must be inserted in 
this paper. 

The personnel of the staff of The Record has changed but little with 
the passing years, a fact to which much of its success may be attributed. Ed- 
win T. Chester is business manager; J. R. Andrews, court reporter, has held 
this responsible position almost continuously since the establishment of the 
newspaper. In point of service he is the oldest member of the staff with the 
exception of the president, Ernest E. Smith. 


In addition to a complete report of all proceedings in the Circuit court, 
The Record publishes fully and accurately a daily abstract of all instruments 
filed for record in Jackson county, Missouri, and Wyandotte county, Kansas. 
Also building permits, mechanics' liens, suits, judgments and executions. A 
report of fires occurring in the city is one of its features. A complete daily 
abstract of all pending public improvements, such as paving, grading and 
sewers, has proven to be of great convenience and value to property owners. 
The subscription price is $1.25 per month. 

The Record, in March, 1906, moved into its own home, the New Rec- 
ord building, a substantial steel and concrete fire proof structure erected at 
523 Locust street at a cost of $20,000. New equipment was necessary in the 
new home and new presses, folders and linotype machines were installed. 

The Kansas City Mail was consolidated with The Record in February, 
1901. This newspaper had no connection with The Mail consolidated with 
The Star. The Mail purchased by The Record from M. W. Hutchinson and 
C. W. Hutchinson, was established March 18, 1892, by Smith Moses Ford, 
a former teacher and newspaper writer from Xenia, Ohio. Mr. Ford had 
represented the Fourth ward of Kansas City as an alderman, being elected 
by the Democrats. His son Guilford C. Ford, was business manager of The 
Mail, while his father owned the newspaper. Perry Ellis of Quincy, 111., 
was the first managing editor. January 5, 1893, Melville W. Hutchinson, 
who had been employed by the paper December 1, 1892, was made manag- 
ing editor January 5, 1893, and continued to hold that position until the 
sale of the paper and its consolidation with The Record in the spring of 

In the spring of 1893, Mr. Ford sold The Mail to Ed. H. Howe of the 
Atchison Globe for $12,000, and Mr. Howe came to Kansas City, bringing 
with him Miss Frances L. Garside, a woman of considerable versatility, as 
his principal writer. The same methods that had made the Atchison Globe 
a remarkable success were employed in Kansas City and the result was a very 
unique jxiblication ; to-wit, a country paper in a metropolitan field. Mr. 
Howe had financial reverses at home, however, and becoming discouraged 
and disheartened by reason o* heavy losses sustained in the failure of the 
Continental Trust company ( ! Atchison, he returned to his first love, the 
Atchison Globe. He left Melville W. Hutchinson in charge of The Mail, 
with instructions to fill out the city printing contract and close up the plant. 
Later, however, Mr. Hutchinson became associated with his brother, Charles 
W. Hutchinson, and the Hutchinson brothers purchased the plant in May, 
1893, secured a renewal of the city printing contract and continued the pub- 
lication of the newspaper until it was bought by The Record. 


The first issue of German paper in Kansas City, a weekly, published by 
August Wuerz, appeared on the 1st day of January, 1859, and was called the 
Missouri Sunday Post. 

At the outbreak of the Civil war in 1861, Mr. "Wuerz, who was an ardent 
anti-slavery man, had to flee by night and take refuge with paper and family 
in Wyandotte, Kansas, where he published the paper under the name of the 
Kansas Post. Nine months afterwards he returned to Kansas City and con- 
tinued to publish the paper under the name of Kansas City Post, as a Repub- 
lican paper. In 1865, a Democratic weekly. The Kansas City Tribune, was 
started by Colonel Ed Waxen,. Jr. In 1872, both papers were consolidated 
and published by August Wuerz, and Henry J. Lampe as a daily morning 
paper under the name, Post and Tribune. 

After the death of Mr. Wuerz in 1882, his two sons, Hugo and Moritz 
Wuerz, entered into the firm which a few years later changed into a cor- 
poration, "The German Publishing Company." 

In 1882 another daily, The Kansas City Presse, was founded and pub- 
lished as an evening paper by the "Kansas City Presse Publishing Com- 
pany." In 1898, The Kansas City Presse was bought by Mr. Philip Dietz- 
gen of Little Rock, Arkansas, and in 1897 both dailies were united, and 
since then appear as an evening paper, under the name Kansas City Presse, 
vereint mit der Post und Tribune; Philip Dietzgen, publisher, and Henry J. 
Lampe, editor. 

This only German daily publication of Kansas City is the household 
paper of the 45,000 German-Americans of the twin cities on the mouth of 
the Kaw river. It is the organ of the 130 German, Austrian and Swiss 
societies, lodges, mutual aid and benevolent associations of Kansas City, 
Missouri and Kansas, and their 12,000 members, thousands of whom do not 
fully command the English language, or prefer a daily paper in their mother 

On this account, the Kansas City Presse, like all German papers in this 
country, aims to uphold the relations with the old country by giving more 
news of the "vaterland" and details of events occurring there, than English 
papers appear to care to do. 

The Staats Zeitung was a weekly publication founded by Frederick 
Gehring in Kansas City, in October, 1894, and since has continued in his 
possession. Mr. Gehring has been in the newspaper business the greater part 
of his long life. He is at the head of the editorial staff of the Staats Zeitung. 
B. L. Hertzberg has charge of the advertising department. The newspaper 
is independent in politics. It treats all public questions from an impersonal 
viewpoint. It prints news from all parts of the world, the latest discoveries 


of science, hygiene and various other matters of interest. The newspaper 
has a circulation outside of Kansas City. The publication has regular sub- 
scribers in Germany, Austria and other foreign countries. 

In addition to journals named above, there are numerous weekly and 
monthly publications representing various interests, including religion, edu- 
cation, medicine, law, insurance, commerce, finance, real estate, agriculture, 
and special lines in manufacture and trade. The stock interests are repre- 
sented by several publications, chief among which is the Daily Drovers Tele- 
gram, founded, in 1886. 

The newspaper has a large circulation among the farmers and cattle 
raisers of the Southwest. Jay H. Neff, ex-mayor of Kansas City, is presi- 
dent of the Daily Drovers' Telegram Publishing Company. His brother, 
George N, Neff is vice-president and manager of the company. 

Among miscellaneous journals, the most conspicuous was The Kansas 
City Review of Science and Industry, founded in 1877, by Colonel Theodore 
S. Case who published it with such ability as to command the attention of 
scientists and litterateurs. Eight years after it was founded it passed into 
the hands of "Warren Watson and was soon discontinued. The Lotus an in- 
ter-collegiate magazine, was published in 1895-96 by Kansas and Missouri 
students. It was a dainty production devoted to literature, in prose and song, 
with numerous illustrations. 

The press in recent years, gradually has been freeing itself from class 
restrictions and the dictation of political parties. Formerly most of the 
newspapers were strict party organs, and not much more was expected than a 
strict adherence to the party and a defense of its views. The Democratic 
organ published Democratic news and the Republican, Republican news. 
Thus it was necessary to read several newspapers in order to know the whole 
truth. With independence of thought, came the independent newspaper. 

The human side of life is considered now, in every aspect, by the great 
newspapers, from the little details of home life to national and international 
affairs. Human interest is as vital to the neswpaper readers of to-day as are 
affairs of state. The daily life of the people is pictured in their occupations 
and in the mode of their entertainments. Life's tragedies and life's comedies 
are depicted each day and nothing is of more importance to mankind than 
the incidents that make up human existence. Stock market reports and the 
drift of public opinion line up with advice to mothers how to care for in- 
fants in the hot summer days, or with a good receipt for cookies. The 
greater the number of columns devoted to special subjects, the larger the cir- 
culation of that paper; and the larger the circulation, the greater the number 
of advertisers. Journalism is, in a sense, commercialism. 


Emilio Castelar, the greatest Spanish statesman and author, who knew 
the history of American polities better than most Americans, and to whom 
few Englishmen were equal in knowledge of the great masterpieces of Eng- 
lish literature, said: 

"I can comprehend societies without steam engines, without the electric 
telegraph, without the thousand marvels which modern industry has sown 
in the triumphal path of progress, adorned by so many immortal monu- 
ments. But I cannot understand a society without this immense volume of 
the daily press, in which is registered by a legion of writers, who should be 
held in honor by the people, our troubles, our vacillations, our apprehen- 
sions, and the degree of perfection at which we have arrived in the work of 
realizing an ideal of justice upon the face of the earth. 

Keeping in touch with the newspapers gives daily co-operation in thought 
with the brain of all humanity, sympathy with the hearts of fellow men, 
mingling of life with the great ocean of human existence, interest in the 
agitation of waves by the breadth of new ideas. 

"For these exceptional witnesses know what rays of light cross each 
other on our horizon ; these public judges prescribe rules which form the 
judgment of the human conscience upon all actions. The passion of parties 
is of small importance; without it perhaps we should not be able to com- 
prehend this prodigious work, which, like all human works, necessitates the 
steam of a great passion to set it in motion. The studied silence upon some 
subjects matters little, nor the partiality shown on others, nor the injustice, 
even to falsehood, so often manifested ; for from this battle of spiritual forces 
results the total life as from the shadows we perceive the harmony of a 

"What a wonderful work is a newspaper — a work of art and science! 
Six ages have not been enough to complete the cathedral of Cologne, and 
one day suffices to finish the. immense labor of a newspaper. We are unable 
to measure the degrees of life, of light, of progress that are to be found in 
each leaf of the immortal book which forms the press. We find in a journal 
everything, from the notices relating to the most obscure individuals to the 
speech which is delivered from the highest tribunal, and which affects all in- 
telligences; from the passing thought excited by the account of a ball to the 
criticism on those works of art destined to immortality. This marvelous 
sheet is the encyclopaedia of our time; an encyclopaedia wdiich neces- 
sitates an incalculable knowledge — a knowledge whose power our generation 
cannot deny — a knowledge which is as the condensation of the learning of 
a century." 




The first church members who came to the vicinity of Kansas City were 
the Catholic hunters and trappers. The Catholic priests were the pioneer 
clergymen. The dauntless courage of the Catholic discoverer and voyager 
was kept alive by the knowledge that his priest would accompany him and 
share his hardships, or soon follow in his wake to administer to him the 
solaces of his religion. 

When Robidoux first dipped his oar in the Mississippi river and steered 
his canoe northward, and then went up the Missouri river, in all probability 
he exacted a promise from the abbes then in St. Louis and the Florrisant 
valley to follow him. The American Fur company, in whose employ he 
went forth, knew that the permanency and ultimate success of their agency 
in the Platte country depended to a great extent on the presence and min- 
istrations of the priests. The company invited the priest to each of its agen- 
cies. Religion not only stimulated courage and fortitude in the employees, 
but it made them more honest and zealous in the company's interest. 

The last quarter of the Eighteenth century witnessed the Catholic church 
deprived of one of its strongest agencies for the preaching of its divine teach- 
ings in new countries. The Jesuits as a society were under the ban of the 
church's disapproval — they were disbanded. The best drilled, the best dis- 
ciplined, the most efficient corps in the army of the church was mustered 
out of service. The society of Jesuits was successfully working among the In- 
dian tribes in the Eastern states, when Pope Clement XIV issued the order 
to disband. This left the conversion of the western tribes to a few diocesan 
priests engaged in Upper Louisiana and Illinois. This was a new field for 
the diocesan priest. To enter upon it and to minister to the white men scat- 
tered along the Missouri river forced the pastors of Kaskaskia, St. Louis and 
Florissant to neglect for a time their flocks. The priests who entered tem- 
porarily upon this new charge worked as effectually as the Jesuits would have 
done. But their labors were spasmodic and without system. 

The first priest known to have visited the Indians in middle and Western 
Missouri and eastern Kansas, was Father La Croix, a chaplain to the Sisters 
of the Sacred Heart at Florissant. He came west in 1821. He spent some 
time with the Frenchmen along the Missouri and Kansas rivers, among them 
those living where Kansas City now stands, and then went west to the fur 
agency at St. Joseph. He then returned to Florissant. 

The next priest who did missionary work among the western Indians 
and the western white men was the Rev. Joseph Lutz. The time of his first 


visit was 1825. He was a young German priest, and at that time one of 
the clergymen assisting Bishop Rosati at the St. Louis cathedral. He knew 
there were Catholic Indians in the West and he opened a correspondence 
with them through the Indian agents. An Indian chief, named Kansas, 
who was the head of the tribe of that name, went to St. Louis to have a 
personal interview with Father Lutz. The result was that Father Lutz 
started on his first missionary tour among the Indians of the West. He vis- 
ited the Kansas and the Kickapoo tribes. Even after the Jesuits became 
permanent missionaries among those Indians Father Lutz's interest in them 
did not lag, and he frequently accompanied the Fathers on their trips West. 
Father Lutz spent several months with the French in the bottom lands, now 
the business districts of Kansas City. Here he regularly said mass, and per- 
formed all the duties of a pastor. His visits to this locality continued until 

Father Benedict Roux alternated with the Rev. J. Lutz in missionary 
work in Kansas City. Father Roux was a native of France. As pastor of 
Kaskaskia he volunteered occasional service at the mouth of the Kaw river. 
Father Roux first came here in 1833. The Catholics were no longer con- 
fined to the West bottoms; they were in the East bottoms too, and lived also 
on the surrounding hills. Father Roux said mass in a house near what is 
now Cherry and Second streets. This point soon became the most central 
for his people. Father Roux was a practical business man. He had acquired 
property and built churches in Kaskaskia and Cahokia. It was he who gave 
permanency to the mission here. 

Father Roux purchased a site for a church. This not only was the first 
piece of Catholic church property ever purchased in Kansas City, but it was 
also one of the very first real estate transactions, for a consideration, ever 
made here. The land he purchased April 5, 1834, had been patented by 
Peter La Liberte, March 8, 1834, less than one month previous. Father 
Roux gave $6 for forty acres. This tract extended along the present west line of 
Broadway, from Ninth street to Twelfth street, and then due west to a point 
one hundred feet west of Jefferson street. Father Roux deeded ten acres of 
the tract to Bishop Rosati January 31, 1839. The ten acres are bounded by 
Eleventh street on the north, Twelfth street on the south, Broadway on the 
east, and the west line of the original forty acres on the west. The consid- 
eration for the ten acres deeded to Bishop Rosati was $2. 

The two acres used for a graveyard until 1880, supplied the funds by 
which Father Bernard Donnelly purchased St, Mary cemetery, and the ten 
acres which he deeded to the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1879. The block 
bounded by Twelfth and Eleventh streets, and by Penn and Washington 
streets, was deeded by Archbishop Kendrick in 1866 to the Sisters of St. 


Joseph, at the request of Father Donnelly. Father Donnelly sold stone from 
a quarry which he called "Rocky point," on Twelfth street between Penn 
and Jefferson streets, for riprapping the banks of the Missouri river, and for 
other purposes. The proceeds of all sales he gave to the sisters in the time of 
their need and for helping to purchase, and aid St. Joseph's hospital. But 
the Sisters were not the only beneficiaries of Father Donnelly's business man- 
agement of the ten acres. The church of St. Peter and Paul was liberally 
aided from this revenue. To St Patrick's Parish church for the first three 
years of its existence, he contributed $3,000 from the sale of brick from the 
brickyard which stood on the site of the episcopal residence. To Annun- 
ciation Parish he gave $300, all he could spare. When this parish was es- 
tablished his parochial territory was restricted and there was no lime or brick 
kiln to furnish him the means to be more generous. 

Father Donnelly was deeply interested in the Westport parish. He gave 
property and material to the parish valued at $2,500. The Redemptorist 
Fathers received a worthy gift from him. The sale of the rest of the ten 
acres made the building of the cathedral and Christian Brothers' school a 
matter of not much effort. 

The Rev. Charles Van Quickenborne and the Rev. Peter J. Timmer- 
lnan, two Jesuit Fathers, with seven aspirants to the priesthood and three 
lay brothers, left White Marsh, Md., for Missouri April 11, 1823. In 1827 
Father Van Quickenborne went on his first missionary excursion to the In- 
dians of the West. He visited the fur traders at the mouth of the Kaw 
river. He said mass, preached and administered the sacraments to them. In 
1837 at the command of the Rev. Van Quickenborne, the superior of the 
society in the West, the Jesuits built a log church on the forty acre tract 
belonging to the Rev. Benedict Roux. Father Roux was in his parish at 
Kaskaskia, and gladly granted the necessary permission. 

The new Catholic church was named in honor of a Jesuit saint, St. 
Francis Regis. It was built on what is now the south line of Eleventh 
street, and would be in the middle of Penn street. A two-room log house 
stood at the southwest corner of Eleventh and Penn streets, and remained 
standing until the property was purchased by the late Thomas Bullene. 

Rev. Anthony Eisvogels was removed from Kickapoo village to the 
town of Kansas in 1842. He was the first resident pastor of what is now 
Kansas City. His missions were Independence, Weston, Irish Grove and Fort 
Leavenworth. Father Verhoegen succeeded Father Eisvogels, and was pas- 
tor in 1844-46. Father Saunier, diocesan priest, came in 1847. During 
Father Saunier's sojourn in the East in 1848, Father Donnelly then sta- 
tioned at Independence, succeeded him. Father Saunier was pastor to 1849. 
From 1845 when Father Donnelly came to Independence, he efficiently 


'rjk%> '"' 

• 2*' ^& a ?%. 


5> —-%*■ ~: : 

j. *^i 


> -- *f«u|*? 

* B ^K* 

r .A- : *T 

W,-|M< <»j 



_ ■■:.. 

r: £^ ' 

W 1^ 

b^L^ '* ? 


s - 

I 1^5^T« 

' ▼^ B* 


I v pB IK 9V 



;j'. *'*"> ?H^ 

; - 

- ■ * 


.-- -" y 

P9 **" *' 

-=*** "'- i^-^&p) - 

^% S 

~> , 




aided Father Saunier in his ministrations among the English-speaking 

With Father Bernard Donnelly began the modern history of the Cath- 
olic church in Kansas City. Father Donnelly succeeded the Rev. A. Saunier 
in the charge of the mission at the town of Kansas late in 1849. Father 
Donnelly's parish continued to be Independence where he resided. Besides 
Independence and the town of Kansas, he also attended Sibley in Jackson 
county and Lexington in Lafayette county. He visited Catholics south and 
west almost to the Arkansas line, and east within twenty miles of Jefferson 

Father Donnelly, in 1857, built a brick church facing Broadway, about 
midway between Eleventh and Twelfth streets. He also erected a one-room 
brick house with a basement. This house was enlarged at various times 
until it became a four-room house and two stories high. After completing 
this work he wrote Archbishop Kendrick, suggesting that a pastor be ap- 
pointed to live in Kansas City. The archbishop consented and Father Don- 
nelly became resident pastor here in 1857. The new church he called the 
Immaculate Conception. The name of St. Francis Regis ceased to be the 
parish title when the old log church was destroyed. For more than twenty- 
two years, Father Donnelly labored as pastor of Immaculate Conception. 
His first assistant was Father Michael Walsh, who remained with him but 
a few months when he was appointed pastor at Westport, in 1870. Father 
James Doherty succeeded Father Walsh. He was promoted to Annuncia- 
tion church, St. Louis, January 1, 1872. Father James Phelan was as- 
sistant until December, 1872, and his place was taken by Father Curran 
who came in 1878. Father Donnelly resigned in 1880. Immaculate Con- 
ception church became the Cathedral of Kansas City diocese on the appoint- 
ment of Bishop Hogan. 

Father Halpin was the first pastor of St. Patrick's parish. He said mass 
for the first three months in St. Peter and Paul's church. The property 
secured for a church site was on the southwest corner of Seventh and Oak 
streets. Father Halpin began work on a large church but only succeeded 
in covering in a part of the basement. Father Halpin retired on July 11, 
1872, and Father Archer of St. Louis was the next pastor. Father James 
A. Dunn was St. Patrick's third pastor. 

A third division of the original parish of Kansas City was made May 
25, 1872, when Archbishop Kendrick formed a part of the city known as 
West Kansas into a new parish. The new parish was named Annunciation. 
The Rev. William J. Dalton, assistant at Annunciation church, St. Louis, 
was assigned pastor. Father Dalton said the first mass for the new con- 
gregation, Sunday, June 27, 1872. An empty store on Twelfth street, be- 


tween Wyoming and Greene streets, was offered by its owner for temporary 
use. Two lots of fifty feet each on the southwest corner of Fourteenth and 
Wyoming streets were purchased, July 3, 1872. This property was then 
a portion of a cornfield, and had just been platted into an addition known 
as the Depot addition. August 22 following, 100 feet more were purchased 
on the southeast corner, facing the first purchase. A frame church building, 
30x40 feet, was later completed and occupied. This building, situated on 
the first property purchased, was enlarged in September, 1872, and moved 
across the street to the new property. Here the congregation worshipped until 
November 12, 1882, when a new brick church was dedicated. 

Anunciation parish was in that district of the city where the railroads, 
stock yards and machine shops were situated. An inundation from the Mis- 
souri river in 1882, and the purchase of entire streets of property by the 
Stock Yards company and the Rock Island railway company, in 1883, 1886 
and 1892, forced the parishioners to other parts of the city, and reduced 
the congregation to a number less than were present at the foundation of 
the parish. In October, 1898, the church and pastoral residence were bought 
by the Rock Island railway company. 

St. John's and St. Joseph's parishes were taken from the territory of 
St. Patrick's parish. Both were founded at the same time. Father James 
Phelan organized St. John's parish in February, 1882; the cornerstone of 
the church was laid Sunday, June 14, 1882. He purchased the pastoral 
residence in 1892. Father James Kennedy of St. Joseph's said mass in an 
empty hall on Eighteenth street until he completed the basement of the 
church at Nineteenth and Harrison streets. He purchased the location on 
which he erected the parish school. In connection with the school property, 
he bought a lot and house for the Sisters. Father Clohessy became pastor 
in 1889 or 1890. He completed the church, and erected a pastoral residence. 

The Redemptorist Fathers came to Kansas City from New Orleans, 
Louisiana, in 1876, and purchased ten acres of ground in Westport. The 
following year they erected a church edifice and monastery at Thirty-third 
and Wyandotte streets, at a cost of $40,000. They soon opened a preparatory 
college for students, and in 1885 found it necessary to add to their build- 
ings. The preparatory department was removed to Kirkwood, Missouri, in 
1890, and the college was devoted solely to use as the Theological Seminary 
of the Redemptorist Order. In addition to the college faculty and the parish 
priests, the monastery is the home of nearly a score of missioners who go 
out to various western states. From 1878 until April, 1895, the people of 
the parish attended the Redemptorist Church of Our Lady of Perpetual 
Help. A parish church under that name was opened for divine worship, 
April 2, 1895. 


St. Aloysius's parish was organized in January, 1886, by the Rev. Henry 
A. Schapman, S. J. A lot at Eleventh street and Prospect avenue was pur- 
chased and a church building was completed by the Rev. James A. Dowling, 
S. J. Until its completion services were held in the basement for some 
years. The church is conducted by the Jesuit Fathers. The church of the 
Holy Name was also founded in 1886. During the first year, Father Sher- 
idan, Devereux and O'Dwyer served in turn, and services were held in three 
different dwelling houses. A frame church building was erected at Twenty- 
third street and College avenue in 1887. The church is conducted by the 
Dominican Fathers. 

In 1886, the Rev. William McCormack began the organization of a 
parish in the East bottoms, to which he gave the name of St. Francis the 
Seraph, or of Assissi. A church building was erected in 1887, and a school 
building in 1897. In 1891 the parish came under the care of the Franciscan 
Fathers. The congregation includes various nationalities. Sacred Heart 
parish was established in 1887 by the Rev. M. J. O'Dwyer. In order to 
lessen expense Father O'Dwyer utilized the earth removed in grading for 
brick-making, with which brick he built an academy and a residence. The 
Rev. R. M. Ryan was appointed to reorganize the parish in Westport in 
1888, and he succeeded in renovating the old church building, which had 
been in disuse from 1874 to that. time. It is known as Our Lady of Good 
Counsel. St. Stephen's parish was formed in 1888 by the Rev. P. J. 
O'Donnell, then secretary of the diocese of Kansas City, and chaplain of St. 
Joseph's hospital. 

Holy Trinity parish, under the care of the Rev. M. J. Gleason, was 
established in 1888. St. Vincent's parish was founded in 1888 by the Rev. 
P. M. O'Regan, and a church building was erected soon afterward. This 
building was abandoned and a new parish was established on the south side 
of the city. The church is under the care of the Lazarist Fathers. The 
church of Our Lady of Sorrows was founded in 1888, by the Rev. Aloysius 
Kurts and a building was completed in 1891. It is under the care of the 
Franciscan Order. A congregation of Arabians was formed by Father John, 
an Arabian priest, in 1890. For want of a church building services have 
been held in a room at Second street and Grand avenue. Services are con- 
ducted in the Syro-Chaldaic tongue. The Holy Rosary is an Italian church 
founded in 1895 by the Rev. Santo Paulo. 

St. Teresa's academy for young women was opened August 4, 1866. 
It ranks high among the best academies for young women in the West. In 
1899 it numbered 220 pupils. The Christian Brothers conduct an academy 
and primary school for boys, and use the school building attached to the 


Cathedral. There are thirteen parish schools in Kansas City, numbering 
about fifty teachers and upwards of 1,600 pupils. 

The Roman Catholic diocese of Kansas City was created September 10, 
1880, and comprises all that part of Missouri south of the Missouri river, 
and west of the eastern boundary lines of the counties of Moniteau, Miller, 
Camden, Laclede, Wright, Douglas and Ozark. The Right Rev. John Joseph 
Hogan, bishop of St. Joseph, Missouri, was transferred to the new see, and 
took up his episcopal residence in Kansas City. He continued to act as 
administrator of the St. Joseph diocese until 1893, when Bishop Burke of 
Cheyenne, was transferred to St. Joseph. 

Soon after his transfer to Kansas City, Bishop Hogan built a new church 
of the Immaculate Conception, to be known as the Cathedral. Ground was 
broken October 1, 1881 ; the cornerstone was laid May 14, 1882, and in 
1883 the edifice was completed. The building is one hundred and seventy 
by seventy feet in size, with a fifty-foot sanctuary, and a tower one hundred 
and sixty feet in height. The latter contains a beautiful chime of eleven 
bells, the gift of the late Mrs. Thomas Corrigan as a memorial to her dead 
husband. The cathedral was the scene of impressive religious observances, 
August 27, 1895, on the return of Bishop Hogan from a visit to Ireland, 
whither he had gone to restore his health. The golden jubilee of the coming 
of Father Donnelly to "Westport landing" was celebrated in the same year, 
and upon this occasion the chimes rang for the first time. 

Oppressed by increasing duties and the growing infirmities of age, 
Bishop Hogan petitioned Rome for a coadjutor, and the Right Rev. John J. 
Glennon, since 1893 rector of the Cathedral parish and vicar general of the 
Kansas City diocese, was elevated to the position. Father Glennon was con- 
secrated bishop of Pinara, Asia Minor, June 29, 1896, by Archbishop Kain 
of St. Louis; his coadjutorship bears with it the right of succession in the 

In the Kansas City diocese are fifty-five churches with resident priests; 
thirteen missions with churches; twenty-seven stations; nine chapels; forty- 
eight secular priests, and forty-two priests of religious orders ; fifteen ecclesiasti- 
cal students; nine academies for young women; parochial schools in forty- 
one parishes and missions; two asylums for orphans; one industrial and re- 
form school; five hospitals, and a home for the aged poor. The Catholic 
population of the diocese is about 45,000. The only Catholic journal in the 
diocese is the Catholic Register, founded in 1899. 

The Rev. William J. Dalton, priest of the church of the Annunciation, 
has labored in Kansas City more than thirty years. Father Dalton was born 
in St. Louis in 1848. His early life was spent in that city and part of his 
education was received at the Christian Brothers' college. It was completed 


in Milwaukee and at Cape Girardeau. So high stood Father Dalton in his 
scholastic work that he won upon his completion of school life a scholarship 
in one of the famous universities of Europe. It was at the age of 21 years 
that Father Dalton was ordained priest. The ordination services were by- 
special dispensation on account of Father Dalton's age and were conducted in 
the cathedral in St, Louis. Father Dalton was the first priest of the church of 
the Annunciation in St. Louis but left there to begin his labors in Kansas 
City in 1872. He erected during the first and second years of his pastorate 
here a temporary church on the corner of Wyoming and Fourteenth streets, 
at a cost of $3,000 

In 1882, Father Dalton's labors were rewarded by the parish being able 
to erect a new church at a cost of $20,000. Notwithstanding the fact that 
Father Dalton's time was greatly occupied with his religious duties, he always 
has found time to aid in worthy public enterprises. Thirty years of Father 
Dalton's life here were spent in his old parish in the West bottoms for it was 
not until May 10, 1902, that the New Annunciation parish on the East side, 
was created, and Father Dalton placed in charge. June 29, 1902, on the thirti- 
eth anniversary of his arrival in Kansas City, Father Dalton said his first mass 
in his new parish, in a tent on the site of the new church. 

The pioneer protestant church of the three towns, Independence, West- 
port and Kansas City, was the Methodist Episcopal church, South, cradled in 
Westport in 1836. From the city of Nashville, Tenn., came the leading spirit 
that moved the cradle, the Rev. James Porter, his wife and only child, Jesse 
L. The family brought a number of valuable horses, droves of cattle, hogs 
and twenty-five or thirty black servants. Over turnpike and prairie, through 
forests and fertile valleys, the cavalcade traveled several weary weeks, finally 
striking the trail along the Missouri river and going west along this trail until 
the evening of a lovely day in the spring of 1832, the Rev. Mr. Porter and 
his family reached the French settlement at the Kaw's mouth where they re- 
mained several days, while Mr. Porter rode through the adjoining forests in 
search of a location to build his home. He finally purchased a large tract of 
land lying southeast of the settlement, 

On the southwest corner of what is now 27th and Tracy, Mr. Porter and 
his black servants began the construction of the future home. They went to 
the forests, felled the trees, hewed and dragged the logs to where the foundation 
had already been prepared from rock quarried on the spot. Oaken logs were 
used for the walls and walnut for the floors and window casings of the five 
room house; it required weeks of labor to build this home which was builded 
as solidly as any settler ever built a cabin. It was a story and a half structure 
with a kitchen eight or ten feet away, and servants' quarters nearby, each 
head of a family having a cabin. The old homestead, afterwards weather- 


boarded, still stands on the original site preserved by the immediate descend- 
ants of Mr. Porter 

A class was formed by the Rev. Mr. Porter in 1836 or 1840. This little 
church class, as it was then called, held services for some time after its organ- 
ization in the home of Mr. Wm. M. Chick at Westport. In 1844, however, 
Mr. Chick moved from Westport to Kansas City and together with Mr. Porter, 
Mr. James Hickman and other settlers decided to build a school house which 
should serve both purposes, for school and church, until such time as a 
church building should become necessary. The Rev. James Porter's influence 
on the religious and moral life of Westport and Kansas City began with his 
residence here, and is shown today in the lives of the descendants of his con- 
gregation. From the beginning of the organization of the class at Col. Chick's, 
Mr. Porter continued his connection with the church and when Col. Chick 
moved to Kansas City, Mr. Porter with other neighbors and black servants 
went to the forests south of Kansas City and hewed and dragged to town a 
sufficient number of logs to build the school house at Missouri avenue and 
Walnut street. In 1845 the Rev. Mr. Porter began preaching in the log school 
house at Missouri avenue and Walnut street. In the forests near the school 
house, the weather being warm, in the summer of 1845 Mr. Porter organized 
an association of the Methodist Epicsopal Church South. In response to the 
invitation of the preacher, Mr. Porter, those who wished to join the church 
should take their seats on a log nearby, five persons responded. These five 
persons were Mrs. James Porter, his wife, James Hickman, Colonel Wm. M. 
Chick and his wife, Ann Eliza Chick, and a Mrs. Smith. The log school house 
was used as a place of worship until Dr. Johnston Lykins built a frame school 
house near the river at Third and Delaware streets, and this was occupied 
until 1852 when the brick church, the first protestant church in Kansas City, 
was completed on 5th street between Delaware and Wyandotte. This church 
was dedicated by Bishop Paine. The first patsor of the, now completed, Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church, South, was Rev. Wm. M. Leftwitch, the well known 
author of "Martyrdom in Missouri." In the fall of 1852, Nathan Scarritt 
was appointed to Kansas City and Westport and for many years was a con- 
spicuous figure in Kansas City Methodism. Later the church was used as a 
hospital for confederate prisoners wounded in the battle of Westport. 

In 1856, the women of all denominations, led by Mrs. Millet, conceived 
the idea of giving a church fair on board a steamboat that was ice bound at 
the Kansas City Levee, the funds to be used for church improvements. Cap- 
tain Alexander Gilham in charge of the boat generously assisted the women 
in their enterprise. This was the first church fair held in Kansas City. Mrs. 
James M. Sexton, mother of Mrs. J. S. Chick, was appointed president of the 
fair, but owing to ill health resigned and was succeeded by Mrs. Dr. Johnston 


Lykins, a member of the Baptist church, to whose efforts much credit was 
acorded for the success of the fair. 

The Methodists worshiped in the Fifth Street church until 1874, when 
they sold that property and erected a new church near the corner of Ninth 
and Walnut streets, known as the Walnut Street Methodist Church, South. 
The congregation moved into the lecture room of the Walnut Street church 
in 1875, but not until 1879 was the new and spacious church completed, free 
from debt, and dedicated by Bishop Wightman. 

In 1880 being again forced to seek larger quarters a site was purchased 
at 9th street and Lydia avenue and a frame church was erected. The Rev. 
L. P. Norfleet served as pastor for one year and was succeeded by Dr C. C. 
Woods. In the winter of 1880 the church burned and a temporary frame 
building was built on Ninth street and Woodland, which was used until the 
church could be rebuilt. In 1882 Rev. J. W. Lawrance became pastor and 
under his ministry the church was rebuilt at 9th and Lydia and was dedicated 
in May, 1884. This being the centennial year of organized American Metho- 
dism, the church was called Centenary. The Rev. C. 0. Jones became pastor 
in 1886 and was succeeded in 1888 by the Rev. J. C. Morris, formerly of Wal- 
nut Street church. In May, 1890, the general conference elected Dr. Morris 
assistant church extension secretary and Dr. J. E. Godbey served the rest of 
the year. In the fall of 1890, Dr. G. C. Rankin was appointed pastor and was 
followed by the Rev. W. T. McClure in 1892. The church was consolidated 
with the Walnut street church in 1893, under the name of the Central church, 
of which the Rev. C. M. Hawkins was pastor for four years. Dr. F. R. Hill 
who had been at Troost avenue for three years was appointed pastor of Central 
church in 1897. In 1898 the Rev. C. H. Briggs succeeded the Rev. W. T. 
McClure as presiding elder and S. H. Werlein who had served Troost avenue 
one year was appointed. 

With the growth of the city and the largely increased membership, it 
was found necessary, in order to properly care for the new members through- 
out the numerous additions to the city, to erect houses of worship accessible to 
the homes of the growing membership. Out of this movement churches have 
been built in various parts of the city. 

Central church purchased a lot at the northwest corner of Eleventh 
street and the paseo and built a church, one of the largest and best equipped in 
the city. It has a seating capacity of 2,500. The building was completed in 
January, 1908. The new church was built in the pastorate of the Rev. Paul 
H. Linn. 

The Washington Street Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was estab- 
lished in 1880, on Washington street between Thirteenth and Fourteenth 
streets, Dr. Nathan Scarritt at its head. Judge Holmes and L. T. Moore each 


gave $1,000 in 1887-88 for the support of the Washington Street church. 
The church was abandoned in 1904. Campbell street church at the corner of 
Missouri avenue and Campbell street was organized in 1883. Dr. Nathan 
Scarritt was the first pastor in 1884. Brooklyn Avenue church, at Thirteenth 
street and Brooklyn avenue, was built in 1884. Under the pastorate of the Rev. 
J. M. Boone, the property was sold and a new church was built at the south- 
west corner of Olive and Fourteenth street. The Rev. Zachariah M. Williams 
is the present pastor. 

Melrose Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was organized in 1888 
through the influence of Dr. Nathan Scarritt. Dr. Scarritt contributed $30,000 
to the church and in 1889 he served as pastor. In 1899 Mrs. Lucy A. Porter of- 
fered to give a lot with a frontage of 100 feet near Twenty-sixth street on 
Troost avenue, for the erection of a church to cost not less than $25,000. This 
was the Porter family cemetery. The bodies had been removed but it was 
the wish of Mrs. Porter that the ground should be used for sacred purposes. 
She and her children made a further gift of $8,000. Later a Sunday school 
was organized in a hall on Vine street and later still in a hall on McCoy 
avenue. When the Troost avenue Methodist church was established these 
organizations were merged with it. The church was completed and dedicated 
in the spring of 1893. The membership of the new church was organized 
chiefly from members of the Walnut street church. 

The extension of the city limits added Westport church to the number 
in Kansas City. The society of Westport was organized before the one in Kan- 
sas City, but the first church was not. built until several years after the erection 
of the Fifth Street church. In 1852-53 Dr. Nathan Scarritt served in West- 
port in connection with his Kansas City labors, and was again pastor in 1870 
and 1875 . The Rev. T. M. Cobb was appointed in 1869, the Rev. G. W. Horn 
in 1871, the Rev. R. A. Halloway in 1873, the Rev. W. F. Camp in 1876 
and the Rev. J. D. Wood in 1877. About that time Westport was the principal 
appointment in a circuit which included Belton in Cass county. The Rev. 
Joseph King was appointed pastor in 1878, the Rev. J. B. Ellis in 1881, the 
Rev. W. F. Wagoner in 1885 and the Rev. J. C. Given in 1886. In 1887 
Westport again became a station, and the Rev. J. M. Clark was appointed 
pastor, succeeded in 1888 by the Rev. J. E. Carpenter, and he in 1899 by the 
Rev. H. C. Meredith. In the pastorate of the, Rev. C. W. Moore, appointed in 
1894, the beautiful stone church at the corner of Washington and Fortieth 
streets was built. The Institutional church, established by the Methodist Epis- 
copal church, South, is distinct among the other churches of the city. It, 
was founded in the interest of "preventive" work among the poor of the 
"North end" of Kansas City with special reference to children. The building 
was opened February 11, 1907. The Institutional church follows a system of 


' ! *F 1 


'* » « M mn, 


■' -■ ItjfesJ 




practical Christianity and administers to the mental and physical as well as 
the spiritual needs of its parishioners. 

The Institutional church in Kansas City originated with the Rev. Charles 
W. Moore, a Methodist minister with broad education and broad sympathies. 
Dr. Moore studied both in America and Europe, and the experiment with the 
new kind of church was not tried until he had made a thorough study of 
the subject. His knowledge of the work at hand, his wide acquaintance in 
Kansas City and his persistent efforts enabled him to establish the Institutional 
church on a firm basis. 

In answer to the cry of the "North end" district, a commodious building 
of gray stone and tile roof at the corner of Admiral boulevard and Holmes 
street was erected. The building contains 32 rooms with entrances on three 
streets. The building is two stories high on the Admiral boulevard front, 
and is four stories high above the basement on the Sixth street front ; its value 
is estimated at from $65,000 to $75,000. A large play ground at the east of 
the building, surrounded by a stone wall, is furnished with swings, rings, 
turning bars, teeter-totters, merry-go-rounds, sand piles and tents. On the 
Admiral boulevard side, a porch 75 feet long extends across the front of the 
building. On this floor is the main auditorium with a seating capacity of 700 
or 800. This room is provided with convenient arrangements for Sunday 
school purposes, having twelve rooms for separate classes. Other rooms on this 
floor are used for the Junior and Senior Epworth league, Home Mission 
society, the music school, the Sewing school and Girls' club. One floor contains 
a large club room, equipped with apparatus for games; a furnished parlor for 
the workers, a large bed room containing a number of snow white beds occu- 
pied by little girls who are paroled in the Juvenile court in Kansas City and 
placed in the institution; four furnished rooms for the resident deaconesses; 
a medical closet used by the resident workers in caring for trivial ailments 
of the children in the day nursery. About thirty-five little children are left 
every week day by mothers who have no one to care for their babies while 
they are away from home at work. A large play room provided with little red 
chairs, plenty of toys and pretty pictures, is filled with prattling, playful 
children, who, in their happy surroundings, are quite forgetful of their moth- 
ers until the evening when the mothers begin to call for their children on 
their way home from work. 

A large gymnasium two stories high, over seventy feet long, contains 
lockers and shower baths, for boys on the one side and girls on the other; 
and the balcony for visitors ; parallel and horizontal bars, basket ball, Indian 
clubs, rings and other apparatus. In this room twelve clubs of boys and girls 
and young people meet in the week. Children thus are taken off the streets 
and are brought into contact with the leaders of the clubs and classes and 


taught how to play in a fair and generous spirit, at the same time imbibing 
principles of cleanliness, obedience and honesty. 

The neglected children who are wards of the juvenile court find a home 
at the Institutional church. They are kept in the church only long enough 
to provide a home for them elsewhere, in place of the neglected or wrecked ones 
from which they come. About ninety children and young girls are taught in 
the cooking school, which is under the supervision of Miss Belle Stewart, the 
instructor of the domestic science department in the Manual Training High 
school. Cooking and the proper care of the dining-room and kitchen are 
taught. The Night school is attended by about 100 boys and girls, who are 
instructed by fourteen teachers. Children, as well as young men and women 
who work during the day and have no opportunity for study, are instructed in 
shorthand, typewriting, bookkeeping and English in the Night school. The 
Institutional church, co-operating with several other institutions in the city, 
helps to support a summer camp at Indian creek, near Kansas City, where 
boys and girls find a pleasant summer outing. 

Two resident deaconesses, Mrs. W. G. Catlin and Miss Ethel Jackson, 
have headquarters at the Institutional church. The Institutional department 
of the church is under the direction of Miss Mabel K. Howell, a teacher of 
sociology in the Scarritt Bible and Training school, and is entirely non- 
sectarian. Dr. Moore's assistant in charge of the department of worship is 
the Rev. James C. Rawlings. There are services on Sunday and through the 
week, Sunday school and young people's meetings, visits to the sick and the 
poor, flowers distributed and cheer spread abroad from this department to 
the desolate homes in the "North end." The Institutional church is open 
seven days and seven nights in the week. The women's board of city missions, 
with Mrs. George P. Gross president, and the Methodist church association, 
with Charles W. Scarritt president, are responsible for a part of the funds for 
administration. This philanthropic work is largely supported by broad minded 
men and women of all faiths in Kansas City, all realizing the necessity of 
extending a hand from the better part of our city down into the less fortunate, 
to lift up into the light those who dwell in darkness. 

The Scarritt Bible and Training school in Kansas City is under the 
direction of the Women's Board of Missions of the Methodist Episcopal 
church (South). It affords instruction to young women in the Bible, evi- 
dences of Christianity, church history, missions, missionary methods, nursing, 
physiology and medicine. The building occupies a splendid site on the Mis- 
souri river bluffs, overlooking Kansas City on the northeast. It has a court 
and contains a boarding department, dormitories, lecture rooms, a chapel, a 
dispensary and hospital wards. The school was opened September 14, 1892, 
with five teachers and five pupils in the school department. 


Graduates of the Scarritt Bible and Training school have entered the 
mission field in China, Japan, Siam, India, Brazil and Mexico; others have 
taken service in the home mission work in Kansas City and other cities, and 
one served as a nurse with the army in Florida during the Spanish-American 
war. Miss Maria Layng Gibson has served as principal and secretary of the 
board of managers from the opening of the school to the present time. For 
seven years previous she conducted a private school and engaged in missionary 
work in Covington, Ky. 

The institution was founded upon a bequest made by the Rev. Dr Nathan 
Scarritt. In 1889 he offered the site upon which the school now stands, then 
worth $15,000, with $25,000 in cash, for the establishment of a missionary 
training school under the direction of the Women's Board of Missions of the 
Methodist Episcopal church (south), on condition that an additional sum of 
$25,000 be secured to aid in the purpose. The offer was accepted by the 
executive committee of the board, and Dr. Scarritt prepared the plans which 
ultimately were followed in all material respects. Doubt arose as to the legal 
authority of the committee, and in order to avoid possible embarrassment in 
the future, the entire matter was held in abeyance until the annual meeting 
of the Women's Missionary society in May, 1890, in connection with the 
General Conference in St. Louis. Dr. Scarritt was present, but before final 
action could be had he was taken ill and was obliged to return home. While 
he was on his deathbed and but a few hours before the end, favorable action 
was taken by the Women's Mission society, and the secretary of that body, 
Maria L. Gibson, advised him of the fact by telegraph. 

Kansas City has been the residence of one of the bishops of the Methodist 
Episcopal church (South) for many years, Eugene Russell Hendrix, D. D., 
LL. D. Bishop Hendrix ranks high as a scholar, preacher and presiding 
officer. He was born May 17, 1847, in Fayette, Howard county, Missouri. 
He is descended from well blended Dutch and Scotch ancestry, and belongs 
immediately to a family conspicuous through various of its members, in the 
history of his native state, in religious and educational concerns, and in the 
financial field. He was educated at Central College, Fayette, Mo., and at the 
Wesleyan university, Middletown, Conn. He was graduated from the latter 
institution in 1867, when he was twenty years old, and was awarded the first 
prize for oratory. He then entered Union Theological seminary, New York 
city, from which he was graduated in 1869. He began his ministerial work 
in the year of his graduation. He in turn occupied pastorates in the Metho- 
dist church (South) as follows: Macon, Mo., 1870-72; St. Joseph, Mo., 1872- 
76; Glasgow, Mo., 1877. In 1878 he was elected president of Central College 
at Fayette, Mo., and he remained at the head of that institution until he was 
called to the service of the church and elected as one of the bishops, May 8, 


In recognition of his scholarly attainments and of his ability as a divine, 
the Rev. Mr. Hendrix received the degree of doctor of divinity from Emory 
College at Oxford, Ga,, in 1878. At a later day, for similar reasons, and in 
testimony of his great service in behalf of higher education, the degree of 
doctor of laws was conferred upon him by the University of North Carolina 
and by Washington-Lee University. At other times signal recognition came 
to him in proffers of the presidency of the University of Missouri and of the 
vice-chancellorship of Vanderbilt University, both of which he declined. 

Although Missouri was visited by Methodist preachers as early as 1806, 
the first notice of the Methodist Episcopal church in the western part, and 
after the "separation," dates from 1845-6, when the Rev. William Ferrill 
traveled in the interest of the denomination through Jackson and adjoining 
counties. In September, 1846, a quarterly conference was held at Pleasant 
Hill, and subsequently in neighboring places until 1859, when Kansas City 
was "supplied" by the Rev. William Ferrill; in 1860 by the Rev. William 
Pile; in 1861-62 by the Rev. W. S. Wontz and others; and in 1863 by the 
Rev. Alfred H. Powell, who held meetings by invitation in the Southern 
Methodist church on Wyandotte street, near Fifth street, his membership num- 
bering between fifty and sixty. 

The minutes of 1864-65 report Kansas City in the Hannibal district, 
and supplied by Calvin Allen, having fifty-two members, two local preachers, 
two baptisms and $17.50 for missions. In the spring of 1865 the Rev. T. H. 
Hagerty was appointed presiding elder of the newly formed Jefferson City 
district, and on a visit to Kansas City found a few scattering members. He 
secured the Rev. J. F. Newsly from the Pittsburg conference for the pastorate, 
and then the Rev. Stephen G. Griffis. For a year the congregation nad no 
settled place of worship ; they meet now in a hall, now in a private house, and 
again in the government barracks, until a lot was bought on Walnut street, 
which was afterward sold to purchase the site of the Grand Avenue church, 
at Ninth street and Grand avenue. This lot was at that time an unsightly hol- 
low and side-hill, costing much to level it. 

The report for that year shows 116 members, twenty probationers, thir- 
teen Sunday school officers and teachers, fifty scholars, $56 for benevolences, 
and property valued at $1,000, with the first entry for salary. The foundation 
of the church was laid but work was discontinued for lack of funds. In 1867, 
under the pastorate of Rev. J. N. Pierce, the basement was completed and oc- 
cupied, the congregation meanwhile worshiping in a frame building on Balti- 
more avenue. In 1869 the main auditorium was erected, and the edifice was 
dedicated in 1870 under the pastorate of Rev. J. W. Bushong. Improvements 
were made in the church in 1882 and 1886. For more than a quarter of a 
century William H. Reed was superintendent of the Sunday school. He, with 


others, contributed greatly to the success of this mother church, from which 
have sprung, directly or indirectly, many churches now existing in this city. 
The membership of the Grand Avenue church in 1908 was about 1,000. 

Liberty Street church was founded through the efforts of several members 
of the Grand Avenue church. The organization was effected by the Rev. 
Mathew Lorson, presiding elder, and Thomas Wolcutt, a missionary. At 
first the meetings were held in a schoolhouse at the corner of Mulberry street 
and Union avenue. The site at the corner of Liberty and Joy streets was 
bought and there a frame chapel was dedicated in 1871 in the pastorate of 
the Rev. A. Waitman. Owing to the encroachments of business, the little 
congregation became dispersed, and in 1899 the church was closed. The 
property was valued at $15,000. 

Summit Street church first began as a Sunday school held in a pasture. 
The Rev. W. T. Neff was appointed to the charge in 1881. The building was 
erected inl883. Dundee Place church was organized in 1883, by the consoli- 
dation of the Sixteenth street and the Eighteenth street missions under the 
pastorate of the Rev. L. R Carpenter, who with A. Zartman and W. H. Craig 
constituted the building committee. The eligible site at Fifteenth street and 
Troost avenue was purchased and the edifice was erected in 1884. The church 
was torn down in 1903 to make room for another building, the Scottish Rite 

Arlington church had its beginning in May, 1855, as a Sunday school 
at the residence of George S. Graham, on Chestnut avenue, when Mr. Graham, 
with A. Zartman and others of Dundee Place church rented a mission hall at 
Eighteenth street and Montgall avenue. Here, September 19, 1886, under the 
pastoral leadership of F. B. Price, the society was organized with eighteen 
members, increased by the following spring to more than 100. Ground was 
secured and plans were chosen for an edifice at the corner of Prospect avenue 
and Seventeenth street, and it was dedicated September 25, 1887, the other 
churches assisting. 

Independence Avenue church grew out of the effort of the pastor of 
Grand Avenue church, the Rev. C. W. Parsons, and his coworkers, who held 
cottage meetings in the vicinity. July 11, 1886, the Rev. F. B. Price, who had 
been appointed assistant pastor of Grand Avenue church, organized a Sunday 
school in Morley's hall, with M. F. Simmons as superintendent. He also held 
regular services until the following spring, the present site at the corner of 
Independence boulevard and Olive street having been purchased and the 
building started. The Rev. J. S. Bitler conducted a tent meeting in the sum- 
mer of 1887. Seventy-four members of the Grand Avenue church were trans- 
ferred to the new society, July 11, 1888. The first regular pastor was the Rev. 
G. W. Miller, who arrived in October of that year. In his term the main 


edifice was built, and was dedicated September 5, 1892. His successors have 
been the Rev. J. Z. Armstrong, the Rev. W. A. Quayle and the Rev. M. S. 
Hughes. The society is the largest of its denomination in the city, numbering 
more than 1,000 members. 

Howard Memorial church was constituted a charge in 1887. The build- 
ing on Springfield avenue, near Holmes street, was dedicated by Bishop 
Thoburn, June 19, 1887. The City Missionary and Church Extension Society 
was organized in the study of the Grand Avenue church, May 24, 1888, for the 
purpose of extending and fostering the interests of the denomination. The 
officers were: President, W. W. Kendall; vice president, 0. M. Stewart; sec- 
retary, F. B. Price; and treasurer, J. W. Tullis. D. F. Stiles served as city 
missionary until the spring of 1889, when he was succeeded by F. B. Price, 
who served four years. Under the auspices of the society the following en- 
terprises have been established: Centropolis in 1889, supplied by city mis- 
sionary; Oakley, in 1889, supplied by city missionary and pastors; Kensing- 
ton, in 1889, supplied by city missionary and several pastors ; Indiana avenue, 
in 1890, supplied by city missionary and several pastors. Meanwhile Ivanhoe, 
McGee street, Highland avenue and Sixth ward missions were opened in 
needy communities, and were maintained until absorbed by existing organ- 

One of the most popular Methodist preachers in Kansas City was the 
Rev. William A. Quayle, elected bishop, May 25, 1908. He was born in 
Parkville, Mo., June 25, 1860. His parents were inhabitants of the Isle of 
Man. Dr. Quayle was educated at Baker University, Baldwin City, Kansas, 
graduating in 1885. In his university course he earned money by tutoring, 
and in 1886 became adjunct professor of languages at the Baldwin City insti- 
tution. The following year he received the appointment of pastor to the 
Methodist church at Osage City, Kansas, but in 1888 returned to Baker Uni- 
versity as professor of Greek. In 1890 he was elected president of the uni- 
versity. Dr. Quayle came to Kansas City in 1895 and for three years was 
pastor of the Independence Avenue church. He then went to Indianapolis 
for three years and returned to Kansas City to take the pastorate of the Grand 
Avenue church. 

With Bishop Vincent, in 1902, Dr. Quayle represented the United States 
in the British Wesleyan conference, in Manchester, England. Dr Quayle 
had been pastor of St. James' Methodist Episcopal church of Chicago for five 
years, when he was elected bishop. He has a wide reputation as a preacher, 
lecturer and author. 

In Rev. Matt S. Hughes, D. D., the congregation of the Independence 
Avenue Methodist church found a worthy successor of the Rev. William A. 
Quayle. Dr. Hughes was born in Doddridge county, Virginia, in 1863. His 
father, the Rev. Thomas B. Hughes, was a prominent preacher in the East. 


Dr. Hughes received his preparatory training at Lindsley Institute, in Mor- 
gantown, W. Va., and was later graduated from the University of West Vir- 
ginia. While in college he engaged in newspaper work and upon his gradua- 
tion was made city editor of the Daily State Journal of Parkersburg, W. Va. 
While he held this city desk he was engaged in politics and in 1887 made his 
first political speech. Immediately after his first successes in politics, he 
decided to enter the ministry and began the study of theology. Dr. Hughes 
entered the Iowa conference and his first charge was a country circuit at $400 
a year. His first pastorate was the church of Malcolm, Iowa; where he was 
very successful. When he left Malcolm five churches asked for him, but he 
was sent to Grinnell, Iowa, where he succeeded his father. In 1889 Dr. 
Hughes was chosen to fill the pulpit of one of the largest churches in Port- 
land, Maine. Great success followed him there, and four years later, when he 
took charge of a church in Minneapolis, he was known as a preacher of great 
ability and an eloquent speaker. When Dr. Quayle left the Independence 
Avenue Methodist church in 1898, Dr. Hughes accepted the call. 

The adherents of the Baptist faith met, April 2, 1855, in the building 
of the Southern Methodist church at Fifth and Wyandotte streets and organ- 
ized the United Baptist church of Kansas City. The names of the constituent 
members were: Robert Holmes, Mary Ann Holmes, Thomas M. James, 
Sarah James, A. J. Martin, Elizabeth M. Martin, D. L. Mimms, Martha A. 
Lykins, Dr. Johnston Lykins and Julia Lykins, afterward Mrs. Theodore S. 
Case. The Rev. R. S. Thomas, then president of William Jewell College, 
was the first pastor and he wisely directed the affairs of the church in the early 
years of its existence. 

A church building was erected at the corner of Eighth and May streets, 
but it was not entirely completed until 1867. The Rev. Mr. Thomas preached 
the first sermon in the new church building, but, unfortunately, it was his 
last also, for death came to him shortly afterward. Early in its history the 
work of the church had an impetus through the efforts of Rev. A. P. Williams, 
at that time the most eminent Baptist preacher in Missouri. Later came the 
Rev. J. W. Warder, and later still the Rev. J. C. Maple, and later still came the 
Rev. F. M. Ellis, who afterwards rose to eminence as pastor in Denver, Boston, 
Baltimore and Brooklyn. The church occupied the old site at Eighth and May 
streets until 1880, when the site at Twelfth street and Baltimore avenue was 
purchased by Colonel W. H. Harris and Mrs. Harris, who erected the building 
and presented it to the church. The church complete cost about $30,000. The 
pastor at the time was. the Rev. J. C. Bohan. The church property at Twelfth 
street and Baltimore avenue was sold for $150,000 in 1908 and the congrega- 
tion erected a large stone church at the corner of Linwood boulevard and Park 
avenue. The building is of the English Gothic style of architecture and, with 
the equipment, cost $100,000. The pastor in 1908 was the Rev. Benjamin 


Otto. His predecessor was the Rev. Stephen A. Northrup, who was pastor for 
nine years. During the pastorate of Dr. Northrup the membership of the, 
church increased from 650 to 1,000. Dr. Northrup was called to a pastorate 
in Los Angeles, Cal. 

The Calvary Baptist church was organized in 1876 with thirty-eight 
members. The first pastor was the Rev. J. E. Cambliss. He was succeeded,; 
January 22, 1882, by the Rev. J. O'B. Lowry. In 1882 the congregation 
worshiped in a brick building situated at Eleventh street and Grand avenue, 
the present site of the Kansas City Star building. The church had a member- 
ship of 126. A handsome church was built at Ninth and Harrison streets in 
1889 and was dedicated September 21, 1890, by the late Dr. John A. Broadus. 
Largely through Dr. Lowry's efforts the present home of the church was built. 
Dr. Lowry saw the congregation grow from 126 persons to a membership of 
more than 800. The Rev. F. C. McConnell succeeded Dr. Lowry in Sep- 
tember, 1903. 

A Baptist city mission was formed in 1880. Through the efforts of this 
organization, in co-operation with the Blue river association and the Board of 
Missouri Baptist general association, missions have been established and new 
churches organized and aided until they number half a score, with a member- 
ship of about 3,000. These are Olive Street church, where Rev. W. T. Camp- 
bell was the first pastor, and through whose labors a self-sustaining church 
was established and a house of worship erected; the Immanuel church, the 
Tabernacle, the Elmwood, the South Park, the Michigan avenue, Second 
church, colored; the Scandanavian church and several others. The West-! 
port church is one of the oldest in point of organization. There the Hon. 
John B. Wornall lived and labored for many years. 

"The personal element is an interesting part of the history of progress. 
In a new country subsoil plows are in demand, and Providence sent into 
Missouri stalwart men as Christian pioneers. With those already mentioned, 
the names of F. W. Ferguson and Honorable John L. Peak, late United 
States minister to Switzerland, are connected with the cause of its earlier 
and later development. In the business world, Baptist laymen are worthily 
prominent. In 1898 the Calvary congregation furnished five chairman of 
committees in the leading commercial body of the city. The religious, social 
and commercial influence of the denomination is felt in the civic life." 

The first Church of the Disciples, of Kansas City, known as the Christian 
church, was established in 1855. The meetings were held in a log cabin until 
the City Hall was built, when that building was used. Four years later, in 
1859, the congregation decided to build a house of worship. Judge T. A. 
Smart gave the lot and a house was built on what is now the northwest corner 
of Twelfth and Main streets, then Main and Ottawa streets. T. P. Haley 


preached the dedicatory sermon. Business had encroached upon the church 
in 1880 to such an extent that its property was sold and the meetings were 
held for a short time in the hall over a grocery store at 1121 Main street. The 
large and commodious hall of the Knights of Pythias, at Eleventh and Main 
streets, was secured The church used this hall until the basement of the new 
church, then being built at the northwest corner of Eleventh and Locust 
streets, was finished. 

The Rev. T. P. Haley became pastor of the church in 1881. In the 
spring of 1884 the church at the northwest corner of Eleventh and Locust 
streets was finished, at a cost of $42,000. Under the pastorate of the Rev. 
T. P. Haley the church grew very rapidly and in a short time the missionary 
spirit had stirred the congregation and missions were established from which 
the following churches have grown : West Side Christian church, Independ- 
ence Avenue Christian church, South Prospect Christian church, Linwood 
Boulevard Christian church, Ivanhoe Park Christian church, Jackson Avenue 
Christian church, Budd Park Christian church, and the Sheffield Christian 
church. The Christian churches in Kansas City have a total membership of 
about 8,000. 

The Independence Boulevard Christian church, at Gladstone and Inde- 
pendence boulevards, was completed at a cost of $125,000. Of this amount 
R. A. Long, the lumber dealer, gave $70,000. The new church, dedicated 
September 17, 1905, is a handsome house of worship. The church was built 
after the Grecian Ionic style as far as compatible with the requirements of 
modern church usage. The main floor of the church is elevated a little above 
the sidewalk and is reached by wide steps through a great portico. 

The auditorium has the form of a Greek cross having shallow arms, the in- 
tersections of which are surmounted by a low dome, furnishing light through 
a shallow inner dome directly over the center of the main auditorium. The 
auditorium is further lighted by windows in three of the arms of the cross. 
The fourth arm is occupied by the pulpit, organ and other equipments of the 
church service. The auditorium has a seating capacity of about 1,200, with 
the possibility of a limited extension and increase by filling out the gallery 
space. The gallery is in the form of a horseshoe, inclosing three sides so 
arranged as to bring the gallery close to the pulpit. 

The exterior of the building is constructed largely in cut stone, Phoenix 
stone being used for the lower story and blue Bedford stone for the rest of the 
work. The large electroliers flanking the main portico are of bronze metal. 
The six great columns of the main portico are monolithic, consisting of a 
single stone each from the base to the capital, with no horizontal joints, and 
are the largest monolithic columns in this part of the country. 


The congregation now worshiping in the new church is twenty-one years 
old. Dr. John A. Brooke, who ran with Clinton B. Fiske on the prohibition 
ticket for vice president, was the first pastor. Dr. Brooke was pastor of the 
church for five years and was succeeded in 1892 by the present pastor, the Rev. 
George H. Combs. One of the three handsome memorial windows in the 
church is in memory of Dr. Brooke. 

When the Rev. Mr. Combs first came to Kansas City he had a congre- 
gation which numbered 260 persons. Within the fifteen years that he has had 
charge of the Christian church the congregation has grown from 260 to 2,200 
persons. The church on Sixth street and Prospect avenue was a small brick 
building, while the present church on Independence and Gladstone boulevards 
is a magnificent edifice. The church is considered the largest in numbers 
and point of strength in the Christian brotherhood. 

The Rev. Mr. Combs is one of the widest and most favorably known 
ministers of his denomination in the country. He has done considerable lectur- 
ing on literary and religious subjects throughout America and has written 
three or more books on theology and its practical relation to the world. These 
books are: "Some Later Day Religions," "The New Socialism," "Christ in 
Modern English Literature," and he is now at work upon a collection of his 
addresses and sermons which he has delivered before the larger universities of 
the country. 

The advancement of the Presbyterian church in Kansas City has been 
slow but substantial. About one-tenth of the religious organizations of the 
city belong to the Presbyterian denomination. Most of them being strong and 
working in harmony, they have been recognized as among the foremost fac- 
tors in the city's religious life and development. Their common interests are 
exemplified and promoted by a vigorous Presbyterian Alliance, composed of 
the ministers of the city belonging to the various denominations holding the 
Presbyterian system. 

The following list comprises the organizations formed by Presbyterian 
bodies within the present limits of Kansas City: West Cumberland Presby- 
terian, organized in 1852; First Presbyterian, 1857; Second Presbyterian, 
1865; Central Presbyterian, Southern, 1866; United Presbyterian, 1869; 
Third Presbyterian, 1870 ; First Cumberland Presbyterian, 1878 ; Fourth Pres- 
byterian, 1882; Fifth Presbyterian, 1882; German Reformed, 1888; Linwood 
Presbyterian, 1890; and Westminster (Independent), 1895. A number of 
missions, some of them still flourishing, have been supported in various parts 
of the city without resulting organizations. With scarcely an 'exception each 
of these organizations has required assistance from the Board of Home Mis- 
sions and of Church Erection before reaching self-support. 



fl , 




In a growing city many of the older localities so changed in the character 
of their population and business as to become unsuitable for churches. Though 
now excellently situated and equipped, not one of these organizations has been 
successful in doing its appropriate work until suitably housed in its own build- 
ing in a suitable location. Large credit is due in every instance to lay workers, 
most of whom have been no less prominent in business, professional and social 
circles than in the church. 

What is popularly called the Presbyterian church, North, was the pioneer 
exponent of Presbyterianism in the immediate vicinity of Kansas City. Per- 
haps the earliest Presbyterian preaching in this part of the state was by the 
Rev. N. B. Dodge, a Vermont man who had come to Missouri in 1820 as one of 
a band of missionaries to the Osage Indians. He was stationed at Harmony 
Mission, in the southern part of Bates county, but is known to have preached 
ocasionally in Independence as early as 1829. By the mission to which he 
belonged, Osage Presbytery, new school, was organized. No permanent Pres- 
byterian organization was made in Jackson county until the First Presbyterian 
church of Independence was organized by Dr. J. L. Yantis, November 21, 
1841. It was connected with the Presbytery of Upper Missouri, and later with 
that of Lafayette, old school. At the reunion of the old school and the new 
school denominations in 1870, the Presbyteries of Lafayette and Osage, and a 
part of the Presbytery of Lexington, new school, were united under the name 
of Osage Presbytery. In 1887 the name was changed to the Presbytery of 
Kansas City. 

The first Presbyterian organization within the present limits of Kansas 
City was made by Lafayette Presbytery, in Westport, December 23, 1850, with 
eleven members. This church, although it erected a brick building and 
seemed promising at first, never was successfully revived after the Civil war, 
which destroyed nearly all the church organizations in this part of the state. 
The first Presbyterian church of Kansas City was organized by the Pres- 
bytery of Lafayette with fourteen members, May 25, 1857, the minister was 
the Rev. R. S. Symington, who remained until the outbreak of the Civil war. 
The first members of the church were C. M. Root, W. P. Allen, S. J Piatt, J. 
C. McCoy, Ruth Allen, Martha Shouse, Charlotte Campbell, Adaline Norton, 
Mrs. W. A. Hopkins, Mrs. T. B. Hale, Mrs. J. A. Boarman, Mrs. Mariah 
Gilham, and P. S. Brown and Mrs. Brown, who united with the church May 
22, 1859 

The first Presbyterian congregation built a frame church in 1858 on the 
north side of Third street, between Main and Walnut streets, on the ground 
owned by J. C. McCoy. The second pastor, the Rev. John Hancock, came in 
1860. Between 1863 and 1866 the church was without a building, using a 
Baptist church at Eighth and Main streets, the Christian church at Twelfth 


and Main streets, and Long's hall, near Fifth and Main streets. In 1863 came 
the Rev. George Miller. 

In the Civil war the building of the First Presbyterian church, situated 
on Third street, between Main and Walnut streets, was used for military pur- 
poses and the congregation was forced to worship elsewhere. For about two 
years the pastor was the Rev. George Miller, D. D., then recently from South 
Carolina, his native state. He came in 1862 in response to a unique invita- 
tion to "preach to the loyal people of Kansas City." This invitation was 
signed by two Presbyterian elders and by some Baptists, Episcopalians, Meth- 
odists and Congregationalists. The next minister was the Rev. D. L. Yantis, 
who served two years until the church divided. The pastor and the part of 
the congregation adhering to what was then known as the "Declaration and 
Testimony party," formed the Central Presbyterian church in connection 
with the Southern Assembly. The other portion, retaining the name of the 
First Presbyterian church, erected in 1866 a brick church building which was 
then the most costly in the city, on the site of the present Exchange building 
at Eighth and Wyandotte streets. This building was wrecked by a tornado 
the next year, rebuilt at once, destroyed again by fire in 1869, and its walls 
blown by another tornado soon after. 

Beginning again on a new site, the congregation erected a frame building 
at 1013 Grand avenue, which was used until 1883 when the present handsome 
brick structure was built at Tenth and Forest avenue. Before this last building 
was completed a third tornado took off part of its roof. This church has been 
served by able pastors, prominent among them being the Rev. Robert Irwin, 
for many years the president of Lindenwood Female college ; the Rev. Horace 
C. Hovey, a distinguished scientist, later pastor in Newburyport, Mass., the 
late Rev. Samuel B. Bell, editor of the Mid Continent; the Rev. D. Schley 
Schaff, later professor of church history in Lane Theological seminary; the 
Rev. George P. Wilson, later pastor in Washington; and the Rev. Horace 
C. Stanton, whose successful pastorate of eight years closed June 1, 1889. The 
Rev. William Carter, Ph. D., came to the church, October 10, 1899, when it 
had a membership of 400. The Rev. Frank S. Arnold became pastor of the 
church in December, 1906. 

At the close of the Civil war the Board of Home Missions, new school, 
sent the Rev. Timothy Hill, D. D., to Kansas City to organize a church. Dr. 
A. T. Norton, district secretary for the board, and Dr. Hill organized the Sec- 
ond Presbyterian church in connection with the Presbytery of Lexington, 
July 15, 1865. Beginning with only ten persons, seven of them women, it 
grew rapidly. All expected great things, and planned accordingly. The pastor 
secured liberal assistance from the East, which, added to a like amount raised 
at home, enabled the congregation to erect, at 809 Wyandotte street the first 


church building dedicated in the city after the war. Six other churches were 
built about the same time. Its original cost was $4,500. It soon was enlarged 
at a cost of $1,200 more, and a $600 organ was added. Under a succession of 
energetic, scholarly and eloquent pastors, the Second church has kept its 
early prestige among the churches of the city and of the state. Dr. Hill re- 
signed in October, 1868, to become district secretary for home missions in the 
state of Missouri, and the territory south and west. During his incumbency, 
sixty-six persons were admitted to membership. He was succeeded by Dr. 
Charles D. Nott, under whom thirty-seven members were received. The first 
installed pastor was the Rev. William M. Cheever, whose death, June 2, 
1878, removed one of the best beloved pastors who has ever served a church 
in Kansas City. During the six and one-half years of his pastorate, there was 
one remarkable revival and a constant series of accessions, the entire number 
joining under his care being 281, of whom 124 were upon confession of 

In the pastorate of Dr. Charles C. Kimball, 178 persons were added to 
the church in two years, and the erection of a building at Thirteenth and 
Central streets opposite Convention Hall was begun. The church and the 
parsonage adjoining cost about $90,000. While occupying that building the 
church had three pastors. Under Dr. Charles L. Thompson, 1882-88, 562 
members were received. He was elected moderator of the Centennial General 
assembly in 1888, and later went to New York City and bcame a secretary 
of the Board of Home Missions. The late Dr. George P. Hays, for eleven 
years president of Washington and Jefferson college, gave five years of faith- 
ful service, 1888-93, during which time there were 255 additions. The next 
pastor, Dr. Herman D. Jenkins, was installed November 21, 1895. During 
four years and nine months of his pastorate which closed August 1, 1900, 
396 members were added to the church. 

This church has ever been noted for its missionary spirit and benevolent 
activities. By liberal gifts of members as well as of money, it assisted in the 
founding of each of the younger Presbyterian churches in the city. It is thor- 
oughly organized and well officered in all departments of church work. Dr. 
E. W. Schaufrler, a practicing physician, has been the superintendent of its 
Sunday school for nearly Thirty years. 

The disastrous fire of April .4, 1900, that destroyed Convention hall, the 
Lathrop school and much other property, destroyed also the handsome church 
building and parsonage of the Second Presbyterian church. Tbe church then 
held its services in Music Hall, 913 Broadway. Its former site was sold to the 
Board of Education for school purposes. The church bought a new building 
site at Fifteenth street and Broadway, where they erected a fine church build- 
ing. Rev. George Reynolds is the pastor. 


The Third Presbyterian church was organized February 27, 1870, with 
eight members. Through the influence of Dr. Timothy Hill and other mem- 
bers of the Presbytery of Lexington — new school — with which the church 
was connected, a frame church building costing $2,000, was built on lots given, 
at the northwest corner of Fourteenth and Hickory streets. That portion of 
the city was then filling up with the best class of railroad men and mechanics. 
During the eighteen years the church remained in the "West bottoms" it had 
several pastors, prominent among whom were Dr. D. C. Milner, 1871-75, long 
connected with the Armour mission in Chicago, and later pastor of the Central 
Presbyterian church of Joliet, 111. ; and the late Rev. Lycurgus Rallsback who 
served from 1875 to 1883. The encroachments of business and the changing 
character of the population led to the sale of the original church property 
and the erection in 1886 of a new building at 1413 Genesee street, and soon 
after to the seeking for a new location in an entirely different part of the 
city. A site was chosen and a building erected at Thirtieth and Walnut streets, 
where the Rev. Wm. S. Smalley now (1908) has charge. 

The Fourth Presbyterian church grew out of a mission begun by the 
Second Presbyterian church in 1881, at Twenty-first street and Madison 
avenue. It was established by the Rev. J. H. Miller, who at that time was 
preaching at the Second Presbyterian church. It was organized with twenty- 
five members, September 5, 1882, by a committee of^presbytery consisting of 
Dr. J. H. Miller, Dr. Timothy Hill and Elder Jonathan Ford. No sooner had 
the Second Presbyterian church provided a comfortable home of its own than 
it erected a frame building at 1747 Belleview avenue for the Fourth Presbyter- 
ian church. There Dr. Miller remained as pastor from 1882-88, when, owing 
to a change in the character of the surrounding population, the building was 
sold to the Swedish Baptists and a new location was sought on the east side 
of the city. 

The Fifth Presbyterian church established was organized with seventeen 
members, October 18, 1882, by a committee of presbytery consisting of Dr. 
J. H. Miller, Dr. Timothy Hill and C. L. Thompson. By the aid of the Sec- 
ond church a frame chapel was secured at Fifteenth street and Lydia avenue 
where the congregation worshiped until in 1886 when a brick building was 
erected at Twelfth street and Brooklyn avenue. Later, in 1907, the congrega- 
tion moved to its new $70,000 edifice on Twelfth street and Prospect avenue. 
Rev. James L. McKee is the pastor. 

The Linwood Presbyterian church grew out of a Sunday school estab- 
lished in the southeastern part of the city by the Second church. The Rev. 
Charles W. Hays, then a theological student, son of Dr. George P. Hays, pas- 
tor of the Second Presbyterian church, formed an organization which was ef- 
fected with twenty-one members October 12, 1890, by a committee of presby- 
tery consisting of Dr. George P. Hays and Dr. C. H. Bruce. An excellent 


site was secured by the Men's League of the Second Presbyterian church and 
work begun at once on a frame chapel, at the southeast corner of Woodland 
avenue and Lin wood boulevard. At present the Rev. Harry C. Rogers is in 

The establishment of the Protestant Episcopal church in Kansas City was 
accomplished only after many discouragements and much persistent effort 
At the beginning members of this church were few and their means were lim- 
ited. Until 1868 the local mother church was assisted by the Missionary 
board. In that year it became self-supporting, and soon after began its liberal 
contributions for church establishments and charity work in less favored 

Bishop Cicero S. Hawks visited Kansas City in September, 1857, and 
addressed a large congregation. In November, 1857, he sent the Rev. Joseph 
I. Corbyn who held his first service November 15, 1857, in the old Methodist 
church on Fifth street. St. Luke's church was organized December 14, 1857, 
and received its name at a special request of Bishop Hawks; among the first 
vestrymen were John C. Ranson, John Q. Wat kins, William Gillis, S. H. 
Calhoun, W. Boyer and R. Everingham. Easter services in 1858 were held 
in the courthouse, and there were then only five communicants. In May, 1858, 
St. Luke's church was received into union with the convention of the diocese 
of Missouri. The first confirmation and celebration of the holy communion 
occurred October 11, 1858, Bishop Hawks officiating. At that time there 
was not an organ in Kansas City. In the fall, the Rev. J. I. Corbyn built 
a small home to which he added a building which was used as a school house. 
In this building he held church services, organized a Sunday school and also 
taught a private school. Christmas Day the Rev. Charles M. Calloway of 
Topeka, Kas., assisted the Rev. Mr. Corbyn in the services, and eighteen per- 
sons received communion. The Rev. Mr. Corbyn held services on alternate 
Sundays in Independence and Kansas City until early in 1859, when he be- 
came identified solely with the latter place. 

John C Ranson had early given to Bishop Hawks three lots at Eighth 
and Campbell streets, but these were subsequently declined in preference for 
a lot at Fifth and High streets, given by William Gillis. Money was sub- 
scribed for building, a stone foundation was laid and brick was placed on 
the ground, but on account of disagreements as to the cost and design of the 
structure the undertaking was abandoned. In discouragement, the Rev. Mr. 
Corbyn resigned in December, 1859, but continued to officiate, meanwhile 
maintaining his school. In 1860, the Rev. Charles M. Calloway entered upon 
the rectorate ; there were then twenty-five communicants and services were held 
in a concert hall on the public square. In March, 1861, the Rev. Mr. Calloway 
resigned and left the city. Owing to the outbreak of the Civil war the congre- 


gation was dispersed and only two parish meetings and one vestry meeting 
were held in the four years. 

Repeated efforts were made to reassemble the church people, but without 
avail until September 8, 1865, when Bishop Hawks made a visitation which 
resulted in the Rev. Joseph Woods, Jr., being installed as rector the first 
week of January, 1866. The Fifth Street Methodist church was occupied for 
services until Easter day, April 1, 1866, when full morning service and the 
ioly communion were celebrated in the Baptist church at May and Eighth 
streets. At this service was used a large reed organ, the first brought to the 
city, costing $550, which sum was advanced by members of the congregation 
and eventually paid for by contributions and from the proceeds of concerts 
and other entertainments given by the ladies of the parish. Meantime the 
congregation was divided on the question of building a church. Disappointed 
by the failure to build, the Rev. Mr. Wood retired from the rectorate in Decem- 
ber, 1866, and in March, 1867, was succeeded by the Rev. D. D. Van Antwerp. 
For a time services were held in Long's hall and Sunday school was organized 
with twelve scholars. In 1867 three lots at Walnut and Eighth streets were 
purchased for $2,500, and a frame building was erected at a cost of $3,000, 
which was first occupied August 18th of the same year, and was consecrated 
August 27, 1869, by Bishop C. F. Robertson. 

The Rev. George C. Betts succeeded to the rectorate July 18, 1872, and 
served until April 16, 1876. Upon his suggestion, members of the congrega- 
tion contributed quantities of old silver from which were made a paten and 
a chalice for sacramental use. The Rev. M. Erastus Buck was rector from Octo- 
ber 18, 1876, until his death, January 20, 1879. In 1879 the name of St. 
Mary's was adopted by the parish in place of St. Luke's. The Rev. H. D. 
Jardine was rector from early in 1879 until his death, January 10, 1886. 
In his rectorate were founded All Saints' hospital, now the University hos- 
pital, and St. Marys seminary for girls, and St. Mary's school for boys; after 
a time the two latter institutions were closed. The Rev. John Sword succeeded 
Mr. Jardine and served until May, 1891, when he resigned. In that year the 
church property at Eighth and 'Walnut streets was sold, and a brick building 
at Holmes and Thirteenth streets was erected at a cost of $75,000. The present 
rector, the Rev. J. Stewart-Smith, was installed October 26, 1891. St. Mary's 
church from the time of Father Betts maintained a ritualistic service more 
or less elaborate and for eighteen years the full ritual of the Anglican church 
has been observed. 

St. Paul's parish was organized July 20, 1870, out of a portion of the 
membership of St. Luke's church, amicably separated from the latter body 
in order to provide for the growing necessities of the western part of Kansas 
City. The Rev. F. R, Haff was installed as rector in December, 1870. The 


church was received into union with the diocesan convention in May, 1871, 
when thirty-nine communicants were reported. At first church services were 
held in the basement of the Coates Opera house. In 1872 lots at Central and 
Fourth streets were purchased at a cost of $3,175 ; in 1874 a frame building 
was erected at a cost of $9,000 and the first service therein was held on Christ- 
mas day of the same year. Meantime the name of the parish had been changed 
to Grace church, April 14, 1873. In 1876 Mr. Martin resigned and was suc- 
ceeded by the Rev. Herman C. Dundan, who resigned in March, 1880. The 
Rev. B. E. Barr was in temporary charge until February 13, 1881, when the 
Rev. Cameron Mann, D. D., was installed. In the same year the church build- 
ing was enlarged at a cost of $3,000, and further improvements were made 
in 1888 at a cost of $2,000. In 1889 the parish began the work of erecting the 
present church building. The Guild hall was completed in March, 1890. The 
church building proper was first occupied December 16, 1894, and it was con- 
secrated May 15, 1898, by Bishop Edward R. Atwill. Grace church is an 
imposing stone edifice designed after the transitional Norman-Gothic archi- 
tecture. The church contained five memorial windows made by the best 
artists in stained glass. The lectern, a memorial to Mrs. Aileen March Wilson, 
is a beautiful work in carved oak, made by the most artistic wood carver in 
America. Guild Hall contains a valuable collection of proof engravings of 
religious subjects by old masters. The cost of the building was $100,000. The 
church maintains an institutional mission at Twenty-fourth and Bellview 
streets, started in 1907, and a number of societies engaged in various depart- 
ments of church work. Rev. Dr. Mann was made missionary bishop of North 
Dakota in 1901, and was succeeded by the Rev. J. A. Schaad, who is now rec- 
tor of Grace church. 

Trinity church was organized December 1, 1883, with the Rev. Robert 
Talbot as rector, and with twelve communicants. The first service was held in 
January, 1884, in a hall on East Ninth street. A lot at Tracy and Tenth 
streets was purchased at a cost of $3,480, and the next summer the erection 
of a building was begun. In 1887 the walls were torn down and the present 
massive stone edifice was erected at a cost of about. $100,000. The church was 
reorganized January 15, 1897. 

St. Mark's church was organized April 12, 1889, with the Rev. John K. 
Dunn as the first pastor. The same year a frame building costing $3,000 
was erected at Seventh street and Prospect avenue, where D. S. McKinnon is 
now the minister. 

St. George's church was organized as the Pro-cathedral, March 23, 1891. 
The same year a brick church at Thirty-second street and Troost avenue was 
built at a cost of $8,000. The number of communicants was reported as 
fifty-two. The church was opened for service September 20, 1891. Bishop 1 


Edward R. Atwill was the first rector, under whom served as deans the Rev. 
George E. Gardner, who died November 5, 1891 ; the Rev. George S. Gassner, 
and the Rev. Seaver M. Holden. Bishop Atwill resigned the rectorate Easter 
day, 1897, when the Rev. P. Gavan Duffy was installed and served until 
April 30, 1899, when he resigned and the Rev. E. B. Woodruff was chosen. 
Later Mr. Woodruff resigned and became one of the Rev. Mr. Schaad's assist- 
ants in the institutional work of Grace parish. The church property was sold 
in 1907, and a new site on the northeast corner of Thirty-third street and 
The Paseo purchased, where a new building is to be immediately erected. 

St. Paul's church, Westport, was organized May 5, 1891, under the di- 
rection of the Rev. Cameron Mann, D. D., from a portion of the membership 
of Grace church. The church edifice was formerly a Baptist house of wor- 
ship, and was bought and improved at a cost of $5,000. Later a lot at Forti- 
eth and Walnut streets was purchased and a handsome stone building erected. 
Rev. J. D. Ritchey now holds this rectorship. 

St. John's Episcopal church was organized in December, 1891, by the Rt. , 
Rev. E. R. Atwill, Bishop of the diocese. The first services were held in 
rooms over a drug store at Independence and Elmwood streets. Among the 
first members were the families of B. J. Fradenberg, John R. Balis, A. J. 
Scruggs and J. S. Warrick. A small church building was secured at Inde- 
pendence and Lister avenues in 1894. Services were conducted by the va- 
rious Episcopal clergymen and lay readers of the city for the first year or two. 
To Mr. Edwin O. Hudson, lay reader, great credit is due for having given 
his services for many years and for his untiring effort in keeping the church 
together. The first rector was the Rev. G. H. Bailey who was called in 1897. 
Mr. Bailey remained only one year, and again lay services were conducted by 
Mr. Hudson until his failing health in 1901 made it impossible for him 
to officiate. The present building, a small stone church, was erected in 1905 
at 511 Kensington avenue. The altar rail which was placed in the new 
diurch is a memorial to the late Mr. E. O. Hudson, lay reader. Mr. Carl 
Reed Taylor has been the rector of St. John's since 1907. 

St. Augustine's Mission (colored) was organized in 1882 by the Rev. 
C. E. Cummings, a negro minister who was in charge until his death, July 
8, 1887. During his ministry a church was erected on Troost avenue be- 
tween Tenth and Eleventh streets, at a cost of $3,000. 

"The Congregational churches are pure democracies. Each church is 
self-governing, acknowledging no head but Christ, and the different 
churches are bound together only by the voluntary fellowship of a com- 
mon faith and work. They are historically associated with opposition to 
prelacy and to a union of church and state. They have been characterized 
by zeal for education and for missions. One strong and influential church 


in St. Louis was the only organization in the state prior to the Civil war. 
With the opening of new railroads and the influx of new population 
churches of this order began to spring up in Missouri. 

"Kansas City, in 1863, was a frontier village of about 5,000 popula- 
tion, a military post, and practically in a state of siege. In the summer 
of that year Congregational brethren from Kansas, notably, the Rev. R. D. 
Parker, the Rev. Richard Cordley, the Rev. L. Bodwell and the Rev. Mr. Lig- 
gett, crossing the Kaw river by boat and coming through the forest covering 
the "West bottoms," where are now warehouses and factories, held regular 
Sunday preaching services, attended largely by the military officers and their 
families, at Long's hall, 509 Main street. A Sunday school was also estab- 
lished. In October the Rev. E. A. Harlow, from Maine, took charge and 
remained a year. Services we,re held by him in Miss Brown's school house, 
in "The Addition," on McGee street, between Twelfth and Thirteenth streets. 

"In 1865 the Rev. Leavitt Bartlett, from Vermont, was sent to the 
field by the American Home Misionary society of New York. He began 
his work in the building of the Christian church, which stood on a high 
bank at the northwest corner of Twelfth and Main streets. On Wednesday 
evening, January 3, 1866, he organized the First Congregational church in 
the house of W. P. Whelan, near the corner of Eleventh and McGee streets. 
* * * Only eleven persons entered into the solemn covenant at that 
time. There was yet only a small straggling frontier town creeping up from 
the levee, building its scattered houses southward, while the lines of earth- 
works could still be seen on the western bluffs, but, from the new popula- 
tion, professional and business men, school teachers and artisans, who came 
in their youth, bringing their fixed principles, their frugal habits, their 
faith in God and love of country, the organization was rapidly strengthened. 
The church was formally recognized as a Congregational church on Janu- 
ary 7, 1866, at a council of churches held in the Christian church, the Rev. 
Dr. Cordley of Lawrence, Kansas, extending the fellowship of the churches. 
In the same year a substantial church building, still standing, was put up 
on the corner of Grand avenue and Tenth street. It was dedicated June 24. 

"The Rev. Mr. Bartlett was succeeded for a few months by the Rev. R. 
M. Hooker, who, in turn, was followed by the Rev. E. A. Andrews, who re- 
mained with the church for a year. In the interval between ministers, ser- 
mons were often read by the Hon. E. H. Allen and others. April 27, 
1869, the Rev. J. G. Roberts was regularly installed by council as pastor. 
The Hon. David. J. Brewer, now one of the justices of the Supreme 
court of the United States, was the scribe of that council. This was a strong 
and successful pastorate, lasting for ten years. The Rev. Henry Hopkins 
was installed March 18, 1880." 


In 1884 a substantial and beautiful church edifice of stone at the cor- 
ner of Eleventh and McGee streets was dedicated free from debt, at a cost, 
for lot and building, of over $80,000. The entire history of this church is 
an illustration of commercial integrity and business methods in the con- 
ducting of church affairs. It has maintained a varied and aggressive work 
in the city along various lines of philanthropic effort, for the destitute sick, 
for neglected boys and for the poor and unemployed. In 1881 a building, 
now occupied by the Bethel Mission, was erected in the West bottoms, near 
the great packing houses, and an extensive institutional boarding house, a 
reading room, a singing school and free dispensary. Evangelistic meetings 
were held and a church was organized, but the latter was discontinued on 
account of the dispersion of the neighborhood population, owing to the 
necessities of business enterprise. Other features of the work were aban- 
doned for a similar reason, but a mission is yet maintained through other 

"The women of the First church have been effectually organized and 
are constantly active in every form of practical effort. This practical char- 
acter of church life has held the congregation to a down-town position, re- 
mote from the homes of nearly all its people. The church has always ac- 
tively and generously fostered the younger organizations. In 1899 the mem- 
bership of the First church was 516." 

Dr. Henry Hopkins resigned asi pastor of the First Congregational 
church in 1902, and was followed by Dr. J. W. Fifield. He resigned De- 
cember 25, 1904. His successor was Dr. Alexander Lewis, the present pas- 
tor. The property of the First Congregational church at Eleventh and Mc- 
Gee streets was sold in 1908 and a large new church building was erected 
at Admiral boulevard and Highland avenue. 

"Clyde Congregational church was organized June 25, 1882, with nine 
members. September 24th, following the corner stone of the present church 
edifice at Seventh street and Brooklyn avenue, was laid with appropriate cer- 
emonies, and the building was completed in November following at a cost 
of $7,000. In November, same year, the Rev. J. H. Williams, of Marble- 
head, Mass., was called to the pastorate. During his ministry, continuing 
for nearly eleven years, the original church building was greatly enlarged, 
and the membership increased to upwards of 250. The Rev. John L. Sew- 
ell served in the pastorate from the autumn of 1893 until September, 1896. 
The Rev. Wolcutt Calkins was for fifteen months stated supply, and was 
helpful in the adjustment of the financial obligations of the church. In 
April, 1898, the Rev. E. Lee Howard entered upon a pastorate which con- 
tinued for two years and one month. Following his removal from the city 
the Rev. Albert Bushnell was called, and entered upon pastoral duty July 


1, 1900. The church was the first west of the Mississippi river to organize 
a Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor, and the second in the world 
to organize a Junior Christian Endeavor society." Clyde Congregational 
church united with the First church in 1905, and is now under the leader- 
ship of Dr. Lewis. 

"Olivet Congregational church was organized in 1883, and the Rev. 
Henry C. Scotford was the first pastor. For a number of years the congre- 
gation occupied a small chapel at Eighteenth street and Lydia avenue. The 
Rev. George Ricker succeeded the Rev. Mr. Scotford, and served for some 
months. He was followed by the Rev. Robert L. Layfield, under whose care 
the church did constantly a strong evangelistic work, and established several 
missions in neglected neighborhoods. During his pastorate, the site at Nine- 
teenth street and "Woodland avenue was purchased, and the basement to the 
present edifice was built. The auditorium was completed during the pas- 
torate of the Rev. Mr. Layfield's successor, the Rev. H. L. Forbes, to whom 
much credit is due for the completion of the building project. The Rev. R. 
Craven Walton succeeded Mr. Forbes and served until 1900, when the Rev. 
G. E. Crossland was installed. The church property is valued at $10,000. 

"The Southwest Tabernacle Congregational church at Twenty-first and 
Jefferson streets was organized November 27, 1888. About a year previously 
a few members of the First Congregational church opened a Sunday school 
with D. R. Hughes as superintendent, in a hall at Twenty-first and Sum- 
mit streets. At that time the southwest portion of the city was practically 
without churches. The Sunday school soon resulted in a call for preaching. 
The first service was held Sunday evening, November 29, 1887, when the 
Rev. W. E. Woodcock, a retired pastor residing upon the field, conducted 
the meeting and delivered the first sermon. The work having outgrown its 
quarters, in the summer of 1888, the congregation occupied a tent with the 
Rev. Howard H. Russell (now national secretary of the Anti-Saloon league), 
then serving as city missionary under the City Congregational Union, in 
charge. His service continued for three years. In the summer of 1889 the 
site of the present church edifice was secured by the City Congregational 
Union, and the building was erected, its cost at completion being about 
$25,000. In 1891 the Rev. Charles L. Kloss, now of Webster Grove, Mis- 
souri, was called from Argentine, Kansas, and remained as pastor for seven 
years. During this time the membership of the church steadily increased, 
and the Sunday school work was extended, and in the latter part of the 
period mission schools were organized and buildings were erected at Penn 
Valley and at Genessee. June 5, 1898, the Rev. J. P. O'Brien entered upon 
his work, called from St. Louis. Under his leadership the, church grew stead- 
ily, and fully maintained its active, aggressive character. It has always kept 


in touch with the working people, and has been the church home of many 
people of Welsh descent." Mr. Frank L. Johnson is now at its head, and 
the church is known as the Metropolitan Tabernacle, its work being institu- 
tional in character. 

"Ivanhoe Park church had its beginning in the labors of workers from 
Olivet church. It was organized October 12, 1895, with about twelve mem- 
bers, and the chapel at Thirty-ninth street and Michigan avenue was first 
occupied December 8 following. The first minister was the Rev. William 
Sewell, who was succeeded in 1896 by the Re.v. Martin Luther, the first in- 
stalled pastor. In 1898 the Rev. Leroy Warren became pastor; he served 
until September 1, 1900, when he resigned, and was succeeded by the Rev. 
Alfred H. Rogers." Later, Horace F. Holton, the present incumbent, was 
installed. The church numbers fifty members, and the property is valued 
at $3,000. 

"Beacon Hill Congregational church was organized in the summer of 
1896, through the efforts of members of the First church, who recognized 
the necessities of people of their denomination in that portion of the city. 
The organizing membership was about sixty in number, which afterwards 
was greatly increased." The first pastor was the Rev. J. H. Crum, S. T. D. 
Services were held in Ariel hall on Twenty-fourth street near Troost avenue. 
A new stone church building was erected in 1905 at a cost of $30,000. "The 
church strives to keep itself in touch with its sister churches by co-operating 
with them in the work of missions, and in all benevolent causes, as well as 
in other ways in which there can be mutual helpfulness." The Rev. Wal- 
lace Short is now in charge. 

"The Congregational churches of Kansas City are not religious clubs, 
but are working organizations seeking to save men. They have made them- 
selves felt for righteousness and progress in municipality, and are known 
as believing in an applied Christianity, in the Kingdom of God that is to 
come in this world." 

Among the early settlers of Kansas City were a number of English 
speaking Lutherans, mostly from Pennsylvania. Early in 1867 an organ- 
ization was formed and incorporated as the English Lutheran church of 
Kansas City. It evidently was the intention of the incorporators to have 
the name styled "The First English Lutheran Church of Kansas City, Mis- 
souri," the name, by which the organization since has been known. But by 
neglect or oversight, the word "First" does not apear in the title given the 
church in the articles of incorporation. The first pastor was the Rev. A. W. 
Wagonhals, later a partner in the great publishing house of Funk, Wagnalls 
& Co., of New York city, he having changed the spelling of his name. Only 
a limited number of English speaking Lutherans came to Kansas City, 


hence the growth of the church has been slow and has consisted in no small 
measure of people whose religious training had not been Lutheran, but who 
found a congenial church home among the Lutherans. A plain board 
tabernacle was the first building used. Later a lot was bought at 1020 Bal- 
timore avenue, where a brick building was erected at a cost of about $10,000. 
Following the Rev. Mr. Wagonhals in the order named, and each averaging 
about four yeans, came the Rev. W. H. Steck, the Rev. T. F. Dornblazer, 
D. D., and the Rev. S. S. Waltz, D. D., bringing the church down to the 
year 1884. The several panics in Kansas City seriously hindered the pro- 
gress of church work. 

Hundreds of Lutherans have gone further west from Kansas City. In 
May, 1884, the Rev. J. M. Cromer, at the time holding the chair of English 
in the Lutheran college in Carthage, 111., became pastor and served for nearly 
sixteen years, almost one-half of the life of the congregation. In his pas- 
torate the old property was sold, and a corner lot bought at Fourteenth and 
Cherry streets, where a handsome edifice beautifully furnished and equipped, 
and a parsonage were built, the former at a cost of about $45,000 and the 
latter at a cost of $5,000. This work was completed in 1892, and this date 
marks the period of the greatest growth of the congregation. The Rev. 
Mr. Cromer resigned the pastorate in September, 1899, and in February, 
1900, the Rev. Holmes Dysinger, D. D., formerly president of Carthage col- 
lege, Illinois, became pastor. 

The Mission Sunday school established by members of the First church, 
in 1885, organized a congregation under the title of the Children's Mem- 
orial Lutheran church. The first pastor called was the Rev. Millard F. Trox- 
ell, D. D., who was instrumental in organizing the church and in erecting 
the first building at a cost of about $5,000. The succeeding pastors were 
the Rev. Frank D. Altman, D. D., later president of the Western Theolog- 
ical seminary at Atchison, Kansas; the Rev. J. S. Detweiler, D. D.; the Rev. 
Edward P. Schueler, and the Rev. Jesse W. Ball. Under the pastorate of 
Dr. Altman the main building was built at an additional cost of about 
$10,000. On the resignation of the Rev. J. M. Cromer from the pastorate 
of the First church, about fifty members withdrew therefrom and organized 
Grace church. This was effected early in January, 1900, and the Rev. Mr. 
Cromer was elected pastor. A church building at 1418 Oak street was 
leased, and became the home of the congregation. 

The history of the German Evangelical Lutheran Immanuel church of 
Kansas City, belonging to the synod of Missouri, Ohio and other states, be- 
gins in 1879. In that year Arnold Sutermeister came with his family. 
Through his untiring effort, in 1880 the Mission Board of the Western Dis- 
trict sent the Rev. J. H. Rabe to begin work among the resident Lutherans. 


The Rev. Mr. Rabe's labors were of short duration, terminating late in 1881. 
During his ministry services were held in the Old Central Presbyterian 
church at the corner of Eighth street and Grand avenue. In 1882, Mr. 
Sutermeister bought the old Methodist chapel property, at Sixteenth and 
Cherry streets. At his solicitation, the Mission Board sent another pastor, 
the Rev. E. Jehn, who held his first service January 28, 1883. About two 
years later the congregation was organized, with thirteen heads of families. 
The Rev. Mr. Jehn continued his labors until 1893, when he removed to 
Iowa. He was succeeded by the Rev. Louis J. Swartz, July 23, 1893. In 
1895 a church edifice was completed at a cost of about $10,000. The paro- 
chial school maintained in connection with the. church was organized in 
1885 with nineteen pupils. The Rev. Mr. Jehn taught the school until the 
following year, when A. L. Wendt, a graduate from the Normal school in 
Addison, Illinois, became the teacher, and in 1891 the. school was so in- 
creased in numbers that an assistant teacher was engaged. In February, 
1900, Mr. Wendt was called to Trinity church, St. Louis, and he was suc- 
ceeded by John Sebald, of St. Clair, Michigan. 

The first Swedish Lutheran church was organized by the Rev. A. W. 
Dahlsten, D. D., January 9, 1870, and was incorporated the same year. In 
1872 a small church building was erected on Fifteenth between Wash- 
ington street and Broadway. The early history of the church was marked by 
trials and vicissitudes, but the congregation increased. In 1884, the, church 
building and site were sold, and two lots on Thirteenth and Penn streets were 
bought. Several members of the congregation subscribed $500 each to the 
building fund, and P. D. Armour made a contribution of $1,000; other 
Americans also contributed generously. In 1886 a church edifice was com- 
pleted. This is a substantial brick structure, seating about 700 people, and 
contains a $3,000 pipe organ. Included in the church building are church 
parlors for society meetings and social gatherings, a school room, a library 
and rooms for the janitor. The value is $37,000. On the adjoining lot is a 
parsonage erected at a cost of $8,000. The first settled pastor was the Rev. 
S J. Osterberg. 

Christian Science in Missouri was first established in Kansas City. In 
1881 Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy established the Massachusetts Metaphysical col- 
lege, where students were educated in the science of healing and sent out to 
various fields of labor. It was by one, of its graduates, Mrs. Emma D. Be- 
han, that Christian Science was founded in Kansas City. Mrs. Behan came 
in June, 1886, and opened an office in her home at 913 East Fourteenth 
street. Patients thronged to Mrs. Behan. Mrs. Amanda J. Baird went to 
Boston for instruction, and became an untiring worker as a healer, teacher 
and organizer. In 1888 she entered the primary class of the Massachusetts 


Metaphysical college, following it with a normal course and receiving the 
degree of C. S. D. 

The converts, mostly students and patients of Mrs. Emma D. Behan, 
met weekly at her home in 1888. Later the work enlarged so that rooms 
were rented in the Gibraltar building and in 1890 the charter of the pres- 
ent First Church of Christ, Scientist, was obtained by the following mem- 
bers: 0. D. Hall, Mrs. A. D. Belcher, Miss M. Demner, Mada Koons, S. C. 
Orton, H. S. Dunbar, Mrs. A. J. Baird, Miss Jennie Baird, Mrs. M. E. Dun- 
bar, Mrs. Hattie Graybill, Mrs. J. W. McCool, Mrs. M. Howlett, William 
Loyd, Mrs. William Loyd, Mrs. J. W. Nothstine, Mrs. R. L. Falls, Mary A. 
Anderson and Mrs. Behan. There were now seven of Mrs. Eddy's students 
in the Held. Later the Second church was founded by members of the First 
church who withdrew from that organization. James A. Neal, later of Bos- 
ton, Massachusetts, was a charter member of the Second church. Mrs. Baird 
was its founder and first reader. Mr. AY. E. Benson was the second reader 
for many years. It was organized as a society in 1890 and in 1893 it ob- 
tained a charter as the Western Church of Christ, Scientist. In 1895 the 
name was changed to Second Church of Christ, Scientist. In 1892 Al- 
fred Farlow, C. S. D., came from Topeka, Kansas, and opened offices in the 
New York Life building with his brother, William S. Farlow, C. S. B., and 
sister, Sarah Farlow, C. S. B. They had services without organization in 
the Pythian hall on Grand avenue. 

William S. Farlow removed in 1895 to Lyceum hall and organized the 
Third Church of Christ, Scientist, with a congregation of about 400. The 
Second church moved into the Auditorium of the Pepper building and 
swelled its congregation to 300. Under the leadership of Mrs. A. J. Baird, 
of the Second church, at a meeting called for the purpose, in 1896, a build- 
ing fund was started, and an effort made to unite with the other two churches 
in building. As a result the Second church proposed to disorganize, unite 
with the First church, and erect a building to be known as First church. 
The union was effected, but the building project delayed. The Third church 
refused to enter into the union and began to build. In 1897 the three 
churches finally were united under the charter of 1890, and work was con- 
tinued according to the plans and specifications already begun by the Third 
church. A. E. Stilwell was an active, spirit in the enterprise. A church at 
Ninth street and Forest avenue was dedicated on Christmas day, 1898. It 
is a beautiful structure with terra cotta roofings, and low, square towers of 
early Gothic style. The cost was nearly $67,000. 

The Second church re-organized February 18, 1898, with a member- 
ship of 53, which by the July following had increased to . After the 

re-organization of the church, services were held in the auditorium of the 


Pepper building until a congregation of 350 members outgrew those quart- 
ers. Meetings were held in the Willis Wood theatre until the church build- 
ing at Thirty-first street and Troost avenue was completed. The. church 
was built at a cost of $227,000. The seating capacity of the main auditorium 
is 1,052. The church was opened December 28, 1904. 

The Third Church of Christ, Scientist, was reorganized in July, 1903. 
Church services were held in a rented hall until July, 1906, when the old 
building of St. Paul's protestant Episcopal church on Weetport avenue, be- 
tween Baltimore avenue, and Wyandotte street, was leased and remodeled. 
From the original Christian Science churches two others have been estab- 
lished — one in Independence and the other in Kansas City, Kansas. 

It is estimated that between 700 and 800 persons are daily under Chris- 
tian Science treatment in Kansas City. There are about fifty regular prac- 
titioners, twenty of whom are established in offices. There are two public 
reading rooms, one under the auspices of the Second church, opened in 
1893, and the other under the auspices of the First church, opened in 1899 
and situated in the church parlors. 

The Hebrews of Kansas City, previous to 1868, met for worship only 
twice a year in small rented halls. The first congregation, under the name 
of B'nai Jehudah, was organized in the fall of 1870. The Hebrew Burial 
association, organized in 1864, was made a part of the new church. This 
association had bought a piece of ground at Eighteenth street and Lydia 
avenue, but at the end of six years the ground was found to be too small 
and thirty-seven bodies were removed to Elmwood cemetery. B. A. Feine- 
man was at that time president of both the Elmwood cemetery association 
and the board of the temple. 

In June, 1872, the congregation received its charter, the first service by 
Rabbi M. R. Cohen having been held in Masonic hall, Fourth and Walnut 
streets, in 1870. Succeeding Rabbi Cohen came Rabbi E. L. Hess, Rabbi D. 
Burgheim, Rabbi A. Grossman and Rabbi Eppstein for terms of two or three 
years. The first temple, a frame building at Sixth and Wyandotte streets, 
was completed in 1875. The congregation soon outgrew the first temple — 
in a few years — and another temple was erected at the corner of Eleventh 
and Oak streets. The new temple was dedicated in September, 1884. Rabbi 
Isaac Schwab of St. Joseph, Isaac M. Wise of Cincinnati, S. H. Sonneschein 
of St. Louis, Joseph Krauskopf of Kansas City, Henry Berkowotz of Mobile, 
Ala., and- others took part in the impressive ceremonies at the dedication. 
Rabbi Krauskopf was the first of a trio of rabbis who were taken from the 
Kansas City congregation one after another to become church leaders in the 
East. Rabbis Henry Berkowitz and Samuel Shulman were the second and 
third. All were brilliant lecturers and keenly interested in the welfare of 


the city. The present rabbi, Henry H. Mayer, has shown a similar interest in 
civic affairs, and has the honor of being organizer of the Kansas City Pure 
Milk commission, pledged to save the babies. In the nine years he has been 
here, the congregation has doubled its membership. A new temple for B'nai 
Jehudah congregation at the southeast corner of Linwood boulevard and 
Flora avenue, valued, including the ground, at about $150,000, was com- 
pleted in 1908. The auditorium has a seating capacity of 1,000. The 
building is constructed of Bedford stone, in Grecian style. 

The First Universalist church was organized in Kansas City, October 
3, 1892, under the supervision of Dr. Q. H. Shihn, western organizer of the 
General Universalist convention. Services were held in a hall until the 
church built by the Reformed Episcopals on the southeast corner of Tenth 
street and Park avenue was purchased and fitted for regular use. The Rev. 
Charles R. East was the first regular pastor, serving the church two years. He 
was succeeded by the Rev. Luther F. McKinney, who remained one year. 
The society was without a regular minister until October, 1902, when the 
Rev. Mary Elizabeth Andrews began a pastorate which still continues. 

Various philanthropic institutions have been furthered by this church. 
Classes in the study of Emerson, Plato and Browning are conducted by the 
pastor each week. The church has no creed, but the principles around which 
closer co-operation is obtained, are as follows: The universal fatherhood 
of God; the spiritual authority and leadership of His son, Jesus Christ; the 
trustworthiness of the Bible as containing a revelation from God; the cer- 
tainty of just retribution for sin ; the final harmony of all souls with God. 

All Souls' Unitarian church of Kansas City was organized in the sum- 
mer of 1868, with the Rev. Henry M. Smith, Agnes Smith, E. D. Parsons, 
Amos Towle, G. S. Morrison, Alfred Pirtle, Ross Guffin and Henry A. White 
as original members. Meetings were held in rooms over stores and in halls 
until 1871, when a frame building was erected on Baltimore avenue at a 
cost of about $5,000. The Rev. W. E. Copeland was the first pastor, and 
was succeeded in turn by the Rev. C. E. Webster, the Rev. Enoch Powell 
and the Rev. W. S. King. The work of the church was interrupted in 1880. 
The Rev. D. N. Utter became pastor in 1881, and under his ministration 
a large gain in membership was made. In 1884 the Rev. Robert Laird Coll- 
yer, D. D., was called to the pastorate. While he was in charge was 
erected the brick church edifice on Tenth street, near Broadway, at a cost of 
nearly $25,000. The Rev. John E. Roberts withdrew with about two-thirds 
of the congregation, then numbering some 500 people, and organized the 
"Church of This World." All Souls' church edifice was then rented to the 
Christian Scientists for some months, and the Unitarians met in the rooms 
of- the Athenaeum, where services were conducted by the Rev. W. G. Todd. 


Later in the same year the congregation returned to its church home and in- 
stalled as pastor the Rev. George W. Stone, whose, services continued until 
June, 1900, when he resigned in order to resume his labors as field agent of 
the American Unitarian association. During his pastorate the church was re- 
established and an indebtedness of $10,000 was liquidated, three-fourths of 
the amount being paid by two friends of Mr. Stone in the East, conditioned 
on the remainder having been paid by members of the congregation. The 
Rev. Charles Fergusan became pastor in 1900. 

The oldest German Protestant church in Kansas City is St. Peter's 
German Evangelical church, founded in 1865. In 1867 a frame building 
was erected on Walnut street, between Ninth and Tenth streets. A substan- 
tial church edifice was built, Oak street and Irving Place, in 1883, at a cost 
of $13,000. This had been dedicated only a few days when it was entirely 
destroyed by a tornado, the calamity occurring only a few minutes after 
the Sunday school scholars had left the building. The church was rebuilt. 
The first pastor was the Rev. J. C. Feil, who served from 1865 until 1874, 
when he removed to Marthasville, Missouri, and was succeeded by the Rev. 
H. F. Kirchoff. In 1878 the Rev. Mr. Feil again became pastor, and served 
until .May,7 1895, when he retired from active work. His successor was the 
Rev. John Aauer. About 300 families attend the church. 



The problem of caring for the poor and neglected in a great city is 
well worked out in Kansas City and finds its solution in the many charity 
associations located here. From very small beginnings, many different in- 
stitutions have developed, endeavoring to keep pace with the manifold and 
growing needs of the hour. In an age of specialties the work is naturally 
divided so as to easily meet special requirements. 

The federation of Kansas City's charities was effected October 18, 1899, 
under the name of the "Associated Charities of Kansas City" and active 
work was undertaken the following January. The first officers and exec- 
utive committee consisted of W. C. Scarritt, president; the Rev. Henry Hop- 
kins, D. D., vice-president; the Rt. Rev. J. J. Glennon, D. D., vice-presi- 
dent; S. A. Pierce, secretary; I. E. Bernheimer, treasurer; H. S. Boice and 
F. M. Howe. This is a federation, not a consolidation, of the city's char- 


ities and philanthropies, twenty-five in number at the time of its organiza- 
tion, and, although one or two changes were made, the number was the 
same in 1908. 

Its purpose is to co-ordinate the benevolent forces of the city, in order 
to promote the better and more intelligent relief of distress and to elevate 
the standard of living among the poor. Its aims are to secure co-operation 
among the public and private charitable agencies, churches and citizens ; to pro- 
cure accurate knowledge of all cases treated ; to find prompt and adequate relief 
for all who should have it; to expose imposters and prevent wilfull idleness; 
to find employment for the able-bodied; to establish relations of personal 
interest and sympathy between the poor and well-to-do; to prevent pauper- 
ism, especially to see that no children grow up as paupers ; to collect and 
diffuse knowledge on all subjects connected with the administration of char- 
ities. As will be seen by the foregoing, the three most essential features of 
the Associated charities are co-operation, relief, and prevention. It could 
accomplish but little without co-operation, and the more the hearty co-op- 
eration the better the results. Better methods of giving relief are studied 
and taught, in order that it may be prompt, of the right nature, and admin- 
istered with the least possible demoralizing effect. Prevention is the ulti- 
mate goal, and while the working force is entirely too small this federation 
is doing much re-constructive, preventive, and educational work. Some of 
the departments maintained by the association are investigation, registra- 
tion, co-operation, visitation, education, medical and legal. This agency 
investigates not only the Provident Association, but for all who so desire. 
It procures relief from the source best equipped for meeting the particular 
needs. It cares for 1,500 to 1,800 families annually. It does not dupli- 
cate the work of any other organization, but is the servant of all. The head- 
quarters of the Associated Charities in 1908 were in the Charity building, 
1115 Charlotte street. 

The Kansas City Provident association was incorporated December 20, 
1880. The members of the first directory who also were its incorporators, 
were B. A.. Sheidly, Kersey Coates, Witten McDonald, Theodore S. Case, 
George H. Nettleton, Charles S. Wheeler, W. P. Allcutt, W. S. Gregory, John 
W. Byers, Thomas K. Hanna, J. V. C. Karnes, E. L. Martin, W. B. Grimes, 
J. M. Lee, M. B. Wright, T. B. Bullene, L. K. Thacher, C. A. Chace and C. 
B. Leach. Its functions, as stated in Article II, are "to look after the inter- 
ests of the poor of Kansas City, Missouri, to aid them in securing employ- 
ment when expedient and otherwise to assist them in such ways as may be 
deemed most judicious." As will be seen by the foregoing Article it was 
organized on a basis sufficiently broad to permit of charitable reliefs of any 
nature. However, its efforts have been confined chiefly to giving aid of a 


material kind both to individuals and to families, as well as to procuring or 
furnishing employment whenever possible. The association, operated a stone 
yard, fuel yard, laundry and se.wing room. It also carried a stock of staple 
groceries from which those needing provisions were supplied. From the 
time of its organization until the inception of the Associated Charities, in 
January, 1900, it maintained a corps of skilled visitors who visited with 
those in need for the purpose of ascertaining their needs. Great effort was 
made to give relief adequately and to do it in such a manner as to preserve 
the self-respect and independence of the recipient, if possible. 

After occupying different sites, the association, May 1, 1894, moved 
from the southwest corner of Ninth and Charlotte streets to the northeast 
corner of Fourteenth and Locust streets. This property was purchased by 
the. late August R. Myer for the use of the association and was the home of 
this association for nearly eleven years. Mr. Myer look great interest in the 
society's work, was its president for several years, and gave the use of this 
site for more than seven years besides liberal cash contributions to this cause. 
In the fall of 1904, the association purchased of the Women's Christian as- 
sociation a three-story brick building at 1115 Charlotte street. After making 
repairs, it moved to this new location, March 9, 1905, and still occupies the 
property in 1908, with the Associated Charities, the Visiting Nurse associa- 
tion and the Kansas City Pure Milk commission as an office and laboratory. 
The Provident association has been the agency through which many of the 
business men made their charitable contributions. 

The St. Vincent de Paul society is an international organization founded 
more than one hundred yean ago in Paris where its parent house is situ- 
ated. The Kansas City conferences were established in 1881, the first 
officials being William C. Gass, president, and John O'Brien, secretary. The 
two local conferences in 1908 had headquarters at the Cathedral, 412 West 
Twelfth street, and at St. Patrick's church, 806 Cherry street. It is com- 
posed of Catholic men who meet weekly, take up collections, appoint visitors 
to look after the needy and distribute their relief in a systematic manner. 

The Humane Society of Kansas City, was incorporated December 24, 
1883 with Thomas B. Bullene as the first president. The main objects of 
this society are to aid in protecting children and dumb animals and in prevent- 
ing cruelty, and to promote, humane sentiments among all classes of persons. 
This is done by employing agents, with the authority of police ; by encourag- 
ing the organization among children in all the schools of " Bands of Mercy," 
and by the circulation of books and papers for the purpose of educating both 
the head and the heart of the young, promoting kindness, consideration and 
sympathy toward suffering humanity and toward the lower animals. It is 
maintained by the annual dues of its members, which are $5.00 for each man 


and $2.50 for each woman. An amendment to the charter enables the so- 
ciety to receive, bequests and to hold both real and personal property. 

The House of the Good Shepherd conducted by the Sisters of the Good 
Shepherd, situated at Twentieth street and Cleveland avenue, was estab- 
lished June 29, 1887, and incorporated December 20, 1887. The members 
of the reform class are e.mployed in sewing, laundry and domestic work, the 
income from which helps to defray expense of maintaining the institution. 
The children of the preservation class are entirely separated from the, in- 
mates of the reformatory, all communication between them being forbidden, 
and it is the effort of the sisters to give them an education with instruction 
in the different branches of industry, thus securing for them occupation and 
the means for future maintenance. This institution owns a tract of four 
acres and its buildings include a laundry, which is well equipped with modern 
machinery. The, capacity of this home is about one hundred and twenty- 

The Protestant Door of Hope was chartered under the state laws of Mis- 
souri, September 3, 1895. It had been in existence for more than a year before 
the articles of association were filed. It was organized for the purpose of pro- 
viding a home for the homeless, wayward girls, for those who might come to 
the home with a desire to reform, those placed there by their parents, guardi- 
ans, or the officers of the law, to teach them some occupation that they might 
become self-supporting and to find homes for them when they are ready to 
go out into the world. It is managed by its officers, board of managers, three 
trustees, and an advisory board. The officers in 1908 were : Mrs. G. A. Wood, 
president; Mrs. J. K. Burnham, vice-president; Mrs. G. R. Chambers, secre- 
tary; Mrs. G. L. Coomber, corresponding secretary; and Mrs. J. N. Moore, 
treasurer. Trustees: Judge J. H. Hawthorne, I. E. VanNoy, J. N. Moore. 

The Visiting Nurse association of Kansas City, Missouri, originated in 
December, 1899, as a charitable organization, in the First Congregational 
Church, supported by the members of the Church and holding its meetings 
in connection with the Women's society of the Church. The organization 
was started by Mrs. I. C. Howes, and the initial work of the undertaking was 
largely carried on through her. The name of Instructive Nursing association 
was adopted, one nurse was employed, and her work began with one patient. 
Sixteen months later, on March 30, 1891, it was found expedient to place the 
growing charity in the hands of a regular board of governing members and 
call for the assistance of people charitably inclined among all denominations, 
making it an independent organization. 

The name Visiting Nurse association was adopted, and under that name 
has continued for seventeen years to give help through trained nurses, to all 
sick among the poor in need of assistance, free of any charge. Visits are made 


to the sick in their homes, instruction given on sanitary and hygienic matters, 
and medicines and delicacies provided where the patient is unable to supply 
them. Cases for hospital treatment are removed at the expense of the associa- 
tion The funds for the work are obtained from gifts, membership dues, an 
annual entertainment and an occasional bequest. In 1908 three nurses are con- 
stantly employed, and during the year 1907 to 1908, 4,910 visits to the sick 
were made and $1,863.57 was expended. The co-operation existing between 
this association and the physicians, the Provident association, and the other 
charitable societies, has been of the heartiest nature; and during the entire 
period since its reorganization, the Nursing association made its headquarters 
with the Provident association and still offices in the Charity Building, 1115 
Charlotte street. It has also been a member of the Associated Charities since 
its federation. The Old Folks' and Orphans' Home was established in Decem- 
ber, 1889, at 1308 Vine street. 

Kansas City with its thirty-four railway lines has become one of the great 
labor exchanges of the country, and therefore the problem of the transient 
unemployed has commanded the serious attention of its authorities. In four 
of the larger cities municipal lodging houses have been organized to supply 
the needs of those of this class who appeal for public aid. In Kansas City the 
Helping Hand institute, established in September, 1894, and incorporated in 
April, 1900, was organized to undertake the management of the transient 
class. It is, however, a private charity and it also conducts an undenomina- 
tional religious service. It provides work for the transient unemployed to earn 
meals and lodging until paying positions can be secured. It maintains a free 
employment bureau which secured 8,463 paying positions in 1907. It has 
free shower baths with certain hours reserved for the boys of the North End. 
In the Women's Department penniless, homeless women are temporarily cared 
for until permanent homes are found for them. They are provided with bath 
and laundry facilities. Its lodging department has an equipment of almost 
500 beds, with mattress, blankets, white sheets and pillow cases and two large 
fumigators. Beds are given the sick or disabled, earned by the able-bodied, 
or sold for ten cents. Meals are given or earned — none are sold. The institu- 
tion has a representative in the police court every morning, as a friend of the 
unknown homeless man and as a visitor at the General hospital to attend to 
errands of mercy for the sick. Other features of the work are, outings for the 
boys, flower distribution, free ice water on the street; also a gospel wagon 
with stereopticon pictures in the neglected portions of the city. Its board of 
directors in 1908 were: George W. Fuller, president; J. A. Carpenter, vice- 
president; E. E. Richardson, secretary; S. A. Pierce, treasurer; Gardner Lath- 
rop; Dr. John Punton; J. W. Jenkins; E. L. McClure; David Thornton; 
William Volker; James H. Austin; E. T. Brigham, superintendent. 


The Florence Crittenden Mission and Home corporation was organized 
at the Commercial club rooms in Kansas City, January 24, 1896, and was 
incorporated March 4, 1896. The subscribers constitute the membership. The 
incorporators were Elliott E. Richardson, president; Frank Hagerman, first 
vice-president; Henry S. Boice, second vice-president; James B. Welsh, secre- 
tary; and Henry T. Abernathy, treasurer. In addition to the officers the first 
directory consisted of J. H. Waite, J. W. Montgomery, G. W. Fuller, Gardner 
Lathrop, John H. North, Henry M. Beardsley, Albert Marty, M. C. Ross, 
Thomas S. Ridge, and Stewart Carkener. Also an auxiliary board consisting 
of ten women is elected annually. Article III of the constitution says: "The 
object of this corporation shall be to establish a mission and a home in or near 
Kansas City, Mo., for the erring women and girls; and to give them religious, 
moral and industrial training. The home was first opened February 1, 1896, 
at the northeast corner of Fourth and Main streets, where it remained until 
September 1, 1898; on that date it was removed to 3713 East Fifteenth street, 
where it remained until July, 1899, from whence it was transfered to 3005 
Woodland avenue. This location was purchased by the Home corporation, 
which still owns it in 1908. 

The Franklin Institute and Social Settlement, with headquarters at 1901 
McGee street, is a work that was first undertaken by Joseph N. Hanson in 
the fall of 1903. Mr. Hanson had sometime previously established the South 
Side Social Settlement, operating chiefly in the Mastin Flats, otherwise known 
as McClure flats, situated between Nineteenth and Twentieth streets and Grand 
avenue and McGee street. In 1903 Mr. Hanson conceived the idea of adding 
to his settlement work, industrial departments and manual training, and it 
was at that time that the Franklin Institute became known. This was found 
to be too great an undertaking for the support it received and it was turned 
over to J. T. Chafin in June, 1905. Articles of association were filed in August, 
1905, under the title of the Franklin Institute and Social Settlement, its first 
directory consisting of Thomas S. Ridge, president ; Rabbi H. H. Mayer, 
vice-president; Fletcher Cowherd, treasurer; E. E. Ellis, secretary; and D. L. 
James, Edwin F. Weil, W. J. Berkowitz, and Alfred Gregory, members. The 
manual training departments were at once discontinued and the workers di- 
rected their attention to the settlement work exclusively. 

The Catholic Ladies Aid society was established in January, 1890 and 
was incorporated in June, 1903. The late Mrs. Joseph T. Ellicott was the 
leader of the movement and the organization was formed at her home. The 
incorporators were Mrs. George A. Coe, Mrs. S. K. McCormick, and Miss 
Elizabeth Davis. The society's motto: "Charity threefold: love of God, love 
of His poor, and charity among ourselves." This society had several hundred 
members in 1908 who met Wednesday during the winter months at 203 East 


Twelfth street for the purpose of sewing, and distributing clothing among 
the poor; also for the purpose of receiving appeals for relief in other forms 
which are investigated by a committee. No discrimination is made as to the 
nationality or the religious belief. Special attention is given to children by 
this society, and a sewing class for children is held every week where thrift 
and cleanliness are also taught. A series of entertainments have been given 
by members of the society every winter and from this source most of the funds 
were raised to meet the expenses. 

The Children's Home society of Missouri was incorporated in 1892, and 
the Rev. C. F. Williams, the first state superintendent, began his work in 1893. 
The local board, appointed in 1893, consisted of F. M. Furgason, chairman; 
David Ellison, vice-chairman; F. M. Perkins, secretary; J. E. Lockwood, C. 
0. Tichenor, E. D. Bigelow, E. Northrup, David Thornton, L. A; Goodman, 
J. H. Waite, Mrs. W. H. Reed and Miss T. A. Wise. Very few changes in 
the personnel of this board had been made in 1908. The object of this society 
is to locate destitute, neglected and ill-treated children, to receive them into 
legal guardianship, to place them in the homes of approved families, and to 
keep them under observation until maturity. Destitute children throughout 
the state, physically and mentally sound, not incorrigible, and under twelve 
years of age, are entitled to its assistance. This is not an orphanage, but a 
Home Finding society. The state is divided into seven districts, the Kansas 
City district including seventeen counties. The society's headquarters in 1908 
were at 4427 Margaretta avenue, St Louis, where it has a receiving home. 
This state society has placed more than 2,200 children in approved families 
more than one hundred of whom were Kansas City children, who have been 
placed in permanent homes and are under the observation of the agents of 
this society. 

The St. Joseph's Female Orphan Asylum, Third and Jefferson streets, 
was established in 1879 and incorporated in 1893. Its officers in 1908 were: 
Mother. Agnes Gonzaga Ryan, president; Sister M. Ligouri Monahan, treas- 
urer; Sister M. Brigid Callahan, secretary. The institution is in charge of the 
Sisters of St. Joseph's Carondelet, and has for its special object the care and 
education of orphan girls. The Home was founded through the generosity 
of the Rev. Bernard Donnelly, the pioneer priest of Western Missouri. The 
Sisters opened the Home January 6, 1880. It has sheltered thousands of little 
ones who were either abandoned or orphaned. The children receive a common 
school education and assist with work in the Home. Most of them, having no 
guardian, are kept in the Home until old enough to care properly for them- 
selves. Many of those who leave the institution are employed in Kansas City. 
The Sisters in charge, whose services have been given gratuitously, have ever 
exercised the greatest vigilance in regard to their well-being after their leaving 


the home, and all are cordially welcomed back when sick or out of employ- 
ment. The sotirces of revenue for this institution are: A monthly appropria- 
tion from the St. Mary's Cemetery association, the proceeds of the Annual 
Fourth of July picnic and occasional gifts. The home accommodates about 
250 children. 

The Mattie Rhodes Memorial society was established in 1894 and incor- 
porated for a term of fifty years February 27, 1896, for the purpose of doing 
charitable work in and near Kansas City. Its chief activity has been a Day 
Nursery and for several years conducted a successful sewing school of 70 
members, not only for the older girls in the nursery but for the girls in the 
neighborhood as well Children from 1 to 12 years of age are admitted. It is 
the constant aim of the membership to surround this group of little children 
with all the pleasures and advantages of a happy home. The children receive 
instruction in tidiness and courtesy during this formative period of their 
fives. A visitor has been employed who calls on the mothers of the children 
cared for, and does a neighborhood work. 

The location of the Day Nursery in 1908 was at 2340 West Prospect 
Place, with Mrs. G. A. Stevens in charge. The society has a limited member- 
ship, with the following officers: Mrs. A. F. Evans, president; Miss Lavinia 
Tough, vice-president; Miss Ethel Ridenour, treasurer; Miss Mary Simpson, 
recording secretary; Miss Theo. Mastin, corresponding secretary; Mrs. A. D. 
Wright, secretary at arms. A substantial sum is usually realized from the 
proceeds of an annual Charity Ball and the remainder of the expense incurred 
is mostly contributed by members of the Society. The Nursery in 1908 has 
an endowment fund of $2,000. 

The Kansas City Day Nursery was organized March 20, 1895, by these 
women: Mrs. G. W. Chadburn, Mrs Hugh Miller, Mrs. K. L. Mills, Mrs. C. 
H. Beattie, Mrs. M. T. Runnels, Mrs. G. S. Cartwright, Mrs. H. A. Collins 
and Mrs. Minnie McCheyne. The institution was granted a state charter in. 
March, 1899. The Nursery cares for the children of the women who work 
during the day. Children from 1 to 12 years of age are cared for from 6:30 
o'clock in the morning until 7 o'clock at night. Three meals a day are 
served and a charge of five cents a day is made for every child cared for. 
About 25 children were cared for daily ; the older children were sent to school 
and the younger ones kept in the nursery. The expenses of the nursery amount 
to about $135 a month, which is met by three hundred subscribers. Immedi- 
ately upon organization a home was opened at 413 Whittier Place, which they 
continued to occupy until the new Home at 1326 Charlotte street was pur- 
chased at an expenditure of $6,000. This new home was occupied May 15, 


Kansas City Orphan Boys' Home (Perry Memorial). This institution 
is in charge of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. Its special end 
is the care and education of orphan boys, those who have lost both parents 
or only one. Boys who are not orphans, but who, for various reasons are 
without a home and proper care, are admitted by exception. The institution 
in 1908 was caring for 115 whose ages ranged from 4 to 14 years. Since 
the home opened in 1896 the Sisters of Charity have sheltered over a thousand 
little ones who were either abandoned or orphaned. The children receive a 
common school education. The sources of revenue for this institution are: 
A monthly apropriation from St. Mary's Cemetery association ; the proceeds 
of the Annual Labor Day picnic; occasional gifts, and whatever the relatives 
of the children are willing or able to pay towards their support. Children of 
any denomination are admitted. 

The Mercy hospital started in 1897, with one little white bed, the begin- 
ning of a Deformed Child's ward. It is true to the original plan — the care of 
crippled, deformed, and sick children free of cost. The hospital seeks for de- 
pendent and neglected children and urges its friends to help it in so doing. It 
was opened January 1, 1904. No suffering child has ever been turned from 
its doors. Crippled children are largely left to such institutions as the Mercy 
hospital, the very poor being often quickly pronounced incurable and left to 
become so. In many instances crippled children may be cured and almost 
all of them can be helped. Many of the children can be made strong and self- 
supporting. This is the work the Mercy hospital began in June, 1897. Ground 
was broken for a new hospital building at 404 Highland avenue, April 10, 

The necessity of a juvenile court in Kansas City was urged by various 
charitable societies for several years before it was organized, but the idea took 
definite form in the Men's club of the First Congregational church. One night 
in the fall of 1901, the late Dr. Henry Hopkins then pastor of the church, 
spoke on the subject of "The Neglected Boy in Kansas City." His remarks 
made a deep impression on some of the club members. Young culprits at that 
time were tried in the criminal court and often were confined in the county 
jail with older and more hardened criminals. This plan was objectionable. 
It ruined the culprits beyond redemption. 

Richard S. Tuthill, presiding judge of the juvenile court in Chicago, 
came to Kansas City and spoke to the Men's club on the development of the 
juvenile court idea in Illinois. The juvenile court law was passed by the state 
legislature in February, 1903. The county court of Jackson county promptly 
held that the law was invalid and refused to appropriate money for the main- 
tenance of the juvenile court. A case to test the validity of the law was taken 
before the Missouri supreme court. Gardner Lathrop conducted the case free 


of charge. In December, 1903, the supreme court held that the juvenile 
court law is valid. Judge Tuthill returned to Kansas City in April, 1903, 
and in an address before the Men's club gave instructions how to organize and 
conduct the juvenile court. Judge James Gibson of the circuit court was the 
first judge of the juvenile court. Judge H. L. McCune was the next judge. 
One of the chief difficulties with the old system was the confining of boys 
in the demoralizing atmosphere of the jail. Under the supervision of Judge 
McCune, the county court bought a site on Oak street across the street from 
the courthouse and remodeled two old buildings which stood on the lot, into 
a comfortable place where delinquent children could be kept. The home, 
opened August 28, 1906, is all that its name implies. It is a home rather than 
a jail. The floors are carpeted. There is always plenty of clean linen. "Wire 
netting is used across the windows instead of iron bars. Every suggestion of 
a jail is removed as much as possible. 

The parental school farm, known as the McCune Home, is an important 
branch of the juvenile court. At the request of Judge McCune the county 
court contracted for 100 acres six miles northeast of Independence, where an 
industrial school was established for bad boys. There the wards of the court 
have the benefit of outdoor life and are taught to work. A law passed in 
1905 gives the county court authority to maintain such an institution. The 
farm was modeled after an industrial home at Cleveland, O. 

The Light Bearers Boys' club had its beginning in 1903 in the home of 
George M. Holt, then a machinist, later employed as a probation officer. The 
club rooms at 3112-4 East Eighteenth street are open every night in the week, 
and Sunday school is held every Sunday morning. The success of this club led 
to the establishing of the Juvenile Improvement association, with Judge Mc- 
Cune as president. The association established the Boys' hotel. This is an 
institution where homeless boys can obtain board at nominal cost. 

The Women's Christian Association was organized in January, 1870, 
and incorporated May 25, 1877. In 1908 the active and associate membership 
list had grown from a small gathering of ten or twelve persons to one hundred 
and seventeen, besides which there is a board of seven trustees and a staff of 
thirty-four physicians. The object of this association is the improvement of the 
religious, intellectual and temporal welfare of the young women under its 
care. In 1898, Mr. Thomas H. Swope, seeing the need of a children's home 
and other charitable institutions in Kansas City, gave to the association a 
tract of land containing three and one-half acres located at the northeast 
corner of Twenty -second street and Tracy avenue. This property is one of 
the least of Colonel Swope's many gifts to the city. 

The first building erected on this plat of ground was for the use of the 
Gillis Orphans' home. The home is sustained for the benefit of orphan chil- 
dren or those whose parents are temporarily without means of caring for 


them. The new building on the land given by Colonel Swope was opened 
April 1, 1900; the former location of this home was on Eleventh and Char- 
lotte streets, where it was originally opened April 1, 1883. In 1908, 205 chil- 
dren were cared for; the greatest number in the home at any one time being 

The second building to be erected on the land given to the Women's 
Christian Association by Colonel Swope, was the Margaret Klock Armour 
Memorial home for aged couples; it was built in 1904, by Mrs. S. B. Armour 
in memory of her husband who died in 1899. Mrs. Armour moved the first 
spadeful of earth when the building was begun and formally presented the 
completed structure on May 15, 1905. The home cost fully $42,000, and 
is maintained by an income from the Armour Endowment fund; it has ac- 
commodations for about thirty couples. 

The terms under which aged couples may enter this home are: The 
applicants must be at least 65 years of age and must have been residents of Kan- 
sas City for ten years preceding date of application. Such couples shall be 
received on a probation of six months, during which time the association shall 
act definitely on the case. Couples who have any property will be required to 
secure the same to the association before admission, and in the case of their 
obtaining property after admission, it will be necessary to make it over to the 
association if they remain as inmates. The income from the property so made 
over, shall be paid to the couple during life. 

The Little Sisters of the Poor came to Kansas City in 1882 and opened 
a home for old people. A tract of ground was secured at Thirty-first and Lo- 
custs streets; a building was erected and in 1901 the two wings of the main 
building were completed. Articles of association were filed January 5, 1884. 
Since the year 1882 this property has been occupied exclusively for aged and 
destitute men and women, who have been cared for by the sisters, and pro- 
vided with food, clothing and cared for during illness. The applicant must 
be at least sixty years old, destitute, and of good moral character. The ca- 
pacity of the home is about 200. About $20,000 is required each year to 
meet the expenses incurred, and for this support the Sisters depend upon vol- 
untary contributions. 

In December, 1890, the Women's Christian Temperance Union of Kan- 
sas City, incorporated "The Protestant Home for Aged Women" on 
Independence avenue and Lowell street. In 1900 Mrs. Julia Nettleton gave 
them her home on the N. W. Corner of Seventh and Penn streets in memory 
of her late husband. It was then incorporated under the name of the "George 
H. Nettleton Home for Aged Women." An addition was built, making it 
possible to care for 31 women. An admission fee of $200 is charged. The 


home is always full and is supported through the generosity of the Kansas City 

A charter was obtained from the State in 1S96 and the Colored People's 
Christian Charity association was organized, with Mrs. Johanna Moore as presi- 
dent; Sarah Jones, treasurer; Nannie Foster, secretary and Samuel Eason 
superintendent. The object of the organization is the care of the aged, destitute 
colored people and orphans of Kansas City. 

A permanent home for this association was obtained by the purchase of 
the property at 2446 Michigan avenue, into it they moved in 1898. This 
property in 1908 was entirely paid for and the association had purchased the 
adjoining fifty feet and house, called "The Johanna Moore Cottage." The 
association has after much litigation, come into possession of the bequest from 
Joseph Benoist, who left $4,000 to the home. Of this amount $3,500 was re- 
served for the purpose of building a new home. 

To try to trace the history of the Jewish charities in Kansas City, would be 
to furnish a record without a beginning. True, it can be accurately stated when 
the first Relief Society was formed, but assistance and alms were given long be- 
fore any concentration or amalgamation was brought about. In the early '60s aid 
was given if not indiscriminately, at least not systematically, and when funds 
were to be raised, there was a house to house or office to office canvas. It was 
not until 1871, that any real systematic alms-giving was considered necessary, 
and it was then that the Hebrew Ladies' Relief Society was formed with Mrs. 
Joseph Cahn, president; Mrs. L. Hammerslough, vice president; Mrs. M. R. 
Cohen, secretary; and Mrs. Herman Ganz, treasurer. The first members were 
Mrs. Ben Ganz, Mrs. Henry Cahn, Mrs. Wolf Bachrach, Mrs. Henry Miller, 
Mrs. Rosalie Sachs, Mrs. H. Waldauer, Mrs. A. Baer, Mrs. H. Mayer, Mrs. 
Louis Rothschild, Mrs. Elise Binswanger, Mrs. B. A. Feineman, Mrs. I. Bach- 
rach and Mrs. Max Rice. When the first Temple was built, this society gave 
$800 towards the building fund. 

The officers in those days were not only officers in name ; the presidency 
of the society implied more than executive ability. The Ladies' Hebrew Re- 
lief Society rapidly grew and prospered until it dominated all other Jewish 
philanthropic organizations in the city. Some twelve or fourteen years later, 
an orthodox society was formed, and receiving its charter under the same- 
name, the first Hebrew Ladies' Relief Society some years later found the ne- 
cessity of changing its name to, and was incorporated as, the "Jewish Women's 
Charity Association," which name it retains in 1908. The following board 
was serving in 1908: Mrs. I. Ryder, president; Mrs. I. Ney, vice-president; 
Mrs. R. Eisen, treasurer; and Mrs. Dan Lyons, secretary. The Jewish 
Women's Charity association inaugurated friendly visiting, and cared for the 


sick among the poor. The committees appointed by, and under the personal 
direction of Mrs. I. Ryder, accomplished true acts of charity. 

In 1880 or 1882 the private collections becoming too frequent and the 
drain on the Ladies' Society, too heavy, caused mainly by the first influx of 
Russian and Roumanian Jews, the Jewish men of the city methodically took 
steps for concentrated action. They formed the Men's General Relief Society. 
From its incipiency it devoted particular attention to transient or traveling 
poor, whom it assisted to the proper destination. The direct relief was always 
an important feature until the federation took place, when the superintendent 
of the Federation Board made this his special work. The officers of the Men's 
Relief society in 1908 were: Sig Harzfeld, president; D. Benjamin, vice- 
president; Edwin F. Weil, secretary; and A. L. Askanas, treasurer. Those 
societies which followed in rapid succession are the Council of Jewish Women, 
the Bertha Haas Shoe Fund, and the Sophia Newgass Sewing Circle. The 
local branch of the Council of Jewish Women, the leading Jewish literary, 
philanthropic, and social organization in Kansas City is affiliated with the 
United Jewish Charities of Kansas City, the Kansas City Council of Clubs and 
the Missouri State Federation of Women's Clubs. It was organized January 
2, 1895, through the efforts of Mrs. L. S. Lieberman, Mrs. F. V. Kander, Mrs. 
Sol Block and Dr. Samuel Shulman. The charter members were: Mrs. L. S. 
Lieberman, Mrs. W. J. Berkowitz, Mrs. F. V. Kander, Mrs. Sol Block, Mrs. 
Samuel Shulman, Mrs. C. D. Axman, Mrs. Theodore Griff, Mrs. 0. Flershiem, 
Mrs. Eli Cahn, Mrs. A. S. Woolf, Mrs. A. Hyman, Mrs. Seligsohn, Mrs. G. 
Bergman, Mrs. A. Deichman, Mrs. J. Rothgieser, Mrs. E. Meinrath, Mrs. L. S. 
Lieberman served as first president; Mrs. Eli Cahn, vice-president; Mrs. F. V. 
Kander, secretary; and Mrs. W. J. Berkowitz, treasurer; with Mrs. Samuel 
Shulman, religious, and Ida M. Block, philanthropic leaders. 

The Council immediately rose in prominence and power, at once assum- 
ing charge of the various institutions created by individuals before its forma- 
tion. Principal among these were: The Industrial School, founded by and 
named after Ida M. Block; The Free Bath, also formed by Mrs. Block; The 
Penny Provident Fund by Mrs. Lieberman and Mrs. Block: and the Free 
Kindergarten, by Sophia C. Axman. Each of these was an institution in itself 
and the work each accomplished is inestimable. The Ida M. Block Indus- 
trial School, the oldest of these, furnished particularly gratifying results. A 
volunteer corps of teachers has been in charge, with efficient superintendents 
and advisers. The Free Bath in conjunction with the Industrial School, was 
conscientiously continued until the Bath House for adults and children was 
opened in 1907 in the settlement district. The Kindergarten passed through 
many stages, under the leadership of Mrs. M. Friedman, Mrs B. Davidson, 


Mrs. M. Schloss and Miss Daisy Newhouse, until 1908 it was a component 
part of the Educational Institute. 

The first institutions which the council itself created, with Dr. Samuel 
Shulman's assistance, were the night school which met four nights a week in 
the Temple school rooms, with two competent grammar school teachers in 
charge ; and the Mission school for children of non-members, which assembled 
every Saturday afternoon in the vestry rooms of the Temple. Mrs. Samuel 
Shulman and the Misses Mona Binswanger, Cornelia Ney, and Belle Davidson 
were the first volunteer teachers. The night school later was moved to the 
Federation building on Fifteenth street, when it was established on a different 
basis, the B'nai Brith assuming charge and appointing Miss Clare Stern and 
Miss Dorothy Frischer as paid teachers. The Mission school has grown in 
numbers and importance, the council having given it into the hands of the 
congregation who have appointed Mrs. A. H. Dreyfus, and Misses Sadie Barth, 
Frances Ettlinger, Clare Stern, and Ethel Feineman as regular teachers. 

The course of study pursued and the line of work carried out by the Jew- 
ish Councils are of the highest and most approved order. Those women who 
served as president since Mrs. Lieberman's popular administration, are: Mrs. 
F. Kander, Mrs. Samuel Latz, and Mrs. Lee Lyon. The officers in 1908 were : 
Mrs. Paul Kessel, president; Mrs. H. H. Mayer, vice-president; Miss Ella Ham- 
merslough, recording secretary; Mrs. Julius Davidson, corresponding secre- 
tary; Mrs. Oscar Sachs, treasurer; and Mrs. E. Meinrath, auditor. The di- 
rectors in 1908 were: Mesdames Lee Lyon, Jacob Flohr, F. V. Kander, L. S. 
Lieberman, A. B. Frankel, George Bergman, Samuel Latz, Charles Sachs, 
I. E. Shane, David Benjamin, and the Misses Fanny Benjamin, Anna Wolf- 
son and Florence Mainhardt. 

Last of all in the Council's auxiliaries, is the Council of Jewish Juniors, 
formed in 1903, mainly through the efforts of Mrs. A. B. Frankel who ob- 
tained the idea from the Baltimore National convention the year previous, 
this society of young people started out with 25 members, having Julian 
Davidson as president; Myron Loewen, vice-president; Miss Burtie Haar, sec- 
retary; Miss Adele Joffee, treasurer; and Miss Edna Goldstandt, auditor, with 
Mrs A. B. Frankel, chairman, and Miss Zerlina Reefer, leader. They, like 
their elders, held their meetings twice a month in the Federation building, 
doing painstaking work along educational as well as social lines. The study 
classes consisted of papers, discussions, debates and readings, at first among 
themselves and later directed by different well known speakers and educators. 
The officers in 1908 were: Miss Minka Reefer, president; Moxie Frischer, 
vice-president; Miss Jeanette Latz, recording secretary; Miss Jennie Baum, 
corresponding secretary; Alfred Baum, treasurer; and Alfred Block, auditor. 
The directors are: the Misses Alice Lipsis, Constance Block, and Hattie 


Lux, and Arthur Stern, Jack Reefer, and Mannie Lux. The chairman and 
assistant chairman are: Miss Wolfson and Miss Mainhardt. The latest ad- 
junct to the Senior Council, is the Philanthropy Class with J. Billikopf as 
leader. Also a publication called the "News Letter," devoted to religious 
and philanthropic interests, edited by Mrs. David Benjamin. 

The Bertha Haas Shoe Fund, organized in 1895, has a membership 
composed of unmarried women, save where the members have married since 
joining the society. It was organized through the efforts of five young women 
who were: Miss Birdie Haas, Miss Cornelia Ney, Miss Anna Kahn, Miss 
Ernie Benas, and Miss Jennie Bitterman. Miss Haas for whom the society 
was named, was first president. At her death in 1898, Miss Ney became 
president. This very small society grew so amazingly that it numbered 85 
members at the end of the first year and in 1908 had a membership of 118. 

The original purpose of the Shoe Fund was what its name implies, the 
distribution of shoes and stockings to poor children. This purpose broad- 
ened, however, and included sewing, outings and entertainments with only 
one limitation, always and only for children. When they joined the Federa- 
tion, the dues were put into the common fund, but the shoe fund still retains 
its individuality. It includes social and philanthropic classes, and gives en- 
tertainments of original and ingenious natures. In 1908 the board consisted 
of: Miss Fanny Benjamin, who succeeded Miss Ney, as president; Miss 
Sarah Reis, vice-president; Miss Therese Ryder, secretary; and Miss Florence 
Mainhardt, treasurer. Directors: Mrs. H. H. Mayer, formerly Miss Cornelia 
Ney; Miss Carrie Barth, Miss Sarah Lichtig, Mrs. Sol Shane, and Miss Ethel 

The Sophia Newgass Sewing Circle was organized in October, 1898, for 
the purpose of sewing and distributing garments to the needy poor. It derived 
its name from Sophia (Mrs. L. Newgass) whose unselfish life ended just a 
month before the formation of the society. The Sewing circle, like its sister 
charities, has done good work, making garments of all descriptions for the 
poor of Kansas City. The first officers of the society were: Mrs. I. Bachrach, 
president; Mrs. S. Shulman, vice-president; Mrs. Eli Cahn, secretary; and 
Mrs. I. Moog, treasurer. It started with a membership of 25. The officers 
in 1908 were: Mrs. M. Caro, president; Mrs. Finkelstein, vice-president; Mrs. 
S. Bren, secretary; and Mrs. Theo. Lyon, treasurer; Mrs. A. Baer, Mrs. J. 
Kauffman, Mrs. A. Goldsmith, Mrs. C. Steifel and Mrs. Nathan Schloss were 
the directors. The membership in 1908 was 1,241. Principal and of the 
longest standing among the Orthodox Jews of Kansas City is the Hebrew 
Ladies' Relief association, organized in 1889. After twelve years of labor, the 
association taxed each of its members 10 cents additional dues, for the pur- 
pose of creating a Loan association. This is now a permanent adjunct of the 


association, being known as the Gemilath Chasodim society In the eight 
years of its work, this society made 750 loans of $10 to $350 with no interest- 
charged, and payments demanded at $1 a week. In that time the society 
lost only $41. The cash outstanding on loans in 1908 was $2,359.50 and 
the cash in the bank was $1,008.70. The officers of this body in 1908 were: 

B. Dantzig, chairman ; S. Rothenberg, recording secretary ; S. N. Lesser, finan- 
cial secretary; and S. Zaeharias, treasurer; Alfred Benjamin, J. Billikopf and 
R. S. Crohn are honorary members. The Hebrew Ladies' Relief association 
does not belong to the United Jewish charities. The officers in 1908 were: 
Mrs. H. Leavitt, president; Mrs. S. Blitstein, vice-president; Mrs. S. R. Lip- 
shitz, recording secretary ; Mrs. Helzberg, corresponding secretary ; and Mrs. 

C. Dantzig, treasurer. The membership in 1908 was 180. 

The Jewish Hospital society was organized in 1903, with 25 charter 
members. This association steadily increased in membership until it was 200 
in 1908. The formation of this society was due to the efforts of Mrs. Emma 
Lebrecht and Mrs. Simon Metzger who were diligent workers for its cause, 
and were the first president and vice-president respectively, Mrs. B. Metzger 
being first secretary and Mrs. Yetta Stein, the first treasurer. The purpose 
of this society is the erection and maintenance of local Jewish hospitals, and 
towards this end they have purposed to raise $25,000 before taking active 
steps. The fund in 1908 amounted to $3,000, the sum collected from dues, 
bazaars, and balls, there being no private collections ever solicited. The board 
in 1908 was composed of Mrs. H. Erb, president; Mrs. H. Waldner, vice- 
president; Mrs. F. Loeffler recording secretary; Mrs. B. Metgzer, financial sec- 
retary; and Mrs. B. Koenigsdorf, treasurer. 

Previous to the federation of the Jewish charities, each society was doing 
its own work independent of the other, and consequently often duplicating 
and lessening the good accomplished. In 1899 the first agitation arose for a 
federation, but active steps were not taken until 1900 when the United Jewish 
Charities of Kansas City was established, receiving its charter in 1901. The 
absolute necessity for such action was first recognized by W. J. Berkowitz, 
Rabbi H. H. Mayer, and G. Bernheimer, through whose efforts, and those of 
the Jewish council, the federation was made possible. The five societies were 
fused into one organization, with a board of directors made up of four repre- 
sentatives of each of the five societies, whose separate revenues were deposited in 
this one treasury, and whose former individual dispensations were now made 
from one common source. The first board consisted of W. J. Berkowitz, presi- 
dent; David Benjamin, first vice-president; G. Bernheimer, second vice-presi- 
dent; Mrs. I. Ryder, third vice-president; Mrs. A. B. Frenkel, secretary; Jacob 
Flohr, treasurer; and B. A. Feineman, superintendent. The association 
rented a building at 819 East Fifteenth street, where all activities were cen- 


tered and whence all relief work emanated. Here were situated the super- 
intendent's office, whence what is known as direct relief was dispensed, the 
kindergarten, industrial school, high school, free baths, free reading room 
and assembly rooms for all the various societies. After a residence of five 
years in this place, the Jewish settlement idea became an actuality, and in 
November, 1908, the Settlement home, known as the "Educational Institute," 
was formally opened at 1702 Locust street. 

The real settlement idea of a building that was more than a house — a 
building that could be a home — seemed to be epitomized in the brick struc- 
ture at 1702 Locust street, with its surrounding yard, equipped with swings, 
sand pile and "teeter-totters." The building which was rented was situated 
in the heart of the poor Jewish district. The settlement idea, although long 
cherished by many public spirited charity workers, principally by W. H. 
Berkowitz, did not materialize until Alfred Benjamin, the president of the 
Federated Board, made this his all engrossing interest. To realize this ambi- 
tion, he not only directed all his efforts, but personally gave $1,000 for its 
establishment. Through his suggestions and arguments the board procured 
two experienced and competent paid workers, a general superintendent and a 
resident supervisor, whose entire time would be devoted to this great work. 
For this purpose Miss Mona Binswanger, long a worker in philanthropic 
pursuits here and elsewhere, was appointed resident manager; and Jacob 
Billikopf of Milwaukee, Wis., who made this work his profession, was elected 
to take Mr. Feineman's place, as superintendent of the charities. 

The first activity to open in the new settlement home was the day nursery, 
founded by Miss Binswanger, and furthered and furnished by the Misses 
Fanny and Ada Benjamin. This was at once placed under the paid super- 
vision of Miss Belle Brown. The day nursery in 1908 had an average attend- 
ance of 16, for each of whom the parent pays 5 cents a day. This furnishes 
the child with two meals, and clothing when necessary; instructs those with 
thorough kindergarten training, and provides shelter and entertainment. It 
is open every day except Saturday and Sunday. 

The free kindergarten holds its sessions five mornings of the week, from 
9 o'clock to 12 o'clock, under the leadership of Miss Flora Wolfson. Miss 
Wolfson is assisted in the work by the following regular, but volunteer help- 
ers: Mrs. S. Harzfeld, Miss Ada Benjamin, Miss Cornelia Harzfeld, Miss 
Essie Weil, and Miss Ethel Feineman. The committee in charge were: Miss 
Fanny Benjamin, chairman; Mrs. Sig. Harzfeld and Miss Zerlina Reefer. 

The Ida M. Block Industrial school, reorganized and revivified, meets 

during the winter months from 4:15 to 5:30 o'clock everv Thursday after- 


noon, and on Monday and Thursday mornings in the summer. The average 
attendance in 1908 was 65, under the efficient supervision of Miss Binswanger, 


superintendent; Mrs. L. S. Lieberman, chairman; Mrs. George Bergman, 
vice-chairman, and Mrs. M. C. Reefer, Mrs. Paul Kessel, Mrs. R. Cahn, Miss 
Sophia Rosenberger, and Miss Ada Benjamin, visiting committee. The vol- 
unteer teachers were: Mrs. M. Goldberg, and Misses Ruth Kander, Maud 
Flersheim, Ethel Feineman, Hattie Obermyer, Jennie Gottlieb, Frances Ett- 
linger, Laura Negbauer, Edith Spitz, Beaulah Robison, Reba Askanas, Essie 
Weil, Cora Berlinger, and Rosalie Shoyer. 

The Penny Provident fund is in conjunction with the Industrial school. 
This fund has Miss Ella Hammerslough as chairman, and Miss Therese Ryder 
assistant chairman. The night school is conducted four evenings a week. 
J. Billikopf, superintendent and instructor. The other instructors were Miss 
Mona Binswanger, Miss Clare Stern, Miss Flora Wolfson, and Miss Jean 
Levine. The bath house at 1822 -Locust street, opened February 10, 1907, 
is a one story brick building, containing a reading room, waiting rooms, five 
porcelain bath-tubs and a pool, with an adjoining frame structure in the rear 
for the resident care-taker. The bath house was leased for a period of two 
years, I. Landa guaranteeing the rent, and Albert Rothenberg, Julius David- 
son and S. Harzfeld agreeing to make up any deficit above the rent. The 
reading room is provided with all the Jewish and Yiddish dailies and 
periodicals, in addition to a library of more than 500 Yiddish and English 
books at the main building which includes a complete set of the Jewish 
Encyclopedia. The bath house is open daily, except Saturday. The adults 
pay 5 and the children 3 cents for a bath. The receipts for the first ten 
months from February to November, 1907, amounted to $380.25 and the 
cost of maintenance was $600. The total number of baths taken during this 
period aggregate 8,000. The dancing schools for children and adults and 
the Sunday night lectures and concerts satisfy the less fortunate who have a 
craving for social indulgence. The dancing school for children is held every 
Saturday afternoon. The dancing classes for adults meet every Saturday 
night. Sunday night concerts and lectures were begun in February, 1907. 
The aim was to supply an educational and cultured want in the community, 
and to instill in the adults a greater love and admiration for the ideals of our 
government. The Young Men's Progressive club takes care of the library, 
which contains 500 books. On Sundays between 2 o'clock and 4 o'clock, and 
on Wednesdays between 8 o'clock and 9 o'clock, the books are distributed. 
The members pay 25 cents a month, and the money goes towards the purchase 
of additional works. 

To deflect the stream of Jewish immigration from New York city, where 
the congestion is so great, Jacob Schiff and other leading Jews were financing 
a movement in 1908 to discourage the colonization of co-religionists in the 
already overcrowded centers of population. Active steps were under way, 


both in this country and abroad, whereby many Jews leaving Europe' for 
America have been induced to come to Galveston rather than to New York, 
and from there to settle in the country lying west of the Mississippi river. 
The most important center co-operating with Galveston in this movement is 
Kansas City, where the Jewish charities systematically care for the men and 
women sent to it from the Texas port. Since the inception of the movement, 
positions were found for immigrants at wages ranging from $8 to $16 a week. 
This particular activity is carried on under the auspices of the following com- 
mittee: Julius Davidson, chairman; Myer Shane, vice-chairman; A. L. Roth- 
enberg, treasurer; Leon E. Block, recording secretary; Jacob Billikopf, cor- 
responding secretary; R. S. Crohn, Leon Block, Oscar Sachs, Sig. Harzfeld, 
Alfred Benjamin, Henry Flarsheim and B. Dantzig. 

The different Jewish clubs flourishing "in 1908 were the Boys' club, under 
Jack Reefer, with an enrollment of 15; the Girls' club, formed by Miss 
Binswanger and assisted by Miss Brown, meets bi-monthly on Sunday after- 
noons; the Young Men's Progressive club is a strong, ambitious organization 
of young men between 16 and 25 years of age, and has an excellent course of 
study and lectures; the Physical Culture Social club for girls, formed and led 
by Miss Ethel Feineman, meets every Tuesday afternoon from 4:15 o'clock 
to 5:30 o'clock in the winter and every Tuesday morning in the summer. 
This club has an enrollment of 26. All these clubs meet and all lectures, 
entertainments and board meetings are held at the Educational Institute 
annex, a one story brick structure directly opposite the main building. The 
officers of the United Jewish charities in 1908 were: Alfred Benjamin, presi- 
dent; Sig. Harzfeld, first vice-president; Mrs. I. Ryder, second vice-president; 
Mrs. H. H. Mayer, third vice-president; Alfred Rothenberg, treasurer; and 
L. H. Ehrlich, secretary. The constituent societies that were a part of the 
Federal Board in 1908 were: the Jewish Women's Charity association, the 
Bertha E. Haas Shoe Fund society, the Council of Jewish Women, the Sophia" 
Newgass Sewing circle, the Men's General Relief society, and the Immigra- 
tion Employment bureau. 

A meeting was held February 5, 1908, to discuss the advisability of 
erecting a new Charity building, and to devise ways and means to raise the 
necessary funds. The following committee was appointed with full authority 
to collect additional funds and to erect the building: Alfred Rothenberg, 
chairman; R. S. Crohn, secretary; Alfred Benjamin, Henry Flarsheim, Sol. 
Block, Julius Davidson, Sig. Harzfeld, and Jacob Billikopf. About $35,000 
had been subscribed in September, 1908, the contributions ranging from $5 
to $1,500. The site of the building was on Admiral boulevard and Harrison 


Most of the poor Jews of Kansas City live in two distinct sections of the 
city — in the so-called "North End," and in the neighborhood of McClure 
flats and Warden court. It was for these people that the Fresh Air fund 
evolved from a theory to a fact. The Fresh Air camp owes its idea to Miss 
Fanny Benjamin and its actuality to A. Rosenberg. Through the generous 
and unconditional loan of his 20-aere farm near Liberty, Mo., a regular 
out-door camp was made possible. 



Kansas City's first court of Common Pleas was established November 
20, 1855. All of Kaw township was under its jurisdiction ; it had the same 
original concurrent and appellate jurisdiction of civil cases within the town- 
ship as the circuit and probate courts had on those within the county. It 
was decided that the judge should receive a salary of $500 a year, one-half 
of which should be paid out of the state treasury and the other half paid 
from a special township tax. The judge, was entitled to fees not to exceed 
$500, at the rate of $1.00 on each final judgment made in his court. All 
fees in excess of the $500 were added to the school fund of the township. A 
marshal to execute the, processes of the law was also provided for by law. In 
a small building in the public square, W. A. Strong, its first judge, presided 
over the first sitting of the Kansas City Court of Common Pleas. James K. 
Sheley became judge of the court in 1859. Few sessions of the court were 
held during the Civil war, 1861-65, and for part of that period, by act of the 
Legislature, the court was suspended. From 1863 to 1887, Jacob S. Bore- 
man was judge. Later Judge Boreman was appointed a Territorial judge 
of Utah. 

In 1871 the court of Common Pleas of Kansas City and the Probate and 
Common Pleas court of Jackson county were abolished. A criminal court 
was established in Kansas City about 1871, which had jurisdiction over all 
the criminal cases in the county. The probate business of the, county was 
cared for by a Probate court, and a Circuit court also was established. The 
criminal judge was exofficio judge of the Probate court and received as 
judge of the, two courts, a salary of $2,500 a year. The first judge under 
this arrangement was R. C. Ewing. Judge Ewing was succeeded by Henry 
P. White who died in 1892. John W. Wofford followed Judge White and 
continued in office until his death, February 25, 1907. Judge Wofford's sue- 


cessor on the criminal bench was William H. Wallace (who had won dis- 
tinction as an orator and as an attorney. Early in his term as judge of the 
criminal court, Judge Wallace attracted national attention by his efforts to 
enforce the. laws prohibiting Sunday labor. In the meantime the criminal 
court had been separated from the probate court, and J. E. Guinotte became 
the Probate Judge. He was in office in 1908. 

Samuel Locke. Sawyer of Independence was the first circuit judge of 
Jackson county. He was born in New Hampshire and was a graduate of 
Dartmouth college. He was one of the most eminent lawyers in western 
Missouri. After remaining on the bench about six years, Judge Sawyer 
resigned and Samuel H. Woodson, also of Independence, a man of very high 
character, succeeded him. Judge Woodson died in 1881, and was succeeded 
by Turner A. Gill of Kansas City. Judge Gill remained on the circuit bench 
until he became judge of the Kansas City Court of Appeals. 

A court of law and equity was established in Kansas City, February 
18, 1873. It held two terms annually in Kansas City, and two terms in 
Independence. Its judge during its entire existence was Robert E. Cowen, 
who came to Kansas City from Virginia at the close of the Civil war. The 
court ceased to exist, December 31, 1880. When the law and equity court 
was abolished litigation had so increased that it became necessary to have 
another circuit judge, and a law giving the county another one was passed. 
Francis Marion Black was elected. Judge Black came from Ohio to Kansas 
City when he was a young man, and before taking the position on the bench 
had become one of the foremost leaders of the Kansas City bar. As circuit 
judge he was one of the strongest and most capable men who had ever ad- 
ministered justice in Jackson county. He remained on the bench until 
1885 when he became a member of the supreme court of Missouri and served 
as a member of that tribunal until 1894. During these years he established 
for himself a reputation as one of the greatest judges that Missouri had pro- 
duced. When his term as judge of the supreme court had ended, he came 
back to Kansas City and resumed his practice. Judge Black died, May 
24, 1902. J. W. Dunlap who came to Kansas City from Virginia, was ap- 
pointed to Judge Black's position in 1885, but before taking his place or 
performing any official duties, he accidentally shot himself and James H. 
Slover, a native of Pennsylvania, became his successor. 

The number of circuit judges for Jackson county was increased to four 
in 1889. Other divisions were added; in 1908 the circuit court of Jackson 
county had seven divisions, six in Kansas City and one in Independence. 
The increase of court facilities indicates the growth of legal business. Manu- 
facturing interests, transportation companies, commercial concerns, banks 
and trust companies, involving vast financial operations have created an 



additional demand for the best legal talent. The number of attorneys in 
Kansas City has increased greatly in the last quarter of a century. 

The first attorney who came to Kansas City was Henry B. Bouton. He 
practiced law here from 1851 until his death in 1868. James M. Sheley, a 
Kentuckian, came from Independence in 1852. Several lawyers located in 
Westport in the '50s among whom were Thomas J. Goforth, in 1852; Park 
Lea and D. D. Woodworth, 1853 ; and 1855, A. M. Allen who, however, 
did not begin the practice of law until 1867. Philip S. Brown of Pennsyl- 
vania and M. D. Trefren of Trenton, N. J., came to Kansas City in 1858, 
and the next year John C. Gage came from New Hampshire. John W. 
Henry, afterward a circuit judge of Jackson county, located in Inde- 
pendence shortly before the war. Among the early law firms of Kansas 
City were: Ramage & Withers, Clayborn & Cato, Boiling & Hodgson, Rus- 
sell & Bell and Groome & Vaile. John C. Gage is the only one of the early 
lawyers who is in practice now (1908). William Holmes who had studied 
law and been admitted to the bar in 1839 at Palmyra, Mo., came to Kansas 
City in 1862. Mr. Holmes later became a Methodist preacher at Shawnee 
mission. Samuel Locke Sawyer of Lexington, Mo., went to Independence 
in 1866 and became a partner of William Chrisman. William Douglass 
came to Kansas City from Boonville in 1865 and engaged in business with 
John C. Gage. More than thirty lawyers located in Kansas City in the five 
years following the close of the war, among them being William Warner, 
L. C. Slavens, Stephen Prince Twiss, Daniel S. Twitchell, C. 0. Tichenor, 
J. V. C. Karnes, A. A. Tomlinson, Ermine Case, Jr., J. W. Jenkins, Henry 
N. Ess, Edward P. Gates, C. L. Thompson, J. H. Slover, Henry P. White, 
Robert W. Quarles, John K. Cravens, T. V. Bryant, J. W. Dunlap, Robert 
C. Ewing, John D. S. Cook, Gardner Lathrop, Wallace Pratt, Nelson Cobb, 
B. L. Woodson, Frank Titus, Benjamin J. Franklin, Wash Adams, R. H. 
Field, Jefferson Brumback, and Warwick Hough. Mr. Hough was in 1874 
elected a judge of the supreme court of Missouri. Some, of the lawyers 
admitted to the bar in 1868 were Sanford B. Ladd, Robert C. Cowan, R. L. 
Yeager, G. F. Ballingal, C. J. Bower and John I. Peak. Robert C. Cowan 
became a partner of Warwick Hough and John T. Crisp and later was judge 
of the Kansas City court of law and equity. 

By U. S. statute of April 19, 1888, the United States Circuit court of 
the Western Division of the Western District of Missouri was ordered to 
hold its sessions at Kansas City beginning on the first Mondays of March 
and September of each year; and the District court for said division on the 
first Mondays of May and October. This was the first time these courts 
had been held at Kansas City. Arnold Kreckle was the first United States 
district judge of this western division. Judge John F. Philips, who is now 


on the bench (1908), succeeded Judge Kreckle. Samuel F. Miller, justice 
of the United States Supreme Court; George W. McCrary, United States 
circuit judge for the Eighth district, Chief Justice Brewer, have all held 
court in Kansas City. For the. purpose of forming a Law Library associa- 
tion, a number of Kansas City attorneys held a meeting on September 13, 
1871. L. C. Slavens was chairman of the meeting and A. A. Tomlinson, 
secretary. The following thirteen men organized the Kansas City Law 
Library association, with a capital divided into 100 shares: Warwick Hough, 
E. W. W. Kimball, C. 0. Tichenor, John C. Gage, J. V. C. Karnes, J. W. 
Jenkins, Wallace Pratt, F. M. Black, Ermine Case, Jr. John K. Cravens 
and William Simms. The officers elected were: John C. Gage president; 
Wallace Pratt, vice president; John K. Cravens, secretary, and Henry N. 
Ess, treasurer. The directors were: L. C. Slavens, John C. Gage, Wallace 
Patt, Warwick Hough, F. M. Black, Nelson Cobb, E. W. Kimball, J. W. 
Jenkins and A. A. Tomlinson. Work was begun by purchasing 3,000 vol- 
umes from the Hon. A. C. Baldwin of Pontiac, Mich., for $13,500. A com- 
plete set of American Reports with the accompanying statutes and digests 
were included in these books. James Gibson was chosen librarian, January 
27, 1872. The library has been maintained by means of annual fees and 
subscriptions. Non-resident attorneys when introduced to the librarian by 
a stockholder, may have access to the library. The state gives to the library 
one copy of each of the reports of the Supreme court and of the Kansas 
City court of Appeals, and also of the acts of each session of the Legislature. 
The law library contains in 1908 about 5,000 volumes. 

The Kansas City school of law was chartered in 1895. Its object was 
educational and it was organized without capital stock. The, faculty was 
composed of Francis M. Black, Oliver H. Dean, Edward L. Scarritt, John 
W. Snyder, Elmer N. Powell, Edward D. Ellison, William P. Borland, R. 
P. Ingraham, James H. Harkless and Edward H. Stiles. Judge Black was 
elected president; Mr. Dean and Judge Scarritt, vice presidents; William P. 
Borland, dean, and Edward D. Ellison, treasurer. A two-years course was 
established, resulting in a degree of Bachelor of Arts. The first class of 
twenty-seven members was graduated from the school in June, 1897. 

The General Assembly of Missouri, in 1897, so amended the statutes 
of the state in relation to the admission of attorneys to practice as to provide 
that graduates of the Kansas City School of Law be admitted without further 
examination. The school has grown steadily since, its foundation. The 
first years of its existence the students were confined to Kansas City and its 
immediate vicinity. In later years the school had students from several 
different states. Beginning with the school year, September, 1899, there 


was added to the curriculum, a post-graduate course of one year, leading to 
the degree of Master of Laws. This course has met with much favor. 

The Kansas City School of Law is conducted on the plan now common 
to schools situated in large cities, that of having the, lectures and classes 
held in the evening, after the close of the business hours of the day. Many 
of the students are employed in law offices during the day, or are, connected 
with such offices as students. Many young men, also, who are employed in 
other lines of business, or who are compelled to earn their own way in whole 
or in part, thus are enabled to have the advantage of a legal education. But 
the greatest advantage of a night school, as pointed out by Justice, Brewer, 
is that its students have the benefit of instruction under leaders of the bar 
and judges who could not under any other plan devote their time, or their 
talents to the work of legal insruction. 

The Kansas City School of Law was founded as a lawyers' school and 
has always remained time to its traditions. Its faculty is entirely composed 
of active members of the profession who freely give their time and talents 
to the work at great personal sacrifices. The only ones receiving compen- 
sation are the minor officials who attend to the purely business details of 
the organization. The school has no endowment, and such funds as it de- 
rives from tuition have been devoted exclusively to promoting the efficiency 
of the school and enlarging its sphere of influence. 

The school requires that applicants for admission, who are to be candi- 
dates for a degree, shall have a good English education equivalent to a high 
school course, exclusive of the classic branches. Students who are not can- 
didates for a degree may attend the school as special students without any 
preliminary requirements, and derive such benefit as they may from the 
course or any part of it. The students have the use, without extra cnarge, 
of the law library. 

The Missouri Bar association was organized in Kansas City, December 
29, 1880, and the following officers were elected: Willard P. Hall of St. 
Joseph, president; W. H. H. Russell, of St, Louis, secretary, and M. T. C. 
Williams of Kansas City, treasurer. The first annual meeting was held in 
St. Louis, Mo., December 27-8, 1881, when a constitution was adopted and 
a vice president appointed for each judicial circuit in the state. The as- 
sociation has been a powerful factor in the creation of various courts and 
commissions in the state and in procuring the enactment of salutary legis- 


The early physicians of Independence, Westport and Kansas City were 
pioneers and they were the, guardians of a widely dispersed population. 
Aside from their professional duties they contributed their full share to the 


material development of a newly opened country. Some were men of culture 
who had gained their medical education in college; the greater number were 
of limited educational attainments, whose professional knowledge had been 
acquired in the offices of established practitioners of more or less ability. Of 
either class, almost without exception, they were practical men, of great force 
of character, who gave cheerful and efficacious assistance to the suffering, daily 
journeying on horseback scores of miles, over a country almost destitute of 
roads, and encountering swollen, unbridged streams and destitute of water- 
proof garments or other now common protections against weather. 

Out of necessity the pioneer physician developed rare quickness of per- 
ception and self-reliance. The specialist was then unknown, and he was 
called upon to treat every phase of bodily ailment, serving as physician, 
surgeon, oculist and dentist. His books were few, and there were no practi- 
tioners more able than himself with whom he might consult; his medicines 
were simple, and carried upon his person, and every preparation of pill or 
solution was the work of his own hands. The services of the pioneer physi- 
cians were fittingly recognized in Sedalia, Mo., in 1896, at the annual meeting 
of the Missouri Medical association. The president, Dr. Lester Hall, addressed 
a special invitation to this class, and nearly thirty attended. Speaking to 
them in behalf of the association, Dr. Hall said: "To the men of your class 
we owe much for our present knowledge and lightened burdens, of which 
you knew nothing in the days of your activity. You blazed the way for us 
through pathless forests and unmarked prairies, and we desire to demonstrate 
our gratitude and love for your noble life-work." 

Among the early physicians of Independence was Dr. Leo Twyman, who 
removed from Kentucky in 1827, locating at St. Charles, Mo. In 1844 he 
went to Westport, and late the same year to Independence, where he practiced 
until his death. He was one of the most accomplished practitioners of his 
day. Dr. Joseph Boggs, a native of Kentucky, a brother of Governor Boggs 
of Missouri, located in Independence in 1847. He was a capable practitioner, 
and a strong, manly character. He afforded instruction to a number of young 
men who became excellent physicians, among them Dr. John McMurray, who 
entered upon practice in the same place and afterward died in Kentucky; 
and Dr. Alfred B. Sloan, who in later days became one of the most successful 
physicians of Kansas City. Dr. Boggs removed to California in 1850, and 
afterward returned and died in Westport. In 1849 Dr. J. P. Henry, a Ken- 
tuckian, while journeying to California, was called to attend a case of cholera 
at Independence, and that led to his making a permanent residence there. 
Dr. J. W. Bryant came from Kentucky to Independence in 1850. The first 
physician to locate on the site of Kansas City was Dr. Benoist Troost. He 
came in 1847. He was a native of Holland, and had been a hospital steward 


in the army of Napoleon. He built the first brick hotel, which, during the 
border troubles, became known as the Free State Hotel. 

Dr. Isaac M. Ridge was the first graduated physician to locate in Kansas 
City. He came in June, 1848, when he was twenty-three years old, just after 
his graduation from Transylvania University. He took a post-graduate course 
in St. Louis University in 1853-54. Dr. Ridge opened an office on the corner 
of Main street and the levee. By his kindness and skill toward the Wyandotte 
Indians, he won their friendship and gained great influence over them. When 
roving red men were a part of the life of the great west, Dr. Ridge was hon- 
ored by the Indians at one of the great corn feasts by being made a member 
of their tribe, and given the soubriquet of "Little Thunder," for his positive 
manner and direct speech. 

About 300 Belgians, men women and children, came to Kansas City in 
the spring of 1849 and settled in the East bottoms, expecting to make perma- 
nent homes there. They had journeyed by steamboat from New Orleans, and 
soon after reaching their destination cholera appeared among them in a 
malignant form and about one-half their number died. The disease was com- 
municated to the residents of the town, resulting in practical depopulation; 
nearly one-half of the 400 residents died, and most of the remainder fled. 
During the epidemic Dr. Isaac M. Ridge ministered continually to the people. 
At the outset his labors were shared by Dr. Oliver Fulton, a native of Ohio. 
Dr. Fulton died from the disease and was buried in what is now known as 
"Shelley Park." Dr. Ridge afterward was the only practitioner who fear- 
lessly performed professional duty. 

Dr. Ridge, after fighting the plague two or three weeks and waiting on 
numerous patients, without regard to nationality or position, was a victim of 
the scourge, being taken suddenly ill with it while on a visit to his friend, 
W. H. Chick. Dr. Charles Robinson, who was then 110 miles from the river 
on the Santa Fe trail, was summoned at the special request of Dr. Ridge and 
to the treatment which he administered Dr. Ridge attributed his recovery. 
Later in the Civil war this favor was reciprocated when Dr. Ridge became the 
means of saving the life of his friend, then governor of Kansas, who was a 
prisoner under sentence to be hanged. Dr. Ridge died in Kansas City, May 
7, 1907. 

Dr. Thomas B. Lester began practice in Kansas City in 1854 ; he became 
one of the most successful men in the profession. He also was a capable 
writer on professional topics. Dr. Joseph M. Woods, often called the "Father 
of Surgery in the West," came from Liberty, Mo., in 1858 and practiced his 
profession, particularly surgery, with a success that gave him a wide reputa- 
tion in the West. He was an unusually large man, being six feet four inches 
tall and weighing 250 pounds, a man of few words but quick to act when the 


occasion demanded. Other physicians who began practicing medicine in 
Kansas City previous to 1861 were Johnston Lykins, E. D. Ralph, W. W. 
Harris, J. T. Herndon, G. B. Wood, R. R. Hall, G. N. Woodward, A. L. 
Schoen, J. T. Rice, A. W. Bonham, G. M. B. Maughs and Theodore S. Case. 
Dr. Case did more writing on the subject of medicine than he did practicing. 
Dr. Lykins, a gentleman of integrity and merit, had been agent to the Indians 
and his practice was mostly among them and his old acquaintances in 
Kansas City and its vicinity. 

The call to arms in the Civil war took most of the physicians away from 
Kansas City, leaving the greater part of the practice to Dr. I. M. Ridge and 
Dr. Thomas B. Lester. The services of the two stay-at-home doctors was 
needed not only in towns, but at considerable distances in the surrounding 
country. Notwithstanding the fact that the territory adjacent to Kansas City 
continually was harassed by predatory bands, the two physicians were so well 
known and were held in such great respect that they suffered no serious 
molestation while on their errands of mercy. 

Dr. Joshua Thorn and Dr. Peter Arnoldia became residents of Kansas 
City in the Civil war, but they were connected with the government hospital, 
and attended few except the soldiers committed to their care. When peace 
came they engaged in, private practice. About the same time Dr. Joseph M. 
Wood and Dr. Theodore S. Case returned and resumed their professional 
duties. Dr. Case, an able man in the profession, soon abandoned it to engage 
in literary pursuits and politics. Soon after the close of the war a number of 
physicians located in Kansas City, many of whom had performed services in 
one or the other of the contending armies, having been attracted here by the 
encouraging prospects of the young city. Among these were Dr. A. B. Sloan, 
a capable practitioner, and an excellent writer on professional topics; Dr. H. 
F. Hereford, a capable man in the profession, who began practice in Westport 
in 1851 ; Dr. S. S. Todd, Dr. Alfred B. Taylor, Dr. J. H. Bennett, Dr. Samuel 
Milligan, Dr. Joel Morris, Dr. D. Y. Chalfant and Dr. D. R. Porter. Dr. G. 
W. Tindall, the pioneer dentist, came to Kansas City in 1855. With increas- 
ing population came more physicians, many of whom, if without the rich 
practical experience of their predecessors, had been more highly favored with 
educational advantages. 

The Jackson County Medical Society was organized in 1874. No records 
are extant and it is only known that its membership embraced nearly all the 
resident physicians of that period. In 1881 a reorganization was effected, 
with Dr. C. B. McDonald president, Dr. Joshua Miller as vice-president and 
Dr. C. W. Adams as secretary and treasurer. Meetings are held semi-monthly. 
The object of the society is to advance the professional lines through the 
medium of discussions and interchange of opinions. A small library is main- 


tained. The Kansas City District Medical society was organized in 1874, its 
membership being derived from the counties of Jackson, Clay, Ray, Cass, 
Platte and Lafayette. Dr. J. M. Allen was the first president, and Dr. E. W. 
Schauffler the first secretary. Meetings are held quarterly. 

The first medical college in Kansas City was organized in the summer of 
1869, when Dr. S. S. Todd, Dr. A. B. Taylor and Dr. F. Cooley obtained a 
charter for the Kansas City College of Physicians and Surgeons. Almost 
simultaneously other members of the profession secured a charter for the 
Kansas City Medical College, the leading spirit in the movement being Dr. 
A. P. Lankford, a young and energetic surgeon, aided by the well known 
surgeon, Dr. J. M. Wood. From these events dates the founding of the first 
medical college west of St Louis, the claim for priority resting with the Kansas 
City Medical College, which opened in October, 1869, while the College of 
Physicians and Surgeons did not open until the following December. 

The two colleges were maintained separately until the fall of 1870, when 
they combined under the name of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, 
with the following faculty: Drs. S. S. Todd, J. M. Wood, E. W. Schauffler, 
A. P. Lankford, A. B. Taylor, T. B. Lester, D. R. Porter, D. E. Dickerson, 
T. J. Eaton, W. C. Evans, I. B. Woodson and S. C. Price. Some of those 
omitted in the consolidation of the two colleges with others then organized 
the Kansas City Hospital Medical college, with the following faculty: Drs. 
Franklin Cooley, Joseph Chew, J. 0. Day, E. Dunscomb, J. C. Richards, G. E. 
Hayden, A. L. Chapman. This school is different from the one founded 
under the same name some years later. It did not long exist nor exert any 
marked influence. In 1880 in order to more closely identify the college of 
Physicians and Surgeons with the rapidly growing city which was its home, 
the faculty secured a new charter and it was thereafter known as the Kansas 
City Medical college. A charter was obtained in 1891 and the new college 
was reorganized. 

The dental department of the Kansas City medical college was organized 
in 1881, with Dr. John K. Stark as first dean of the faculty. In 1890 the 
school separated from the Kansas City Medical college and became the Kansas 
City Dental college. 

A few men with ambition to become medical educators, and with some 
financial backing, early in 1881, conceived the idea of establishing a Kansas 
City University, having a medical department, a law department and an art 
department, and such other departments as the public in the future might 
demand. They raised a fund and erected a building at the southeast corner 
of Twelfth and McGee streets, and the medical department was opened in the 
fall of the year with this faculty: Dr. H. F. Hereford, Dr. Andrew O'Connor, 
Dr. John W. Jackson, Dr. J. W. Elston, Dr. E. R. Lewis, Dr. J. R. Snell, 


Dr. J. P. Jackson, Dr. J. L. Teed, Dr. F. B. Tiffany, Dr. J. Miller, Dr. C. W. 
Adams, Dr. Albert B. Campbell, Dr. Lyman A. Berger, Dr. G. W. Davis, Dr. 
M. 0. Baldwin, and others. The faculty determined to make it a first-class 
school. A post-graduate session was established in the spring of 1882, with 
the same faculty as the winter session. The course began March 13 and closed 
May 20. A spring course followed from March 17 to May 26. 

The college was reorganized in 1888. A new college building was con- 
structed at Tenth and Campbell streets. Later the charter was amended and 
the name changed from Medical Department of the University of Kansas 
City to University Medical college. 

The Kansas City Hospital College of Medicine was founded in 1882. The 
faculty was composed of seven allopathists, Drs. D. E. Dickerson, F. Cooley, 
S. W. Bowker, J. Stark, J. W. Combs, M. M. Rowley, and W. H. Kimberlin, 
and three homeopathists, Drs. J. Thorne, H. C. Baker and R. Arnold. Dr. 
T. S. White was added to the faculty in 1884. The members of the first class 
graduated from the college in 1883 and were refused certificates by the Mis- 
souri State Board of Health. The college brought a test case in the Supreme 
court of Missouri. The court issued a peremptory order directing the state 
board of health to issue the certificates. The question of ethics was exhaus- 
tively discussed among the medical profession, and in 1881 it was brought 
before the National Medical association. No specific action was taken, but by 
a common consent the question at issue was laid aside and the right of regular 
practitioners to consult with graduates of any medical school was tacitly ad- 
mitted. This was the attainment of the primal purpose, and the same year 
the college was abandoned, and the apparati, and a small amount of money 
in the treasury, were distributed among the survivors of the enterprise. While 
it existed the college graduated fifty-three physicians, of whom twelve were 

The Kansas City Homeopathic College was founded in 1888 through the 
effort of Dr. F. F. Casseday, Dr. E. F. Brady and J. C. Wise. During its first 
two years, the college was maintained in three small rooms in the Schutte 
building. It was supported by voluntary contributions from active practi- 
tioners. The original faculty comprised ten resident physicians, while twelve 
others occupied positions on the board of trustees, the hospital staff, the dis- 
pensary staff or were members of the advisory board. A college building at 
1020 East Tenth street was completed in the fall of 1892, at a cost of $10,000. 

The Hahnemann Medical College of the Kansas City University was 
founded partly through the generosity of H. J. Heinz of Pittsburg, Pa., and 
was incorporated in June, 1896, as the Homeopathic Medical Department of 
the Kansas City University. The name was changed June 20, 1900, to the 
Hahnemann Medical College of the Kansas City University. The course of 


instruction covers a period of four years, as required by the American Insti- 
tute of Homeopathy. Women are admitted on equal terms with men. The 
first class was graduated in 1899. 

Dr. D. J. McMillen and several friends having been assured of the sub- 
stantial co-operation, in 1890 took steps toward the organization of the 
Western Dental College of Kansas City. They devised plans for the opening 
of the school, and established what has become one of the largest dental col- 
leges in the United States. The men who were associated in organizing the 
college were: Drs. McMillen, J. S. Letord, H. S. Dowry, E. E. Shattuck, 
D. C. Dane, S. C. Wheat, I. D. Pearce, E. D. Carr, A. J. McDonald, H. S. 
Thompson, J. W. Aiken, J. W. Heckler, S. B. Prevost, Elliott Smith, W. G. 
Price, J. M. Gross, C. C. Hamilton, J. T. Eggers, W. S. Dedman, J. H. Crom- 
well, T. J. Beattie, H. 0. Hanawalt, Willis P. King, C. E. Esterly, D. D. 
Hodge, George Ashton, J. S. Sharp, R. Wood Brown, H. B. Heckler and 
Judge I. H. Kinley. The first term began in September, 1890, and six 
students were enrolled for a term of six months.. The attendance has steadily 
increased. The first faculty was composed of Dr. D. J. McMillen, dean and 
professor of operative dentistry; and Drs. H. S. Douglas, J. T. Eggers, T. J. 
Beattie, J. S. Sharp, C. C. Hamilton, H. 0. Hanawalt, H. S. Dowry and J. M. 
Gross. There have been many changes in the faculty, but the instructors 
have been men prominent in the profession. 

In the establishment of hospitals in Kansas City there has been no lavish 
expenditure of money in rearing great structures remarkable for archi- 
tectural beauty, with the exception of the new city hospital. With modest 
interiors, the hospitals are reasonably complete in all their appointments, 
supplied with all modern appliances necessary for the treatment of patients. 
All are served by capable resident members of the medical profession. In 
connection with them are medical colleges and training schools for women 
nurses, and the hospitals themselves afford unusual opportunities to the medi- 
cal students for witnessing treatment in all departments. 

The city hospital was founded in 1870 in a small frame building at 
Twenty-second and McCoy streets. In 1884 a brick edifice was erected at the 
cost of $5,600. The city council appropriated $25,000 for building purposes 
in 1895 and a two-story brick building containing the offices, ward for the 
insane, women's ward and surgical department was erected. Later many 
improvements were made in the old building. The capacity of the old city 
hospital at the time the new city hospital was completed in the summer of 
1908 was 200. St. George's hospital, the pesthouse, was destroyed by a fire 
early in 1899, and a temporary building is used when necessity requires. 
The management of the city hospital is vested in a city physician, who is also 
surgeon in charge. Subordinate to him is a house surgeon, with two medical 


graduates as assistants, and a steward. The supervisory management rests 
with the hoard of health, consisting of the heads of municipal departments. 
The mayor is ex officio president of the board, with the city physician as 
executive officer. Subordinate officers are a city chemist, a health officer, a 
milk and food inspector and a stock and meat inspector, who make their 
reports to the city physician. 

St. Joseph's hospital was founded in 1875 by the Sisters of St. Joseph 
of Carondelet. The original building was a frame house accommodating 
twenty patients, under the care of Mother Celestia and three sisters who came 
with her. The present building, completed in 1886, is situated at 710 Penn 
street. It is complete in every respect, its equipment including an X-ray 
plant, the equal of those in metropolitan hospitals, the gift of Dr. J. D. Grif- 
fith. One hundred patients may be accommodated and persons of all religious 
denominations are admitted without question and are permitted to receive 
visits from clergymen of their own faith. Abundant provision is made for 
charity cases. An additional five-story building was erected in 1900 at a 
cost of $40,000. 

The University hospital is successor to All Saints' hospital, which was 
established about 1883 under the direction of St. Mary's Episcopal church. 
The latter grew out of the effort of the Rev. Dr. H. D. Jardine. The building 
at 1005 Campbell street was erected at a cost of $17,000 and in 1898 was 
leased to the University Medical college, which purchased the property in 
1899. The building was improved, having accommodations for fifty patients. 
A managing physician is in charge with a woman superintendent, and the 
nurses are all graduates of the training school connected with the University 
Medical college. The hospital is open to all without regard to sect or 

The German hospital association was organized January 17, 1886, by a 
number of German-American citizens. Its first officers were: C. E. Schoell- 
kopf, A. Long, J. A. Bachman, and C. Spengler. A fund was created by 
subscription and a building at Twenty-third and Holmes streets was pur- 
chased and remodeled at a cost of $10,000. The property in 1908 was valued 
at $50,000. It provided accommodation for 100 patients without regard to 
religion or nationality. 

The Kansas City Homeopathic hospital, incorporated February 27, 1888, 
was founded by a number of leading homeopathic practitioners. The first 
building was on Lydia avenue between Thirteenth and Fourteenth streets. 
Late in 1888 the hospital was removed to a large building on Eighth street 
between Charlotte and Campbell streets, and in 1890 to Seventh street, be- 
tween Washington and Penn streets. At this latter location a portion of the 
building was used by the Kansas City Homeopathic Medical college. The 


hospital was closed in 1890 for lack of funds. The Homeopathic Hospital 
and Training School of Kansas City was opened in September, 1899, by Mrs. 
W. E. Dockson, as matron. 

The Maternity hospital was established in 1885 by the East Side Women's 
Christian Temperance union. It was supported by voluntary contributions, 
supplemented at a later day by proceeds of laundry work performed by girls 
who had been treated and who needed work and a home after their recovery. 
The management was by women exclusively. Dr. Pauline Canfield was the 
first physician in charge. In 1896 the hospital closed for lack of support and 
its furniture was given to the Women's and Children's hospital and training 
school for nurses, which institution was chartered in 1897, and was organized 
by substantially the same body as the Maternity hospital. The management 
is vested in a board of directors, composed exclusively of women, and the 
hospital is self-supporting. Its charity work is limited to a free ward for 
crippled children. Agnew hospital, a general hospital with a maternity de- 
partment, was founded July 1, 1897, at the northeast corner of Fourteenth 
street and Penn street. A building at 637 Woodland avenue was leased in 
October, 1898, where there are accommodations for twenty-five patients. In 
connection with this hospital is a Kansas City training school for nurses. 

St. Luke's Hospital was established by the Rev. Edward Robert Atwill, 
Bishop of the Diocese of Kansas City, February 19, 1906. It is owned by the 
Church Charity association of Kansas City, an organization of the Episcopal 
church. This society was incorporated under the laws of Missouri, October 
3, 1882. The articles of incorporation were amended November 28, 1906. 
The present building has a capacity of 25 beds and is managed by a Board 
of Directors under the auspices of the church Charity association. While 
there are a few free beds, yet it is not a purely charitable institution. There 
is a visiting staff, and a consulting staff of physicians; who are appointed by 
the directors. A successful nurses' training school is conducted in connection 
with the hospital, which is under the direction of the superintendent. 

The South Side hospital is a small private institution. It was founded 
in 1905. There are 36 beds for patients. Any reputable physician may have 
his patients admitted. There is also a training school for nurses in connec- 
tion with the hospital. The Red Cross hospital of Kansas City was founded 
by Dr. Alberta F. Moffet, 1902. It is a general hospital open to the profes- 
sion, with a capacity of 20 beds. There are two hospitals in Kansas City 
that are devoted solely to the interests of the railroads. One belongs to the 
Missouri Pacific railroad; the other to the Kansas City Southern railroad. 
The Missouri Pacific hospital accommodates thirty patients. The Kansas 
City Southern hospital has accommodations for twenty-five patients. 


The first medical periodical published in Kansas City was the Kansas 
City Review of Medicine and Surgery, edited and managed by Dr. Theodore 
S. Case and Dr. G. M. B. Maughs. It was established in 1860, and discon- 
tinued at the beginning of the Civil war. Dr. Case espoused the Union cause, 
while Dr. Maughs went south and entered the Confederate service. Kansas 
City was then without a medical periodical until 1871, when the Kansas City 
Medical Journal appeared, published by the Kansas City Medical college and 
first edited by Dr. A. P. Lankford. It was discontinued after three years for 
want of support, The New Medical Era and Sanitarium began publication 
in 1883, under the management of Dr. A. L. Chapman, but existed only two 
years. The Kansas City Medical Record first appeared in 1884 under the 
editorial and business management of Dr. A. L. Fulton and Dr. George 
Halley; the latter withdrew in 1885. The publication has since been recog- 
nized as an influential medical journal. 

The Kansas City Index-Lancet is the outgrowth of several other journals. 
Dr. F. F. Dickman began the publication of the Kansas Medical Index in 
1879 at Fort Scott, Kas. Dr. J. R. Cheaney became business manager in 
1883, and the name of the journal was changed to Kansas and Missouri Val- 
ley Medical Index. In November, 1883, Dr. Cheaney retired, and in 1885 
the publication was removed to Kansas City, and became the Kansas City 
Medical Index. Dr. Emory Lanphear and Dr. W. S. Elston assumed charge 
of the journal in September, 1885. Later Dr. Elston retired and the publi- 
cation was continued by Dr. Lanphear as Lanphear' s Kansas City Medical 
Index. Dr. H. E. Pearse was the next owner. In 1899 he sold his interest 
to Dr. John Punton, who was then owner of the Kansas City Lancet. Dr. 
Punton consolidated the two journals under the name of the Kansas City 

The Medical Arena, the only homeopathic periodical in the Missouri 
Valley, owes its inception to an incident attending the fourth commence- 
ment of the Kansas City Homeopathic Medical college in 1892. Dr. T. H. 
Hudson delivered the address to the graduates of homeopathy and coeduca- 
tion. All interested were desirous that the address and other information 
connected with the commencement should be published. This condition 
called attention to the urgent necessity for a homeopathic journal. Dr. 
Hudson persuaded Dr. C. F. DeLap to join him in establishing a journal. The 
first number of the Medical Standard was issued in April, 1892, but as there 
was a publication with the same name in Chicago, the publishers changed the 
title to the Keynote of Homeopathy. The journal was suspended in Sep- 
tember, 1892, because of the accumulation of debts, but was resumed after 
three months under the name of Medical Arena. Dr. C. F. DeLap and Dr. 
W. D. Foster managed the editorial department. After several changes the 


early indebtedness was liquidated. The journal is without competition in 
the territory tributary to Kansas City. Dr. Foster remained with the Medical 
Arena for about the first two years of its publication, when Dr. A. E. New- 
meister, who had been associated with the journal, took over his interests. 
Dr. DeLap with Dr. Newmeister continued the paper's publication until 1906. 
The paper was then sold to Dr. S. S. Marks, who ran it as an Eclectic journal 
until within the last few months, when it was sold to an Eclectic journal of 
St. Louis. 



The marvelous development of the live stock trade in Kansas City was 
from natural sources; no special effort was required to promote the great 
industry of cattle raising. The immeasurable rich grazing ground in the 
country contiguous to Kansas City suggested the raising of live stock, and 
the generous soil yielding not alone the best but the cheapest of feed for the 
cattle further encouraged this feature of agriculture. 

To the Spaniards Kansas City is indebted for the inception of the great 
live stock trade. When the Santa Fe and overland trade developed from the 
use of pack horses to caravans of wagons drawn by oxen, about 1857, great 
herds of the long horned Texas steers grazed in the pasture land of Texas, 
and not less than 20,000 of them were driven to Kansas City and used by the 
traders. Many were sold to firms in Chicago and Milwaukee, having been 
driven across the river to Randolph's Bluff to the Hannibal and St. Joseph 
railroad and shipped. This was the beginning of the live stock trade on 
which rests the commercial and industrial supremacy of Kansas City. 

Before the advent of railroads in Kansas City the trade consisted only of 
such hogs and cattle as could easily be driven from adjacent farms to railroad 
stations or to the Missouri river to be shipped by water. During the Civil 
war the confederate army was supplied with beef from Texas, but later the 
war interfered with the market and the southwest was overrun with Texas 
cattle. The Southern people could not afford to buy and Mexico needed but 
a small part of the annual increase. 

The drovers learned that cattle commanded high prices in the North- 
west and prepared to take herds through the southwest of Missouri to Sedalia 
and other points on the Missouri Pacific railroad in Central Missouri. Re- 
sistance was made to their entrance to Missouri or Kansas, as it was thought 


that the Spanish fever would spread among the native cattle. The objections 
raised by the farmers of Kansas attracted the attention of Mr. Joseph C. 
McCoy, a cattle dealer in Illinois. He studied the problem and considered 
that a receiving station for Texas cattle might be found in western Kansas, 
outside of settled districts. Mr. McCoy built a stock yard in Abilene, Kas., 
and was very successful until 1871, when the Kansas legislature, at the solici- 
tation of the farmers living in the vicinity of the town, enacted a law that 
drove the live stock trade from Abilene. 

L. V. Morse, superintendent of the Hannibal & St. Joseph railroad, was 
the pioneer of the stock yards movement in Kansas City. In 1870 Mr. Morse 
fenced off five acres of land and divided it into eleven pens. In 1871, the 
Kansas City Stock Yards company was organized with these officers: J. M. 
Walker, president ; George H. Nettleton, general manager ; Jerome D. Smith, 
superintendent, and George N. Altman, secretary. The Live Stock Exchange 
building was erected in the West bottoms at Sixteenth and Bell streets, and 
the stock yards covered twenty-six acres in the immediate neighborhood. The 
first year's receipts were 120,827 cattle, 41,036 hogs, 4,527 sheep and 809 
horses and mules, a total of 6,623 cars. 

The Kansas City stock yards have been enlarged at different times to meet 
the demands of an increasing business, until they now (1908) represent an 
investment of eight million dollars. This, together with the packing indus- 
try, shows the total amount of money devoted to live stock interests in this 
city to be $40,000,000. The yards, in 1908, covered 207 acres and had a 
daily yarding capacity of 40,000 cattle, 35,000 hogs, 25,000 sheep and 5,000 
horses and mules. The value of the live stock received in 1907 was more 
than 145 million dollars. Kansas City is second only to Chicago in the live 
stock markets of the world. 

The receipts of all kinds of live stock at the Kansas City stock yards in 
1907 were 7,237,750; the number of carloads received was 145,301; cattle, 
2,670,460; hogs, 2,923,460; and sheep, 1,581,468. The packing houses in 
1907 purchased 1,420,183 cattle, 2,738,481 hogs, and 1,081,654 sheep. 

While a great live stock center was being established in Kansas City, the 
horse and mule market was not neglected. The Kansas City Stock Yards 
company has provided every facility for handling these animals. The horse 
and mule market has developed until it is now (1908) one of the most im- 
portant branches of the live stock industry. The receipts of horses and mules 
at the stock yards in 1871, the year of the organization of the stock yards 
company, were less than 1,000. By 1880 the receipts had increased to 14,- 
000; in 1890 the receipts of horses and mules received in Kansas City were 
47,118. The number of these animals received in Kansas City between 1900 
and 1908 averaged about 65,000 a year. 


YARDS IN 1871. 



Missouri has long been famous as the world's greatest mule producing 
district. Recent statistics show Kansas and Nebraska as close seconds in the 
number of mules owned and raised. Some of the largest contracts for fur- 
nishing mules that have ever been made in the United States were handled 
by Kansas City dealers. In the Spanish-American war and in the war in 
South Africa Kansas City dealers furnished more than 100,000 mules and 
horses, and about ninety per cent of all the mules purchased by the United 
States government in recent years has been furnished by Kansas City dealers. 
Not only is Kansas City an important market for draft horses and mules, but 
also for saddle horses, light drivers and roadsters. 

In the earlier years of the stock yards the sheep trade attracted little 
attention, but later the buying side of the market made wonderful strides. 
At first the shippers and speculators had to be depended upon to take most 
of the sheep received. This proved to be a most unreliable demand. The 
killing trade began to show a little vigor in 1883, and the local slaughter of 
sheep having begun, a steady and reliable market was established. This gave 
encouragement to the sheep breeders of the West and they began to give 
increased attention to fattening mutton sheep for the market. The demand 
for mutton increased until Kansas City has become one of the principal sheep 
markets of the country. The best sheep, as well as cattle country, in the 
West lies adjacent to Kansas City. 

Situated in the center of the greatest corn growing section of the United 
States, Kansas City is an important market for hogs. The fact that there are 
situated here several of the largest packing plants in the world makes a strong 
demand for hogs. For a decade past the full receipts of hogs have been sold 
on the market, and shipping hogs through to other markets was almost un- 
known. Not only has there been a demand for all the arrivals here in the 
recent years, but the buying side of the market has grown until it has become 
greater than the selling side. More hogs could be sold each year than the 
tributary country is able to supply. 

Not only are the Kansas City stock yards the center of the movement of 
the live stock of commerce in the Southwest, but they are the center of the 
pure-bred live stock industry of the territory west of the Mississippi river. 
Here is held annually one of the world's greatest exhibitions of pure-bred live 
stock — the American Royal Live Stock show, which attracts exhibiters from 
half the states and territories of the union and visitors from all over the 
United States. At the show in the fall of 1906, 1,500 head of pure-bred cattle, 
horses, hogs and goats were in exhibition, and $30,000 in premiums was 
distributed. The attendance was 60,000. This great exhibition has been 
fostered and encouraged by the stock yards company. The company has 
provided commodious barns for housing it, and constructed, at a cost of 


$30,000, a pavilion used exclusively for public sales of pure-bred stock. This 
movement to make Kansas City the center of the pure-bred live stock indus- 
try has met with the hearty co-operation of the leading members of the 
National Association of Breeders. 

C. F. Morse, president of the Kansas City Stock Yards company, has 
been identified with it since its early days, having for many years served as 
vice-president and general manager. E. E. Richardson, secretary and treas- 
urer, has occupied that position since 1872. Eugene Rust, general manager, 
was made yardmaster in 1880 and later served as assistant superintendent, 
superintendent and traffic manager. Harry P. Child, general supply agent, 
was appointed yardmaster at the opening of the yards in 1871; superin- 
tendent in 1879, and assistant general manager in 1892, holding the latter 
office until it was abolished. 

The main building at the live stock yards in 1871 was a one-story frame 
structure. The present (1908) live stock exchange building is said to be the 
finest of its kind in the world. It is built of red pressed brick, has three and 
one-half acres of floor space, three-fourths of a mile of hallways, 353 offices 
and two assembly halls. The building stands partly in Kansas and partly 
in Missouri. The state line is marked by a row of red tiles across the floor. 

This table gives the receipts of live stock at the Kansas City stock yards 
for 1907 : 

Horses and 
Month Cattle Calves Hogs Sheep Mules Cars 

January 217,632 16,921 263,348 145,595 9,747 13,499 

February 154,469 8,298 254,252 156,262 7,312 10,815 

March 158,402 7,152 218,103 158,906 8,029 10,504 

April 179,938 9,129 254,574 130,137 5,675 11,612 

May 135,588 6,651 361,841 118,321 4,188 10,862 

June 157,136 17,275 312,626 113,896 3,271 10,997 

July 215,104 35,702 259,422 85,832 3,301 13,006 

August 246,707 38,023 169,805 88,638 4,564 12,986 

September .... 316,311 49,256 150,526 184,319 6,843 15,859 

October 296,001 52,164 196,252 201,175 5,515 15,477 

November .... 162,991 29,713 208,139 118,791 1,626 9,871 

December 144,015 15,682 274,887 80,276 2,270 9,918 

Total .... 2,384,294 285,966 2,923,777 1,582,148 62,341 145,406 

These figures do not include receipts at private packing yards, amounting 
to 964 cattle, 1,604 calves, 552,000 hogs and 765 sheep. 


The names of the former presidents of the Kansas City Stock Yards 
company are given below: James F. Joy, Detroit, Mich., 1871-73; James M. 
Walker, Chicago, 111., 1873-75; Charles Francis Adams, Boston, Mass., 1875- 
1902; Charles F. Morse, 1902 and serving in 1908. General managers: 
George H. Nettleton, Kansas City, 1871-79; Charles F. Morse, Kansas City, 
1879-1902; Eugene Rust, Kansas City, 1902 and serving in 1908. 

The live stock traffic at Kansas City is handled by seventy-five commis- 
sion firms, members of the Kansas City Live Stock exchange. The associa- 
tion was organized April 6, 1886, to establish and maintain a commercial 
exchange, not for pecuniary gain or profit, but to protect and promote all 
interests concerned in the purchase and sale of live stock at the Kansas City 
market ; to promote and foster uniformity in the customs and usages at the 
market; to inculcate and enforce high moral principles in the transaction 
of business; to inspire confidence in the methods and integrity of its mem- 
bers; to provide facilities for the orderly and prompt conduct of business; 
to aid in the speedy and equitable adjustment of disputes, and, generally, to 
promote the welfare of the Kansas City market. 

The association in 1908 had 284 members, live stock commission men, 
order buyers, stock raisers, representatives of railways, farmers, bankers, and 
other classes of business men whose interests were, more or less, centered at 
the market. During the twenty-two years of its existence the members have 
sold $2,176,835,896.00 worth of live stock. Of this amount returns were 
made to the various owners with a loss of only one ten-thousandth of one per 
cent — a wonderful showing for this gigantic business. There were 2,403,189 
cars of live stock disposed of, which running in one train would reach a 
distance of 19,225 miles, and which, going at the rate of twenty miles an 
hour, would require one month and ten days to pass a given point. Since 
its incipiency 1,417 different persons have been members of the organization, 
and of this number twenty-one were expelled as being unworthy of further 
connection with an organization having a high standard of business morals 
and integrity. 

R. P. Woodbury has been secretary of the Kansas City Live Stock ex- 
change since it was organized in 1886. The names of the former presidents 
of the exchange follow: C. F. Morse, 1886-88; K. B. Armour, 1888-89; 
H. P. Child, 1889-91; Frank Cooper, 1891-93; J. H. Waite, 1893-94; J. C. 
McCoy, 1894-95; J. N. Payne, 1895-96; J. R. Stoller, 1896-97; J. C. McCoy, 
1897-98; W. S. Hannah, 1898-00; G. M. Walden, 1900-03; C. G. Bridge- 
ford, 1903-05; F. G. Robinson, 1905-07; J. C. Swift, 1907-09. 

The large supply of cheap cattle afforded by the range of the West early 
attracted the attention of the packers to the advantages of this locality. E. W. 
Pattison, of Indianapolis, Ind., made the experiment in Junction City, 


Kas., in 1867 and was pleased with the result. He found, however, that 
Kansas City would afford him better facilities, and in 1868, with J. W. L. 
Slavens and "William Eperson, built the first packing plant in Kansas City. 
In the first year of their operations they slaughtered about 4,200 cattle, the 
first beef packing done in the city. 

Thomas J. Bigger, formerly of Belfast, Ireland, came to Kansas City 
in 1868 and began packing hogs for the Irish and English markets, the first 
enterprise of this sort started in the city after the war. Previous to the war, 
about 1858, M. Dively and a few others had packed a few hogs, and in 1859 
J. L. Mitchener opened a packing house on the east levee, but his business 
was ruined by the war. Mr. Bigger built a small storehouse on St. Louis 
avenue in West Kansas City in 1868, for storing meat, the slaughtering being 
done for him by Pattison & Slavens. J. W. L. Slavens sold his interest in 
the packing house of Pattison & Slavens to Dr. F. B. Nofsinger in 1869, 
and formed the co-partnership known as Ferguson, Slavens & Co., by whom 
was built the packing house occupied later by the Morrison Packing company. 

Plankinton & Armours came to Kansas City in 1870. The first year 
the firm rented the packing house of Pattison & Nofsinger, but in the fol- 
lowing year built its own plant Plankinton & Armours already had two 
large houses, one in Milwaukee and one in Chicago. The firm began at once 
to build up a great packing business. John Plankinton retired from, the firm 
of Plankinton & Armours in 1885 and the celebrated corporation of the 
Armour Brothers Packing company was organized. The Armour plant in 
Kansas City has been enlarged at various times until now (1908) it is one 
of the largest slaughter houses in the world. 

In the summer of 1880 Jacob Dold & Sons, one of the largest packing 
firms in Buffalo, New York, came to Kansas City and purchased the packing 
house of Nofsinger & Co. The firm began business in the fall of 1880. The 
new venture was a success from the beginning, and the Kansas City branch 
soon outstripped the parent establishment in the quality of its productions. 
The leading spirit of the concern here was J. C. Dold, under whose manage- 
ment an immense business was developed. The extensive beef and pork 
packing and lard refining firm of Fowler Brothers, with packing houses in 
Liverpool, New York and Chicago, began operations in Kansas City in 1881. 
Early in 1884 George Fowler purchased his brother's interest in the estab- 
lishment here, and conducted it alone until January 1, 1886, when his son, 
George A., became a partner under the firm name of George Fowler & Son. 

The Morrison Packing company, a branch of the Cincinnati firm of 
James Morrison & Co., established in 1845, began operations in Kansas City 
in 1884, as successors to Slavens & Oburn. The Kansas City Packing com- 



pany was established in 1884, and the Allcut Packing company in 1885. 
The Kingan Packing company established a plant in Kansas City in 1888. 

Later came the packing firms of Swift & Co., Cudahy & Co., Nelson 
Morris & Co., Schwarzchild & Sulzberger, Ruddy Brothers, American Dressed 
Beef & Provision company and others. Eight large packing plants are in 
operation in Kansas City in 1908. The number of animals slaughtered in 
Kansas City in 1907 was 5,250,624. 

The packing houses in Kansas City have been built with a view of meet- 
ing all requirements of the meat trade. The capacity of the packing plants 
and slaughtering establishments here is such that it would be possible to 
slaughter daily 15,600 cattle, 26,500 hogs and 16,700 sheep. For several 
years the packing plants in Kansas City have been able to handle the bulk, 
or more than two-thirds, of all the live stock marketed in Kansas City. 

It was with remarkable foresight that the pioneer packers came into 
the "western country" in the early '70s to build their packing houses on 
the banks of the Kaw and Missouri rivers at Kansas City. They desired to 
have close communication with the people who were producing live stock. 
At least, they realized that greater things could be done by conducting their 
packing operations at the point nearest the base of supply. 



The United States government had about 1,500 employees under civil 
service in Kansas City in 1908. For their services they were paid an average 
of about $127,000 a month. A wide variety of duties are performed by those 
who are in the Kansas City service of Uncle Sam. The government has floors 
to be scrubbed, elevators to be run, meat and food products to be inspected, 
customs duties and revenues to be collected, weather reports to be made and 
mail to be collected and distributed. 

About three-fourths of the civil service employees in Kansas City were 
connected with the postoffice department. In 1908 there were 230 letter 
carriers and substitute letter carriers, and about 400 postal clerks. Six hun- 
dred railway postal clerks had headquarters in Kansas City and were paid 
here. The pay roll of the letter carriers was $16,000 a month; the clerks, 
$24,000 a month, and the railway mail clerks, $50,000 a month. The 
bureau of animal industry gave employment to 200 men in Kansas City. Of 
this number 185 were meat inspectors The others were assigned to the 


quarantine station at the stock yards and the meat inspection laboratory. The 
pay roll of the bureau was $18,000 a month. 

The custodian of the Federal building had a force of thirty-five men 
and women, most of them negroes. They include the charwomen, the jani- 
tors, the firemen, the engineers, the watchmen and the elevator operators. 
The custodian's force cost the government $1,850 a month. The collector of 
internal revenues had an office force of eight persons. Seven men in addi- 
tion worked in the warehouses and the rectifying houses. The pay roll for 
this force was $3,310 a month. The surveyor of customs employed fifteen 
men at a cost of $1,900 a month. Six of the surveyor's men worked in the 
federal assay office, where samples of the ores imported into this country 
are tested, so as to fix their duty. The weather observer had five men em- 
ployed in his office. The federal pure food laboratory gave employment to 
several chemists and inspectors. Several pension examiners had headquarters 
here. The secret service bureau varied in number according to the business 
on hand. 

The first United States postoffice in Kansas City was established in 1845. 
William M. Chick was the first postmaster, but dying soon after his appoint- 
ment, he was succeeded by his son, W. H. Chick. In the beginning the mails 
necessarily were small, and came but once a week by the way of Westport. 
Most of the time until 1860, the postoffice was situated on the Levee, as that 
was then the business center of the town. When the Levee was abandoned 
to shipping and warehouses, and the retail trade and hotels, and shops of 
all sorts moved back from the river, the postoffice followed for the convenience 
of the residents. The first office was kept by W. M. Chick in his warehouse 
at the southeast corner of Main street and the Levee. Later the postoffice 
was kept in the store of Silas Armstrong, a few doors east of the former place. 

W. H. Chick was succeeded by Daniel Edgerton, who moved the office 
to the northwest corner of Main and Fourth streets, on the hill. It was kept 
there until Samuel Greer was appointed postmaster. He moved the post- 
office back to the Levee, between Main and Walnut streets. At the expira- 
tion of his term of office, Greer, who kept a small country store, moved his 
stock of goods to Osawatomie, Kansas, where his store was plundered in one 
of the border raids. J. C. Ransom was the next postmaster. The postoffice 
still was situated on the Levee, between Main and Walnut streets. The 
"postoffice" then was a small case of pigeonholes about three feet square. 

George W. Stebbins was postmaster from 1858 to 1860. His office was 
on the Levee, east of Walnut street, and was an improvement over that of 
his predecessors, being fitted up with a few glass boxes and drawers. He 
was followed in office by R. T. Van Horn, who moved the postoffice to the 
east side of Main street between Third and Fourth streets. Frank Foster 








I— I 


was the assistant in charge. A small book store and news stand was kept 
in the same room by Matthew Foster. 

No mail routes terminated in Kansas City previous to 1858. A tri- 
weekly mail left Westport for Fort Seott, Kansas, by way of Olathe, Paola, 
Osawatomie and Mound City, and also there was a line of tri-weekly stages 
between Westport and Fort Scott. Passengers taking the Fort Scott route 
were compelled to hire a private conveyance or go on foot from Kansas City 
to Westport to reach the stage leaving there for southern Kansas. The Santa 
Fe mail route terminated at Independence. Mail directed to Kansas City 
that came over the Santa Fe route was sent up the river on a mail boat. Only 
certain boats carried mail, and frequently long delays occurred. Often it 
would be several days before a letter arriving at Independence from New 
Mexico for Kansas City would reach here. Kansas City was very much ham- 
pered at that time in its communication with the outside world, but founda- 
tions were being laid for more and better mail facilities, which in a short 
time were established. 

A stage line was established from Kansas City to Cameron, Missouri, 
in 1858, by Preston Roberts. The Hannibal & St. Joseph railroad had been 
completed to that point. Roberts also established a stage line to Lawrence, 
Kansas, and both of these stages carried mail. Soon afterward all mail routes 
ending at Westport were extended to Kansas City. The trade of southern 
Kansas had become an important factor in the commerce of Kansas City. 
A stream of immigration landing from the boats that arrived here; daily 
induced the veteran stage man, J. L. Sanderson, to establish a daily line 
of stages, that carried mail, from this city to Fort Scott. 

Stephen H. Haslett was appointed postmaster in May, 1861, by President 
Lincoln, but political excitement was so great at that time and so many ob- 
jections were being made by the Confederates against government officials 
appointed by Mr. Lincoln that he did not accept the office. Frank Foster 
was appointed June 4, 1861. He moved the postoffice to the east side of 
Main street, between Third and Fourth streets, and had it equipped in regular 
postoffice style. In 1867 President Johnson appointed A. H. Hallowell, who 
was succeeded by H. B. Branch, in 1868. Foster again was appointed in 1869. 
The postoffice was kept on the east side of Main street near Missouri avenue. 
From that location the postoffice was removed to the southwest corner of 
Main and Delaware streets. Foster was succeeded by John S. Harris, early 
in 1872, and the postoffice was removed to the northwest corner of Seventh 
and Main streets. President Grant appointed Theodore S. Case postmaster 
in March, 1873, and he was reappointed by President Hayes and President 
Arthur. Case held office until after the expiration of his fourth term in No- 
vember, 1885. In his third term the postoffice was moved to the northwest 


corner of Sixth and Walnut streets and finally, in 1884, to the Federal build- 
ing at the southwest corner of Ninth and Walnut streets. 

Early in the administration of Theodore S. Case as postmaster, in July, 
1873, the free delivery service was established in Kansas City with eight 
regular letter carriers and two substitutes. The early carriers wore no uni- 
forms. The only mark to distinguish them from other men on the streets 
was a small brass plate with a number, fastened to their hats. And the 
carriers at first had no little boxes to open, because there were none. All 
letters except those mailed at the postoffice were delivered direct to the 

A bill authorizing the construction of a Federal building in Kansas City 
to cost $200,000 was passed in Congress, March 8, 1878. The measure was 
introduced by Congressman B. J. Franklin of Kansas City. He also secured 
the passage of a bill authorizing the holding of United States courts in Kan- 
sas City. The site for the old postoffice building was purchased in April, 
1879, for $8,500 from Mrs. M. D. Hughes, James Kinnaird and Thomas H. 
Swope. The building was completed in 1884, at a cost of $325,000. 

These are the names of Kansas City's postmasters with dates of their 
appointment: William M. Chick, 1845; W. H. Chick, 1845; Daniel Edger- 
ton, 1850 ; Samuel Greer, 1854 ; Joseph C. Ransom, 1857 ; George W. Stebbins, 
1858; R. T. Van Horn. 1860; Stephen H. Haslett, 1861, served 30 days; 
Frank Foster, 1861; A. H. Hallowell, 1867; H. B. Branch, 1868; Frank 
Foster, 1869; John S. Harris, 1872; Theodore S. Case, 1873; George M. 
Shelley, 1885; Judge R. S. Adkins, 1888; Dr. F. B. Nofsinger, 1890; Homer 
Reed, 1894; S. F. Scott, 1898; J. H. Harris, 1902 and serving in 1908. 

The gross receipts for 1873, the year the free delivery service was es- 
tablished, amounted to $39,768; the gross receipts for 1908 were $1,839,- 
594.44. In 1873 an average of 35,000 pieces of mail were delivered in a 
month; the average number of pieces of mail delivered in a month in 1908 
was 7,200,000. 

The wonderful increase in the volume of business at the postoffice indi- 
cates a corresponding increase in the commerce of the city. The postoffice 
gives a reliable record of the pressure of business. The great influx of im- 
migration west and southwest, and the city's geographical position as a natural 
distributing point, has given the postoffice more than ordinary importance. 

The site for the present Federal building, Grand avenue and McGee, 
Eighth and Ninth streets, was purchased December 10, 1891. The ground 
was broken in the spring of 1893. There was a lapse of about five years from 
the time the site was purchased until the work on the building proper, began, 
owing to congressional inaction and lack of appropriations. The work on 
the building was begun in June, 1896. The building was opened for busi- 



ness, June 28, 1900. The building with the later additions cost the gov- 
ernment about one and one-half million dollars. In addition to the main 
office, the postoffice in Kansas City maintained in 1908, eight sub-stations — 
"A," "B," "C," "D," "E," "F," Westport and Sheffield. 

Kansas City became a port of entry in 1882. R. C. Crowell was the 
first surveyor of the port. The names of the other surveyors of the port 
with the date of their appointment: M. Ross Guffin, January, 1890; Scott 
Harrison, November, 1893; Milton Welsh, August, 1894; W. L. Kessinger, 
June, 1898; C. W. Clarke, March, 1906. 

The collections at the customs house in Kansas City for 1907 amounted 
to $582,203.56. The value of the merchandise cleared was $2,404,617.56. 
This is not the total value of the importations, because some of the importers 
have agents who clear their merchandise at the seaports. 

The second largest government assay office in the United States is 
situated in Kansas City under the direction of the surveyor of the port. The 
largest government assay office in the United States is in New York city. 
The assay office in Kansas City issued 7,200 certificates of assay in 1907. 
Most of the samples tested were of ore shipped into the United States from 
Mexico. The supplies and equipment of the assay office, in Kansas City cost 
the government $10,954. 

The meat inspectors at the packing plants are employed by agents of 
the Department of Agriculture of the national government. Their respective 
places for work are assigned them by representatives of this department. 
Under the new law each packer is required to furnish adequate office room 
for inspectors in his plant. The inspectors have free access to any part or 
department of the packing plants at any time, day or night. They make 
to the chief of the local bureau, a daily report of any irregularity. He, in 
turn, reports to the Secretary of Agriculture at Washington. The Depart- 
ment of Agriculture may at any time cause inspectors to be changed from 
one packing plant to another. 

The new law requires the inspectors to examine carefully all parts of 
every carcass. If a packer, a slaughterhouse owner, or even a butcher, who 
sends meat into another state, fails to see that every clause of this law is 
enforced he is subject to a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment 
for two years, or to both fine and imprisonment. The law goes even further. 
It imposes this same penalty of a $10,000 fine and two years' imprisonment 
on every person, common carrier or corporation that carries or attempts to 
carry uninspected meat from one state into another or to any foreign coun- 
try. Each establishment at which inspectors are stationed is given a number. 
Tags bearing this number are attached to each article inspected. Meat may 
in this way be traced and any irregularity will be found out and the offender 


punished. Retail butchers who have been exempt from inspection are given 
numbers by which their products may be known. 

It is the duty of the government meat inspectors to require all trucks, 
trays, chutes, platforms, racks and tables and all knives, saws, cleavers and 
other tools and all machinery used in handling meat, and all things with 
which meat may come in contact, to be cleansed daily after working hours. 
Aprons or other outer clothing of employees who handle meat which comes 
in contact with such clothing, shall be of material which is easily cleansed 
and they shall be cleansed daily. 

All animals to be slaughtered must be inspected first before they may 
enter any establishment where inspection is maintained. An inspector must 
be present when the animal is killed The post-mortem examination must 
then begin. Each part of the animal must be examined separately. The 
inspection must be finished before the part is washed or trimmed. If any 
trace of any disease is found in the animal, at either inspection, it is con- 

All carcasses thought on inspection to be "tainted" must at once be re- 
moved to a compartment kept especially for this purpose, and there given 
a final examination. All carcasses found to be unfit for food are marked 
"U. S. Inspected and Condemned." They are taken to a special "condemned" 
room that is removed from any part of the plant where fresh meat is kept. 
This room must have cement floors and be securely locked. The keys are 
kept in the possession of the inspectors. No condemned carcasses are per- 
mitted to remain in the "condemned" rooms for more than twenty-four hours. 

Condemned carcasses are placed in air-tight, sealed tanks where they are 
exposed to a sufficient pressure of steam and for a sufficient time to make 
them unfit for any edible product. It must be arranged so that the fumes 
or odors from these tanks shall not pervade compartments in which carcasses 
are dressed or edible products prepared. Seals of tanks containing condemned 
meats or the tankage of condemned meat may be broken only by an employee 
of the Department of Agriculture. 

Meats inspected and passed for export are marked by the inspector 
"For Export." Export meat is kept in separate compartments from that for 
domestic trade. The law is very rigid in its demands that no dyes, chemicals 
or preservatives be used in the preparation of meats for home or for foreign 
trade. Common salt, sugar, wood smoke, vinegar, pure spices and pending 
further inquiry, saltpeter may be used. When the action of any inspector 
in condemning any carcass or part thereof is questioned, appeal may be made 
to the inspector in charge, and from his decision to the chief of the local 
bureau of animal industry or to the Secretary of Agriculture. His decison 
is final. 


The Federal pure food laboratory in Kansas City is a place of mystery. 
Its operations are not known to the general public. The federal chemists 
whose duty it is to guard the pure food and drug act, work secretly. A corps 
of inspectors take samples of food and drug products to the laboratory for in- 
spection. The records in the laboratory are used as expert testimony in cases 
where there are prosecutions for violation of the law. Some of the inspectors 
are lawyers, others are physicians, — it is not known just who they are. All 
of them are sworn to secrecy. 

None of the samples of food and drug products is confiscated; the in- 
spectors purchase them at the regular prices. In each case three samples 
are bought. One is used for analysis, one is kept on file at the local labora- 
tory and one is forwarded to the Secretary of Agriculture. As soon as the 
samples are bought they are sealed with an official seal. If by any chance 
the seals are broken before the. samples reach the chemical laboratory, they 
are not tested. 

This precaution is taken by the government to prevent any possibility 
of the samples being changed or tampered with. Sometimes when dealers 
are prosecuted for violating the pure food law, they try to confuse the jury 
by asserting that the samples analyzed by the government are not the, orig- 
inal ones taken from their stores. Tests made at the local laboratory are 
verified at Washington before prosecutions are. recommended. All food and 
drug products, with the exception of meat and meat products, are subject 
to examination in the Federal building laboratory. The latter are tested at 
the, laboratory of the bureau of animal industry. 

These are some of the foods subject to test in the federal laboratory: 
Milk and milk products, such as butter, cheese and ice creams; the vegetable 
and fruit products, which include flours, meals; dried and canned fruits and 
vegetables, pickles, sauerkraut and catsups; sugar and related substances, 
such as molasses, syrups, candy, honey and the glucose products; the condi- 
ments which mean the various peppers, spices and flavoring extracts and the 
edible vegetable oils and fats; tea, coffee and cocoa products, beverages and 
they include the fruit juices, fresh, sweet and fermented; vinegar and salt, 
and the preservatives and coloring matters. 

The food and drug act was approved by Congress June 30, 1906. The 
laws were enacted for the purpose of "preventing the manufacture, sale or 
transportation of adulterated or misbranded or poisonous or deleterious foods, 
drugs, medicines and liquors and for regulating traffic therein, and for other 

The Kansas City weather bureau was established in 1888 in the old gov- 
ernment building at Ninth and Walnut streets. It was removed, in 1890,' 
to the Rialto building, and to the Scarritt building in 1907. Patrick Connor 


was appointed forecaster in Kansas City in 1890, and was serving in 1908. 
These are the duties of Mr. Connor: "The issuing of storm warnings, the 
display of weather and flood signals for the benefit of agriculture, commerce 
and navigation: the gauging and reporting of rivers, the maintenance and 
operation of telegraphic lines, and the collection and transmission of marine 
intelligence for the benefit of commerce and navigation; the display of frost 
and .cold wave signals, the distribution of meteorological information in the 
interest of agriculture and commerce and the taking of such observations as 
may be necessary to establish and record the climatic conditions of the United 
States, or essential for the proper execution of the foregoing duties." 

The bureau, however, is better known to the public through the medium 
of its daily forecasts and weather maps. These forecasts are based upon 
simultaneous observations of local weather conditions taken daily at 8 p. m. 
and 8 a. m. at about 200 regular stations scattered throughout the United States 
and the West Indies. Within two hours after the morning observations have 
been taken, the forecasts are telegraphed to about 1,000 distributing points, 
whence they are further disseminated, being delivered not later than 6 p. m. 
on the day of issue. This is at the expense of the government and is distinct 
from the distribution effected by the daily newspapers. The rural free de- 
livery makes it possible to reach a large number of farming communities 
heretofore impracticable to reach with the daily forecasts. The weather map 
is mailed immediately after the morning forecast is telegraphed. On this 
map the salient features of the weather over the country are graphically rep- 
resented, accompanied by a synopsis of the conditions. 



With the beginning of the twentieth century, Kansas City entered upon 
an era of remarkable growth. In five years the erection of new skyscrapers, 
bank buildings, theatres, store buildings and other edifices changed the ap- 
pearance of the down-town district. The transformation of Tenth street be- 
tween Baltimore avenue and Oak street has been especially marked. 

Three large office buildings were completed in 1907 at a combined cost 
of nearly four million dollars. They are the R. A. Long building costing 
$1,250,000; the Scarritt building costing $750,000; the National Bank of 
Commerce, building, built at a cost of $1,500,000. This building was the 
last of the three skyscrapers to be occupied. Its erection marked a new 


■'. »"**_ 




hkiiiii aanniiniiitii 


r I 


f ff RE [HI; 

..-':,. . 



record in the construction of skyscrapers here, if not in other cities. The 
Commerce building has sixteen stories and the ground area is 106 by 115 
feet, about twice the width of the Long building. The Commerce building 
is one story higher than the Long building and four stories higher than the 
Scarritt building. 

The transformation on Tenth street began in 1906, when the First 
National bank began the erection of its elegant new building at the north- 
east corner of Tenth street and Baltimore avenue. The R. A. Long build- 
ing at Tenth street and Grand avenue and the. National Bank of Commerce 
building were built next. Tenth street, on which so many handsome build- 
ings have been erected, is narrow and crooked. The Victor building at 
Tenth and Main streets is the most peculiar of all the new buildings on 
Tenth street. It is 100 feet high and is only 27 y 2 feet wide. It has a frontage 
of 130 feet on Tenth street and is eight stories and a basement. It was 
built by Victor H. Laederick at a cost of $200,000. The main entrance is on 
Tenth street. The building is fireproof, built of steel and brick. The floor 
and walls are terra cotta and the first story is reinforced concrete. The cor- 
ridors have marble floors and marble wainscoting to the height of seven 
feet. The main lobby is entirely of marble. There are. seventy-five offices 
in the building. It is commonly known as the "toothpick" building, owing 
to its narrowness. 

With its own fire department, its own water and sewerage systems, 
cleaning department, heat, lights and police force, the modern office build- 
ing is a condensed city. The elevators are its street cars. All day crowds 
come and go. In this unique establishment are found, on a small scale, 
almost every one of the systems employed in the management of a munici- 
pality. In many cases it is almost wholly independent of the outside for 
any of the forces used in operating its various departments. Persons who 
visit these buildings in the daytime, imagine, perhaps, that they are closed 
at night, but they are open just as the city is open. Of course, not so many 
are abroad, but there are a few stragglers and a cleaning force that works 
from sundown until morning. For the convenience of the late workers an 
owl elevator runs all night. Thousands of those who make up its popula- 
tion are not dependent upon the city for any of their office comforts. 

The thousands of persons who go in and out of an office building dur- 
ing the day "track in" much dust, and there are. those who scatter waste 
paper, children who drop peanut shells, and the men who "knock off" cigar 
ashes. There is a thorough housecleaning in the up-to-date office building 
every night in the week except Saturday night; not with mops and pails of 
water, brooms and "dusters," but with an improved vacuum cleaning sys- 
tem. The vacuum air-drawing machines, driven by electricity, are in the 


basement. All the pipes are concealed in the walls and follow the columns 
of the building's steel frame. There are two outlets on every floor for the 
attachment of the cleaning hose. The machines in the basement form a 
vacuum and the suction draws the dust and small particles through the 
pipes. To the end of the suction hose may be attached any one of several 
different cleaning implements. The device used for ordinary sweeping is 
about three and a half feet long. The attachment for cleaning furniture 
is smaller and has a soft brush protecting its open end so that the. metal 
will not scratch the woodwork. Another appliance, made in several sec- 
tions, is used for cleaning cornices near the ceiling, high picture frames and 
upper corners of the, room. There is an attachment, also, for renovating 
the spaces under the furniture. 

The particles of dust and the disease germs that floated in the air un- 
der the old system of cleaning with brooms are drawn into the tubes. The 
vacuum cleaning system has a hygienic as well as a time and labor saving 
value. From 800 to 1,000 pounds of dust, grit, pins and small particles of 
rubbish of different kind pass through the vacuum-cleaning plant every 
night. An average of about 400 pounds of waste paper is 1 picked up in 
the building every night. This "by product" is sold to the paper mills and 
adds to the income of the building. The cleaning force that works all night 
in the Long building is composed of eighteen men. It requires eight men 
to run the vacuum sweepers. There are several men who follow after the 
vacuum sweepers. There are several men who follow after the vacuum 
cleaners and polish the furniture. One man polishes brass cuspidors 
all night. There are cleaners who work in the daytime, too, but not 
so many. Two men wash windows all day; they have no other employment. 
They clean 800 windows in the building three times in one month. One 
man does no other work than to polish the door* knobs and other metal 
work. He makes the complete circuit of the building once a week. There 
is another man who spends the day polishing woodwork. It is all that he 
expected to do. Once every six weeks he. finishes his rounds and starts over 

The head janitor of the. (Long) building is the chief of the private 
fire department. All the janitors employed by him are firemen. The men 
have been trained in the use of their fire equipment. They are always ready 
for active service and the pump in the basement has a constant steam pres^ 
sure. On the roof of the building there is a reservoir of 8,000 gallons for 
emergency use in addition to the attachments to the city water mains. 
There are two service pipes connected with this pump with provisions for 
connecting with steam fire pumps in the street. Two lines of pipe, run to 
the top of the building, one four inches and the other six inches in diameter. 


The six-inch pipe extends through to the roof. A large street hydrant on 
top is for use in protecting the building from external fire. Each floor is 
equipped with two lines of regulation fire hose. 

The fire escapes are an important part of the fire equipment of an office 
building. In the Long building all exposed windows on the north and the 
alley sides have metal frames and sash. The trimmings around the win- 
dows are steel, finished to match the woodwork. If it should be reported 
to the head janitor that some one had disovered smoke in the building he 
would order the. janitors to hasten to the different floors and search for the 
possible fire. This trained force with the equipment at hand could control 
any ordinary blaze. Only in extreme cases would it be necessary to call the 
city fire department. 

The six elevators in this building occupy a space of 6,520 square feet, 
equal to one and one-third floors, or thirty rooms. They carry an average 
of about 13,000 persons every day. The six cars run during the day and 
one at night. Once every twenty-four hours there is a careful inspection of 
the elevators. There is a system of local and express elevators, so that the 
occupants on the upper floors have as quick service as those on the lower. 
Three of the cars do not carry passengers higher than the eighth floor. 
Persons having offices on a floor higher than the eighth take one of the three 
'"'flyers." The plunger elevators, such as are used in this building, are not 
drawn by cables, but rest on steel pistons that run in cylinders sunk deep in 
the ground and operated by hydraulic pressure. There is no danger of a 
car dropping. It is impossible for an elevator to fall any faster than the 
water runs out of the cylinders. As a further precaution there are safety 
"buffers" that would break the force of the shock if the, operator should 
lose control of the car. 

The system for heating modern office buildings has been perfected so 
that it is possible for every tenant to have just the temperature that he de- 
sires. One may have his room heated to eighty degrees while the adjoining 
office may be kept at a temperature of seventy-two degrees to suit its occu- 
pant. Every room in the (Long) building has a thermostat, an instrument 
that automatically regulates the heat. The tenant indicates the temperature 
that he desires on the gauge in the thermostat. This instrument has a ther- 
mometer and is connected with the radiator. It turns the steam on or off 
as the temperature in the room goes below or above the desired number of 

The thermostats are operated by compressed air. Steam that has first 
been used in operating machinery in the. basement is turned into the radi- 
ators to heat the building. It is known as "exhaust" steam because it has 
no expansive power. But it has the same temperature as "live" steam. Ex- 


haust steam generally is a waste product that passes into the air through 
an '"exhaust" pipe. 

The modern office building has its own private electric light plant, 
complete in every detail. The electric generators in the basement are. able 
to produce 20,000 sixteen-candle power lights. In the building there are. 
twenty-five miles of electric light wires, and 2,864 outlets for lights. AH of 
the wires are placed in fireproof conduits. There, is a meter room on every 
floor, and every office has its own switch and fuse plug. With this system 
it is easy to locate "trouble." 

The generators and all other machinery in the building are duplicated, 
so that in case of a breakdown there need be no delay while repairs are 
made. If by any mishap at the general electric light plant the city should 
be in darkness, the building would not be affected, but would be able to, 
furnish light to less fortunate tenants in other buildings. Cold water for 
drinking purposes is pumped through the building in a system of pipes 
concealed in the walls. It is kept in circulation constantly with an electric 
force pump. On warm days the tenants of the building drink about five 
gallons of cold water every minute. 

The administration of a modern office building is complicated and re- 
quires systematic methods. It is by means of daily reports from each one 
of the different departments that the manager is able to keep close watch 
on the building. This system of daily reports is worked out by the men who 
have made, a careful study of the management of office buildings, and is 
known only to them. The reports include complaints made by tenants; re- 
pairs needed and those made ; fuel and supplies used ; the condition of elevators 
and all other machinery. The mangement of large office buildings has 
grown to be a profession in itself. There are men who are making a spe- 
cial study of this line of work. Hughes Bryant, manager of the Bryant, 
Long and several other buildings, is a member of this new profession. He 
has visited large office buildings in different cities of the United States and 
made a careful study of the subject for several years, that he. may develop 
a system for managing economically the buildings under his care. 

The finest exclusive bank building in the West is said to be that of the 
First National bank at Tenth street and Baltimore avenue. There are build- 
ings in Kansas City that are more elegant, but they are not used exclu- 
sively for bank purposes. The building was erected at a cost of $350,000. 
The property has a frontage of ninety feet on Tenth street and 114 feet on 
Baltimore avenue. It was purchased for $90,000. The main entrance is 
on Tenth street and a side entrance is on Baltimore avenue. The exterior 
of the building is of pure white selected Georgia stone and four magnificent 
stone columns stand on the Tenth street side. The interior is finished in 



white marble. The building is three stories high and is built on the steel 
skeleton plan. The columns and footings were so constructed as to carry 
eight additional stories, which would make, it an eleven-story building. The 
banking room is 85 feet square, with a height of 24 feet. The lobby is 30 
feet by 12 feet, and bronze doors 13 feet in height guard the entrance. The 
counters are made of marble and the cages of bronze. The president and 
directors' rooms are finished in mahogany, and a mantle of marble over the 
fireplace in the president's room denotes comfort. The draperies and carpets 
are in green. The building is fireproof and each desk is provided- with a 
fireproof locker to protect important papers and letters. 

The Commerce building on Tenth and Walnut streets is 213 feet high. 
It has fifteen floors, including the basement and sub-basement. It is fire- 
proof, constructed of steel, terra cotta and stone. The first two stories are 
of glazed marble and the remaining stories are of white stone. It is equipped 
with its own water and electric light plant. The halls and corridors are, 
finished in white marble and all offices are of mahogany. The Long build- 
ing comes second to the Commerce building in height. It was built by 
Robert A. Long. It is fireproof, built of steel, terra cotta and brick. The 
first two stories are of glazed stone. It is fourteen stories, or 203 feet high, 
and has 259 offices above the first floor. Like the Commerce building, it is 
equipped with its own water, lighting and heating system. 

Another building which is an ornament to little Tenth street is the 
new building occupied by the United States & Mexican Trust company at 
the northwest corner of Tenth street and Baltimore avenue. It is four 
stories high and cost approximately $200,000. It was built by the United 
States & Mexican Office Building company. It has a frontage of 142 feet 
on Baltimore avenue and 58 feet on Tenth street. The Shubert theatre is 
owned by the same company and the two buildings together have a dimen- 
sion of 140 by 142 feet. The first floor of the building is rented out as offices 
while the United States & Mexican Trust company occupies the second floor. 
The officers and employes of the Kansas City, Mexican &J Orient railway 
occupy the third and fourth floors. The building is of brick, while the in- 
terior is finished in oak and mahogany. The floors are of marble and the 
corridors are finished in the same material. The directors' room is finished 
in mahogany and is one. of the finest directors' rooms in the city. 

Across the street from the First National bank building is the New 
England National bank building. It is a one-story building and cost $150,- 
000. It is 59 by 79 feet in dimensions and the bank is lighted exclusively 
by skylights. The New England National bank building is built of steel 
on masonry walls. The exterior is of granite, and bronze doors 13 feet high 
are used at the entrance. These doors were made at one casting, and resem- 


ble those of the First National bank. The lobby of the bank is finished in 
marble and the window frames are, of bronze. These are said to be the 
only bronze window frames in use in the city. The president's room is in 
oak with panels to the ceiling, and the directors' room is in English oak 
with an Italian mantlepiece. 

Other new structures on Tenth street are the Young Men's Christian 
Association building at Tenth and Oak streets, and two new buildings at 
Tenth and McGee streets. The new Y. M. C. A. building is one of the 
most complete buildings of its kind in the United States. The people of 
Kansas City have realized that the Young Men's Christian Association is a 
magnificent organization. It stands for sanity, temperance and good will in 
all things. Its motto is "Spirit, Mind and Body." Its work is to build up 
the "young man trust," and it plods along day by day accomplishing this 
one object. The local association has fared well with the residents of this 
city. In two years they gave $330,000 for the erection of its new home. 
The basement contains a cafe open to the public, a barber shop, bowling 
alley and industrial class rooms. The first floor has the main lobby, the bil- 
liard room, the assembly, recreation, reading and writing rooms. The sec- 
and floor consists mostly of a library, boys' lobby and class rooms. There 
are more than ninety-eight rooms which are occupied by members as dor- 
mitories. They are on the third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh floors. The 
swimming pool is on the fifth floor and the gymnasium on the sixth floor. 
A running track with twenty-three laps to the mile is on the seventh floor. 
The shower baths are on the fifth, sixth and seventh floors. 

Kansas City spent more than half a million dollars for new church 
buildings during 1907. The principal structures erected have been the mag- 
nificent Congregational church, Admiral boulevard and Highland; Jewish 
Temple, at Lin wood and Flora; and the Central M. E. Church (South) at 
Eleventh street and the Paseo, each of them costing at least $125,000. The 
Redemptorists fathers finished a $150,000 church at Thirty-third and Broad- 

Kansas City is v