October 9, 1909
Thomas Hunton Swope, for fifty-two years a resident of Kansas City, and its greatest benefactor, was laid to rest late yesterday afternoon in a vault in Forest Hill cemetery.
Following his request only the Episcopal service for the dead was said. It is the same service which has been said in that church for 500 years, and is used for the burial of both great and lowly, rich and poor.
There was no oratory, no eulogy. The service reminded many of the life of the man for whom it was said -- simple, quiet, impressive.
At Grace Episcopal church, Thirteenth and Washington streets, Bishop E. R. Atwill officiated, assisted by Rev. J. A. Schaad, the rector, and his assistant, Rev. E. B. Woodruff.
As the funeral cortege entered the edifice it was headed by the bishop, who repeated a portion of the service as he walked down the aisle. Chaplin Woodruff bore the staff. Following came the immediate family.
Stuart Fleming, a nephew from colonel Swope's old home in Kentucky, was with Mrs. Logan Swope, a sister-in-law of the dead philanthropist. Then came Dr. B. C. Hyde and wife, a niece of Colonel Swope's and all of the relatives from Independence.
The entire center of the church was reserved for the pallbearers, honorary pallbearers and civic bodies and commercial and fraternal organizations.
Bishop Atwill read the service at the church, and the Rev. Mr. Schaad read the lesson. Mr. Frank B. Fisk presided at the organ and rendered a dirge as the body was carried into the church. Mrs. Darnell, contralto, sang "One Sweetly Solemn Thought." Then a hymn, "O Paradise, O Paradise," was sung by the choir, the audience assisting. At the close of the church service the choir rendered the anthem, "I'm a Pilgrim and a Stranger."
During the service at the church the creed was said, and the Lord's Prayer repeated.
It was 3:30 before the cortage reached the church and after 4 o'clock before it got under way, leaving. When it reached the vault in Forest Hill cemetery it was almost dark and raining hard. Here the services were just as simple as at the church. Bishop Atwill read the committal service and Rev. Mr. Schaad the lesson.
The casket was placed in a large vault, made especially for its reception, and sealed. There it will remain until some future date when it will be removed to its final resting place in Swope park, beneath a monument erected by the people of Kansas city.
The funeral cortege was the largest ever seen in Kansas City. Besides the military, civic, commercial and fraternal organizations in line, there were seventy-five carriages, not counting the private vehicles. It took over an hour to pass a given point.
It was nearly 2 o'clock before the mounted police, followed by the Third Regiment band at the head of the regiment, started south on Walnut street from the city hall. Then, in order, came police and firemen on foot, Battery B and band, Uniform Rank, K. of P., Modern Woodmen, Turner society, Elks lodge, park board employes, lodge of Eagles, United Confederate Veterans, labor organizations, Board of Trade and Commercial Club and city officials in carriages. The active and honorary pallbearers preceded the immediate family and citizens in carriages.
As the procession left the public library where Colonel Swope's body has been in state since Thursday morning it passed through a double line of school children, each a "part owner" in the beautiful park which he gave the city. They stood uncovered, their hats and caps over their hears, all the long time the cortege was passing. Children lined both sides of the street all the way down Ninth street to Grand avenue and to Tenth street on Grand.
After the procession had crossed Main street it passed through another double line of children formed on Eleventh street from Baltimore avenue to Broadway, and down Broadway to Thirteenth street. Here again every boy stood uncovered, at attention, while the cortege was passing.
It has been estimated that between 10,000 and 15,000 school children were out. Besides the children, the streets were packed with people along thee entire line of march as far out as Twentieth street and Grand avenue. The windows in every building also were filled with people all the way through the main portion of the city and spectators filled the verandas and windows of every home passed by the cortege entirely to the cemetery. Possibly no fewer than 100,000 people saw the procession.
When Twentieth and Grand was reached all of those in the parade on foot dropped out, the distance to the cemetery being too far for them to walk. At this point the Third regiment, the Uniformed Rank, K. of P., the Modern Woodmen of America, police and firemen were formed in company front along the west side of Grand avenue. It made a solid line of uniformed men for two blocks.
It was intended from this point for the procession to make better time, but the rain had rendered Gillham road very slippery and the procession to make better time, but the rain had rendered Gillham road very slippery and the procession got beyond Thirty-first street on Gillham road before it left a walk.
Between Thirtieth and Thirty-first streets one of the lead horses in the fourth section of Battery B, commanded by Sergeant Cloyse Jones, fell and was injured. The team was taken out and this portion of the battery proceeded with only one team. This caused but a slight delay. Just this side of the cemetery the battery dropped out and returned to the city. The mounted police, however, commanded by Chief Frank F. Snow, acted as convoy throughout the entire procession to the cemetery.
Following the hearse was the most beautiful floral piece ever seen here. It was a remembrance from the city, and represented a white column ten feet high. It was composed of 3,000 white carnations. At the top of the column was a white dove with spread wings. A wreath of American beauty roses and lilies of the valley wounded about the column of the base, which was embedded in autumn leaves. The leaves were gathered in Swope park. "Kansas City Mourns" was the inscription on the column.
Covering the foot of the casket was the Swope family piece, composed of roses and lilies of the valley. A basket of lilies of the valley was sent by the Yale alumni of Kansas City, of which Colonel Swope was a member. Flowers sent by local organizations and friends of the family completely covered the massive state casket.
The sky began to cloud just before the head of the line left city hall, and it passed through a slight shower before reaching the library. After that the sun came out and it appeared as if the rain had passed over. After the services at Grace church, however, the clouds again formed and while the procession was passing the uniformed bodies, standing in line on Grand avenue and Twentieth street, there came the first hard shower. this lasted but a few minutes, and there was a lull until the cemetery was reached, when a downpour started. This continued until the services at the vault were concluded.
Active pallbearers -- Mayor Crittenden, R. L. Gregory, president upper house; F. J. Shinnick, speaker lower house, A. J. Dean, president of the park board; W. P. Motley, president of the hospital and health board; Frank S. Groves, president fire and water board; William Volker, president pardon and parole board; John T. Harding, city counselor; John C. Paxton, S. W. Spangler.
Honorary pallbearers -- C. O. Tichenor, J.V. C. Karnes, William Warner, R. T. Van Horn, Adriance Van Brunt, Honorable Herbert S. Hadley, D. J. Haff, William Barton, J. C. James, Leon Smith, E. L. Scarritt, R. W. Hocker, R. E. O'Malley, J. C. Wirthman, James Pendergast, M. Cunningham, M. J. O'Hearn, E. E. Morris, R. A. Long, George M. Myers, F. C. Crowell, Wallace Love, W. S. Dickey, J. F. Downing, E. F. Swinney, H. C. Flower, Llewellyn Jones, George W. Fuller, Charles Campbell, W. S. Woods, Ralph Swofford, J. H. Slover, O. H. Dean, James A. Reed, Jay H. Neff, H. M. Beardsley, W. S. Cowherd, George M. Shelley, Lee J. Talbott, J. J. Davenport, R. J. Ingraham, J. W. Wagner, James Gibson,E. R. Crutcher, Cusil Lechtman, Bernard Corrigan, C. F. Morse, L. M. Jones, George H. Edwards, J. H. Hawthorne, J. C. Ford, Rev. Father W. J. Dalton, Homer Reed and John C. Gage.