December 31, 1909
At 12 o'clock, noon, tomorrow, Argentine, the Silver City, of which great things were expected in the early '80s, will merge its identity into that of Kansas City, Kas. This additional territory will be known as the Seventh ward and will be represented in the Kansas City, Kas., council by two councilmen to be appointed by Mayor U. S. Guyer. By the annexation of Argentine and the extension of its city limits Kansas City, Kas., will have graduated into the class of metropolitan cities. It is estimated that the additional territory will increase the total population of Kansas City, Kas., to something in excess of 135,000. Steps have already been taken by the city authorities to assume active charge of the former city's affairs. Two police sergeants and eight patrolmen will afford police protection for the new ward.
Argentine was organized as a city of the third class in 1881. The city covers an area of six square miles and has a population of 7,000. It is on the south of the Kaw river and just south and west of the Sixth ward of Kansas City, Kas. The majority of Argentine's residents are hard working, industrious home owners. The city has a bonded debt of about $126,000, in addition to special improvement bonds to the amount of $70,000 and school bonds for a like amount.
There is also $60,000 in outstanding warrants. The consolidated city assumes all these debts. While the new territory is in debt to no inconsiderable amount, there are many advantages to be gained by its annexation. Argentine has two miles of bitulithic pavements and also two miles of macadam paving. In addition to this there are about fifteen miles of paved sidewalks. A fire wagon and a team of good horses, also 3,000 feet of new hose, are among the assets.
Many commendable things can be said concerning the system of schools in the new ward. There is a high school recently completed and five ward schools averaging eight rooms each. The teachers in these schools will be continued in their respective positions by the Kansas City, Kas., board of education.
Among the industries in the newly acquired territory are the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad shops, the Kansas City Structural Steel Works, the Santa Fe Car Iceing Company and the United Zinc and Chemical Company. Of these the Santa Fe employs the larger per cent of the people of the city. Two of the largest grain elevators in the state are located at the Argentine terminals of the Santa Fe, one with a capacity of 1,000,000 bushels and the other, one-half that size.
One of the urgent reasons for annexation from the Argentine standpoint was the inability of the people of that city to obtain natural gas. This condition of affairs will be remedied by the merger. The Wyandotte Gas Company will extend its mains to the new ward.
C. W. Green, the last mayor of Argentine, during his four terms in office had much to do with the progressing of public improvements.
As to just what the effect of the Annexation will be on the complexion of politics is problematical. Persons in a position to know declare that the Democrats and Republicans are about evenly divided.
At a special meeting last night of the Kansas City, Kas., council the Democratic members refused to confirm the appointment of C. W. Green and J. W. Leidburg as councilmen for the new ward. Mr. Green is at the present time mayor of Argentine and Mr. Leidburg is a councilman in that city.