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December 19, 1909


Threatens to Arrest Autoists, They
Say, If Machine Goes Faster.

Formal protest was made last evening by Mrs. Victor Bell and her son, Dr. Charles Bell, to A. J. Dean, president of the park board, alleging that park policeman No. 14 on Cliff drive was unduly harsh yesterday afternoon in threatening them with arrest if their automobile was driven faster than he could walk on the Cliff drive. Mr. Dean will take up the matter at the next meeting of the park board.

Mrs. Bell and her sons, Dr. Charles Bell and Harold Bell, were halted in their big 60-horse landaulet in about the middle of Cliff drive. They were taking their usual afternoon ride when park policeman No. 14 shouted to them to halt. The chauffeur stopped.

"We were traveling very slowly," said Dr. Bell, who lives at the Hotel Baltimore, last evening, "when the policeman stopped us. At first we were threatened with arrest. Then we were told we might proceed, but that if the policeman ever caught us driving faster than he could walk that he would arrest us without further notice. We objected to this threat because a man's walk is certainly too slow a pace for an automobile. Our driver is familiar with the speed laws. Yesterday the driver took extra precautions because of the ice and snow. This in itself is sufficient for any driver to remain well within the speed limit. I know that we were not running faster than we do in Petticoat Lane.

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December 9, 1909


The Parade, Fifteenth Street and
Paseo, Will Be Flooded Today.

The Parade, Fifteenth street and Paseo, will be flooded today, preparatory to the formation of ice for skating. The ice in Troost and Penn Valley lakes is not strong enough yet to hold skaters and the park board issued orders yesterday that skaters are to be kept off until the ice gets to be four inches thick.

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December 7, 1909


Board Appoints August Atkinson
Chief and Fred Morrison Assistant.

The park board appointed August Atkinson head keeper of the zoo building in Swope park at a salary of $75 a month, and made Fred Morrison an assistant at $60 a month.

A test is now being made of the steam heating plant for the purpose of regulating temperatures adapted to the different animals that will eventually make their homes in the place. Tomorrow the board will make a personal inspection of the buildings, and just as soon as the members are satisfied that they are habitable for animals the four lions and smaller exhibits already owned by the city will be installed therein.

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December 7, 1909


Cold Weather Causes Influx -- Will
Be Worked in Quarry.

The approach of winter is bringing to the city the usual influx of penniless and homeless, and the charitable institutions are beginning to realize it. Yesterday George W. Fuller, a former member of the park board and representing the municipal labor committee in an official capacity, told the park board that Saturday and Sunday night 150 men out of work and money applied to the institute for food and lodgings. Mr. Fuller suggested that the plan of last year, whereby the city and park board co-operated, be followed this year, of working the unemployed in mining rock and crushing it for road building in Penn Valley park. Single men could be fed and lodged at the institute, and men with families could be given supplies on the basis of a dollar's worth a day.

Last year the experiment cost the city $4,918, and about 90 per cent of the rock is piled up and has not been used.

W. H. Dunn, superintendent of parks, said that the idea was a good and commendable one, but the question that confronted the city was what is to be done with the unused rock quarried last year. He said that some of it could be used, but advised that if the city was going into the quarrying business again some disposition should be made of the rock on hand.

Gus Pearson, city comptroller, urged the board to take up the proposition another year.

"It segregates the man who will work from the fellow who will not," said Mr. Pearson.

"And it means that whatever the city gives the Helping Hand to care for the poor and lowly, it will get back in labor and rock," argued Mr. Fuller.

On motion of D. J. Haff the board set apart $2,000 from the West park district fund with which to pay for the rock that is to be quarried and broken at the rate of 80 cents a cubic yard.

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November 22, 1909


Services for L. B. Root, Who Died on
Wedding Anniversary, Wednes-
day, Two Years After Daughter
Was Buried.

Louis B. Root, superintendent of Mt. Washington cemetery, died yesterday morning at St. Mary's hospital folowing an operation performed last Wednesday for intestinal trouble. The funeral will be Wednesday from the home of Mr. Root in the cemetery.

Mr. Root was the first superintendent of parks in Kansas City. He had lived here twenty-two years. He was graduated from Cornell college in 1875. He taught school for several years and was for four years county surveyor of Elkhart county, Indiana.

In 1893, he began contracting work, planned by George E. Kessler, landscape architect for the park board. In 1898 he made a survey of Swope park and a year later was made superintendent of the park. He has been superintendent of Mt. Washington cemetery since 1901 and his work did much to make it the finest burial place in the West.

Mr. Root died on his thirty-fourth wedding anniversary, and will be buried two years to the day from the time his only daughter, Mrs. D. C. Wray, was buried. The widow and one son, Louis P. Root, survive him. The son is engaged in mining in Salvador, Central America.

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November 9, 1909


This Difficult Question Comes Up
Again Before Park Board.

The question of the management of the zoo in Swope park again was up for discussion before the park board yesterday. Gus Pearson, city comptroller, wants it managed by a board of control composed of the three members of the park board, and two members of the Kansas City Zoological Society. He presented a resolution to that effect.

D. J. Hall put in one inviting the Zoological Society to co-operate with the board in a way of advice and suggestion, but to have no voice in the management of the building or the purchase of the animals.

"The society might as well go out of existence. We can't even exercise our boyhood rights to water the elephant," said Mr. Pearson.

"Cheer up, Pearson, it might be worse," consoled Mr. Haff. "We are letting the society co-operate with us, and recommend what kind of animals to buy."

"The order is not to spend a whole lot of money buying animals," said Mr. Pearson, "but to improve civic pride among the citizens and have them donate specimens. If you wait until the city gets money enough to buy animals you'll be a long while without a zoo."

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November 8, 1909


Park Board Today Will Fix Date
and Discuss Management.

The park board will determine today a date for the formal opening of the Zoo buildings in Swope park, and decide whether it will consent to two members of the Zoological Society serving on a board of management.

It is a debatable question as to whether the board under the charter has the power to deputize control over park property to any other than itself.

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October 21, 1909


Zoo Management Must Be Composed
of Competent Men.

An official of the park board said yesterday that the board does not propose to be in a hurry to formally open the zoo buildings at Swope park.

"The management and operation of the zoo is no boys' play," said the official. "The employes and superintendent must be composed of trustworthy men who are familiar with such things. It cannot be manned by political hangers-on, and this might as well be understood from the very start. Already the board is flooded with applications from men for positions who know more about running a ward political primary than they do about operating a zoo. They might as well look for other jobs, for it is the intention of the board to find men who are fully familiar with the habits of animals and know how to manage them. Such men are now being sought.

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October 12, 1909



Feed for the Voracious Animals Has
Cost $1.57 Per Day, and They
Were Threatened With

"Who is that happy looking man?"

"That happy looking man is Gus Pearson, city comptroller."

"What makes him look so happy?"

"The park board has compromised with the contractor that put up the zoo building in Swope park, and Mr. Pearson will now find a place for the four lions he has been feeding for nearly four months at a cost of $1.57 per diem from his private purse."

When Mr. Pearson came from the rooms of the park board in the city hall last evening suffused in smiles, and as light hearted as a boy in his first pair of high topped boots, the foregoing conversation was overheard. It will be recalled that the comptroller some years ago was constituted father of a zoo to be established in Swope park, and he set out enthusiastically and vigorously upon his task. He prevailed upon the park board to let a contract to build a zoo building at a cost of about $35,000, and while the builders were rearing the structure, he looked about for animals and curiosities.


He wanted to prepare a surprise for everybody, so four months ago he invested $1,000 in four lions without letting everybody know his business. He expected that the building would be ready then for the reception of the beasts, and he did not figure that there was likely to be a dispute between the contractor and architect over a small matter of $3,900 for alleged extras in excess of the contract.

But the contractor and architect did lock horns over the extras, and the result was that the park board refused to accept the building pending the dispute even inf Mr. Pearson did have four lions with voracious appetites on his hands. He had to make the best of his plight. The four lions were stored in a barn at Dodson, and Mr. Pearson provided for their daily fare of meat at $1.57 per day. When the bills began to climb up into the hundreds of dollars, and there was no indication that the contractor and architect were going to agree, Mr. Pearson appealed to the park board.


He got no sympathy from this source, and when a cold snap came along that threatened the lions with pneumonia unless fires were started to keep them warm the patient comptroller became desperate. Negotiations were set under way to temporarily turn the lions over to the Hippodrome management, but before the plan was carried out the contractor and architect came to terms. The contractor, Carl Nilson, is to accept $2,000 as a compromise and the deal will be closed today.

"Are you glad?" Mr. Pearson was asked last night.

"Glad? That doesn't half express my feelings," he replied.

"When will the lions be moved over to the zoo?"

"Mighty quick," he answered.

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October 7, 1909


Zoo Controversy May Be Dealt With
by Park Board.

Six red foxes, one coyote, one wild cat, two eagles, two monkeys, one parrot, four lions.

This is the collection of animals the city has already on hand for its prospective zoo at Swope park, but as to the particular time when they will find an abiding place in the buildings prepared for their comfort is simply a matter for speculation.

The buildings are completed, but the architect and the contractor are at odds over the payment of $7,000 in extras in excess of the contract. The controversy has reached the waiting stage. The contractor says the $7,000 in extras were honestly put in the building.

"They were not," replies the architect, and so there you are.

"Looks as if the park board will have to take possession of the buildings by force," said a park official yesterday, "and then let the contractor appeal to the courts for redress, if he has any."

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October 5, 1909



Swope Park, Philanthropist's Most
Enduring Monument, Discussed
by Park Board as Last
Resting Place.

That a memorial service in honor of the late Colonel Thomas H. Swope will be held in Convention hall, and that his body will rest in Swope park, his most enduring monument, seems probable in view of a message sent to the council last night by Mayor Crittenden, at an informal conference of the park board yesterday.

The appropriateness of having the body of Colonel Swope buried in Swope park, and a monument to his memory erected there, was informally discussed at the meeting of the park board.

"I was talking with Judge C. O. Tichenor today," said D. J. Haff, and he expressed the opinion that if the body of Colonel Swope found its final resting place in Swope park it would be carrying out his wishes.

Judge Tichenor spoke to the colonel about it once, and he seemed pleased with the idea but said he would not discuss it.

The board was formally apprised of the death of Colonel Swope by Mr. Haff. He referred to the philanthropist as the greatest benefactor the city ever had. Mr. Haff said the gift of Swope park was of incalculable advantage to the entire park movement and that it had inspired the development of the park and boulevard system.

The two houses of the city council adopted a resolution expressing the grief and the appreciation of the council and the people of Kansas City over the death of Colonel Swope. Aldermen O'Malley, Wirthman and Edwards were appointed a committe from the upper house, and Aldermen Morris, Gilman and Wofford from the lower house to make arrangements for the funeral of Colonel Swope. The committee meets at 10 o'clock th is morning in the offices of the Fidelity building.

Mayor Crittenden, A. J. Dean, president of the park board, and Kelly Brent of the fire and water board go to Independence this morning to formally offer to the bereaved family the city's regrets.

The arrangements for the funeral also will be discussed.

"Colonel Swope should be buried in Kansas City and should be given a public funeral," said the mayor last night.

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October 4, 1909


Colonel Swope Told Kelly Brent He
Was Not the Smart Man Many
Thought Him.

"Many persons think me a smart man but the truth of it is I'm an old fool," Colonel Thomas H. Swope said one day to Kelly Brent.

The two had a real estate deal on, and the colonel concluded at the end of long negotiations not to make the investment.

"Some years ago I concluded to sell off a great deal of my real estate holdings," said Colonel Swope, "and hang me if I didn't sell for a song the best of it. What I sold is worth millions today and a great deal I have left is not worth paying taxes on."

When the park board a few years ago suggested placing of a brass medallion of Colonel Swope at the entrance to Swope park he protested earnestly. He wrote to the board saying that while he lived he wanted no monument to be erected. It was explained that the medallion was not intended as a mark of the memory of the donor of the beautiful park, but as a slight token of appreciation and esteem from the city. After a long parley Mr. Swope reluctantly gave his consent to the installation of the medallion.

No man was more averse to publicity in the making of public bequests than was Colonel Swope. Just a hint being dropped that he contemplated a gift would anger the philanthropist and he would abandon his purpose. Some years ago Colonel Swope visited Roosevelt hospital in New York and asked to be shown through the institution. He incidentally remarked to the attendant that he was from Kansas City and that it was his purpose some day to build a hospital here and present it to the city.

A reporter for The Journal heard of the colonel's intentions and printed the story. The colonel became exasperated over the premature announcement and asked the reporter to visit him at his offices. The reporter to this day remembers the wrath displayed by the colonel and his ears still tingle with the tongue lashing administered.

"By your interference, sir," the colonel loudly declaimed, "you have deprived Kansas City of one of the best hospitals in the country. When people get to knowing my business it is time for me to quit."

It is unnecessary to state that Colonel Swope did not build the hospital, but he did give the ground on which it stands.

"I have known Mr. Swope a great many years, and knew him to be a kind, generous man," said J. J. Swofford last night. "Several times in the past five years I have approached him for donations for the Y. M. C. A. building fund and other funds for the promotion of the association's enterprise. He usually contributed from $100 to $400 a year.

"I know very little of Mr. Swope's business tactics, but I remember a peculiar thing about the manner in which he made these donations. He kept absolutely no account of his charities and when he signed a check to give me for the fund he used a check without a number and stub. He seemed very modest and sensitive about what he gave away.

"About three months ago, I think it was, he made and arrangement with my son Ralph Swofford of Thirty-first and Summit streets, who is president of the executive board of the Franklin Institute, to endow the institution with $50,000 providing as much more could be raised. A campaign has already been started and I believe is pretty well under way to raise the required $50,000.

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September 2, 1909


Absence of Park Board Members
May Cause Open Outbreak.

Unless another member of the park board gets back to town soon there will be trouble among the monkeys and the wild cats and other animal owned by the Kansas City Zoological Society.

A great menagerie building has been put up in Swope park by the park board for the use of the Zoo society, and it is ready for its new tenants, but there is no park board to receive the property from the contractors and turn it over to the silly-faced owls and other things for which it was built.

During the year or more the Zoological society has been in existence it has been the recipient of a great number of small wild beasts and birds. These, pending the construction of a house, have been billeted out in various bars and houses. The keepers are anxious to be rid of them, and the Zoological society is anxious to have them collected.

John W. Warner is the only park board man in the city. Commissioners D. J. Haff and A. J. Dean are out of town, with nobody knowing when they will get back.

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August 24, 1909


Acceptance of Zoo Buildings Prob-
ably Will Take Place Today.

There was no quorum of the park board present in the city yesterday afternoon. As a consequence, according to John W. Wagner, the sole member in the city yesterday, the meeting was postponed to today, when D. J. Haff, a member of the board, is expected to return. The board is expected to receive from the contractors the bird and animal house of the new zoo in Swope park. If this is done, the Kansas City Zoological Society immediately will begin to place animals in the building.

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July 16, 1909


Building Probably Will Be Turned
Over to City August 1.

The zoo buildings at Swope park are receiving the finishing touches, and it was said yesterday at the offices of the park board that in all probability they will be turned over by the contractors August 1.

"A large force of men is now busy grading the approaches to the buildings," said W. H. Dunn, general superintendent, "and this work should be completed by the time the contractors are ready to turn over the buildings. We are daily in receipt of offers of animals for the exhibits, but as yet have been unable to accept them on account of there being no provision for their care."

An important matter in connection with the zoo is the appointment of a head keeper and assistants. These positions, to a great extent, will have to be filled by men who are experienced in the care and treatment of the animals that will comprise the collection. So far as known the park board has not considered any applications for these positions.

Gus Pearson, city comptroller, and one of the moving figures in the zoological society says that just as soon as the buildings are made ready for the reception of them, he has promises of elk from the Elks' lodge, a big eagle from the Eagles' lodge, a camel from the Shriners and lions and other animals of the jungle from private contributors.

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July 7, 1909



If Bonds Are Voted Tuesday, Kess-
ler's Ideas of Beautifying the
Blue Valley Will Be

Preparatory and unofficial sketches for the redeeming of the Blue river and its tracks, and the addition of boulevards and parkways on both sides of the stream from the Missouri river to Swope park, have been prepared by George E. Kessler, engineer and landscape architect, for the consideratoin of the park board.

To carry out the plans of beautifying the Blue valley will necessitate funds from a bond issue, and there is not much likelihood of the park board giving it serious consideration unless bonds to be voted next Tuesday carry. If the bonds are approved by the voters the board will go over the territory and determine the applicability of Mr. Kessler's suggestions.

"The beautifying of the Blue valley and making it accessible to the use of the public for boulevards and other pleasures is a big undertaking," said Mr. Kessler yesterday. "There are many propositions involved that will have to be figured out before any definite engineering plans can be settled. The natural possibilities are there, and I have some excellent ideas.

"I believe it is possible to increase the water area of the stream by the acquirement of 100 or more acres of land at the bend in the river at about Twenty-seventh street and the installation of a dam."

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June 3, 1909



Addresses by Leon Smith, Henry D.
Ashley and Mayor Crittenden.
Cord Releasing Flag Pulled
by Phillip Meyer.

At the unveiling yesterday afternoon of the bronze and marble memorial in honor of August R. Meyer, first president of the park board, at the Paseo and Tenth street, a drowed of 5,000 persons witnessed the ceremonies. Members of the Meyer statue comittee, Mayor Thomas T. Crittenden, Leon Smith, president of the Commercial Club, and business associates and friends of the man whose memory was to be honored, rode to the scene of the memorial services in carriages. Chief of Police Frank Snow headed the processoin with a detachment of mounted police, followed by Hiner's band and Company K, of the Third regiment, national guards. Colonel Cusil Lechtman, attended by the majors and captains of the regimennt, rode in advance of the guards.

Before the arrival of the parade the crowd had gathered in front of the statue and locked traffic on Tenth street. Many women and children were in the crowd, and when the mounted police turned west on Tenth street from the Paseo the pushing back of those in the middle of hte street crushed the smaller children, and women begged the police to help them out of the jam.

A raised platform had been erected on each side of the statue, which his located on the Paseo grounds just north of and facing Tenth street. The committee occupied the platform and Mrs. Meyer accompanied by her children and friends sat in an au tomobile in front of the statue. Following a selection by the band Leon Smith made an address in which he told of the services rendered by Mr. Meyer in whose honor the shaft was erected.


The subject of the bronze portrait in relief which adorns the marble statue was the father of the park system in Kansas City. He was not only president of the first park board, but was also president of the Commercial Club, which was instrumental in securing the statue. A few days after the death of Mr. Meyer, December 1, 1905, the Commercial Club met and instituted a popular subscription for a monument to the memory of one of Kansas City's foremost men. The amount to be raised was placed at $25,000. Daniel Chester French, the great American sculptor of New York was selected to do the relief. It is the fist monument ever unveiled by this city.

Henry D. Ashley, an old friend of Mr. Meyer's, spoke for three-quarters of an hour in eulogy of the man, whom he declared had done more for the beauty of Kansas City than any other one man. He said that his friend was not only interested in beautifying Kansas City, but was prominent in every public enterprise and civic improvement. Following Mr. Ashley an address was made by Mayor Crittenden. He said, in part:


"The biting frost of death does not kill the fruit of patriotism. It bears on everlastingly. Thee handiwork of Washington is still our daily benefit, and the richest asset of Lincoln's life will pay dividends from generation to generation. While our distinguished townsman August R. Meyer, sleeps, grateful multitudes are daily reaping harvests of bloom and bower and flower and fountain, children of his busy brain. In life he gave abundantly the best he had -- his talents; in death we give him freely the best we have -- our gratitude.

"This great citizen, forerunning his time, saw wisely that the modern city must not confine itself merely to commerce, but must beautify as well; that it must not only have stores and banks and lawns, where the rich and the poor could enjoy the health giving sunlight and pure fresh air."

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June 2, 1909


Park Board Member Suggests Crit-
tenden Peace Oak as Nucleus.

The peace oak grove planted in Swope park east of the shelter house a year or so ago by the late Ex-Governor T. T. Crittenden, is to serve as the nucleus of a grove of fame in the big park. The idea was suggested at yesterday's meeting of the park board by J. W. Wagner, a member of the board. Mr. Wagner regretted that the city had not been sufficiently far-sighted years ago to ask men of fame visiting Kansas City to plant a tree.

"It is not too late to begin it now," said Mr. Wagner, "and our work will be appreciated by future generations."

He recalled that the battle of Westport during the civil war was fought close by where the Crittenden peace oak is planted, and Mr. Wagner gave notice that at the next meeting he is going to invite Judge John F. Philips and Colonel R. T. Van Horn, who took part in the battle, to plant trees.

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April 25, 1909


An Old Citizen Reminds the Park
Board of a Timely Duty.

To The Honorable Park Board of Kansas City, Mo.

Gentlemen:-- On September 4, 1908, I had the honor to address you a communication relative to naming one of the city parks or boulevards for our venerable esteemed fellow citizen, the Hon. R. T. Van Horn. Said communication, which was published in the Kansas City Post of the above date, was followed by an editorial in the Kansas City Journal of September 6, strongly advocating the matter contained therein. I subsequently received a reply from the park board that the matter would be taken under consideration when the limits were extended, which was done April 6. So I take this opportunity to renew the request to the new park board, installed April 19.

There is nothing I can add to what has already been presented through the columns of the press. I only desire to reiterate my former statement that Colonel Van Horn should be recognized while he is in the flesh and can appreciate the gratitude of his fellow citizens, for whose interest he has so long and faithfully labored. His memory should be cherished and perpetuated through all time, for he has been the city's chief promoter in ever stage of its development from a struggling village down to the present. How fitting, then, to perpetuate his memory by some enduring token of love and affection, and nothing would be more appropriate or give more general approval than for one of our prominent parks or boulevards to bear his honored name.

Kansas City, April 24.

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April 22, 1909


Officials Will Attend Circus Per-
formance at Convention Hall.

Tonight will be "city hall night" at the circus. All the officials will attend the performance at Convention hall and will boost for the Kansas City zoo.

Everybody would like to see the Swope Park zoo stocked with animals and birds this summer, and to raise the money for that object the Zoological Society of Kansas City induced the Campbell Bros. to bring their circus and animals to Convention hall for one week, ending with a performance next Saturday night.

All the proceeds, after paying expenses, will be applied to the purchase of animals by the park board and the Zoo Society. Campbell Bros. do not handle a dollar of the money. The city and county exacted no license always required for a circus, which amounts to $800.

The performance is most excellent, and if patronized as it should be, the money to buy lions, tigers, leopards, monkeys and birds will be raised and honestly expended for that purpose.

Every person who goes to the Campbell Bros.' show this week assists in securing the new public menagerie which will be installed at Swope park. Performances are given every afternoon and evening. Remember the good cause and make it a point to take in the circus.

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April 6, 1909


Sculptor Here to Discuss Unveiling,
Which May Take Place May 7.

Daniel Chester French, sculptor and designer of the monument to be erected to the memory of A. R. Meyer, first president of the park board, on the Paseo near Twelfth street, was here yesterday to consult with the committee of the Commercial club in regard to the unveiling. The members. The members of the committee are: E. M. Clendening, Frank A. Faxon, William Barton, H. D. Ashley, C. J. Schmelzer and George Kessler. The committee and Mr. French visited the site of the memorial and practically decided on May 7 as the date of the unveiling.

The sculptor said that the bronze statue was about finished and would be here in about two weeks. It will be seven and a half feet in height and will be supported by a bronze background.

Mr. French said that it was his second visit to Kansas city and he spoke in admiration of the parks and boulevards. He left for New York last night.

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January 26, 1909


Location of Memorial to Policemen
and Firemen Decided Tomorrow.

The police and park boards and Mayor Thomas T. Crittenden, Jr., will meet at Fifteenth and Paseo tomorrow morning for the purpose of considering a suggestion, made yesterday by Fred S. Doggett of the park board, that the proposed policemen and firemen's monument be erected in the Paseo, between Seventeenth and Eighteenth streets.

The mayor waited on the park board yesterday, formally informing them of a resolution adopted by the council favoring the monument to the memory of firemen and policemen who die in the discharge of duty. The board added its approval to the movement, and volunteered its co-operation.

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January 26, 1909


Norway Hard Maple Will Replace
White Maple.

Quite recently the park board has found it necessary to cut out white maple trees along Benton boulevard and to maintain the uniformity of the trees, the board has been casting about to find an assortment. Yesterday W. H. Dunn, superintendent, reported that he had gotten on the track of seventy-five Norway hard maples that could be bought for $3.50 each.

He was directed to purchase them at once.

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November 24, 1908


These Lights Will Warn Vehicle
Drivers on Entering Boulevards.
Ornamental Lamp Posts Being Installed by the Parks Board
Ornamental Lamp Posts to be Located at
Street Intersections on Boulevards.

The park board has ordered thirty ornamental lamp posts to be installed at various points along the boulevards at intersections with streets for the purpose of regulating the operating of automobiles. The posts are of cast iron, of special make, and cost $10 each. They will be surmounted with red globes which will be illuminated at night with gas, and in daylight the color of the globe will serve as a beacon to vehicle users to keep to the right of the road.

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November 10, 1908


Donor of Park Doesn't Want Board
to Erect Memorial Yet.

A personal request was received by the park board yesterday from Thomas A. Swope requesting that the matter of a memorial to him be postponed until after his death.

The communication was inspired by the fact that the board has ordered a medallion of the donor of Swope park and an inscription to be placed on the pillars to the main entrance of the park.

"These are not memorials," said Franklin Hudson, chairman of the board. "They are simple markers to designate the park."

Mr. Hudson was delegated to have a personal interview with Mr. Swope.

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November 3, 1908


Will Be Placed on the Pillars at
Entrance to the Park.

Bronze tablets with a profile of Thomas H. Swope in relief are to be installed by the park board on the two great pillars at the main entrance of Swope park as a mark of appreciation of Mr. Swope's liberality in donating the park to the city. The inscription on the tablets reads:

"This beautiful park was given to the people of Kansas City by Citizen Thomas H. Swope May 29, 1896, forever to be enjoyed by them as public recreation grounds. The board of park commissioners representing Kansas City place these tablets in grateful recognition of the generosity of the donor."

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October 1, 1908


Indianapolis Park Board Will View
Parks and Boulevards.

The park board is to have as guests next Saturday, Mayor Bookwaller of Indianapolis, Ind., and the park board of that city. Accompanying the mayor will be Dr. Henry Jensen and John J. Appel, president and vice president, respectively, of the park board and William J. Murray and Charles E. Coffin, members. Indianapolis is spending considerable money on its parks and boulevard system along plans and designs proposed by George E. Kessler of the Kansas City park board.

Indianapolis is taking Kansas City as a model for its public and civic improvements, and this in a way is due to the fact that Mayor Bookwalter was at one time a resident of Kansas City. A few years ago the mayor and a delegation of aldermen came to this city to get ideas from the architecture of Convention hall to build a similar structure there.

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September 29, 1908


Upper House Wants Street Sweepers'
Pay Raised First.

The upper house of the council last night defeated an ordinance appropriating $25,000 from funds unappropriated for the building of a bird house for a zoo at Swope park. Aldermen W. C. Culbertson and Isaac Taylor led the opposition tot he measure, their particular complaint being that it is wrong for the city to spend money providing pleasure for the rich and not provide funds to raise the pay of street sweepers from $1.75 to $2 a day.

"This ordinance reminds me of the man who cannot pay his grocery and doctor bills, but can afford to buy and wear diamonds," said Alderman Culbertson.

"Also," interrupted Taylor, who is a tailor, "like the man who lets his tailor's bill go unpaid and buys diamonds -- and that's where I am the sufferer. I love the birds and monkeys, but I love my fellow man who pushes the broom the best."

"Culbertson made a flowery speech here two weeks ago about his love for the street sweeper, and he promised to introduce an ordinance advancing the laborer's pay, but I have failed to see anything of it. Words count something but acts count more."

"I'll introduce the ordinance before this house adjourns tonight," retaliated Culbertson.

"Do it. I'll vote for it," promised Eaton.

The park board has accepted the lowest bid for the construction of the first building for the zoo in Swope park. The bid is about $23,000 and the board is to furnish the stone for foundations.

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September 9, 1908



Park Board Blamed for Refusing to
Reopen Case So That Inside
Workings of the Deal
May Be Shown.

Condemnation proceedings were begun in Judge John G. Park's division of the circuit court yesterday by the city against property owners in the Mill creek valley, where it is proposed to lay out a park. The city council on March 30 approved plans for a park, which were presented to the park board. There are 145 title holders who are interested in the court proceedings, besides every taxpayer in the Westport park district.

Shortly after the court had convened, James E. Trogdon, an attorney representing the Westport Improvement Association, entered his appearance in the case. He made an oral argument objecting to the proceedings. Judge Park ruled that the case had started, and he believed it would be best to finish it. He said that as the objectors had not taken any steps to have the city's action in the park matter set aside before, it was too late to stop the condemnation proceedings. After the jury fixes a valuation on the property, the court said it would then listen to any objections the citizens might have.

George E. Kessler, the landscape architect, was a witness in the morning and testified that in his opinion the land was not too valuable for park purposes. A. P. Nichols, a real estate dealer, was on the witness stand all afternoon. The witness was asked the valuation of property in the park district by separate tracts. The property in the valley, which, the land owners claim would be valuable switching property, the witness testified was worth about $2,000 an acre. While the persons owning the land wanted for park use are claiming the property is of more value than the city claims, the residents in the park district who will be required to pay for the improvement say the city is paying too high a price for the land. They also object to the creek valley being used as a park, on the ground that it is a real estate scheme. The condemnation proceedings will last four or five more days.

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August 22, 1908


They'll Be Placed at Boulevard
Crossings and Curves.

The Chicago plan of warnings to automobile operators on boulevards is to be adopted on the boulevards of Kansas City. This consist of displaying at night red lights at curves that intersect with cross streets. Fifty-two of these red globes, to be illuminated with gas, are to be posted at sharp intersections along the several boulevards, and are to be warning signals to autos to keep to the right of the road and to go slowly. An ordinance authorizing the installation of these lights and a form or rules and regulations will be sent to the council by the park board Monday night for approval.

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August 20, 1908


Park Police Will Arrest All Boister-
ous Rollers Hereafter.

Orders were issued to the park policemen yesterday by William H. Dunn, general superintendent of the parks and boulevards, to maintain better order and conduct among the roller skaters using the sidewalks and boulevards.

Complaints are received daily by the park and police commissioners of rowdyism on the part of roller skaters. Men and even women have been pushed off the sidewalks and abused by the skaters when their conduct was such as to demand remonstrance on the part of the older people. It is also claimed that the roller skates damage the concrete walks and ruin the wearing surface. As the skaters are breaking the city ordinances they will be arrested when they misbehave in any manner.

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August 12, 1908

Park Policeman Accused of Arrest-
ing Two Young Girls
Without Cause.

"He's suspended now, is he not?" asked F. S. Doggett, a member of the park board at yesterday's meeting.

"He is," replied Franklin Hudson, president.

"Then make the suspension indefinite," recommended Mr. Doggett, and the recommendation was ratified.

This is what happened to Herman Roth, a park policeman, who arrested Wanda McComb, 14 years old, and Freda Westerman, 15 years old, at a band concert in Penn Valley park last Monday night and later turned them over to the matron of the Detention home without informing their parents. It was asserted by Mrs. Westerman, mother of one of the girls, that she had investigated and was satisfied that Roth was under the influence of liquor when he made the arrests. She was supported by T. P. Strum and H. M. Ward, motorman and conductor, respectively on a Roanoke car, which Roth boarded with the prisoners. The street car men say Roth rode aimlessly about looking for a police station.

Freda Westerman exhibited several bruises and finger nail cuts on her hands and arms, which she said had been inflicted by Roth. He used profane language when they remonstrated against being dragged through streets and being compelled to take long and unnecessary rides in street cars.

Roth was not present to defend himself. A report was read from Sergeant Becker, the import of which was that he did not believe that Roth was drunk when he made the arrests. The records of the board show that Roth had heretofore been dismissed from the service for drinking while on duty.

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August 4, 1908


Park Board May Forbid Roller Pas-
time If Children Don't Behave.

There is an ordinance against roller skating on sidewalks and boulevards, and the park board is going to enforce it strictly wherein it relates to boulevards unless roller skaters demean themselves in a more orderly manner. Complaints are daily reaching the board of the disorderly habits of some roller skaters, and at yesterday's meeting the board was on the point of forbidding roller skating when a member made an appeal to give them one more chance.

"Notify the police," he pleaded, "to insist on decorum among roller skates and if they persist in their mischief and misconduct, I'll vote to forbid the pastime at the next meeting.

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July 28, 1908



Park Board Accepts the Council's
Recommendation for North End
Playground Sites -- Blacks and
Whites in Seperate Parks.

Booker T. or George -- that is the question. Yesterday afternoon the board of park commissioners reached an almost final conclusion in the matter of North End playgrounds, accepting the council's recommendation that two plots instead of one be set aside, one for the whites and the other for the negroes. One plot chosen is that bounded by Holmes, Cherry, Missouri avenue and Fifth street, and the other is in Belvedere hollow for the most part, and bounded by Troost, Forest, Pacific and Belevedere streets. No estimate of the cost of the two blocks was furnished and the commissioners thought that $100,000 might defray the cost.

"We will have to get a name for them to put in the ordinance," suggested one of the board clerks.

"Certainly, certainly," granted President Franklin Hudson, looking southeast to where Commissioner George T. Hall was sitting.

"To be sure we will have to name them," the commissioner said, proud to rise to the occasion. "'Black' and 'White' would do fine."

President Hudson dropped a bundle of papers he had in his hands and Commissioners George M. Fuller and A. J. Dean hopped as though they were on hot bricks.

"That would never do," came from the chair. "Never do to get names like that," bespake Commissioner Fuller, while Commissioner Dean was wagging his head to beat the band, set in his ways though he almost always is. Flocking by himself was Commissioner Fred Doggett.

"I have a name," said this member, whereupon at once he was given the center of the stage.

" 'Lincoln' and 'Washington' would be appropriate, I think," he went on.

"Had it on my tongue to suggest those self-same two men myself," declared President Hudson, while Commissioners Fuller and Dean, from across the table, glared like frizzling martyrs at Commissioner Hall, who had 'riz the row.

" 'Lincoln' and 'Washington' make it," proposed one member of the board and all the other members, including Commissioner Hall, seconded the motion.

Then there was a lull and a newspaper man naturally asked which was which.

"Mercy, man," replied President Hudson, horror stricken, "we dassent decide that. All we have to do is to furnish playgrounds for the whites and for the negroes. We dassent say which shall be which."

"But you named them," was the protest. "Are the names indices?"

"The park in Belvedere hollow is to be known as 'Washington,' " was vouchsafed, which was a surprise. Negro institutions are generally known as Lincoln, and it had been taken for granted that the custom would be adhered to in the instance of naming the only Jim Crow park Kansas City has contemplated so far.

"Belvedere hollow park will be 'Washington,' " the president insisted.

Trying to see a connection, the president was asked by a colleague if the park was to be named for Booker T. or George Washington.

"Don't let that, get out at the start," was the caution, and the laughter of the austere president of the park board was so uproarious that Commissioner Dean remarked that "that must be a devil of a funny thing Hudson has just got off."

So, after three years of maneuvering and the consideration of seven sites, the North End playground scheme has got as far as the enabling ordinance in the council. Owing to the mixed colors in the north end of the city, it was feared that there would be conflicts in a single playground, minors being unlikely to keep their heads in moments of intensity. The dual plan was proposed, and yesterday was adopted by the park board.

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July 20, 1908


Where They May Exhibit Skill in
Troost Park Lake.

The Kansas City Bait and Fly Casting Club wants the board of park commissioners to help educate city anglers in the art of scientific game fish catching. A letter from the club yesterday asked the board to build two platforms on the lake in Troost park for the use of citizens who would learn the casting art from seeing professional sports fish.

The letter signed by Seldon P. Spencer and members of the Kansas City club, stated that the West Chicago park commissioners are going to help out the Chicago club with platforms in Garfield park in that city, and stated that other city park boards have taken an interest in casting from a scientific standpoint. There are about fifty anglers in the local club. The officers are J. W. Bramhall, president; W. S. Rock, vice president; Charles E. Heite, captain, and George Robirds, secretary and treasurer.

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June 30, 1908





To Make Another Inspection Trip of
the North End in Search of
Available Sites -- Members
Discuss Race Question.

While the board of park commissioners, as a body, is against social equality of the races, the council resolution asking the board to designate sites for seperate playgrounds for the white and negro children of the North End yesterday brougyht expressions from members who do not believe in distinctive action toward segregating the little black folk.

Commissioners Fred S. Doggett and A. J. Dean went on record against two playgrounds because, each said, he does not believe separating the negro children from the white children the proper way to eliminate the bad in negroes.

"A negro's blood is much like water -- it's better when it isn't riled," said Commissioner Dean.

It is not probably, according to the discussion before the board yesterday, that the commissioners will insist on a single playground. The board will, some day this week, make a second inspection trip in an effort to decide the best locations for the two playgrounds. Franklin Hudson, president of the board, does not favor a negro playground on the site recently discussed in the North End, giving as his objections the predominance of white tenants in the vicintiy. Several sites on and near Fifth street have been proposed, but in each case the property fronting on at least three sides of the proposed tracts is occupied by white families.

The board originally intended, the statement was made yesterday, to build two playgrounds, but the one ground asked in their ordinance was to be built at once and a negro playground was to come later. Commissioner Doggett said yesterday that, if the council will not pass the ordinance asked by the board, he favors accepting the substitute and building the two playgrounds at once, but he added that his submission to the wishes of the council does not come from personal sentiment, for he does not believe the races can be successfully separated at play while young.

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June 23, 1908


Is to Be Built by Park Board on
Highest Point.

When Penn Valley park is completed, a castle is to be built on the crest of the hill east of the present lake, overlooking Twenty-sixth street, the Union depot and the West bottoms. It will be the highest elevation in the city park system. George E. Kessler, park landscape engineer, is now planning the structure.

J. C. Ford, 201 New England Life building, yesterday asked the board to consider his suggestion that a building to cost not less than $5,000 be erected on the high elevation. He wanted the building to have a restaurant and a roof garden with a flag polie above to distinguish it. It was after hearing Mr. Ford's suggestion that the members of the board let out the secret that just about such a structure is to be built and that the plans are now being made for it.

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May 26, 1908


Costly Blunder May Yet Be Turned
to Some Account.

It is the intention of the board of parks commissioners to install a pumping engine in the Paseo bath house, and pump the water into the fountain at Paseo and Fifteenth streets. The excess water will be returned to the bath house, purified and aerated. At yesterday's meeing of the park board an extensively signed communication was received from the women residents of the vicinity of the fountain demanding that the water be turned into it. They said that in the present idle shape the "fountain, instead of being an ornament, is an eyesore."

The estimated cost of the pump is $1,500, and the board will decide at its next meeting if the scheme is practical.

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May 19, 1908


Park Board Asked to Designate Plot
in Swope Park.

The park board was asked yesterday by City Comptroller Pearson to designate a plat of ground in Swope park, northeast of the shelter house and near the proposed golf links, for a zoological garden. Maps are to be drawn of the location requested; and in the meantime small shelter houses will be built for the animals and birds already collected for the zoo.

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May 14, 1908


Park Board Could Use the $15,000
the Minstrels Have on Hand.

At a recent meeting of the park board a resolution was adopted recommending the following improvements:

Building a front and installing shower baths in the public bath house on the Paseo at a cost of $4,000; making and installation of shower baths in North End playground, $4,000; installation of shower baths and remodeling in Warner square, Thirteenth and Summit streets, $2,000; enlargement of building in Holmes square, $4,000; building bath house in the Grove, $8,000; bath house in northwest corner of Penn valley park, $8,000; purchase of ground and building bath house on Admiral boulevard, $15,000.

The resolution invited the Megaphone minstrels to turn over to the park board the $15,000 they have in their treasury to assist in carrying out the resolution, and also extended the same invitation to the Playgrounds Association to come forward with the funds it has on hand.

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May 12, 1908


Property Owners on Linwood Boule-
vard Complain to Park Board.

At a meeting of the park board yesterday, a communication was received from property owners along Linwood boulevard that roller skaters have taken possession of the sidewalks to the annoyance of pedestrians, and that some of the skaters are real hoodlums in their conduct. The general superintendent was directed to look into the complaint and to devise a method for stopping the alleged nuisance.

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January 12, 1908


South Side Citizens Meet and Draw
Up Fighting Resolutions.

About forty men, residents in the vicinity of Gillham road, met at the Church of United Brethren, Fourtieth and Harrison streets, last night to protest against the action of the park board in ordering an appropriation of part of that boulevard for the proposed speedway. The meeting was called by Benjaman H. Berkshire, 4018 Harrison street, and J. V. Kendall, Twenty-fifth street and Troost avenue.

A motion was made that those present should resort to every effort to prevent what they thought was the ruin of their roadway, and that every man pledge himself to assist in a financial way if it became necessary for them to resort to the courts. When this motion was put, F. J. Chase, 4100 McGee street, who was chairman of the meeting, asked all those who were in favor of it, to stand. Only four remained seated. The motion was announced, carried and those who voted for it put their signatures to the resolution. This resolution was adopted:

Whereas, The Kansas City park board has assumed to set apart a certain
portion of Gillham road for a speedway in defiance of the purposes for which
that roadway was condemned and paid for, and

Whereas, the use of any portion of this parkway for a speedway will be
detrimental to the interests of those whop were assessed for payment of said
parkway, making it dangerous to life and limb and turning that which was
intended for quite enjoyment of the citizens, over to an entirely different
purpose, to the great discomfort of those living in that vicinity, and to the
depreciation of property values,

Therefore be it
Resolved, That we property owners and residents in the district bounded by
Thirty-ninth street on the north, Brush creek on the south, Troost avenue on the
east and Main street on the west, in mass meeting assembled, do respectfully
protest against the appropriation of any portion of Gillham road parkway for
purposes of speedway or for any other use foreign to the purposes for which the
said roadway was condemned, and ask that your board reconsider your recent
action, and withdraw your consent to such use of any portion of said

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January 8, 1907


Some Say They're to Be Too Near
Railroad Yards.

Many property owners east of Main Street, north of Independence avenue and west of Highland are contemplating a petition to the board of park commissioners to protest against two sites said to have been chosen as playgrounds. A committee selected for the purpose reported Monday that it would recommend two sites, one bounded by Tracy and Lydia avenues, Second and Third streets, and another bounded by Gilliss, Campbell, Third and Fifth streets. The former is said to have been selected for a playground for negroes.

Many of the residents in the districts adjacent are complaining as they say both sites are too close to the railroad tracks. They claim that boys will be constantly tempted to "hop trains."

Property owners in the space bounded by and Forest avenues, Missouri avenue and Pacific street are the biggest objectors. A petition probably will be started in that neighborhood today.

"Twice this block has been selected by a committee," said a property owner in that block yesterday. "At least that was published and it gave rise to the report that our property was to be condemned for park or playground purposed. Many of us had sales consumated, even to the point of a deposit being made. No one would buy our property with the condemnation proceedings staring them in the face."

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August 9, 1907


Park Board Decides on Fourteen
Acres in North End.

At a special meeting of the board of park commissioner yesterday afternoon a resolution was unanimously adopted asking the council to proceed to have fourteen acres of ground condemned for a North end playground. The site runs from Troost to half a block beyond Forest and from First to Fifth streets. This tract is divided by a small bluff. The intention of the park board is really to make of the site two playgrounds, one for negro children and the other for whites. There will be two sets of apparatus, two instructors and two sets of custodians. The district from which the playground is to drraw is inhabited by whites and negroes.

The site agreed upon for the playground is to be known as Guinotte square, having on it the old Guinotte homestead. It is expected to cost about $120,000. For only eight acres of ground two blocks further south, which had previously been thought of, the estimated cost was put at $200,000.

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April 9, 1907


Speed Limit of Eight Miles an Hour
on Cliff Drive.

The board of park commissioners yesterday adopted a rule that automobiles using Cliff drive must enter from the east side, and depart by the west side. Speed limit was confined to eight miles an hour, this regulation, it was stated, being necessary because some of the automobilists have been taking speed liberties both dangerous to themselves and others and the wheels of machines have been tearing up the macadam of the roadways.

"I was going to suggest giving automobiles additional days on the drive," spoke up Mr. Hudson.

"Don't do it, for I would not be in favor of giving them any more days," objected Mr. Fuller.

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April 9, 1907


Declares It Is the Best for Sprinkling

J. F. Downing, a banker, wrote the board of park commissioners yesterday that he has undergone a change of heart as to the practicability of sprinkling boulevards with oil. Last year he protested against oil on Armour boulevard, but he says he has now discovered his error and requrests that oil be used on that thoroughfare "to keep down the dust and preserve the work that has been done on the boulevard."

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April 2, 1907


Park Board Not Responsible for a
Disease Breeding Pond.

Complaint was made to the board of park commissioners yesterday by Charles F. Jackles that a pond at Harrison and Gillham roadway caused by park construction work was a breeding spot for mosquitoes and has caused sickness in his family. He threatens to bring legal proceedings against the city unless the nuisance is abated. The board denied all responsibility for the conditions, and set up the claim that the pond complained of is on private property.

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March 26, 1907


All Day Thursday and Tuesday and
Saturday Afternoons Set Aside.

Automobile owners may hereafter use Cliff Drive every Thursday, all day, and Tuesday and Saturday afternoons. The new order was made yesterday by the park board.

The drive in the past has been given over to automobilists on Wednesday, but this has not been satisfactory to owners of machines engaged in business pursuits and yesterday the club members asked that Sunday and two week days be accorded them on the drive. The board objected to automobiles on the drive on Sunday as that day is used more than any other day for carriage travel, and finally compromised by making Thursday a full day and half days of Tuesday and Saturday for automobiles.

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March 19, 1907


Automobile Owners Want to Use
Cliff Drive on Sundays.

The Kansas City Automobile Club, which, by virtue of permission of the board of park commissioners, has unlimited possession of Cliff drive each Wednesday of every week for the use of autos, yesterday petitioned the board to have Sunday added to its privileges. The communication accompanying the request set forth that busy business men owning automobiles cannot avail themselves of Wednesday to use the drive, and if they are to enjoy it they must have Sundays when they are not occupied with commercial responsibilities. The request was laid aside until all the members of the board can be consulted.

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