January 31, 1910
HOW JUSTICE ROSS
MADE HIS FORTUNE.
DONOR OF MONEY TO MA-
HONEY CHILDREN WAS
ONCE A LAMPLIGHTER.
Formed Partnership With
John Mahoney Twenty-
Five Years Ago.
Justice Michael Ross, of Kansas City, who in the Wyandotte county, Kansas, probate court Saturday gave the children of his dead partner, John Maloney, $50,000, was born in Cincinnati, O., December 19, 1859. His father, Alexander Ross, came to Kansas City in 1866 to aid in the erection of the first gas plant the city had. In June a year later, the family followed him, coming from St. Louis by boat.
"The Missouri was full of boats in those days," said Justice Ross last night, "and was the principal means of navigation between here and St. Louis. Kansas City had a real wharf and it was a busy one."
Two brothers, William J. and James Ross, and a younger sister constituted the children at that time. James was drowned while swimming in the Missouri river in 1872.
"We attended a little frame public school down in the East Bottoms just opposite what was known as Mensing Island," said Justice Ross. "Later we went to Washington school which still stands at Independence avenue and Cherry street. A ward school education was as high as one could go in those days unless he went away, and that was all we received."
After the erection of the gas plant Justice Ross and his brother William secured positions as lamp lighters. It required them to get up at all hours of the night, according to the condition of the weather and the fullness of the moon, both to light and turn out the street lamps. After doing this work at night Justice Ross worked all day on an ice wagon for J. E. Sales. Later on he worked in the old Davis brick yard, which stood about where the Zenith mill now stands in the East Bottoms.
Justice Ross always had in view the day when he would go into business for himself -- be his own boss. With his savings and some help from his mother he started a little grocery and general store on the levee at First and Campbell streets in 1874. After a time his brother, William, was taken into partnership, but remained but a few years. The latter for several terms was a member of the city council.
BOUGHT OTHER STORES.
As the city began to grow away from the river, Justice Ross saw better opportunities and opened a grocery store at 1401-3 East Fifth street, at Lydia avenue, and later another at 1100-2 East Fifth street, at Troost avenue. These two stores were money makers and enabled him later to branch out along other lines.
In September, 1888, Justice Ross was married to Miss Bessie Egan. All of their children, seven boys and four girls, are living, the oldest daughter being away at school near Cincinnati, and the oldest boy at St. Mary's, Kas. Six of the nine children at home attend the Woodland school.
"I knew John Mahoney from the day he came here with the C. & A. railroad," Justice Ross said. "He was doing small jobs of grading in those days and his mother went with him over the country. They used to trade with us at the little store on the levee and when in town Mahoney and his mother stopped at our home."
It was almost twenty-five years ago that Mahoney and Ross went into partnership and the latter has been a silent partner ever since, Mahoney seeing to most of the details and looking after the work. Justice Ross also had other interests, such as tree planting, and planted the trees around the finest residences and along many of the prettiest boulevards. In speaking of some of the work done by himself and Mr. Mahoney, the justice said:
"We built all of the Southwest boulevard, also Fifteenth street, doing the grading work. Roanoke boulevard is another piece of our work, as was the ill-fated Cliff drive, where poor John and his wife met such a tragic fate. We did lots of work on the country roads in Jackson county and built almost all of the roads in Wyandotte county, besides many of the brick-paved streets.
LARGE CONTRACT WORK.
"We also did much work away from here, such as government work on the levee at New Orleans, county roads in Southern Indiana and railroad grading in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Colorado. Mahoney was a man who made friends wherever he went. I just received a letter from Indiana asking if he and McGuire were the same men who were there asking for all particulars."
As Justice Ross's business ventures thrived he found it impossible to give the time required to his two grocery stores, and a few years ago he disposed of them. Previous to that, however, he had established the Missouri Carriage and Wagon works at 308-10 Broadway, which he still operates.
For many years he has been buying property and erecting modern flats thereon. He does not build flats to sell, but he keeps them for what they bring in. When Admiral boulevard was cut through at Virginia avenue, Justice Ross owned a big row of old flats immediately in the right of way. They are brick and their moving back was the biggest job of that kind ever done in this city. He made them modern and is erecting more flats near them.
The prettiest and most costly structure erected by Justice Ross is a flat building at Benton boulevard and St. John avenue, on a promontory overlooking the entire city. He owns forty or more pieces of improved property in the city.
In the fall of 1898 Michael Ross ran for justice of the peace on the Democratic ticket and was elected. Since then he has held the office for three terms, twelve years, winning each time with ease. He said last night, however, that he would not seek the office again. He intends to build a big home in the southern part of the city and he and Mrs. Ross will devote their time to their children. He now lives at 626 Troost avenue.
"John Mahoney almost decided to go to Jacksonville, Fla., with our party," said the Justice. "The ground was frozen and he could not work. But he was such a home-loving man he hated to leave his family, even for a day. I had a premonition when I left that something would happen. When I got the wire the first thing I thought of was his automobile. We did not get the particulars, however, until we got a paper at Memphis, and did not get full particulars and learn that McGuire was killed and the others hurt until we got The Journal at Paola, Kas.
Labels: business, Campbell street, East bottoms, grocers, history, Independence avenue, Justice Ross, New Orleans, politics, public works, real estate, schools, St Louis, Troost avenue, Utilities
January 3, 1910
ONCE THE GATE CITY.
Pioneer Recalls the Days
Before the Railroad
Enchanting is the romance of the Golden West, the story of mountain and plain. Forming the most striking drama in American history, the record, alas, is but fragmentary -- the half has not been told. For, imperfectly have the annals been kept of the vast domain west of the Mississippi river from the time of early settlement to the present. Evidences of marvelous transformation are at hand, fruits of pioneer privations are enjoyed, but the annal of achievement in details has been neglected by historians. Reminiscences of early settlers can now alone supply the deficiency.
To a great extent has the history of Independence, Mo., to do with that of the West. This city was the scene of the initial step in the march of progress. Preparatory to crossing the desert, westward bound caravans procured supplies there. Frontiersmen, explorers and prospectors, returning home, brought to Independence the first news of discovery, for this city was then the greatest trading post in the West.
Prominent among the pioneers was Henry A. Schnepp, who is now a resident of Galesburg, Ill., but is now visiting his brother, David Schnepp, at the latter's home, 413 Whittier place. Mr. Schnepp was conspicuously identified with the early growth of Independence and lived there for fifteen years, leaving during the year 1890.
"In the early fifties Independence was the outfitting point for all the country west of the Missouri river and was the headquarters for frontiersmen," said Mr. Schnepp yesterday afternoon. "The paramount issue was to retain this lucrative trade and active measures were adopted with that end in view. This gave impetus to the construction of the first railroad in the West, which ran from the river to this city. A depot was built at Wayne City and a terminal established at the postoffice. The cars, which ran over wooden rails, were drawn by horses.
"Before the construction of the Hannibal & St. Joe Railway in1856 all transportation was by river. Apropos the recent agitating with regard to navigating the Missouri, it seems to me that as the river was navigable then, it should be now."
GOLD FOUND BY MISSOURIAN.
Mr. Schnepp staged through Iowa when that state was but sparsely settled. When he traveled along the Hawkeye frontier in 1854 the capital of that state was located at Iowa City and the territory west of Des Moines, the present capital, was inhabited almost exclusively by Indians.
"I could never forget the first overland mail route to Salt Lake City. The mail was carried by stage coach and the trip required many days under favorable weather conditions. The route extended from Independence to Westport, thence to Fort Riley, in Kansas; Fort Bridges, in Wyoming, and on to Salt Lake. The charge for carrying each letter was 25 cents, collectable on delivery. Prior to the establishment of the pony express in 1853-4, mail from the West was carried by a boat around Cape Horn."
Mr. Schnepp says that the gold fields of California were discovered by Joseph D. Childs, an uncle of C. C. Childs, an Independence banker. A contractor by profession, Joseph Childs was erecting a mill near Sacramento when workmen excavating a race found gold. This discovery started the rush to California, and Mr. Schnepp was one of the first to go for a fortune. He did not acquire fabulous wealth, but returned home with enough gold that he has not since been called a poor man.
Labels: California, Fort Riley, history, Independence, Missouri river, pioneers, railroad
December 31, 1909
SILVER CITY TO
BECOME A WARD.
ARGENTINE TO BE MERGED INTO
KANSAS CITY, KAS.,
Population 7,000; Its Debts Assumed
and Assets Absorbed -- Will Soon
Have Gas Supply.
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.
HAS FINE SCHOOL EQUIPMENT.
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.
COULD NOT GET GAS.
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.
Labels: Argentine, history, Kansas City Kas, Kaw river, politics, railroad, Utilities
December 28, 1909
SPADE STRIKES A SKELETON.
Woman's Bones Will Be Buried at
Independence City Cemetery.
While digging a trench at the northeast corner of the Waggoner-Gates Mill company property in Independence yesterday, the workmen struck the skeleton of a woman. The bones indicated that burial took place years ago. Some of the old citizens know the location as the Drury Herold place back in the '49s and the custom back in those days was to bury on the premises.
While it was not certain that it was a grave, yet everything indicated that the body was interred after the old fashion and no dread mystery was connected with the find. The bones will be buried at the city cemetery.
Labels: cemetery, history, Independence
November 23, 1909
ACCEPT DEPOT PLAN.
KANSAS CITY'S UNION STATION
TO COST $5,750,000.
Great Structure Will Have Every
Facility for Handling Trains
and Travelers -- Dirt to Fly
in a Few Months.
SOUTH ELEVATION OF NEW UNION PASSENGER STATION.
Five million, seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars will be the cost of Kansas City's new Union passenger station.
The plans prepared by Jarvis Hunt, a Chicago architect, were accepted yesterday by the board of directors of the Kansas City Terminal Railway Company. As soon as the stockholders of the several railroads that are to use the depot ratify the action of their representatives, work will begin on the structure. This consent is expected to be immediate. In a few months dirt will be flying and construction under way.
GENERAL PLAN OF STRUCTURE.
The main entrance to the station will face south. It's exact location will be twenty-five feet south of Twenty-third street, and 100 feet west of Main.
The frontage of the main building is to be 512 feet. The train sheds are to be 1,400 feet long, and are to be constructed so that trains east and west can run through.
The exterior will be of stone, concrete and steel. The roof will be rounding or barrel shape. The general lobby is to be 350 feet long and 160 feet wide, and the decorations and accommodations will be rich and elaborate.
Especial care has been taken in lighting and ventilation; the ceiling will be arched, and will be 115 feet high. The interior walls will be of marble, and massive columns will grace each side of the passageway into other parts of the building.
The center of the lobby will be the ticket office. Adjacent will be the baggage room, where passengers can check their baggage and not be annoyed with it again until they reach their destination.
ON THREE LEVELS.
In a space of 75x300 feet off the lobby will be the restaurants, lunch rooms, waiting rooms, men's smoking rooms, and other utilities. Telegraph and telephone stations, a subpostal station and other accessories will also find places within this space.
On the upper floors will be located the offices of several railroads using the depot together with rooms for railway employes.
Space has been set apart for dining and lounging, reading, and billiard rooms.
From the center of the lobby and above the track will extend the main waiting room, on either side of which there will be midways or passages leading to the elevators to carry passengers to the trains. Smoke and gases from the locomotives will be s hut out from the station by a steel and glass umbrella shed.
There will be three levels to the depot. These are to be known as the passenger level, the station proper; the train service level, from where passengers take the trains, and which is connected with the midways by eight big elevators on either side, and also, stairways; and the level on which are the baggage rooms, express and postal service.
Labels: architects, Chicago, history, Main street, railroad, real estate, telegraph, telephone, Twenty-third street, union station
November 14, 1909
KANSAS CITY MAN THE
BUILDER OF BIG FAIR.
CHAS. J. SMITH, ITS ENGINEER,
FORMERLY LIVED HERE.
Alaska-Yukon Pacific Exposition
His Work -- Started on the Kan-
sas City, Fort Scott &
Charles J. Smith, formerly of Kansas City, built the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific exposition. The fair closed several weeks ago. The builder got little credit. It was his own fault. He stopped the publicity department of the fair from using his name in connection with the work.
It was many years ago that "Charlie" Smith ran about the hillsides of Kansas City, up and down the ravine that was converted into Delaware street, and raced his brothers to their home on what is now Wyandotte street. The family came from Kentucky to Kansas City just before the close of the Civil war. Being strangers and moreover Smiths -- both not uncommon in the growing town -- they passed unnoticed.
WENT TO SCHOOL HERE.
"Charley" Smith went to the schools of Kansas City. After he got older and became ambitious, a friend got him a place in the offices of the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf railroad, now a part of the Frisco system. Smith became a civil engineer. When the Kansas Pacific railroad was being built, the road needed Smith. Smith needed the job and took it. He remained several years. Then he was placed in charge of a large and difficult but of engineering on the Oregon Short Line.
The Smiths left Kansas City. Smith's father also entered the employ of the Oregon Short Line and removed nearer the work. Smith gathered fame as an engineer by doing many difficult jobs. He also became wealthy.
FAIR NEEDED HIM.
When Seattle needed an engineer with big ideas and experience, it asked Smith to undertake the work. But he got little personal advertising out of it. He chose the plans, erected the buildings, beautified the grounds and had the work done on schedule time, the first time a big exposition was ever completed by its opening day.
The reason why Smith got no advertising was that he went to the publicity committee after he was appointed to build the fair and said:
"I am Charles J. Smith. I have been put in charge of building the fair. You can write about it and puff it any way you see fit, but if any of you connect me with the work by using my name, you will be fired in a way that you won't forget."
That's why it was necessary now to give out, at this distance from Seattle, that Charles J. Smith built the fair. All Seattle and the Northwest, or course, could not help but know who built the fair.
Young Smith attended the Humbolt school when the institution was on Eighth and May streets.
"He is the son of a man the old-timers will remember as "Deacon Smith," a pillar of the Second Presbyterian church in the early days," said Colonel E. S. Jewett yesterday afternoon. "He came here when he was about 5 years of age, and went to school with my sons and Jim McGowan and that crowd. The old Humboldt school boys will recollect little Charlie Smith well. When he got out of school, young Smith started railroading. The Memphis ran all the way to Paola in those days, and Smith got a job in the general offices. T. F. Oakes and C. H. Prescott, both with the Fort Scott road, left it to go to Portland, and they induced Smith to go with them. They also took the roadmaster and one or two others. I had lost sight and memory of the boy till now. I see he has a page in the Evening Post. As he has made his million, built the Alaska-Yukon fair and established a national reputation we might as well recollect him.
Labels: history, railroad, schools
October 31, 1909
RAZING A LANDMARK
MADE FAMOUS BY
Oldest Building on Fifth Street
Meets Its End.
THE OLD BREVOORT HOTEL IN WEST FIFTH STREET.
With the razing of the old Breevort hotel at 118 West Fifth street, to make way for a modern building which will be erected shortly, the oldest structure on Fifth street will have been a memory. Long before the '60s the hotel was known as an old building, and no one seems to know the exact date of its erection or its builder.
Standing on an eminence directly opposite Kansas City's first Methodist church, the "Cannon house" as it was called then, was one of Kansas City's most elite boarding houses. The owners of the building rarely rented the rooms to transients, but were content with making it a fashionable boarding house. The rates after the war were $1 and up. In the '70s the building became known as the "Morgan house" and fifteen years ago it was christened the "Breevort."
When Fifth street was graded in the '60s to its present level, the cellar of the Breevort house was on a level with the street. The proprietor immediately arched up the windows, painted the cellar walls and had a three-story building. A week ago, before the structure was being torn down, the old cellar walls were clearly discernible and indicated that at one time Kansas City's hills were much steeper than at present.
"The hotel was an old building when I was a boy," said Dr. W. L. Campbell of 504 Olive street, one of the recognized authorities on early Kansas City history. "I don't think there is anyone living who knows the exact time that it was built or the builder. There used to be a report that Washington Irving stayed there when he made a visit to Kansas City, but I think that the report is generally discredited."
Fred Seewald, who runs a grocery store at 317 West Fifth street, is confident that the building must have been about 60 years old.
"It was by far the oldest building on Fifth street," he said.
Labels: churches, Fifth street, grocers, history, hotels, Olive street, real estate
October 11, 1909
NAMED COUNTIES IN
HONOR OF HER SONS.
MISSOURIANS RESORTED TO IN-
Interesting Compilation by the Late
Calvin Smith Founded on Per-
sonal Recollections and
Although the motto of the late Calvin Smith, Missouri pioneer who died October 1, was "The world is my country," he was none the less specially fond of the great state of Missouri, where he wiled away the years since 1822.
Mr. Smith, having been born in 1813, coming with his father, an 1812 war veteran, to Missouri when he was 9 years old, lived to see nearly every notable event in the civilization of the state and his interest in its future perhaps exceeded that of any other man. He often remarked that while he was spoken of merely as the oldest inhabitant of Missouri, he was really the father of the commonwealth.
Several years before his death Mr. Smith made a compilation of data concerning the naming of the counties of Missouri founded on state records and his personal recollection.
According to his information, Missouri honored her own sons most, naming thirty-three counties after them. Next comes Revolutionary heroes and an even twenty counties bear their name. Washington, Marion, Green and even Sergeant Jasper, who rescued a fallen flag from an exposed parapet during a bombardment, received their tribute at the hands of the Missouri pioneers engaged in county naming.
NAMING THE COUNTIES.
Missouri is an old state and while the civilizing process was going on General Zachary Taylor, nicknamed Rough-and-Ready, was fighting the Seminoles or the Mexicans and ten counties were named after his scouts and officers. Following an old habit of the Indians eleven counties were named after prominent rivers and one, Moniteau, after the Indian word meaning "Great Spirit."
An element of aristocracy and religion was introduced in the naming of St. Charles, in honor of Charles V, of France, and St. Louis after Louis XIV of the same country.
It was a day in which there were as many Dr. Cooks and Lieutenant Pearys when the territory was first opened for settlement but explorers were heroes then as now. Six counties bear names of these forerunners of civilization the most prominent of whom probably was Meriweather Lewis and Zebulon Montgomery Pike.
Origins of other Missouri county names:
ADAIR, called after General John Adair of Mercer county, Kentucky, who was elected governor of that state in 1820, and died May 19, 1840.
ANDREW, called for Andrew Jackson Davis, a prominent citizen of St. Louis and Savannah, Mo.
BATES, called for Frederick Bates, second governor of the state.
BOONE, named for Daniel Boone.
BUCHANAN, named for President James Buchanan.
CALDWELL, named for Captain Mathew Caldwell, an Indian scout and hunter of Kentucky.
CALLAWAY, named for Captain James Callaway, killed by the Indians on the Lutre.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, named for Ensign Steve Girardeau, a Frenchman and Indian trader.
CARROLL, for Charles Carroll, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
CASS, in honor of Lewis Cass, U. S. senator.
CLAY, named after Henry Clay of Kentucky.
De KALB, called for Baron John De Kalb, a Frenchman of Revolutionary fame.
DOUGLAS, called for Stephen A. Douglas.
GENTRY, named in honor of Colonel Richard Gentry, killed at the battle of Ocheecobee, Fla.
JACKSON, in honor of Andrew Jackson.
JASPER, in honor of Sergeant Jasper, who saved the flag after it had been shot down during the bombardment of a fort in the Revolution.
JEFFERSON, for Thomas Jefferson.
JOHNSON, called after Richard M. Johnson of Kentucky.
KNOX, for General Henry Knox of the Revolution.
LAFAYETTE, named after the great French patriot, on occasion of his first visit to the United States.
LEWIS, named after Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark expedition.
MERCER, called after John F. Mercer, also of Revolutionary War fame.
NEW MADRID, a compliment to the capital of Spain.
NODAWAY, coming from a similar Indian word, meaning "placid river."
PLATTE, named after its principal stream.
PULASKI, named for a Polish Count, who was a general in the Revolutionary war.
PUTNAM, named for General Putnam, of Bunker Hill fame.
RAY, named for John Ray of the constitutional convention.
SHANNON, called after Judge George W. Shannon, who was called "Peg-legged Shannon."
SHELBY, called for Kentucky Governor Isaac Shelby.
TANEY, called after Chief Justice Roger B. Taney.
WAYNE, called after Anthony Wayne of the Revolutionary war.
WEBSTER, named for Daniel Webster.
WORTH, called for General William J. Worth of the Florida and Mexican wars.
Labels: history, Native Americans
October 8, 1909
TO GRAVE THROUGH
LINES OF CHILDREN.
YOUNG FOLK PROMINENT FEA-
TURE OF SWOPE FUNERAL.
More Than 60,000 Take Last
Look at Man "Who Gave
Us the Park."
The head of the cortege which will follow Thomas H. Swope to his last resting place will form at the city hall at 1 o'clock this afternoon. From there the procession will march to the public library, thence to Grace Episcopal church, Thirteenth and Washington.
It has been arranged that all children attending school east of Main street will form from the library west on Ninth street and south on Grand avenue, the intention being of the cortege to pass through a line of school children as far as possible. The west of Main street school children will form on Eleventh street west from Wyandotte street and south on Broadway. The children of the Franklin institute, to whom Colonel Swope, conditionally, gave $50,000 before he died, will form on Grand avenue south of Eighteenth street, on the road to the cemetery.
PAY LAST TRIBUTE.
The library doors were opened at 9 a. m. and the waiting crowd began to file slowly by the casket. Instinctively, men removed their hats. Small boys, some of them barefoot, followed this example, keeping the hat close to the heart until the casket had been passed. When there was no rush the crowds passed the casket at the rate of forty to sixty a minute. Between the hours of noon and 2 p. m., however, there was a great increase, and Charles Anderson, one of the police guard, counted 369 in five minutes. Shortly after 3 o'clock, after the flower parade had passed along Admiral boulevard, the crowd became very dense at the library and two lines had to be formed. During that time they passed at the rate of 120 a minute, which would be 720 an hour.
THE SCHOOL CHILDREN'S TURN.
During the morning the school children were released to give them an opportunity to look upon the face of the man "who gave us the park." Some were bareheaded, some barefooted, some black, some white, but all were given the opportunity to look upon the pale, placid face of Colonel Swope.
Mothers who could not get away from home without the baby brought it along. Many a woman with a baby in arms was seen in line. The police lifted all small children up to the casket.
"Who is it, mamma?" asked one little girl, "Who is it?"
"It is Colonel Swope who gave us the big park," the mother replied.
"Out there where we had the picnic?"
"Did you say he gave us the park, is it ours?"
"He gave it to all the people, dear, to you and me as well as others."
"Then part of the park is mine, isn't i t?"
"Yes, part of it is yours, my child."
One white haired man limped along the line until he came to the casket. With his hat over his heart he stood so long that the policeman on guard had to remind him to pass on.
"Excuse me," he said, and his eyes were suffused with tears, "he helped me once years ago just when I needed it most. He was my friend and I never could repay him. He wouldn't let me."
BITS OF HISTORY.
The aged man passed on out of the Locust street door. Every so often during the day the police say he crept quietly into line and went by the casket again, each time having to be remembered to pause but for a moment and pass on. Who he is the police did not know.
Near the casket Mrs. Carrie W. Whitney, librarian, erected a bulletin board on which she posted a card reading: "Thomas Hunton Swope, born Lincoln county, Kentucky, October 21, 1827; died Independence, Mo., October 3, 1909."
In the center of the board is an excellent engraving of Colonel Swope and on the board are clippings giving bits of his history and enumerating his many public gifts to this city. The board was draped in evergreen and flowers.
On a portion of the board is a leaflet from a book, "History of Kansas City," which reads, referring to Colonel Swope:
SENATOR VEST'S TRIBUTE.
"When Swope park was given to Kansas City, Senator George Graham Vest said of Colonel Swope: 'I am not much of a hero worshiper, but I will take off my hat to such a man, and in this case I am the more gratified because we were classmates in college. We graduated together at Central college, Danville, Ky.
"He was a slender, delicate boy, devoted to study, and exceedingly popular. I remember his fainting in the recitation room when reading an essay and the loving solicitude of professors and students as we gathered about him. He had a great respect for the Christian religion. It has gone with him through his life, although he has never connected himself with any church. I know of many generous acts by him to good people and one of his first donations was $1,000 to repair the old Presbyterian church at Danville, where we listened to orthodox sermons when students."
Later Colonel Swope gave $25,000 to his old school at Danville for a library. Then followed his most magnificent gift, Swope park. Its value when given was more than $150,000. Today it is worth far more.
Speaking of Colonel Swope again, Senator Vest said: "In these days of greed and selfishness, where the whole world is permeated with feverish pursuit of money, it is refreshing to find a millionaire who is thinking of humanity and not of wealth. Tom Swope has made his own fortune and has been compelled to fight many unscrupulous and designing men, but he has risen above the sordid love of gain and has shown himself possessed of the best and highest motives. Intellectually he has few superiors. The public has never known his literary taste, his culture and his love of the good and beautiful. The world assumed that no man can accumulate wealth without being hard and selfish, and it is too often the case, but not so with Tom Swope. In these princely gifts he repays himself with the consciousness of a great, unselfish act."
Labels: children, funerals, history, libraries, Locust street, police, schools, Swope park, Thomas Swope
October 2, 1909
CALVIN SMITH, MISSOURI
PIONEER, IS DEAD AT 96.
Came to the State With His Father
in 1816 -- Gave Smithville
Calvin Smith, who was born December 19, 1813, who perhaps was the oldest living Jackson county pioneer in the point of residence, died at 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon at his home, 2495 Harrison street.
Besides a widow, Mr. Smith is survived by six children, Henry, James and Evaston Smith, and Mrs. J. S. Setord, Mrs. Anna Goodenough Smith and Mrs. G. McCleary. Henry and James are lawyer practicing in this city. Burial will be Sunday afternoon in Valley Falls, Kas., under direction of the Masons.
Mr. Smith was born at Humphrey Smith's Mills on Buffalo Creek, New York. His father was a farmer. When tales of the rich French province of Missouri were first wafted East he was quick to catch their inspiration and migrate. In his memoirs written for the benefit of relatives a few years ago, Mr. Smith tells the story of the trip.
"On February 29, 1815," he said, "my father prepared for a trip to the West. He had $4,000 in gold which he put in a belt and buckled it around his waist. In an old style two-wheeled ox cart, drawn by a yoke of oxen, he put his famly and started for Missouri. We went to Olean, a point on the Allegheny river. With his wife and four children he embarked there on a canoe At Pittsburgh, Pa., father had to attach the canoe to a flat bottom boat going to New Orleans.
TO MISSOURI BY BOAT.
"At Louisville, Ky., we met three or four families who were going to the new territory of Missouri. Father chipped in with them and bought a keep boat and we floated down the Ohio river to its mouth.
At the moth of the Ohio river we turned into the Mississippi and the boat was propelled up that river by men who walked along the shore and drew the boat after them, while a man on the boat with a long pole kept it from running ashore.
In time we reached St. Louis, 190 miles from the mouth of the Ohio river. We stopped there two or three weeks. Then we all boarded the keel boat again for another move.
IN CLAY COUNTY IN 1822.
"Eighteen miles brought us to the Missouri river and we went up that river 300 miles to a place called Cole's fort, now Boonville, Mo. We reached there on the first day of July, 1816, just four months to a day from the time we left New York.
"On the 14th day of July my sister, Missouri, was born and about five weeks later, August, 1816, father and his family crossed the Missouri river and settled eight miles east of Old Franklin, Howard co unty. We moved several times, but stayed in that county until 1819. We then moved to Carroll county, Mo. This was during the 'Missouri question,' whether the new incoming state should be a slave state or a free state. The missouri compromise in 1822 settled in favor of a slave state.
"In 1822 father took another move to Clay county, Mo., and settled at a place now called Smithville, in the northwest part of the county. It was then a wilderness, being ten miles to the nearest neighbor."
Mr. Smith came to Kansas City in 1882. Two years later his wife died adn he married a second time in 1889. The second wife, who was Miss Fannie Burton of Kansas City, is living.
During the civil war Mr. Smith sided with the North.
Labels: death, Harrison street, history, New Orleans, New York, pioneers, smithville, St Louis
September 28, 1909
J. L. NORMAN, SCHOOL
BOARD PIONEER, DEAD.
SERVED WITH PUBLIC EDUCAT-
ION FOR TWENTY YEARS.
Appointed Secretary Year Ago After
Retirement From the Abstract
Business -- Funeral Arrange-
ments Not Made.
THE LATE JOSEPH L. NORMAN.
Joseph Lafayette Norman, civil war veteran, compiler of the first set of abstract books in Kansas City, member of the school board for twenty years and its secretary for the last year, died at his home, 816 West Thirty-ninth street at 10:15 o'clock last night after an illness of two months. The funeral arrangements probably will be announced today, by which time a son who is in Mexico, and another who is in California can be heard from.
Joseph Lafayette Norman was born at Hickory Hill, Ill, October 21, 1841. In 1857, the year following the death of his mother, the family moved to Greeley, Kas., and took up a homestead there. A year later Mr. Norman and his father returned to Illinois. In the fall of 1859 Mr. Norman and his father came back West and located at what was Westport, Mo., one mile west of what is now Fortieth street and State Line. The deceased conducted a private school in Westport, and he had to close it at the outbreak of the civil war, August 14, 1862, the day of the battle of Independence, Mo.
ONE SON AN ARMY OFFICER.
Mr. Norman closed his school and with five of his pupils reported at Fort Union on the west side of the city and tendered their services to the government. He served for three years as a member of company A of the Twelfth regiment of Kansas volunteer infantry. At the battle of Westport on his twenty-third birthday, Mr. Norman was aide to General S. R. Curtis and carried across the field of battle an important message under an extremely dangerous fire. His first wife, Miss Martha Jane Puckett, a native of Virginia, died January 1, 1901.
They had five children, the oldest of whom, Captain Trabor Norman, is at present in the infantry, in Southern California. Another son, Joseph L, Jr., is in Mexico. Fred, Frank and Miss Jennie Norman are the other children.
OF A MILITARY FAMILY.
On June 25, 1903 Mr. Norman married Miss Katherine Gent of Kansas City. A son, Howard, was born of this union. Mr. Norman was a member of Farragu-Thomas Post, G. A. R. No. 8, and was also a Mason. H e was the first quartermaster of the Third Regiment N. G. M. In politics he was a Republican.
All of his ancestors were inclined to the military life. His brother, Calvin M., his father, Jones, and his wife's father, William E. Plunkett, all served in the civil war.
His paternal grandfather, Joseph Norman, served in the war of 1812, and his great-grandfather served in the revolutionary war, enlisting from North Carolina.
Mr. Norman commenced the work of getting up a set of abstract books at Independence, Mo. In October, 1865, and in the spring of 18657, with Lafayette Trabor he opened an abstract office. Later the Trabor interests were sold to Richard Robertson. Mr. Norman retired from this business a year ago.
Labels: books, Civil War, death, history, Independence, military, pioneers, schools, veterans, Westport
September 26, 1909
LONG SERVICE IN THE PRIEST-
HOOD IN KANSAS CITY.
Friends to Commemorate the Event
on November 1 -- Came From
Tipperary to the West on
Advice of a Friend.
FATHER PATRICK J. O'DONNELL,
FOR 25 YEARS A PRIEST HERE.
In 1885 St. Joseph's hospital was an unpretentious structure, a building which now forms a small wing to the greater buildings constructed adjoining it. In one corner of the hospital grounds there stood a little frame building which was used by the druggist attached to the hospital.
In addition to the hospital buildings the grounds now contain a finely appointed church. The priest is the Rev. Father Patrick J. O'Donnell. He has been there twenty-four years. The church building has succeeded a modest chapel in which Father O'Donnell first celebrated mass when he was given charge of the chapel. It was his second charge in the priesthood.
On November 1, Father O'Donnell will celebrate his silver sacerdotal. At least, his friends have advised him that they will celebrate it for him. They have arranged a reception with Father O'Donnell as honor guest in the chapel hall at Eighth and Penn streets for the night of the day which will mark his twenty-fifth anniversary as a priest of the Roman Catholic church.
Father O'Donnell was born in Tipperary in May, 1862. He left Ireland when 14 years old and lived for four years with an aunt in New York. In 1880, he returned to Ireland and attended St. John's Theological seminary at Wexford. He completed the course of religious instruction there in 1884 and came direct to Kansas City.
The reason for his choosing Kansas City as a field for religious work was that a classmate in the Irish school had been ordered to the St. Joseph diocese and had written Father O'Donnell of what a fine country the Western part of the United States is. Kansas City at that time was a part of the St. Joseph diocese. The Right Reverend John J. Hogan, now bishop of Kansas City, was bishop of the St. Joseph diocese. Afterward, when the Kansas City diocese was created, Bishop Hogan became spiritual head of the Kansas City diocese and administrator for St. Joseph.
Father O'Donnell's first religious work in Kansas City was as an instructor in the parochial school of the Cathedral near Eleventh street and Broadway. He taught in the school for several months. In November, 1884, he was ordained as a priest in the Cathedral.
The first charge given Father O'Donnell was in Norborne, Mo. At the time of his ordination, Father O'Donnell was too young to be admitted to the priesthood, but a papal dispensation was granted. He remained in Norborne, Mo., until 1885, when he was appointed chaplain to St. Joseph's hospital and celebrated mass each alternate Sunday at Lee's Summit. He retained the Lee's Summit charge for two years.
Father O'Donnell was asked to build a church in Sheffield. He worked for several years to bring it about. After the church was built he celebrated mass in it. Two years ago it was made a separate charge. In the meantime, the new church at the hospital building was erected. It now serves many parishioners in addition to the convalescents at the hospital.
Father O'Donnell is of genial disposition. He is known as "a man's priest" because of the strong interest he invariably has held in athletics and his liking for the society of men. He is a member of the Kansas City lodge of the Elks, being the only member of the order among the priests of Missouri.
Father O'Donnell's family lives in Kansas City, they having removed from Ireland several years after he was assigned to the charge at Norborne. His various charges in Jackson county have given him a wide acquaintance here, while he is one of the few priests ordained at the Cathedral who has retained a parish in the city. As a result of his long residence here, the reception planned for him is to be made notable by his friends.
Labels: Broadway, churches, Eleventh street, history, hospitals, immigrants, Lee's Summit, ministers, schools, sheffield
September 21, 1909
LOTTA DIDN'T WANT
POLICEMAN IN FAMILY.
CAPTAIN BRANHAM NEPHEW
OF FAMOUS COMEDIENNE.
Retirement of "Long John" Recalls
Time He Had Meat Shop on
Main Street -- Former
When "Long John" Branham leaves the police department at the end of the present month Lieutenant Michael Halligan will be the oldest man in point of continuous service on the force. Captain Branham and Halligan joined the force the same day in 1881.
Captain Branham had been town marshal before that, but had resigned to be an officer at the workhouse. After getting through at the workhouse he decided to be a policeman again, and joined during a shake-up.
T. B. Bullene was mayor. John Dunlap and H. H. Craig, now living in Corpus Christi, Tex., were the police commissioners. Governor Marmaduke was shaking things up and eighteen vacancies were created.
Captain Branham, "Mike" Halligan and T. S. Boulware were picked out. Boulware is now with the gas company, and as late as last spring was mentioned for the post of chief of police.
LOTTA IS HIS AUNT.
Halligan is still young enough for his work. He is a giant in stature, broad of shoulder. Captain Branham stood six feet, six inches tall in his day, but now that he is 63 years of age he is not so tall and he is well enough off to care little for working longer.
Besides he has an aunt of whom he always was very fond and who cannot but like him. This is Lotta, the idol of the theater-goers a generation ago.
Lotta, or Lotta Crabtree in private life, is "Uncle John's" age almost to a day, and she is easily worth $500,000. She owns the pile of rock on Admiral boulevard facing the Midland office building. That is the last of her Kansas City holdings, though she made a fortune out of other lots she bought and sold here.
"Uncle John," as she tenderly called Captain Branham, had not a little to do with getting her to invest in real estate here. Lotta is rich, lives like a princess, has a town, a country and a seaside home, so Captain John need not worry, even if he lost the little fortune he has saved.
CAPTAIN JOHN'S MEAT SHOP.
What he saved did not come out of the meat shop he ran where a Main street tailor shop is now. That was when Kump's hall was on the location now occupied by a clothing store, and when they had no doors on most of the saloons.
Branham's meat store was the one price emporium of "Kansas, the Gate City of the West," and old-timers still remember it. Captain John says he never will forget it, for it broke him. He came to Kansas City with $10,000.
As a policeman he was always liked. At 63 he does not like so much strenuosity, and he is in a position where he does not have to like it. Lotta never wanted her nephew to be a policeman, anyway.
QUIT OF HIS OWN VOLITION.
Captain Branham confirmed the report as printed in Monday morning's Journal that he had tendered his resignation to the board of police commissioners to take effect October 1. He denied, however, that his resignation was asked by the commissioners.
"I have been on the department so many years that I want to take a rest," he said. "I have no one to support, and feel that I'm entitled to a respite. I quit of my own volition."
It is likely that no one will be appointed to take Captain Branham's place. Since Captain Patrick Clark's appointment last winter there has been an extra captain on the force. Lieutenant George Sherer will command No. 3 district, where he has been stationed for the last three months.
Labels: history, No 3 police station, police, real estate, theater
September 14, 1909
'CAP' PHELAN, SOLDIER
OF FORTUNE, IS DEAD.
NAME GRAVEN IN WAR HIS-
TORY AS BLOCKADE RUNNER.
Staunch Irish-American Patriot
Mixed in Many Attempts to Free
Ireland -- Stabbed for Expos-
ing Clan ne Gael Plot.
CAPTAIN THOMAS PHELAN.
The death of Captain Thomas Phelan, Irish-American patriot and soldier of fortune, which occurred at 2:30 o'clock last Saturday afternoon, in Bremerton, Wash., ended a life full of romance and a checkered career in war and politics. Early in life he was bitten with the wanderlust, and during the early 60s and 70s helped to make history, not only in America, but in Canada and Ireland. Captain Phelan was 76 years old and leaves a widow and four children.
Being a native of Ireland, Captain Phelan throughout his life and did all in his power to bring freedom to Erin. He was born near the town of Tipperary and came to America about 1857, locating at Independence, Mo. He married Miss Alice Cox of that city.
During the early part of Captain Phelan's life he was embroiled in many attempts to free his native country from the yoke of England. Shortly after his marriage in Independence he enlisted as a volunteer in the Seventh Missouri regiment of the Union army and fought with that regiment throughout the war. He rose from the ranks to a captain. He was in many of the important battles.
NAME IN WAR HISTORY.
One of his daring acts committed during the progress of the war was at the siege of Vicksburg. It was necessary to take a steamboat loaded with cotton and other products, and munitions of war, down the river and Captain Phelan was delegated to run the blockade.
Transferring bales of hay for cotton around the edge of the boat he succeeded in getting safely through the lines. His name appears in Civil war history as that of the man responsible for breaking the blockade.
In the late 60's he gained fame and notoriety by engaging in the Fenian raid from the United States into Canada in a futile attempt to occupy Canada and make it a base of supplies from which to carry on warfare with England for the freedom of Ireland.
The Irish in America congregated about Ridgeway, Canada, for the purpose of an uprising and gaining a stronghold in the Canadian country. Some 1,400 Irish left the United States for this purpose, but boats on the waterways cut off a portion, and they failed to land in Canada. A battle in which many persons were killed on both sides was fought by the Irishmen against the Queen's Own regiment.
While making a visit to his home country, Captain Phelan learned that the Clan na Gael was planning to blow up an English ship named the Queen. Although against England, Captain Phelan did not believe in destroying innocent passengers, and therefore notified the English ship people. In some manner his part became public, and O'Donovan Rossa, editor of the Irishman of New York, attacked his loyalty in the paper.
STABBED THIRTEEN TIMES.
The incident occurred during the term as mayor here of Lee Talbot. Captain Phelan was called to New York to be given an opportunity to explain matters relative to his informing the British of the intended blowing up of the Queen.
Close friendship had before existed between Rossa and Phelan, and the latter did not realize that he was to be the victim of a trap. He went to New York and entered Rossa's office. While there an endeavor to assassinate him was made by an Irishman living in the East. Captain Phelan was stabbed thirteen times and received a broken arm in the attack. He was confined in a hospital in New York for many months on account of his injuries. The news that he gave the information to the English leaked out through a story of the plot printed in Kansas City and written by Frank P. Clarke, a former newspaper man, now living here.
Between the years of 1882 and 1888 Captain Phelan was superintendent of the Kansas City workhouse. He was greatly interested in politics and was a staunch Republican all of his life. When the criminal court was instituted in Jackson county he was appointed clerk of the court and was the first to fill this position. Under Mayor John Moore he served as superintendent of public works. While Colonel R. T. Van Horn was a member of Congress Captain Phelan received the appointment of captain of police of Washington, D. C.
CHALLENGED COUNT ESTERHAZY.
After the civil war he organized Company D of the Third Regiment and was a captain in the regiment for many years. Later he organized Battery B. For the last seven years he had been in charge of a navy yard at Bremerton, Wash., where ships of the United States are repaired. He was holding this position when he died. Captain Phelan belonged to the G. A. R., but was not a member of any other organization.
Captain Phelen also figured very prominently in a duel which was never pulled off. The participants were to have been a Captain McCafferty and Captain Phelan. Rifles were the weapons chosen, and seconds and grounds had been picked when friends interfered.
At one time a number of Irish left America to aid Ireland, whose sons were to rise against England upon a certain day. Chester, England, was the place of the rendezvous for the Irish-Americans. Arms had been secured for their use.
The English troops, however, got wind of the threatened uprising and were sent out in such large forces that the Irish were overawed. The difficulty between Captains McCafferty and Phelan arose out of the means to be used at this time in trying to free Ireland.
Captain Phelan's family resides at 3205 Washington street. Dr. Y. J. Acton of Bremerton notified the family of the death. The body was buried yesterday afternoon in the Soldiers and Sailors' cemetery at Bremerton, Wash., by Captain Phelan's special request.
For many years Captain Phelan traveled over the country giving exhibitions of shooting and fencing. He was a crack shot with pistols and rifles, and was a famous swordsman.
Captain Phelan, while the Dreyfus affair in France was at its height, challenged Count Esterhazy, accuser of Dreyfus, to a duel with swords, to be fought anywhere in the world.
Besides his widow, Mrs. John Young and Miss Annie Phelan, daughters, and two sons, Robert Phelan, a police detective, and Thomas Phelan, survive.
Labels: Civil War, Colonel Van Horn, death, England, history, immigrants, Independence, military, New York, politics, Washington street, workhouse
September 7, 1909
TO READ POSTHUMOUS PAPER.
Prepared for Historical Society by
Late Captain Stephen Ragan.
Dr. Stephen H. Ragan will read a paper, prepared by his father, Captain Stephen Ragan, before his death, at the first meeting for the season of the Kansas City Historical Society, at 8 o'clock Thursday night, September 16, in the public library. Captain Ragan was the son of Jacob Ragan, one of the fourteen original owners of the site of Kansas City in 1834. The society formerly was known as the Early Settlers' Society.
D. C. Allen of Liberty, will address the society October 14. A Missouri river programme will be given November 18, and the December meeting will be devoted to historical data concerning the Shawnee Mission, which still stands southwest of Westport, across the Kansas line.
The officers of the society are: Dr. W. L. Campbell, president; W. J. Anderson, secretary; Mrs. Carrie Westlake Whitney, corresponding secretary; J. A. Bachman, treasurer.
Labels: history, Liberty, organizations, Shawnee Mission
September 4, 1909
WAGON MASTERS TALK
OF OLD TRAIL DAYS.
PLAINSMEN OF 50 YEARS AGO
HOLD A REUNION.
Recall Incidents of Overland Travel
When Indians Roamed Plains.
Man's Arm Amputated With
an Old Saw.
Wagon masters of fifty years ago, to whom the Santa Fe and Great Salt Lake trails were as familiar as their own country roads, gathered yesterday at the "old settlers' " reunion at the Independence fair.
Some of them came from Texas, but the greater number came from Kansas. When they left for the long overland trip it was as wagon masters, but yesterday they came back to a world moved by machinery and electricity. In '49 they left by the slow going wagon train, fording rivers and traveling through a country unblazed by an ax.
The entire forenoon was devoted to reminiscent stories by old men. They held aloof from the track, but their hands tightened on one another as they met.
"There is Wood McMillain," said one. "I would know him as quick as I would know my mother."
The next minute two gray-haired men were deep in the recollection of friends, many of them gone, and as they listened to one another the meeting warmed into life misty memories of the past. Mr. McMillain was one of the old wagon masters of '49. Many an expedition he conducted across the great American desert, now known as Kansas, and yesterday he met many men in the prime of life who knew him. He is now a resident of Denison, Tex.
WHEN INDIANS ROAMED THE PLAINS.
The introduction of wagons for the overland trade came as early as 1824. Colonel Marmaduke was one of a party of eighty which formed a company for the Western trade, 800 miles distant.
When they returned they had silver ore in rawhide sacks and piled the sacks in an adjacent lot close to what is now known as the public square of the county seat.
Jackson Tarquo was on the grounds yesterday.
"I have been over the route several times," he said. "I have never had trouble with the Indians but once or twice. Indians would never sacrifice their men except for revenge or in warfare. Many redskins were killed without cause and in consequence there was bad feeling between them and the wagon men.
"Of course, once in a while a man or a boy would be shot on route and we would bury him after the fashion of the plains. On one occasion the Indians ran off about 400 ponies we were bringing through. They asked for one horse, then for two, and finally, with a whoop, they took all of the ponies. Oxen were used in the early days, but in '49 most of the hauling was done by mules.
"I'll bet I can yet load a wagon and store away more goods than any moving van in Kansas City, and that when the wagon arrives at the end of the long journey not a box or object will be moved one inch out of place. We loaded wagons in those days, and wagon masters understood the art. We would carry through thousands of dollars' worth of goods.
RUDE SURGICAL OPERATIONS.
"Every wolf yell meant Indians to novices in the old days. I went on one trip I can't forget. There was a man who accidentally shot himself in the arm. It was hot and mortification set in. The man would not give up, so we found a saw, whetted a knife, heated wagon bolts red hot and performed a crude job of amputation. After the arm was opened to the bone, we found the saw's teeth were too big, so we filed smaller teeth and sawed through the bone. That man lived for thirty years afterward."
W. Z. Hickman was another old wagonmaster. He is now employed in the county surveyor's office. Yesterday he again became a wagon master for the time being and participated in the talk about the trackless and treeless plains.
Yesterday was the banner day for attendance. The country people turned out. Never was there such a gathering of wagons in the fair grounds. Stations east of Independence sold all of the excursion tickets and before noon the grounds were filled.
Hundreds of awards were made yesterday and special premiums given. F. M. Corn was awarded the third prize for the best yellow corn. J. E. Jones secured first prize and P. H. Curran second. The products of the soil had their inning, and blue ribbons floated from pumpkin to apple piles.
Labels: history, Independence, Native Americans, pioneers, Santa Fe Trail, Texas
September 2, 1909
CITY'S GROWTH BEWILDERS.
L. W. Foster Back for Visit After
Twenty-five Years' Absence.
After an absence from the city of twenty-five years, Leigh Wilson Foster, born here in 1841, returned yesterday for a brief visit. Mr. Foster now resides in Chicago, where he is in the piano business. Having been educated in and graduated from the Spalding Commercial college in 1876, Mr. Foster's first call was at his old alma mater, only to learn, however, that Professor Spalding was in California on vacation.
"I cannot believe this is the same town," said Mr. Foster. "When I was a little fellow we had about 5,000 inhabitants, and when I left there were not twice as many as that. Now the city is tremendous and it embarrasses me to think that I do not know my native place. It has changed more than I have."
Mr. Foster's father, C. G. Foster, who died eight years ago, at one time was part owner of The Journal, then The Journal of Commerce. The Chicago visitor was the city circulator of the paper.
"It was not much of a job to deliver the papers, for the town was small," he reflected, in talking to Rolla Spalding at the old college."
Labels: Chicago, history, Spaldings college, The Journal, visitors
August 27, 1909
DEATH OF AN OLD EDUCATOR.
Jeremiah Enright Had Prominent
Part in School and Official Life.
An educator, who has part in the memories of two generations of Kansas Cityans, passed in death yesterday afternoon of Jeremiah Enright of 516 Belmont avenue. Mr. Enright had lived in this city forty-two years and throughout his life played a promintent part in school and official circles here.
Mr. Enright was 66 years old. He was born in Ireland. Soon after he came to Kansas City in 1867, he began teaching in the parochial schools and many of the more prominent business and professional men of the West, who lived their earlier days in the West Bottoms, had Mr. Enright as their teacher. He was the first instructor in the parochial school of Annunciation parish when the Rev. Father William J. Dalton, at that time ordained only a short while, took up ministerial duties in the West Bottoms. The church and school grew fast. Afterwards, Mr. Enright taught in the parochial school attached to the cathedral. His earnestness as a teacher andt eh personal interest he took in his pupils were marked characteristics. He became a teacher in the public schools several months after teaching in Independence, to where he rode on horseback each school day. His promotion in the public school was rapid and he served as principal of the Humboldt and Woodland schools.
In official life, Mr. Enright was city clerk in the administration of Mayor R. H. Hunt and for eight years was a deputy recorder. After leaving the latter position, he took up the examination of titles. In recent yeras, he had served as an assistant probationary officer. Mr. Enright lived on a tract of land which he bought when only a cow track led to it from Main street.
Mr. Enright married in 1868 Miss Katherine O'Grady of St. Louis. She and six children survive him. The children are John P., Joseph J., Edmund J., Katie, Margaret and Josephine Enright. The funeral will be tomorrow morning at 9:30 from St. John's church.
Labels: Belmont street, churches, death, Father Dalton, history, immigrants, Independence, ministers, schools, West bottoms
August 11, 1909
"MOTHER" WAKEFIELD IS DEAD.
Once Kept a Boarding House for
Benefit of Policemen.
Mrs. Sophia L. Wakefield, "mother" of the police department, died of paralysis at 11 o'clock last night at her home, 2906 Penn Valley park. She was 70 years old and a widow. Her husband, a major in the Union army, was killed in the civil war. Funeral arrangements have not been made.
Many of the older members of the police force will remember "Mother" Wakefield, as she was lovingly called in the days when she kept a little boarding house for the benefit of policemen at 206 East Sixth street. No restaurant in the North End, then a better place in which to live than now, could compete with her in the culinary art, and when her pleasant smile of welcome and ready sense of humor were thrown in with the repast, the satisfaction afforded by the meals to the big officers knew no bounds.
Mrs. Wakefiled was born in Chatham, Canada, and came to this city forty years ago. She is survived by two sons, Hank Wakefield, a former circus press agent, and William, a member of a troup of acrobats.
Labels: boarding house, circus, history, North end, Penn Valley park, police
August 9, 1909
FINDS A CITY TRANSFORMED.
F. S. MacJohnstone Tells of Kansas
City 25 Years Ago.
"Kansas City was a mud hole when my wife and I left it for the West a quarter of a century ago," said F. S. MacJohnstone of Colorado Springs, Col., at the Hotel Moore last night. "Its transformation as we viewed it today from an automobile which whirled us over the magnificent boulevards is wonderful. Twenty-five years ago there were huge, ugly hills with rocks jutting out on every side, steep walks, poor sewerage, hilly paved streets and no park system. Now you have the opposite. In Colorado we have beautiful drives and parks for our natural mountain scenery gives us an unrivaled background.
"Neither my wife nor I deemed it possible that Kansas City could make the strides it has since we left it. We have read of the growth of the city but did not realize its extent. We drove this afternoon through Roanoke. We used to go nutting in what is now one of the prettiest residence districts in the city. At that time it was occupied by a few shacks.
"Although my father and I furnished locks and hardware for the Old Missouri Valley buidling which was located somewhere near Fifth and Delaware streets, the only familiar sight we met of any conssequence was the old Blossom house, opposite the Union depot. The hotel was built before we left Kansas City."
Mr. MacJohnstone is a former alderman of Colorado Springs. With his wife he came to Kansas City to attend the wedding of a cousin, Fred MacJohnstone of Chicago, to Miss Lydia Dunning of Rochester, N. Y. Miss Duning was the guest of the MacJohnstones at Colorado Springs and came to Kansas City with them. The bride and groom departed yesterday for Chicago.
Mr. and Mrs. MacJohnstone left last evening for Denver.
Labels: Chicago, Delaware street, Denver, Fifth street, history, hotels, New York, Union depot, visitors, wedding
August 4, 1909
WIPING OUT A CAR LINE.
W. H. Winants Tells of Pioneer
Movement in Electric Railways.
Some idea of the complete way in which the street railway properties are wiped out may be gathered from the fate of the old Northeast electric line. It was only in an accidental way yesterday that the fact was developed that within the last twenty years there was built, operated and wiped out in this city an electric railway. The contractor who was speaking of the line could not recall particulars of it, but remembered that Colonel W. H. Winants, president of the Mercantile bank of this city, had been president of the old company. When Colonel Winants was asked about the road he told a story that was one of pioneering.
"Municipal transportation is a dangerous thing," said the Mercantile bank's president. "So many bright minds are bent upon perfecting the means of rapid transit that great discoveries are made, so great that they destroy all earlier methods. Eight men, including myself, found some twenty years ago that horse cars, dummy engines and cable railways would soon be obsolete and that electricity would be the moving power.
"We raised money for a line and took over the Northeast horse car line. That system ran from the Market square to Woodland avenue by way of Independence avenue. It took care of only that territory, and being a mule line, was not conducive to settlers going beyond. With electricity available we went further. We left Independence avenue and laid rails along the present route, though not so far east as the cars now go.
"When we went out there we went out alone. Our equipment was crude, being then newly invented, and the consequence was the service was not as good as it might be. It would not be accepted today. But we ran electric cars, the people saw how much faster they went than the old mules, and how much farther they could go without coming to a dead stop. Mules would go only so far.
"Poor as our service was, the line began to develop the country, and in an incredibly short space of time there were houses going up all along the route, and thus began the growth of the northeast part of Kansas City. The street cars did it."
Asked what became of the line, President Winants laughed and said that "modern inventions and other things made it necessary to get a bigger company, the Metropolitan, to take it over.
"I had the honor of being the president of the first electric line in Kansas City, and the only 'gravity system' we have had. One morning I arrived at the car line barns at Highland avenue, or near there, and found the trolley had got mixed up with the overhead rigging, and had been torn off the top of the car. It would not do to tie up the system. It was time for people to be getting down town. So I had the trolley pole laid at the curb, closed the doors, told the passengers there would be no stop made till we got to the end of the line, thus giving a chance to any who wanted to get off, and away we went.
"It was a downhill run all the way except past Shelley park, and we gathered enough momentum before reaching that level to carry us on to the next decline. We made the trip all right, and thus began and ended Kansas City's gravity line.
"Seriously speaking," resumed Colonel Winants, "there is a great risk in street car sureties. The lines have to spend vast sums of money pioneering. They do a tremendous amount of good to the city and a new invention may wipe them out."
Labels: banking, city market, history, Independence avenue, Northeast, streetcar, Woodland avenue
July 31, 1909
DEATH CAME SUDDENLY
TO P. D. RIDENOUR.
HEART DISEASE CLAIMED PIO-
NEER WHOLESALE GROCER.
Had Been Ill at Home About Ten
Days, but Fatal Termination
Was Not Expected by
THE LATE PETER D. RIDENOUR.
Peter D. Ridenour, pioneer wholesale grocer of Kansas City, died suddenly of heart disease at 11:00 last night at his home, 1416 East Eighth street. He was 78 years old, and as the result of complications due to old age has been kept home from the store at 933 Mulberry street, in the West Bottoms, for over a week. His fatal illness is believed to have begun ten days ago when he first complained of shooting pains in the vicinity of his heart.
At his bedside when he died were his wife, Mrs. Sarah L. Ridenour and his son, Edward M. Ridenour. The family physician, Dr. Lester Hall, and Dr. R. T. Sloane, who had been called in, were in attendance, but neither believed death would result from the indisposition.
BORN ON OHIO FARM.
Besides the widow and the son, Mr. Ridenour is survived by three daughters, Mrs. Catherine Lester, Mrs. Alice Raymond and Miss Ethel Ridenour, all of this city, the last named living at home. Four brothers are living, T. M. Ridenour in Colorado, Irving W. in Richmond, Ind.; Elisha at Liberal, Mo., and Samuel Ridenour, who through the death of his brother will become president of the Ridenour Baker Grocery Company, lives at the Washington hotel.
Funeral arrangements have not been made.
Peter D. Ridenour was born May 5, 1831, on a farm of one half mile south of the village of College Corner, O. His parents were of Dutch extraction and pioneers of the state. The town received its name form its location in the northwest corner of the land donated to the Miami university. In 1837 his father bought a store in the town and in it for the next seven or eight years young Ridenour gleaned the knowledge of the grocery business so useful to him in after years.
At the age of 26, Mr. Ridenour married Miss Sarah Louise Beatty at Xenia, O., and moved to Lawrence, Kas. Part of the trip was made in boats because there was no railroad leading into Kansas City or in fact any other town in the vicinity of the Sunflower state.
BEGAN BUSINESS IN LAWRENCE.
With his brother, Samuel, who also had left the old home in Ohio to come West, Mr. Ridenour started a small grocery store at Lawrence taking as partners in the business Harlow W. Baker of that city and later his three brothers. This was in 1858.
By the death of Mr. Ridenour last night Samuel Ridenour became the sole survivor of the original Ridenour Baker Grocer Company. This firm was incorporated thirty-one years ago when having grown to dignified proportions it was moved from Lawrence to its present ho me on Mulberry street. Such has been its progress in Kansas City that it has been able to establish branch stores at several points. Both Peter and Samuel Ridenour grew wealthy. P. D. Ridenour's estate probably amounts to about $300,000.
Mr. Ridenour was known as a public spirited citizen. Three years ago he was vice president of the Commercial Club and was offered the presidency but he refused because of his advanced age. He maintained a large farm near Dallas, twelve miles from Kansas City, where he had intended to spend the remainder of his life.
Labels: bakers, Commercial Club, death, doctors, Eighth street, grocers, history, Lawrence, Mulberry street, pioneers
July 27, 1909
HELPED MAKE HISTORY
IN KANSAS CITY KAS.
BYRON JUDD, RESIDENT SINCE
1857, IS DEAD.
Held Many Positions of Trust and
equipped First Horse Car Line
in the City -- Was 85
In the death last night of Byron Judd, a pioneer resident of Kansas City, Kas., the city was deprived of perhaps its most widely known and lovable characters. He was a man of rare ability, and was noted for his keen, incisive mind. Every enterprise of worth which marked the early transition of a straggling Indian village into the metropolis of the state is closely interwoven with the name and personality of Byron Judd. Although his advanced age of late years prevented his active participation in the affairs of the city, his mind retained the vigor of youth and his counsel upon questions of moment was highly valued and eagerly sought.
ANCESTORS IN MAYFLOWER.
Byron Judd was born August 13, 1824, at Otis , Berkshire county, Mass. His parents were farmers and pointed with pride that their ancestry could be clearly traced to the landing of the Mayflower. He received his education at the state normal and at Southwick academy. As a young man in his ho me town he held many minor offices, among which were school commissioner, township assessor and selectman.
In 1855 he left his native state and journeyed westward to Iowa, being made deputy land recorder at Des Moines, a position he held until his removal in 1857 to Kansas City, Kas., or, as it was then known, Wyandotte. In 1869 he was elected a member of the board of aldermen of the city. In 1863 he was elected county treasurer of Wyandotte county. He was married in 1865 to Mrs. Mary Louise Bartlett.
During the early days of Wyandotte he engaged in the banking and land business which he carried on for many years, having been the first land agent in the city. He was president of the council in 1868 and was elected mayor in 1869. This administration was remarkable for the spirit of enterprise displayed and was in fact the beginning of that civic pride which has since characterized the city.
EQUIPPED FIRST HORSE CAR.
Mr. Judd was made United States commissioner in 1870. In 1871 he organized the First National bank of that city and served as president and cashier of the institution. He remained a director in the bank for many years. In connection with W. P. Overton and Luther Wood he went to St. Louis and purchased the material and equipment for the first horse car line in the city.
He was elected state senator in 1872 and served in that capacity until 1876. Although a staunch Democrat, he was not in sympathy with the border warfare and many of the outrages committed during that period were fearlessly denounced by him.
His is survived by his only daughter, Mrs. Sarah Judd Greenman, public librarian of Kansas City, Kas.
Funeral arrangements have not been made.
Labels: banking, Civil War, death, Des Moines, history, Kansas City Kas, libraries, pioneers, politics
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