Find Kansas City Antiques and Collectibles at the Vintage Kansas City Marketplace ~ Own a Piece of Old KC

Vintage Kansas



Old News
Headlines and Articles from The Kansas City Journal

Business Office...4000 Main
City Editor.....4001 Main
Society Editor....4002 Main

Two cents. Subscription Rates:  By carrier, per week, 10 cents; per month, 45 cents.  By mail, daily and Sunday, one month, 40 cents; three months, $1.00; six months, $2.00; one year, $4.00.  Sunday only, six months, 75 cents; one year, $1.50.  Weekly Journal, 25 cents one year.

Like Vintage Kansas City on Facebook

As We See 'Em ~ Caricatures of Prominent Kansas Cityans

The Isis Theatre ~ Kansas City, Missouri

The History of Fairmount Park

Claims of Cancer Cured by Dr. Bye in Vintage KC Missouri

Special Cut Prices ~ Always the Same

Blogging Fusion Blog Directory

February 9, 1910


Saves People Interested in Special
Stars Delving Into Techni-
cal Books.

Persons interested in astronomy, who formerly went to the public library, looked through many books and contended with the technical terms of that science in order to find out the position of a planet, the route of Halley's comet or other astronomical data, will be pleased at the innovation of the librarian.

She has prepared two charts of the heavens, each one for a month, showing the position of the planets and other heavenly bodies. One is for January and shows the route of Halley's comet. The other is for February. Both have been placed against one of the big columns on the first floor of the library building, facing the door.

"A great many people have lately come to the library asking for books on astronomy," said Mrs. Carrie Westlake Whitney, the librarian, yesterday.

"Their interest probably has been aroused by Halley's comet. They don't want theoretical treatise nor books with scientific terms, but books in simple language, easily understood. Because of this I devised the plan of putting up these charts and referring people to them. Most people find all they wish to know by looking at them. The create a good deal of interest.


February 8, 1910


Twenty-Five Thousand Dollar Tract
Presented to School Board.

Property valued at $25,000 at the northwest corner of Twenty-Fifth and Holmes streets has been presented by Louis George, a retired trunk manufacturer, to the board of education. The one stipulation is that the land, consisting of 175 x 130 feet, be made the site of a branch public library.

Mr. George made the gift to conform with the wishes of his wife, now dead. The deeds conveying the property to the school board have been executed. The board will meet next Tuesday to accept the gift and express its thanks to the donor. Mr. George will continue to live on the south forty-five feet of the tract.

Labels: , , ,

February 5, 1910


Famous Bruner Collection to
Be Exhibited in Pub-
lic Library.

The Kansas City board of education has come into possession of the Bruner collection of minerals, said to be worth about $35,000. The collection, sacrificed by W. A. Rule for $5,000, is the gift of Colonel Daniel B. Dyer of Atlanta, Ga., through his attorney, Colonel L. H. Waters of Kansas City.

The collection, to be placed in the museum in the public library, was on exhibition in Kansas City for many years. It was a valuable asset, and when its owner, R. E. Bruner, needed money it is said he readily secured nearly $20,000 for it. The collection finally became the property of W. A. Rule and was placed on the market at the low price of $5,000 by him, with the condition attached that the purchaser who took advantage of his liberality and money sacrifice should present the exhibit to the board of education. This Colonel Dyer has done, and the board of education formally accepted the gift.


Colonel Dyer of Georgia has been identified with the museum at the public library since its inception. In 1904, as a nucleus for a museum, he gave Kansas City a rare collection of Indian, Mexican and Oriental curios, second, doubtless, to none in the world. The sole consideration imposed by Colonel Dyer was that the museum he was founding should bear his name. Since then he has made valuable additions to the museum. About a month ago his attention was called to the collection of minerals and geological specimens in the possession of Mr. Rule. Colonel Dyer at once commissioned his attorney, Colonel Waters, to negotiate for the collection.

The collection was formally presented to the board of education Thursday evening. Mineralogists of national reputation, who have seen the Bruner collection, say the specimens are like rare postage stamps, in that they exist only in collections which are not for sale.


February 1, 1910


Letter to Council Suggests Opening
Afternoons and Evenings.

An anonymous communication was read in the lower house of the council last night, asking that some one introduce an ordinance requiring the public library to pen from 2 to 10 o'clock p. m. on all holidays.

"Many men have no place to on on such days," said the letter, "and with the library closed they drift into the pool halls and saloons and come under evil influences. The library should be kept open part of the day for them."

The attaches of the library work from 9 o'clock a. m., to 10 p. m. every day and holidays are the only days they have for recreation. The letter was referred to the board of education, as that body controls the opening and closing hours of the library.

Labels: , , , ,

December 16, 1909


Jackson County Medical Society to
Build on Thirty-First.

The Jackson County Medical Society has purchased a lot at Thirty-first street and Gillham road, and some time after January 1 definite plans will be adopted for the erection of a building, which is to be the ethical home of the physicians of Jackson county. the structure will be used as a meeting place, and will be equipped with a large medical library and a museum. It is the intention to raise the necessary funds for the enterprise by subscription.

About 320 Kansas City doctors are members of the society, and they are working as a body to secure headquarters that will be a credit to the profession and to Kansas City as well.

Labels: , , , ,

October 8, 1909



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.


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.


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."


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:


"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: , , , , , , , ,

October 7, 1909


At 9 o'Clock This Morning Public
Will Be Admitted to Rotunda of
Library to Pay Last Tribute.

The body of Colonel Thomas H. Swope, Kansas City's great public benefactor, now lies in state in the rotunda of the public library building, Ninth and Locust streets. The body rests in a massive state casket with deep scroll mountings. The casket, copper lined, is made of the finest mahogany, covered with black cloth. Solid silver handles extend the full length on each side.

At 9'o'clock this morning the public will be admitted and given an opportunity to look for the last time upon the face of Kansas City's most beloved citizen. Last night the body was guarded by a cordon of police commanded by Sergeants T. S. Eubanks and John Ravenscamp. They will be relieved this morning by others. The police will be on guard until the funeral.

At 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon Mayor Crittenden accompanied by Police Commissioner R. B. Middlebrook and Aldermen O'Malley, Edwards and Wirtman from the upper house and Aldermen Morris and Gilman from the lower house of the council, went to Independence to receive Colonel Swope's body.

It was 4:10 o'clock when Mayor Llewellyn Jones of Independence, accompanied by the city council of that city, made formal delivery of the body. It was carried to the waiting hearse, by G. D. Clinton, J. Wesley Clement, H. A. Major, A. L. Anderson, J. G. Paxon and M. L. Jones, all citizens of Independence.

Ten mounted policemen, commanded by Sergent Estes of the mounted force, acted as convoy to this city. It was at first planned that the Independence officials should accompany the body as far only as their city limits. However, they came to this city and saw the casket placed in state in the library. Those who came from Independence were Mayor Jones and Aldermen E. C. Harrington, J. Wesley Clement. H. A. Major, M. L. Jones, A. L. Anderson and Walter Shimfessel.

Upon arriving at the public library six stalwart policemen removed the casket from the hearse and placed it on pedestals in the rotunda. After giving instructions to the police on guard, Mayor Crittenden and Commissioner Middlebrook left with the members of the council.

Only one relative from out of the city, Stuart S. Fleming of Columbia, Tenn., is at the Swope home in Independence. He arrived yesterday. Colonel Swope was his uncle. Last Friday night, James Moss Hunton, Mr. Fleming's cousin, died at the Swope home. A few hours after he received notice of his death, Mr. Fleming's wife passed away. Sunday night he received notice that his uncle, Colonel Swope, was dead.

"My mother, Colonel Swope's sister, is 77 years old," said Mr. Fleming yesterday. "She is prostrated and was unable to accompany me."

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

October 6, 1909



Body to Rest Temporarily in Vault.
Later Suitable Monument Is
to Be Erected Over

The body of the late Thomas H. Swope will be brought from Independence at 5 o'clock tonight and lie in state in the Library building, Ninth and Locust, from 9 a. m. Thursday to noon of Friday.

Funeral at 3:30 o'clock Friday afternoon from Grace Episcopal church. Body will rest temporarily in a vault at Forest Hill cemetery.

The body of Colonel Thomas H. Swope is to rest temporarily in a vault at Forest Hill cemetery to await arrangements to be perfected by Kansas City for a final resting place in Swope park.

A monument appropriate to the man who while in life was the city's greatest benefactor and the poor man's friend is to be erected over the grave, and the design in all probability will be a statue. A mask of Colonel Swope's features will be taken at Independence this morning and kept in reserve.

Colonel Swope is to be given a public funeral at 2:30 Friday afternoon, in which the militia, civic and commercial organizations of the city , the governor of the state of Missouri and other distinguished citizens will take part. The tribute from the city will be as free from ostentation as the occasion will permit. There will be no extravagant floral displays, nor flights of oratory. There are to be but two floral offerings at the bier. One will be a blanket of roses for the casket from the family, and the other a broken shaft of choice exotics from the city. It was the colonel's request that there be no lavish display of flowers.


The simple and beautiful burial services of the Episcopal church will be read by Bishop E. R. Atwill at Grace Episcopal church, Thirteenth street, between Broadway and Washington, and the choir will render appropriate music. In arranging the official programme yesterday, the committees representing the city did not fully complete the details for having the children of the public and private schools participate in the exercises. John W. Wagner, who, with Alderman Emmett O'Malley, has in charge the completion of added details, said last night that he will endeavor to have several thousand school children lined along the sidewalks on Eleventh street, west of Wyandotte, and south on Broadway to Thirteenth street, as the funeral pageant moves to the church. The children will probably sing "Nearer My God to Thee." The participation in the services of school children was suggested to Mr. Wagner by S. W. Spangler, business manager for Colonel Swope.

"School children used to come to the colonel's office by hundreds to look at the man who had given Swope park to the city," was Mr. Spangler's explanation.

The body of Colonel Swope will be escorted from Independence by Mayor Crittenden, Aldermen O'Malley, Wirthman and Edwards, of the upper house; Aldermen Morris, Gilman and Wofford of the lower house, and a detail of mounted police. From 9 a. m. Thursday to noon of Friday the body will lie in state at the library, guarded by a detachment of police and state militiamen. Entrance to the building will be by Ninth street and egress by Locust street.


The funeral cortege will move from the library building at 2 o'clock Friday afternoon in the following order:

Mounted Police.
Third Regiment Band.
Battery B.
Police on Foot.
Fire Department Detail on Foot.
Civic and Commercial Organizations.
City Officials in Carriages.
Honorary Pallbearers.
Active Pallbearers.
Family in Carriages.
Citizens in Carriages.


There is to be a special meeting of the board of education this morning to consider the suggestion that the pupils of the public schools participate in the funeral of Colonel Swope, and to plan arrangements for having the body lie in state at the library.

Last night Mayor Crittenden and John W. Wagner conferred with J. Crawford James, chairman of the board, on the propriety of the pupils being stationed at a point along the funeral march. Mr. James took kindly to the suggestion, and will present it to the board.

Contrary to general belief, Thomas H. Swope did not gain the title of "Colonel" in warfare. A newspaper during an exciting campaign of civic improvement used the title, which did not have the entire sanction of Mr. Swope.

"Now I will have to go through life with the unearned title of colonel," he complained one day to Kelly Brent.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

October 1, 1909


Funeral Services of J. L. Norman,
Westport Presbyterian Church.

Funeral services for Joseph L. Norman, late secretary of the board of education, who died last Monday, were conducted at 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon by the Rev. George P. Baity at the Westport Presbyterian church. A large audience heard the sermon and followed the body to its burial in Forest Hill cemetery.

All the flags on the public schools were at half mast as was the one on the public library, which was closed all day.

Labels: , , , , ,

September 22, 1909


Cynics Might Learn Lesson in
Optimism There -- Uncle Sam
Helps Find Delinquents.

The cynic who believes that the world is going to the bow-wows because of increasing dishonesty could take a lesson in optimism at the public library from the infrequency with which books are stolen by the general public.

"The number of books lost through theft in the course of a year is surprisingly small when it is taken into consideration that the library, to meet its greatest usefulness, is forced to allow the books to be taken out in a rather indiscriminate way," said Mrs. Carrie W. Whitney, the librarian. "And beside that, it doesn't seem any more of a crime to a book lover to steal a book than it does to a man with a plug hat to steal an umbrella on a rainy day."

In spite of the air of trust that surrounds the obtaining of books at the library, close supervision over thousands who receive books from there is maintained. The most potent agency used by the library in finding thoughtless persons who take public library books with them when they remove to some other portion of the city than the residence they gave in getting the library card, is the postoffice department. Persons who leave Kansas City are located through the same agency.

When almost every effort to locate the thoughtless borrower had bee made, the librarians drop a registered note in the mails. Uncle Sam takes charge of it. There are few persons who do not leave a new address at the postoffice. They may ignore polite notes to return the book, leaving the librarian to believe they never received the letter.

But when a registered letter arrives, their signatures must be placed on the return slip, which is sent back promptly to the library. This course rarely fails to locate the borrower and the book.

Labels: , ,

September 20, 1909


But Mrs. Whitney Carried Rabbit's
Foot When Near Stepladders.

Mrs. Carrie Westlake Whitney, librarian of the public library, is the possessor of a rabbit's foot these days. About twenty five painters have been at work on the library building for the past six weeks, painting the interior, and there are so many step-ladders around that Mrs. Whitney always pauses before entering the building to see if she has her rabbit's foot with her.

"I wouldn't dare go under one of those ladders without my rabbit's foot," she said yesterday. "My charm is the left hind foot of a rabbit that was killed in a graveyard by a red-headed negro at midnight."

Miss Bishop, assistant librarian, has no rabbit's foot, because she is not superstitious, she says.

Labels: , ,

July 27, 1909


1857, IS DEAD.

Held Many Positions of Trust and
equipped First Horse Car Line
in the City -- Was 85
Years Old.

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.


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.


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: , , , , , , , ,

April 23, 1909



In Dedicatory Lecture at Jewish
Educational Institute, Chicagoan
Talks of Discrimination
Against the Jews.
The Jewish Institute.

Spurred on by a desire to better the condition of the Jewish emigrant to this country and this city, the Jewish educational institute was organized six years ago and occupied a small building at 812 East Fifteenth street. After the fourth year of its existence the officers in charge decided to make it more of a power among the Jewish communities of Kansas City. To this end the late home of the institution, 1702 Locust street, was secured and the work was taken up with renewed vigor. During the past two years the utility of the institute has been demonstrated by its growth in popularity and the number of Jews who have attended the night school. The consequence of this growth was that the institute outgrew its home.

The handsome new building, at Admiral boulevard and Harrison street, is constructed of vitrified brick and is three stories in height. In the basement of the building is located a gymnasium and bath rooms for both men and women. The second floor will be given over to educational work of all kinds. Chief among the educational branches is the class in English for those who have recently come to America, and classes in civil government will be given special attention. Besides these classes, manual training, such as cooking and sewing, is to be established for the women.

The new building will contain a library composed of good fiction and reference books. The top floor is given over to a large auditorium in which weekly lectures are to be held for the patrons of the institute. This room will also be used for social events as well. The day nursery department will be one of the most praiseworthy features of the institute, and there the children of the women who are forced to work for a livelihood will be cared for during working hours.

Rabbi Hirsch of Chicago.

Before an audience that filled the auditorium last night, Dr. Emil G. Hirsch of Chicago, in his dedicatory lecture, spoke on the duties of society.

"We are what we are through others," said he. "What little charity we give by no means measures what we owe. The property which you own has increased in value through no effort of yours. Its situation and mainly the incoming population has made it increase. You have not so much as touched a spade to it. This is Socialism, but what of it?

"Under Jewish law, land belonged to God, and no man had a right to the same property more than fifty years. Man, today, holds his possession in a title to which society is a determining element. Since you receive great returns from society you must give something to society.


" 'Am I my brother's keeper?' questioned the first murderer. That is indeed a murderer's question. Society is never better than the worst in society. We are our brother's keeper. Insane and evil are individual and perpetual elements, but society is responsible with the individual for the blood spilled and the sighs which are winged to heaven.

"As we keep our brother, in that manner shall we improve or degrade society."

From the question of general society Rabbi Hirsch turned to the matter of the discrimination against the Jews as a class.

"It is the greatest insult when one approaches a Jew and tells him that since he looks so little like a Jew he will be welcomed into a certain sect. I tell the man who utters such insults that I am better than he.. In the University clubs throughout the country, Jews are barred for no other reason. When I pass the University club in Chicago, I feel that I should pass on to Lincoln park and stand before the monkey cage.


"There no monkey holds his tail a little higher because it happens to be a little longer than any of the others, and I can derive more benefit by watching the monkeys. This veneer of culture is sickening, and it shows the lack of true refinement under the surface.

"Let the leanest of us Jews be mightier than the mightiest of them; let the weakest of us be stronger than the strongest of them. We are our brother's keeper and by them shall we be judged."

At the beginning of the dedicatory services and after the building had been accepted from A. Rothenberg of the building committee by Alfred Benjamin, president of the United Jewish Charities, Mr. Benjamin was presented with a loving cup form the Jewish population of Kansas City. For the past five years Mr. Benjamin has been the president of the organization and it was to express their appreciation of his services that the people presented him with a token of their esteem.

The opening prayer was delivered by Rabbi L. Koplowitz of the orthodox church and the benediction was pronounced by Rabbi H . H. Mayer of the reformed church.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

April 2, 1909


Gain of 427 pupils Reported by
Superintendent Greenwood.

According to figures given out last night by Superintendent J. M. Greenwood to the board of education, the enrollment of the public schools this year is greater than for the same period in 1908. For the first twenty weeks of school last year there were 31,573 pupils enrolled, and for the corresponding period this year the enrollment has reached 32,000, being a gain of 427 pupils.

It is Superintendent Greenwood's opinion that the end of the term in June will see a total enrollment of over 34,000 pupils, as against 33,198, which was the total enrollment for the last half of the term in 1908.

It was decided by the board of education last night to establish a teacher's training class at Central high school. This class will be formed at the beginning of the next school year and will be a regular course of the school. Definite plans for the course have not been made.

A steel engraving of Daniel S. Twitchell has been given to the board of education by Mrs. Twitchell. The engraving will be hung in the board's chambers at the public library.

Labels: , , ,

January 18, 1909


Ambitious Inventors Provided With
Special Table.

Kansas City has many m en and women ambitious to be inventors. From ten to twenty men and women call each day at the public library asking to see the patent reports. So many people apply that Mrs. Carrie Whitney has had a special table placed for them back of the general delivery desk. The library is complete in its reports, from the first one to the last, and Mrs. Whitney spent years gathering them together. These reports are among the most widely read books in the library. They do not circulate, yet some of them have been in such constant use that it has been necessary to rebind them.

"You never hear much about Kansas City's inventors," said Mrs. Whitney. "They are an ambitious lot of men and women and they work on everything from potato peelers to flying machines. At least they read about them.

"The inventors' table is always occupied and you may now be looking at the man who is the originator of the finest carpet sweeper ever made, but somebody may have had his idea years ago."

Labels: ,

December 15, 1908


Trying to Lower Old Men's Age Limit
From 60 to 50 Years.

At the meeting of the Old Men's Association held in the public library yesterday afternoon an attempt was made to change the age of admission from 60 to 50 years. After considerable debate the matter was taken under advisement by the executive committee.

"They'll never change that age clause in our constitution," F. M. Furgason, the secretary, declared. "Why, if a man could get in at 50 years of age there wouldn't be any distinction in belonging to this organization. A man isn't an old man until he is 60 years old, anyway. Every year somebody tries to change the age entrance, and every year we vote them down, and we'll do it again."

Rev. Joel A. Barker, superintendent of the Children's Home Society in Kansas City, spoke to the association yesterday on the value of the little things in life.

The annual election of officers will take place at the next regular meeting on the second Monday in January. Each member of the association is to come prepared to tell of his most interesting experience.

Labels: , , ,

December 2, 1908


Librarian Whitney Calls Attention
to This in Her Current Quar-
terly Report.

In her twenty-seventh annual report of the public library, Mrs. Carrie Whitney, the librarian, makes a plea for more room and explains the conditions that will soon make an expansion of the building necessary.

"An addition equal in size to the present building has become imperative," says Mrs. Whitney. "In the two small rooms used for the children are shelved over 15,000 volumes to accommodate the 18,000 children, 'under 18' card holders. This condition is only relieved by the twenty-one ward school substations and the three high school loan collections.

"The large reading room is so heavily patronized during the winter that the chair and table accommodations are entirely exhausted.

"In the fiction room, formerly the cataloguing room, are shelved 12,000 volumes with absolutely no more shelf space.

"A very much needed and necessary department is a room shelved around the walls, furnished with tables and chairs, where current non-fiction may be placed under the eyes and hands of the reading public.

"The administrative departments cannot do efficient work in the crowded quarters provided -- a part of the catalogue staff had to be transferred to a space back of the delivery desk, to the annoyance of patrons and superintendent, who are interrupted in their inquiries by the clicking of two typewriters."

Mrs. Whitney also explains that the newspaper room filled with bound volumes of the city papers is full, and that all available space in the building is in use at the present time.

The public has been an unusually honest one this year, judging from the report. Only eighty-seven books were "unaccounted for" in the fiction room and 107 in the children's room, while but twenty-four were lost form the miscellaneous shelves.

Mrs. Whitney's report appears in the Public Library quarterly, which was out yesterday.

Labels: , ,

October 5, 1908


Speech at Huron Park Said to be
More Help for Democrats.

It was a frost, a fizzle, a fiasco. There never was a political gathering in Kansas City, Kas., that showed less enthusiasm than the crowd of 3,000 people which turned out this morning to hear Taft. The Republican presidential candidate was escorted from the Baltimore hotel to Huron park in Kansas City, Kas., by a long train of automobiles amid great pomp and with marked precision and ceremony. He arrived on time -- 8:30 o'clock.

From the north steps of the Carnegie library, the big chief addressed the Wyandotte Indians. The audience was already there -- 3,000 strong. There was no demonstration until some one yelled: "Three cheers for Bill."

Then there was a feeble effort to applaud, but it lasted less than a minute. After a speech lasting about fifteen minutes Taft retired from the stone pedestal upon which he had been standing, and the "effort" was over.

In his speech the presidential nominee took to the defensive entirely. He undertook to defend his attitude in labor injunction decisions, which were rendered years ago; injunctions which union labor has never forgotten.

During the course of his speech, the presidential candidate was almost wholly denied applause or encouragement. His audience was composed of 1,500 school children, 300 students from the Kansas State Blind Institute, located in the west suburbs of Kansas City, Kas., and about 1,200 adults, mostly women.

And it was evident that Taft's pleasure over the occasion was not of the most exultant variety. No sooner had he stopped speaking than the crowd began to disperse. He was not fatigued by a siege of long and vigorous hand-shaking. Here is the way the followers of Democracy in Kansas City, Kas., speak of the meeting: "It was the best Democratic meeting we ever had!"

Labels: , , , , ,

September 22, 1908



Classed With Others as "Utterly Per-
nicious and Morbid" -- Students
of Fiction Have Privelege of
Their Perusal, However.

Have you read "Together" or "The Little Brother of the Rich"?

If you have, you didn't get them at the public library. Robert Herrick's and Joseph Medill Patterson's latest books are not allowed there because -- well, because they are so naughty.

Mrs. Carrie Whitney, the librarian, in proscibing them, has simply followed the initiative taken by a number of Eastern librarians who have condemned them as "utterly pernicious and morbid" with "exaggerated views and the emotions strained."

"We have been laughing at Mary J. Holmes a long time, and have ridiculed the books she has written -- 'trash,' most people call them," said Mrs. Whitney, "but let me tell you, I would rather her books were in the hands of our young people than 75 per cent of the novels that are being turned out every season. Mary J. Holmes was at least pure in her ideals and there is no hint of anything that is not beautiful or wholesome in her stories. As much cannot be said of the men and women who are vieing with each other in producing the most sensational novel of the year."

Mrs. Whitney is broader than most librarians in her views on literature. Boston and St. Louis have debarred books that are considered classics, but these will be found on the shelves at the Kansas City public library.

"I am pretty well acquainted with the reading public," continued Mrs. Whitney. "I know the students and those who read from morbid curiosity. The student may almost find anything in the way of the classics on our shelves, and for him we have at least one of even the questionable books of modern fiction. We cannot put them on the open shelves in the fiction room, however. And there is very good reason for not doing it. We have different cards for children and for adults, but too many children are drawing books on cards for adults. These children wander around among the fiction shelves, reading what they please, and we have no assurance that the books they draw are really for their parents of for their older sisters and brothers.

"All modern fiction is carefully selected. We have but little money to spend on current literature, and our choice must necessarily be discriminate. Within the past few years there are many books that we have had to debar. There was 'Old Wives for New.' It was not bad, but fearfully vulgar. Mark Twain's 'Double Barreled Detective Story' never found the way to our fiction shelves because there was nothing in it to merit it being there. We barred 'Eve's Diary' for quite another reason, however. 'Pam' and 'Pam Decides' were barred also for this same reason, as were Robert Grant's 'Orchid,' Frederick VanEeden's 'The Deeps of Deliverance,' Victoria Cross's 'Life's Shop Windows' and 'My Poor Relations' by Maarten Maartens. It is almost unnecessary to mention the notorious 'Three Weeks.' I think we must have told 1,000 people that we did not have it on our shelves. Even now we have a few calls, but the public generally has learned that we do not have it. You might mention, too, that 'The End of the Game' is another book that is not in the library.

"As to the two new books, 'Together' and 'The Little Brother of the Rich,' the criticisms that have been spread broadcast against them express my views. They shall never be found here."

Labels: , , , ,

July 28, 1908



That Was Twenty Years Ago -- Sold
Papers Until His Death Sunday,
Forgotten by Those Who Once Knew Him.

They will be burying Edson E. Phelps today somewhere or other. He died in a third floor back on Sunday, which explains why the doubled-up, little, prematurely old man was not on his camp stool at Eleventh and Main yesterday or the day before, selling newspapers.

When the newspapers yesterday published the announcement of the death of the old "newsboy" they dismissed it in a line or two. There was no mention made about Mr. Phelps, formerly a book seller with a large establishment on Delaware street, and before that the head bookman in M. H. Dickinson's great store at 620 Main street.

The writers who picked up the death of Phelps, the old newsboy, and the undertakers who got his remains, and the deputy coroner who viewed them, were not old enough to remember the days when The Journal was on Fifth street and the town ended at the Junction, where Dr. Munford was talking of putting up one of the biggest buildings in the West, which he had somebody do afterwards, sure enough, and it is there today.

In those days Mr. Phelps, the best known book seller in this part of the country and an authority looked up to from New York and the shops in Churchyard street, London, no less. Mr. Phelps, without a doubt, was the best posted man on books in private trade. He would not snap his fingers to sell a set of new stuff, but he could make T. B. Bullene go miles to look at a hand-tooled Bible, and then made Mr. Bullene buy it and, which may be news to some people interested, he got Father Dalton interested in some other rich old books and the upshot was that Mr. Bullene gave Father Dalton his precious old hand-tooled Bible, that Mr. Phelps had secured for him, one of the only three of the kind in the world.


And Mr. Phelps could walk slap bang up to the desk of Simeon B. Armour, one of the great Armours, and talk books to him. Mr. Armour said once that he understood there was a Mazarin Bible for sale. Could Mr. Dickinson find out about it? Mr. Phelps was sent for, and he told that excepting for the copies in the British museum and the Lenox, N. Y. library, the only other copy was in the hands of a rich Chicago candymaker, and might be bought. What would Mr. Armour care to offer?

Thank you, he would run up and see if Gunther would take $10,000 for the book.

Last week Phelps would say thanks for two pennies for a copy of a newspaper he was selling, and he would take off his hat for a nickel.

Mr. Phelps -- this is going back to the '80s, when Dickinson's bookstore was the literary center of the city and the public library was on the second floor of the old trap at northeast Eighth and Walnut -- handled a Breeches Bible, and he negotiated for a Caxton Golden Legend, finally terminating the deal by deciding the copy was spurious. He knew the whereabouts of the only First Psalter, Caxton movable type print, and bought over half a dozen copies of Mlle De Maupane, excommunicated though it was and hard to get through the postoffice or customs house without having all the pictures and most of the pages torn out. He thought nothing of charging a $100 commission on a two or more volume set of old works when he was Mr. Phelps, and he cried like a child last winter one cold morning when a man, instead of buying a paper which old Phelps, the newsboy, was wobbling about as an offer, slipped a half a dollar in his hand and said, "Pretty cold this morning, Mr. Phelps."


"Mr. Phelps" was getting back to the days of uncut first editions of "Pickwick Papers," second edition "Shakespeares," fully illumined "Arabian Nights," and Frank Tyler, and Cameron Mann, and when Miss Sheldley used to buy her expensive editions through Mr. Phelps.

Mr. Phelps would show his precious smuggled copies -- most of them consigned --to the biggest people of the city, and he had the right to walk into the private office of Colonel W. H. Winants in the old Armour bank and talk original plates to him.

But that was a long time ago. That was as long ago as twenty years, and twenty years are twenty decades in this rapidly revolving West.

The self-same Mr. Phelps did not dare to go into the humblest office where they let out desk room in his last years. He had the bad luck to live too long. He ought to have died when Herb Matthews, his old partner in the bookselling business in the Delaware street store, died, or when his other old running mate, Ed Burton, the stationer at Dickinsons, died. The three were the literary authorities of Kansas City. Two of them died ten years ago, and went to their graves in honor.

Phelps buried himself about the same time, but kept on breathing until last Sunday, and the longer he lived the deeper he buried himself, till he got so deep down and so far out of sight that he could come out in the open and sit on a cap stool at Eleventh and Main and sell papers for coppers, getting into greater ecstasy over a nickel than when he was Mr. Phelps and making $100 commission on a single deal. He did not have to die to be forgotten, but old-timers like D. P. Thompson, whose gallery in those days was near Dickinson's store on North Main street, turned up who remembered when Phelps, the newsboy, was Mr. Phelps, the bookseller and literary antiquarian, and the identity of the man was fixed.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

July 9, 1908



Mrs. W. T. Mead, Bride of the 66-77-
Year-Old Couple, Applies to
County Court for Permis-
sion to Return.

A bride of a month, with wrinkles of age and care marking her face, tottered towards the bench of the county court yesterday at Independence. It was Mrs. W. T. Mead, who married W. T. Mead, librarian at the county farm, June 6. He was 66 and she 77, and, although the marriage had been forbidden by the county court, both thought they were old enough to know and both left the farm to carry out the twilight dream of their lives.

The county court does not allow inmates of the home to wed, and when the application came for a permit to marry the county court calmly refused the request, and the two old people, not to be thwarted, went to Kansas City and married. Each had saved a little money. He as librarian, and she sewing at the farm. Both had been at the farm a number of years and frequently she would go to the library to get a book and talk with William.

Yesterday the bride tottered towards the county judges and in a faltering voice made a plea for herself and husband that they be allowed to go back to the farm together. They had applied to the superintendent of the farm, but he had refused to allow them to come without the sanction of the court. Judge J. M. Patterson raised his eyes to the ceiling as the application was being made and the story told. Judge George J. Dodd assumed a thoughtful mood and Judge C. E. Moss whittled a pencil.

They would be taken back to the farm, but not as man and wife. They must be separated, not judicially, but constructively. The court could not tolerate a union of inmates at the farm, for it might become epidemic. The rule could not be broken if they married and then wanted to return to the shelter provided by the county.

Mrs. Mead told in faltering tones how she and her husband had purchased a small restaurant, as they had planned before leaving the farm. They paid all of their money over and signed the papers. When they returned to take possession the next day two wagon loads of goods had been hauled away and, in the pitiful helplessness of old age, they realized that they had been swindled.

"I won't live long, judge," she said. "I am destitute now, so is my husband. Please let us go back, won't you? Please let us finish our lives there. Both of us love the farm and we will not be a bother."

The county court was obdurate. "You may go back, but not as man and wife," said the presiding judge. "It's against the rules."

It was decided to allow them to go back, but as individuals and not as married people, and this order was placed on the book which gave Cupid a double jolt.

The order of the court changed the wrinkles on the face of Mrs. Mead to smiles, and she went away joyously to her home, 306 West Fifth street, Kansas City, to tell her husband about the order of the court, and last night they returned to the scene where they learned to love each other, these two old people, happy, but separated, to live the last chapter.

Labels: , , , , , ,

June 2, 1908



He is 66 and the Bride, Formerly
Mrs. Eliza Anderson, Is 76.
They'll Live in a
Candy Store.

Neither age nor circumstance can stand before the will of Dan Cupid. Among the twenty-one women in Kansas City who became brides yesterday, the earliest June bride of them allow as Mrs. William Thomas Meads, 76 years old, who, as Mrs. Eliza Anderson, eloped from the county poor farm with the groom in the early morning and was married at the court house at 10 o'clock by Justice Mike Ross. And among the twenty-one none is more happy or more thrilled with dreams of the future.

"The county court wouldn't let us marry at the farm," she explained last evening in the room at 727 Harrison street, which she and the groom rented for a week. "There is absolutely no sense in them not allowing us to get married, but since they wouldn't , we up and ran away. We were up at 5 o'clock, for it takes William a long time to get over the two miles to the station. The other women there bade me goodby last night.

"Now that we are here and married, we are ready to face the world again. We fled from it once. But William has saved his salary as librarian, and I have many friends in Kansas City. We are going to open a little confectionery store and live in a room in the back. We are certain that we can make a living and are never going back to the poor farm.

"They never treated William right out at the farm. He had charge of the library and had to be on his feet day and night to answer two telephones. And they only gave him $5 a month. He can make lots more than that in Kansas City."

The bride, who had been standing back of Meads's chair, here stopped her flow of talk to push her spectacles back on her forehead, stoop, put an arm around Meads's neck and kiss him on the brow. The old man petted her with his one able hand.

"She's a mighty good little woman," he put in. "Don't you dare to poke fun of her in your paper."

"No," interrupted the bride, straightening suddenly. "It is an outrage the way we have been treated. People seem to think our running away is a joke. I've just as much right to get married as I had fifty years ago. I'm an old settler in Kansas City. I have been here forty years. My husband died twenty years ago and I went to work for Bullene, Moore, Emery & Company. I was with them a long time until I got the asthma so that I couldn't work nor live in the city. So I went out to the farm where the air is pure. I know some of the finest people in Kansas City. Two members of the grand jury, who visited the home, recognized me and were astonished. I told them it is no disgrace to be on the poor farm. It's no crime to be poor, after one has worked hard for years and years, as I did. It's just inconvenient.

"William and I are going to start life all over again, aren't we, William?"

The groom gave a "yes" pat with his hand.

That is about all -- Oh, yes, there is the groom. William Meads is 66 years old and paralyzed on one side. He fought during the entire civil war under General Joseph Shelby. After the rebellion he was employed for fifteen years on a Kansas City evening newspaper During the latter part of the period he was foreman of the composing room. When he was stricken with paralysis he went to the poor farm. He has better use of his right arm and leg now than he had ten years ago, but his general health has been worn down by the passing of years. he did not attempt to rise from his chair either to greet or bid farewell to his visitor.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

December 31, 1907


First One Ever Received in Kansas
City Is Now Here.

A year or so ago the late King Oscar of Sweden conceived the idea of sending a number of circulating libraries to the United States to be read by the Swedish people, who had made America their adopted home. The libraries contain about 100 volumes, largely historical and poetical, with some fiction and some translations of American works. The chief purpose of the traveling library is to keep the Swedes in touch with the fatherland.

The first of these libraries to reach Kansas City is now here and is installed at the Swedish Lutheran church, 1238 Penn street, of which Rev. A. W. Lindquist is pastor. After it has remained here a year, it will be sent to another city and another of the libraries will come here. The library now in Kansas City is No. 24, so that the scope of the movement may be gathered from this fact.

Among the books is a translation into Swedish of Mark Twain's "Huckleberry Finn." All Swedes are urged to read the books and may consult them by applying at the church.

Labels: , , , ,

October 3, 1907


To Be Served With Speeches at Open-
ing of the Boys' Club.

All boys who like Red Hot Coney Island Frankfurters are invited to the grand opening of the Kansas City Boys' Club, Eighteenth street and College avenue, tomorrow night. Admission will be free to any boy in Kansas City, but a ticket must be secured from one of the boys who is a member of the club.

The library and game rooms will be thrown open for use Friday night. There will be speeches by Mayor H. M. Beardsley, the Rev. Daniel McGurk, Professor J. M. Greenwood and other friends of the boys.

Labels: , , , , ,

June 1, 1907


Statue Will Be Placed in Rotunda of
the Grand Hotel.

The beautiful replica of Venus Genetrix, which has been resting temporarily in the park board rooms of the public library, Kansas City, Kas., waiting action of the school board regarding its disposition, will find place in the new Grand hotel, Sixth street and Minnesota avenue, Monday. After the rejection of the statue by the board, W. J. Buchan, its donor, cast about for a more appreciative donee, and finally decided on J. B. Hoober, the lessee of the hotel, for the recipient of the gift.

Hoober was delighted with the piece of art work. He said yesterday that he had long been an admirer of Venus Genetrix and had called up Mr. Buchan directly after the rejection of the statue had been made known, offering to place it in the rotunda of the hotel.

In the Grand the Venus will be mounted on a rosewood pedestal twenty-eight inches high, with the face inclined toward the stairs leading to the parlor floor rotunda from the offices. On both sides are large mirrors, so placed as to reflect its snowy whiteness into the waiting rooms, and it will be further set off by red rugs on the floor and orange tapestries hung especially as background.

There was a great deal of talk in Kansas City, Kas., yesterday concerning the action of the board in rejecting the statue. Before 9 o'clock at least 100 people had visited the park board rooms and throughout the day groups of ten or twelve were gathered around the gilded couch of the reclining goddess. The approving comments that were passed might have been sufficient to raise a blush even to that brow of stone.

In the afternoon a committee of business men, instigated my Henry McGrew, one of the trustees of the Grand hotel, who had been instrumental in getting the statue for the hotel rotunda, visited Venus. They were unanimous in declaring it artistic and not immodest.

Labels: , , , , ,

May 31, 1907



Both Call It a Perfect Work of Art --
Mr. Buchan, the Donor, Says
Cleveland Accepted a Sim-
ilar Statue Without a
Single Blush.
Venus Statue at Center of Library Controversy

The fate of the statue Venus Genetrix, now reposing in the basement of the public library in Kansas City, Kas., will in all probability be finally decreed at Monday night's meeting of the board of education. The members of the board who have been keeping this particular piece of art in seclusion ever since its presentation by Senator W. J. Buchan, will be asked to render their final decision at the next meeting. It is understood that a large number of lovers of art will attend Monday night's meeting and try to convince the board that by turning down the gift it will be depriving the library of a valuable and beautiful work of art. Leading citizens are manifesting much concern in the matter. The majority of them are in favor of giving Venus the most conspicuous location in the library building.

George Kessler, landscape architect, who has been employed to lay out a park and boulevard system in Kansas City, Kas., examined the statue at a recent meeting of the Kansas City, Kas., park board and pronounced it a most beautiful work of art.


J. P. Angle, a member of the park board, to whose office the statue was consigned by the park board, says that he has never gazed upon a more perfect work of art.

"While I do not put myself up as a critic in statuary," said Mr. Angle yesterday, "yet I have visited many art galleries, and from the collections of fine art I have seen I am frank to say I I do not believe I could pick a more beautiful piece of statuary than that which the school board has rejected."

Nathaniel Barnes, former postmaster, in speaking about the statue says that no one with a spark of love for the fine art could find the slightest objection to Venus. However, he suggests that if the school board is in doubt as to the propriety of accepting the gift and giving it a proper place in the library building, a commission might be appointed to determine its worth as a piece of fine art and also decide whether or not it should be exhibited in the library.

Mr. Buchan, the donor of the statue, in speaking about his gift and the subsequent action of the school board, said:

"I think the whole affair is too ridiculous to discuss. I went over to Italy, in my trip around the world, and while there did not forget my home town. I saw this beautiful statue in the original at Rome and bought the fine replica I presented to the board of education in Florence. I made a special trip to Florence to get the piece and paid $450 for it. It cost in transportation another $100.


"For the life of me, I can't understand the aversion of the school board for the statue. A man who was making the trip with me got a similar one for the library at Cleveland, O., and he tells me there were no objections from growing young people there.

"The funniest thing about the deal is that the excuse of the board is that young girls and boys who see the statue may have read Ouida's book in which it is criticized. Now, I may be wrong in my judgement of immoral things, but I think a girl or boy who reads Ouida's proscribed books can not be injured much by looking on the4 excellent piece of art work she condemns."

W. E. Griffith, a member of the board, said yesterday that the statue was too nude to be placed in the rotunda of the library, if not in a collection of such pieces.

"I am not prudish," said Mr. Griffith, "but I am opposed to tempting girls and boys who have not reached the age of discretion, to make remarks and draw inferences. The statue was given to us in good faith, but it is unfit. We can not help that. We are only sorry we can not use it out of courtesy to Mr. Buchan. The statue would not be half so suggestive if there was no drapery at all."


Attorney Edward Barker, 713 Minnesota avenue, who has taken considerable interest in the disposition of the Venus, yesterday conducted a party of women, including his wife, to the park board rooms where the statue is stored temporarily awaiting further action of the school board.

"What do you think of it?" Mr. Barker asked them.

"Oh, it is just lovely," they answered in chorus.

Afterward, all of the women said they would not be ashamed to have the Venus installed in their parlors or hallways.

"The school board is trying to out-Comstock Comstock," is the way Attorney Barker expressed his opinion of the action of that body regarding the Venus.

Labels: , , , , , ,


Get the Book
Vintage Kansas City Stories ~ Early 20th Century Americana as Immortalized in The Kansas City Journal
Kansas City Stories

Early Kansas City, Missouri

>>More KC Books<<

The History and Heritage of Vintage Kansas City in Books
Vintage Kansas
City Bookstore

Powered by Blogger

Vintage Kansas

Vintage Antique Classics ~ Vintage Music, Software, and more Time Travel Accessories

In association with
KC Web ~ The Ultimate Kansas City Internet Directory