They were an attractive couple but her powerful father, William Rockhill Nelson, founder of the Kansas City Star, did not approve. His rare failure had an impact on the city's future.
Laura Nelson was often seen by close friends and her father’s critics as a "poor little rich girl." At age 11, she was sent to a Boston finishing school where, despite pleas of being lonely and homesick, she was to remain until she was 20. An exception was the two school terms she spent at Barstow School in Kansas City from 1896 to 1898.
Photograph of Irwin R. Kirkwood, son-in-law of William Rockhill Nelson, co-founder of the Kansas City Star. With his wife, Laura Rockhill Nelson Kirkwood, Irwin Kirkwood operated the newspaper after Nelson's death.