Kansas City in the Jazz Age & Great Depression

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Press release containing the test of a statement given by William Hirth, publisher of the Missouri Farmer and president of the Missouri Farmers' Association, regarding the state Democratic convention. Hirth reports that the recent "convention in St. Louis was the most shameful gathering of its kind in the history of Missouri," and describes animosity between Clark-Pendergast forces and Governor Lloyd C. Stark.

Date: 
April 21st 1940

Letter from J. B. Fletcher to Governor Lloyd C. Stark expressing opinions on Stark's election, his dislike of Pendergast, and how he thinks voting should work in future elections. Fletcher says Stark should "give voters single ticket and convict old Pendergas[t]."

Date: 
May 2nd 1938

The Footman newsletter, containing an article by William Hirth for Missouri Ruralist entitled "Hirth Supports Judge Douglas," a recap of a meeting of the Democratic Equal Rights Club. The paper endorses James V. Billings for Missouri Supreme Court.

Date: 
1938

Letter from William Hirth to Judge James T. Montgomery, including an article by Hirth titled "Why the Politicians Hate Stark." The article discusses Stark's work against the Pendergast machine and endorses James Douglas for the Missouri Supreme Court.

Date: 
July 21st 1938

Statement by William Hirth, publisher of The Missouri Farmer, discussing the recent Missouri Supreme Court primary election. He describes it as "the greatest blow ever struck for decent government in the history of Missouri" and demonstrating "that when the people finally tire of political bossism they can and will arise in their might, and smite it hip and thigh."

Date: 
1938

Draft campaign materials for the James Douglas for Supreme Court campaign, including a statement written by Governor Lloyd C. Stark asserting that "the same political boss and the organization he dominates ... are trying to extend their sinister influence to our Supreme Court."

Date: 
1938

Clipping from the Sunday Washington Star by O. K. Armstrong describing the Pendergast machine and efforts to take them down ahead of a March 1938 election.

Date: 
March 13th 1938

Letter from William Hirth to Governor Lloyd C. Stark discussing the prospect of Colonel Whitten as U.S. District Attorney and the candidacy of Maurice Milligan for Senate. Hirth writes that Whitten "is not only a man of outstanding ability, ... but from the long fight he has made against the machine in Kansas City, I think he is richly entitled to" the office.

Date: 
May 6th 1940

Letter from William Hirth to Governor Lloyd C. Stark discussing the prospect of Colonel Whitten as U.S. District Attorney and the candidacy of Maurice Milligan for Senate. Hirth writes that Whitten "is not only a man of outstanding ability, ... but from the long fight he has made against the machine in Kansas City, I think he is richly entitled to" the office.

Date: 
May 6th 1940

Letter from J. H. Easley to Lloyd C. Stark about the state of his campaign in Laclede County. He writes that his "situation in this county is very fine," and that after the Pendergast endorsement "it seems to all be settled." He believes that some farmers might support William Hirth but "they do not feel that he has any chance at all."

Date: 
March 27th 1936

Memoradum discussing plans for Lloyd Stark's gubernatorial campaign. It notes the importance of announcing the Pendergast endorsement quickly and openly "to prevent, as far as possible, a 'reconsideration' later." It also discusses plans for establishing Stark-for-Governor clubs throughout the state, establishing patronage, finance and executive committees, and how to deal with the likely anti-Pendergast movement.

Date: 
October 1935

Letter from William M. Ledbetter to Lloyd C. Stark discussing the logistics of the upcoming campaign, including how much time Stark will spend at his home in Louisiana, the upcoming Missouri Press Association meeting and American Royal, and gossip about other potential candidates including William Hirth.

Date: 
October 8th 1935

Letter from Robert A. Glenn to Lloyd C. Stark writing about the view of the governors race from St. Louis and what issues may await him during the campaign.

Date: 
October 17th 1935

Letter from Lloyd L. Cantrell to Lloyd C. Stark providing information about the attitudes of voters in Newton County, and also providing his opinion on William Hirth potentially running against Stark. He writes that Hirth's candidacy "need not cause you a moments worry because he can't handle his own organization ... and his domineering way and impractical radical ideas coupled with his age and physical condition elimintes him in every way as a serious contender."

Date: 
October 25th 1935

Letter from R. P. Spencer to Lloyd C. Stark suggesting Stark open his campaign in Fayette, William Hirth potentially running against him, and other campaign issues.

Date: 
January 9th 1936

Letter from S. P. Lidell to Lloyd C. Stark regarding William Hirth deciding to enter the governors race and Stark's potential support by Tom Pendergast. Lidell writes that he is telling friends that Stark "couldn't afford to tell Mr. Pendergast that you wouldn't want his support."

Date: 
January 13th 1936

Letter from Clarence Cannon to Lloyd C. Stark reporting on a dinner with William Hirth where Hirth expressed his intention of running for governor and described what he believed Stark's vulnerabilities were. He also writes that Hirth told him "that he does not intend to indulge in personalities and expects to confine himself to the issues of the campaign -- unless he is himself attacked on personal grounds."

Date: 
January 14th 1936

Letter from Sheriff B. R. Williams to Lloyd C. Stark, discussing his work and the upcoming campaign. Williams is undecided as to whether he will run for public office in this election, but writes that "there are so many insistent demands from friends for me to run for Prosecuting Attorney."

Date: 
January 18th 1936

Letter from Tony Buford to Lloyd C. Stark discussing his projection for the make up of the next House of Representatives, as well as support for Stark vs. William Hirth for governor.

Date: 
January 24th 1936

Letter from W. G. Dillon to Lloyd C. Stark, writing that he believes William Hirth has no effective argument against Stark's campaign, but that "the straw-horse he is building will be T.J. Pendergast." Dillon also advises Stark not to rely on Republican crossover votes to carry him.

Date: 
May 21st 1936

Pages

KANSAS CITY PUBLIC LIBRARY | DIGITAL HISTORY
Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict,1855-1865.
The Pendergast Years, Kansas City in the Jazz Age & Great Depression.
KC History, Missouri Valley Special Collections at the Kansas City Public Library.