Kansas City in the Jazz Age & Great Depression

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Thomas Hart Benton
Author: 
Mary Frances Ivey

Thomas Hart Benton, one of the leaders of the Regionalist movement in American art, was a prolific painter, muralist, draughtsman, and sculptor from childhood until the end of his life in 1975. Today he is best known for his realist depictions of American life, which, in his own time, were perceived as directly opposed to modernist movements cultivated in Europe. His paintings, largely vignettes of daily life and ordinary rural characters, were simultaneously praised for their frankness and criticized for their gritty representations of American culture and history.

Letter from A. Reed Wilson to Lloyd C. Stark, reporting that he discussed Stark's candidacy with William T. Kemper, and recommending that Stark connect with Kemper. He also discusses the Young Democratic Club and inquires as to whether Stark had established a campaign headquarters.

Date: 
February 16th 1935

Letter from William M. Ledbetter to Lloyd C. Stark discussing coverage of Stark's candidacy in the Louisiana Press-Journal and his support by Pendergast and Bennett Clark.

Date: 
October 1st 1935

List of recipients of a gift of Golden Delicious apple cider from Lloyd C. Stark's orchards.

Date: 
September 1935

List of recipients of a gift of Golden Delicious apple cider from Lloyd C. Stark's orchards.

Date: 
November 1935

Letter from Ewing Young Mitchell, Jr. to Hon. C. W. Greenwade on November 17, 1932. Mitchell offers advise in Greenwade's attempt at securing a Post Master position in Greene County, Missouri. Mitchell believes he will get it if he secures the endorsement of Thomas J. Pendergast and William T. Kemper, Sr..

Date: 
November 17th 1932

Letter from Ewing Young Mitchell, Jr. to James A. Farley on March 20, 1934. Mitchell discusses C. W. Greenwade's appointment for postmaster at Springfield, Missouri as well as the upcoming election in Kansas City, Missouri.

Date: 
March 20th 1934

Letter from Ewing Young Mitchell, Jr. to J. W. McCammon on June 29, 1933. Mitchell suggests that McCammon travel to Kansas City to convince James P. Aylward, William T. Kemper, Sr., Thomas J. Pendergast, and Henry F. McElroy to write letter of support for McCammon for appointment to Assistant Director of the Federal Home Loan Bank in Springfield, Missouri.

Date: 
June 29th 1934

Letter from Ewing Young Mitchell, Jr. to J. W. McCammon. After Mitchell's first letter to McCammon of June 29, 1933, Mitchell provides additional instructions for McCammon in order for him to receive an appointment to Assistant Director of the Federal Home Loan Bank in Springfield, Missouri.

Date: 
June 29th 1934

Letter from Ewing C. Bland to his uncle, Ewing Young Mitchell, Jr. on January 20, 1936. In Bland's lengthy response, he explains how the public views Bland and Mitchell to be connected politically, and how Mitchell consistently jeopardizes Bland by attacking the Kansas City organization for Mitchell's own political gain. Because of Bland's diminished political standing and Mitchell's public connection with Marie Plummer, it would be impossible to leverage for her reinstatement without being charged with nepotism.

Date: 
January 20th 1936

Two-page typewritten article titled, "Hon. John T. Wayland Overrules the U. S. Supreme Court and Appoints a Democrat. - A Republican After Holding the Sinecure for Thirty Years Is Deposed - An Interesting Story from Washington" by an unknown author. Includes a vote tally from Kansas City wards and handwritten notes in Ewing Young Mitchell Jr.'s hand.

Letter from Harry S. Truman in Washington D.C. to his wife Bess in Independence, Missouri. In this letter, Truman shows his commitment to the state and his ideals: "I went into the R.R. business again today and I think got some more real information. I have a notion it didn't please Mr. [William T.] Kemper [Sr.] very much. But I can't help it. I'm not working for him. I'm working for Missouri."

Date: 
November 3rd 1937

Letter from Harry S. Truman in Washington D.C. to his wife Bess in Independence, Missouri. In this letter, Truman updates Bess on his day and then shows his political persistence: "If I quit this thing now, they'll say that Kemper and the Boss pulled me off, and I'm going to go through with it if I don't get home at all."

Date: 
November 9th 1937

Letter from William T. Kemper, Sr. of the Commerce Trust Company to Harry S. Truman congratulating him on his Democratic nomination for Judge of Jackson County, Missouri.

Date: 
August 5th 1922

A "thank you" letter from Harry S. Truman to William T. Kemper, Sr. for Kemper's congratulations of Truman's win for Democratic nominee of Jackson County Judge.

Date: 
August 14th 1922

Issue of the anti-corruption, Kansas City-based newspaper, Future: The Newsweekly for Today. The front page includes an article, continued on page 8, about the apartments on the Country Club Plaza and Armour Boulevard managed by the Assured Rental Company (led by George Goldman and Herman Shapiro), in the city's "South Side," voting against the Pendergast ticket City Council nominees.

Date: 
June 7th 1935

Issue of the anti-corruption, Kansas City-based newspaper, Future: The Newsweekly for Today. The front page includes an article, continued on page 8, about the “lug,” “an involuntary or forced contribution to something a luckless employee isn’t nearly as interested in” as his and his family’s own welfare. Other featured articles include “T. J. and W. T.” (page 2), about patching up of differences between William Kemper, Sr. ("Democratic national committeeman for Missouri") and Tom Pendergast (Democratic No.

Date: 
July 12th 1935

Photograph of William T. Kemper, Sr. as it appears on page 5 of the August 1927 issue of West Texas Today.

Date: 
August 1927

Photograph of James Madison Kemper (left), father of William Thornton Kemper, Sr. (right), father of James M. Kemper, Sr. (center), father of David W. Kemper (front).

Date: 
November 1921

William T. Kemper, Sr.'s ticket for the dedication of the Liberty Memorial at 11 A. M. on November 1, 1921. The ticket is signed by R. Bryson Jones, Chairman of the Dedication Committee.

Date: 
November 1st 1921

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.