Kansas City in the Jazz Age & Great Depression

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Park Central Hotel
Author: 
Mary Frances Ivey

Johnny Lazia (born Lazzio) gained prominence in Kansas City’s politics during the 1920s and ‘30s due to his leadership of the North Side Democratic Club, engagement in local organized crime, and involvement with Tom Pendergast’s political machine. Pendergast dominated Kansas City politics not by holding elected offices, but through his machine of alliances and affiliates.

Nell Donnelly Reed
Author: 
Jason Roe

Nell Donnelly and her chauffeur, George Blair, were kidnapped on December 16, 1931. Donnelly had become famous after her 1916 founding of the Donnelly Garment Company, which sold stylish but affordable dresses for daily wear by ordinary women. Backed by the sales of “Nelly Don’s,” as the dresses became known, the company grew into a multi-million dollar business with over 1,000 employees in the 1920s.

Union Station
Author: 
Jason Roe

On June 17, 1933, four law enforcement officers and their prisoner, Frank Nash, were fatally wounded in a botched rescue attempt outside Union Station. The story of the Union Station Massacre, as it became known, centered on Frank Nash, who had been convicted of three separate crimes of a serious nature: murder, armed burglary, and then assault.

Indictment for Criminal Case No. 10839: United States vs. Joe Pasano, Frank B. Mulloy, Ralph Rosenberg, William A. Cacy, Leopold Schwarz, Lawrence Cipolla, William G. Michael, Roy Barrett, Robert Carnahan, Frank Martin, Noxie Barber, Tudia Pasano, George Galbraith, Lawrence Cardella, Joe Toia, Walter A. Porter, Adolph Sutter, Edward S. Alderson, Joe Kleason, Eugene F. Moore, Jimmie Hicks, Ott Holmes, Jimmie LaCapra, Red Oaks, Walter Skinner, Martin Wiseman, Ray Broom, Max Cohen, James Stiff, Carl A. Wahlin, Grant T. Moffatt, D. L. Pickett, Sam Hogg, June Kathren, Newton Guy Brock, James B.

Date: 
June 12th 1931

Application for Surety and Recognizance for Appearance Before U.S. Court for Criminal Case No. 10839: United States vs. Joe Pasano, Frank B. Mulloy, Ralph Rosenberg, William A. Cacy, Leopold Schwarz, Lawrence Cipolla, William G. Michael, Roy Barrett, Robert Carnahan, Frank Martin, Noxie Barber, Tudia Pasano, George Galbraith, Lawrence Cardella, Joe Toia, Walter A. Porter, Adolph Sutter, Edward S. Alderson, Joe Kleason, Eugene F. Moore, Jimmie Hicks, Ott Holmes, Jimmie LaCapra, Red Oaks, Walter Skinner, Martin Wiseman, Ray Broom, Max Cohen, James Stiff, Carl A. Wahlin, Grant T. Moffatt, D.

Date: 
June 20th 1931

Motion for Bill of Particulars for Criminal Case No. 10839: United States vs. Joe Pasano, Frank B. Mulloy, Ralph Rosenberg, William A. Cacy, Leopold Schwarz, Lawrence Cipolla, William G. Michael, Roy Barrett, Robert Carnahan, Frank Martin, Noxie Barber, Tudia Pasano, George Galbraith, Lawrence Cardella, Joe Toia, Walter A. Porter, Adolph Sutter, Edward S. Alderson, Joe Kleason, Eugene F. Moore, Jimmie Hicks, Ott Holmes, Jimmie LaCapra, Red Oaks, Walter Skinner, Martin Wiseman, Ray Broom, Max Cohen, James Stiff, Carl A. Wahlin, Grant T. Moffatt, D. L.

Date: 
September 4th 1931

Plea of Guilty by Defendant D. L. Pickett for Criminal Case No. 10839: United States vs. Joe Pasano, Frank B. Mulloy, Ralph Rosenberg, William A. Cacy, Leopold Schwarz, Lawrence Cipolla, William G. Michael, Roy Barrett, Robert Carnahan, Frank Martin, Noxie Barber, Tudia Pasano, George Galbraith, Lawrence Cardella, Joe Toia, Walter A. Porter, Adolph Sutter, Edward S. Alderson, Joe Kleason, Eugene F. Moore, Jimmie Hicks, Ott Holmes, Jimmie LaCapra, Red Oaks, Walter Skinner, Martin Wiseman, Ray Broom, Max Cohen, James Stiff, Carl A. Wahlin, Grant T. Moffatt, D. L.

Date: 
December 21st 1931

Order in Criminal Case No. 10839: United States vs. Joe Pasano, Frank B. Mulloy, Ralph Rosenberg, William A. Cacy, Leopold Schwarz, Lawrence Cipolla, William G. Michael, Roy Barrett, Robert Carnahan, Frank Martin, Noxie Barber, Tudia Pasano, George Galbraith, Lawrence Cardella, Joe Toia, Walter A. Porter, Adolph Sutter, Edward S. Alderson, Joe Kleason, Eugene F. Moore, Jimmie Hicks, Ott Holmes, Jimmie LaCapra, Red Oaks, Walter Skinner, Martin Wiseman, Ray Broom, Max Cohen, James Stiff, Carl A. Wahlin, Grant T. Moffatt, D. L. Pickett, Sam Hogg, June Kathren, Newton Guy Brock, James B.

Date: 
January 11th 1932

Order for destruction of contrabad property in Criminal Case No. 10839: United States vs. Joe Pasano, Frank B. Mulloy, Ralph Rosenberg, William A. Cacy, Leopold Schwarz, Lawrence Cipolla, William G. Michael, Roy Barrett, Robert Carnahan, Frank Martin, Noxie Barber, Tudia Pasano, George Galbraith, Lawrence Cardella, Joe Toia, Walter A. Porter, Adolph Sutter, Edward S. Alderson, Joe Kleason, Eugene F. Moore, Jimmie Hicks, Ott Holmes, Jimmie LaCapra, Red Oaks, Walter Skinner, Martin Wiseman, Ray Broom, Max Cohen, James Stiff, Carl A. Wahlin, Grant T. Moffatt, D. L.

Date: 
June 1st 1932

Order for Capias for Criminal Case No. 12028: United States vs. John Lazia. This document orders a writ for arrest of defendant John Lazia and that his "bond be fixed in the sum of $1,500.00." Lazia was suspected of being affiliated with the Kansas City Mafia and the Pendergast Machine.

Date: 
March 14th 1933

Order for subpoena duces tecum for Raymond A. Edlund in Criminal Case No. 12028: United States vs. John Lazia. This document orders a writ to order Edlund to appear before court and bring a number of selected documents. These requested documents include records of John Lazia's financial transactions at the Merchants Bank of Kansas City, Missouri.

Date: 
September 13th 1933

Indictment for Criminal Case No. 12028: United States vs. John Lazia. This document charges Lazia with tax evasion. He was suspected to be affiliated with the Kansas City Mafia and the Pendergast Machine.

Date: 
September 16th 1933

Indictment for Criminal Case No. 12028: United States vs. John Lazia. In this document, Frank P. Walsh, attorney for Lazia, requests greater detail in the illegal activity Lazia is charged with. Walsh requests this information in order to furnish a strong defense for his client.

Date: 
September 16th 1933

Verdict for Criminal Case No. 12028: United States vs. John Lazia. In this document, Lazia is found guilty as charged in the indictment.

Date: 
February 14th 1934

Statement Made by the Court When Imposing Sentences for Criminal Case No. 12028: United States vs. John Lazia. In this document, the court affirms its belief that the jury was unbiased, despite the large amount of publicity the case received. The court also explains the decisions made when imposing punishment for Lazia's guilty verdict.

Date: 
February 23rd 1934

Bill of Exceptions in Condensed and Narrative Form for Criminal Case No. 12028: United States vs. John Lazia. This document provides an account of all exceptions made during the trial testimony.

Date: 
May 7th 1934

Unsigned letter to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, including a clipping from the Kansas City Times, regarding the demand to prosecute violations of election laws. The letter also mentions that Prosecutor Tom Graves intends to marry the widow of John Lazia.

Date: 
June 16th 1937

Resolution passed by "a body of Republicans and other patriotic citizens" repudiating First Ward Committeeman Ray Horton "because of his many acts in aiding and abetting the Lazia-McElroy-Pendergast machine," voter fraud, and demanding that Governor Guy Park take steps to clean up the Board of Election Commissioners in Kansas City.

Date: 
April 7th 1934

Pamphlet describing how Pendergast, "King of Kansas City, Emperor of Missouri," and his machine gained power in Kansas City and its role in statewide election fraud.

Date: 
1938

Unsigned letter to Governor Lloyd C. Stark describing acts of corruption taking place throughout the city stemming from businesses affiliated with the Pendergast machine and John Lazia.

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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.