Kansas City in the Jazz Age & Great Depression


Displaying 1 - 20 of 146

Photograph of men, identified as William H. Spivey (left) and J. Jones (right), posing with the Black Hawk Barbecue delivery scooter.

Photograph taken between 1935 and 1943 of men playing horseshoes in Kensington Park, Kansas City, Kansas. This activity was part of the Works Progress Administration.

Photograph of men standing on the James Street Station Platform, Kansas City, Kansas before the last streetcar to pass over the elevated street railway, also known as the "L" structure. This streetcar line connected the West Bottoms with downtown Kansas City, Missouri via the 8th Street Tunnel. It was closed that day after 35 years of use as the "L" structure on the west side of the route was in disrepair. Businessmen demanded repairs and five years later it was re-opened for use.

December 29th 1922

Photograph taken between 1935 and 1943 of civilians and members of the military at a bookmobile, Fairfax, Kansas City, Kansas. The bookmobile was part of the Works Progress Administration's library services program.

Photograph of members of the Society of Saint Angelo de Licata. Most members were from Licata, Sicily and worshipped at Holy Rosary parish.


Photograph of the Friars' choir at Kirkwood Hall at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. The choir is comprised of members of the local diocese and directed by Reverend Albert Q. Senn, O.F.M. Identified are Senn (front center); Vincent J. O'Flaherty of Redemptorist Church (top row, 3rd from left); James A. Comiskey of St. James of Church (2nd row from top, 3rd from left); John Hanssen from a parish in Lexington, Missouri (2nd row, 2nd from left); John Oshimo, organist at Our Lady of Sorrows (top row, far right).

December 12th 1941

Photograph of Father John P. Prendergast, pastor of Holy Cross Catholic Church from 1907-1942.


Photograph of James Turgeon, E. F. Spaeth, and Joseph Scanlon, Assistant Scout Executive for the Kansas City Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The picture was taken during Bishop Hogan's Knights of Columbus Council, a picnic at Fairyland Park on August 30, 1931. Boy Scouts Troop 80 assisted and provided a clown act.

August 30th 1931

Photograph of a tug of war event between the male congregation of the Holy Cross Parish and those of the St. Stanislaus Parish.


Photograph of members of the Italian Supreme Intersocial Council of Kansas City. It consisted of members of several lodges and societies for the purpose of mutual aid to lodge and society members and the poor of the Holy Rosary parish. Seated first from left: Joe DiMaria; seated third from right: Tony Bivona; back row, fourth from left: Vito Monaco; in front: Victor Francis DeMaria.

Photograph of the original thirteen members of Boy Scout Troop 70, Holy Rosary's first boy scout troop, sponsored by the adult businessmen known as the Youth Council. This vantage point faces east-northeast towards the entrance to the Holy Rosary Health Center and School.

November 18th 1934

Photograph of Walter McGee. The caption on the back of the image reads, "KC 217832... (Chicago Bureau). EDITORS: The above photo shows Walter McGee, under sentence to hang for the kidnaping of Miss Mary McElroy, daughter of the city manager of Kansas City, Mo. WATCH WIRES FOR POSSIBLE DEVELOPMENTS MARCH 30, 1935. BFM#26 3-29-35 YOUR CREDIT LINE MUST READ 'ACME."

March 29th 1935

Photograph of convicted kidnapper Walter H. McGee. The caption on the back of the image reads, "KC 211935... (Chicago Bureau). IN DEATH CELL. Walter H. McGee, leader of the kidnap gang that abducted Miss Mary McElroy, photographed in the death cell in the Jackson County jail at Kansas City, Mo., after a jury had sentenced him to hang for the crime. This is the first photo to be taken in the death cell, and special permission to make it was received from Sheriff Thomas B. Bash. BFM#26 7-29-33 YOUR CREDIT LINE MUST READ "ACME"."

July 29th 1933

Photograph of Edward L. Schneider, former aid to Thomas J. Pendergast. The caption on the back of the image reads, "CC 230102c... (Chicago Bureau) SUICIDE OR HOAX? KANSAS CITY, MO. - Edward L. Schneider of Kansas City Mo., who disappeared leaving suicide notes after appearing before the grand jury to testify concerning the affairs of Boss Tom Pendergast, whose aid he was. While police seek his body, federal investigators are checking theories of hoax and foul play. BFM#26-A 5-2-39. YOUR CREDIT LINE MUST READ "ACME"."

May 2nd 1939

Photograph of T. J. Pendergast (left) and James M. Pendergast (right). The caption on the back of the image reads, "KC 440785, K.C. POLITICAL SMILES AS MACHINE CLICKS KANSAS CITY, MO.----T. J. (Tom) Pendergast, dominant Democratic leader of Kansas City, is shown here with his nephew and Chief Lieutenant, James M. Pendergast, smiling broadly as they anticipated victory in the Kansas City elections. The picture was taken in the Pendergast wigwam, known as Jackson Democratic Club.

March 30th 1938

Photograph of Edward L. Schneider attached to a photograph of police searching for Schneider's body at the bottom of the Missouri River with nets. Schnider went missing after testifying against Thomas J. Pendergast. The caption reads, "Chi 27 - Kansas City, Mo. - E. L. Schneider and police dragging river."


Photograph of convicted kidnapper George McGee. The caption on the back of the image reads, "KC 212964... CHICAGO BUREAU, LIFE SENTENCE GIVEN GEORGE McGEE FOR McELROY KIDNAPING. George McGee, shown above on witness stand, was sentenced to life imprisonment for his part in the kidnaping of Miss Mary McElroy, daughter of the Kansas City, Mo. city manager, on May 27, from her home. Walter McGee, brother of George, the leader of the kidnap gang, has been condemned to die by hanging, the first such verdict to be returned in the United States in kidnap cases.

November 5th 1933

Photograph of Robert E. O'Malley (left) and Thomas J. Pendergast (right). The caption on the back of the image reads, "KC 235368... (Chicago Bureau) PENDERGAST GETS TWO YEAR SENTENCE, KANSAS CITY, MO. T. J. Pendergast (right), former czar of Kansas City, and R. E. O'Malley in Kansas City federal court shortly before both were sentenced to serve two years in federal penitentiary in connection with Missouri fire insurance rate compromise. Both filed notices of appeal. List 5 YOUR CREDIT LINE MUST READ "ACME" 6-8-41."

June 8th 1941

Photograph of two men posed before laying the cornerstone for the Boys Hotel Club Memorial Building on November 6, 1921. This vantage point faces south on the south side of Admiral Boulevard between Flora Avenue and Highland Avenue.

November 6th 1921

Photograph a nurse and unidentified man posed near four boys in beds in the inpatient ward at the Boys Hotel at the southeast corner of Admiral Boulevard and Flora Avenue.


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.