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Letter from John T. Harding to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, discussing corruption in the city and county government, as well as the local police department. He tells Stark that until he enacts new laws, "Kansas City will be at the mercy of the Organization. The Police Department is their gun; as long as they have it, they will make us step around." Harding also suggests that the Pendergast Machine has control over nearly every aspect of the city, "except the sewer system," and indicates that he believes most policemen are good and only acting on orders from above.

Date: 
May 5th 1939

Letter from George E. Kimball to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, discussing corruption in public service. Kimball identifies himself as "a former judge of the Jackson County Court, a former City Comtroller of Kansas City, and a Republican candidate for Mayor of Kansas in 1930." He writes to recommend Fred H. Carlson as trustworthy, "clean in his private life as well as his public service," and "highly in favor of taking the police department out of the hands of the corrupt political machine here in Kansas City."

Date: 
June 8th 1939

Letter from M. E. Hartman to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, unenforce rape and other crimes occurring in Kansas City.

Date: 
August 10th 1939

An update to the Kansas City Anti-Vice Society about improvements in Kansas City vice conditions, from Nat Spencer, secretary. He reports that "a great many shacks of houses formerly used for disreputable purposes are torn down," "indecent shows are receiving the attention of the vice squad," and "public gambling houses are closed."

Date: 
September 28th 1939

Letter from G. M. Burns, director of the Kansas City Safety Council, regarding the parole of Otto P. Higgins, Inmate #55996-L. Burns writes of Higgins' good work as director of the police department, particularly noting his achievements in greater traffic safety, increased training for officers, and reducing juvenile delinquency. Higgins, the former director of the Kansas City Police Department, was sentenced to two years in the United States Penitentiary at Leavenworth on charges of income tax evasion.

Date: 
August 6th 1940

Extant excerpt of a KMBC special radio broadcast: Three Kansas City police reporters talk about their work, about Kansas City crime, and share their on-the-job stories. Discussion of Frank Nash, Charles Arthur "Pretty Boy" Floyd, and Otto Higgins are included.

Date: 
November 19th 1938

Extant excerpt of a KMBC special radio broadcast: While touring floor-to-floor through the new police headquarters building, KMBC correspondenct Neil Keen interviews various Kansas City police officers about their work and their opinion on the new building.

Date: 
November 21st 1938

Report published by the Kansas City Society for Suppression of Commercialized Vice describing the actions of the society to combat local vice and to stay "the invidious and deathly march of human lechery and moral degeneracy in our midst." The group participated in the formation of the Injunction and Abatement bill through which "houses of prostitution are defined as nuisances," in taking action against Annie Chambers' "immoral resort," and in fighting "the allied evils of the liquor and drug habits" with the help of of local police and judges.

Date: 
October 31st 1923

Report prepared by the Kansas City Public Service Institute, under the direction of the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, surveying the Kansas City Police Department.

Date: 
March 1929

Form letter from Joseph B. Shannon to the people of Kansas City in which Shannon provides a list and figures documenting the rise of crime and police brutality in Kansas City from 1921-24 with the police department controlled by Matthew Foster and The Kansas City Star. In the postscript, Shannon alleges that policemen were ordered to "pay monthly political assessments" and states that the past "four years of police administration cost the taxpayers of Kansas City $5,232,691.74."

Date: 
March 19th 1925

Citizens' League Bulletin issue with the main article being a reproduction of a St. Louis Post-Dispatch report and editorial on Kansas City corruption and vice. Other articles document exorbitant car insurance premiums in Kansas City, pervasive public gambling and prostitution, and the relationship between Tom Pendergast and John Lazia.

Date: 
January 12th 1935

The Officers of the Society the Society for Suppression of Commercialized Vice's platform against vice and prostitution. The article covers the clean-up efforts taken to counter vice and how law enforcement is cracking down on all law violators. Document contains a reprint of a letter and the text of the Abatement Act. The article concludes with the attempts of the Society to push the Abatement Act into law.

Date: 
April 15th 1921
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.