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Aerial view of Kansas City, Missouri, looking north-northeast with the Missouri River in the background.

The new Jackson County Courthouse in Kansas City, Missouri. This drawing was rendered as if looking southeast on Oak Street just north of 12th Street. From: "Courthouses of Jackson County, Missouri, 1933"

Date: 
1933

Soup line at the northeast corner of 6th and Delaware, in Kansas City, Missouri. From: Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

Date: 
January 19th 1929

Scene in Kansas City, Missouri, looking west on 13th street near Oak Street. From: Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

Date: 
1922

Jackson County, Missouri courthouse building as it looked in Kansas City about 1936. Harry S. Truman, as Presiding Judge of Jackson County, was instrumental in the building of the courthouse. This photograph was likely taken atop the Jackson County Detention Home at the southeast corner of 13th Street and Locust Street, looking north-northwest towards the courthouse and the Kansas City City Hall in the background.

Harry S. Truman and the 129th Field Artillery in front of the Muehlebach Hotel during the November 1921 Armistice parade in Kansas City, MO. Truman is in uniform, on the far side of the street, behind the man in the suit. This photograph was taken looking southeast on 12th Street just west of Baltimore Avenue.

Date: 
November 1921

Letter from Harry S. Truman at the Pickwick Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri to his wife Bess in Buena Vista, Colorado. In this letter, Truman updates Bess on his return to Kansas City and his speech there. Of his associates, he noted that "Mr. [Bennett C.] Clark accepted but failed to appear as usual. Told Jim P. [Pendergast] he'd be in this afternoon but didn't come."

Date: 
August 23rd 1939

Letter from Harry S. Truman at the Pickwick Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri to his wife Bess in Biloxi, Mississippi. In this letter, Truman updates Bess on the public's reaction at Truman laying off over two hundred county workers: "I have had to go off and hide. I am now on the seventh floor of the Pickwick Hotel. The manager gave me a room without registering so no job holder who wants to stay on can see or phone me."

Date: 
April 28th 1933

Letter from Harry S. Truman at the Pickwick Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri to his wife Bess in Biloxi, Mississippi. In this letter, Truman provides Bess with another update on the layoff of 202 county workers: "The papers didn't treat me so very badly. I guess I'll survive-politically I mean."

Date: 
April 29th 1933

Letter from Harry S. Truman at the Hotel Baltimore in Kansas City, Missouri to his wife Bess in Biloxi, Mississippi. In this letter, Truman updates Bess on his day and with county matters, saying that, "...the papers tried to start a row between me and the Sheriff. I don't want to start any row but I am going to finish one. He is out on a limb, and I am going to saw it off a little at a time."

Date: 
May 3rd 1933

A longhand note written by Harry S. Truman while he was a judge for Jackson County, Missouri. In this note, Truman recounts his childhood and early adulthood. Notable events described include his first encounters with his future wife, Bess Wallace; his start in politics at the hands of Mike Pendergast; and his decision to join the military.

Date: 
May 1931

A longhand note written by Harry S. Truman while he was a judge for Jackson County, Missouri. In this note, Truman recounts his childhood and early adulthood. Notable events described include his construction of the Jackson County Courthouse, his start in politics, and his family history.

Date: 
May 14th 1934

A longhand note written by Harry S. Truman while he was a judge for Jackson County, Missouri. In this note, Truman exposes many of the names and relations of those involved with the Pendergast machine in Kansas City. Although supported by Pendergast, Truman comments on the machine thusly: "What chance is there for a clean honest administration of the city and county when a bunch vultures sit on the side lines and puke on the field[?]."

A longhand note written by Harry S. Truman while he was a judge for Jackson County, Missouri. In this note, Truman writes of his career in politics in Kansas City and of Tom Pendergast. Truman says of him, "I am obligated to the Big Boss, a man of his word; but he gives it very seldom and usually on a sure thing. But he's not a trimmer. He, in times past owned a bawdy house, a saloon and gambling establishment; was raised in that environment, but he's all man. I wonder who's worth more in the sight of the Lord?"

A longhand note written by Harry S. Truman while he was a judge for Jackson County, Missouri. In this note, Truman provides a character sketch of fellow Jackson County judges Howard J. Vrooman and Robert W. Barr. Truman comments that "I got a lot of good legislation for Jackson Co. over while they [Vrooman and Barr] shot craps... By having a good host [Vrooman] and a man with an inferiority complex [Barr] I was able to expend $7,000,000.00 for the taxpayers benefit. At the same time I gave away about a million in general revenue to satisfy the politicians."

A longhand note written by Harry S. Truman while he was a judge for Jackson County, Missouri. In this note, Truman provides a character sketch of fellow Jackson County judge Thomas B. Bash and describes political activity in Kansas City between 1928 and 1931.

Letter from William A. Kitchen to Senator Harry S. Truman in which Kitchen discusses filling the position of Veterans' Placement Officer for the State of Missouri.

Date: 
August 1st 1935

Letter from William A. Kitchen to Senator Harry S. Truman in which Kitchen discusses Franklin D. Roosevelt's unpopularity among World War veterans. Kitchen suggests that the President must attend the American Legion National Convention in St. Louis that year if he intends to visit the following year during his reelection campaign.

Date: 
August 14th 1935

Letter from William A. Kitchen to Senator Harry S. Truman in which Kitchen encourages Truman to give K. E. Long of Newburg, Missouri a job under Mr. Murray. Kitchen finds Long to be "well connected politically in Phelps County and I am, therefore, extremely anxious that he be placed on the payroll at the earliest possible date."

Date: 
August 9th 1935

Letter from William A. Kitchen to Senator Harry S. Truman in which Kitchen describes in detail an investigation by Harvey L. Duncan concerning an alleged theft of an interstate shipment of liquor. Kitchen warns against a conspiracy charge, which would reflect poorly on the Kansas City organization. Thus, he suggests that any suspect be tried separately, and not as co-conspirators in a large scheme. In order to do this, Kitchen recommends Truman has Bennett C. Clark call Maurice M. Milligan and request that Milligan prosecutes violators separately.

Date: 
May 12th 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.