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Jackson County Judges Harry S. Truman, William O. Beeman, and Eugene I. "Buck" Purcell took the oath of office on January 6, 1931. L-R: Jackson County Clerk Eddie Becker, Eastern district Judge Eugene Purcell, Presiding Judge Harry S. Truman, Western district Judge William O. Beeman, and Jackson County Deputy Sherriff Tiny Johnson.

Date: 
January 6th 1931

Harry S. Truman is being sworn in as a judge of the county court of Jackson County, Missouri. Left to Right: Edward Becker, County Clerk; Eugene Purcell, Judge of Eastern District; Harry Truman, Presiding Judge; W. O. Beeman, Judge of Western District. From: Petey Childers.

Date: 
January 6th 1931

Letter from Harry S. Truman at the Lafayette in Little Rock, Arkansas to his wife Bess in Independence, Missouri. In this letter, Truman updates Bess on his day and comments that many people in Jackson County, Missouri are asking him for favors, saying that, "...the finances of the county were never in such shape since Miles Bulger handled them, and every person I've ever had any association with since birth has wanted me to take pity on him and furnish him some county money without much return."

Date: 
February 12th 1931

Letter from Harry S. Truman in Fort Riley, Kansas to his wife Bess in Independence, Missouri. In this letter, Truman expresses his yearning to be with Bess and declares that "When I get that courthouse located and the contract let, we'll take another weddin' tour and maybe I can get back on earth (if I'm not in the midst of a state campaign)."

Date: 
July 28th 1931

Letter from Harry S. Truman at the Biltmore Hotel in New York City to his wife Bess in Independence, Missouri. In this letter, Truman updates Bess on his visit with William R. Gentry, Bennett Clark, and Roscoe C. Patterson. Truman adds that Patterson "had severed all connections with Kansas City, wasn't interested in the town or its people that St. Louis put him on the map and that's the town he is for."

Date: 
August 23rd 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 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

Letter from Harry S. Truman to James A. Reed in which Truman expresses why he is upset with Reed. Although Truman knows Reed has great respect for him, Truman is disheartened that Reed remains publicly neutral in his preference between Truman and Charles M. Howell as a 1932 senatorial candidate. Truman claims, "I believe that I can win, despite Howell's candidacy and despite your neutrality." Truman then provides reasons why he believes Reed's support of Howell goes against Reed's interests.

Date: 
December 28th 1931
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.