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Letter from Kansas City, Missouri Department of Police Director Otto P. Higgins to Wayne Miner Post No. 149 Post Commander Dr. Milton C. Lewis. Higgins writes that he appreciates Lewis's letter concerning police officers Cavanaugh and Keleher.

Date: 
June 28th 1935

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

Telegram from Kansas City Director of Police Otto P. Higgins to Governor Lloyd C. Stark. Higgins insists that the idea that voters will not receive adequate protection on election day is misguided. He writes "there is no reason for anxiety."

Date: 
March 26th 1938

Letter dictated for a telegram from Governor Lloyd C. Stark to Colonel Otto P. Higgins, Kansas City Director of Police, regarding the requests he has received for National Guard protection for the upcoming election, and asking for his opinion of the matter.

Date: 
1938

Telegram from Governor Lloyd C. Stark to the Kansas City Board of Election Commissioners, regarding requests for National Guard protection to ensure voter safety at the upcoming election and asking for their opinions on the matter.

Date: 
March 26th 1938

Letter from Olive Turner to Governor Lloyd C. Stark saying "it seems a shame that law abiding, tax-paying citizens have to get under cover and write to their Governor in order to live in this town." She expresses concerns about corruption, particularly at the state cosmetology board and the County Home for the Aged.

Date: 
March 25th 1939

Letter from Grover Childers to Governor Lloyd C. Stark reporting on current activities of the Pendergast machine, and opinions about Stark's efforts to clean up the police department. Childers also reports that President Roosevelt "is not in sympathy with political machines that defeat the public in elections."

Date: 
March 30th 1939

Letter from J. T. Montgomery to Governor Lloyd C. Stark discussing machine candidates in an upcoming election. He writes, "If I were in your place, I would tell these gentlemen that their ticket was not a Democratic ticket, but was a machine ticket in order to get control again of Kansas City, and rob its people."

Date: 
March 7th 1940

Anonymous letter complaining about corruption and gambling in Kansas City.

Pamphlet written by Ewing Young Mitchell, former Assistant Secretary of Commerce in Franklin D. Roosevelt administration's first term. He first responds to Harry Truman's statement to a reporter that "he never had sought the support of the Pendergast political organization in Missouri" and that the Pendergast machine was not involved in scandal until after he was elected to the Senate.

Date: 
October 1944

Letter from Harry S. Truman in Washington D.C. to his wife Bess in Independence, Missouri. In this letter, Truman updates Bess on his endeavor to select the new Kansas City W.P.A. Director and then comments about those affiliated with the Pendergast machine: "Mr. [Matthew S.] Murray, Mr. [Henry F.] McElroy, Mr. [Otto P.] Higgins, and even Mr. [Tom] P. himself probably would pay all the ill-gotten loot they took for my position and clear conscience."

Date: 
October 27th 1939

Letter from Floyd E. Jacobs regarding the parole of Otto P. Higgins, Inmate #55996-L. Jacobs writes that he is concerned Higgins "received a heavier sentence than others who at least were equally guilty," believes he deserves credit for his service in the World War, and thinks his family is in great need of his support. 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 5th 1940

Letter from Morton I. Newell regarding the parole of Otto P. Higgins, Inmate #55996-L. Newell writes that Higgins will "again become a useful citizen" and that he and his family "have suffered sufficiently to warrant any parole." 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 10th 1940

Letter from Herbert Corey regarding the parole of Otto P. Higgins, Inmate #55996-L. Corey writes that, while Higgins was undoubtedly guilty as charged, "he is not a criminal at heart," and "was the perfect victim for a political machine," describing him as "a stumbling, jovial, well meaning man who was able to do some good for his city." 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: 
July 5th 1940

Letter from Clay C. Rogers regarding the parole of Otto P. Higgins, Inmate #55996-L. Rogers writes that "the good which flowed from [Higgins'] activities far overbalance any wrong which he committed," and alludes to Tom Pendergast serving a lighter sentence for a worse crime. 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 7th 1940

Letter from E. G. Borserine, president of Yellow Cab Company, regarding the parole of Otto P. Higgins, Inmate #55996-L. Borserine writes of his belief that Higgins was "largely the victim of most unfortunate circumstances" and believes "he will prove a good citizen and an asset to the business life of this community." 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 12th 1940

Letter from Frank J. Dean, managing director of the Hotel President, regarding the parole of Otto P. Higgins, Inmate #55996-L. Dean writes that he worked with Higgins as a member of the Kansas City Safety Council, and "was very much impressed with his deep regard for safety," and that he believes Higgins has "suffered enough." 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 12th 1940

Letter from Chester C. Smith, president of the Kansas City Power and Light Company, regarding the parole of Otto P. Higgins, Inmate #55996-L. Smith writes that he believes Higgins "has been and ... can still be a very useful citizen in the community," and asks that "he be permitted to return to start his life again." 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 2nd 1940

Letter from G. R. Watson regarding the parole of Otto P. Higgins, Inmate #55996-L. Watson, a neighbor of the Higgins family, writes with compliments for the whole family, and saying that good and moral children could only come from "parents [who] are good citizens and good people." 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 8th 1940

Letter from James H. Anderson regarding the parole of Otto P. Higgins, Inmate #55996-L. Anderson writes of Higgins' commendations as a war correspondent, including "the personal commendation of our great General, John J. Pershing," and states his confidence that Higgins will "become a valuable citizen in our community" upon his parole. 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 5th 1940

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.