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Letter from Jackson C. Stanton to Governor Lloyd Stark, discussing Tom's ascension to head the Pendergast family and lauding Stark for his work against the Pendergast machine. He writes "by his religious ties, family relationships, political spoils, and political patronage Tom Pendergast and his faction or clique have become about all there is to Kansas City."

Date: 
March 11th 1938

Letter from J. R. Smith to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, expressing frustration with a 1938 election. Smith also describes having had 70 head of cattle stolen and having abandoned his farm as a result.

Date: 
April 1st 1938

Letter from W. W. McColgin to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, thanking Stark for his work in opposition to the Pendergast machine. He is pleased that "we had a decent orderly election in Kansas City, and that is a great stride in the right direction," and writes of Pendergast, "one day Kansas City will rule out his name and call him dead."

Date: 
April 2nd 1938

Letter from H.T. Williams to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, regarding a statement made by Pendergast and thanking Stark for his work toward an "honest ballot." Williams also approves "of the way [Stark] had dealt with the state insurance controversy."

Date: 
April 2nd 1938

Letter from Mrs. Grace Wisdom to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, telling Stark that she and others have "been for you as you were a friend of Mr Tom Pendergast," but warns "you'll no doubt hurt your self from many good honest votes when you are disloyal to Mr Pendergast."

Date: 
April 2nd 1938

Letter from Gertrude Wyatt to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, describing calm and "no opposition workers in the field" during the recent election.

Date: 
April 2nd 1938

Letter signed "A voter" to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, supporting his work against the Pendergast machine, and comparing the situation to St. Louis's earlier ouster of "Boss" Butler. The letter writer says "the better class of K.C. would be glad to see Tom out of power, but they are afr[a]id to talk even afraid to vote against him."

Date: 
April 2nd 1938

Letter from J. E. Woodsmansee, chairman of the Kansas City Board of Election Commissioners, to Governor Lloyd C. Stark discussing the work of the Board and a conversation he had with Pendergast wherein Pendergast "assured me he would emphatically inform his organization that it must adhere strictly to the letter of the law and the rulings of the Board of Election Commissioners."

Date: 
April 8th 1938

Letter from Spencer Salisbury to Governor Lloyd C. Stark discussing the election board and voter registration in Eastern Jackson County ahead of the Douglas-Billings Supreme Court vote.

Date: 
July 16th 1938

Statement by a rival of Lloyd Stark in the 1936 Democratic primary for governor. The writer states "when I entered the gubernatorial contest my only hope was that I might help to arouse the people of our State against the infamy of the Pendergast machine," and was concerned about Stark's endorsement by the Pendergast machine. In light of Stark's work to clean up government and elections, however, he states "my attitude for the Governor's courage has become one of unstinted admiration."

Pamphlet describing how Pendergast, "King of Kansas City, Emperor of Missouri," and his machine gained power in Kansas City and its role in statewide election fraud.

Date: 
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 Dorman H. O'Leary to Governor Lloyd C. Stark discussing actions taken against Jackson County politicians including County Prosecutor W. W. Graves and Sheriff James Williams. O'Leary is opposed to the sheriff's ouster and argues that "a grave injustice is being done to the only elected official in the court house who has conducted his office in a proper manner."

Date: 
May 9th 1939

Unsigned letter to Governor Lloyd C. Stark describing acts of corruption taking place throughout the city stemming from businesses affiliated with the Pendergast machine and John Lazia.

Letter from Ashton Keith to Governor Lloyd C. Stark. Keith writes that Stark has a great deal of work remaining if he wishes to root out corruption and graft in Kansas City, as "all the splendid work that has been done by yourself and others positively has not yet even scratched the prime source of control of machine politics." He suggests that graft money can be traced to "two certain banks" and "can furnish some strong indications as to deep interest in ... the 'machine.'"

Date: 
December 1st 1939

Letter from Ashton Keith to Maurice M. Milligan suggesting that if Milligan should run for governor instead of Senate if he wishes to continue working against the Pendergast machine. He also writes that Pendergast "WAS NOT AND IS NOT THE REAL BOSS," and that "the Machine is far more strongly entrenched in Kansas City ... than most people realize."

Date: 
December 1st 1939

Clipping from the Sunday Washington Star by O. K. Armstrong describing the Pendergast machine and efforts to take them down ahead of a March 1938 election.

Date: 
March 13th 1938

Letter from L. E. Myers to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, stating that Jackson County prosecutor W. W. Graves is corrupt, and accusing him letting rapists and thieves go free in a case for a bribe.

Date: 
February 15th 1940

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

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.