Search

Displaying 1 - 20 of 443
Harry Truman being sworn in as judge
Author: 
Jon Taylor

Truman’s tenure in Jackson County government had a profound impact on Kansas City and Jackson County. He encouraged Jackson Countians to support bond issues during the Great Depression, which left a lasting legacy on the built environment of Kansas City and Jackson County. Even though he was a member of the machine, he developed a bipartisan strategy that ensured Kansas Citians and Jackson Countians would embrace these bond issues, because he wanted to demonstrate to voters that these projects would not just benefit the machine, but everyone.

Thomas Hart Benton
Author: 
Mary Frances Ivey

Thomas Hart Benton, one of the leaders of the Regionalist movement in American art, was a prolific painter, muralist, draughtsman, and sculptor from childhood until the end of his life in 1975. Today he is best known for his realist depictions of American life, which, in his own time, were perceived as directly opposed to modernist movements cultivated in Europe. His paintings, largely vignettes of daily life and ordinary rural characters, were simultaneously praised for their frankness and criticized for their gritty representations of American culture and history.

Harry S. Truman
Author: 
Susan Jezak Ford

Truman entered the thick of local politics when he served a Jackson County judgeship in the 1920s. He was elected U.S. Senator with a landslide vote and was sworn into office on January 3, 1935. Truman had established his record by improving county roads and overseeing the construction of the new Jackson County courthouse. His successful campaign undoubtedly benefited from the support of local political boss, Tom Pendergast . Although he was criticized for his association with Pendergast, Truman stated that Tom Pendergast never asked him to do a single dishonest act, and he never abandoned his friend.

Letter from Chief U.S. Probation Officer Lewis J. Grout to Judge Merrill E. Otis concerning Criminal Case No. 14458: United States vs. Thomas J. Pendergast, Defendant. In this letter, Grout affirms that despite newspaper reports, T. J. Pendergast has not participated in political activities since his release from prison. These actions would be a violation of Pendergast's parole. During this time, Pendergast was accused of directing Harry Truman's political campaign.

Date: 
July 17th 1940

Letter to the Governor from Mrs. L. M. Fry describing corruption and injustices occuring at her husband's job.

Date: 
March 31st 1940

Letter from R. Emmet O'Malley, director of the Kansas City Water Department, to Robert E. Hannegan, regarding the candidacy of Mrs. McDaniels for statewide office. McDaniels was supported by "the St. Louis organization," and Tom Pendergast stated that he would not oppose their candidate. O'Malley writes that he "talked both with Jim Aylward and Senator Truman; both expressed themselves in accordance with Mr. Pendergast's views."

Date: 
December 19th 1938

Memo for the press containing a response from Governor Lloyd C. Stark to a report from the US Senate's Gillette Committee to Investigate Campaign Expenditures. Stark says the report proves that allegations against his camapign were "just another effort of the Pendergast remnants and their allies in the 'smear Stark movement' designed to put the Pendergast crowd back in control of Missouri."

Date: 
June 22nd 1940

Letter from Walker C. Johnson to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, lauding Stark for his "stand for RIGHT in the State of M[issouri]." He writes that many of his county opposed Stark due to his Pendergast support, but that now "most of them are behind you on this [war] to rid the State of the rascals in elections." He also describes losing his job due to political affiliation.

Date: 
June 21st 1938

Letter from Ruth Vawter to Governor Lloyd C. Stark. Vawter writes regarding Mrs. Marie S. Barnhill, former Area Supervisor of Women's Work for the WPA in Webster County. Barnhill's successor "is making her brags that she can deliver Saline County in the palm of her hand to the Organization for Judge Billings," and Vawter suggests that Barnhill, who is not currently allied to either Supreme Court candidate, could support Douglas "should [Stark] be able to help her."

Date: 
June 10th 1938

Letter from Walker C. Johnson to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, lauding Stark for his "stand for RIGHT in the State of M[issouri]." He writes that many of his county opposed Stark due to his Pendergast support, but that now "most of them are behind you on this [war] to rid the State of the rascals in elections." He also describes losing his job due to political affiliation.

Date: 
June 21st 1938

Letter from Philip A. Lantz to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, lauding him for his work against corruption in Missouri, including his work for James Douglas' election to the Missouri Supreme Court. Lantz says the Pendergast machine is an "Ala Baba band of boodlers [who] want to get their filthy paws on the whole state for the glory of Ready Mixed and the plethora of loot."

Date: 
July 15th 1938

Letter from Carl Burgoyne Smith to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, reporting that Pendergast influenced many voters from the Missouri School for the Deaf to support Truman in 1934, and wonders if the same is happening in support of James Billings for Missouri Supreme Court.

Date: 
July 30th 1938

Letter from Walker C. Johnson to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, expressing happiness at James Douglas winning the Missouri Supreme Court election, but describing further corruption to be eliminated in his county and WPA. He describes a WPA foreman that other workers call "Little Tom" passing out campaign information for Billings in advance of the election.

Date: 
August 4th 1938

Letter from Robert Locke, Kansas City Journal-Post science editor, to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, requesting Stark's approval to start a "Stark for President" Club. He also writes of R. Emmet O'Malley's removal as head of the state insurance commission and other concerns about the extent of corruption in state politics and elections, and expresses his belief that Stark might "wrest control of the state Democratic Party from the Pendergast-Shannon-Clark faction."

Date: 
October 25th 1937

Letter from J. R. Smith to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, including a St. Joseph News-Press newspaper clipping about an Al Capone associate marveling at Kansas City vice. The article is titled "WIDE OPEN AND VULGAR." Smith also requests that Stark help retain Henry Dillingham as U.S. Marshall, and writes that Harry Truman "is not fit to represent a good dog kennel."

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

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, suggesting that the Pendergast machine hopes Stark will run against Maurice Milligan in the Senate race in an attempt to defeat both of them.

Date: 
January 13th 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.