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Joe Turner
Author: 
David Conrads

Joe Turner had a tremendous voice and a talent for improvising lyrics. He was called the "Boss of the Blues," and during the 1930s—Kansas City's musical heyday—"Big Joe" Turner was the greatest blues singer in town.

Cas Welch
Author: 
Nancy J. Hulston
For over thirty years, Casimir Welch controlled "Little Tammany," 36 precincts east of downtown, for Thomas J. Pendergast. This area was heavily populated, largely with African Americans. Through the usual ploys of free food and coal to the needy, Welch gained his constituents' trust and admiration, and they repaid him by voting as they were told.
Author: 
John Arthur Horner

Claude "Fiddler" Williams didn't play the instrument for which he became best known until after he had already mastered the guitar, mandolin, banjo, cello, and bass. Born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, on February 22, 1908, Williams began his musical career 10 years later.

Mary Lou Williams
Author: 
David Conrads

In a remarkably productive career that spanned a half century, Mary Lou Williams established herself as a pianist, composer, and arranger, an unprecedented feat that has remained an inspiration to women in jazz.

Walt Disney
Author: 
Jason Roe

Born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1901, Walter Elias Disney moved with his family to Marceline, Missouri, at the age of five. In 1910 or 1911 (sources differ), the Disney family moved to Kansas City, where Walt helped his father and brother deliver Kansas City Star newspapers at 3:30 a.m. Disney and his friends created "Laugh-O-grams," which were very short silent animation clips that complemented feature films at the Newman Theater in Kansas City, and by 1922 he opened his first animation studio on the second floor of the small McConahy Building on 31st Street.

Mary Tiera Farrow
Author: 
Jason Roe

On November 8, 1917, Mary Tiera Farrow and 20 other female lawyers formed the Women's Bar Association of Kansas City. Farrow was one of the few women in the United States who successfully practiced law in the early 1900s, overcoming the discrimination women faced in the legal field and society generally. Having been denied the professional benefits of any existing bar association, she led a group of 20 women in establishing their own bar in Kansas City. It was just one of many pioneering acts that Farrow undertook for herself and for women's rights at large.

Dorothy Gallagher and children at the Guadalupe Center
Author: 
Jason Roe

Dorothy Gallagher was born on January 8, 1894, to a wealthy Kansas City family. Not content to live quietly in affluence, Gallagher gained interest in a Catholic women’s group called the Agnes Ward Amberg Club, which carried out social work in Mexican communities in the west side of the city.

Satchel Paige
Author: 
Jason Roe

By the 1930s, Satchel Paige had acquired a reputation as one of the finest pitchers in the game, white or black. He earned more money than any other black player and even more than many white major league players. Seemingly everywhere he played he attracted record crowds that sparked wider interest in black baseball players and helped the Negro Leagues ball clubs attain financial stability.

L.D. Livingston
Author: 
Jason Roe

On October 6, 1922, the Kansas City Monarchs and the Kansas City Blues baseball teams embarked on a six-game series that would end with the Monarchs being crowned "The New City Champions" by the Kansas City Star .

Charlie Parker
Author: 
Jason Roe

Parker was born in Kansas City, Kansas, on August 29, 1920. He grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, where he played in jazz clubs as a teenager and young man. The local jazz culture based in the Vine Street nightclub district cultivated his talents as a teenager. Indeed, it was during this period that Kansas City made notable contributions to jazz with hometown artists such as Count Basie, Bennie Moten, and Buster Smith.

Nelle Peters
Author: 
Jason Roe

Nelle Nichols Peters is known as a pathbreaking female architect, designer of nearly 1,000 local buildings, and one of the most prolific architects in Kansas City during the 1920s. Despite the fact that many of these buildings still occupy prominent locations, especially near the Country Club Plaza, Nelle Peters remains a relatively obscure figure in Kansas City history.

Virgil Thompson
Author: 
Jason Roe

Virgil Thomson, composer and music critic, was born on November 25, 1896, in Kansas City, Missouri. Although he would go on to live much of his life in New York and Paris, and brush elbows with world-renowned musicians and intellectuals, Thomson always claimed he drew on the musical inspirations from his childhood in Kansas City.

An autochrome photograph of Mrs. Ella B. Adams sitting under an English cherry tree on her and her husband's property. Mr. Washington Adams was an attorney at law, Kansas City, city attorney and county counselor for Kansas City and Jackson County.

Date: 
April 22nd 1934

An autochrome photograph of George S. Allee's house taken from the east-southeast in the Fall of 1933. George Allee was district manager of the Missouri Automobile Club.

Date: 
September 11th 1933

An autochrome photograph of Harry C. Alley's house taken from the south-southwest in 1933. Alley was president of Rankin-Benedict Underwriting Company.

Date: 
June 22nd 1933

An autochrome photograph of Henry A. Auerbach's house taken from the northeast in the spring of 1934. Auerbach was co-founder of the Palace Clothing Company.

Date: 
June 7th 1934

An autochrome photograph of Henry A. Auerbach's house taken from the northeast after the 1934 Drought. Auerbach was co-founder of the Palace Clothing Company.

Date: 
September 1st 1934

An autochrome photograph of Mrs. Loucille Wade Baier's house with sumac on display in foreground.

Date: 
October 23rd 1933

An autochrome photograph of Andrew S. Barada's garden, taken from the south in the spring of 1933. Barada was president of Barada and Page (Chemicals).

Date: 
April 24th 1933

An autochrome photograph of Walter G. Basinger's house from the East, A. I. A. Medal Award of 1931. Basinger was director of the J. C. Nichols Company.

Date: 
June 6th 1932

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.