Tag Archives: Kansas City Local History

LaBudde Special Collection Transcription: Learning from One and Many Voices

Coming back to work on transcriptions for LaBudde after having worked on transcriptions from interviews I had conducted for the LatinxKC project has been a little bit of an adjustment. It is interesting looking at the interviews now from the perspective of having finished the oral history class as opposed to my thoughts while I was taking the class. I remember the frustration of trying to hear and sort out many voices as opposed to just one voice, but I have now come to see the place for different approaches. Having read about the therapeutic benefits of a group interview, I can see why someone might choose the more informal round table method as a way to preserve history. I can also see the benefits of a monologue and removing some of the external sources of intimidation which might threaten to question a person’s memory. One of the primary take aways I had from the oral history course was the importance of memory and finding how events felt and were remember for individuals and communities. I have noticed that one benefit of a relaxed group is that the group self corrects some of the flows in memory in such a way that it allows for the speaker to preserve their memory of the event in a less threatened way. Although the little group may correct each other on the dates, the shared community of the group, particularly in the lesbian round table interview I’m working with, seems to be very conscious and sensitive towards the feelings and memories of the other group members. Yet, I have also found that self correction occures for individuals without the group, such as in the monologue I have transcribed. The difference is that a group self correcting often becomes chaotic and the very corrections the group wishes to impose can be lost within the jumble of words, laughter, and jesting which are usual benefits of such groups. The individual on the other hand, when self correcting, is limited to their own conflicting recollection, and although more understandable, the corrections can still result in relatively jumbled and uncertain conclusions. What the monologue style confession does give is a free flow of what the narrator finds important. I say confession, because with the existence of the microphone, the narrator is still very aware that they are speaking to other people and wants to please those listeners. They must do so, however, without those listeners being there to give supportive listening cues or to directly participate in the guiding of the conversation. So, in some ways, the monologue is the most authentic confession of the person’s memories and values of what was important. But in other ways, the lack of a living person and the smile or nod of their head, can leave narrators monologueing to expectations which are not even there.

The group interview, in contrast, would appear to have the greatest level of interruptions, tangents, and outright questioning of the narrator’s memory. Yet, the comfort of having friends and a shared sense of support and community in the group interview of the lesbian round table allowed the speakers to question each other without fear. Thus, despite the frequent outbursts of laughter and side comments, the group is comfortable and most members are able to reflect on the events and what it felt like to them.

On a more critical note, I do not believe I would prefer to conduct either of the interview forms I’ve been transcribing. The monologue, while therapeutic and potentially more comfortable for the speaker, holds potential pitfalls in the assumption that the narrator will no longer be nervous with the living person being removed and the cold inanimate judgment of the tape recorder remaining. Yet, if I had gotten an interview with the narrator (which was the case of the monologue) then a monologue might allow the narrator to speak and contradict me in a safer nonconfrontational format. This is a worthy benefit, especially if there were conflicting memories and perspectives of events and places between the interview and the monologue’s account.

I also do no believe I’d want to do the group interview either, but for different reasons. Although the group interview could be more comfortable and allow for womens voices to be presented in a more natural and freeing way, the difficulty of hearing such voices can be a problem. Although the group interview provides a great sense of the group’s relationships and community, as well as still effectively conveying key points if the narrators’ views, it can also lose the particular views and memories of some of the individual members. The group reflection allows for sparked memories to be added to the narrative and a weaving of stories and fragments into a group sense of shared experience. The individual strands and story treads which contribute to the overall weave are visible, but can be lost in the blending of so many stories and threads. I have noticed that some of the quieter narrators in the group interview tend to be overtalked and some individuals with differing perspectives can be ganged up on by more vocal or forceful speakers. Some of the softer spoken narrators can be lost in the midst of background jesting or bombastic laughter. While creating a great sense of the group and allowing a format which sparks recollections, reflections, and additional details to stories, the different individual perspectives and memory of events can be lost in a group interview. Most of this is because the additional details and freedom to jump in create overtalking. More importantly, the round table group interview was so comfortable that it allowed some narrators to jump in late in the recording, or suddenly appear on record when they had silently been participating the whole time. The increase of influencing factors and visual cues present in the round table makes an audio recording confusing to listen to. Without a visual recording included with the audio it is, at times, nearly impossible to know who and what is being talked to or about. Individual interviews with each person would have allowed for much deeper and complete interviews in many ways, esoecially for the more timid speakers. Again, the group interview does provides a sense of the groups memory and also allows for contributions to each other stories by the narrators in ways which cannot be discounted. Yet, without individual interviews, I can’t help but wonder if the stories told by the group are those the quieter members would have told on their own, or if the stronger members of the group, with the best of intentions or without even knowing it, guided the group into a memory distinctly imprinted with their leadership.

LaBudde Special Collections Transcription: Learning to Hear

Today I began two transcriptions which, though similar in focus, couldn’t have resulted in more diverse work experiences.  One was an individual monologue about the gay scene in Kansas City since the 1960s.  The other was a round table discussions of the different experiences of a group of lesbians in Kansas City.  While the monologue flowed fairly smoothly and demanded more focus on grammatical form, due to the narrators use of pauses and vocal delivery, the round table require more nuanced attention.  With frequent interruptions, laughter, and joking among the narrators as they seamlessly flowed off of and into each others conversations, I found myself needing to stop and learn the narrator’s unique voices.  While the first project demanded I try to understand the rhythm and meaning of the narrator’s delivery (to know what should be a period or comma), the other demanded I listen for distinct voice markers.

In both cases I needed to hear the individual quality of the narrator’s voice, but in different ways.  I couldn’t simply type out what I heard.  In the monologue, without first hearing the narrators rhythm and broader topic, I could very easily structure the statements incorrectly.  In the round table interview, the general lack of names being given before speaking and the boisterous free-flow of conversation, left me confused without better context.  Though both required topical context, the round table drove me to become familiar with the voices themselves.  In both transcriptions I needed to start orienting myself a few minutes into the recording, not at the beginning.  This was a new experience compared to those stories I had heard since childhood which start at, you guessed it, the beginning.  I needed to not only hear the rural style to “Pat’s” Midwestern voice as opposed to the higher pitched, New Jersey fast pace of Giselle’s voice; but I also needed to hear the more nuanced differences between the rich tones of Sue’s Davenport voice  and Bev’s Kansas City voice.

The longer I listened, over and over, I started to hear the vocal tones of different laughs and the patterns of different speakers.  I began to become familiar with their voices, to know them.  I began to really hear them.  Sometimes foreign to the historical voices of monographs and journal essays, the recordings brought be into a more challenging and more personal type of history.  It was challenging, disorienting, and a little unsettling.  But it was also beautiful.  The struggle to discover the voices of the historical agents was present, just like in other forms of research, but in new ways.  It wasn’t enough to hear the narrator’s voice, to get their words, but I had to discern their voice for its distinct qualities.  It wasn’t enough to know the words and actions of the historical agent, but what makes them different from other historical agents.  Today was a wonderful example of literally learning to hear the voices of those in the past who I had never heard before, and I can’t wait to hear what they will say next.

LaBudde

GLAMA

Arthur B. Church

By Kelly Hangauer

Oh man. For those researchers out there who have never come across the KMBC collection at the Marr Sound Archive, you need to check it out!! The Arthur B. Church KMBC radio collection offers an eclectic mix of local and national news, music shows, interviews, Kansas City events, political advertisements, local business advertisements, and serial programs from roughly 1930 to the 1950s. Between 2011-2012, the Marr Sound Archive digitized and documented 445 hours of material with the support of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. You can read more about it here.

Annex - Hussey, Ruth_01

Ruth Hussey

I have been digging into the KMBC collection in order to find more information on John B. Gage, the mayor of Kansas City from 1940-1946. Due to the hard work that went into archiving this collection, there is ample information to aid researchers in their work.  Not only have I been able to discover information on John Gage, but I have also come across many other surprises. For example, I have included here a sound clip from the 1941 American Royal in Kansas City. In this recording, one finds an interesting crossroads between popular culture and local politics, as interviewer Larry Clark lets city manager L.P. Cookingham and actress Ruth Hussey speak to one another.

 

Those interested in archiving can access the finding aid for this recording here.

The Arthur B. Church KMBC radio collection is invaluable for those interested in the history of radio broadcast and Kansas City, and contains a plethora of subjects from which to conduct interesting research.

Recollections

By Kelly Hangauer

IMG_0081The first items that got digitized and handed back to me were two cassette tapes entitled “Recollections.” Recorded in the 1960s, “Recollections” consists of an elderly John Gage recalling his childhood and family life in Kansas City. Apparently read from a manuscript, Gage’s lawyer-like delivery conjures up scenes of Civil War era Kansas City and the lively development of the early metropolis. It was fascinating to hear about Colonel Thomas H. Swope, guerrilla warfare, and the wild celebrations that occurred upon the completion of the Missouri-Pacific railroad and the Hannibal Bridge connection. Here is an audio clip from the story Gage’s father told him about the completion of the Missouri-Pacific railroad.

 

 

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Equipped with a laptop, notebook, and headphones, I have immersed myself in the fascinating stories of “Recollections.” The goal of the finding aid I am creating is to strike a balance between enough information and too much information. This balance will enable researchers, and anyone else who may be interested, to assess the importance of the audio without having to listen all the way through. In the meantime, Marr Archives will store the hard copies of the John B. Gage collection, while the digital archival copies will be stored in the larger Missouri University server.

 

 

End Games and a Dead End

By Tony Lawson

I finally made it over the the Steamboat Arabia Museum to look for a chloroform bottle to at least get some good photos of our own for the Civil War medicine exhibit at Wornall. The bottles at Clendening Medical Library were nice, but I could not positively date them to the Civil War.  They looked more 1872 than 1860s to me  Esoteric, I know, but its my job.  I knew I had seen a collection of medicine bottles at the SAM and their provenance was flawless.

When I finally saw the collection again this week, I learned a few things.  First, the labels on many of the bottles were paper and were destroyed by the mud and water.  We have no earthly idea what some of those bottles contain.  At one point, the SAM sent some sample bottles to a lab for testing.  The lab called back to confirm the order and had a conversation that went something like, “Yeah, some of the medicines that we do know that were widely used in this period of history contained opium and if we find opium in this stuff we have to notify the DEA and you guys are going to have to spend some money to keep it secured and inaccessible from the public.”  Umm…okay box it up and send it back. Click…brrrrr.

Second thing learned was, they do not know whats in the bottles and they do not want to know what is in the bottles.  So, no chloroform bottle yet, however, I did meet a man who offered to loan us a Civil War saber and bayonet.  Unfortunately, those items accounted for only about 2-4% of Civil War battle wounds.

Unfortunately, my work here at UMKC History Makers is at its end.  I have enjoyed writing these blogs and I hope anyone that read them found some of that joy too.  I hope we meet this way again in the future.  In the meantime, the the search for artifacts and archives continues, the dream lives on, and I have many miles to go before I rest.

On Knowledge, Networks, and Notches

By Tony Lawson

I would not be in my internship position at the Wornall House without my solid academic background.  For years, I have worked hard in school, earned good grades, and received a few honors and accolades from academia.  My knowledge of historiography, American History, and specifically Missouri history, has paid off in getting me into this choice internship at Wornall House.  I have loved every minute of it.  Now that I am in this position and have accomplished a few things, I look back and recount what it took, beyond this background knowledge and education, to get things done thus far.

The first thing I was able to do was “hook up” the Wornall House with Dr. Matthew Osborn at UMKC for a planned “Whiskey as Medicine” cocktail party/fundraising event in the fall.  At an early meeting I learned of the planned party and suggested that Dr. Osborn would be an excellent guest speaker at the event.  Dr. Osborn has specialized knowledge in the area of the consumption of alcohol and drugs in early America and teaches a popular course at UMKC called “Getting High in America.”  My connections at UMKC through the History Department made that possibility a reality.  I look forward to hearing Dr. Osborn’s short speech about the topic of “Whiskey as Medicine” while enjoying shot of whiskey at a cocktail party in the fall.

My second accomplishment was to connect the professional photography work of Bethany Wears to the project.  Bethany took the photos I have used in these blog entries about Wornall House and the more formal blog entries I am posting at the Kansas City Public Library’s Civil War on the Western Border website.  Bethany’s photos inspired me.  They really did.  The muse visited when I wrote the piece on the .44 lead ball for the library and I am proud of that work and most fortunate to get the opportunity to network with Jason Roe PhD at the library.  He is an editor with the mostest!  The thing is, Bethany does not work cheap.  She is a full-blown professional and charges around $175 an hour for her work.  So far, I have been able to get her work donated to the museum.  Will I be able to get Bethany to donate more of her time and work?  Stay tuned!

The six planned blog entries at the KCPL website coincide with the planned exhibit at the Wornall House.  Those blogs and my encyclopedia entries there are my best “published” work.  Each of those pieces are like notches on my pistol grips.  I’m a sure shot Border War history writer and those articles and blog entries are a record to prove it.  I look forward to adding more notches over the summer.

One other accomplishment, and I’m still holding my breath on this one, is in obtaining artifacts for the exhibit. The original theme of the project was Civil War Medicine.  As I have mentioned in previous blogs, the Wornall House does not own any artifacts that can be directly related to Civil War medicine.  Through my own creativity, I managed to connect the .44 caliber lead ball to medicine, but other than the bullet, the museum owns nothing medically related.  We have to come up with that stuff on our own.  Through my network of personal acquaintances at our restaurant, The Bean Counter Cafe’, I have an inside track with the folks that own the privately owned Steamboat Arabia Museum (SAM).  The SAM has  quite possibly the largest collection of antebellum artifacts in the world.  What they have medically related and what they may loan us for the exhibit remains to be seen.  It is a project in the works that may work out well and I owe that to my network–and the fine food and congenial atmosphere of our business.

I had a fair part in choosing the topics for the upcoming Wornall House exhibit and and I am taking on the responsibilities of researching and writing for the project beyond the terms of my internship.  I will be working over the summer because it so many ways the planned exhibit has become my baby.  With Anna Marie Tutera accepting a new position at the Kansas City Museum the Directors job at Wornall/Majors will be open.  I plan on throwing my hat in the ring if I get even half a chance to do so.  I know it is long shot, but if I were to get that gig, I would credit it to my personal network and the proverbial notches on my gun as much as my hard-earned and respectable MA in US History from an R-1.

Networks and Notches

Chief Interest

By Natalie Walker

Since this is my last blog post for my internship, I decided to do a little reading in an attempt to find some overarching quote that would inspire people to think more deeply about Public History and its importance. Suffice it to say, I found myself pouring over the pages of Freeman Tilden’s Interpreting Our Heritage because his concepts are so simple and brilliantly obvious.  At the same time, his words remind me why I have a passion for Public History and why I know I want to pursue a career in the Museum field.

So, what does this have to do with Historic Preservation (where I have been interning the past semester)? Well, in the past four months, I have found myself to be exactly the kind of person that Tilden describes in his book. I, like anyone else, require some sort of a connection to whatever I am learning, reading, writing, or viewing.  Not just any connection, but a personal connection that allows me to relate to something through my own life experience. Tilden describes this as “the visitor’s chief interest” which is “whatever touches his personality, his experiences, and his ideals.” Essentially, if a museum, a national park, or, even a guidebook to Kansas City’s historic buildings and neighborhoods does not establish a personal connection with the visitor/reader then it will not keep their interest.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI can look back on my time of research and writing and distinctly remember moments when I began researching a site and realized I had driven by it a number of times or even been to the location.  Knowing the history of a place automatically made it seem important to me, not to mention the fact that I had written about it, so I was personally invested.  As I wrote the sites, I tried to remember that I was not the only one who would potentially develop a chief interest in some part of the guidebook based on its relevance to their own life. It was thoughts like these that made me want to pull out as much history as possible so that someone reading the site description might find a personal connection with the location because they live near it or drive by it, or any other myriad of reasons.

Kansas-City-Missouri-Downtown_at_TwighlightI am truly grateful for my internship experience. Of course, it was definitely a challenge to learn architecture terms and to write about them with confidence, but I now feel connected to Kansas City in a way I never thought possible. Moreover, I was fortunate enough to take part in making real, public history.  My underlying goal during this project was to latch onto the reader’s chief interest by reminding future readers of the rich history in their backyards that will hopefully spark a personal connection because of the relevance of Kansas City History to their own lives.

Rumors of Murder at the Wornall House

Frank C. Wornall's memoir of the Wornall House is missing a few pages. Do the missing pages point to murder? (photo by bethanywearsphotography.com)

Frank C. Wornall’s memoir of the Wornall House is missing a few pages. Do the missing pages point to murder? (photo by bethanywearsphotography.com)

By Tony Lawson

When I first became familiar with the Wornall House history, one of the stories I heard was the tale of wounded Confederate soldiers recuperating in the second floor children’s bedroom.  When the Union troops moved in and pushed Shelby’s troops back south they found the Wornall House being used as a regimental field hospital and the wounded Confederate soldiers inside.  Local lore claims Union troops came into the bedroom and bludgeoned to death several wounded Confederate soldiers to make way for their own comrades wounded in the Battle of Westport.  I was told that that plaster on the first floor ceilings had to be replaced from the blood that had oozed through from this event and that there still remained blood stains on the bedroom floor. Someone suggested we call in the police department forensics team to spray Luminol and whip out the black lights.

As I dig through the primary source material I have yet to find hard evidence that these murders occurred at the Wornall House.  I did find that all the floorboards in the home were replaced sometime in the early twentieth century when plumbing, gas and electricity were installed.  So, cancel that call for Luminol.  There is nothing in Frank C. Wornall’s papers that explicitly tells this story, however, he does cryptically say that after the battle the Missouri State Militia officers had to use their sabers and other means to prevent the less disciplined troops of the Enrolled Missouri Militia “from killing them all.”

Frank apparently repeated this story several times in speeches that he gave over his long lifetime.  In those cases, Inflection and tone would have been provided, however, in text form, that statement is perfectly vague.  Does he mean some were killed and others were not?  Or, does it mean, the EMM troops wanted to kill them all.  It hints at the story of murder, but it is not conclusive of anything other than there was a confrontation between MSM officers and EMM troops over the handling of wounded Confederate prisoners at Wornall House. The confrontation nearly became violent at the least and at most it was the violent and cold blooded murder of wounded prisoners that has been obscured and forgotten by the general tumult of the war and its aftermath.

Additional evidence of this event is hinted at in the Wornall’s recounting of the battle.  Both Frank and his father, John, mention the presence of seven dead Confederate soldiers on the southwest lawn.  One of these was a colonel and a makeshift rail fence had been constructed around his body.  There were surely lots of Confederate dead lying around the Wornall farm; why do they both mention those seven? Were these the Confederates bludgeoned to death in the bedroom?

(As an interesting side note, I discovered that the officer left in charge of the Confederate prisoners at Wornall House was Colonel John F. Richards who later headed up the firm of Richards and Conover Hardware Co.  The building they built still stands as prime loft space in River Market area of KC.  http://www.kcloftspace.com/richardsconoverlofts/)

Adding to the frustration of getting to the bottom of this story are several pages missing from Frank C. Wornall’s typed manuscripts at both the Wornall House and the Jackson County Historical Society.  On top of that, the memoirs are the recollections of a nine-year-old boy writing some 70 years after the event.  Everything should be taken with a small grain of salt.

Despite the paucity of hard evidence, my research tells me this story is completely believable.  Troops under the Enrolled Missouri Militia were often locals with long standing scores to settle with Missourians.  This region was the scene of the bloodiest most violent civilian insurrection in American history.  Bushwhackers and Union troops regularly tortured, hung, scalped and defaced one another’s corpses and neither side was known for taking live prisoners.  Regular army troops in pitched battles were different though.  At least they were supposed to be.

I did find evidence of Confederate prisoners being executed at the Battle of Westport, but that event did not occur at the Wornall House.  That happened after McGhee’s charge to capture Union cannons in what is now north Loose Park.  That charge marked the high point of the battle and Price’s 1863 Missouri “expedition.”  (During that charge there occurred an event rarely recorded in Civil War battles; two opposing officers shot and wounded one another with their sidearms.)  The first charge initially failed, a later second charge captured the Union position and Confederates discovered the bodies of comrades who had been captured and then executed in the first charge.  Were these the seven dead on the Wornall lawn and the source of the story of murder at Wornall?  Are there motivations for stories such as this, true of not, to be propagated after the war?

I do not know the answers to these questions.  I do know I will keep researching to learn what I can with the knowledge that a true mystery can never be solved…it can only be made a better mystery.

Ars Moriendi — The Good Death

By Tony Lawson

.44 caliber lead ball found at the Wornall House archaeological excavation, summer 2013.  (Photo by bethanywearsphotography.com)

.44 caliber lead ball found at the Wornall House archaeological excavation, summer 2013. (Photo by bethanywearsphotography.com)

I had the opportunity to attend a planning meeting for the upcoming museum exhibits at the Wornall House Museum.  At the meeting were the director of the Wornall-Majors House museums, the director of Clendening Medical Library,  and the CEO of the Metropolitan Medical Society of Greater Kansas City.  It was one of the first times in my life that all my reading and research paid off a bit in a professional manner and I could speak as an authority on a historical matter.  In this case the topic was death in the Civil War.  I was able to relate the following primary and secondary evidence to make a clear and concise case about Victorian notions of death and dying and tie it directly to the historical narrative we are constructing at Wornall House.

Once again in the Wornall House stories and histories, I have found two different versions of a single tale.  This one involves 9-year old Frank Wornall and his reminisces of the Battle of Westport.  According to Frank’s stories of the Wornall House, at some point a lone wounded Confederate soldier appeared at the back door of the home.  The man had been shot through the jaw and it was nearly removed.  He could not speak, only make wild gestures with his hands and eyes.  Somehow it was communicated to Frank that the man was refused admission at the regimental hospital because he was not a member of the regiment.

Frank had ” the run of the house” to take care of the wounded man and led him to the cistern where he bathed and bandaged the man’s wounds.  The man was most grateful and soon recovered enough to be on his way toward home and family where he could be nursed back to health.  That’s one version of the story.

The other version of this story begins the same, but ends with young Frank Wornall cradling the wounded soldier in his arms on the families lawn near the cistern.  In this version the event occurred as the Battle of Westport was ending and Confederate troops were in retreat from Union troops approaching the Wornall House, which had been converted to a Confederate field hospital.  A Confederate cavalry soldier rode up on his horse and looked down at the scene with Frank comforting the wounded soldier on the lawn.  The mounted soldier removed his pistol from its holster and shot the wounded man dead.

When Frank asked the soldier why he had shot the wounded man in seeming cold-blood, the soldier replied that it was much better for the man to die in the arms and warm comfort of friends than in the hands of the enemy.

While this version of the story shocks modern sensibilities and conflicts with contemporary morals in its violence, it actually epitomizes Victorian Era notions of the ars moriendi–The Art of Dying.  The societies that brought forth the Civil War witnessed death and dying on an unprecedented scale and had to find ways to deal with the unimaginable losses of so many men in the prime of their lives, so very far from their homes.  Hospitals were places for indigents and the homeless in which to die; people in good standing with their God, communities and families spent their last hours and died at home surrounded by loved ones recounting the deeds of a life well lived. That was the concept of a good death and the Civil War destroyed it.

Being blown to atoms by modern artillery was nearly incomprehensible to the Victorian Era mindset.  Inglorious death from camp diseases cheated would be heroes from their deeds. Dying away from home while surrounded by your enemy or strangers flew in the face of the concept of a good death.  That was not cold-blooded murder on the Wornall’s lawn; it was has hot-blooded mercy.  That cavalry soldiers lead ball was a gift; the gift of a good death.

Did You Know?

While the information I will discuss in this post is probably common knowledge, I felt like it was fascinating enough that it deserved some more attention. Most of my posts have focused on interesting bits of information I have found or how my internship has changed my perception of Kansas City, but this post is simply about a site I did some research on and was truly surprised by the results…

Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 5.05.02 PMIf you are a native of Kansas City or familiar with the local history, then the name Pendergast is probably familiar. He was the political mob boss who, under the dictation of the aptly named “Pendergast Machine,” controlled the politics and other aspects of Kansas City. One of his “associates,” Henry McElroy, served as the City Manager during the tumultuous years that Pendergast was in control. McElroy lived at 21 W 57th Street (to the right is a google map image of his house – blue) with his wife Marie and daughter, Mary. On May 27, 1933, four men drove up to the McElroy residence and kidnapped Mary, holding her hostage for 34 hours at a ransom total of $30, 000 – quite a sum for the 1930s.

photoWhen Mary (pictured left) was finally returned, the four kidnappers were captured and received their sentencing. What I found fascinating about this case is the fact that the ringleader of this criminals, Walter McGee was actually sentenced to death. In fact, a punishment so severe had never been given to a kidnapping offense in US history before! It is compelling that this specific punishment was passed considering Mary’s father had so much influence and was of course, infuriated by the crime. Not to mention, it is a significant judicial decision for KC and the U.S.

I think this might be one of the most interesting stories I have stumbled upon while working on this internship, partly because it was and is so sensational and also because it demonstrates the intriguing local history in Kansas City. Since I began this internship I have found it to be incredibly enlightening and informative on all things KC. I find myself eagerly spouting off new information to my friends and family who probably only feign interest in my newest story. Overall, I think this internship has not only improved my research abilities, but it has made me more aware of the rich history that we drive and walk past everyday.

 

You can read the full story of Mary McElroy’s Kidnapping at the KC Public Library website: http://www.kclibrary.org/blog/week-kansas-city-history/kidnapped