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Rahe Auto and Tractor School
Rahe Auto and Tractor School
TitleRahe Auto and Tractor School
DescriptionPostcard of Rahe Auto and Tractor School
Historical ArticleRahe's Auto & Tractor School at 22nd and Gillham Road was founded in 1917 by Henry J. Rahe, who came to Kansas City in 1908.

During World War I the school was used to train Army personnel. The Rahe school and the old Sweeney automobile school (opposite Union Station) were known as the largest institutions of the kind in the world. Rahe at one time branched out with schools in two other cities.

The building housing the school was one built in 1909 by Franklin Butler, a printer and publisher. Rahe enlarged the Butler building when he opened his automobile and tractor school in 1917. He extended the building to the full size of the lot, 148 x 320, and added the fourth floor with an auditorium and tabernacle for the religious and welfare work of Fred E. Roberts. A large pipe organ and large stage were installed. The auditorium seated 2,000.

In the basement a gymnasium and swimming pool were built for the students. A news story at the time read: "Rahe's auto school is a miniature city in itself, has a restaurant, drugstore, confectionery store, tool store, recreation room, barber shop, etc. An institution that Kansas City should be proud of. The school statistician has estimated that there will be four or five thousand men who will attend the school in a year."

Charles Stevinson, who operates an automobile and electrical school at 20th and Main, was a former instructor at Rahe's. Stevinson obtained his position in the school when the flu epidemic struck and hundreds died. He replaced an instructor stricken by the disease.

After the war both Rahe's and Sweeney's schools were closed.

Walter S. Dickey, the next owner, used the property for the publication of the Kansas City Journal-Post. When the newspaper went out of business the building stood empty for a time.

A public auction to sell the property was held on the premises in 1946. Nat Milgram and I. Bordman purchased it. Lester Milgram remembers attending the auction with his father.

For 20 years Milgram's Food Stores used most of the building for their general offices. Craddock Uniform Company and Dupont Paints were among others who leased space in the building. In 1967 Hallmark purchased the property, which now awaits development by Crown Center.

Seen in the background of the old post card which was photographed from the air and published by Max Burnstein, is the General Hospital.

Kansas City Times
April 19, 1975

AuthorRay, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)
Item TypePostcard
CollectionMrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
Local SubjectRahe's Auto and Tractor School
General Hospital
Digital FormatJPEG
RepositoryMissouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
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