Kansas City FAQs

Why is there a Kansas City in both Kansas and Missouri?

The origin of modern-day Kansas City, Missouri dates back to the 1830s, when John McCoy founded the settlement of Westport at what is now Westport Road and Pennsylvania. McCoy chose this area to open an outfitting store for pioneers on the Santa Fe Trail. He then established a river boat

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Who were the Coon-Sanders Nighthawks?

The Nighthawks Orchestra/Band was a musical group formed in the early 1920s by Carleton Coon and Joe Sanders. Originating in the Plantation Grill at the Muehlebach Hotel, the Nighthawks gained world-wide fame as WDAF broadcast their shows on the radio

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What is P.O.P or the Priests of Pallas?

The Priests of Pallas was a week-long festival held annually in Kansas City from 1887 until 1912, and revived briefly from 1922 to 1924. Festival supporters set out to promote Kansas City’s image as the “Athens of the West” and to parallel other celebrations such as New Orleans's Mardi Gras and St. Louis’s Veiled Prophet. Pallas Athene was the

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Where are the records for the Willows Maternity Home?

**Please note that MVSC does not have any records from any of the Kansas City maternity homes, nor are we aware of where any surviving records may be located.  Read on for further details.**

When the Willows Maternity Sanitarium closed in 1969, after 64 years of providing a haven and help for "unfortunate" girls and adoption services for their

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Who was Jesse James and what was his connection to the Kansas City area?

Jesse James was born near Kearney, Missouri in 1847, the son of Zerelda Cole James and the Reverend Robert James, a well-respected Baptist minister who ran a prosperous farm, owned slaves, and was involved in the creation of William Jewell College in Liberty. During the Civil War, Jesse’s older brother, Frank, fought with

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What is the oldest building in Kansas City?

The identity of the oldest building in Kansas City has been hotly debated. Neither one of the prime candidates was originally in Kansas City but in Westport, a separate town until 1897. Both buildings were constructed within a few months of each other in 1850.

The structure generally known as the “Albert G. Boone Store,” or

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Did any famous explorers ever stop in Kansas City?

Yes. Perhaps the most famous explorers to ever spend time in the area were Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and their Corps of Discovery expedition in June 1804. After following the Missouri River west for a few weeks, the group camped at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers - known as Kaw Point - for three days, making notes about the area and replinishing supplies before

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What companies did political boss Tom Pendergast own?

The two most prominent companies owned by Pendergast were Ready Mixed Concrete Co. and the T. J. Pendergast Liquor Distributing Co.

His concrete company, one of the first in the nation to deliver to the site, furnished the concrete for many construction projects during the Depression,

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When did Charles Lindbergh come to Kansas City?

On August 17, 1927, less than three months after Charles A. Lindbergh’s historic solo flight from New York to Paris, Lindbergh landed his famous “Spirit of St. Louis” aircraft in Kansas City. The occasion—the dedication of Kansas City’s newest airport.

Kansas City's first airport,

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Why did the area of 18th and Vine become famous?

Located just east of downtown, this historic area includes a number of city blocks surrounding the intersection of 18th and Vine Streets. African-American Kansas Citians began settling in this area in the late 1800s, and by the 1920s the 18th and Vine District was a thriving commercial, residential, and entertainment center. From shopping for clothes and food to visiting a doctor or lawyer

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