Transcribed from History of Wyandotte County Kansas and its people ed. and comp. by Perl W. Morgan. Chicago, The Lewis publishing company, 1911. 2 v. front., illus., plates, ports., fold. map. 28 cm. [Vol. 2 contains biographical data. Paged continuously.]


CHAPTER XXVI.

KANSAS CITY, KANSAS.

Part 2


THE FIRST MOVEMENTS - KANSAS CITY TOWN COMPANY - CITY INCORPORATED - WHEN ARMOURDALE GOT A START - PLATTING OF ARGENTINE - PUBLIC IMPROVEMENTS - KANSAS PATRIOTISM AROUSED - CALL FOR A STATE MASS MEETING - A GREAT CIVIC DEMONSTRATION - COLONEL COBB'S LOGICAL ADDRESS - GOVERNOR'S CONSOLIDATION PROCLAMATION - FIRST CITY OFFICERS - ESTABLISHED WARD BOUNDARIES - FIRST REGULAR MUNICIPAL ELECTION - THE METROPOLITAN POLICE - OFFICIALS OF THE CITY - GOVERNMENT BY COMMISSION.

THE GOVERNOR'S CONSOLIDATION PROCLAMATION.

In the year 1886 Governor John A. Martin, by virtue of an act of the Kansas legislature, issued a proclamation that consolidated all of these cities and towns into one city to be known as Kansas City, Kansas. The proclamation follows:

GOVERNOR'S PROCLAMATION

Declaring Kansas City, Armourdale and Wyandotte a city of the first class, under the name of Kansas City,

"State of Kansas, Executive Department,
"Topeka, March 6, 1886.

"Whereas, it appears by certificate of the county clerk of Wyandotte county, Kansas, bearing date of February 16, 1886, and filed in this department on the 19th day of February, 1886, that the following cities, to-wit: Armourdale, Kansas City and Wyandotte, neither of which is a city of the first class, lying adjacent to each other, and not more than three-fourths of one mile apart, have attained, and that the aggregate population of said adjacent cities, as shown by the last census, taken under the laws of this state, now is fifteen thousand and upwards; and

"Whereas, it further appears by said certificate of the county clerk of Wyandotte county, Kansas, that the boundaries of said city of Armourdale are as follows: 'Commencing at the center of section twenty-two (22), township eleven (11) south, range twenty-five (25) east; thence west twenty-six hundred and forty (2,640) feet; thence north twenty-six hundred and forty (2,640) feet; thence east thirteen hundred and twenty (1,320) feet; thence north eight hundred and fifty-four (854) feet; thence cast three hundred and thirty (330) feet; thence south six hundred and sixty-one (661) feet; thence east to the quarter section line running north and south through the center of section (15) in said township and range; thence north eight hundred and forty (840) feet; thence east one hundred and seventy-five (175) feet; thence north four hundred and fifty-five (455) feet; thence east three hundred and five (305) feet; thence north one hundred and sixty (160) feet; thence east five hundred and eighty (580) feet; thence south ten hundred and thirty-one (1,031) feet; thence south twenty-two degrees (22) and fifty minutes (50) east, three hundred and twenty-five (325) feet; thence south eight hundred and ninety (890) feet; thence south thirty-two degrees (32) west, twenty-two hundred and twenty-one (2,221) feet to the place of beginning, having a population of fifteen hundred and eighty-two (1,582), as shown by the last census taken under the laws of this State; that the boundaries of said city of Kansas City are as follows: 'Commencing in the middle of the Kansas river, at a point where the same is intersected by the dividing line between sections fourteen (14) and twenty-three (23), in township eleven (11) south, range twenty-five (25) cast; thence east to the line dividing the states of Kansas and Missouri; thence north along said state line to the middle of the Missouri river; thence up said Missouri river northwesterly to a point where the middle of the Kansas river intersects the same; thence up the middle of the Kansas river to the place of beginning,' and that said city has a population of thirty-eight hundred and two (3,802), as shown by the last census, taken under the laws of this state; that the boundaries of said city of Wyandotte are as follows: 'Commencing on the eastern boundary of the state of Kansas where the same is intersected by the Second Standard Parallel; thence west along said Standard Parallel to the northwest corner of section four (4), in township eleven (11) south, and range twenty-five (25) east; thence south to the southwest corner of section nine (9), in said township and range; thence east to the southeast corner of said section nine (9) ; thence south to the north line of the right-of-way of the Union Pacific Railway Company (Kansas Division); thence easterly along the north line of said right-of-way fourteen hundred and fifty (1,450) feet; thence north thirty degrees (30) east, nine hundred and forty-five (945) feet; thence south eighty-one degrees (81) and forty-five minutes (45) west, one hundred and fifty (150) feet, thence north fifteen hundred (1,500) feet; thence east to the east line of the right-of-way of the Union Pacific Company (Kansas division); thence south along the east line of the said right-of-way to the quarter section line running east and west through the center of said section fifteen (15), township eleven (11), range twenty-five (25) cast; thence east to the center of the Kansas river; thence to the middle of the Kansas and Missouri rivers to the point of beginning,' and that said city has a population of twelve thousand and eighty-six (12,086), as shown by the last census, taken under the laws of this state.

"Now, therefore, I, John A. Martin, governor of the state of Kansas, do hereby declare and proclaim, under and by virtue of the authority vested in me by an act of the legislature of the state of Kansas, entitled 'An act to provide for the consolidation of cities,' approved February 11, 1886, and an act supplemental and amendatory thereof, approved February 18, 1886, the said citizens of Armourdale, Kansas City and Wyandotte, to be consolidated, and to be one city, and a city of the first class, under the name of Kansas City, subject to the provisions of an act entitled 'An act to incorporate and regulate cities of the first class, and to repeal all prior acts relating thereto,' approved March 4, 1881, and amendments thereto, and that the boundaries of the said consolidated city are and shall be the boundary line around the outside of the said several cities so consolidated, as follows: 'Commencing on the eastern boundary of the state of Kansas where the same is intersected by the Second Standard Parallel; thence west along the said Standard Parallel to the northwest corner of section four (4), in township eleven (11) south, of range twenty-five (25) east; thence south to the southeast corner of section nine (9) in said township and range; thence east to the southeast corner of said section nine (9); thence south to the southwest comer of the northwest quarter of section twenty-two (22), said township and range; thence east to the center of said section twenty-two (22); thence north thirty-two degrees (32) and thirty-six minutes (36) east, twenty-two hundred and twenty-one (2,221) feet; thence north eight hundred and ninety (890) feet; thence north twentytwo degrees (22) and forty-five minutes (45) west, three hundred and twenty-five (325) feet; thence north to the quarter section line running east and west through the center of section fifteen (15), township eleven (11) south, range twenty-five (25) east; thence east to the center of the Kansas river; thence up along the center of said river to the section line between sections fourteen (14) and twenty-three (23), in said township and range; thence to the state line between the states of Kansas and Missouri; thence north along said state line to the center of the Missouri river, thence up said Missouri river to the place of beginning.'

"And I further declare and proclaim that the first election of officers of said consolidated city shall be held on Tuesday, the 6th day of April, A. D., 1886, in the manner provided by the acts authorizing such consolidation.

"In testimony whereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State. Done at the city of Topeka on the day and year first above written.

"By the Governor: JNO. A. MARTIN.

"E. B. ALLEN, Secretary of State.
"By W. T. CAVANAUGH, Assistant Secretary of State."

The original proclamation, as executed by the governor and duly certified by the secretary of state, on March 6, 1886, is on file in the office of the clerk of Wyandotte county.

THE FIRST CITY OFFICERS CHOSEN.

At the election held Tuesday April 6, 1886, under the proclamation of Governor Martin the first officers to serve the new city were chosen:

Mayor - Thomas F. Hannan.
Clerk - John J. Moffitt.
Treasurer - Frank S. Merstetter.
Attorney - William S. Carroll.
Engineer - John H. Lasley.
Street Commissioner - John Wren.
Fire Marshal - J. K. Paul.
City Marshal - John Sheehan.
Police Judge - M. J. Manning.
Councilmen - Charles Bohl, W. T. Brown, William Clow, Edward Daniels, Thomas Flemming, Charles Hains, Samuel McConnell, James Phillips, Cornelius Butler and Dr. J. C. Martin.

These officers were chosen to serve until a regular city election in April, 1897, and they were duly installed by Dr. J. C. Martin, who was mayor of Wyandotte at the time of its consolidation and therefore the provisional mayor of the new city.

ESTABLISHED WARD BOUNDARIES.

One of the acts of the first administration was the division of the city into six wards, as provided by laws governing cities of the first class in Kansas. The wards as then formed are described as below:

The First ward comprised all that portion of the city of Kansas City, Kansas, lying east of the Kansas river. First precinct: All that portion of the First ward lying south of the center line of the extension of Kansas avenue east of the Kansas river, including the localities known as Toad-a-Loup and Greystone Heights. Second precinct: All that portion of the First ward lying between the center of Lyon avenue (formerly Fifth street) on the north and the extension of Kansas avenue on the south. Third precinct: All that portion of the First ward lying north of the center of Lyon avenue, extending from the Kansas to the Missouri river.

The Second ward comprised all that portion of the city lying north of the center of old Ohio avenue extended, and east of the center line of Fifth street prolonged to the city limits on the north. Fourth precinct: All that portion of the Second ward lying south of the center line of Minnesota avenue and east of the center line on Fifth street. Fifth precinct: All that portion of the Second ward lying south of the center of Virginia avenue, east of the center line of Fifth street, and north of the center line of Minnesota avenue. Sixth precinct: All that portion of the Second ward lying north of the center of Virginia avenue, and east of the center line of Fifth street, prolonged to the northern city limits.

The Third ward comprised all that portion of the city lying west of the center line of Fifth street, prolonged to the northern city limits, and north to the center of State avenue. Seventh Precinct: All that portion of the Third ward north of the tracks of the Chelsea Park branch of the elevated railway. Eighth precinct: All that portion of the Third ward lying south of the tracks of the Chelsea Park branch of the elevated railway, and east to the center line of Ninth street. Ninth precinct: All that portion of the Third ward lying south of the tracks of the Chelsea Park branch of the elevated railway, and west of the center line of Ninth street.

The Fourth comprised all that portion of said city lying between the center line of State avenue on the north, the center line of Fifth street on the east, the center line of old Ohio avenue on the south and the city limits on the west, Tenth precinct: All that portion of the Fourth ward lying west of the center line of Ninth street. Eleventh precinct: All that portion of the Fourth ward lying east of the center line of Ninth street, and north of the center line of Tauromee avenue. Twelfth precinct: All that portion of the Fourth ward lying east of the center of Ninth street and south of the center of Tauromee avenue.

The Fifth ward comprised all that portion of the said city lying between the center line of the old Ohio avenue, and the old Ohio avenue extended on the north, the Kansas river on the east, the main line tracks of the Union Pacific railway on the south, and the city limits on the west. Thirteenth precinct: All that portion of the Fifth ward lying east of the center line of Mill street, and north of the tracks of the Riverview branch of the elevated railway. Fourteenth precinct: All that portion of the Fifth ward lying east of the center of Mill street, and south of the tracks of the Riverview branch of the elevated railway. Fifteenth precinct: All that portion of the Fifth ward lying west of the center line of Mill street.

The Sixth ward comprised all that portion of said city lying south of the main line tracks of the Union Pacific Railway and west of the Kansas river. Sixteenth precinct: All that portion of the Sixth ward lying west of the center line of Coy street (formerly Fourteenth street, Armourdale). Seventeenth precinct: All that portion of the Sixth ward lying between the center line of Coy street on the west, and the center line of Fourth street (formerly Seventh street, Armourdale) on the east. Eighteenth precinct: All that portion of the Sixth ward lying east of the center of Fourth street.

THE FIRST REGULAR MUNICIPAL ELECTION.

At the first regular election held in Kansas City, Kansas, in April, 1887, Mayor Thomas F. Hannan, Clerk John J. Moffitt, Treasurer Frank S. Merstetter, Attorney W. S. Carroll, Fire Marshal J. K. Paul and Street Commissioner M. J. Manning were elected for a term of two years. A. W. Boeke was chosen city engineer at that election to succeed J. H. Lasley. The councilmen chosen at this election were: First ward, James Sullivan and James Phillips; Second ward, Charles Bohl and Charles Scheller; Third ward, Dr. J. C. Martin and James Varner; Fourth ward, Joseph Peavey and Joseph C. Welsh; Fifth Ward, L. F. Martin and William Miller, and Sixth ward, Thomas D. Kelley and M. G. McLean.

THE METROPOLITAN POLICE.

The police department on April 15, 1887, was placed under control of a board of police commissioners appointed by the governor, under, what was known as the Metropolitan police law enacted by the legislature of 1887. The first commissioners were William A. Simpson, J. W. Longfellow, and George W. Bishop. The commissioners appointed P. K. Leland police judge and O. K. Serviss chief of police, and organized a Metropolitan police force. This same police administration was continued with few changes of commissioners and heads of the departments until the Metropolitan police act was repealed in 1899 and the police department was placed in control of the mayor and council.

The system of municipal government provided by the charter laws underwent few changes for twenty-four years, public improvements were made, and the fire and police forces, as well as those of other departments, were enlarged as the growth of the city demanded.

THE ANNEXATION OF ARGENTINE.

The area of Kansas City, Kansas, was increased by the extension of the limits at different times to take in adjoining additions until, in 1909, the territory embraced in the city extended west from the Missouri river to Eighteenth street which was the western boundary.

In 1909 there was another notable movement for enlarging the city. It was then that the citizens of Argentine decided to annex their city to Kansas City, Kansas. This declaration was followed by the necessary ordinances and on January 1, 1910, Argentine became a part of Kansas City, Kansas, and was designated as the Seventh ward.

About this time, Quindaro, Midland Park, Chelsea Place and several additions on the north, west and south, increased the area of the city to seventeen and one-half square miles, with a west boundary at Thirty-third street.

OFFICIALS OF THE CITY.

Since the organization of Kansas City, Kansas, in 1886, the following have served as mayors:

Thomas F. Hannan, 1886-9.
William A. Coy, 1889-91.
Thomas F. Hannan, 1891-3.
Nathaniel Barnes, 1893-5.
George J. Twiss, 1895-7.
Robert L. Marshman, 1897-1901.
William H. Craddock, 1901-3.
Thomas B. Gilbert, 1903-5.
William W. Rose, Edward E. Venard and Dr. George M. Gray, 1905-7.
Dudley E. Cornell, 1907-9.
Ulyssus S. Guyer, 1909-10.
James E. Porter, 1910-13.

Those who have served the city in other offices since the date of organization are:

City Attorney - W. S. Carroll, H. L. Alden, A. H. Cobb, L. C. True, K. P. Snyder, T. A. Pollock, F. D. Hutchings, Marvin J. Reitz, S. R. Nelson and W. L. Winship.

City Counsellor - H. L. Alden, L. W. Keplinger, Winfield Freeman, James N. Rees, K. P. Snyder, George B. Watson, T. A. Pollock, J. W. Dana, E. S. McAnany, H. L. Alden, L. W. Keplinger and Richard Higgins.

City Clerk - J. J. Moffitt, Benjamin Schnierle, William Albright, B. L. Short, George E. Yeager, E. R. Ireland, William B. Trembley, P. J. Nugent, George Foerschler, Jr., J. E. Smyth and Girard Little.

City Treasurer - F. S. Merstetter, Chas. P. Dennison, John W. Ferguson, John A. Adams, Lillian J. Adams, Tiera Farrow and Kate Daniels.

City Engineer - J. H. Lasley, A. W. Boeke, Charles A. Ellis, Francis House, S. G. McLoon, Robert L. McAlpine, S. G. McLoon, R. L. McAlpine and William Barclay.

Chief of Fire Department - J. K. Paul, W. J. Hill, J. K. Paul, C. E. Staub, Larkin Norman, Jerry Grindrod, Larkin Norman, T. B. Bowlling and John McNarry.

Chief of Police - John Sheehan, O. K. Serviss, S. S. Peterson, C. P. Dennison, W. T. Quarles, O. K. Serviss, W. T. Quarles, Robert J. McFarland, Henry T. Zimmer, A. J. Murray, Vernon J. Rose, D. E. Bowden, W. W. Cooke and H. T. Zimmer.

Police Judge - M. J. Manning, P. K. Leland, S. S. King, P. K. Leland, M. J. Manning, W. H. McCammish, T. B. Bowling, W. B. Trembley, John T. Sims and J. L. Carlisle.

City Assessor - J. C. Bailey, Frank Mapes, W. H. Bridgens, Harry Darlington, William Pray, D. W. Troup, H. T. Zimmer and George Stumpf.

Street Commissioner - John Wren, M. J. Manning, C. Patterson, H. F. Johnson, W. N. Woodward, W. B. Garlick, William Rodekopf, James A. Young, James E. Porter, A. R. McClaskey, H. S. Swingley and C. Patterson.

Commissioner of Election - W. B. Taylor, Robert C. Foster, S. S. King, R. J. McFarland and W. W. Cooke.

Police Commissioners - R. W. Hilliker, W. A. Simpson, J. IV. Longfellow, George W. Bishop, Hinton Gordon, A. W. Cunningham, William Pray, George W. Mitchell, John Caskey, Leonard Daniels, William S. Gress, O. Q. Clafflin, J. L. Sterrett, O. J. Peterson and 11, S. Swingley.

GOVERNMENT BY COMMISSION.

A notable event in the history of the progress of Kansas City, Kansas, was the adoption by the voters of the city at a special election early in 1910 of the Commission form of municipal government. The act of the Kansas legislature, which was the charter under which cities adopting the system are operated, provided for a mayor commissioner and four other commissioners, each to have charge of a particular department of municipal affairs and to be held responsible for their management. At the election held in April, 1910, these commissioners were elected: James E. Porter, mayor commissioner; James A. Cable, commissioner of water works and public lighting; Charles W. Green, commissioner of finance and revenue; Henry E. Dean, commissioner of parks, health and public property; and Otto Anderson, commissioner of streets and public improvements.

Three days after the election Mayor U. S. Guyer and the twelve members of the council gave over the management of the city to the commissioners and retired. The water board gave over control of the water works and the park board afterwards surrendered control over the parks and boulevards to the commissioners.

The inauguration of the new rule brought many radical changes from the former council system. By a division of the responsibility of management and the close application of each commissioner to his duty the city's affairs were placed on a business basis, its floating debt paid and its expenses kept within its revenues.

At the end of the first year of the new rule Mayor Commissioner Porter and Commissioners Cable, Dean and Anderson were re-elected for terms of two years. Mr. Green, who had made a splendid record as commissioner of finance, retired with honor to devote himself to his business interests. Jaynes E. Caton was chosen as his successor.

 


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