Search This Blog

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

John William "Blind" Boone

John William "Blind" Boone (1864-1927 ) -- A bi-racial, disabled Concert Pianist. Best known as the pioneer of ragtime music, he was recorded in 1912 by the QRS piano roll company. Born to Rachel Ann Carpenter  (1841, KY-1901, Mo.), a mulatto slave who had been supposedly captured from a Boone descendant (George? William?) by the Union Army, she gave birth to John William on May 17, 1864 in Saline County. When Boone was six months old, he contracted a serious illness known as "brain fever" and doctors removed his eyes in an attempt to cure it. 

Rachel, a single mom, moved to Warrensburg where she worked as a servant for several families. She married his step-father, James Harrison Hendrick, May 17, 1871, when Willie was 8. She wanted her son to have a good education, so with the help of friends, he was sent to St. Louis in 1872/3 to the School of the Blind where he would be taught a trade, so he could support himself when he grew up, but he was not happy there, mostly because he was bored with the subjects he was forced to learn such as making brooms and Braille. He soon was expelled for skipping classes and a train conductor kindly sent him home after finding him living on the streets.

Boone had a fine mind with a good memory and could remember how to play the music he heard. Recognizing Boone's musical talent, John B. Lange, Jr. (1840-1916) became his manager, forming the Blind Boone Company. Willy married Eugenia Lang (1870-1931), his manager's youngest sister.


They traveled in the US, Canada, and Mexico where Boone gave as many as 8,000 public concerts during his lifetime, but was known to visit friends to play a song or two. He always played hymns during his concerts and one of his favorites was "Nearer, My God to Thee", words by Sarah F. Adams, 1841, and music by Lowell Mason, 1856.

He passed away October 4, 1927 while visiting his half-brother, Sam Hendrick, in Warrensburg, with Eugenia following on March 16, 1931. Both were buried side by side in the Columbia City Cemetery.

Willie's Personal Motto: "Merit, Not Sympathy, Wins." 


More to Read:
1.) Dr. Ashley's biography: Click
Here
2.) Blind Boone: His Early Life and Achievements. By Mrs. Melissa Fuell-Cuther, B.S.D., (First edition: Burton Pub., Kansas City, MO. 1915; Second Edition: Evangel Pub. Society, Robbins, TN; 1918.)
3.) "Historic Missourians: John William "Blind" Boone (1864-1927). Retrieved from the State Historical Society of Missouri. Retrieved from this
website.
4.) "Blind" Boone: Missouri Honors Its Ragtime Pioneer. By Phoebe Prioleau. Retrieved from this website
here
5.) The African American Atlas. Black History & Culture an Illustrated Reference. by Molefi K. Asanta and Mark T. Mattson. Macmillan USA, Simon & Schuster, New York. Retrieved from website: African-American
Registry.
6.)Retrieved from
website: John William "Blind" Boone's Home. By Think You Colors.
7.) Retrieved from website: History Off the
Shelf -- John William "Blind" Boone. By Think You Colors.
8.) Merit, Not Sympathy, Wins: The Life and Times of Blind Boone. By Dr. Mary Barile and Christine Montgomery. Retrieved from
website: Blind Boone. By Mo Sec of State.
9.) "Presenting Blind Boone: A Life from Rags to Ragtime Riches" By Leslie Lyon. Columbia Missourian Newspaper. 1975-11-30. No. 58.
10.) "J.W. Boone Was County Celebrity." By John Jaeger. Columbia Missourian Newspaper. 1971-08-22. No. 289.
11.) MO. Death
Certificate
12.) Findagrave, # 4391

 Poem written about Blind Boone: Blind Boone's
Vision. By Tyehimba Jess.

Places to Visit:
1.)
Boone's Home (built by Eugenia's brother, Thaddeus Lange), 10 North Fourth Street, Columbia (National Register of Historic Places).
2.) Second
Missionary Baptist Church. North 4th St, Columbia. Stained Glass window donated by John Lange, Blind Boone's brother-in-law and manager.
3.) John B. Lange, Jr. lived at 912 Park Ave, Kansas City. He and his wife, Ruth, are buried in the Highland Cemetery, Jackson County, Kansas City.
4.) Blind Boone Sculpture. Artist: Ai Qiu Hopen.
Blind Boone Park, 402 W. Pine St., Warrensburg.
5.) Boone County Historical
Museum, 3801 Ponderosa St, Columbia
6.) Columbia Cemetery, E. Broadway & 163 Hwy, Boone county, Columbia. 
 
Quote: "Blindness has not affected my disposition. It has never made me at outs with the world. Many times I regard it as a blessing, for had I not been blind, I would not have given the inspiration to the world that I have. I have shown that no matter how a person is afflicted, there is something that he can do worthwhile." ~ Blind Boone.
 

Friday, July 22, 2016

St. Philippine Duchesne, RSCJ

St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, RSCJ (1769-1852) = Missionary Nun. Revered by the Potawatomi and given the name of “Quah-Kah-Ka-Num-Ad” (woman who prays always), Rose was born in Grenoble, France, the second of eight children to Pierre Francois and Rose Euphrosine Perier Duchesne. She survived the religious persecution of the French Revolution.
 Bishop Louis William Valentine DuBourg, bishop of Louisiana, sent Mother Rose Philippine Duchesne and a group of nuns, in 1818, to establish an Academy of the Sacred Heart in St. Charles, Missouri. Not only did she establish the free-of-charge girl’s school, but also the first convent of the Religious Sisters of the Sacred Heart, a teaching order, there.
In 1838, the US federal government forced some 900 Potawatomi from their land in Indiana and made them march single file over 600 miles in three months, ending near present day Osawatomie, Kansas. The forced march is now known as the Trail of Death as many died along the way. Most of the surviving Potawatomi eventually settled in Sugar Creek near Mound City, but were later relocated to St. Marys on the Kansas River in 1847. Catholic missionaries opened schools for boys and girls at both.
Duchesne’s dream was to serve the Indians and she made quite an impression on them when it finally became a reality at the age of 72, thanks to her friends, Fr. Peter De Smet, SJ, and Fr. Peter John Verhaegan, SJ. She and three other nuns arrived in Kansas City on a steamboat on the way to their assigned mission. She never quite mastered the Indian language, but prayed daily, visited the sick, and helped the Indian girls with their knitting. After a year, she was summoned back to St. Charles where she lived the rest of her life, dying on November 18, 1852. One hundred, thirty-six years after death, she achieved sainthood when canonized on July 3, 1988.


Posthumous Award:
1918 = The Historical Society of Missouri named her the greatest benefactor among the state’s pioneer women.


More to Read:
1. Philippine Duchesne. By Louise Callan.
2. The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. 150 Years of Faith: 1850-2000. By Todd Habiger. 2000.
3. Dictionary of Christianity in America.Editors: Daniel G. Reid, Robert D. Linder, Bruce L.Shelley, & Harry S. Stout, Intervarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL, 1990.
4. Webster’s Biographical Dictionary. Merriam-Webster, Springfield, MA; 1956.
5. A Centenary of Catholicity in Kansas: 1822-1922. By Thomas H. Kensella. Casey Printing, Kansas City; 1921.
9. Shrine of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne
10. St. Philippine Historical and Memorial Park
11. Missouri: Day by Day. By Floyd C. Shoemaker, Editor. Mo State Historical Society, 1942.
12. Findagrave #301 and  # 9395

Places to Visit in MO & KS:
1. The Shrine of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, 619 North 2nd Street., St. Charles, Mo.
3. Sacred Heart Church (f. 1942), Mound City, Linn Co., KS.
4. St. Philippine Duchesne Shrine on Sugar Creek, Mound City, KS.
5. St. Mary’s Mission signpost, St.Marys, KS.
6. Immaculate Conception Church, St. Mary’s, KS. (First cathedral of Vicariate Apostolic of the Indian Territory: 1851-1855).

Monday, May 9, 2016

Daniel Boone



Daniel Boone (1734-1820) = Colonel. Surveyor. Explorer. Sixth child born to Squire and Sarah Morgan Boone in Pennsylvania on November 2, 1734. His grandparents, George and Mary Boone, were English Quakers who settled near Exeter. The Quakers were great friends with the Native Americans in that vicinity. One time his grandfather invited a Moravian missionary to preach at his home and several Delaware Indians were converted to Christianity.

One of young Daniel's chores was to take the cattle out to pasture each morning, then drive them back each evening for his mother to milk. While he tended the cows, he became familiar with the woods and learned to hunt by the time he was thirteen. His family ate the game he shot and traded the skins for things they needed. Daniel was schooled by his older brother's wife, Sarah. She taught him to read, write and to do his sums.

In 1750, his family moved from Pennsylvania to North Carolina. Daniel married Rebecca Bryan (1739-1813) there on August 14, 1756. They had ten children. Their names were James, Israel, Susannah, Jemima, Levinia, Rebecca, Daniel Morgan, Jesse Bryan, William, and Nathan.

Daniel loved to go on long hunts, sometimes leaving home for many months. He explored and surveyed the land. He rediscovered Cumberland Gap, a mountain pass and helped build the Wilderness Road. Boonesborough, a settlement in Kentucky, was named for him.

In 1799, Daniel walked to the Femme Osage district about forty miles from present-day St. Louis, Missouri. Kentucky was getting too crowded for him. Spanish officials appointed him a judge in 1800. He died on September 26, 1820 at Nathan's home.

 
Historical Note:” Chester Harding is believed to have painted the only portrait of Daniel Boone while he lived and  in 1851, artist George Caleb Bingham paints the most famous nineteenth-century Boone depiction, "Daniel Boone Escorting Settlers Through the Cumberland Gap."

Historical Dates:
1750 = Thomas Walker discovered Cumberland Gap
1769 = Boone explored Kentucky
1775 = Boone established Boonesboro
 
More to Read:
1. "The Pioneer and The Prairie Lawyer: Boone and Lincoln Family Heritage 1603-1985." By Willard Mounts.Ginwill Publishing, Denver, Colorado, 1991
2. "The Boone Family: A Genealogical History of the Descendants of George and Mary Boone. By Hazel Atterbury Spraker. Tuttle Press, 1922.
3. Morgan & Strode Genealogy. By Jim White.
4. Discovery, Settlement, and Present State of Kentucke. By John Filson. 1784.
5. Daniel Boone. By Lyman C. Draper
6. Stories of the Great West By Theodore Roosevelt
7. Jackson County Pioneers. By Pearl Wilcox. 1975.
8. The Spear and the Spindle: Ancestors of Sir Francis Bryan (d. 1550), Kt, . By T. A. Fuller. Heritage Books, Inc., Bowie, Maryland, 1993. Pp. 113-114.
9. Boone Association. Ken Kamper is the present-day expert on Daniel Boone.
10. Boone Society. Dorthy Mack is considered to be the expert on the Boone genealogy.
11. The History of Jackson County, Missouri. Kansas City, MO; Union Historical Company, Birdsall, Williams & Co., 1881. Reprinted: Cape Girardeau, MO, Ramfre Press, 1966.
12. Chronology of Daniel Boone.
13. Early Settlers List on  Ft. Boonesborough Monument
14. Fort Boonesborough's Living History Teacher's Resource Website
15. Missouri: Day by Day. By Floyd C. Shoemaker, Editor. Mo State Historical Society, 1942.
16. Daniel Boone and the Hunters of Kentucky. By W. H. Bogart. 1854.
17. St. Louis, MO. sources for Boone information
18. Findagrave # 109

 
Places to Visit in MO & KS.:
1. Daniel Boone's statue, Main St, St. Charles, MO.
2. DAR markers, on Main St, St. Charles, MO.
3. Daniel Boone Home and Boonesfield Village, 1868 Highway F, Defiance, MO www.Lindenwood.edu/boone
4. Daniel Boone's Burial Site in Missouri.
5. Washington Historical Museum, Washington, MO.
6. Boone’s Lick State Historic Site, 12 miles northwest of Boonville on Route 187. Arrow Rock.
7. Boone's Lick Road Association (map)



Boone Descendants:
1.Daniel Morgan Boone 
2. Daniel Morgan Boone on Find-A-Grave # 6223
3. Nathan Boone Homestead State Historic Site, 7860 N. State Hwy V, Ash Grove, MO
4. Capt. Samuel Boone was a great-great nephew of Daniel's. He and several other family members are buried in the Mt. Tabor Methodist Church Cemetery, south of Odessa, MO.
5. Elder Ira Boone, Samuel's brother, was ordained in the historic Pleasant Grove Primitive Baptist Church, 18400 E. Rd. Mize Road, Independence, MO.
6. Septimus Scholl Letters
7. Edgar Watts of Dallas/Watts Mill area of Kansas City, MO. marries Flora Boone, great-great granddaughter of Daniel Boone in 1923.  See the Watts Mill Markers, 103rd Street (south side), between State Line & Wornall Roads, Kansas City, MO.

8. Col. Upton Hays married a descendant of Daniel Boone -- Watts Hay Letters.
9. Bushwhacker Museum, 212 West Walnut Street, Nevada, MO (see quilt top made by a Boone descendant)
10. Price-Loyles House, 718 Spring St, Weston, MO
11. Albert Boone founded Lecompton which was one of the Kansas' territorial capitals pre-state. He also had a dry-goods store in Westport (present-day Kansas City, MO., see Kelly's Inn) at the corner of Westport & Pennsylvania Roads.
 
Historical Tidbit: Bryon wrote a poem about Daniel Boone.

A Quote by Daniel Boone:
All the religion I have is to love and fear God, do all the good to my neighbors and myself that I can, and do as little harm as I can help, and trust on God's mercy for the rest.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Miss Mary Jane Truman

Miss Mary Jane Truman
Mary Jane Truman (1889-1978) = Pianist/Organist, Sunday School teacher, & sister to former US President Harry S. Truman. Mary Jane was the third child born to John Anderson (1851-1914) and Martha Ellen Young Truman (1852-1947) on August 12. Mary Jane's paternal grandparents were Anderson Shipp and Mary Jane Holmes Truman and her maternal grandparents were Solomon and Harriet Louisa Gregg Young. She was named for her paternal grandmother and Harry's daughter, Mary Margaret Truman was, in turn, named for her.


Solomon Young's Home, Grandview, MO.

Sometime after the Trumans moved to Independence in 1890, Mary's brothers Harry and Vivian came down with diphtheria and she was taken to Grandma Young's in Grandview, MO. to stay until her brothers were well. When Mary Jane was older, she helped with chores in the house and learned to cook for the family as well as the farm hands. She rode a horse on errands to town. After Grandpa passed away, Grandma Young needed help running the farm, so the Truman's moved back. Mary Jane and her mother lived on the farm until the 1940s when they moved into Grandview.

As a member of Grandview's First Baptist Church (f. 1848), Mary Jane taught a Sunday School class and hosted Sunday School picnics on the lawn of their home. Like Harry, she could play the piano or organ and did so regularly for church services. When she was 19, she played for the Grandview Methodist's very first church service, then at 8th and Goode.

She was a postal clerk and an active member of the Chamber of Commerce. She was instrumental in the sale of lands for the Truman Shopping Center built in 1957.
 
 
More to Read:
1.) Harry S. Truman: Missouri Farm Boy. By Wilma J. Hudson. 1973.
2.) History of Grandview, Missouri: 1844-1994. Grandview Historical Society, 1995.
3.)  Jackson County Pioneers. By Pearl Wilcox. 1975.
4.) Mr. President. The First Publication from the Personal Diaries, Private Letters Papers, and Revealing Interviews of Harry S. Truman. By William Hillman. 1952.
5.) “Harry Truman: The Millionaire Next Door” By Brian Burnes. The Kansas City Star Magazine, Kansas City, MO.; January 15, 2012. PP. 6-13.
6.) 
Truman’s Grandview Farm. By Jon Taylor. 2011.
7.) Missouri Roadsides: The Traveler's Companion. By Bill Earngey. University of MO Press, 1995.
8.) Childhoods of the American Presidents. By William O. Foss. McFarland & Co, 2005.
9.) "Truman and the Trails" Niel M. Johnson. Overland Journal, Vol. 5, Number 2, 1988. Pp. 25-29 (photo of Solomon Young included in article)
10.) Some Truman Photos
here
11.) Sister-in-law, Bess Truman's biography.
12.)
This article gives names of Miss Mary's girlfriends. See if you can find them.
13.)
Findagrave #6137032


Places to Visit in MO.:
1.) Former Truman Homes (private residences), on Chrysler St. & at 909 W. Waldo Ave., Independence.  
2.)  
Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, Independence
3.) Historical marker at Truman (former name: Corners) Marketplace Shopping Center, between 71/49 Hwy and Blue Ridge Blvd, Grandview
4.) Church of God, 8th & Goode, Grandview
5.) First Baptist Church Historic Room, 15th and Main St., Grandview (by appointment only)

6.) Solomon Young's home, 12301 Blue Ridge Blvd, Grandview. Truman Farm Home, cell phone tour = 585-672-2611.
7.)
Annual Truman Heritage Festival, Grandview (parade, craft/food vendors, BBQ contest, etc.)

Update: The National Archives holds the Presidential Secretary's Files from the Truman Administration (1945-1960). Among those papers is his diary he kept while in office.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Jim Bridger


James "Jim" Felix Bridger (1804-1881) = Explorer, Guide, Mountain Man. Scout. Storekeeper. Storyteller. Trapper. Best known to have discovered the Great Salt Lake in 1824, Yellowstone in 1840 and founded Fort Bridger on the Oregon Trail in 1843.
Born on March 17 in Richmond, Virginia, he grew up to not only speak English, but French and Spanish as well as six Native American languages. He was reported to have been made chief of five tribes as well. He traded with the Arapahoes, Cheyennes, Comanche, Kiowas, and the Sioux Indians, bringing the furs in to Chouteau's trading post. 
When the fur market in Europe crashed and ended his trapping career, Bridger switched to storekeeping, buying a general merchandise store which his son-in-law operated in Westport (present-day Kansas City, MO). In 1855 he bought a farm near the old Dallas community south of Kansas City on State Line running from 103rd to 107th St and east to Wornall Road where on the crest of the hill south of Indian Creek he built a stone farmhouse. It is said that he and George W. Kemper also built a store in Little Santa Fe (f. 1852) which is on the old Santa Fe Trail 2o miles from Independence, however it  burned in 1856 during the border warfare.
Jim acquired a pair of elk horns as a prize once for the fastest steamboat on the Missouri River to mount to their prow. They were first presented to the Polar Star, then the James H. Lucas. Lucas beat the Star's record from St. Louis to St. Joseph by three hours and 16 minutes.
Bridger died, blind at 77, on July 17 and was buried about 200 yards northwest of 101st and Jefferson streets  where he lay until he was removed to Mt. Washington Cemetery in 1904.

Historical Note #1: One of biggest things that led to the downfall of the fur business was the discovery of the detrimental effects of mercury poisoning to the hat makers in Europe. Mercury was used to felt the fur then.
 
 
More to read:
1.)  Here Lies Kansas City: A Collection of Our City’s Notables and Their Final Resting Places. By Wilda and Hal Sandy. 1984
2.) History of Jackson County, Missouri. By W. Z. Hickman. Historical Publishing Co., Topeka, KS.; 1920; reprinted Southern Historical Press, Greenville, SC; 1990.
3.) Jackson County Pioneers. By Pearl Wilcox. Independence, MO; 1975.
4.) Jim Bridger: Frontiersman and Mountain Guide. By Charles W. Maynard. PowerKids Press, NY.; 2003.
5.) The History of Jackson County, Missouri. Union Historical Co, Birdsall, Williams & Co; KCMO; 1881; reprinted by Ramfire Press, Cape Girardeau, MO; 1966.
6.) Oregon-California Trail Association, 524 South Osage Street, Independence, MO 64051-0519, (Map brochure -- Following the Trails in Jackson County, Missouri; magazine & newsletter -- Overland Journey; News From the Plains)
7.) Oregon Trail Tourist Brochure, National Park Service
8.) “New Red Bridge Spans River, Tracks and History” by Seann McAnally. Jackson County Advocate. Nov. 23, 2011, page 1. (One of the old Red Bridges still exists.)
9.) Missouri: Day by Day. By Floyd C. Shoemaker, Editor. Mo State Historical Society, 1942.
10.) 1877 Plat map of Jim Bridger's Land in Jackson County, MO. (look at the most southwestern corner of map.)
11.) "Trailblazers Influenced the First Chapters of New Santa Fe"


Fun Note:  Johnny Horton sings a ballad about Jim Bridger. If you wish to hear the song, click here!
 
 
Places to visit in MO.
1.) Missouri River -- Navigable rivers were the first highways. Plan a driving highway trip along the Missouri River from St. Louis to St. Joseph (or visa versa). Imagine you are Bridger, paddling a canoe up or down river.
2.) Stop, Drop Your Eyes, and Read the marker on Bridger's Bldg, next-door to Kelly's Inn, at 504 Westport Road, Kansas City, MO.
3.) Look up! A Westport Historical marker is attached to a brick building on the corner of Pennysylvania and Westport Roads, Kansas City, MO.
4.) Westport Historical Society, 4000 Baltimore, Kansas City
5.) Pioneer Park, Westport Road and Broadway, Kansas City.
6.) 1963 Westport Historical Society Marker Dedicated to the Memory of the Pioneers Who Settled the Town at the Westport Shopping Center, 1002 Westport Road, Kansas City, MO. (near the old covered wagon at the corner of the parking lot atop a steel post).
7.) Watts Mill markers at 103 St. (south side) between State Line Road and Wornall, Kansas City, MO.
8.) Red Bridge Road. Also stop at Minor Park to see the prairie schooner swales and read the DAR marker, on Red Bridge Road, between Holmes Road (east of) and the Bridge. Kansas City.
9.) New (Little) Santa Fe historical markers, on the Old Santa Fe Trail, between State Line and Wornall Road at the cemetery (west of Avila University), Kansas City, MO.
10.) Red Bridge (Portrait) spans Big Blue River between Blue River Parkway and Holmes Road
11.) National Frontier Trails Center, Independence.
12.) Jim Bridger's Newest Markers -- 901 Carondelet Drive (site of his original farm home) and at the New Santa Fe Historical Society Trails Center, 9901 Holmes Road, Kansas City, Mo.
13.) Findagrave  #21552 and #134 [Note: There is no indication of a cemetery in the quiet neighborhood of 101st and Jefferson streets (just off Wornall Road), south Kansas City.] 
14.) Mt. Washington Cemetery, 614 Brookside Dr., Independence

 
Historical Note #2: Modes of travel across America during Jim Bridger's lifetime were walking, horseback, canoeing, wagons, prairie schooners, ferries, and steamboats. The steamship Arabia traveled up and down the Missouri River around the same time (1850s) as the Polar Star and the James H. Lucas. Visit the Steamboat Arabia Museum, 400 Grand Ave, Kansas City to see the kind of things steamboats brought to supply shopkeepers such as Bridger along the Missouri River. Steamboats have been described as "a Walmart on paddlewheels."