Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Church in a Schoolhouse

By Thelma Burleson.
Church in a schoolhouse – no spire and no steeple,
Just a group of good humble people;
Shabbily dressed, but in their best, those brave pioneers
Came to worship God, and let Him dispel their fears.
No recreation room or kitchen in that church was found.
But we were blessed with all day preaching and dinner on the ground.
We had no budget committee to settle our fate
Just relied on God, and passed the plate.
Church in a schoolhouse – one roomed at that
They were all over this country – Oak Dale, Little RUSH and Elm Flat.
We had no stained glass windows or dome
But we took a Spiritual blessing back home.
At the old double desks, hands folded in prayer
A feeling of reverence ALWAYS was there.
Sunday School in the cloak room for the littlest child.
The bright Sunday School cards were hoarded and filed.
The lessons he learned there, he kept all his life
To help me withstand today’s turmoil and strife.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Glenn Cunningham

Dr. Glenn Cunningham (1909--1988) = Track Athlete. Two-time Olympian (1932; 1936). Best known as a world record miler. Glen was born on August 4 to Clinton H. and Rosa Cunningham, both Kansas natives. He was one of eight children: three brothers, Floyd, Raymond and John, and three sisters, Margie, Letha, and Melva. One sibling died of influenza shortly after its birth.
Although Glenn’s mother kept her Bible in a trunk in the attic and his father was leery of organized religion,  a young Glenn made a commitment to God at a home Bible study with a simple prayer: “God, I’m sorry I’m a sinner. Please make me all right inside.”
At the age of seven, after his legs were severely burned in a schoolhouse fire accident near Rolla, Kansas, his parents were told by the doctor that he would probably never walk, nor run again. Glenn overcame through sheer grit. He dreamed of running repeatedly to pass the time during his convalescence and once he was on his feet again, he exercised his legs by grabbing the tail of a cow on his father’s farm and letting it pull him around.
He attended high school in Elkhart, then worked to pay his way through the University of Kansas in Lawrence. He joined the Navy in 1944 following the Olympics and more education. After his military discharge, he moved to Emporia where he met his second wife, Ruth Sheffield. She was a praying woman and her prayers were answered as God directed him towards his next career -- having a large family, both natural and foster. 
He won numerous awards, but the most important award of all were the blessings of peace and satisfaction provided by Christ in his life.
Dr. Cunningham passed away on March 10, 1988 in Arkansas.

More to Read:
1. 1930 United States Federal Census.
2. American Men of Olympic Track and Field. By Don Holst and Marcia S. Popp. 2005.
3. Morton County 1886-1986 Cornerstone of Kansas. By Morton County Historical Society.
4. Never Quit. By Glenn Cunningham with George X. Sand. 1981.
5. The Old Timers As I Remember Them. By Chester C. Tucker. c. 1963.
6. Webster’s World Encyclopedia 2000 CD.
7. "Leave It To Miss Annie" By Georgia Tucker Smith. The Allen Press, Lawrence, KS; 1952.
8. "Elkhart Today," Morton County, KS. videos, episode 16 and episode 23
9. Glenn Cunningham's Kansas Trading Card! 
10. Findagrave, #43762031

Places to Visit in Kansas:
1. Morton County Historical Society Museum, US Highway 56, Elkhart,
2. Elkhart Sports Hall of Fame
3. University of Kansas Athletic Hall of Fame, Lawrence
4. Kansas State High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame (Inducted 1983)
5. Rolla Cemetery (Floyd Cunningham), ½ mile west, Rolla, Morton Co., KS.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Robert Alexander Long

Robert Alexander Long (1850-1934) = Lumber Baron. He was born December 17 in Shelby County, Kentucky to Samuel M. and Margaret (White) Long. He was a frail, Bible-reading business man who might have passed for a country preacher, but by 1920, Long was worth tens of millions of dollars until hard times fell on America between 1929 and 1932. When Robert first came to Kansas City, he began his career by opening a short-lived butcher shop on Broadway, then after moving near Columbus, Kansas, several years later he opened his first lumber yard. Eventually he formed the Long-Bell Lumber Company with his cousin Victor B. Bell and returned to Kansas City in 1892. Within 15 years he built a skyscraper, the R. A. Long Building at 10th Street and Grand avenue as his headquarters. He owned quite a bit of land and other businesses by that time and designed an entire city he called Longview in Washington state.
His daughter, Loula Long Combs (d. 1971) was born in 1881.
In 1911, he built a 72-room palatial home, called “Corinthian Hall” on Gladstone, presently the Kansas City Museum. Near Lee’s Summit,  Longview Farms was created in 1914. When new, the forty Spanish designed buildings stood on 1700 acres.
Today, there is little left of the farm but a few original buildings and a small chapel. Longview Junior College, Longview Lake, new homes and a strip mall were built over pastures where horses once roamed. 
Robert was largely responsible for the building of the Independence Boulevard Christian Church which he served as an elder. He was a large giver to civic Kansas City, setting into motion the building of the WWI Liberty Memorial, but his gifts to church institutions were tremendous, totaling several million dollars.
He died on March 15, 1934, at age 83.

Note: My husband’s cousin, Charles Joseph Loveall (1900-1974) was a “Deacon Emeritus” of Independence Boulevard Christian Church.   

More to Read:
1. Here Lies Kansas City: A Collection of Our City’s Notables and Their Final Resting Places. Wilda Sandy. 1984.
2. The Interpretive Site Coalition (ISC) Kansas City’s 2011 Passport to Adventure.
3. Postcards from Old Kansas City. By Mrs. Sam Ray. 1980.
4. Shifra Stein’s A Kid’s Guide to Kansas City, By Diana Lambdin Meyer & Kathryn Lutz Dusenbery
5. Mr. & Mrs. R.A. Long's 50th Anniversary Celebration
6. Longview Farm Tour with guide Dr. Michael Raynor
7. "Robert A. Long." History of Kentucky and Kentuckians. By E. Polk Johnson. Lewis Publishing, Chicago, IL, 1912. Vol. III. pp. 1384-1389. 
8. Kansas City, Missouri: Its History and Its People. 1808-1908. By Carrie Westlake Whitney. S.J. Clarke Pub. Co, Chicago, 1908. Vol. 1, p. 425
9. Robert's Mo. Death Certificate #9018
10. Findagrave # 6821401

Places to see in Mo.
1. Independence Boulevard Christian Church (f. 1873), 606 Gladstone Ave, Kansas City
2. Forest Hill Pantheon, 6901 Troost Ave. KCMO.
3. Longview Chapel Christian (Disciples of Christ) Church, 850 SW Longview Rd, Lee’s Summit.
4. Longview Farms, 3361 SW Longview Road, Lee's Summit, (group tours available by appointment)
5. Longview Lake Park, 9898 Longview (I-470 S. between Lee’s Summit and Grandview), Kansas City
6. Liberty Memorial and Museum, Union Station Plaza, 100 W. 26th St, Kansas City,
7. Kansas City Museum, Corinthian Hall, 3218 Gladstone Boulevard, Kansas City (Note of Caution: Not all exhibits at this museum will be family friendly.)