Hope Casey Van Brunt (1865-1952) Papers (KC0252)
Native Sons Archives (NSA)
Hope Casey Van Brunt, daughter of Nicholas Waggener and Elisabeth Lee Taylor Casey (a great niece of President Zachary Taylor), was born in Caseyville, Union County, Kentucky. The family included a brother, Samuel, and sisters, Josephine and Faith, Hope's twin sister. In 1885, the Caseys moved to Kansas City where Hope married John Van Brunt on October 19, 1887. Van Brunt was a partner with his brother, Adriance, in the architectural firm of A. Van Brunt and Brother.
Mrs. Van Brunt was very involved a variety of social activities in Kansas City. She was one of the first communicants of the old Grace Episcopal Church and remained a member of the Congregation during the years she lived in the fashionable Quality Hill residential area. She participated in the Colonial Dames, but was especially active in the affairs of the Daughters of the American Revolution. From 1908 to 1913, Mrs. Van Brunt served as the chairwoman of the Santa Fe Trail Committee of the Kansas City Chapter, D.A.R., which marked the Santa Fe Trail in Missouri. In September 1913, she became Vice Chairwoman, and in May 1919, Chairwoman, of the National D.A.R.'s National Old Trail Road Committee charged with commemorating the nation's early roads, and encouraging the establishment of a modern highway system along the Old Trails routes. Coupled with the influence of the National Highway Association and the National Old Trails Association, this goal was accomplished. Additionally, Mrs. Van Brunt was appointed a member of the House Committee for the Twenty-fifth Continental Congress, D.A.R., in March 1916.
John Van Brunt, Jr. and Hope Casey Van Brunt had two children: John Van Brunt III, who married Grace March Wilson; and Elizabeth (Betty) Taylor Van Brunt, who married Frederick Weed Drury. Hope Casey Van Brunt died on December 21, 1952.
The Papers contain correspondence, clippings, manuscripts, printed materials, as well as photographs and memorabilia. The documents deal primarily with the National Old Trails movement in the early 20th century and Mrs. Van Brunt's activities in marking the Santa Fe Trail for the Kansas City Chapter of the D.A.R. Also included is Mrs. Van Brunt’s personal correspondence with her children, family, and friends. A later addition to the collection consists of: a family bible, dated 1881; a copy of The Santiago Campaign, dated 1898; several handwritten letters, including one from Zachary Taylor to Mr. John G. Taylor, dated 1829. 1830's-1998.
45 folders and 13 oversize items.
© WHMC-KC, University of Missouri
Monday, March 23, 2009
Western Historical Manuscript Collection-Kansas City
(816) 235-1543 WHMCKC@umkc.edu