Commercial Club of Kansas City Scrapbooks (KC0264)
Native Sons Archives (NSA)
The Commercial Club of Kansas City was founded in August of 1886 to promote civic projects and the city. The goals of the initial membership of fifty-seven businessmen were to encourage "good will" and the widening of the trade territory of Kansas City. Two years after its founding, the Club adopted the slogan: "Make Kansas City a good place to live."
The Commercial Club was housed (it did not own its office) on the second floor of the Board of Trade Building. Its first president was William B. Grimes. The first active secretary was Ryerson Ritchie. He was succeeded by E.M. Clendening who was active through the Club's lively years, including the rebuilding of the burned Convention Hall, the 1903 flood, and most of what is considered the heyday of the "Kansas City Spirit." One of the highlights of the Commercial Club's functions was an annual trip to trade territory. Many of Kansas City's leading citizens were associated with the Commercial Club, including August R. Meyer, C.J. Schmelzer, Uriah S. Epperson, and many others. Members took an interest in local affairs and political issues, as well as their own business interests.
Scrapbooks were kept from 1886 to 1913, when the Commercial Club reorganized as the Chamber of Commerce. They trace the media coverage of the activities of the Commercial Club, as well as many of Kansas City's civic events. Almost all of the information is from Kansas City area or Missouri newspapers. Some articles about urban growth are from other major cities in the Midwest. The articles chronicle the growth of the parks and boulevards system, floods and flood control in Kansas City, politics, the Priests of Pallas events, the deaths of prominent Kansas City citizens, politics in Kansas City, and the activities of the Commercial Club and its members. 1886-1913.
53 volumes (MICROFORM).
© WHMC-KC, University of Missouri
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Western Historical Manuscript Collection-Kansas City
(816) 235-1543 WHMCKC@umkc.edu