Kansas City Turnverein Society Records (0860kc)
The Kansas City Socialer Turnverein was founded February 14, 1857, by ten naturalized citizens of German birth. Their first building at 5th and Main soon became too small for the growing membership, so Esslinger's Hall on Main between 6th and Missouri Avenue was rented. The Civil War temporarily interrupted the activities of the group, but after the war, larger meeting halls were rented. In 1902, they built a new Turner Hall at 1325 E. 15th Street, where they stayed for 55 years. In the late 1950s, Turner Park at 79th and Manchester was developed, including a clubhouse, swimming pool, and gymnasium. The purposes of the Turner Society were to make good American citizens of its members; to educate children; and to provide the tools and discipline for physical fitness. The gymnastics teams would participate in "Turnfests," competing with other Turners from around the country. The Turners were a complete social organization, with special groups of members, including adult men, a women's auxiliary, teenage boys and girls, and elementary school children. After Turner Park was built, they had many different sports, including swimming, tennis, golf, and gymnastics.
The collection consists of early minute books, ledgers, correspondence, and membership records. Later materials include records of the Turner Development Company in the 1950s and records concerning the administration of Turner Park through the 1970s. Also included in the collection are national and local printed material and publications, programs, and songbooks. There are many photographs, as well. ca. 1872-1988.
14 cubic feet.
© State Historical Society of Missouri
Monday, February 07, 2011
State Historical Society of Missouri Research Center-Kansas City
(816) 235-1543 WHMCKC@umkc.edu