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From The Truman Years To The Truman Complex: 1923-1972

1826-2007

In The
Beginning:
1826-1850
Civil War Era
Through
World War I Era:
1852-1922
Truman Years To
Truman Complex:
1923-1972
A New
Form of
Government:
1973-1986
  One Century
Ends; Another
Begins:
1987-2007

Harry S. Truman 1923
Presiding Judge Elihu W. Hayes
Harry S. Truman
Henry F. McElroy

1925
Presiding Judge Elihu W. Hayes
H. W. Rummell
Daniel G. Stewart

1927
Presiding Judge Harry S. Truman
Robert W. Barr
Howard J. Vrooman

During World War I, Truman had become friendly with Jim Pendergast. In mid-1921 when Truman and Jacobson’s haberdashery was flourishing, Jim’s father, Mike, asked Truman if he would like to run for judge of the county court for the eastern district. His offer was declined, but Truman eventually entered into the race as an independent.

Jackson Countians then—as now—owe Truman much gratitude for his vision and successful execution of a multitude of decisions that kept Jackson County at the forefront of forward-thinking county planning, civic up-building, good government, welfare and healthcare issues. County Court minutes are full of details that tell the story of how Jackson County survived (and in some instances thrived) during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

1929
Presiding Judge Harry S. Truman
Robert W. Barr
Thomas B. Bash

1931
Presiding Judge Harry S. Truman
E. I. Purcell
W. O. Beeman

1933
Presiding Judge Harry S. Truman
E. I. Purcell
Battle McCardle

Under Harry S. Truman as Presiding Judge, Jackson County voters passed a multi-million dollar bond issue. This measure was instituted at the onset of the Great Depression. It helped pump money into the local economy for works projects like building bridges, roads and civic structures. The Jackson County Courthouse in downtown Kanas City, Missouri, was constructed from this bond measure. And, the Jackson County Courthouse at the County Seat on Independence Square was remodeled.

The original dedication of the new courthouse took place on September 7, 1933. The dedication program titled, “A Century of Progress,” included such festivities as a motion picture show; Old Fiddlers’ contest; swimming and diving contests at the Independence Natatorium; horse show and ladies’ riding contest; a parade; band concerts; championship sports of all kinds; street dances; a carnival; and a pageant depicting the historical development of Jackson County. Miss Margaret Truman, Harry Truman's daughter, and long-time Independence Mayor Roger T. Sermon Jr. unveiled the official dedication tablets on the south side of the façade. Bess Truman’s uncle, David Frederick Wallace, was part of the architectural design team that included Keene and Simpson, Kansas City architects.

As for the remodeled building on Independence Square, “Truman’s Courthouse” is still a vital and viable structure with a fascinating history in and of itself. A facelift for the 21st Century has been taking place and you can participate in the local effort to help raise private funding to continue the restoration work. Visit www.trumancourthouse.org for more information.

1935
Presiding Judge Eugene I. Purcell
J. W. Hostetter
Battle McCardle

1937
Presiding Judge David E. Long
J. W. Hostetter
Battle McCardle

1939
Presiding Judge David E. Long
F. L. Byam
Fred W. Klaber

1941
Presiding Judge George S. Montgomery
Leslie I. George
Fred W. Klaber

1943
Presiding Judge George S. Montgomery
Walter L. Yost
Fred W. Klaber

1945
Presiding Judge George S. Montgomery
Walter L. Yost
Fred W. Klaber

By serving in World War II, Jackson Countians stood bravely in the effort to combat the Axis powers that were terrorizing Europe and Asia.
 
The Jackson County Historical Society is gathering oral histories of the Greatest Generation (more than 1,200 interviews as of December 2007), and has collated the most comprehensive list of area memorials, monuments and museums that interpret Jackson County—and America—at war, defending liberty. Your portal to Jackson County history begins at
www.jchs.org.

1947
Presiding Judge Harry M. Gambrel
William J. Randall
Fred W. Klaber

1949
Presiding Judge Harry M. Gambrel
William J. Randall
Fred W. Klaber

1951
Presiding Judge Harry M. Fleming
William J. Randall
Fred W. Klaber

1953
Presiding Judge Harry M. Fleming
William J. Randall
Henry H. Fox Jr.

1955
Presiding Judge Ray G. Cowan
William J. Randall
Hunter Phillips

1957
Presiding Judge Ray G. Cowan
William J. Randall
Hunter Phillips

1959
Presiding Judge John J. Kopp
William J. Randall (Floyd L. Snyder Sr., March 6)
Hunter Phillips

1961
Presiding Judge John J. Kopp
Floyd L. Snyder Sr.
Hunter Phillips

1963
Presiding Judge Charles E. Curry
Floyd L. Snyder Sr.
Hunter Phillips

1965
Presiding Judge Charles E. Curry
Floyd L. Snyder Sr.
Morris Dubiner

1967
Presiding Judge Charles E. Curry
Alex M. Petrovic
Charles B. Wheeler

1969
Presiding Judge Charles E. Curry
Alex M. Petrovic
Charles B. Wheeler

One of the major accomplishments of the County Court at this time was the successful passage, planning and construction of the Truman Sports Complex. The noncurrent, historical records of the
Jackson County Sports Authority are preserved in the Jackson County Historical Society’s Archives. Alex M. Petrovic, Harry Wiggins and Floyd L. Snyder Sr., have also donated some of their personal papers to the Society’s collections.

1971-1972
Presiding Judge George W. Lehr
Joe Bolger Jr.
Harry Wiggins

 
           
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