Mount Washington Forever Cemetery
Independence, Missouri
History and Notable Persons
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Local trains, cable car lines and later electric street car lines carried park patrons to the grounds where boating,
swimming, picnic facilities, concessions, rides, band concerts and even opera were available during the summer.

In 1900, at the park's closing, about 400 acres of the park were purchased by the Mount Washington Cemetery
Association, formed by a group of prominent Kansas Citians.

A handsome 1902 pictorial brochure issued by the Union Note Bank Company lists the 100 "gentlemen" who
incorporated themselves into the cemetery association and stated: "Under the direction of Mr. George E. Kessler the
grounds are being laid out on a most elaborate and extensive scale. It is expected the grounds will be opened to the
public in the summer of 1902. Mount Washington will become one of the most noted cemeteries in the United States, it
having so many natural advantages and under the skillful treatment as directed by Mr. Kessler, who has at his disposal
the necessary funds to carry out his ideas."

Swan Lake was part of the cemetery holdings, but in later years was filled in and landscaped and became part of the
cemetery grounds.
Kansas City Times
May 29, 1976L

Notable Persons     information courtesy of Find-A-Grave website : www.findagrave.com

Bridger, Jim b. March 17, 1804 d. July 17, 1881
Western frontiersman.   James Bridger was a renowned hunter, trapper, guide, and scout.  He was in every sense a
pioneer and trapper, and was the first white man to view  the Great Salt Lake and Yellowstone Park.  Spoke English,
French and six Indian languages.  He guided more wagon trains than all other scouts put together on the westward trek.

Special Page Showing Jim Bridger Portraits and History
Special Page Showing the William Rockhill Nelson Portrait,
Stone Chapel and History


Nelson, William Rockhill b. March 7, 1841 d. April 13, 1915
Co-founder of the Kansas City Star newspaper (along with Samuel Morss). He led a long and vociferous campaign (using
his newspaper) in support of a City Beautiful Movement, which resulted in many of Kansas City's most beautiful parks
and boulevards.  He also imported squirrels from other states and let them loose in the parks.  He was a real estate
mogul and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art was built and filled from his estate.

Kirkwood, Irwin b. 1878 d. August 29, 1927
Husband of daughter and heiress of William Rockhill Nelson.  He and wife Laura ran the Kansas City Star newspaper
after the death of her father.  Laura died alone in a Baltimore hotel room February 27, 1926, leaving the paper for
husband Irwin Kirkwood to sell as dictated by Nelson's will.  Despite bids from leading newspaper tycoons, including
Hearst and Gannett, Kirkwood and Star employees bought the paper to keep it in local hands  Irwin Kirkwood arranged
for the Nelson mansion to be razed after his death, and the site donated for an art gallery to house the collection
acquired with Nelson trust funds.  Irwin Kirkwood died August 29, 1927, and the estates of Mrs. Nelson and the
Kirkwoods, along with a $350,000 bequest of Mary Atkins, who had died October 13, 1911, created the Nelson Gallery of
Art and Atkins Museum, aka Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. (bio by: Bill Walker)

Kirkwood (Nelson), Laura  b. February 14, 1883 d. February 27, 1926
Heiress and daughter of William Rockhill Nelson.  Along with husband Irwin Kirkwood, they ran the Kansas City Star
newspaper after the death of her father.  Laura died alone in a Baltimore hotel room February 27, 1926, leaving the
paper for husband Irwin Kirkwood to sell as dictated by Nelson's will.  Despite bids from leading newspaper tycoons,
including Hearst and Gannett, Kirkwood and Star employees bought the paper to keep it in local hands.  Irwin Kirkwood
arranged for the Nelson mansion to be razed after his death, and the site donated for an art gallery to house the
collection acquired with Nelson trust funds.  Irwin Kirkwood died August 29, 1927, and the estates of Mrs. Nelson and the
Kirkwoods, along with a $350,000 bequest of Mary Atkins, who had died October 13, 1911, created the Nelson Gallery of
Art and Atkins Museum, aka Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. (bio by: Bill Walker)
See Portrait of Laura




Bird Sr., Joseph Taylor b. July 4, 1848 d. September 8, 1918
In the 1860's, Thomas B. Bullene and his brother Lathrop opened a small general merchandise store on the northwest
corner of Missouri Avenue and Main Street in Kansas City, Missouri.  Joseph Taylor Bird and his wife Annie moved to
Kansas City, Missouri about 1880, and shortly afterwards Joseph Bird became a partner in the firm that was known then
as Bullene, Moore, and Emery.  In 1882 Thomas Bullene became Mayor of Kansas City, Missouri.  In 1894 the store
changed names again, becoming Emery, Bird, Thayer, which it remained until it closed in 1968.  William Thayer died
March 31, 1907, and Joseph Bird died in 1918.  Shortly afterwards, his wife Annie became the President of Emery, Bird,
Thayer.  Annie Bird remained active in the business until she died at age 80.  The Bird's were philanthropists, donating
property for Mercy Hospital, and financing the construction of the Joseph T. Bird Nurses’ Home and School of Child
Nursing. (bio by: Bill Walker)
See Mausoleum

Chrisman, William b. November 23, 1822 d. 1897
Lawyer, banker (Chrisman-Sawyer Bank), judge.  Delegate to the Missouri state constitutional convention from the 14th
district, 1875.  He ran the second largest tobacco plantation west of the Mississippi, and is the namesake of William
Chrisman High School in Independence, Missouri.  His daughter Maggie married Logan O. Swope, wealthy brother of
Thomas Hunton Swope. (bio by: Bill Walker)
See Marker

Christopher, Stanley P. III of Kansas City, Jackson County, Mo.
Alternate delegate to Republican National Convention from Missouri, 1960.
See Mausoleum

Curtiss, Louis Singleton b. July 1, 1865 d. June 24, 1924
The architectural genius of Louis Curtiss might easily have been overshadowed by his personal flamboyance.  He only
wore white.  He continually smoked monogrammed Turkish cigarettes.  He was a reckless driver.  Yet his legacy of
buildings remains truly recognizable by their style and innovative designs.

Curtiss, a Canadian, studied architecture at the University of Toronto and in Paris before coming to Kansas City in 1887.  
He worked for a short time as a draftsman for Adriance Van Brunt and joined in a partnership with Frederick C. Gunn in
1889.  During his 10 years with Gunn, the two produced more than a dozen buildings, including the Virginia Hotel and the
Progress Club.  Curtiss visited Europe often, returning in 1898 to draw up plans for the Hotel Baltimore before striking
out on his own.

Curtiss was a prolific and diverse designer, experimenting with classical and modern styles alike.  His 1900 design for the
Folly Theater clearly has a Palladian flavor, yet Mineral Hall, built between 1903 and 1905, has an eclectic, Art Nouveau
look.  He broke new ground with the Boley Building at 12th and Walnut Streets.   Built from 1908 to 1909, the Boley
Building is one of the first structures in the country to utilize curtain-wall construction.   The innovative engineering
features cantilevered floor slabs that extend past supporting columns to provide an exterior wall of nearly all glass.

Houses of all sizes became fanciful creations in the hands of Curtiss, often including elements from the Prairie, Art Deco
and Craftsman styles.  His most recognizable residential design is the Bernard Corrigan residence at 55th and Ward
Parkway, built in 1912.   He designed several houses for Westheight Manor in Kansas City, Kansas between 1915 and
1921.   For himself, Curtiss chose to live in a lavish apartment above his studio in downtown Kansas City.

Louis Curtiss, perhaps Kansas City’s most creative architect, died at his drafting table in 1924. He lies today in an
unmarked grave in Mount Washington Cemetery.


Graham (Berry), Alice  d. May 3, 1913
Dr. Katharine Richardson (medical doctor) and her sister Dr. Alice Graham (dentist) were the founders of Mercy Hospital,
aka Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri.   Katharine was the director of the hospital for 20 years, during
which time she never took a salary.  A devout nature lover, Katharine's funeral took place under her favorite maple tree
on the hospital grounds.  Katharine and Alice are buried side by side here. (bio by: Bill Walker)
See Marker

Hemingway, Alfred b. December 4, 1877 d. February 24, 1922
Uncle of Ernest Hemingway. (bio by: Tom Denardo)
and
Hemingway, Arabel b. November 19, 1876 d. November 3, 1963
Wife of Alfred Hemingway, Aunt to Ernest Hemingway. (bio by: Tom Denardo)
See Marker

Hill (James), Vassie  b. March 29, 1875 d. June 23, 1954
Vassie Hill was the founder of the Sunset Hill private girls school, and the Pembroke Country Day private boys school.  
She first married Hugh Ward, and after his death, A. Ross Hill.  Landscape architect George Kessler, landowner, attorney
Hugh Ward, and land developer J. C. Nichols combined forces to create a boulevard that would surpass in value all other
residential streets in Kansas City.   Kansas Citians often incorrectly assume that Ward Parkway was named for pioneer
and mountain man Seth Ward, Hugh Ward's father.   Hugh Ward died in 1909 while the project was still in the planning
stages.   Thus his wife Vassie and J.C. Nichols named the boulevard (Ward Parkway) after Hugh Ward. (bio by: Bill
Walker)
See Marker
See Close-up of Marker

Hook (Rockwell), Mary  b. September 8, 1877 d. September 8, 1978
Born Mary Rockwell, she married Inghram Hook in 1921.  A Wellesley graduate, she also studied at the Chicago Art
Institute's department of architecture, and in Paris at Ecole des Beaux Arts.  She worked with the architectural firm of
Howe, Hoit and Culter.  They designed distinctive stone and brick mansions from Sunset Hill area to Raytown, in the
Kansas City, Missouri area.  Rockwell Lane is named for her family.  It is a short curvy and hilly street running west and
north from Loose Park in Kansas City, Missouri.  Nearby lies her landmark complex of three homes off a circle at 50th
and Summit Streets.  She died on her 101st birthday. (bio by: Bill Walker)
See Marker
See Close-up of Marker

Hunton, James b. 1846 d. October 1, 1909
Director of the Chrisman-Sawyer bank in Independence, Missouri, he lived at the Swope mansion with other relatives.   In
1909, 3 members of the Swope household mysteriously died.  James Moss Hunton, William Chrisman Swope, and
Colonel Thomas Hunton Swope all died, and all three were patients of doctor Bennett Clark Hyde, who was married to the
daughter of Logan Swope.   Hyde was tried and found guilty of the murder of Thomas Swope after his body was exhumed
and evidence of poisoning was noted.   Hyde appealed and was released, and a second and third trial resulted in either
a hung jury, or mistrial, accounts vary.   Attorney James A. Reed who is also buried in this cemetery prosecuted Hyde.
(bio by: Bill Walker)
See Marker

Kelley, Clarence M. b. October 24, 1911 d. August 5, 1997
FBI Director, Police Chief.  In 1961, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy recommended that Kelley take over as police
chief of Kansas City.   Kelley served 12 years and turned the department into a national model.   In 1973, Kelley was
chosen by President Nixon to be the director of the FBI.   After President Carter named a new director, Kelley returned to
Kansas City and started and Investigation and Security organization.   Kelley was an FBI agent from 1940-1961 and is
remembered for his management innovation of "Quality over Quantity".
See Marker
See Portrait

Reed, James Alexander b. November 9, 1861 d. September 8, 194
4
Admitted to the bar in 1885; moved to Kansas City, Missouri and became prosecuting attorney from 1898-1900, Mayor of
Kansas City from 1900-1904; elected as a Democrat to the US Senate in 1910; reelected in 1916 and again in 1922 and
served until march 3, 1929; US Senator from Missouri 1909-1928; political ally of Jim and Tom Pendergast.   He was also
a prominent lawyer who prosecuted the celebrated Swope murder trial.  He was a candidate for president in 1924, 1928
and 1932.  He died at his home near Fairview, Michigan.
See Marker
See Portrait

Reed (Quinlan), (Nell) 'Ellen' b. March 6, 1889 d. September 8, 1991
While married to Paul Donnelly, moved to Kansas City Missouri in 1906, where she began making and selling ladies
dresses.  That was the beginning of Donnelly Garment Company, which grew to $3.5 million in sales and l,000
employees by 1931.  She divorced Paul Donnelly and later married James A. Reed, former mayor of Kansas City
Missouri, and state senator, and lawyer.   James A. Reed prosecuted Dr. Bennett Hyde for the murder of Colonel
Thomas Swope among other cases.   She donated 850 acres that became the James A. Reed wildlife area, which is
located on Ranson Road in Lee's Summit, Missouri. (bio by: Bill Walker)
See Marker

Richardson (Berry), Katharine b. September 28, 1860 d. June 3, 1933
Dr. Katharine Richardson (medical doctor) and her sister Dr. Alice Graham (dentist) were the founders of Mercy Hospital,
aka Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri.  Katharine was the director of the hospital for 20 years, during
which time she never took a salary.   A devout nature lover, Katharine's funeral took place under her favorite maple tree
on the hospital grounds.  Katharine and Alice are buried side by side here. (bio by: Bill Walker)
See Marker
See Portrait

Scarritt, Nathan b. April 14, 1821 d. May 22, 1890
An early settler of Westport, Missouri, which is now an area within Kansas City, Missouri. Rev. Nathan Scarritt was a
college educated teacher and Methodist preacher.   Scarritt and his wife Martha Matilda Chick, lived in Westport, in a two-
story framed farmhouse still standing at 4038 Central Street.  They had nine children, and later moved to a 260 acre
farm in the Northeast area of what is now Kansas City, Missouri. In the 1860's Scarritt began buying and selling
farmland.  He evidently did well in mathematics, he made $2 million doing it.   Scarritt Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri is
named after him. (bio by: Bill Walker)
See Marker

Swope, Logan b. 1847 d. 1900
Wealthy Independence, Missouri businessman from land investments, and brother of Thomas Hunton Swope, who was
also wealthy, and donated the land for Swope Park in Kansas City, Missouri.    In 1909, 3 members of the Swope
household mysteriously died. James Moss Hunton, William Chrisman Swope, and Colonel Thomas Hunton Swope all
died, and all three were patients of doctor Bennett Clark Hyde, who was married to the daughter of Logan Swope.   Hyde
was tried and found guilty of the murder of Thomas Swope after his body was exhumed and evidence of poisoning was
noted.   Hyde appealed and was released, and a second and third trial resulted in either a hung jury, or mistrial,
accounts vary.   Attorney James A. Reed who is also buried in this cemetery prosecuted Hyde. (bio by: Bill Walker)
See Marker

Swope, Maggie b. 1855 d. 1942
She was the daughter of William Chrisman, Independence, Missouri businessman, and married Logan O. Swope, the
wealthy brother of Thomas Hunton Swope, that donated the land for Swope Park in Kansas City, Missouri.   She sold the
land for William Chrisman High School to the city for $1.   The Swope mansion of Logan Swope, was also the home of
Thomas Swope after his brothers death, and in 1909, 3 members of the Swope household mysteriously died.   James
Moss Hunton, William Chrisman Swope, and Colonel Thomas Hunton Swope all died, and all three were patients of
doctor Bennett Clark Hyde, who was married to the daughter of Logan and Maggie Swope.   Hyde was tried and found
guilty of the murder of Thomas Swope after his body was exhumed and evidence of poisoning was noted.  Hyde
appealed and was released, and a second and third trial resulted in either a hung jury, or mistrial, accounts vary.   
Attorney James A. Reed who is also buried in this cemetery prosecuted Hyde. (bio by: Bill Walker)
See Marker

Swope, William b. 1878 d. December 6, 1909
He was the son of wealthy Independence, Missouri businessman Logan O. Swope and his wife Maggie (Chrisman)
Swope.  In 1909, 3 members of the Swope household mysteriously died.  James Moss Hunton, William Chrisman Swope,
and Colonel Thomas Hunton Swope all died, and all three were patients of doctor Bennett Clark Hyde, who was married
to the daughter of Logan Swope.   Hyde was tried and found guilty of the murder of Thomas Swope after his body was
exhumed and evidence of poisoning was noted.   Hyde appealed and was released, and a second and third trial resulted
in either a hung jury, or mistrial, accounts vary.   Attorney James A. Reed who is also buried in this cemetery proseuted
Hyde. (bio by: Bill Walker)
See Marker

Thayer, William Bridges b. September 11, 1852 d. March 31, 1907
In the 1860's, Thomas B. Bullene and his brother Lathrop opened a small general merchandise store on the northwest
corner of Missouri Avenue and Main Street in Kansas City, Missouri.  Joseph Taylor Bird and his wife Annie moved to
Kansas City, Missouri about 1880, and shortly afterwards Joseph Bird became a partner in the firm that was known then
as Bullene, Moore, and Emery.  In 1882 Thomas Bullene became Mayor of Kansas City, Missouri.  In 1894 the store
changed names again, becoming Emery, Bird, Thayer, which it remained until it closed in 1968.  William Thayer died in
1907, and Joseph Bird died in 1918. Shortly afterwards, his wife Annie became the President of Emery, Bird, Thayer.   
Annie Bird remained active in the business until she died at age 80.   The Bird's were philanthropists, donating property
for Mercy Hospital, and financing the construction of the Joseph T. Bird Nurses’ Home and School of Child Nursing. (bio
by: Bill Walker)
See Marker

Van Horn, Col. Robert Thompson b. May 19, 1824 d. January 3, 1916
Van Horn was a leader among civic leaders in Kansas City.  He helped secure the first railroad bridge over the Missouri
River.  He was a printer by trade.  He wandered into steamboating and was in St Louis when a man sold Van Horn his
fledging newspaper for $500.  After the purchase, he immediately began an editorial crusade for public improvements,
city expansion and the pursuit of the steel rail.  He soon changed the name of the newspaper to The Western Journal of
Commerce.  He dispatched couriers to Booneville, Mo., where telegraph connections from the East ended, to bring news
from as far as Europe to his readers.  Van Horn became the town's sixth mayor when the civil war began. He was a pro-
Union Democrat.  He raised the 25th Regt. MO. Vol. for the Union Army. He rose to the rank of Colonel. He was wounded
at the battle of Lexington (sep13-20,1861). He had a horse shot out from under him at Shiloh, TN.   When border
terrorism led Gen. Thomas Ewing in 1863 to issue the infamous Order No. 11, sweeping Jackson County homesteaders
with southern sympathies off their land, the populace pleaded for Colonel Van Horn to handle the deportation.  Later, he
was elected to Congress five times.   It was in Congress that Van Horn clinched the success of his railroad dreams.   The
Hannibal & St. Joseph line said it would support a spur from Cameron, Mo., and a bridge at KC if Congress approved.   
Van Horn attached such an amendment to a bill authorizing a bridge over the Mississippi River at Quincy, Illinois.   
Together, the two bridges would open KC, and Southwest Beef, to Chicago.  On July 3, 1869 the Hannibal Bridge was
opened.   

Van Horn High School is named for him.  (bio by Tom Denardo)
See Marker
See Portrait

Wight, William Drewin b. January 22, 1882 d. October 29, 1947
Brothers Thomas and William D. Wight were partners of a very prestigious architectural firm, operating from the early to
mid-1900s, in the Kansas City, Missouri area.  Buildings they designed include the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the
Kansas City Life Insurance building, the Jackson County Courthouse, City Hall, the Federal Courts building and Police
Headquarters, Southeast High School, and even Col. Thomas Swope's Memorial (gravesite) in Swope Park.   If you've
been in Kansas City, Missouri, you've seen buildings designed by Wight & Wight. (bio by: Bill Walker)
See Marker

Wolferman, Fred b. September 13, 1870 d. October 2, 1955
Wolferman's grocery stores, restaurant, and bakery goods owner/founder. There were 5 stores in the Kansas City,
Missouri area, and one in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Their bakeries made famous breads, rolls and pastries. They sold many
private label items, all of the highest quality. (bio by: Bill Walker)
See Marker


Bridger, Jim b. March 17, 1804 d. July 17, 1881
Western frontiersman.   James Bridger was a renowned hunter, trapper, guide, and scout.  He was in every sense a
pioneer and trapper, and was the first white man to view  the Great Salt Lake and Yellowstone Park.  Spoke English,
French and six Indian languages.  He guided more wagon trains than all other scouts put together on the westward trek.

Special Page Showing Jim Bridger Portraits and History
Special Page Showing the William Rockhill Nelson Portrait,
Stone Chapel and History


Nelson, William Rockhill b. March 7, 1841 d. April 13, 1915
Co-founder of the Kansas City Star newspaper (along with Samuel Morss). He led a long and vociferous campaign (using
his newspaper) in support of a City Beautiful Movement, which resulted in many of Kansas City's most beautiful parks
and boulevards.  He also imported squirrels from other states and let them loose in the parks.  He was a real estate
mogul and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art was built and filled from his estate.

Kirkwood, Irwin b. 1878 d. August 29, 1927
Husband of daughter and heiress of William Rockhill Nelson.  He and wife Laura ran the Kansas City Star newspaper
after the death of her father.  Laura died alone in a Baltimore hotel room February 27, 1926, leaving the paper for
husband Irwin Kirkwood to sell as dictated by Nelson's will.  Despite bids from leading newspaper tycoons, including
Hearst and Gannett, Kirkwood and Star employees bought the paper to keep it in local hands  Irwin Kirkwood arranged
for the Nelson mansion to be razed after his death, and the site donated for an art gallery to house the collection
acquired with Nelson trust funds.  Irwin Kirkwood died August 29, 1927, and the estates of Mrs. Nelson and the
Kirkwoods, along with a $350,000 bequest of Mary Atkins, who had died October 13, 1911, created the Nelson Gallery of
Art and Atkins Museum, aka Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. (bio by: Bill Walker)

Kirkwood (Nelson), Laura  b. February 14, 1883 d. February 27, 1926
Heiress and daughter of William Rockhill Nelson.  Along with husband Irwin Kirkwood, they ran the Kansas City Star
newspaper after the death of her father.  Laura died alone in a Baltimore hotel room February 27, 1926, leaving the
paper for husband Irwin Kirkwood to sell as dictated by Nelson's will.  Despite bids from leading newspaper tycoons,
including Hearst and Gannett, Kirkwood and Star employees bought the paper to keep it in local hands.  Irwin Kirkwood
arranged for the Nelson mansion to be razed after his death, and the site donated for an art gallery to house the
collection acquired with Nelson trust funds.  Irwin Kirkwood died August 29, 1927, and the estates of Mrs. Nelson and the
Kirkwoods, along with a $350,000 bequest of Mary Atkins, who had died October 13, 1911, created the Nelson Gallery of
Art and Atkins Museum, aka Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. (bio by: Bill Walker)
See Portrait of Laura


Bird Sr., Joseph Taylor b. July 4, 1848 d. September 8, 1918
In the 1860's, Thomas B. Bullene and his brother Lathrop opened a small general merchandise store on the northwest
corner of Missouri Avenue and Main Street in Kansas City, Missouri.  Joseph Taylor Bird and his wife Annie moved to
Kansas City, Missouri about 1880, and shortly afterwards Joseph Bird became a partner in the firm that was known then
as Bullene, Moore, and Emery.  In 1882 Thomas Bullene became Mayor of Kansas City, Missouri.  In 1894 the store
changed names again, becoming Emery, Bird, Thayer, which it remained until it closed in 1968.  William Thayer died
March 31, 1907, and Joseph Bird died in 1918.  Shortly afterwards, his wife Annie became the President of Emery, Bird,
Thayer.  Annie Bird remained active in the business until she died at age 80.  The Bird's were philanthropists, donating
property for Mercy Hospital, and financing the construction of the Joseph T. Bird Nurses’ Home and School of Child
Nursing. (bio by: Bill Walker)
See Mausoleum

Chrisman, William b. November 23, 1822 d. 1897
Lawyer, banker (Chrisman-Sawyer Bank), judge.  Delegate to the Missouri state constitutional convention from the 14th
district, 1875.  He ran the second largest tobacco plantation west of the Mississippi, and is the namesake of William
Chrisman High School in Independence, Missouri.  His daughter Maggie married Logan O. Swope, wealthy brother of
Thomas Hunton Swope. (bio by: Bill Walker)
See Marker

Christopher, Stanley P. III of Kansas City, Jackson County, Mo.
Alternate delegate to Republican National Convention from Missouri, 1960.
See Mausoleum

Curtiss, Louis Singleton b. July 1, 1865 d. June 24, 1924
The architectural genius of Louis Curtiss might easily have been overshadowed by his personal flamboyance.  He only
wore white.  He continually smoked monogrammed Turkish cigarettes.  He was a reckless driver.  Yet his legacy of
buildings remains truly recognizable by their style and innovative designs.

Curtiss, a Canadian, studied architecture at the University of Toronto and in Paris before coming to Kansas City in 1887.  
He worked for a short time as a draftsman for Adriance Van Brunt and joined in a partnership with Frederick C. Gunn in
1889.  During his 10 years with Gunn, the two produced more than a dozen buildings, including the Virginia Hotel and the
Progress Club.  Curtiss visited Europe often, returning in 1898 to draw up plans for the Hotel Baltimore before striking
out on his own.

Curtiss was a prolific and diverse designer, experimenting with classical and modern styles alike.  His 1900 design for the
Folly Theater clearly has a Palladian flavor, yet Mineral Hall, built between 1903 and 1905, has an eclectic, Art Nouveau
look.  He broke new ground with the Boley Building at 12th and Walnut Streets.   Built from 1908 to 1909, the Boley
Building is one of the first structures in the country to utilize curtain-wall construction.   The innovative engineering
features cantilevered floor slabs that extend past supporting columns to provide an exterior wall of nearly all glass.

Houses of all sizes became fanciful creations in the hands of Curtiss, often including elements from the Prairie, Art Deco
and Craftsman styles.  His most recognizable residential design is the Bernard Corrigan residence at 55th and Ward
Parkway, built in 1912.   He designed several houses for Westheight Manor in Kansas City, Kansas between 1915 and
1921.   For himself, Curtiss chose to live in a lavish apartment above his studio in downtown Kansas City.

Louis Curtiss, perhaps Kansas City’s most creative architect, died at his drafting table in 1924. He lies today in an
unmarked grave in Mount Washington Cemetery.


Graham (Berry), Alice  d. May 3, 1913
Dr. Katharine Richardson (medical doctor) and her sister Dr. Alice Graham (dentist) were the founders of Mercy Hospital,
aka Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri.   Katharine was the director of the hospital for 20 years, during
which time she never took a salary.  A devout nature lover, Katharine's funeral took place under her favorite maple tree
on the hospital grounds.  Katharine and Alice are buried side by side here. (bio by: Bill Walker)
See Marker

Hemingway, Alfred b. December 4, 1877 d. February 24, 1922
Uncle of Ernest Hemingway. (bio by: Tom Denardo)
and
Hemingway, Arabel b. November 19, 1876 d. November 3, 1963
Wife of Alfred Hemingway, Aunt to Ernest Hemingway. (bio by: Tom Denardo)
See Marker

Hill (James), Vassie  b. March 29, 1875 d. June 23, 1954
Vassie Hill was the founder of the Sunset Hill private girls school, and the Pembroke Country Day private boys school.  
She first married Hugh Ward, and after his death, A. Ross Hill.  Landscape architect George Kessler, landowner, attorney
Hugh Ward, and land developer J. C. Nichols combined forces to create a boulevard that would surpass in value all other
residential streets in Kansas City.   Kansas Citians often incorrectly assume that Ward Parkway was named for pioneer
and mountain man Seth Ward, Hugh Ward's father.   Hugh Ward died in 1909 while the project was still in the planning
stages.   Thus his wife Vassie and J.C. Nichols named the boulevard (Ward Parkway) after Hugh Ward. (bio by: Bill
Walker)
See Marker
See Close-up of Marker

Hook (Rockwell), Mary  b. September 8, 1877 d. September 8, 1978
Born Mary Rockwell, she married Inghram Hook in 1921.  A Wellesley graduate, she also studied at the Chicago Art
Institute's department of architecture, and in Paris at Ecole des Beaux Arts.  She worked with the architectural firm of
Howe, Hoit and Culter.  They designed distinctive stone and brick mansions from Sunset Hill area to Raytown, in the
Kansas City, Missouri area.  Rockwell Lane is named for her family.  It is a short curvy and hilly street running west and
north from Loose Park in Kansas City, Missouri.  Nearby lies her landmark complex of three homes off a circle at 50th
and Summit Streets.  She died on her 101st birthday. (bio by: Bill Walker)
See Marker
See Close-up of Marker

Hunton, James b. 1846 d. October 1, 1909
Director of the Chrisman-Sawyer bank in Independence, Missouri, he lived at the Swope mansion with other relatives.   In
1909, 3 members of the Swope household mysteriously died.  James Moss Hunton, William Chrisman Swope, and
Colonel Thomas Hunton Swope all died, and all three were patients of doctor Bennett Clark Hyde, who was married to the
daughter of Logan Swope.   Hyde was tried and found guilty of the murder of Thomas Swope after his body was exhumed
and evidence of poisoning was noted.   Hyde appealed and was released, and a second and third trial resulted in either
a hung jury, or mistrial, accounts vary.   Attorney James A. Reed who is also buried in this cemetery prosecuted Hyde.
(bio by: Bill Walker)
See Marker

Kelley, Clarence M. b. October 24, 1911 d. August 5, 1997
FBI Director, Police Chief.  In 1961, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy recommended that Kelley take over as police
chief of Kansas City.   Kelley served 12 years and turned the department into a national model.   In 1973, Kelley was
chosen by President Nixon to be the director of the FBI.   After President Carter named a new director, Kelley returned to
Kansas City and started and Investigation and Security organization.   Kelley was an FBI agent from 1940-1961 and is
remembered for his management innovation of "Quality over Quantity".
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See Portrait

Reed, James Alexander b. November 9, 1861 d. September 8, 1944
Admitted to the bar in 1885; moved to Kansas City, Missouri and became prosecuting attorney from 1898-1900, Mayor of
Kansas City from 1900-1904; elected as a Democrat to the US Senate in 1910; reelected in 1916 and again in 1922 and
served until march 3, 1929; US Senator from Missouri 1909-1928; political ally of Jim and Tom Pendergast.   He was also
a prominent lawyer who prosecuted the celebrated Swope murder trial.  He was a candidate for president in 1924, 1928
and 1932.  He died at his home near Fairview, Michigan.
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See Portrait

Reed (Quinlan), (Nell) 'Ellen' b. March 6, 1889 d. September 8, 1991
While married to Paul Donnelly, moved to Kansas City Missouri in 1906, where she began making and selling ladies
dresses.  That was the beginning of Donnelly Garment Company, which grew to $3.5 million in sales and l,000
employees by 1931.  She divorced Paul Donnelly and later married James A. Reed, former mayor of Kansas City
Missouri, and state senator, and lawyer.   James A. Reed prosecuted Dr. Bennett Hyde for the murder of Colonel
Thomas Swope among other cases.   She donated 850 acres that became the James A. Reed wildlife area, which is
located on Ranson Road in Lee's Summit, Missouri. (bio by: Bill Walker)
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Richardson (Berry), Katharine b. September 28, 1860 d. June 3, 1933
Dr. Katharine Richardson (medical doctor) and her sister Dr. Alice Graham (dentist) were the founders of Mercy Hospital,
aka Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri.  Katharine was the director of the hospital for 20 years, during
which time she never took a salary.   A devout nature lover, Katharine's funeral took place under her favorite maple tree
on the hospital grounds.  Katharine and Alice are buried side by side here. (bio by: Bill Walker)
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Scarritt, Nathan b. April 14, 1821 d. May 22, 1890
An early settler of Westport, Missouri, which is now an area within Kansas City, Missouri. Rev. Nathan Scarritt was a
college educated teacher and Methodist preacher.   Scarritt and his wife Martha Matilda Chick, lived in Westport, in a two-
story framed farmhouse still standing at 4038 Central Street.  They had nine children, and later moved to a 260 acre
farm in the Northeast area of what is now Kansas City, Missouri. In the 1860's Scarritt began buying and selling
farmland.  He evidently did well in mathematics, he made $2 million doing it.   Scarritt Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri is
named after him. (bio by: Bill Walker)
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Swope, Logan b. 1847 d. 1900
Wealthy Independence, Missouri businessman from land investments, and brother of Thomas Hunton Swope, who was
also wealthy, and donated the land for Swope Park in Kansas City, Missouri.    In 1909, 3 members of the Swope
household mysteriously died. James Moss Hunton, William Chrisman Swope, and Colonel Thomas Hunton Swope all
died, and all three were patients of doctor Bennett Clark Hyde, who was married to the daughter of Logan Swope.   Hyde
was tried and found guilty of the murder of Thomas Swope after his body was exhumed and evidence of poisoning was
noted.   Hyde appealed and was released, and a second and third trial resulted in either a hung jury, or mistrial,
accounts vary.   Attorney James A. Reed who is also buried in this cemetery prosecuted Hyde. (bio by: Bill Walker)
See Marker

Swope, Maggie b. 1855 d. 1942
She was the daughter of William Chrisman, Independence, Missouri businessman, and married Logan O. Swope, the
wealthy brother of Thomas Hunton Swope, that donated the land for Swope Park in Kansas City, Missouri.   She sold the
land for William Chrisman High School to the city for $1.   The Swope mansion of Logan Swope, was also the home of
Thomas Swope after his brothers death, and in 1909, 3 members of the Swope household mysteriously died.   James
Moss Hunton, William Chrisman Swope, and Colonel Thomas Hunton Swope all died, and all three were patients of
doctor Bennett Clark Hyde, who was married to the daughter of Logan and Maggie Swope.   Hyde was tried and found
guilty of the murder of Thomas Swope after his body was exhumed and evidence of poisoning was noted.  Hyde
appealed and was released, and a second and third trial resulted in either a hung jury, or mistrial, accounts vary.   
Attorney James A. Reed who is also buried in this cemetery prosecuted Hyde. (bio by: Bill Walker)
See Marker

Swope, William b. 1878 d. December 6, 1909
He was the son of wealthy Independence, Missouri businessman Logan O. Swope and his wife Maggie (Chrisman)
Swope.  In 1909, 3 members of the Swope household mysteriously died.  James Moss Hunton, William Chrisman Swope,
and Colonel Thomas Hunton Swope all died, and all three were patients of doctor Bennett Clark Hyde, who was married
to the daughter of Logan Swope.   Hyde was tried and found guilty of the murder of Thomas Swope after his body was
exhumed and evidence of poisoning was noted.   Hyde appealed and was released, and a second and third trial resulted
in either a hung jury, or mistrial, accounts vary.   Attorney James A. Reed who is also buried in this cemetery proseuted
Hyde. (bio by: Bill Walker)
See Marker

Thayer, William Bridges b. September 11, 1852 d. March 31, 1907
In the 1860's, Thomas B. Bullene and his brother Lathrop opened a small general merchandise store on the northwest
corner of Missouri Avenue and Main Street in Kansas City, Missouri.  Joseph Taylor Bird and his wife Annie moved to
Kansas City, Missouri about 1880, and shortly afterwards Joseph Bird became a partner in the firm that was known then
as Bullene, Moore, and Emery.  In 1882 Thomas Bullene became Mayor of Kansas City, Missouri.  In 1894 the store
changed names again, becoming Emery, Bird, Thayer, which it remained until it closed in 1968.  William Thayer died in
1907, and Joseph Bird died in 1918. Shortly afterwards, his wife Annie became the President of Emery, Bird, Thayer.   
Annie Bird remained active in the business until she died at age 80.   The Bird's were philanthropists, donating property
for Mercy Hospital, and financing the construction of the Joseph T. Bird Nurses’ Home and School of Child Nursing. (bio
by: Bill Walker)
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Van Horn, Col. Robert Thompson b. May 19, 1824 d. January 3, 1916
Van Horn was a leader among civic leaders in Kansas City.  He helped secure the first railroad bridge over the Missouri
River.  He was a printer by trade.  He wandered into steamboating and was in St Louis when a man sold Van Horn his
fledging newspaper for $500.  After the purchase, he immediately began an editorial crusade for public improvements,
city expansion and the pursuit of the steel rail.  He soon changed the name of the newspaper to The Western Journal of
Commerce.  He dispatched couriers to Booneville, Mo., where telegraph connections from the East ended, to bring news
from as far as Europe to his readers.  Van Horn became the town's sixth mayor when the civil war began. He was a pro-
Union Democrat.  He raised the 25th Regt. MO. Vol. for the Union Army. He rose to the rank of Colonel. He was wounded
at the battle of Lexington (sep13-20,1861). He had a horse shot out from under him at Shiloh, TN.   When border
terrorism led Gen. Thomas Ewing in 1863 to issue the infamous Order No. 11, sweeping Jackson County homesteaders
with southern sympathies off their land, the populace pleaded for Colonel Van Horn to handle the deportation.  Later, he
was elected to Congress five times.   It was in Congress that Van Horn clinched the success of his railroad dreams.   The
Hannibal & St. Joseph line said it would support a spur from Cameron, Mo., and a bridge at KC if Congress approved.   
Van Horn attached such an amendment to a bill authorizing a bridge over the Mississippi River at Quincy, Illinois.   
Together, the two bridges would open KC, and Southwest Beef, to Chicago.  On July 3, 1869 the Hannibal Bridge was
opened.   

Van Horn High School is named for him.  (bio by Tom Denardo)
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Wight, William Drewin b. January 22, 1882 d. October 29, 1947
Brothers Thomas and William D. Wight were partners of a very prestigious architectural firm, operating from the early to
mid-1900s, in the Kansas City, Missouri area.  Buildings they designed include the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the
Kansas City Life Insurance building, the Jackson County Courthouse, City Hall, the Federal Courts building and Police
Headquarters, Southeast High School, and even Col. Thomas Swope's Memorial (gravesite) in Swope Park.   If you've
been in Kansas City, Missouri, you've seen buildings designed by Wight & Wight. (bio by: Bill Walker)
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Wolferman, Fred b. September 13, 1870 d. October 2, 1955
Wolferman's grocery stores, restaurant, and bakery goods owner/founder. There were 5 stores in the Kansas City,
Missouri area, and one in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Their bakeries made famous breads, rolls and pastries. They sold many
private label items, all of the highest quality. (bio by: Bill Walker)
See Marker
History  

The rockbound shore and the deep waters of this lake were
once part of Missouri's largest and most beautiful amusement
park, Mount Washington.


The park was a project of Willard E. Winner and occupied
part of Winner's 2,400 acres of woods and streams between
Kansas City and Independence.

The dam was built by Winner in 1887, and the 20-acre lake
was named Swan Lake for the graceful birds who made the
lake their home.
Photo and History Courtesy of Kansas City Public Library