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A recent KCQ story on the history of Kansas City’s Leeds neighborhood brought back fond memories for many former residents. Some reached out to us with additional information and photos illuminating life in long-ago Leeds.
This installment of “What’s Your KCQ” is a story of gambling, gangsters, and geography. Reader William Renegar wanted to know, “Was there once a gambling establishment on Southwest Boulevard on the state line that was part in Kansas and part in Missouri?” There’s a story in his family about a relative, Fred Renegar, who supposedly ran a saloon on the state line before he was killed by the mob over an unsettled debt. His murder was never solved. William Renegar wondered if there was any truth to it. Our findings indicate: Yes, it’s all true.
Driving the stretch of Interstate 70 over the Blue River, a few minutes east of the Truman Sports Complex, the railroad tracks and warehouses to the south provide a glimpse of the industrial neighborhood of Leeds. An alternate route to the sports complex, along Stadium Drive, takes you to the heart of the district once considered a suburb of Kansas City. Former Leeds resident Christene Sharp reached out to "What’s Your KC Q?" to ask about the town’s history.
Carol Rothwell has driven past the sprawling mansion in Grandview on her way to church every Sunday for more than 10 years. A wrought-iron fence surrounds the 96-acre property. A winding gravel path leads past the red "no trespassing" signs on the gate, up a hill, past a pond and a thicket of trees, arriving at a mostly finished white stucco mansion with a red roof.
This week marks 43 years since Ralph Steadman visited a muggy Kansas City to cover the 1976 Republican National Convention for Rolling Stone magazine. Twelve of Steadman’s inimitable drawings ultimately were published alongside John Dean’s first-person story, “Rituals of the Herd.” Six of them - and six more Steadman illustrations from his time in Kansas City - are part of the traveling exhibit, Ralph Steadman: A Retrospective, on display at the Library’s Central Library through September 8, 2019.
In 2016, the Library marked the 40th anniversary of the ’76 Convention with a special exhibit, Republican Showdown in Kansas City, which included several pieces from the Library’s Missouri Valley Special Collections. The MVSC houses a number of artifacts from the convention and, in conjunction with its 43rd anniversary and the Steadman retrospective, we thought we’d showcase a bit of both.
Municipal Stadium, opened in 1923 at Brooklyn Avenue and 22nd Street, was the original home for the Chiefs and baseball’s Athletics. But as part of the NFL-AFL merger set for 1970, teams were required to have 50,000-seat stadiums. Municipal held about 40,000.
Maybe you’ve noticed the old concrete structures near the Town of Kansas Bridge in Berkley Riverfront Park. Both Kyle Romine and Joel Verhagen have, and separately raised the question to What’s Your KC Q: How were they once used?