Pendergast Machine

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Henry Francis McElroy

Henry F. McElroy was hand picked in 1926 by boss Thomas J. Pendergast to be Kansas City's first city manager. This gave Pendergast complete control over Kansas City.

"As Good as Money Could Buy": Kansas City’s Black Public Hospital

"They did not try to build something ‘good enough for Negroes’ but something as good as money could buy." This is how Chester Arthur Franklin, the Republican founder of The Call newspaper and one of Kansas City’s most prominent black leaders, greeted the newly constructed eight-story building that housed General Hospital No. 2, serving the indigent African American population of Kansas City.

William E. Byers Speech ("1940")

Text of a speech given by William E. Byers in Slater, Missouri on April 20, 1939. It discusses the activities of the Pendergast political machine and his hope for a future government based on "Americanism."

Why I Am Supporting James V. "Josh" Billings

Article written by Clare Magee, Unionville attorney, discussing the reasons he supports James Billings for the Missouri Supreme Court. He writes that the only complaints against Billings "have come from those who desired to take advantage of the unfortunate, and who were thwarted in that purpose by Judge Billings."

United Democracy for Stark

Publication containing excerpts from newspapers throughout the state with endorsements and positive reports for Stark's candidacy for governor.

U.S. vs. Matthew S. Murray: Opening Statement of Maurice M. Milligan

U.S. Attorney Maurice M. Milligan's opening statement in Criminal Case No. 14652: United States vs. Matthew S. Murray, defendant. Milligan notes that Murray filed tax returns in each of those years, for considerably less than his actual income, i.e. reporting net income of $3,500.85 in 1935, but actually receiving $14,576.88, and that he defrauded the government out of $6,577.29 in total over those five years.

Truman's First Nomination for Senator was Stolen

Pamphlet written by Ewing Young Mitchell, former Assistant Secretary of Commerce in Franklin D. Roosevelt administration's first term. He asserts "[t]he first nomination for United States Senator of Harry S. Truman was stolen," and proceeds to argue that point. The Pendergast machine is described as "the most corrupt, the most brazen, gang of thieves who ever looted an American city," and describes the Pendergasts' businesses' activities and obstructions around the city.

Tom Pendergast Inmate File: Rudolph Hartmann Report

Report from Internal Revenue Service Special Agent Rudolph H. Hartmann submitted to the warden of the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth, regarding Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295. The report describes Pendergast's charges, convictions, and sentencing, as well as detailing the circumstances of his income tax evasion. The report also mentions that Pendergast may be subject to additional charges stemming from the investigation into R.

Tom Pendergast Inmate File: Rudolph H. Hartmann Letter

Letter from Special Agent Rudolph H. Hartmann regarding his investigation into Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295.

Tom Pendergast Inmate File: Report on Convicted Prisoner by United States Attorney

U.S. Attorney's report on Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295, which records Higgins' defense attorneys, summarizes the charges, and notes the sentence imposed. The report records as aggravating circumstances obstruction of justice, suborning perjury, and evidence of income tax violation in other years, though "proof only goes back to 1927." Judge Merrill Otis and U.S. Attorney Maurice M. Milligan both recommend against parole.

Tom Pendergast Inmate File: Record of Interviews and Visits

Record of interviews and visits for Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295, including dates of visits by his family members and attorneys between June 5, 1939, and April 9, 1940. Pendergast, known for his powerful Kansas City political machine and ties to organized crime, was found guilty of income tax evasion in 1939 and sentenced to 15 months in the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth.

Tom Pendergast Inmate File: Prison Record

Prison record of Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295, which includes sentencing dates and terms and notes his conditional release on May 30, 1940. Pendergast, known for his powerful Kansas City political machine and ties to organized crime, was found guilty of income tax evasion in 1939 and sentenced to 15 months in the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth.