Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Dead and Buried: The KC area has a lot of famous non-breathers
There are a lot of famous people in Kansas City – and they're dead. From gangsters and Western outlaws to Mormon pioneers and sausage makers, the Kansas City area is full of famous stiffs.
Paranormal? No, but kinda neat.
"There's a lot of famous dead people," said Vicki Beck, a local historian. "Charlie 'Bird' Parker is up there in Lincoln Cemetery, Jim Bridger, Mount Washington; Cole Younger is out in Lee's Summit, Frank James, Annie Chambers, a famous madam ..."
There are seven Revolutionary soldiers buried in the Kansas City area and more Civil War personalities than you can count. The most famous name in the area is probably the outlaw Jesse James, buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Kearney, Mo. But who's the most famous name buried in Jackson County?
"Frank James would probably be the best known," said Victor Meador, a staff librarian at the Jackson County Genealogical Society Research Library.
Let's keep it in the family.
Of course, there are famous dead Kansas Citians who never made it home to rest, like "Beverly Hillbillies" creator Paul Henning, and dancer Ginger Rogers.
"She was born here, went to Hollywood, came back here afterward, but of course she lived in Hollywood and died and was buried there," Meador said.
The following is a list of famous Kansas City-area graves compiled with information from Findagrave.com and some guys I know.
Famous KC-area graves:
– Anderson, William T. "Bloody Bill." Civil War guerrilla, one of Quantrill's Raiders. Pioneer Cemetery, Richmond, Mo.
– Armour brothers, Andrew, Charles W., Kirkland B. and Simeon. Four of five Armours who started Armour and Company Meat Packing. Elmwood Cemetery, Kansas City.
– Atchison, David Rice. U.S. Senator who was allegedly "president for a day" between the terms of James K. Polk and Zachary Taylor. Greenlawn Cemetery, Plattsburg, Mo.
– Bingham, George Caleb. Famous American painter. Union Cemetery, Kansas City.
– Brink, James W. Rider for the Pony Express who carried mail on the first run. Mount Auburn Cemetery, St. Joseph, Mo.
– Buchanan, Junious "Buck." Kansas City Chief and Pro Football Hall of Famer. Mount Moriah Cemetery, Kansas City.
– Civella, Nick. K.C. crime boss, although he always denied it. Mount Saint Marys Cemetery, Kansas City.
– Coates, Sarah. Instrumental in the Woman's Suffrage movement and was a friend of Susan B. Anthony. Elmwood Cemetery, Kansas City.
– Cowdery, Oliver. Scribe who wrote down the Book of Mormon as it was dictated by the prophet Joseph Smith. Pioneer Cemetery, Richmond, Mo.
– Ford, Bob. The man who shot Jesse James – says so on his plaque, I’ve been there. Richmond City Cemetery, Richmond, Mo.
– Goldberg, Larry. Author and owner of New York City pizza chain Goldberg's Pizza. Kehilath Israel Blue Ridge Cemetery, Kansas City.
– Goodloe, James W. The Lawrence Raid by Quantrill's Raiders was planned on his farm. Blue Springs Cemetery, Blue Springs.
– Grooms, William. One of two Kansas City police detectives who were ambushed by mobsters in the 1933 Union Station Massacre. Mount Saint Mary's Cemetery, Kansas City.
– Hall, Joyce Clyde. Founder of Hallmark Cards. Forest Hill Cemetery, Kansas City.
– Harris, Martin. One of the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon. Pioneer Cemetery, Richmond, Mo.
– James, Frank. Outlaw and older brother of Jesse. Hill Park Cemetery, Independence.
– James, Jesse Woodson. Notorious outlaw. Mount Olivet Cemetery, Kearney, Mo.
– Jim the Wonder Dog. Setter believed to have psychic power. Marshall Ridge Park Cemetery, Marshall, Mo.
– Kauffman, Ewing Marion. Founder of Marion Laboratories, Inc., and owner of the Kansas City Royals. Kauffman Foundation and Memorial Garden, Kansas City.
– Kearns, Leannah "Annie Chambers." KC's most notorious madam. Her cathouse was at the southwest corner of Third and Wyandotte. Elmwood Cemetery, Kansas City.
– Kelley, Clarence M. Director of the FBI under Richard Nixon. Mount Washington Cemetery, Kansas City.
– Kelly, Edward Harry. Band leader and ragtime composer. Mount Saint Mary's Cemetery, Kansas City.
– Land, Frank S. "Dad." Founded the Order of De Molay in 1919. Mount Moriah Cemetery, Kansas City.
– Lazia, John. Crime boss of Kansas City's North Side. Linked to the Union Station Massacre. Mount Saint Marys Cemetery, Kansas City.
– McCoy, John Calvin. Founder of Westport and, later, Kansas City. Union Cemetery, Kansas City.
– McElroy, Ken Rex. Bully of Skidmore, Mo., killed by the townspeople he terrorized. Memorial Park, St. Joseph, Mo.
– McKitterick, William. The man who domesticated bees. Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Pleasant Hill, Mo.
– Moten, Benjamin "Bennie." Pianist and band leader who helped define Kansas City jazz. Highland Cemetery, Kansas City.
– Nation, Carry Amelia. Prohibitionist. Belton Cemetery, Belton, Mo.
– Nelson, William Rockhill. Cofounder of The Kansas City Star. Mount Washington Cemetery, Kansas City.
– Nichols, Charles "Kid." Major League Baseball Hall of Famer. Mount Moriah Cemetery, Kansas City.
– Noland, Ledstone. Soldier from the Revolutionary War. Pitcher Cemetery, Independence.
– Paige, Satchel. Major League and Negro Baseball Hall of Famer. Forest Hill Cemetery, Kansas City.
– Parker, Charlie "Bird." Legendary jazz musician. Lincoln Cemetery, Kansas City.
– Pendergast, Thomas. Kansas City crime boss and Democratic Party powerhouse – the guy who got Truman elected to the Senate. Calvary Cemetery, Kansas City.
– Porter, Darrell R. Former Major League Baseball catcher for the Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals. Longview Memorial Gardens, Kansas City.
– Quantrill, William Clarke. Guerrilla leader. Confederate Cemetery, Higginsville, Mo.
– Quisenberry, Daniel. Major League Baseball pitcher for the Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants. Mount Moriah Cemetery, Kansas City.
– Rice, Raymond B. Founder of the R.B. Rice sausage company. Forest Hill Cemetery, Kansas City.
– Sappington, Dr. John. Used quinine as a cure for malaria. Sappington Cemetery, Arrow Rock, Mo.
– Scott, Martha. Actress who appeared on "General Hospital," "Charlotte's Webb 2" and "The Bionic Woman." Masonic Cemetery, Jamesport, Mo.
– Smith, Hilton. Major League Baseball Hall of Famer. Mount Moriah Cemetery, Kansas City.
– Stover, Russell. Founder of Russell Stover chocolates. Mount Moriah Cemetery, Kansas City.
– Taylor, Johnnie Harrison. R&B and Gospel singer who sang "Who's Making Love" and "Disco Lady." Forest Hill Cemetery, Kansas City.
– Thomas, Derrick Vincent. Kansas City Chiefs perennial All-Pro linebacker. Mount Washington Cemetery, Kansas City.
– Truman, Bess. First Lady. Truman Presidential Museum and Library, Independence.
– Truman, Harry S. 33rd President of the United States. Truman Presidential Museum and Library, Independence.
– Whitmer, David. One of the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon. Richmond Cemetery, Richmond, Mo.
– Williams, Claude "Fiddler." Jazz pioneer. Mount Moriah Cemetery, Kansas City.
– Young, Hiram. Social reformer and former slave. Woodlawn Cemetery, Independence.
– Younger, Cole. Outlaw and murderer. Lee's Summit Historical Cemetery, Lee's Summit.
– Younger, James "Jim." Outlaw. Lee's Summit Historical Cemetery, Lee's Summit.
– Younger, Robert "Bob." Outlaw. Lee's Summit Historical Cemetery, Lee's Summit.
Yep, there are a lot of famous dead people around Kansas City. Let’s hope they stay that way.
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