Independence, MO, Swope Residence

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Description: Postcard of the Swope Residence, Independence, MO
Location: SC58
Collection: Mrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)See finding aid:,36981
Historical Article: The Swope residence, of red brick and red sandstone, at 406 South Pleasant Street in Independence, was built in the early 1890s.A winding asphalt driveway, built for horse-drawn carriages, extended nearly a city block to the front door and the porte-cochere on the side of the house. There was a ballroom on the third floor with a raised platform for the musicians. Here nieces and nephews of Col. Thomas H. Swope, who gave Swope Park to Kansas City in 1896, held their dancing parties. This was not the residence of millionaire Thomas Swope, but that of his brother, Logan Swope, Mrs. Swope and their large family.Both men made their fortunes in real estate. Colonel Swope bought 30 acres, now the heart of Kansas City's Downtown District, for $7,500. It had been part of the farm of Tom Smart, pioneer merchant.Colonel Swope was a bachelor. In his later years, a dyspeptic old man, often growling no one ever comes to see me, he moved into the house (pictured) of his widowed sister-in-law. He died there Oct. 3, 1909, allegedly poisoned by his doctor, B. Clark Hyde, who had married one of Logan Swope's daughters. According to grand jury charges, it was a plot for money. Accounts of the three trials of Dr. Hyde filled the papers for years.In 1923 the Swope family sold the mansion to the RLDS Church. The church conducted a school in the home until 1931. In 1938 Mrs. Henry Russell Rowland of Independence, with the help of a few church women, and a battery of sewing machines, took over the old mansion for a workshop. They made and sold and gave away clothing, quilts and rugs, all for the needy, here and in war-torn Europe.The old house, still holding the secret of Colonel Swope's death, was razed in 1960.Kansas City TimesMarch 25, 1983
Barcode: 20000580
Item Type: Postcard


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