Do you remember E. 31st between Charlotte and Campbell?

From the 1920s in to the 1940s, many folks in Midtown visited 31st Street near Charlotte to get their “alive until ordered” poultry and eggs. Several different poultry houses operated at this location, In this 1940 photo, it was called Bowers.

 

A 1909-1950 Sanborn map of the block.Residents began moving into the block around E. 31 Street from Charlotte to Campbell in the late 1800s, and as the population grew, 31 Street (formerly known as Springfield Avenue) became a commercial street that offered such services as cleaning, furniture making, and a grocery store.

Residents began moving into the block around E. 31st Street from Charlotte to Campbell in the late 1800s, and as the population grew, 31st Street (formerly known as Springfield Avenue) became a commercial street that offered such services as cleaning, furniture making, and a grocery store.

As part of our Uncovering History Project, the Midtown KC Post is taking a look at each block in Midtown, including a set of 1940 tax assessment photos which is available for many blocks. (Many people seem confused by the tax assessment photos, which all include a man holding a sign. Here’s the story behind them).  Recently, we explored the history of on E. 31st Street Terrace between Charlotte and Campbell, a street formerly known as Glen Airy Place. Today’s focus is on the rest of the block between Glen Airy and E. 31st Street from Charlotte to Campbell.

A 1941 newspaper ad for Bowers Poultry.

Perhaps the best known business on this stretch of 31st Street was the poultry house at 809. In 1924, it was called Clarks, and advertised as “the biggest cleanest and most modern poultry house in the city.” In 1941, it was called Bowers Poultry, and advertised that poultry was “alive until ordered.”

Other businesses came and went along the street, including a wallpaper store, a furniture maker and a mattress company.

An early map of the area shows the Springfield Avenue Christian Church on the southeast corner of 31st and Charlotte. Also known as Southside Christian, the church moved to Linwood and Forest in 1908 and changed its named to Linwood Christian. After that church at Forest burned in 1939, the Community Christian Church moved to its current location at 46th and Main.

Earliest records of the homes along Charlotte and Campbell also appear at the very end of the 1800s.

The slideshow below shows the remaining businesses and residences on the block as they appeared in 1940. (Note: the homes on 31st Street Terrace or Glen Airy Place, are detailed in a previous post).

 Historic photos courtesy Kansas City Public Library/Missouri Valley Special Collections.

 Do you have memories or more details about this area of Midtown? Please share them with our readers. Would you like us to focus on your block next week? Send us an email.

 Our book, Kansas City’s Historic Midtown Neighborhoods, is available now at local bookstores and on Amazon.com. Let us know if you want us to come to your neighborhood association or organization’s meeting to share what we’ve learned about Midtown neighborhood history and tell your members how they can help preserve Midtown history. 

Leave a Comment