Last week, our Uncovering History story featured a block of the Southmoreland neighborhood around 43rd and Main. That prompted a question from a reader asking what history might be available on the 4100 block of Warwick. More about that shortly, but first the story of a neighborhood disagreement that landed residents of the block in court in 1908.
A neighborly dispute, 1908 style
It seems that the Otto L. Pfahler family of 4115 Warwick had a cow named Bridget, who produced milk for the family. That cow, a reporter said, was the family’s pride and joy. However, in Bridget’s declining years, the neighbors filed a lawsuit against Pfahler calling the cow a nuisance.
“This cow has been staked out in a vacant lot opposite my home morning and evening since May 19,” Battle McCardle, a neighbor, told the court. ”She makes life wreched by her constant bawling. Recently she bawled a whole night long. Her noise is worse than a locomotive. Sometimes the noise is so great Mrs. McCardle can’t keep up conversations with guests.”
“I can corroborate Mr. McCardle‘s statement,” another neighbor, W.L. Wilson, said. “Why, that cow has a regular buffalo ‘hollar;’ I would know her voice in a thousand.
“I have often wished the streetcars would keep up one continuous scream so I couldn’t hear her,” Mrs. McCardle added.
Then, the Star reported, Bridget’s friends had their turn and declared her a model cow. F.J. Bannister of 4112 Warwick and Charles P. Munday of 4143 Warwick said they hardly knew she was in the neighborhood, she was so quiet.
McCardle countered that Munday himself owned a cow, and alleged all the cow owners were sticking together.
The judge dismissed the case – according to the reporter – “curtly.”
What more there is to know about the 4100 block of Warwick
Just north of this block, the L.A. Goodman home and orchards were well-known landmarks around the early 1900s. As the map to the right shows, Goodman’s property, surrounded by fruit orchards, dominated the area. In 1899, the Kansas City Journal rhapsodized about a party for 300 guests held on the property. “No lovelier spot could be found for an outdoor gathering than the fine grounds surrounding the Goodman residence at Fortieth and Warwick. In addition to the variety of flowers that are at home on the lawn, great jars of hollyhocks, daisies and other sweet old-fashioned posies stood on the verandas and in otherwise unoccupied nooks. A large canopy was garlanded with asparagus and evergreen, even the indispensible stay ropes becoming things of beauty, and under it the table was placed, bearing in its center a mound of sweet peas and roses, and serving as a depository of delicious refreshments. An orchestra played throughout the evening.”
Just south of the Goodman property at the northwest corner of 41st and Warwick, L.B. Price, founder Price Mercentile Company, built a large home in 1899.
Other early residents of this block included: E.C. Benedict, president of the Benedict Paper Company, at 4115 (before the Pfahlers); William Davis Foster, a doctor affiliated with the Kansas City Homeopathic Institute, at 4125; Alexander Rieger, a banker, at 4141; C.P. Munday (and presumably his cow) at 4145; Edward Wilder, Kansas City architect and co-founder of the firm Wilder and Wight which later became Wight & Wight, and later Hale Cook, attorney and former president of the Kansa City board of education at 4144; and Preston Dillenbeck, director of Kansas City School of Oratory, at 4108.
But we’d like to hear what you remember of this block. We’ll share your history and help to preserve it on our website.
Would you like us to focus on your block next week? Send us an email.
Pre-order our new book, Kansas City’s Historic Midtown Neighborhoods, now. Publication date is March 16. 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. Order the book