Middle, Upper Class Families Were First Residents of Crestwood Block

The Nichols Company described this home at 5445 Cherry for sale for $16,000 as “one of Kansas City’s loveliest Dutch Colonials” in a 1945 ad. “Forest trees and abundant shrubbery are its decoration. Living, dining and breakfast rooms, kitchen and large screened porch complete the first floor,” the company boasted. “ A rare mantel piece with canvas wall covering in major rooms are notable features. There are three bedrooms, the master bedroom having a tile mantel. Power oil burner incinerator, 2-car basement garage and general features of equipment are important. Near Country Club line, Rockhurst College and preparatory school and Crestwood shops it enjoys many location advantages.”

 

This block of the Crestwood neighborhood (E. 54th to E. 55th from Cherry to Holmes), like the rest of the J.C. Nichols-developed subdivision, attracted middle- and upper-middle class residents after development began in 1919. According to the National Register of Historic Places nomination, the homes reflect a range of the historically based revival styles popular in America after World War I. Those “modern” homes attracted, in turn, families headed by executives, investors, doctors, and building contractors.

A 1930-1941 Sanborn map of the block.

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). This week, the block from  E. 54th to E. 55th from Cherry to Holmes.

By 1930, when the census was taken, nineteen families had moved in on the block. They included:

5414 Holmes: Leo G. Wetherill, 38, real estate investor; wife Fleda, 39; daughter Phyllis, 12; son Gaylord, 11; son Leo G. Jr., 9.

5418 Holmes: Ramon Schumacker, 43, building contractor; wife Ina, 33; son Ramon Jr., 9; son William L., 6; daughter Mary, 4; son David, 3; Mary E. Perry, 28, boarder, railroad voucher clerk.

5424 Holmes: Ray Mering, 40, vice president of oil company; wife Clara, 39; daughter Clara, 10; daughter Virginia, 9; daughter Jean, 8; son Ray, 7; daughter Marjorie, 1; servant Catherine Hake, 42.

5426 Holmes: Louis Schumacker, 42, electrical contractor; wife Alice, 40; son John, 8; mother Wilhimine, 76.

5430 Holmes: Edgar Godbold, 50, church secretary; wife Margaret, 44.

5434 Holmes: Edward Hauber. 41, barrel manufacturer; wife Christanne, 39; son Edward, 14; daughter Eleanor, 11; daughter Mary, 10; son Vincent, 8; daughter Christanne, 6.

5445 Cherry: Roy Stevens, 37, medical doctor; wife Mary, 34; daughter Norma, 4; Gertrude Craven, sister-in-law, 37, beauty parlor operator.

5433 Cherry: Bernard Nelson, 46, electrical contractor; wife Sara, 41; daughter Bernice, 16.

5431 Cherry: Francis Poindexter, 36, securities investor; wife Ella, 30; son John, 8; daughter Nancy, 7; Florence Lay, 34, servant.

5429 Cherry: William E. Glenn, 68, treasurer of a trust company; wife Edith, 66; Flo. Alcorn, 25, servant.

5421 Cherry: Donnie H. Church, 54; wife Josephine, 53; daughter Virginia, 24.

5415 Cherry: David Martin, 60, vice president of bond company; wife Lola, 55; daughter Betty, 18.

5407 Cherry: Ben Weldon, 47, automobile broker; wife Nell, 45; daughter Virginia, 15.

5401 Cherry: Edward J. Kennaley, 40, commercial salesman; wife Eleanor, 35; son John, 16; daughter Eleanor, 8; servant Anna Smetang.

609 E. 54th: Fred Richardson, 67, cold storage general agent; wife Minnie, 62; son Lyman, 23; son Orville, 20; son Fredrick, 19.

611 E. 54th: Andrew Lundteigen, 67, packing plant machinist; wife Rose, 61.

621 E. 54th: John B. Winters, 70, wife Ella, 69.

The slideshow below shows all the homes on the block as they looked in 1940.

 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.

 The book, Kansas City’s Historic Midtown Neighborhoods, is available now at local bookstores, on Amazon.com, or directly through me. (Email me to mjdraper@midtownKC post to purchase a copy for $24.68, which includes shipping and handling).

 

 

 

One Comment

  1. Jack Holland says:

    Great post! I lived in two homes in Crestwood, 409 E 54th and 5335 Cherry. One of the greatest neighborhoods in KC!

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