39th and Gillham once home to dairy farm on Westport to Independence road

39th and Gillham house being movedIn 1910, as the desire for new “modern” homes in Midtown Kansas City continued, an “old fashioned, two-story” frame home at 39th and Gillham was being prepared to be moved.

The Kansas City Times published this sketch and told the story on Feb. 4 of that year:

An Old House Being Moved: Henry C. Flower Will Build on the Site of the Brown Dairy Farm

In former years, travelers along the dirt road between Westport and Independence stopped at Brown’s Dairy Farm for a drink of milk or to quench their thirst with water from the spring. The old-fashioned 2-story frame house was a hospitable place. Later it was the home of John C. Hendricks, whose daughter,  Apple (identified elsewhere as Aphie) Hendricks, married Louis James, the actor.

If General Jo Shelby or General Lane or any of the other Civil War leaders that used to know the place would ride by today, they would find only the old frame house and the spring to remind them of other days. The house is being moved away on rollers to make room for the modern home Henry C. Flower, president of the Fidelity Trust Company, is to build. The tract is hedged about with dignified stone walls and the dirt road that used to run in front of the place has given way to the wide paved and curbed Robert Gillham Road. That tract has frontage of 1,250 feet on Robert Gillham Road, lying between Holmes and Locust and Thirty-eighth and Thirty-ninth streets. The south end of the tract has a depth of three hundred feet, while at the north end the sides are almost to a point.

“I am having the old house moved back to make room for the new,” Mr. Flower said last night. “I have made no plans for new home beyond determining where I will build.”

Flower later built Round Hill, a residence on 5 acres of land at 39th and Gillham. Hare & Hare landscape architects terraced and landscaped the property, which now had an entrance on Locust Street just south of 38th. The 1907 Tuttle and Pike map below shows the Flowers property. In 1920, the home was listed with an address of 3800 Janssen Place.

In 1925, Round Hill was chosen by the Catholic Sisters of Notre Dame de Sion as the permanent home of their French school, which had previously been housed in the former Kirk Armour mansion at Armour and Warwick.

Do you remember this area? What special memories do you have of this section of Midtown? What questions do you have about it? Let us know and we’ll share your history and help to preserve it on our website as part of our Uncovering History project.

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A 1907 plat map of the Flower property, which later became Notre Dame de Sion school.

A 1907 plat map of the Flower property, which later became Notre Dame de Sion school.

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