There’s a community of more than 4,000 people that sits barely two miles away from Kansas City’s Downtown. It has its own mayor and city agencies and a major hospital, and it’s more than a century old. We're talking about North Kansas City, all 4.4 square miles of it.
On Friday's Central Standard, Monroe Dodd chats with two longtime residents of the city about the history of this town-within-a-town.
1. The city was officially incorporated in 1912 by the ASB Corporation. This company is a conglomeration of three notable businesses-- Armour & Company meat packing, Swift & Company meat packing, and Burlington Northern Railroad. Their interests were primarily financial, yet neither Armour nor Swift ever built a meat-packing plant in the city. Burlington, however, created an extensive rail network around the city. They also built the first bridge to North Kansas City in 1911. It's known as the ASB bridge.
2. ASB was second in line. Before the official incorporation, a man named Willard Winner (of Winner Road fame) had grand designs of creating a community in the area north of the river, however he didn't have the resources that the later ASB Corporation would have.
3. The original boundaries of North Kansas City existed for nearly 100 years...
...until they annexed a small part of the city behind the North Kansas City Hospital.
4. The streets of North Kansas City are arranged mostly alphabetically. The western-most street is Atlantic followed by Burlington, Clay, Swift Avenue (it replaced the D-named street), Erie, Fayette, Gentry, Howell, Iron, Jasper, and so on. This could help you if you ever get lost in the city.
Now hopefully you'll never confuse North Kansas City with Kansas City North.
- Gus Leimkuhler, author of Bridging the Century: The Story of North Kansas City
- Jeff Samborski, Former Economic Development Director of North Kansas City