The Monroe Hotel was readily accessible to travelers from all walks of life. Tom utilized the Monroe Hotel by cutting through the wall at the 2nd floor level between the Monroe and his newly constructed office in the NE corner of the new bldg. The 2nd floor doorway from the Monroe to his office allowed certain politicians & businessmen access to meetings with Tom without being directly seen entering 1908 Main. To Tom, politics was business-like, no-frills operation.
William Ouseley, a retired FBI supervisor best known for helping dismantle the Kansas City mafia in the 1980s, has written his first book, "Open City," which explores the formation and spread of organized crime in KC. Through meticulous research, Ouseley traces the roots of crime societies in Southern Italy and Sicily, which became known as the shadow Black Hand once they arrived in the Midwest.
KC had more than one political boss. Joseph Shannon, who was weaned on politics in the 9th Ward, controlled a Jeffersonian Democratic faction known as the Rabbits (Pendergast Democrats were called Goats). However, where Pendergast controlled the city, Shannon looked more to the state level, first working for the MO Democratic Com. and eventually serving 13 years as a US Congressman.
1930: KC population: 399,746, Foreign born: 6%, Black: 10%, Male/female ratio: 99 males to every 100 females. Adults over 25 with college degrees: 6%, Common Professions: meat-packing, wholesale & retail sales, construction, flour production, railroading, domestic services, dress-making, Popular Radio Shows: Goodman and Jane Ace (KMBC), Amos N' Andy, "Slatz" Randall's orchestra at the Hotel Muelbach, the Cook Painter Boys (WDAF).
Union Station, Kauffman Center of Performing Arts, Sprint Center, Power and Light Building, KC Star Building, Bartle Hall, Western Auto Building, plus many others throughout this area. Photo by Regina K.