Quindaro

Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

Interview with Kansas City, Kansas resident Luther Smith about growing up in the Quindaro area and in Welborn, Kansas. Smith discusses his family and experience as a young student and athlete in the 1940s and '50s, the changing retail landscape of Minnesota Avenue, being drafted into the army in 1960, encountering segregation and discrimination, and shares information about the earlier history of Quindaro.

Audio icon
Audio Recording

Interview with Larry Hancks, writer and former planner for the city of Kansas City, Kansas. Hancks discusses the history of the Quindaro townsite, stories about its role in the Underground Railroad, the current state of the town ruins, and proposals for restoration and commemoration.

Audio icon
Audio Recording

Interview with Marvin Robinson. Robinson discusses his family background, memories of his childhood community, attending Sumner High School and Emporia State University, his experience within his church, enlisting in the navy, and his service in Asia.

Audio icon
Audio Recording

Interview with Hazel Thomas about her experience training as a welder through the National Youth Administration and working for several aircraft manufacturers, including building B-25 Bombers at North American Aviation during World War II. She recalls parts being delivered by people on roller skates, receiving pay equal to that of the men, and marrying and having children. She also discusses going on work for decades in other manufacturing and maintenance jobs in the Kansas City area, growing up in northwest Missouri, Colorado and Rhode Island, and shares photographs and stories from her family.

Video Recording

Interview with Curtis Smith about working for the Union Pacific Railroad with his father in the Fairfax area of Kansas City, Kansas, and getting to know African American coworkers who lived in the Quindaro area. He discusses segregation and the economic decline in the area, and recalls the men he says were the first African American employees at the railroad company, and mentioned Geraldine Gray, who he says was an early African American woman in the company, and discusses the racial and sex-based discrimination she and the men faced. He also discusses his railroad work and employee culture at the Quindaro yard office, and later becoming an instructor at Kansas City Kansas Community College, coordinating the Wyandotte County Ethnic Festival, and taking students to tour the Quindaro town site, and discusses area Civil War-era history.

Audio icon
Audio Recording

Interview with retired engineer and boxing coach Lawrence Abdalla. Abdalla discusses working for General Motors in Warren, Michigan, and later the Kansas City, Kansas, Fairfax Plant, working as a page for Kansas State Senator George Haley and United States Senator Bob Dole, and becoming a boxing coach who was a member of the 1996 Team USA Olympics staff before returning to coach in Kansas City at the East Side Gym and Community Boxing and Fitness in Kansas and the Guadalupe Center in Missouri. He also discusses his volunteer work and prominent athletes he's worked with.

Audio icon
Audio Recording

Interview with Robert Laskey, born in 1923, in which he describes his family and his childhood in Quindaro, including businesses, churches, and people of the area. He discusses baseball teams sponsored by Proctor and Gamble and the local Democratic club, recreation in Klamm Park, and the streetcar network. He also notes that he wasn't familiar with the history of the Quindaro town site until adulthood, though he explored it as a child, and now supports the preservation of the buildings and history.

Audio icon
Audio Recording

Interview with Bill Wehmeyer about growing up in the Quindaro area. He was born in 1928 and recalls playing among the ruins of the original Quindaro town site, the daily life of his family, and describes the city limits of Kansas City, Kansas, expanding to include the area. He also discusses his experiences as a student; working for Katz drugstores and the General Motors plant; later moving to rural Missouri and to Waco, Texas, where he worked as a pastor and chaplain; and recalls segregation and discrimination within the community.

Audio icon
Audio Recording