School paramount in Army training

Posted January 9, 2013 at 12:00 am

 By MICHAEL BUSHNELL
Northeast News
January 9, 2013 

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This week, we take a look at an early vocational technical training school in old Kansas City.

Sweeney’s Army Motor Mechanics School is shown on this Real Photo postcard dated Aug. 18, 1918. The school was housed in the Willys-Overland building located on 25th Street, between Grand Boulevard and McGee Street. The building was built in 1918 and actually housed a military detachment during World War I.

In 1936, Hall Brothers (now Hallmark) acquired the building and grounds for $255,000. At that time the building was used by Willys-Overland as a warehouse and dealership for their line of Willys motor cars and Jeeps.

The card was sent to Mrs. D.D. Benton of 612 South Mills Street in Kansas City, Kan. It reads: “7:30 p.m., Aug. 18, 1918. Dear Sister. I haven’t got much room to write, but just wanted to give you my address. I am writing this before breakfast. I was on guard duty in the Sweeney building from 7 p.m. Friday to 7 p.m. Saturday. Two hours on, four hours off. Address, Pvt. Paul E. Franzen, Co. 6, Training Detachment, Sweeney Auto School, Overland Building, Kansas City, Missouri.”