Michael Bushnell

On October 4, 1946, “Pearle” sent this black and white, photo postcard to her mother, Mrs. Walter Cochran of Frankfort, Kan.

The personal message reads: “Dear Mother, how are you? We are all pretty good. David didn’t feel so good last night but he is ok this morning. I am about over my cold. We put up our stove. Feels good. Am going to can apples today. Re-potted house plants yesterday. Quite a job as the roots on some were ground together so that I couldn’t hardly get them out of the pot or apart. Glad you got someone to help you. How is Dad getting along? Going to be another nice day. Love, Pearle.”

Frankfort is a small, farming town situated along The Oregon Trail roughly 35 miles southeast of Marysville, KS. .

Pearle Cochran, the daughter of Walter and Matilda Cochran of Frankfort, married Benjamin Leon Henthorne on April 21, 1935, in Kansas City, Mo. Leon, as he is referred to in census records, was a Stock Clerk at Katz Drug Store at 1130 Walnut in downtown Kansas City. They lived in a modest, two-bedroom house at 6509 E. 7th St. in what is today the Sheffield neighborhood. They had two children, David, who was referenced in Pearle’s message, and Joseph.

The advertising postcard shows the Automobile Club of Missouri’s Kansas City office located in a converted home at 3239 Broadway. Almost immediately after the introduction of the automobile, or at least after the implementation of the assembly line where cars could be mass produced, such clubs became popular among the owners of the newfangled horseless carriage.

By 1911, the club was publishing road maps, for what they were worth. Most roads were, by today’s standards, unimproved at best and were virtually impassable after a heavy rainstorm. By 1915, the Auto Club was offering emergency road services to members and by 1921, services were available nationwide through reciprocal agreements with other State AAA affiliates.

1940 Tax Photo, sourced from the Kansas City Public Library Missouri Valley Special Collection

The club moved its operations to an office building in the 2500 block of Gillham Plaza when this facility was demolished in the 1960’s. Today, AAA’s office is located back on Broadway, one lot south of the original location shown here.