Michael Bushnell

Looking east on Armour Boulevard from Main Street today, this is hardly the sight we see. That said, in the 1920’s when the SouthWest News Company took the photo this postcard was made from, things looked quite different.

Armour Boulevard was named for meat packing magnate Simeon B. Armour, who served on the city’s Parks Board between 1892 and 1901. Armour Boulevard extends from Broadway Blvd east to The Paseo. The three story, red-brick Queen Anne home seen in the distance belonged to Kirkland Armour, the buff-brick home in the center is that of grain dealer Edward Smith, who was married to Armour’s sister, and the corner home is that of A. J. King of the King Realty Company. King developed a number of residential districts during the early years of the twentieth century in what we would consider Midtown today.

Corporate “progress”  has spelled doom for most of the formidable residences that once lined Armour Boulevard, replacing them with modern, steel and glass office buildings. On this particular block, the homes were razed to make way for buildings that housed Interstate Brands and the Standard Oil Company.

The lone survivor of this corporate carnage is the Jacob and Ella Loose home, now a wedding and event venue located at 101 E. Armour that is a surviving example of the kinds of homes that once lined the Armour Boulevard corridor.

This postcard was mailed to Mrs. G.L. Uptegrove of Montgomery City, MO on August 19, 1908. The personal message reads: “Dear Stella, I was so glad to hear from you. I think K.C a beautiful city. The yards and drives are fine. Have been driving several times. Emma.”