Michael Bushnell

This advertising postcard from The Westmoreland Company, showcases a residence at 74th St. and Mercier. The actual residence shown on the card is a house at 7404 Mercier St., which shares a striking resemblance to its image printed on this postcard —published in 1914.

According to Google Earth, the lot on which this home stands is 1,024 to 1,025 feet above sea level. This translates to exactly 301.5 feet above the Missouri River, where the municipal wharf used to be located near the Broadway Bridge.

A hand-written note on the bottom of the card indicates in 1914, the house belonged to Uncle David Proctor. Proctor was a local land developer around the turn of the 20th century. A Monroe County native, David M. Proctor was born in 1881 and came to Kansas City in 1906. Practicing law with the firm of Borland and Pew, Proctor additionally served as the president of Westmoreland Company —which had offices at 431 Scarritt Building.

The company managed a 100-acre development in present-day Waldo. “A residential district, comprising one hundred acres of the most beautiful ground in Kansas City, with a main entrance at 74th and Broadway — literally where the city and the country meet,”

Proctor was appointed City Counselor by Mayor William E. Kemp in 1946, becoming  instrumental in cleansing the city’s corrupt “Pendergast machine,” which had ruled city politics for decades.

Proctor  authored three published works throughout his career, which worked to dishonor political boss Tom Pendergast. The first in 1936 that satirized the Pendergast machine titled “Pay Day.”  His 1937 release of “False Faces on Quality Street” followed, before his final work in 1939 with, “Riding High.”

Additionally, he served as a Missouri State Senator from 1921 to 1925, during which he sponsored several bills pertaining to honest election laws in St. Louis and Kansas City.

This card was sent to Mrs. James M. Johnston of Monroe City  Sept. 29, 1914. 

The personal message reads: “Dear Martha, Anna arrived yesterday. Couldn’t get the vitolitos here but will send bottle from Ft. Worth tomorrow. We arrive there at 1:45 in the afternoon, leave here 8 pm this evening. All well here, all of us have had a delightful time. We have been on the go most of the time. With love, Jack.”