Michael Bushnell

Dr. Aretas S. McCleary arrived in Kansas City in 1893 from Montgomery County, MO., to practice medicine. Specializing in rectal and gastro-intestinal diseases, McCleary owned and operated the Parkview Hotel and Sanitarium at 1000 Paseo Boulevard from 1921 through 1924.

The clinic and hotel are shown on this sepia-toned, divided back, promotional postcard. The view is looking west toward the front of the clinic/hotel. Not shown in the postcard are the letters “P” and “H” standing for Parkview Hotel that were embedded in the front brick retaining wall in white brick. The description on the lower front of the card notes that the clinic is the largest institution in the world dedicated to the treatment of rectal diseases.

In 1925, McCleary moved his clinic to Excelsior Springs, Mo., convinced that the rich mineral water there possessed the healing qualities necessary for his patients. He built a three-story clinic at 404 St. Louis Ave. At the time, Excelsior Springs was home to over 40 natural mineral springs, including sodium bicarbonate, calcium bicarbonate, Siloam and saline sulfur, all with different, decorative pavilions built in the valley of the Fishing River.

Upon Dr. McCleary’s death in 1946, his grandson took over leadership of the clinic. In November 1957, the McCleary clinic merged with the Thornton & Minor Clinic, which had also gotten its start in Kansas City, then also moved to Excelsior Springs in the early 1900’s. In 1958 the facility became the regional office facility for the Veterans Administration.

Back in Kansas City, the Parkview Clinic was converted into an apartment-hotel shortly after McCleary’s departure for Excelsior Springs.

Most recently it operated as Jazz Hill Townhomes for close to 20 years, closing around 2020. In December 2022, plans were announced for a $33.8 million restoration and renovation project that aims to revitalize 11 buildings along The Paseo between 9th and 14th streets, including the Parkview complex.

The handwritten message on the back of the card reads: “Kansas City, MO, June 15, 1921. Dear wife and children. I hope this will be the last card I will have to send from here. I think I will get off tomorrow afternoon, then I can get home Saturday anyway. I am feeling alright today. I walked about 8 blocks this afternoon. Your husband, W. H. Barrier.”

The card was mailed to Mrs. W. H. Barrier, 312 S. Elm St., Eureka, Kan., on June 15, 1921. Eureka is roughly 30 miles due east of El Dorado on US-54.