Michael Bushnell

This week, we showcase an advertising postcard published for the Vanderslice-Lynds grain brokerage company of Kansas City, Mo.

The card depicts a beautiful woman, attired in the finest fashion of the day, above the company’s slogan: “Like the diamond, we strive to make our work sparkle with results.” The photograph is number 4112, taken by the National Photograph Company of Chicago.

 Howard Vanderslice was a mere infant when his family migrated from Kentucky to Iowa Point, Kan., in rural Doniphan County. His foray into the grain brokerage business came in 1881 when he partnered with Milton Emmerson under the name Emmerson & Vanderslice in White Cloud, Kan. In 1890, he migrated to Kansas City to look after a feed, ice and coal business he started in 1888.

 By 1907, Vanderslice was partnering with John Lynds in the Vanderslice-Lynds Mercantile Company. The partnership was extremely successful, and by 1910, he controlled a good portion of the city’s ice and coal trade, as well as being one of the larger grain trading firms in the city.

 In 1927, Vanderslice approached Emma Meyer, the widow of former Parks Commissioner August R. Meyer, and promptly purchased her home and adjacent eight acres near 44th and Warwick streets. He donated the home and land to the fledgling Kansas City Art Institute for its permanent home.

 An interesting side note — Vanderslice is portrayed as the baby being carried in the Pioneer Mother statue in Penn Valley Park, created by sculptor Alexander Proctor. The statue portrays his grandfather, Daniel Vanderslice, an agent to the Sac and Fox tribes, Vanderslice’s father, Thomas J. Vanderslice, and mother. Vanderslice gave the statue to the city in 1927.

 This postcard was sent to Miss Damsel Watterson, General Delivery, Kansas City, Mo., on Aug. 2, 1914. The message reads, “Hi Girlie! Had to go out most of today and just returned. So you have the sniffles but will be here all day Tuesday and write you the promised letter then. Am crazy to see and be with you and will as soon as possible. Be good my dear and it won’t be to very long. With love, Fred.”