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The Waldo Story: The Home of the Friendly Merchants by Ladene Morton

January 23, 2014

When you ask a Kansas City native where they live, their response is the name attached to their neighborhood or housing subdivision. Waldo is the neighborhood bounded by State Line Road to the west, 85th Street to the south, Troost Avenue to the east, and Gregory Boulevard to the north. It was named for one of its original residents, David Waldo, who ran freight on the Santa Fe Trail. 

Waldo felt the effects of the Battle of Westport when the advancing/retreating armies came down Wornall Lane. In the 1890s, David Waldo, Jr. formed the Waldo Land and Investment Company to develop the area. Plans even included a race track. The Nichols Company entered the picture in the early 1900s.

Waldo was annexed by Kansas City, part before World War II and part after. It is similar to many post war neighborhoods across the country with new housing bought by veterans coming back from the war. This is where some of the “baby boomer” generation grew up. The shopping area lined both sides of Wornall Road. In 1964, the Waldo Area Business Association adopted a new slogan, "The Home of Friendly Merchants."  

Some of the famous residents were Alexander Majors (founder of the Pony Express), H. Roe Bartle (Kansas City Mayor), Frederic Jones (artist), and Calvin Trillin (author). 

The book goes into more historical detail and photos. It is worth the time to pick up. 

Candy N.
Midwest Genealogy Center 

Tags: Waldo, Kansas City, history, book review

Comments

And of course Napolean Dible

It's impossible to study Waldo (and Brookside) without understanding the influence of Napolean Dible and the Dible Tudors sprinkled throughout the KC neighborhoods. It's one more thing that makes us unique! Looking forward to reviewing the book!
Kathleen Brandt

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