News Archive

HOBO HOLIDAY! PENDERGAST TURKEYS FATTEN GOAT VOTERS IN WAKE OF ELECTION!

December 20, 1939

Every Holiday season Boss Tom’s Machine remembered the humblest of voters, those who consistently returned the Machine to power by casting ballots for Goat candidates. Then casting them again at another polling station.  Then casting them again across town. Then, when necessary, riding Machine-chartered busses to the most remote precincts in Jackson County to elect Goats to county office.

SLASHES AT THE BOSS! RAY’S SAVAGE POLITICAL CARTOONS CUT THE MACHINE TO THE BONE.

July 10, 1939

S. J. “Silvey” Ray was no fan of Boss Tom, and he used his gig as editorial cartoonist at The Kansas City Star to cut the Machine any time he got the chance.

Judge Mac Delivers the Goods! Country Bookkeeping Delivers Boodle for KC Machine!

May 22, 1939

“Judge” Henry F. McElroy learned his politics and his public accounting as a young boy in rural Iowa. When Tom Pendergast engineered his appointment as City Manager McElroy was over sixty years old, but stood tall, slim, and muscular, with the wiry frame and evangelical scowl of a country preacher. He rose to prominence in The Machine as an administrative judge for Jackson County – the same office where Harry Truman got his start.

MISSOURI WALTZ! RICHMOND RUBE CALLS TUNE ON BOSS TOM!

April 30, 1939

The trouble for Boss Tom began long before the bean counters obsessed over his tax forms.

THE MACHINE SHOWS HEART! WE FEED ‘EM….AND WE VOTE EM!

August 18, 1938

Boss Tom was determined that the Machine would continue the tradition of philanthropy established by Big Jim Pendergast when he was alderman of the West Bottoms, and the distribution of five-spots to hobo voters on election day wasn’t the Machine’s only charitable endeavor.

Tom’s Town Tattler! Christmas in the Paris of the Plains!

December 25, 1937

KANSAS CITY, Christmas, 1937: The fine scribes at Siegrist Engraving Company gave us this photogravure etching of Union Station, The Power & Light Building, the new City Hall, and all the rest of Boss Tom’s Christmas …

MINDS THE BOSS’S BUSINESS! ELI’S STRONG ARM KEEPS THE PEACE AT MACHINE HQ!

November 3, 1934

If you wanted to see The Boss, you had to go through old “Cap” Matheus. Elijah Matheus was a man of mystery, and his opaque biography made his authority imposing. Nobody knew much at all about the stern factotum who ran The Boss’ office. It was common knowledge that he was a former riverboat captain – thus the nickname.

EPSTEIN’S ANCESTOR A BOOTLEGGER! TOM’S TOWN PARTNER STAGGERS IN FOOTSTEPS OF ARTFUL ANTECEDENT!

October 6, 1934

Someone pulled the rug out from under Herman Epstein. One day he was an honest businessman pursuing a legitimate trade. The next day he was a bootlegger. The grandfather of Tom’s Town Distilling Co.’s illustrious co-founder, David Epstein, would have to wear the title, or find some other business.

QUEEN OF THE INFERNO! DEVILISH CABARET KEEPS LORELEI LYNN ATOP BOSS TOM’S SIN SCENE!

June 19, 1933

Of all the sin palaces in Tom Pendergast’s town, Dante’s Inferno (Lorelai Lynn’s east side cabaret) took the prize for delivering the most surreal Saturday night a thirsty populace could demand.

TEN-YEAR SCAM: BUILDING BOOM A BOONDOGGLE FOR BOSS AND BOYS!

July 14, 1931

While Boss Tom Pendergast made plenty of money off of vice, he also had a genius for turning a buck at his day job, or rather, any of his many completely legitimate money-making enterprises. Kansas City’s ambitious “Ten-Year Plan” provided the opportunity for Boss Tom to put his mark on the city in a way that nobody could miss.