Home | History | Board of Directors | Photo Gallery | Members | Events | Contacts

 


History

Armour Fields is rich in history, from the original farmhouse to the fountains and statures obtained by JC Nichols to adorn the many islands.

The Original Farmhouse

 The most historic house in the Armour Fields Homes Association is located at 6740 Pennsylvania. The home, owned by Wayne and Judith Reagan, was standing as long ago as 1852 (earlier records are hard to locate).  At that time it was a four-bedroom “box” farmhouse with detached kitchen owned by John McCoy, one of the original developers of the Waldo area.  The basement contained, and still contains, a (now closed) well.  At one time Alice Wornall owned the house. 

During the Civil War the house, which was the first house in the area east of the state line, was used as a hiding place for runaway slaves seeking safety in the free state of Kansas.  In the basement of the house a room still exists in which slaves seeking freedom were secreted.  Thus, it played a role in the famous Underground Railroad of Civil War days. 

In the 1880’s the house along with 207 acres of land was purchased by landowner Kirkland Armour (of Armour Boulevard fame), who never lived there but who used it as a residence for his farm manager Elbert Peabody. Cattle and other livestock roamed the farm, and the house was situated on a hill, the highest point for quite some distance.  At that time several more rooms (now the south part of the home) were added. 

Elbert Peabody acquired title to the house after Kirkland Armour’s death, and in 1925 the “Greek Revival” features of the house, particularly the tall columns in the front, were added.  The kitchen was brought inside, the present floors were installed, lots of French doors were added and other improvements were made.  The J.C. Nichols Co. at that time acquired much of the acreage around the house, which was held as vacant ground for several years before the present neighborhood began to be built around it. 

For many years the house carried a Wornall Road address, and the owners still have a photo of the house taken from Wornall, with a long lane leading up to the front door. 

Other improvements have been made since that time, including the construction of a gazebo in the yard, using columns from an earlier portico.  The house currently has a floor plate of almost one-fourth of an acre.

(reprinted from Armour Star article dated August 1997 – Editor Don Dagenais)

The Armour Fields Golf Course 

Did you know that your house might possibly have been on the third hold fairway? Or perhaps the 9th hole tee?  Yes, it’s true – a good part of the neighborhood which is now Armour Fields used to be a golf course.

Prior to the development of the Armour Fields, Meyer Circle or Romanelli Gardens subdivisions, which began in 1923, there was an Arrmour Fields golf course located in part of our area. Armour Fields Homes Association past president, Doug Jackson, unearthed some interesting history.  It was located roughly north of Meyer and west of Valley.

In a flyer for the Club uncovered from sometime in the late teens, the Club boasts that: “The Armour Fields Golf Course has been greatly improved for this playing season.  New bunkers have been built around several greens. Three new fairways have been added, making it a full 18-hole course.”  

Membership in the Club was limited to homeowners from the Country Club District, and thus, “this may be regarded as a strictly neighborhood organization.  This one is always sure of finding an acquaintance with whom he can play.”  (Do you think membership was limited to just men?) 

“Another of the advantages of membership in this club,” the flyer continued, “is its convenient location, enabling many members who might not feel they could spare half a day several times a week to play for a couple of hours several evenings a week.” 

The ground was apparently owned by the J.C. Nichols Company, for the flyer states, “As no charge is being made by the Nichols Companies for the ground occupied by the golf course, it is possible to keep the dues down to $40.00 per year.” 

Of course, within a few years the J.C. Nichols Company decided to do something rather different with the land, and the golfers were banished to more distant locales while bulldozers and builders took over the development of the neighborhood we now call home.

(reprinted from Armour Star article dated February 2002 – Editor Don Dagenais)

AFHA is searching for someone interested in becoming the neighborhood historian. This person would seek out, document and preserve historical data about the neighborhood.

 Landmarks

Farmhouse

Romanelli Fountain  Click Here

Painted Lady - Lady of Verona Click Here

Island Urns  - Click here

Contacts: Historic Kansas City Foundation – www.historickansascity.org



 
 





Copyright © 2009 Armour Fields.