City Directories Reconstruct a Westside Neighborhood

Kansas City, Missouri, City Directory (Kansas City, Missouri), 1935, Gate City Directory Co. (Kansas City, Mo.) pg. 42, “U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989”, [digital image]; (; downloaded on 18, April 2015).

A recent project using Kansas City Directories, a Sanborn Map, and 1940 Tax Assessments photographs reconstruct a historic neighborhood in Kansas City.

City directories can provide key pieces of information such as addresses, occupations, and even marital status. But, when used with other records they can even reconstruct a neighborhood.

Using Kansas City Directories, a number of addresses were found for a family with roots in the historic Westside community in Jackson County, Missouri. The Sanborn Map helped to provide the location of the homes and a barber shop associated with the family.

The Missouri Valley Special Collections of the Kansas City Library have a number of 1940 tax assessment photographs and district maps of various areas in the Kansas City area. Remarkably, photographs of some of the residences and the building where the barber shop was located in the Westside where found within the 1940 tax assessment photographs. In addition, many of the local business, churches, and public buildings were found providing a rare glimpse of the family’s community and neighborhood.

All these records have helped bring to life a part of this family’s heritage.

1940 Tax Assessment – Kansas City, Missouri

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