The Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri: women building better communities.
Summer is still a busy time for the Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri as councils and committees gear up for another great year. But I don’t want you to miss this great story from last year! I was looking through the latest issue of the Inside Scoop, a publication produced to feature the great work of JLKCMO in our community, and this unique placement jumped out at me. My mom made sure I knew all my local history, and I’ve visited this great site in KC. Over the years, JLKCMO has donated over $18000 to this historical home right up the street from our headquarters. Read more to learn about how we have also been involved with our highly trained-volunteers in this piece from the Inside Scoop, Volunteering in History at The John Wornall House/Alexander Majors House by Carrie-Lynn Rodenberg.
I was intrigued by a friend’s interesting and historical placement for the John Wornall House/Alexander Majors House Museums, so I decided to do some research and spoke with Melanie Manning about her placement. As a New York native, I’m not familiar with Kansas City’s history. I did not know who John Wornall and Alexander Majors were and wondered how these museums play a role in Kansas City’s history.
According to the museums’ website, wornallmajors.org, “The John Wornall House was built in 1858 by the prosperous farmer and prominent Kansas Citian John Bristow Wornall. Significantly, the House served as a Civil War battlefield hospital for both Union and Confederate soldiers during the Battle of Westport, sometimes called the ‘Gettysburg of the West.’” I also discovered that Alexander Majors was famous for starting the Pony Express and for essentially founding Kansas City! It was his vision that this area would be “The Great Trading Post of the Southwest.”
Generations after Majors passed away, his great granddaughter bought the house in 1930 and began to restore it in order to “record for history what Alexander Majors accomplished for the advancement of Christian civilization in the West.” She made it very clear that she wanted people to remember her great-grandfather’s role in the development of Kansas City.
Fast forward 84 years, to 2014. Junior League volunteers help maintain the home and Kansas City’s history by acting as docents, giving tours and helping with events. For example, in December, families came to the house for brunch and a visit with “Father Christmas” in the barn. After the brunch, the families were able to tour the home and learn more about its history. League volunteers were dressed in period garb and stationed throughout to greet the guests and give tours.