What companies did political boss Tom Pendergast own?
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The two most prominent companies owned by Pendergast were Ready Mixed Concrete Co. and the T. J. Pendergast Liquor Distributing Co.
His concrete company, one of the first in the nation to deliver to the site, furnished the concrete for many construction projects during the Depression, including the “Pendergast Pyramids”--present-day City Hall on 12th street and its sister building across the street, the Jackson County Courthouse. Other buildings built with Pendergast concrete were the Municipal Auditorium and Police Headquarters. Paving Brush Creek began November 1935 at a cost originally estimated at $1,395,000 and employing at one time 1,647 WPA workers. Concrete was laid eight to 10 inches thick and 70 feet wide.
Pendergast also owned the Monroe Hotel at 1904 Main Street which he bought in 1924. A couple years later he built a building next door as headquarters for his Jackson Democratic Club. It was here in the second-floor office at 1908 Main Street where Pendergast “held court and dispensed patronage” and controlled county and state politics.
For more information search the Local History Index.
Librarian Sherrie Kline Smith
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