(Kansas City, Missouri) - Kansas City's West Bottoms, the lowland bordered by rugged cliffs and the Missouri and Kansas rivers, provided the spark for a rugged cowtown to become an urban metropolis.
Drawing from his own resources and from Edward T. Matheny Jr.'s new book on the West Bottoms' history, Steve Noll of the Jackson County Historical Society recounts the area's development and its heyday through the early- to mid-1900s on Sunday, March 15, 2015. His presentation, Tales of the Historic West Bottoms, begins at 2 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
The event is part of the Missouri Valley Sundays series, a program of the Library's Missouri Valley Special Collections made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Noll examines the epic story of how cowboys, stockyards commission men, meat packers, railroaders, and assorted hangers-on formed a vibrant, now-vanished community after the West Bottoms' founding around the 1860s. That history is chronicled by Matheny, a longtime attorney and civic leader, in his book Cowtown: Cattle Trails and West Bottom Tales.
Cowtown is the product of an innovative collaboration among a local author, the Jackson County Historical Society, and Woodneath Press, a new print-on-demand service developed by the Mid-Continent Public Library.
Noll has overseen the Jackson County Historical Society since 2004, and served earlier as the chairman of the American Royal Barbecue, a signature event of the West Bottoms.
The event is co-sponsored by Historic West Bottoms.
Admission is free. RSVP at kclibrary.org or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available in the Library District parking garage at 10th and Baltimore.