Posts Tagged ‘1892’


Railroad Depot Postcard, Pocatello, ID

Oregon Short Line Depot in Pocatello, Idaho. Built in 1884 in the second empire style; expanded and improved in 1915. This postcard was published by the Gray News Co. of Salt Lake City.

Pocatello, an Idaho railroad town established in 1892, held its first election in 1893.  This town of over 3ooo elected a mayor with quite an eventful history, Edward Stein.  

A Revolutionary’s Bribe

Edward’s grandfather, Baron Von Stein, was thrown in prison for following reformer (or revolutionary) Carl Schurz.  Edward was educated at the Prussian University.  His republican tendencies led him to become interested in America.  In 1871, he boarded a steamer for New York – without a passport.  A passport would have led to German military service for Edward. 

The steamer’s officers were warned he didn’t have a passport, but demanded to see one anyway.  After a rather vocal search, Edward had no choice but to hand over the “packet” in his pocket.  It contained the money his father had given him to start out in America.  The bribe worked.

A Highwayman’s Good Deed

Edward made it to Chicago, where his limited funds finally failed.  This resulted in pawning the last of his belongings.  While wondering the streets of Chicago, a highwayman stuck a gun in his face ordering “hands up”.  After learning Edward was penniless, the highwayman bought him a meal.  He also told Edward where to find a job.  This was ironic coming from a highwayman.

So in 1893- a man with a titled past, who bribed a steamer officer to avoid German military service, and got robbed by a highwayman with a conscience was elected the first mayor of Pocatello, Idaho.

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Second Kansas City, MO Courthouse

1892 Courthouse, Kansas City, MO

Queen Anne or second empire Victorian mansions have sooo much character in their architectural features; from grand staircases, stained glass, and turrets, to pocket doors.  The woodwork in some is incredible (not to mention no longer found in today’s homes).  The above postcard of the second Kansas City, MO courthouse (razed in 1936) isn’t a Victorian mansion, but does have a lot of character too.

Unattractive Courthouse

Kansas City’s second courthouse had symmetrical and rounded windows, cresting, turrets, and was made of native stone.  It was located at 5th and Oak Streets, and cost $200,000 in 1892.  Some people were dissatisfied with it, and demanded a more attractive and accessible building.  I don’t know why they found it unattractive.  The aforementioned features were found in many Victorian homes of the times.  Did they find their own homes unattractive?

Inaccessible Courthouse

I also wonder why they considered it inaccessible.  It can’t have been the location.  The third courthouse was built just down the street.   Maybe they considered the stairs a problem?  I don’t know why as the stairs don’t look as steep as stairs in Victorian houses.

Courthouse Razed

We may never know the whole story regarding why people were dissatisfied with their courthouse.  What we do know is the second courthouse was razed and salvaged after 43 years of use as part of Judge Harry S. Truman’s  “10 Year Plan”, starting in 1930, to transform Jackson County and Kansas City’s skyline.

Ephemera Trivia: President Harry S. Truman was elected judge of Jackson County, MO in 1926.  He therefore worked in Kansas City’s second courthouse.

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