East High School (Kansas City, Missouri) Class of 1955 plus Kensington Elementary School

My mother, Carol Ann Cowan, attended East High School in Kansas City, Missouri. Here is a picture of the Freshman of 1952.

East High School Freshmen 1952Carol Ann Cowan is in the front row, third from the right.

Carol attended Kensington Elementary School in Kansas City, Missouri. Here’s a photo of the 6th graders in 1949:

KCMO Elementary School 6th grade 1949

Here’s her elementary diploma:

COWAN Carol Ann elementary grad

Postcard – Kansas City MO from YMCA Building 1917

Postmarked: 16 March 1917 from Kansas City MO
Addressed to: Mrs. Alex Gray (Lula’s mother), Craig, Mo.

Kansas City, MO
Dear folks:
Got the box
all OK and I am
feeling real well
don’t know when I
can come home. Erma
will be there to-

With Love

Postcard – Thornton & Minor Sanitarium, Kansas City MO 1926

Postmarked: 6 July 1926, Kansas City MO
To: Miss Erma Gray (Lula’s sister), Craig, Mo.

Kansas City Mo.
July 6, 1926
Dear Folks:
Well just about
the same heat is just
about to get to me. The nurse said
this morning I might get
away the last of this week
but I am not counting on
getting away that soon. Dr.
Maris left yesterday.

With love Lula

Dr. A. J. Maris sent the family a postcard from the Chicago World’s Fair.
Someone in Lula’s household received a birthday card from the clinic.

Postcard – Sky Ride at Chicago’s World Fair 1933

Postmarked: 18 August 1933, Chicago IL
To: Mr. Alex Gray, Craig, MO

The thrill of this
“Sky Ride” trip above
the greatest fair the
world has ever known
reminds me of the
joy experienced in
hearing from my grateful
Thornton and Minor
Clinic friends.

Dr. A. J. Maris

The Thornton and Minor Clinic was in Kansas City, Missouri.

The postcard is printed with this description:
Sky Ride
One of the most interesting features of Chicago’s World’s Fair is the “Sky Ride.” The towers are 600 feet high and 1,850 feet apart. Double decked rocket cars will run suspended from 4 cabled tracks between and around the two towers. The estimated cost of construction of the “Sky Ride” is $1,000,000.00.
1833 Century of Progress Chicago World’s Fair 1933

Someone in Alex Gray’s household received a birthday card from Thornton and Minor Clinic. Lula Gray, as a patient at the Clinic, sent a postcard home to her sister Erma Gray.

Postcard – Public Bath House, Paseo, Kansas City, MO

Postmarked: February 9, 1916, Kansas City MO
Addressed to: Mrs. Rose Gray, Craig, MO

Kansas City, Mo. Feb. 9, 1916

Dear Sister:
Just got your letter &
will write to tell you to bring
Pa’s over-coat also his razor
& shaving brush. Don’t know
if you will get this if
you don’t we will have
to send them to him
later. Guess he is a little
better this morning but it
is a very little. I can’t get
down to where your train
comes in so you just come
up with the crowd & I will
be there some place close
to where you come in.
I will stay till Friday.
Ma can get some one to stay
with her to-morrow night.

(Along the side: “Bring the little razor strap with the string to it.”)

Lula Gray (1881-1973) is writing to her mother Rose Althea Browning Gray (1854-1938) and her sister Bernice Erma Gray (1888-1981) who lived at the family home. Pa is Alexander Gray (1856-1940.)

A history of this bath house can be found here:

Marshall Auto Store – 1940s and 1950s, Kansas City, Missouri

My grandfather Wallace Paul Cowan (1903-1988) loved cars. He had a long career as a salesperson and manager of Marshall Auto Store in Kansas City, Missouri.

I remember riding with Grandma to pick up Grandpa from work at Marshall Auto Store in the 1970s, and I think it was this Truman Road location. They had a Coke machine, and sometimes I’d be given a dime to get myself a soda. I’d grab the cold glass bottle with the sharply crimped metal cap and pull really hard. Once I’d wrestled the bottle from the machine, I’d use the opener attached to the side of the machine to pry the cap off. I’d savor that bottle of Coke the whole drive home.

I have wonderful photos from inside and outside of the stores, so I wanted to share them.

Marshall Auto Store – 1933 – 3914 Main Street, Kansas City, Missouri


In 1933 when these photos were taken, my grandfather had been married three years and had a 2 year old.  They were living 7 miles away with my grandmother’s family, because it was the Great Depression and the families needed to share expenses. They lived that way for over a decade.

It looks like Marshall Auto Store moved to a much bigger location. At least by 1944 they are located at an address 3 miles away.

Marshall Auto Store – 2300 E Truman Road, Kansas City, Missouri

My mom Carol Cowan Hopper (1937-2010) told me that the family lived above the store from the time she was a child through her teens, in a big apartment with spacious rooms.

She remembered her address was 2304 1/2 E Truman Road. Some of the photos are marked with the address “2300 E 15th Street” which is confusing. From Google Maps, I see that 2300 E 15th Street meets with Truman Road. But from “street view” I can see the building pictured below at 2300(ish) E Truman Road, about a mile away.

My beautiful picture

Frank Arnone, Red Myers, Dick Stintzi and Wallace Paul Cowan at Marshall Auto Store – undated

My mom remembered that Frank Arnone and his wife Angie owned a grocery store on the corner, where they did most of their shopping. They would run up a ticket and pay it weekly or monthly.

My mom remembered that during her high school years, her mother Ellen Barber Cowan (1908-1990) did the bookkeeping for the store.

From what I can remember, my grandfather left Marshall Auto in the late 1970s. He wasn’t happy about it, even though he was of retirement age, and I think it was due to the store closing.

Do you have a connection to Marshall Auto Store?  Do you have Frank Arnone, Red Myers, or Dick Stintzi in your family tree?