8 people you didn’t know were buried in Kansas City

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Kansas City has been home to many great famous people over the years: Walt Disney, Paul Rudd, Ewing Kauffman. The list goes on. The city is known for collectively coming together and supporting local teams and celebrities, but what we never really think of is—who all is buried here?

There have been some great athletes throughout the history of all our sports franchises, such as Buck Buchanan, Buck O’Neil, Charles “Kid” Nichols, Satchel Paige, Dan Quisenberry, and Derrick Thomas, that are all buried near KC. But here is a very-loosely ranked list of the rest of the greats.

440px David Rice Atchison By Mathew Brady March 1849

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  1. David Atchison

Supposedly the President of the United States for a day between the terms of James K. Polk and Zachary Taylor, this U.S. Senator served in the Senate for 12 years. Atchison enjoyed polishing his story and describing his “presidency” as “the honestest administration this country ever had” up until his death in 1886. He is currently buried in Greenlawn Cemetery in Plattsburg, MO, with an inscription reading “David Rice Atchison, President of the U.S. [for] one day.”

440px Clarence M. Kelley

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  1. Clarence M. Kelley

Serving as the Chief of the Kansas City Police Department for 12 years, Kelley became the second director of the FBI in 1973. He received the J. Edgar Hoover Gold Medal presented by the Veterans of Foreign Wars during his stint in KC. As FBI director under Richard Nixon, he eliminated prevalent embezzlement practices from J. Edgar Hoover’s directorship and reopened relations with the CIA. He is currently buried in Kansas City’s Mount Washington Cemetery.

  1. Sarah Coates

Raised in Pennsylvania, this important historical figure from KC headed a local Woman’s Suffrage Club. For several years and was a personal friend of famous women’s rights leader, Susan B. Anthony. Coates served on many boards and helped found a group that became the Missouri Federation of Women’s Clubs. After the Civil War, she became a cultural and civic force as the social leader of Quality Hill. Studying human physiology as a young woman, she helped organize a women’s group to study cultural topics. Passing away in her mansion in 1897, her body now lies in Elmwood Cemetery, Kansas City.

Russell Stover Portrait Painting

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  1. Russell Stover

Born in Alton, KS, the man responsible for one of the grandest American candy suppliers was not only an entrepreneur, but a chemist. While working on creating the Eskimo Pie he was credited, through his knowledge of chemistry, with devising the formula for the chocolate shell that hardens on exposure to cold and holds the ice cream contents within. Russell Stover Candies started in Stover’s wife’s (his close associate) kitchen, later expanding to factories in Denver and Kansas City. At the time of his death in 1954, the company was producing 11 million pounds of candy annually. Stover’s body currently resides in Mount Moriah Cemetery in Kansas City.

440px Truman 58 766 06 (cropped)

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  1. Harry S. Truman

The 33rd President of the United States is known mainly for his first and only use of nuclear weapons in war. His New Deal coalition helped him win his first presidential term, taking over for Franklin D. Roosevelt after his death in 1945 to start out. Truman oversaw the Berlin Airlift and Marshall Plan in 1948 after the onset of the Cold War, and when North Korea invaded South Korea in 1950, he gained United Nations approval to intervene in what became known as the Korean War. He is currently buried at Truman Presidential Museum and Library in Independence, MO—his hometown.

500px Portrait Of Charlie Parker In 1947

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  1. Charlie Parker

American jazz saxophonist “Bird” was a highly influential artist and helped develop the genre ‘bebop’. He is known for introducing revolutionary harmonic ideas to jazz, with a tone ranging from clean to sweet and somber. Bebop represented a new form of music that defied the conventions of earlier jazz hits, allowing rhythmic departures from both already-released songs and new-tunes-in-progress. He embraced the rising mood of an era by coping with life’s constant twists and turns—developing the new method of improvisation. Parker died of lobar pneumonia at age 35 in New York, but his body now lies in  Lincoln Cemetery in Kansas City, where he was born.

440px Walter Cronkite (1985)

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  1. Walter Cronkite

“The most trusted man in America” spent the first 10 years of his life in Kansas City. He moved to Houston and later attended the University of Texas for two years before dropping out. After a stint asa  sports announcer, Cronkite joined the U.S. Press International in 1937 and became one of the top American reporters in World War II. He joined CBS in 1950, later becoming the anchorman for CBS Evening News in ‘62. His reports ranged from bombings during the war, the Nuremberg trials and the Vietnam War, along with major assassinations like John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lennon. He passed away in New York at age 92 and is now located in Mount Moriah Cemetery in Kansas City, Mo.

440px Jesse James Portrait

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  1. Jesse James / Robert Ford

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford prepared me for this. And it’s likely the most disturbing burial around here to think about.

Jesse James was shot and murdered in 1882 by 20-year old Robert Ford, a new recruit who hoped to collect a reward from his head and a promised amnesty from his past crimes. James was an American outlaw, robbing banks and trains as the leader of the James-Younger gang. He and his brother joined pro-Confederate guerrillas known as “bushwhackers” during the Civil War, and were accused of committing atrocities against Union soldiers. After the war, he gained national fame for his crimes throughout the Midwest. His gang was active for 10 years before a bank robbery went wrong and members were captured in 1876. Ford had been a part of the James-Younger gang for a while before the murder, and later performed paid reenactments of the act at publicity events. He only lived 10 more years after the killing, falling victim to a fatal gunshot at age 30. James resides at Mount Olivet Cemetery, Kearney, Mo., while Ford lies in Richmond City Cemetery, Richmond, Mo., after an initial burial in Creede, Co., where he passed.

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