|Longview Farm Lee's Summit|
|Aerial View, Unity Village, Lee's Summit, MO|
Mark Curp, Lee's Summit, MO
Mark Curp (born January 5, 1959 in Lee's Summit, Missouri) held the world record for the half marathon from 1985 until 1990. He continued holding the American record in the half marathon until a new record was set by Ryan Hall in 2007.
Curp attended the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, receiving a bachelor's degree in 1981 and a master's degree in 1982.
Curp broke the men's world record in the half marathon on September 15, 1985, clocking 1:00:55 at the Philadelphia Distance Run in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at an overall pace just under 4:39 per mile for the official 13.1094-mile distance. According to the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, "in 1987 and 1988, Runner’s World magazine ranked him the number one road racer in the world." (Curp's best time in a marathon came at the 1987 Twin Cities Marathon, when he finished third with a time of 2:11:45.
Curp's world record in the half marathon stood for five years, until September 16, 1990, when Dionicio Ceron broke Curp's time by nine seconds on the same Philadelphia course.
Curp's time of 1:00:55 stood as the American record until January 14, 2007, when Ryan Hall broke the record at the Aramco Houston Half-Marathon in Houston, Texas.
|LuLu Long, Lee's Summit, MO|
|The Old Mill, Lee's Summit, MO|
|Todd George Home - Home of Todd George|
|Missouri Pacific Depot, Lee's Summit|
|Missouri Pacific Railroad Depot, Lee's Summit, MO|
|Third and Main Streets, Lee's Summit, Missouri|
In 1844, he married Maria D. Strother. By 1850, they lived in a log house on 833 acres, about five miles to the north of Lee's Summit, at what is today the west corner of Highway 291 and Woods Chapel Road. They remained on the farm until October of 1862, when Howard was arrested as a Confederate sympathizer and taken to federal headquarters in Independence. Paroled, he took his family to Kentucky for the duration of the war." After the war, Howard returned and took advantage of the coming of the Missouri Pacific Railroad line into Jackson County and platted the town that became Lee's Summit.
Howard's original plat contained seventy acres. The first sale of lots was on October 29, 1865. In an agreement with Howard, the railroad received title to every alternate lot within four blocks of the railroad tracks, as well as two lots on each side of the track near the center of the town. 18 Its access to the Missouri Pacific Railroad line gave the town direct links to national railroad freight and passenger hubs in St. Louis to the east and Kansas City to the west. The exact date and naming of the community is uncertain. Traditional accounts hold that for its first three years the town was named Strother, after Howard's wife's family.
By 1868, the town bore the name of Lee's Summit in memory of Dr. Pleasant Lea. The account notes that the hilltop farm of Dr. Lea, which was north of the town site, was the location for much of the surveying for the railroad.
To honor Lea, the railroad engineers involved in the survey named the railroad station after him. They erred in the spelling and punctuation, formally noting the station as "Lees Summit." The station's name became popular and the citizens of Strother petitioned the Jackson County Court on November 4, 1868 to change the name to "Lee's Summit" with an apostrophe, but with the same misspelling.
Browning and his wife Margaret founded the Browning Family Show
Eugene Browning and his wife Margaret founded the Browning Family Show
By Kathy Smith / Society
The stories of downtown Lee’s Summit are as numerous and varied as the stars in the sky. They are the mortar that holds our city together. One such story is the story of the Eugene Browning family. It is a love story and a story of family values. Born in 1921, Browning and his family moved to Lee’s Summit from Holliday, Kansas, when Eugene was in high school. His parents were the late Lacy and Mabel Browning. They had two other children, Bill and Elizabeth. His father, Lacy, was a farm manager, both in Holliday and in Lee’s Summit. This was a very important position in the farming community, because the managers kept the farms operating smoothly and made sure the farms were profitable. What Eugene learned on the farm helped him develop a good work ethic and taught him skills that he would eventually use in his business life. Browning’s grandfather Chelton was known for inventing a two-row cultivator. There is a famous historical photo with Chelton driving work horses hitched to his new invention in one of our local history books.
It seems that innovation ran in the Browning family. Eugene, who was a drummer, founded the first swing band at Lee’s Summit High School. It was the music that brought Browning and his late wife Margaret Griffith together. Eugene told me that Margaret was the teacher’s pet because she was so musically talented. She was a very intelligent young lady and could play every instrument. Her mother, Addie, made sure that Margaret took piano lessons and dancing lessons. She was a member of his newly- found swing band. I guess you could say that they made beautiful music together. The group played at community dances and at school. Eugene told me that he drove a Model A. I can imagine how cute he looked behind the wheel of his car.
There was a special gleam in Browning's eyes as he told me about his beloved Margaret. After high school, Margaret and Eugene went off to different colleges. The couple married in 1943. Margaret went to work at Pratt Whitney, which was geared up to support the WWII effort. Eugene told me that he sold live ducks to be used as decoys for hunters. In 1949, Browning purchased a lot at 321 South East Main. He paid $225. Browning had the idea of building a hamburger stand. He had worked for White Castle for a year and decided that he could do better. He bought a metal building for $125. It cost him $100 to move the metal building to the vacant lot. His new business was the White House Hamburger Shop. You could purchase a burger for 20 cents or 6 for a dollar. The White House had a steam table, L-shaped counter stools and a case to display homemade pies and candy. As the Browning children grew older, they would run the stand.
Most of you probably don’t remember but there was a house next door at 323 SE Main. Browning purchased the house for his growing family. After a while, Eugene and his brother Bill built a block building, which is where he first started a hardware and tool business. The business evolved into a mercantile business which sold discount clothing and dry goods. Browning told me that the Browning Brothers Store, which was located on the corner of SW Main, was more expensive. By the way, the two Browning families are related. The back of Browning Mercantile held a shoe department and a shoe repair service.
The Browning children inherited their parents’ musical talents. There were a total of eight children: Carol Ann, Nancy, Mary Margaret, Linda, Patricia, Barbara, Gene Jr. and Robert. By the way, Robert played in Pat Metheny’s garage band. With all of this wonderful musical talent, it seemed natural that Browning would build a stage so his family could perform in his building. The Browning Kids show was born. The family performed regularly during the years of 1956 and 1957. This would have been a wonderful experience for sleepy little Lee’s Summit. The show eventually started touring. Browning purchased a bus to take his family to their shows, which were held at state fairs, county fairs and regional and national conventions. The Browning Family sang and danced their way into the hearts of all who attended their shows. The proceeds from these popular shows were used to fund the education of the Browning children. All eight of the Browning children received college degrees.
During this time period, Browning developed a Browning family creed – a family philosophy with many sayings to go along with it. Family was everything - there were family meetings after church and Browning was truly interested in what his children were thinking.
Eugene kept the store growing during the years the family toured the United States and Canada. The Browning family lived in Overland Park for several years. In 1985, the family moved back to Lee’s Summit. Even in their retirement, Eugene and Margaret entertained folks around the community. In 1998, Eugene and Margaret were inducted into the Lee’s Summit High School Hall of Fame. They were recognized for their contributions to the business community, civic involvement and for the fine example they demonstrated in their family life. Gene took care of his beautiful wife during a long illness but Margaret passed away in 2009. He still resides in the town he loves and is close to the childhood home of his beloved Margaret. It was my pleasure to visit with Browning and to listen to this wonderful man.
The Lee’s Summit Historical Society and the Browning family will present an exhibit of their musical artifacts on February 27 in the Vogue retail space at 315 SE Douglas. There will be an opening reception from 2 pm until 4pm that day. All are welcome to visit with the Browning family. For more information, contact Kathy Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or 525-9440
What James A. Shaw, Esq., says about Lee's Summit: " Lee's Summit, the largest town in Prairie township, derived its name from Dr. Lee, and from the fact of its location being the highest point between Kansas City and St. Louis en the Missouri Pacific Railroad. " Dr. Lee lived one-half mile north of the town. During the war he was taken from his house by unknown parties, to a place near where the depot now stands (then the open prairie), and shot to death. No cause is assigned for the act, as the doctor was highly respected by all. He was a non-combatant, taking no part in the war. " After the close of the war this place (Lee's Summit) was considered a hard rendezvous. This was the headquarters of some of the worst bandits in the State. A great many of the old citizens were honest, and wished to have the laws enfoirced, but were too weak to have it done. New comers arriving, and being so well pleased with the country determined to make it their homes, and feeling that their o«rn lives and the safety of their property was continually in danger, organized themselves into a vigilance committee, and many of the old citizens joined the organization. The result of it was the death of a few of the outlaws and the scat- tering of the rest, so that those who at that time ruled the country with the (to them) higher law, are now gone to that unknown country, or are serving their time in some state's prison. Now we have peace, and law is recognized." This is the largest grain shipping point in Jackson county outside of Kansas City. During the past twelve months the entire grain shipments may be estimated at $250,000, and the shipment of cattle and hogs proportionately large. CHURCHES. The first house of worship in the town of Lee's Summit was built by the Methodists, and the Baptists built the second house. The M. E. Church, South followed, then the Cumberland Presbyterians and Christians. The Episco- palians hold services in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and the Old School Presbyterians hold services in the M. E. Church, South. Since 1870 the church going people have increased in numbers, and at pres- ent there is a good feeling between the different denominations, and a healthy religious influence. There are five Sunday-schools in active operation, and meet in their respective places each Sabbath. A remarkably charitable and liberal Christian spirit exists among the members of the different churches, union meet- ings are held, and each one works with untiring zeal wherever the greatest good may be accomplished. BAPTIST CHURCH. The Baptist church at Lee's Summit was organized April 14, i860, and among the original members were: Roberts. Sanders, Adaline Sanders, William Jones, Jemima Jones, William Hagans, Elder David Miller. The church was originally called Big Cedar church but its name was changed to Lee's Summit church in August, 1869. The frame church building was erected in 1868, at a cost of $2,500. Some of the pastors names are Revs. Mitchell, Jeremiah Farmer, J W. Sparks, J. L. Blitah, I. M. Beason, S. W. Swift and the present pastor A. C. Rafferty. The present membership is 145. A good Sunday-school is main- tained, with J. C. F. Boler as superintendent. 346 HISTORY OF JACKSON COUNTY. M. E. CHURCH. The Methodist Episcopal church of Lee's Summit was organized in 1867 and the church was built the same summer. The church edifice is about 40x24 feet and cost about $1,000. It was dedicated in the fall of the same year. Five of the original members are still living here. The present membership is 120 and may be said to be in a flourishing condition. The Sunday-school meets every Lord's Day with an average of about eighty. G. B. Fenn is superintendent of the school, and Rev. S. R. Reese is pastor of the church. CUMBERLAND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. The Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Lee's Summit was organized Jan. 12, 1873, with the following original members : W. T. Christmas, Minerva Christ- mas, Geo. W. Belcher, J. J. Moore, Maggie Moore, L. H. Berner, Aaron Botts, N. J. Botts, Stephen D. Hultz, Rebecca Hultz, Joseph H. Stinson, W. D. L. Warren, Lou E. Lewis, William C. Reed, M. E. Reed, Mollie Hylton, Jane Goshen, Nancy C. Burkley, Lillie Parkes, N. G. Hall, Sarah J. Harden, Mattie A. Thomas, Thomas F. Parker, Adelia Parker. The present frame church was built in the fall of 1872, at a cost of $1,700. It is about fifty feet long by thirty-six feet wide, containing a seating capacity of three hundred, an organ and other fixtures needful in a church. The church w^s dedicated by Rev. J. H. Houx, of Warresburg, assisted by Rev. Frank Russell. The pastors that have served the church are as follows : S. D. Givens, Frank Russell and Y. W. Whitsett. A Sabbath-school meets here every Sabbath with J. B. Campbell, superin- tendent, and Miss Emma Lytle, assistant. The average attendance is forty. A large revival was held in the church during the winter of 1873, conducted by Rev. S. D. Givens, assisted by Rev. Rush, when there were forty-two addi- tions to the church. There were many others who united with other churches in the town. The Lexington Presbytery was held with this church in the fall of 1874, when there were about 125 delegates and visitors in attendence. The ser- vices were held five days. There is a membership at present of 27, many hav- ing taken letters and removed elsewhere. lee's SUMMIT PUBLIC SCHOOL. The first graded school was taught in the winter of 1870-71, with • Rice as principal, and E. M. Hanlon first assistant, and two ladies also as assistants. In the spring prior to this there was a school taught in a frame building near the center of the village, with Mr. E. M. Hanlon as teacher. Before this, all the schools had been subscription schools. Among the teachers were Zachariah Davis, Rev. J. W. Wallace, Rev. Bright and others. The present brick build- ing was built in the year 1870 at a cost of about $10,000. There are four rooms, accommodating 225 pupils. The rooms are of the same size. There is a large bell which can be heard in any part of the village. The schools are in ses- sion at least seven months each year, and are well supported. The teachers are educated and well qualified for their positions. The present teachers are : J. H. Wilson, principal; E. M. Hanlon, Carrie Buxton, Elsie Adams, assistants. The post-office was established in 1865, with a Mr. Schmidt as postmaster. Then followed Josiah Collins and J. B. Campbell, the present postmaster. The Lee's Summit cametery was laid out soon after the war ; a portion of the land was given by W. B. Howard. It includes at the present time four acres and contains over two hundred graves. There are several fine monuments among them, I. W. Adams, W. T. Christmas, Thomas Powell, W. H. Colburn. There is a board fence around the grounds and soft maple trees set in profusion. HISTORY OF JACKSON COUNTY. 347 HISTORY OF THE MASONIC ORDER AT LEE S SUMMIT. Summit Lodge No. 263 was first organized under dispensation on the 17th of December, 1869, and thus continued until the 13th of October, 1870, when their charter was granted.