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What Ever Happened to One of Hyde Park's First Mansions? PDF  | Print |

By Ivan Waite from the October 1996 Hyde Parker

The land and improvements in central Hyde Park known today as 701–5 East 36th Street and 3601–07 Holmes Street, has a very interesting albeit sad history.

In July 1896, Charles Edwin Small, a prominent attorney, bought for the amount of $4,479.75 all of lots 75–80 of Hampden Place, a residential subdivision in the newly established Hyde Park neighborhood.

Small´s intent was to build one grand residence for his wife and family, to cost no less than $4,000. This house became a landmark when boulevards and parks and other fine homes were built around it. In the late 1890´s, this undeveloped and pastoral property was about as suburban to Kansas City as could be found at that time, with the exception of a few mansions then constructed or under construction within Janssen Place.

In 1991, Small was appointed to the Supreme Court of Missouri to serve a four–year term. He was repainted in 1923; but in October 1924, the judge, then age 70, died suddenly of "apoplexy." His wife Laura Adaline (Hughey) Small was left with some very valuable real estate that included a large section of business property in the vicinity of 19th and Main Streets.

Unfortunately, Mrs. Small was also left with many financial encumbrances on these business properties, the most staggering being the four–month old $12,500 loan secured by the deed to the mansion. Of an estate of more than $90,000, the net value after outstanding debts and taxes were paid dwindled to only $20,000.

However, Mrs. Small managed to keep the mansion as her home until her death on June 25, 1926, at age 74. To settle her mother´s estate, her daughter, Laura Small, sold the mansion and grounds to Frank W. McAllister, who left the property unoccupied until 1934, when it was promptly demolished and debris removed from the site.