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Examiner
Neighborhood Highlight: Golden Acres
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About this blog
By Audrey Elder
Audrey Elder is owner of Past to Present Research LLC, Recipient of the 2012 City of Independence Hickman Preservation Award, Commissioner for the City of Independence Heritage Commission and Education Outreach Co-Chair for the Oregon-California ...
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Backyard History
Audrey Elder is owner of Past to Present Research LLC, Recipient of the 2012 City of Independence Hickman Preservation Award, Commissioner for the City of Independence Heritage Commission and Education Outreach Co-Chair for the Oregon-California Trails association.
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March 13, 2014 11:34 a.m.

What do a train, a famous bull, and fine living having in common?  Tucked away beyond Noland Road’s busy Miracle Mile lies the setting of one of my favorite stories of Independence, and the story begins with the train and a bull.    Golden Acres Plat-1
The scars of the Civil War still existed in the 1880s as our nation experienced a food shortage, specifically beef.  Transporting that food relied upon the railroad and, though established, not everyone had the honor of being along its lines.  Kansas City, however, was not one of those towns.  Having won the placement as a major shipping hub it made absolute sense that the quest for the perfect breed of cattle happened right here in our own back yard.
Charles Gudgell and Thomas A. Simpson’s cattle breeding company, originally from Greenwood and Pleasant Hill, MO, moved to a 327-acre farm in Independence where history was made…and about that bull.
In 1881, a full breed Hereford bull auspiciously named Anxiety IV and hailing from Herefordshire, England, was imported to Simpson and Gudgell’s farm.  Anxiety IV still is known today as the “Father of American Herefords.”  The American Hereford Association estimates 99% of American Herefords can be traced back to the famous bull.  This ranch continued to prosper, moving to east Independence in the Susquehanna area in 1895.
Now for fine living:  In 1930 the Kroh Brothers Real Estate firm purchased 200 acres of the original farm (and previous to development, Rock’s Flower Garden) to build the current subdivision known as Golden Acres.  “It was the subdivision at that particular time,” said Hazel Graham, a former resident of Golden Acres.  Graham and her husband lived in their home from 1939 –1947 and saw the area as many did: the perfect place to raise a family.  Much like popular J.C. Nichols developments, the revival style homes sat perfectly placed along curved roads, tall trees and a park-like atmosphere.  To this very day a ride through Golden Acres in the summertime gives the illusion of being in the English countryside. 
As for that bull, an historic marker bearing his name and story sits proudly in front of the neighborhood’s club house.  And it is true, when I dine at Herford house I always ask the waitress or waiter is she/he knows the story of the steak on my plate.  If not, it will be known by the time the bill comes.
Anxiety 4th
Historical data presented here was provided by Past to Present Research, LLC.
Audrey L. Elder
Keller Williams

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