JCHS Award Winners

The Jackson County Historical Society annual recognizes significant accomplishments to promote the history of our region. The awards are traditionally given at our annual meeting.

Here’s a list of prior year award winners.


  • History Book: Kansas City Houses 1885-1938, Michael C. Kathrens

  • Historic Engagement: Kemet Coleman

  • Historic Preservation: Adam Jones

  • Digital History Project: Kansas City Public library

  • Lifetime Achievement: Susan Richards Johnson

  • Archives Volunteer: Rebecca Siglin

  • 1859 Jail Volunteer: Joyce Gillespie


  • History Book: Hemingway at Eighteen, Steve Paul

  • Public Art: Alexander Austin

  • Historic Preservation: Susan Sommers and Larry Roeder

  • Lifetime Achievement: Barbara Potts

  • Special Recognition: Steve Noll

  • Archives Volunteer: Steve Brashears

  • 1859 Jail Volunteer: Sharon Royer


  • History Book: Kansas City Our Collective Memories (Volume One), Bruce Mathews and Steve Noll

  • Historical Film: “The American Artist: The Life and Times of George Caleb Bingham” Wide Awake Films and Friends of Arrow Rock

  • Community History Project: FamilySearch

  • Archives Volunteer: John Langton

  • 1859 Jail Volunteer: Charles Bianco


  • Historic Preservation: Linwood Area Ministries Place (LAMP)

  • Bringing History to Life: Niel Johnson

  • Jazz and History: Chuck Haddix

  • Honoring the Past: Ray Moore

  • Archives Volunteer: Shirley Storey

  • 1859 Jail Volunteer: Ellie Royal and Jan Spencer

  • Howard School Restoration: Brandon Muller


  • Historic Preservation Award: Historic Kansas City Foundation for 40 Years of Advocacy for our Built Environment

  • Bringing History to Life Award: R. Crosby Kemper III and Henry Fortunato for their roles in the Kansas City Library’s “Meet the Past” interview series

  • Local Group Making a Difference Award: The Midwest Afro-American Genealogical Interest Coalition (MAGIC)

  • Local History Book of the Year Award: Bruce Mathews for Windows of Kansas City

  • Collaboration in History Award: Ed Matheny Jr. for publication of Cowtown: Cattle Trails and West Bottom Tales in partnership with Mid-Continent Public Library

  • Archives Volunteer: Paul White

  • 1859 Jail Volunteer: Timothy Truman


  • Historical Book of the Year: Scattered to the Four Winds: General Order No. 11 and Martial Law in Jackson County, Missouri, 1863 by Ralph A. Monaco II

  • Preserving Jackson County's Iconic Structures: Renovation and adaptive reuse of the Unity Village, Unity School of Christianity

  • Bringing Living History to Life: 150th Anniversary Re-enactment of General Order No. 11 Friends of the Rice-Tremonti Home

  • Jail Museum Volunteer of the Year: Frances Gabbard

  • Archives & Research Center Volunteer of the Year: Gail Fines


  • Historical Book of the Year: Spirit of Kansas City: Stories of Service Above Self, Bruce Mathews; Mamie Hughes; Andrew Kaplan; Christopher Leitch; Lynn Mackle; Carol Powers; R. Crosby Kemper III, and DJ Hyde Matheny

  • Volunteers of the Year: Joanne Snow, 1859 Jail Museum; Jim Evans, Archives & Research Library

  • Historical Film of the Year: Terence M. O'Malley, Tom & Harry: The Boss and The President

  • Celebrating Our Cultural Heritage: The Lone Jack Historical Society, recognizing their 150th Anniversary of the Civil War Battle of Lone Jack Re-enactment


  • Jane Flynn Lifetime Achievement Award in Historic Preservation: Kathleen Tuohey

  • Historical Book of the Year: Raymond E. Elder, Historian, Historic Street Scenes of Kansas City

  • Volunteers of the Year: Dorace Wilson, 1859 Jail Museum; Pati Kidwell, Archives & Research Library

  • Historical Film of the Year: Kevin Willmott; Greg Hurd; and Truman Medical Center, From Separate to Equal: The Creation of Truman Medical Center

  • Perseverance to Preserve Cultural History: The Black Archives of Mid-America at Kansas City, to celebrate a NEW era and facility for the Archives


  • Jane Fifield Flynn Lifetime Achievement in Historic Preservation: Henry Marnett

  • Volunteers of the Year: Bud Vitt (Jail Museum); and Gary Kimball (Archives)

  • Historical Book of the Year: Bruce Mathews, editor, Elmwood Cemetery: Stories of Kansas City

  • Historical Film of the Year: Gary Jenkins, filmmaker/producer, Negroes to Hire

  • Preserving Jackson County History: John B. Wornall House Museum, for Alexander Majors Home


  • Jane Fifield Flynn Lifetime Achievement in Historic Preservation: In Memory of Greg Hawley, Steamboat Arabia Museum

  • Outstanding Achievement in Historic Preservation: Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders & the Jackson County Legislature, for restoration of the historic Jackson County Truman Courthouse

  • Outstanding Achievement in Historic Preservation and Education: Jane Mallinson, Lafarge North America, and Sugar Creek Business and Civic Club, for Wayne City Landing Interpretive Overlook

  • Volunteers of the Year: J. D. & Barbara Warnex (Jail Museum); and Les Simmons (Archives)
    Historic Artifact Donation: Robert Owen, for Mattie Lykins Bingham manuscript, Reminiscences of Old Kansas City

  • Historic Book of the Year: Giles Fowler, for Deaths on Pleasant Street: The Ghastly Enigma of Colonel Swope and Doctor Hyde


  • Excellence in Education: Felicia Hardison Londre, for The Enchanted Years of the Stage : Kansas City at the Crossroads of American Theater , 1870-1930

  • Historic Preservation: Anschutz Entertainment Group-AEG Live, for Renovation of the Midland Theater
    Outstanding Volunteer of the Year: Brian Snyder, for Archives advocate and Jackson County Historical Society Board directorship

  • Outstanding Volunteer of the Year: Marge Rucker, for Garden Coordinator at the 1859 Jail , Marshals Home and Museum

  • Outstanding Advocates of Local History: The Monnett Battle of Westport Fund, Inc., for Battle of Westport Visitors Center, Swope Park , Kansas City


  • Educational Media: MULLER + COMPANY, for membership cultivation booklet, Presidential Pie Eating Contests & Lesser-Known Facts from the Jackson County (Mo.) Historical Society

  • Cultural Heritage: Joe Louis Mattox and Saint Lukes Health System, for preserving stories of Steptoe in the DVD, A Step Above the Plaza: Celebrating Westports African-American Community

  • Advocates for Local History: Charlotte and John Belger II and Raytown Historical Society

  • Outstanding Volunteer: Georgia Fox and Frances Gabbard

  • Philanthropic Service in Local History: Daniel C. Weary, The Courtney S. Turner Charitable Trust


  • Jane Fifield Flynn Lifetime Achievement in Historic Preservation: Katheryn J. Shields, for restoration of Jackson Countys Kansas City and Independence Courthouses

  • Educational Media: Terence Michael OMalley, for the production of Nelly Don: A Stitch in Time (book and DVD)

  • Historic Preservation: Steve and Debbie Gildehaus, for the renovation and expansion of William Rockhill Nelsons Sni-A-Bar Farm, Grain Valley, Missouri

  • Philanthropic Service: John F. Herbst, Jr.

  • Outstanding Volunteers of the Year: Kathleen Tuohey and Janann Adams


  • Historic Preservation: Ron Jury, President Development Group; and, Helix Architecture + Design, for restoration and preservation of Hilton President Hotel, 1329-1335 Baltimore, Kansas City, Missouri

  • Educational Media: KCPT & The Courtney S. Turner Charitable Trust, for the production of Stories Under the Stones

  • Philanthropic Service: Chris Combest, through the Heritage League of Greater Kansas City
    Documenting History through the Written Word: Nancy DeLaurier, for her book, Eastwood Hills: Changing Face of a Kansas City Neighborhood

  • Outstanding Volunteers of the Year: John and Lottie Cianciolo


  • Education: Gary Swanson, as interviewer with Americans Remembered, Inc., for collaborating with the Jackson County Historical Society on the Veterans History Project, sponsored by the Library of Congress
    Christina Anderson, playwright; and, The Coterie Theater, for, Sacagawea: Breath of an American Spirit, in commemoration of the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition

  • Historic Preservation: Kansas City Public Library (Mr. John Laney, Hall Family Foundation; Mr. Jonathan Kemper, Commerce Bank; Ms. Olivia Dorsey, Library Board President; and Mr. Phil Kirk, MCI Realty), for restoration of the First National Bank building into the Central Library at 14 West 10th Street, Kansas City, Missouri
    James B, Nutter, Sr., for the Rev. Nathan Scarritt House, 4038 Central, Kansas City, Missouri; and, Nutterville, a reclamation project along Archibald, Lawrence, Central and Baltimore streets just north of 43rd Street, Kansas City, Missouri


  • Education: Historic Garment District Group (Harvey Fried, Ann Brownfield and DST Realty, Inc., with special recognition to Oggi Modern Furnishings and Guy Merola), for the Historic Kansas City Garment Museum

  • Historic Preservation: Ken and Cindy McClain, for Independence Square and Truman Road Re-Development, Independence, Missouri

  • Documenting History through the Written Word: Edward T. Matheny, Jr., for several book titles he has written and published


  • Education: Diane Houk, for founding The Puppetry Arts Institute

  • Special Commendation: Cohen Esrey Historic Housing Partners, represented by Vincent Gauthier, Missouri Housing Development Commission, represented by Executive Director Erica Dobreff, and the City of Independence, represented by Mayor Pro-Tem Don Reimal, for Maple Avenue Apartments, Independence, Missouri

  • Historic Preservation: Mrs. Shirley Helzberg; and, David Disney, J. E. Dunn Construction, for Webster House, 17th and Wyandotte, Kansas City, Missouri


  • Philanthropic Service: Jeannette Nichols, and the late Miller Nichols

  • Education: Kathy Vest, for work with the Truman Whistle Stop Project

  • Living History: Ralph Monaco

  • Special Commendation: Brent Schondelmeyer


  • Historic Preservation: Union Station Assistance Corporation, for restoration of Union Station Kansas City, Kansas City, Missouri

  • Neighborhood Preservation: Brian Snyder, Harry S Truman Historic District and William McCoy House, Independence, Missouri

  • Education: Kansas City Star for the series, Kansas City in the 19th Century
    Corporate Achievement: Fine Arts Theatre Group, for the Englewood and Granada Theatres, Independence, Missouri

  • Heritage: Raytown Sesquicentennial Commission

  • Volunteer of the Year: Barbara Funk


  • Historic Preservation: Lee Bowers, for saving Westport Ballet Building, 3936 Main Street, Kansas City, Missouri

  • Corporate Achievement: Kevin Pistelli and Robert Graham, Kansas City Downtown Hotel Group, L.L. C., for restoration of the Muehlebach Hotel

  • Governmental: FOCUS (Forging our Comprehensive Urban Strategy), for development of the Kansas City Historic Preservation Plan

  • Media: KSHB-TV, NBC Channel 41, for the series Kansas City Crossroads

  • Volunteer of the Year: John Cianciolo

  • Major Donor Achievement: Donna and Michael Martin, for donation of Clintons Soda Fountain and Gifts

  • Jane Fifield Flynn Lifetime Achievement in Historic Preservation: Sally Schwenk, director of the Historic Kansas City Foundation


  • Merit: Jennifer Walker, for restoration and of 1915 plaster moldings in the Muehlebach Hotel
    Bekki Cook, Missouri Secretary of State, for implementing preservation of Missouri archival records
    Rockhill Homes Association, Brian Ball, President, for maintaining the historic integrity of the Rockhill neighborhood, and serving as a model for other local home associations
    Hon. Rondell Stewart, Mayor of Independence, for leadership in Independence preservation

  • Historic Preservation: Dr. Rowena Stewart for leadership in revitalization of the 18th and Vine Historic District

  • Corporate Achievement: DST Realty, Inc., Phil Kirk President, for key role in current revival of downtown Kansas City


  • Media: The Kansas City Star, for history-related stories and opinion pieces, etc.
    Corporate Achievement: Hugh Zimmer, the Zimmer Companies for adaptive reuse of historic New York Life Building, 20 West 9th Street, Kansas City, Missouri
    Richard Green and Robert Green, UtiliCorp, for New York Life Building, 20 West 9th Street, Kansas City, Missouri

  • Historic Preservation: Richard Powell for preservation and renovation of historic commercial structures in block bounded by 8th and 9th Streets, and Baltimore and Wyandotte Streets, Kansas City, Missouri.
    Friends of the Rice-Tremonti Home for preservation of the Archibald Rice Plantation and Aunt Sophies Slave Cabin, Raytown, Missouri
    Friends of Sacred Structures for preserving and relocating White Oak Chapel

  • Service: Charles Shangler, Bisceglia Cultural Center for establishing a community focal point for preservation and appreciation of Italian culture

  • Jane Fifield Flynn Lifetime Achievement in Historic Preservation: Jane Fifield Flynn


  • Historic Preservation: Dana and Don White for renovation of Sawyer-Jennings Home, Independence, Missouri
    Twentieth Century Companies, Inc. for preservation of Main Street commercial streetscape, Independence, Missouri
    Adam Jones, for revitalizing and preserving historic fabric of Kansas City West Side neighborhood
    Kansas City Power & Light Co., for preserving a piece of the Santa Fe Trail and a Civil War battle site, as well as a section of Kansas prairie

  • Service: Greg Hermon, for leadership in preservation of Lanesfield School and the adjacent prairie (see KCPL above)
    Katheryn J. Shields, for leadership and advocacy on behalf of historic properties while serving on the City Council, and as Jackson County Executive

  • Youth: Emily Cope, for research and writing on the James Morgan Walker site and historic cemetery near James Lewis School in Blue Springs, Missouri


  • History and Preservation: Buck ONeil and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, for preservation of history of Negro Leagues Baseball
    Harry S. Truman Farm Home Foundation, for insuring perpetuity of Truman Farm Home
    Virginia and Sarah Weatherly, for stewardship of an historic garden

  • Service: Ginny and Dean Graves, for creation and youth programming of CUBE (Center for Understanding the Built Environment)

  • Media: The Independence Examiner

  • Certificate of Merit: Joanie Shields, for giving reality a future for the Historic Kansas City Foundation
    Nels Pierson, for recovering and restoring an abandoned pre-Civil War family cemetery
    Mildred Kittell Ray, for post card collection loan


  • History and Preservation: Save a Connie, Inc., for acquiring and restoring the Star of America, a Lockheed Super G Constellation

  • Media: James J. Fisher and The Kansas City Star, for the Following the Oregon Trail series commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the trail

  • Historic Preservation: Monnett Battle of Westport Fund, Inc., of the Civil War Roundtable of Kansas City, for preservation of the Byrams Ford area , site of the Big Blue Battlefield, October 1864, listed on the National Register of Historic Places

  • Honorary Life Membership: Hazel Graham, for 21 years of service to JCHS


  • Historic Preservation: River Salvage, Inc., for their salvage of the 1856 Steamboat Arabia

  • Media: KCPT Channel 19, for historical programming, including the documentary War on the Border, Kansas City Illustrated series, and interviews with David McCullough

  • Service and Preservation: Dr. Bruce Prince-Joseph, for preservation and restoration of historic musical instruments


  • Historic Preservation: Mr. & Mrs. A. Layle (Petey) Childers, for Hughes-Gregg House, 801 South Main Street, Independence, Missouri

  • Media: Ardis Glenn, for her dedication to and love of the printed word as demonstrated through her acquisition, preservation, and promotion of rare books, maps and manuscripts.

  • Service: Marjorie C. Kinney, for her work in the Missouri Valley Room collection of the Kansas City Public Library.


(Awards presented by the State of Missouri for the National Register of Historic Places nominations)

  • Restoration and Preservation: Mrs. J. Roger DeWitt, for the Vaile Victorian Mansion
    The Jackson County Historical Society, for the 1859 Jackson County Jail and Marshals Home
    Restoration and Preservation
    The Jackson County Historical Society, for the John B. Wornall House


  • Restoration and Preservation: The Harris House in Old Westport, Missouri (Kansas City)


  • Restoration and Preservation: John C. Monroe, Jr., and Gene E. Lefebre, Architects, for Major William Warner (former Kansas City mayor) residence on Quality Hill


(Awards presented by the Kansas State Historical Society and American Assoc. of State and Local History)

  • Restoration and Preservation: The Jackson County (Mo.) Historical Society, for outstanding work in the field of Historic Preservation
    Restoration and Preservation
    Jackson County, Missouri, government, for outstanding work in the field of Historic Preservation


  • Restoration and Preservation: Miss Harriet Campbell Johnston, for her 100-year-old home at 305 North Pleasant Street, Independence, Missouri (which was also the home of Jackson Countys first Marshal, Major Granville D. Page, before it became the home of her ancestors)


  • Restoration and Preservation: Rev. James D. McCallum, Rector; Judge Arthur J. Stanley; J. L. Jessee; and, James M. Kemper, Sr. (for funds from the David Woods Kemper Memorial Foundation), for St. Marys Episcopal Church, 1301 Holmes, Kansas City, Missouri


  • Restoration and Preservation: Mr. and Mrs. Bartlett Boder, Missouri Valley Trust Company, St. Joseph, Missouri


  • Restoration and Preservation: Womans Civic Club of Independence, Missouri, for William Bullitt Howard One-Room Schoolhouse, formerly on the Howard Plantation in Lees Summit, Missouri (and relocated to the site of the 1859 Jail, Marshals Home and Museum, 218 North Main Street, Independence, Missouri)


  • Restoration and Preservation: Chase County (Kansas) Historical Society, for Chase County Courthouse


  • Restoration and Preservation: Mrs. Rosemary Long Reed, for Stratford, Home of Robert E. Lee, Staunton, Virginia
    Mrs. Howard Beasley, for pre-Civil War home, near Marshall, Missouri
    Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas City, Missouri, for Reconstruction of Fort Osage National Historic Site