Wornall Majors House Museums

Alexander Majors & His Family

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Alexander Majors, 1860

Alexander Majors was an entrepreneur who played a prominent role in the business of early Kansas City. He made his fortune in freighting and co-founded several business ventures, including the Pony Express.

Alexander Majors was born in Kentucky in 1814 and moved to Missouri with his parents when he was five years old. A few months after they arrived, his mother died from injuries suffered in a wagon fall enroute to Missouri. Majors was married twice and had 14 children. In 1834, he married Katherine Stalcup of Jackson County. They had nine children—six of them daughters. At least three died before reaching adulthood. Katherine died in 1856, the same year the house was built, and is buried in Union Cemetery. Majors then married Susan Wetzel of Independence. They had four daughters and one son.

Louisa Johnston

Louisa Johnston

In 1858, Majors moved his business and family to Nebraska City. The house, as well as several slaves, were left to Majors oldest daughter, Rebecca, and her husband Samuel Poteet, who was also Majors’ head wagon master. Alexander and Susan remained married, but were living separately as early as 1870. Susan died in California in 1915. Majors died in 1900 and is buried next to his first wife, Katherine, in Union Cemetery.

Majors’ adult children scattered across the United States, working as printers, miners, and politicians. Majors’ oldest son, Benjamin traveled with his father after the failure of Majors’ businesses, and was living in poverty in Oklahoma in 1904. In 1934, Majors’ great granddaughter, Louisa Johnston, invited her great uncle to live with her in the Majors House, which she had purchased in 1930. Benjamin lived the rest of his life in his boyhood home, and died in the home in 1938. Louisa too lived the rest of her life in the house, and passed away in 1979, but not before setting up the Majors Historical Trust and doing much to raise awareness of Majors and his national and local significance.

Wornall Majors House Museums
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The John Wornall House

6115 Wornall Road
Kansas City, MO. 64113

816.444.1858

The Alexander Majors House & Barn

8201 State Line Road
Kansas City, MO. 64114

816.444.1858

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Photo Credits: Jeri Adams, Sarah Bader-King, John Browning, and Bruce Mathews