Excelsior Springs Museum & Archives

People Associated with Excelsior Springs

Bonnie and Clyde 1934 Bonnie and Clyde made a brief appearance in 1934 three months before they were killed when they passed along the outer edge of Excelsior Springs and made an uneventful stop at Phillips Tavern on Highway 69

Bonnie Parker (October 1, 1910 – May 23, 1934) and Clyde Barrow (March 24, 1909 – May 23, 1934) were notorious outlaws, robbers, and criminals who traveled the Central United States during the Great Depression.

Affronti, Lonnie 1932 Excelsior Springs had a hard time staying out of the national news during those years. The nation's newspapers took notice of the community in 1932 when gangster Lonnie Affronti shot a woman and her husband in an ambush shoot-out on Highway 10 near town. The slain woman, Azelea Ross, was the chief witness in a narcotics trial against Affronti.

The gangland helped hide him out for five years until he was apprehended, in Brooklyn in 1937. One of his accomplices, Charley Harvey, was captured by local police, however. He hung himself in the city jail a short time later.

Brockovich, Erin Erin Brockovich's parents lived up by Wyman. They were good friends of the Johnson's who owned the dairy in town (where Wabash is now). The youngest child of Frank and Betty Jo Pattee (he was an industrial engineer, she was a journalist).
Bush, Hilary A. 1905-1966 Hilary A. Bush (male) was born June 21, 1905 in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. Democrat. Lieutenant Governor of Missouri, 1961-65. Died May 11, 1966. Burial location unknown.
Camissa, Tony In another gangster-related incident soon after the Affronti incident, a Kansas City gangster, Tony Camissa, was found shot to death in a car on Kansas City Avenue.
Colburn, Frank S. d. January 4, 1932 Frank S. Colburn died in Excelsior Springs, Missouri at the Veteran's Hospital on January 4, 1932

The aged veteran of the Spanish American War claimed to be the man who posed for the famous war poster, "Uncle Sam Wants You."

The Idle Hour - The original Uncle Sam is laid to rest in Excelsior Springs

He was 73 years old at the time of his death and had one living relative, a sister, in New York City. Frank was a native of Maine. He was a member of the Robley D. Evan Camp No. 33, United States West Virginia, Department of Wisconsin.

[James Montgomery Flagg's 1917 poster, based on the original British Lord Kitchener poster of three years earlier, was used to recruit soldiers for both World War I and World War II. Flagg used a modified version of his own face for Uncle Sam, and veteran Walter Botts provided the pose.]

Curtiss, Louis Singleton Architect who designed the Clay County State Bank Building, 101 E. Broadway, current home of the Excelsior Springs Museum & Archives
DeSzaak, Edmund County Edmund DeSzaak is best known in Excelsior Springs for painting the murals on the ceiling in the main lobby of the museum.
Duncan, Tanya Tanya grew up in Excelsior Springs as a dance student of her late mother, Lois Duncan, at the Lois Dance Studios. She appeared in each of her mother's dance recitals since birth, walking onto the stage for her dance debut at one year old. She has performed professionally and is also a costumer.
Ellett, Marion Deborah

poetry editor for the City Inner & Outer Magazine which is devoted chiefly to minority affairs and success stories,"growing up in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, and writing poetry starting as a child there, publishing her own book of collected poetry.

newspaper article: Kansas City Times: About Town: Poems Recall Her Life in Excelsior Springs, February 5, 1974, p. 25

"From Them I Came" By Marion Deborah Ellett and Gwendolyn Brooks, Published by s.n.], 1973, 65 pages

Herring, Fern Lord Artist
Hutchings, Lester 1897-1951 Born near Excelsior Springs, Graduated from Excelsior Springs High School in 1915

President of Western Auto (1942 - 1951)

Jarman, Martha Foley . 1927-1991 Martha Foley Jarman was born October 19, 1927, in Daviess County in northwest Missouri. She lived in Excelsior Springs, Missouri with her husband of 43 years Lindell K. Jarman, two sons Tim and Michael and daughter Suzanne.

She was elected to the General Assembly on the Democratic ticket in 1982, representing the 29th District, and was re-elected in 1984, 1986, 1988 and 1990. She steadfastly occupied her seat in the General Assembly faithfully representing her constituents until the debilitating effects of an incurable cancer made it imperative to return to her home less than a month before her death on June 6, 1991.

WHEREAS, born in Daviess County in northwest Missouri October 19, 1927, Representative Jarman lived in Excelsior Springs, Missouri with her husband of 43 years Lindell K. Jarman, two sons Tim and Michael and daughter Suzanne. She was elected to the General Assembly on the Democratic ticket in 1982 and was re-elected in '84, '86, '88 and '90. She steadfastly occupied her seat in the General Assembly faithfully representing her constituents until the debilitating effects of an incurable cancer made it imperative to return to her home less than an month before her death; and
Martha Jarman will be remembered for her dedication to her friends and constituents, her cheerful and helpful disposition and her perseverance in the face of adversity.

Johnson, Cathy Cathy Johnson is a nationally acclaimed artist, author, and naturalist who has published many books of nonfiction, essays, travel visual/performing arts, Missouri, and natural history, including Living History: Drawing on the Past, Excelsior Springs, MO: Graphics/Fine Arts Press, 1994. She has also written and illustrated numerous magazine articles and writes regular columns for Country Living and The Artist's Magazine. She lives in Excelsior Springs, Missouri.
Joyce, Brenda

(see Leabo, Betty)

Judd, Donald Clarence 1928-1994 Donald Clarence Judd, one of the foremost American postwar artists and a major figure in the Minimalist art movement, died on February 12, 1994. He was born on June 3, 1928, in his grandparents' farmhouse in Excelsior Springs Complete obituary.
Karpf, Elinor 1969 "Adam at Six A.M." was filmed. The script was written by Elinor Karpf, daughter of local dentist Hadley Kimes, and her husband Stephen Karpf. Two-thirds of the movie was filmed at Excelsior Springs, with Michael Douglas in the lead and many local residents playing bit parts.

She also co-wrote the 1972 movie Gargoyles.

King, Andrew d. 1911 Sunday, July 2nd, 1911. Killed in the line of duty while working for Clay County Sheriffs department.
Leabo, Betty

(Brenda Joyce)

1912-2009 Brenda Joyce was born Betty Leabo in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, February 25, 1917. Her father nicknamed her Graftina. She and her mother moved to Los Angeles when Brenda was five. She played "Jane" in the Tarzan movies.
Lind, Jenny Jenny Lind, (the famous Swedish Nightingale, once gave a concert for the local citizens from the porch of the Seybold Tavern, when she stopped there overnight.
Marcum, Shaun 1981- Shaun Michael Marcum was born December 14, 1981 in Kansas City and graduated from Excelsior Springs High School in 2000. He currently is a pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays and still lives in Excelsior Springs [2008]
Morris, Rod Musician
Page, Hiram 1800-1852 Hiram Page is a familiar figure to students of Latter Day Saint history. Despite his prominence in the early movement founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. in 1830, Page separated from the church in 1838, settled on a farm near Excelsior Springs, Missouri, and lived there in relative obscurity until his death in 1852. The location of his grave was essentially lost.
Snyder, J. P. 1886 - 1948 J. P. Snyder, former resident of Excelsior Springs. Famous animal trainer.
Tripp, Fred 1940 In 1940, when the world was in a turmoil, Fred Tripp of Beloit, Wisconsin, was 71 years of age. He looked out his hospital window at McCleary Hospital in Excelsior Springs and was inspired by the flag flying atop the post office across the street. Mr. Tripp never in his life had a painting lesson, yet he produced a masterpiece, an inspiring, compelling expression on canvas of what he felt in his heart and soul about the Flag of his Country. He presented this six foot oil painting to the hospital.
Truman, Harry S. Nov 1948 Harry S. Truman spent election evening at the Elms Hotel in Excelsior Springs. His remarks about Excelsior Springs can be read here.
Wagoner, Lyle Lyle Wagoner, the man that was on TV with Carol Burnett, is from Excelsior Springs. He also played Steve Trevor in the "Wonder Woman" TV series.
Williams, Gregg 1958- Gregg Williams, a native of Excelsior Springs, MO, was born July 15, 1958. Williams played football (quarterback) and baseball. Coached for professional football teams in the NFL.
Woods, William Stone Banker, docter, financier. See bio

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Last Updated 9/22/2014

Excelsior Springs Museum & Archives © 2014

Last Updated 4/5/2015