The venerable city institution is now in bankruptcy. A court has ordered that everything be sold.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The assets and historical artifacts at the Kansas City Club – a longtime city institution that is in bankruptcy now but in its heyday counted among its members Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Harry S. Truman, Gen. Omar Bradley, political boss Tom Pendergast and the late Kansas City Royals owner Ewing Kauffman – will be sold through online bidding.

The Kansas City Club, now in bankruptcy, has a long and storied history and had many city luminaries and U.S. Presidents as members.

The Kansas City Club, now in bankruptcy, has a long and storied history and had many city luminaries and U.S. Presidents as members.

The court-ordered, internet-only auction will consist of two catalogs that will run consecutively, all online, beginning August 14th. The first online catalog will feature gymnasium equipment and restaurant, banquet and food service equipment. The second catalog will contain many antiques and historical items associated with the club.

All online bidding will be conducted by Mayo Auction & Realty, at “The first part of the auction will attract attention from the people and businesses that have an interest in gymnasium and restaurant equipment,” said Robert Mayo of Mayo Auction & Realty, “but we really did save the best for last with the antique items and other Kansas City Club collectibles.”

He was referring specifically to items that will have broad appeal to collectors, Kansas City Club members past and present, and political aficionados. These will include a poker table gifted to the club by President Harry Truman (a legendary poker player); a 1930s-era radio, also gifted by Truman, after it had been given to him as a present by the Japanese; and signed Truman items.

The Kansas City Club was founded in 1882 and is currently located in the Library District in downtown Kansas City, at 918 Baltimore Avenue. The Kansas City Club has had several addresses throughout the years. It is the oldest existing gentleman’s club in the state of Missouri (it started admitting women in 1975).

The radio given to Truman by Japan, is a chinoiserie-style (Chinese-influenced in decoration) 9-tube, 60-volt radio-receiver floor model, housed in a red lacquered custom cabinet and made in the U.S. by Stromberg-Carlson (N.Y.) around 1930.

With regard to the poker table, it will certainly be appealing to anyone in the ego-driven world of poker playing. Who wouldn’t want the bragging rights to such a richly historical piece, not to mention a prime example of presidential memorabilia? Truman, it is important to add, attended the Kansas City School of Law, in a building that was directly across the street from the club.

Other noteworthy items being sold include a handsome, hand-carved wooden Cigar Store Indian figure; four large tapestries, hand-loomed in the late 19th or early 20th century, with appealing subjects and colors; and a still life painting of oranges on a table, painted in bold vivid colors and signed by the artist.

Other original artworks are by Eugene-Louis Lequesne (Fr., 1815-1887); Mathurin Moreu (Fr. 1822-1912); and Leonard H. Reedy (Chicago, 1899-1956). There are also English sporting prints that were produced in the 20th century, using the original 19th century plates and hand-colored. A portrait of Truman that is signed by the former President is also in the sale.

Significant items of interest will feature a tubular chiming grandfather clock, 107 inches tall, made by Walter Durfee (Providence, R.I., pattern #18), circa 1887, in a Honduran mahogany cabinet with a desirable mercury pendulum and Elliot movement; a Renaissance Revival carved oak leather-topped library table, circa 1915; and a late 19th century Renaissance Revival marble-top carved mahogany console table.

There will also be many items specific to The Kansas City Club, ranging from photos of Club members to objects carrying the Club logo, to include serving trays, china, dinnerware and silverware. These will no doubt be snapped up by nostalgic Club members, current or past, who want to take with them a piece of an institution that thrived for years but is now nearing an end.

In 1987, the Kansas City Club had 2,180 members, but by 2001 that number was down to less than 900. Contributing factors included the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which made private club dues non-deductible, and cultural changes, which made young professionals less likely to join.

In 2001, the Club merged with the Universities Club, another gentleman’s club (100 years old) and purchased their facilities. In 2002, a developer bought The Kansas City Club’s building and turned it into loft apartments and a banquet hall. The Kansas City Club is now in bankruptcy.
Janice Stanton is the acting trustee in charge of the liquidation of the Club’s assets and will complete the administration of the case once the sale is completed.

Mayo Auction & Realty is comprised of a team of professional auctioneers and Realtors that is always eager and prepared to meet the auction needs of businesses and people. The company conducts real estate and personal property auctions, with an emphasis on real estate, antiques and collectibles and specialty collections. To consign an item, an estate or a collection, you may call them directly at (816) 361-2600 or you can send them an e-mail at [email protected]

To learn more about Mayo Auction & Realty and the three-part, online-only court-ordered Kansas City Club bankruptcy auction, please visit