Westport, Santa Fe trail, Oregon trail, Broadway Boulevard, McCoy’s Public House
John Calvin McCoy (1811 – 1889), came to Kansas City in 1833 at the age of 20 and built a two-story log cabin on the corner of Westport and Pennsylvania. By 1835, he platted a 3 x 4 block radius and called it Westport, named to signify its location as the last settlement before the wild unknown to the west. He quickly garnered all the Indian trade in the region. Located only four miles to the Missouri River, his cabin became a popular spot for travelers on the Santa Fe and Oregon trails. They traveled down a path from the river that would later become Broadway Boulevard.
Francis Parkman, heading west through the Kansas City area in 1845, described the scene in Westport as follows:
“Westport was full of Indians whose little shaggy ponies were tied by the dozens along the fences of houses. Sacs and foxes with shaved heads and painted faces, Shawnees and Delwares, fluttering in calico frocks and turbans, Wyandots dressed like white men and a few wretched Kanza wrapped in old blankets…they strolled the streets or lounged in and out of the shops.” –Voices Across Time
McCoy’s Public House in present-day Westport pays homage to the founder of the neighborhood in which it resides.
McCoy is buried in the Union Cemetery at 227 E. 28th Terrace in Kansas City, Mo.