Lamon Vernon Harkness was a wealthy man, to put it mildly.
If your father partnered with the one and only John D. Rockefeller in the incredibly prosperous and enormous Standard Oil Company (and your father was the second richest man in the United States, only after Rockefeller) and then, your father left you a not-small fortune and a cushy career as Standard Oil’s vice president… you might be dirty, filthy rich, too. Thanks largely to Steven V. Harkness, upon Lamon’s death in California in 1915, Steven’s son was worth a cool 100,000,000 dollars.
Harkness was neither born here nor did he die here, but in his three short years as a Kansas City, Mo. resident, he left somewhat of a loaded legacy. He moved to the city in 1888. In those days, Troost Ave. was known as Millionaire’s Row, housing the wealthiest and most influential (and white) Kansas Citians – more than a few decades before Troost would become the city’s racial dividing line. The imaginary line still exists in the present, though a bit blurry and not quite as defined.
It was only natural that Lamon V. Harkness build his Kansas City home on Millionaire’s Row; a brownstone mansion towered at 3125 Troost Ave. upon its completion. Oddly enough, he only resided in here until 1891. He relocated to Kentucky and elsewhere, finally settling in New York. The Kansas City Star announced in 1951, 60 years after his move, that Harkness remained “the richest man ever to live in Kansas City.”