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Arthur B. Church – KMBC Radio Collection

Identifier: MS-0012

Scope and Contents

The Arthur B. Church – KMBC Radio Collection was donated to the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1996 by Arthur B. Church, Jr. The collection relates to KMBC radio and television stations in Kansas City and its owner and operator, Arthur B. Church, dating primarily between the 1920s and the early 1950s.

The collection is broken down into seven series. A timeline provides day-to-day and year-to-year information about the operation of the station. Business correspondence, ledgers and contracts also provide information about the operation of the station. Promotional material related to KMBC and its various programs is included, as are actual scripts to the programs Phenomenon and Life on the Red Horse Ranch. The collection includes many items related to the Texas Rangers, including songbooks and record labels for numerous pressings produced by Church. Other items found in the collection include internal and external station newsletters, newspaper clippings, music scores, and memorabilia.

The photographs in the original donation include images of Church’s early radio days in Iowa and the KMBC station in Kansas City. A photo album given to Church for Christmas 1943 includes signed photos of KMBC personalities. A separate series of promotional portfolios highlight various KMBC programs and personalities and include additional photos within those books.

The collection has absorbed additional gifts since the original donation. When possible, material is integrated into the existing collection and provenance is noted. Among the donations are additional photograph sets worth noting. Photos from Orlene “Kit” Johnson and Irene “Kay” Dierks in 2001 include shots of performers “Kit and Kay” as well as The Brush Creek Follies. Photos from Bill Simes (from the Ammon Ray Moler estate) in 2000 show a wind-damaged radio tower in the summer of 1941 as well as the station at its Pickwick Hotel location. Photos from David and Linda Domelsmith in 2008 relate to Mark Norman Smith, Director of Market Research at KMBC. Photos from Arthur B. Church, Jr. and family in 2005 and 2012 provide further shots of the KMBC station and performers, including the Texas Rangers. Photo additions in July 2017 by way of Katherine Huntoon (with the organization Rescued from Recycling) were originally owned by Darlene Roberts of Kansas City and are from her time with the Brush Creek Follies in the 1950s. A photo album titled “KMBC Presents the Brush Creek Follies Big KMBC Barn Dance” was gifted by an anonymous donor and added to the collection in 2018.


Addendum 1: Earl W. Runnels estate [undated]

Addendum 2: Bill Simes, on behalf of the Ammon Ray Moler estate (2000)

Addendum 3: Glenn White (April 2000)

Addendum 4: Orlene “Kit” Johnson and Irene “Kay” Dierks (2001)

Addendum 5: Arthur B. Church, Jr. (son) and family (April 2005)

Addendum 6: Ron Gall (October 2007)

Addendum 7: David and Linda Domelsmith (2008)

Addendum 8: David and Linda Domelsmith (2011)

Addendum 9: Arthur B. Church, Jr. (son) and family (2012)

Addendum 10: Katherine Huntoon (Rescued from Recycling organization), originally owned by Darlene Roberts (July 2017)

Addendum 11: Anonymous (added 2018)


  • 1914 - 1987


Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status is unknown.


6 Linear Feet (LaBudde: 6 manuscript boxes, 5 photograph boxes, 1 oversized drawer.)

24 Linear Feet (Marr: 10 open reel audiotapes, 868 lacquer discs, 472 vinyl discs, 1284 metal discs, 1 shellac disc, 9 films.)

Language of Materials


LaBudde: Anthony Badgerow (1996), Teresa Gipson (2001, addendums 2000-2001), Kelly McEniry (2012, addendums 2005-2012), Lydia Bechtel-Edmonson (2018, addendums 2017-2018). LaBudde supervising archivists: Amy Leimkuhler (1996); Robert C. Ray (2001); Stuart Hinds (2012, 2018). Marr: Angel Goldenberg.
LaBudde: 1996, 2001, 2012, 2018. Marr: 2017.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Special Collections and Archives Repository