Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Truman, Bess Wallace, 1885-1982; Cleveland, Grover, 1837-1908; Truman, Margaret (Mary Margaret), 1924-2008; Stevenson, Adlai E. (Adlai Ewing), 1900-1965; Stevenson, Adlai, 1835-1914
Church buildings; Schools

Longhand Note of Former President Harry S. Truman, February 5, 1953. President's Secretary's Files - Longhand Notes.

Feb. 5, 1953

Appreciation for this gathering, the one at the Washington Union Station, at stations along the way, through W. Va., Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.

Wonderful reception at St. Louis, Washington, Missouri, Herman, Jefferson City, Tipton. Then the climax of all the trip home at the R.R. depot in Independence, 9 or 10,000 friends and neighbors there, 5,000 at the front gate at 219 No. Delaware.

Mrs. T., Margie and I have been through all the trials and tribulations of public elective office from Eastern Judge in the election of 1922, Presiding Judge in the election of 1926, U.S. Senator in 1934 and again in 1940. 1940 was a vicious personal smear affair. Then 1944 and 1948 both rough tough affairs as was 1952 a campaign for someone else.

There were rough times of service, locally, in the Senate and as President of the United States, the greatest office in the history of the world-the greatest honor and the most awful responsibility to come to any man.

But that home town reception was worth all the effort all the trials. Never has there been anything like it in Independence or any other ex President's home town. I can never express to you adequately the appreciation of this family.

I've been taking my morning walks around the city and passing places that bring back wonderful recollections.

The Presbyterian Church at Lexington and Pleasant Sts. When I started to Sunday School at the age of six years where I first saw a lovely little golden haired girl who is still the lovely lady-Margie's mother. I pass by the Noland School where I first went to school in 1892. Had a white cap with sign across above the cap's visor which said Grover Cleveland for President and Adlai Stevenson for Vice President-the grandfather of the man I supported in 1952 sixty years later.

Just south of this building stood the old Columbian School which was brand new when I was ready for the 3rd, 4th grade. The Ott School over on Liberty and College where I was in the 5th grade under Aunt Nanny Wallace-Bess's Aunt.

I pass the site of the old Independence High School at Maple and Pleasant. Ours was the first class to be graduated there, in 1901-52 years ago.

And so it goes what a pleasure to be back here at home-once more a free and independent citizen of the gate way city of the old great west.

Our Grandparents were citizens here in the County when the going was rough. They were real pioneers. They gave us our background of honor and integrity. I hope we've lived up to that heritage.

Thanks again home folks for a most happy return

Feb. 5, 1953


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