HE DIDN'T FLATTER HIMSELF. ~ Colonel Swope Told Kelly Brent He Was Not the Smart Man Many Thought Him.

October 4, 1909

Colonel Swope Told Kelly Brent He
Was Not the Smart Man Many
Thought Him.

"Many persons think me a smart man but the truth of it is I'm an old fool," Colonel Thomas H. Swope said one day to Kelly Brent.

The two had a real estate deal on, and the colonel concluded at the end of long negotiations not to make the investment.

"Some years ago I concluded to sell off a great deal of my real estate holdings," said Colonel Swope, "and hang me if I didn't sell for a song the best of it. What I sold is worth millions today and a great deal I have left is not worth paying taxes on."

When the park board a few years ago suggested placing of a brass medallion of Colonel Swope at the entrance to Swope park he protested earnestly. He wrote to the board saying that while he lived he wanted no monument to be erected. It was explained that the medallion was not intended as a mark of the memory of the donor of the beautiful park, but as a slight token of appreciation and esteem from the city. After a long parley Mr. Swope reluctantly gave his consent to the installation of the medallion.

No man was more averse to publicity in the making of public bequests than was Colonel Swope. Just a hint being dropped that he contemplated a gift would anger the philanthropist and he would abandon his purpose. Some years ago Colonel Swope visited Roosevelt hospital in New York and asked to be shown through the institution. He incidentally remarked to the attendant that he was from Kansas City and that it was his purpose some day to build a hospital here and present it to the city.

A reporter for The Journal heard of the colonel's intentions and printed the story. The colonel became exasperated over the premature announcement and asked the reporter to visit him at his offices. The reporter to this day remembers the wrath displayed by the colonel and his ears still tingle with the tongue lashing administered.

"By your interference, sir," the colonel loudly declaimed, "you have deprived Kansas City of one of the best hospitals in the country. When people get to knowing my business it is time for me to quit."

It is unnecessary to state that Colonel Swope did not build the hospital, but he did give the ground on which it stands.

"I have known Mr. Swope a great many years, and knew him to be a kind, generous man," said J. J. Swofford last night. "Several times in the past five years I have approached him for donations for the Y. M. C. A. building fund and other funds for the promotion of the association's enterprise. He usually contributed from $100 to $400 a year.

"I know very little of Mr. Swope's business tactics, but I remember a peculiar thing about the manner in which he made these donations. He kept absolutely no account of his charities and when he signed a check to give me for the fund he used a check without a number and stub. He seemed very modest and sensitive about what he gave away.

"About three months ago, I think it was, he made and arrangement with my son Ralph Swofford of Thirty-first and Summit streets, who is president of the executive board of the Franklin Institute, to endow the institution with $50,000 providing as much more could be raised. A campaign has already been started and I believe is pretty well under way to raise the required $50,000.