September 29th Rare Autograph & Document Auction
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TRUMAN, HARRY S. President. A standard blank book containing a journal and ledger covering the period Truman worked for the Kansas City Auto Club in 1925. There are 68 full handwritten pages, all but about 5 scattered pages in Truman’s handwriting. It contains his complete accounts including payments to salesmen. Laid in is a telephone bill annotated by Truman as to the date of payment and 10 other related items, many bearing penciled annotations by Truman. Binding wear but internally sound. Included in the lot is an article entitled “Harry S. Truman: Where the Auto Club Buck Stops” clipped from the magazine “Manuscripts”, Summer 1992. This article was written by a CPA who analyzed the entries and explains them. Truly a unique piece of Truman history.

This amazing rare volume shows a glimpse of Harry Truman businessman. Truman was a "man of the people." Much of his political success was due to his understanding of the problems of ordinary folks. His background and experience made him one of them. In an era when President Calvin Coolidge could say, "The business of America is business,' Harry Truman was a businessman. Much has been written about his haberdashery business and its failure. Far less is known about his efforts at the farming, real estate, mining, and savings and loan businesses. There was also a period of employment with the Automobile Club of Kansas City. For most of 1925 and some of 1926, Truman sold auto club memberships. Apparently, he did it well. Some detail about that work is provided by the ledger he maintained, now being auctioned.

This is a bound columnar book (Standard B & P Blank Book No. 7), black with red spine and corners. It contains 5 pages of index and 95 pages of entries. 98 of the 100 pages which have been used are in Truman's hand. Included are eight signatures, and initials  2 as "Truman" and 6 as "HST."

He would sell the total package sold for $40. That included a $25 initial membership fee, $2.50 tax, and $12.50 for a year's dues. The dues payment entitled the member to a subscription to the club's monthly magazine, "Midwest Motorist," and an emblem. The club belonged to the American Automobile Association, so a member was entitled to reciprocal maps and road information throughout the country. The application form indicates that this club was a little different. Towing service, theft protection, emergency repairs, and tire changing were surely typical.

The application put it like this: "The Automobile Club has something for its members that no other Automobile Club can offer without extra cost, viz.: a Country Club, Golf Course, Picnic Grounds with ovens and a beautiful Club House situated on 92 acres of beautiful rolling land located on Red Bridge Road (110th Street) near Grandview Road." Truman had an attractive product to market.

In 1926, the future president was elected presiding judge of Jackson County. He had been judge of the county's eastern district in 1923 and '24 but was defeated when he ran for reelection. It was after that defeat that he joined the Kansas City Auto Club. His success at the polls in '26 meant that he had become a political figure for life. His business career was over.

Incredible Harry S. Truman Kansas City Auto Club sales ledger maintained by Truman!Incredible Harry S. Truman Kansas City Auto Club sales ledger maintained by Truman!Incredible Harry S. Truman Kansas City Auto Club sales ledger maintained by Truman!Incredible Harry S. Truman Kansas City Auto Club sales ledger maintained by Truman!
Incredible Harry S. Truman Kansas City Auto Club sales ledger maintained by Truman!Incredible Harry S. Truman Kansas City Auto Club sales ledger maintained by Truman!Incredible Harry S. Truman Kansas City Auto Club sales ledger maintained by Truman!
Incredible Harry S. Truman Kansas City Auto Club sales ledger maintained by Truman!
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