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Mr. Anonymous, a biography of William Volker   

The biography of Volker's namesake, William Volker, published in 1951, is now out of print. Although some copies are available at the KCMO Library and a few on Amazon (prices reflect its scarcity), we wanted to make this fascinating book readily available to Volker residents and others who might be interested.  

Caxton Press, which still holds the copyright to Herbert C. Cornuelle's book Mr. Anonymous, has graciously granted permission to the Volker Neighborhood Association for the limited, non-commercial e-publication of this unique biography of William Volker. Please help us respect the limitations of that permission as follows:

  • Permission extends only to the limited, non-commercial, use for access and distribution by, and for, the VNA.

  • The book may be downloaded, distributed, made available in electronic form only.

  • When made available the electronic/ebook version of Mr. Anonymous must be accompanied by the specific direction that it is not to be re-posted, re-distributed, or re-sold in any fashion for commercial gain.





The Volker Neighborhood has unique to it's history a prominent early Kansas Citian who lived in this neighborhood for over 60 years while building an empire in home furnishings and then giving away his fortune as one of Kansas City's most inspiring philanthropists.  William Volker was clearly an impressive businessman with an empire extending from Chicago to cities across the West all the way to the West Coast. 


He was called Mr. Anonymous because he never wanted his generosity made public.  For that reason, Research Hospital which he heavily supported is not named for him, nor are any other of the many institutions he supported.  However, the Volker Campus of UMKC is named after him because he purchased and donated the land for the original campus...and donated a liberal arts building and a science building!  His kindness and generosity were known by many individuals down on their luck as well.  His deep commitment to the success of this city and the well-being of it citizens led him to serve in a series of civic capacities.  His innovative ideas led the way in everything he did.

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