Kansas City Veterinary College
Kansas City, MO
Like University Medical College, the Veterinary College was located in the downtown area of Kansas City. It was only about three blocks north of the present Municipal Auditorium and Muhlbach Hotel. The buildings were razed long before I ever saw Kansas City. The University of California has digitized issues of the Kansas City Veterinary College Quarterly for HathiTrust.
Kansas City Veterinary College was founded in 1891 and graduated its first class in 1892. By the time it closed in 1918, it had sent more than 1,800 graduates into the field. It was advertised as “the largest institution of its kind in America and the fourth largest in the world.” The Kansas City Public Library publication notes that many KCVC graduates readily found employment with the government as meat inspectors, quarantine officers or U. S. Cavalry veterinarians. The 1912 Kansas City Veterinary College Quarterly shows a student body of around 380, taught by a faculty of 23.
The Quarterly provides lists of class officers in addition to officers in the YMCA, the Medical Association and the Athletic Association. Other student activities included glee club and band. The college and the Central YMCA had a strong and reciprocal relationship. The YMCA helped the college by meeting students when they arrived, helping them find housing and part-time jobs, and helping organize support for athletic teams and musical groups. The YMCA offered Bible classes to the students and provided a weekly symposium with speakers. On the other hand, fully 60% of veterinary students were members of the YMCA, and the college and the Y took turns in providing entertainment for students.
World War I was a death knell for KCVC because so many of the students were drafted that the school closed “for the duration” in 1918. It did not reopen.
Bricks and Mortar
The East Fifteenth Street/Lydia Avenue location was the school’s second. The two-story brick main building contained classrooms, a drug dispensary, a museum, a laboratory, and an amphitheater. A “commodious” hospital was attached with wards for large animals and another amphitheater. An auditorium/gymnasium was added in 1909.
After KCVC closed, the college building was used by the Student Army Training Corps. It later became the home of Interstate Casket Company. The buildings burned and was razed in 1956. The Auditorium was taken by the Kansas City Automobile and Tractor School.
Colors: Blue and Old Gold
Team Name: Generally referred to as the Vets or “Horse Doctors”
Sports at KCVC were governed by an Athletic Association. The Quarterly notes that many students were interested in gymnastics and in wrestling. The College fielded teams in football and basketball at the intercollegiate/independent level. College Football Data Warehouse shows teams off and on between 1907 and 1916. Teams did not travel far with Ottawa, KS, Wentworth Military Academy, Central Missouri State, and Kirksville Osteopathic being some of the opponents. During the 1912 season, covered by the Quarterly, the team compiled a 2-3 record, with both wins coming over the University Medical College. The team lost to Haskell Institute twice and to the Beaver Athletic Club, a local high school all-star team. There is also a note that the team played at Chillicothe—presumably the business college.
The Vets played independent basketball in a Kansas City league. The 1912-13 team had a 16-5 record, finishing second in the league. The team also played some intercollegiate games against Ottawa.
(Above) KCVC uniforms display a design developed by the freshman and junior classes, which they hoped would become the school’s logo. The design incorporates an Atlas with crossed femura. (Kansas City Veterinary College Quarterly http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc1.b3106634;view=1up;seq=44
1914-15 KCVC Brass Band (Kansas City Veterinary College Quarterly http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc1.b3106634;view=1up;seq=127)
The auditorium/gymnasium, added in 1909. (Kansas City Veterinary College Quarterly, http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc1.b3106635;view=1up;seq=320)