The Founding Story

Mrs. Trotter had misgivings about taking Allen Nieman as a boarder when the hefty schoolteacher inquired about a room on a warm summer day in 1920. Perspiring, he took off his hat and told her he would like to have a quiet room by himself as he planned to take a full load of classes that summer.

The landlady of 101 Ming hesitated a bit, perhaps fearful of what Nieman’s 225-pound frame might do to her furniture, but invited him in. His engaging smile and ready verbal banter soon won her confidence. She showed him one of the front room’s downstairs on the southeast corner of the house, sometimes used as a parlor. The room had a fireplace with oak wood mantel and Mrs. Trotter
did not usually rent it for she sometimes entertained guests there.

But this time she broke her rule and offered the room to him for the summer term. It was a hot Sunday afternoon and the weather was dry, as it often is this time of year in Missouri.

Read our Founding Story