Hours before Arturo de Hoyos helped a Kansas City fraternal organization open a 114-year-old time capsule, the archivist and historian had an interesting conversation about Missouri’s often-misconstrued status as a Southern state.
A native of Texas, de Hoyos said people in that part of the country often are confused about Missouri’s geographic identity.
De Hoyos, a Freemason stationed in Washington, D.C., received clarity on the issue after the contents of the capsule were unveiled at the Evening of Legacy event Wednesday at the Kansas City Scottish Rite Temple.
Among other artifacts from 1903, the capsule contained $500 worth of Confederate defense bonds.
“I’m a Texas boy, and in Texas we always ask a question about Missouri: ‘Are you all Southerners, or are you not Southerners?’ ” de Hoyos said. “I’m going to talk to my friends in Texas and confirm, on the basis of finding this $500 in Confederate currency, that you all are OK.”
The capsule was inside a cornerstone that was found in rubble after Evangelistic Center Church burned down Nov. 13. The Scottish Rite built the edifice at 1024 Truman Road.
Before the temple opened in 1904, several builders placed artifacts in the time capsule.
Other items found included yellowing copies of The Kansas City Journal and The Kansas City Star dated July 19, 1903, several Scottish Rite publications and other works written by members of the organization.
The Rev. John Crane, the senior pastor of Evangelistic Center Church, said that despite the fire, he was delighted to turn the artifacts over to the Scottish Rite.
He also thanked the organization and members of the community who have donated to the church’s rebuilding effort.
“Your care, your comfort, your cards and your gifts that have come to us from all over the city, even from the Scottish Rite Masons, it’s brought hope, and it’s priceless,” Crane said.
Jackson County Executive Frank White and Jackson County Sheriff Mike Sharp attended the ceremony.
In a lighthearted moment, someone slipped into the artifacts a card that featured White, who played for the Royals from 1973 to 1990, announcing his candidacy for county executive.
“This guy has been running for office for a long time,” de Hoyos joked.