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Our History

The history of the George H. Nettleton Foundation is a testament to the generous spirit of the greater Kansas City com-munity.

George H. Nettleton’s name and railroading were synonymous in the early days of Kansas City. He provided the frame-work for the Livestock
Exchange Building and organized the first Kansas City Stockyard Company. Mr. Nettleton retired as general manager of the Fort Scott and Memphis railroad, which became the Frisco.

When he died in 1896, his wife Julia was well situated in a large, gray brick mansion at 7th Street and Pennsylvania on Quality Hill, over-looking the Missouri River. She decided that the home was too large for her and donated it to the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, which in 1890 had founded a home for aged women. On the day Julia moved out in April 1900, 31 women moved into the reincorporated George H. Nettleton Home for Aged Women, a living memorial to a distinguished man.
In 1914, the home moved to its final location at 5125 Swope Parkway on land donated by Mr. and Mrs. Edward F. Swinney. Funds were raised to build the new home, and Mrs. Swinney served ably as its board president for many years. The larger home prospered under the guidance of dedicated board members, residents and staff who enlivened its motto, “Women Caring for Other Women.”

The warmly elegant home, one of the first retirement organizations in Kansas City, operated for more than 100 years until it was sold in 1995 The proceeds were put into a trust for the benefit of the elders in the Kansas City metropolitan area. This pioneering spirit and genuine concern for our oldest citizens remains the guiding light of the George H. Nettleton Foundation.

The foundation has funded a variety of projects and welcomes grant applications from not-for-profit organizations serving the elderly in the metropolitan area.

“There through the years have lived many hundreds of fine aged women. Mothers, widows, maiden women, missionaries, teachers, housekeepers, dress-makers, business and professional women from all fields, have found rest, peace, care and happiness for later years”


This is a RR pass from the Hannibal & St Joseph RR, General Superintendent, George Nettleton. It was signed in 1871.




Some of the funded projects include:

  • 7 vans for Metropolitan Dial A Ride

  • Youth Visitation for the Alzheimer’s unit of Truman East Hospital

  • A balancing machine for St Luke’s Hospital

  • New elevator and roof for the Armour Home

  • Caregiver’s seminars at Bishop Spencer Place

  • Meals on Wheels for Episcopal Social Services

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