Patricia Ann Davis was born in Grain Valley on April 25,1926. Her parents were Ewing Alonzo Davis and Nadine O’Connell. While still very young, her parents separated so she was raised primarily by her mother and her grandparents, John T. and Creola (Warren) O’Connell in their home on Charlotte Street, just north of Walnut. Patricia grew up in Grain Valley and graduated from GVHS in 1944. She was active in school as is evident from the many pictures of her in the high school yearbooks.
Her maternal roots in the area go back to the mid 1800’s when the Warren Family from Kentucky settle at Tarsney. Her great grandfather, William Warren was one of the founders of the Bank of Grain Valley in 1905. William’s daughter and Patricia’s grandmother, Creola Warren married John T. O’Connell. John and his two O’Connell brothers had lost their father in a railroad accident. They came to Grain Valley from St. Louis with their mother, Martha Elizabeth (Richardson); their step-father, Dennis Patrick Costigan and six half-brothers and sisters.
John and Creola O’Connell were prominent citizens in Grain Valley. For a brief time, John helped his brothers with a restaurant, he was a barber and he and his wife owned a building on Main Street. The wooden structure burned in 1920 and they rebuilt the structure using bricks. Today we call their building The Iron Kettle. During the 1930s they also owned a gasoline station and café on the newly finished U. S. 40 highway (now Eagles Parkway). John and Creola raise two daughters, Nadine and Danise.
Although Patricia married Stayton Parr in 1948 and moved to first Independence and later Blue Springs, she never broke her strong ties to Grain Valley. Mrs. Parr was a member of the Grain Valley Historical Society for many years. One a few occasions she presented programs at our meeting and related stories of Grain Valley and the citizens during the 1930s and 1940s.
She also left us a treasure of photographs and artifacts which are displayed at the Historical Society Museum. And finally, in her will, Patricia Ann Davis Parr provided a generous gift to the Grain Valley Historical Society that has and will continue to allow us to enhance our collections.
I hope you will visit the GVHS Museum and learn more about the life and generosity of Pat Parr!
Patricia Ann Davis, 1st Day of School, Fall of 1932.
Note: You can see the lunch pail Patricia is carrying in a display at the museum.
Photo credit: Grain Valley Historical Society