Blind Boone's Warrensburg Experience Blind Boone Concert Company

Blind Boone Concert Company 1880-1927

Blind Boone had a professional career for forty-eight years.

In 1880 John Lange entered into a written contract with Rachel Hendrix that he would pay her $10 a month for young Willie's musical talent until he was 21. His first concert was in Columbia and it grossed only $7. At that time the company included a singer, a banjo picker and a violin player, who accompanied Boone on the piano. He was only fifteen years old when he started with the company and the soprano singer was Stella May, who was ten and she stayed with the company for thirteen seasons, until 1893.

On May 18, 1885 John Lange made Blind Boone a full partner in the Concert Company--an agreement they signed in Baxter Springs, Kansas. In October of 1889 Boone married Eugenia Lange, who was the youngest sister of John Lange. In 1894 Eliza Thompkins from Kansas City toured with the company one year and in 1895 Miss Josephine Rivers from Kansas City toured for the 1896 and 1897 seasons. Miss Margaret Ward followed.

Miss Emma Smith from Kansas City and a graduate of Lincoln High School, joined the company after she graduated from high school and she toured eleven seasons, until her voice tired and for five out of the eleven seasons she kept the books for the concert company. She died on March 4, 1914 and was buried in Highland Cemetery in Kansas City, where a monument was erected there in her honor. Miss Jessie Brosious, a graduate of Lincoln Institute, followed Smith.

Miss Margaret Valt Bond from Topeka, Kansas signed a contract to sing with the Blind Boone Concert Company in October, 1915. Bond, a mezzo soprano, joined fellow soprano singer, Miss Marie Jackman, from Sedalia, Missouri on the tour.

In 1915 Melissa Fuell published Blind Boone, His Life and His Achievements. John Lange died on July 22, 1916 in Kansas City after an automobile crash. Lange and Boone had been together for thirty-six years. Melissa Fuell Cuther published another version of her book in 1918 titled: Blind Boone: His Early Life and His Achievements

Boone continued to tour without Lange as his manager and Wayne B. Allen, who owned the Allen Music Company in Columbia along with John and Marguerite Day, stepped in to manage his tours until he retired in June 1927. John Day died in a pedestrian accident in Chicago on June 25, 1922, and Allen became his sole manager. Boone played his last concert at Virden, Illinois, near Springfield on May 31, 1927. He died of a heart attack in Warrensburg on October 4, 1927, while he was visiting stepbrother, Samuel Hendrix, at 408 Market Street.