Blind Boone in Warrensburg

John Lange, Jr., became Blind Boone's manager.

John Lange, Jr., Blind Boone's manager, 1880-1916.

John Lange, Jr., was born enslaved in Harrisburg, Kentucky on October 4, 1840 to a free man and an enslaved mother. During the Civil War he worked with his father as a butcher and at the end of the Civil War the Lange family moved to Columbia Missouri for education and employment opportunities.

Lange married ruth Helen Jones from Glasgow, Missouri on December 26, 1873 and the couple moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where they established a home on Park Avenue. Lange first met Blind Boone when he invited him to play for a church event in Columbia, Missouri.

In 1880, when Boone was 15 years old, John Lange created the Blind Boone Concert Company and agreed to pay his mother, Rachel Hendrix, $10.00 a month. John Lange accompanied him on all his tours and essentially acted as the emcee for his concerts. The two were virtually inseperable, because Lange served as his guide on tour. When Blind Boone married John Lange's youngest sister, Eugenia in 1886, she assumed that role, but she did not always tour with the Blind Boone Concert Company.

On one visit to Warrensburg in July of 1896 the Warrensburg Journal Democrat noted: "Blind Boone appeared on the streets this morning riding a bicycle. His wheel is attached to that of his manager, which in truth makes a four-wheeled machine."

John Lange died in Kansas City in 1916 after the vehicle he was driving collided with another. Lange and Blind Boone had been together for thirty-six years.

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Not open to the public.