Blind Boone in Warrensburg Missouri
Rachel Boone brought her infant son John William "Willie" "Blind" Boone to Warrensburg, Missouri in 1864 shortly after he was born in Miami, Missouri. He lost his eyesight as an infant, but he expressed an early interest in music and residents of Warrensburg raised money to send him to a school in St. Louis for the blind. At the school he learned to play the piano by ear and at the age of fifteen, in 1880, he became the principal in the Blind Boone Concert Company, which was managed by John Lange.
John Lange and Blind Boone toured across much of the United States from 1880 to 1916, when Lange died.
Boone continued to tour after Lange's death and while Boone called Columbia, Missouri, home, he had many relatives that remained behind in Warrensburg.
The tour discusses Blind Boone's experiences in Warrensburg as well as the concerts that he played at the First Christian Church, Empire Theater, and the Magnolia Opera House. The only extant resources that remain on the landscape for viewing include the First Christian Church, Empire Theatre,
Magnolia Opera House, Blind Boone Park, and the Johnson County Historical Society.