Oral Histories: W
Helen Wade is a life-long area resident and distant relative of Bess Truman. She discusses what life was like growing up in Independence, Missouri.
Interview Not Transcribed
Wagner, William R.
William R. Wagner served was a Naval Corpsman who assisted Harry S Truman from 1970 until Truman's death in 1972. Wagner discusses the daily routine, those involved, and the use of the house during his tour of duty in the Truman home in Independence, Missouri.
Interview (pdf - 316KB)
Wallace, Christine and David F.
Christine Wallace, sister-in-law of Bess W. Truman, and her son David F. Wallace, Jr., reveal in detail the inner workings of the extended Wallace family during the 1930s to early 1940s.
May Wallace, wife of George Wallace and sister-in-law of Harry and Bess Truman, discusses the Wallace and Truman family members. Wallace discusses the Gates family's move to Independence, Madge Gates Wallace's relationship with her family, domestic help and cooking, and Christmas traditions.
Interviews Not transcribed
Warr, Dorsy Lou
Dorsy Lou (Compton) Warr grew up down the street from the Trumans. Her father Louis "Polly" Compton, a prominent Independence businessman, was a member of Harry S Truman's poker circle and often provided the Trumans with pop and ice cream. Warr relates many stories about growing up in the same neighborhood as a president.
Westwood, Mary Kay
Mary Kay Westwood was married to Mike Westwood, Harry Truman's personal security attendant. Mrs. Westwood discusses her close relationship with the Trumans during their retirement years.
Interview Not Transcribed
Wilson, Helen Wells and Bess Wells Paris
As the daughters of William Gates Wells, first cousin of Bess W. Truman, Helen Wells Wilson and Bess Wells Paris grew up within the extended Gates family that stretched from Independence to Platte City and Kansas City, Missouri. The Wells sisters discuss their branch of the family tree in Platte City, Missouri, including their grandmother Maud Louise Gates Wells.
Interview (pdf - 2.37MB)
Palma Wilson discusses her years of employment at Harry S Truman NHS first as lead park ranger (1984-1988) and chief ranger (1988-1990) and the development of the interpretive program.
Interview (pdf - 156KB)
Did You Know?
Truman was not a dynamic speaker when delivering prepared speeches. He spoke with a flat Missouri twang and lacked the inspirational quality of Franklin Roosevelt. However, when speaking extemporaneously, Truman fired up crowds with simple, straightforward language and short sentences.