Open main menu

Joseph Bernard Shannon (March 17, 1867 – March 28, 1943) was a Democratic political boss in Kansas City, Missouri who was a rival to the more dominant Pendergast political machine in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Shannon was born in St. Louis, Missouri and moved in his youth to Girard, Kansas. He moved to Kansas City in 1879 where he was constable, city-market master, and studied law beginning practice in 1905.

His faction were called the "rabbits" because they derived their power from those who lived along the Missouri River and Kansas River. His rival were the "goats" who derived their power from people living in the hills of Kansas City. The goats were headed by Jim Pendergast and then his brother Tom Pendergast.

Shannon was chairman of the Democratic State in 1910; delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1908, 1912, 1920, 1924, 1928, 1932, and 1940; member of the Missouri constitutional conventions in 1922 and 1923. He was a Congressman from March 4, 1931 – January 3, 1943. He is buried in Calvary Cemetery in Kansas City.

External linksEdit

  • United States Congress. "SHANNON, Joseph Bernard (id: S000287)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • Joe Shannon at Find a Grave
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Edgar C. Ellis
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by
Roger C. Slaughter