Building 1950s
Advert showing premises 1930s
Building now
Cover 1890s



The Jenkins Music Company was an instrument manufacturer, music publisher and retailer in Kansas City.

It was founded in 1878 by John Wesley Jenkins, Sr. During the 1880s Jenkins brought in his son, John Wesley, Jr. to form the J.W. Jenkins and Son Music Company. The publishing activity was mainly in the company's first 40 years.

Following the death of Jenkins, Sr, around 1890, J.W. Jenkins, Jr., with his brothers, Frederick B. and Clifford W., formed the J.W. Jenkins' Sons Music Company, During the 1890s, the Jenkins Company manufactured guitars and mandolins, and published sheet music.
In 1912 the company moved to a building at 1217 Walnut Street, designed by Smith, Rea & Lovitt, and later enlarged in 1931 by Charles A. Smith. This eight-storey building, still standing in the 21st century, included a 240-seat concert hall.

After flourishing in the 1950s, changing market conditions led to the firm's bankruptcy in 1971.


Imprints, Addresses, Agencies


  • J.W. Jenkins and Son
  • J.W. Jenkins' Sons


  • 1217 Walnut Street, Kansas City

Plate Numbers

Authority Control

Sources Consulted