KC Backstories is the culmination of over twenty years of research and writing about Kansas City area history, which first gave rise to these three books. More than a compilation of essays or posts, the books follow the larger narrative about how history has formed some of the most well-known communities within the Kansas City area.

The Brookside Story: Shops of Every Necessary Character.

For over 100 years, the Brookside Shops have prevailed where lesser districts have failed. Why and how? Threaded between stories of nostalgia and disaster are the answers.


The Waldo Story: Home of Friendly Merchants.

Today’s Waldo is one of the quirkiest corners of Kansas City. With its roots in the Santa Fe Trail, and its lifeblood pumped by “the Dummy Line,” the area’s unlikely influences are explored in Waldo’s story.


The Country Club District of Kansas City

Famous as a dominant influence on the 20th century notion of an place with “permanence,” the strategies and philosophies of Kansas City’s renowned developer, J.C. Nichols, are examined in the context of his life’s work, the Country Club District of Kansas City.


What Lies West – A Novel of the American Frontier

Released in 2010, What Lies West was my first book, and to date my only work of fiction. Starting in the Westport of 1849, the story follows a young woman who’s thrown herself toward an unknown destiny somewhere out west, trying to escape a future not of her making. Her journey takes her across the emmigrant trails to the California gold fields to the timber country of the Puget Sound, hoping to find a place to belong before her past catches up to her.


Books can be ordered directly from the author. These books are individually signed, and upon request can be personalized. Prices quoted include sales tax, but not postage. Contact me at the address below to initiate order. Your understanding of postage and delivery time will be verified before finalizing any order.

LaDene Morton

In addition, books are sometimes available at the following:

Directly from the publisher, History Press/Arcadia Publishing. Please note: HP/AP sells both the original and the 100th Anniversary edition of The Brookside Story. Choose correctly.

History Press/Arcadia Publishing

Local retailers, including booksellers, museum gift shops and purveyors of local products and souvenirs. Please note: The publisher does not provide a list of current vendors to its authors, as the current vendors change frequently. Long-time vendors include:

Nelson/Atkins Museum Gift Shop

Barnes & Noble

Rainy Day Books

In 2017, I was commissioned to write a book on the Greenway Fields Neighborhood in Kansas City, west directly across Wornall Road from the Brookside Shops. This is a beautifully designed, hard-cover book of which I am tremendously proud.

That book is sold only by the publisher, Dr. Elizabeth Noble. If you are interested in that book, contact me via email at and I will put you in touch with Dr. Noble.

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