INDEPENDENCE, MO., city located in western Missouri, the seat of Jackson County, and part of the greater Kansas City metropolitan area. Founded in 1827 as a provisioning and starting point for the Santa Fe, California, and Oregon trails, the area had originally served as a trading post beginning in 1808 with Fort Osage. The city gained its name from its original settlers' admiration of President Andrew Jackson, who built his reputation as a people's president. The city also serves as the world
headquarters for the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a denomination of the older church that settled in the area prior to moving to the Utah Territory. During the Civil War, Union forces remained in control of the city and Confederate forces never threatened the area. During the latter part of the nineteenth century, the city served as a political adjunct to nearby Kansas City and produced the future President Harry S. Truman. He would remember the town as a bustling place without the troubles of Kansas City, providing the best of small-town life. After service as senator and president, Truman retired to his home in Independence and established his presidential library, one of the finest such institutions. The city has sustained its population during a time of urban renewal and has maintained its identity despite its suburban location.
The city continues as a manufacturing and food-processing center located along important highways centered on Kansas City. It continued to expand throughout the twentieth century, reaching an area of 77.8 square miles by 2001 and a population of 113,288, according to the 2000 census—up from 112,301 in 1990, but significantly higher than the 1980 figure of 111,806. The city is also situated in the sprawling Kansas City metropolitan region of nearly 1.8 million that covers eleven counties in Missouri and Kansas.
Foerster, Bernd. Independence, Missouri. Indpendence, Mo.; Independence Press, 1978.