Independence. 1 City (1990 pop. 9,942), seat of Montgomery co., SE Kans., on the Verdigris River, near the Okla. line, in an important oil-producing area where corn and wheat are also grown. Light aircraft, motor vehicle parts, cement, and printing and publishing are important industries; natural gas is distributed. The town was founded (1869) on a former Osage reservation. It boomed with the discovery of natural gas in 1881 and oil in 1903.
2 City (1990 pop. 112,301), seat of Jackson co., W Mo., a suburb of Kansas City; inc. 1849. Its manufactures include machinery, building materials, apparel, foods, paper products, and ordnance. Soybeans, corn, and sorghum are grown, and there is dairying and natural-gas production in the area. In the 1830s and 40s, Independence was the starting point for expeditions over the Santa Fe Trail, the Oregon Trail, and the California Trail. A group of Mormons settled there in 1831, and the city is the world headquarters of the Community of Christ (formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints). Independence was the home of President Harry S. Truman and is the seat of the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, on whose grounds the former president is buried. Other points of interest include the old county jail and museum (1859; restored); the old county courthouse (1825; restored); and nearby Fort Osage (1808; reconstructed). Park Univ. has a campus in Independence.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.