The Town Of Independence

Town of Independence

Publication: Merchants of Independence: International Trade on the Santa Fe Trail

Author: William O'Brien

Date of Publication: 2014

PDF File: OBrienWilliamPa_2014_Ch2TheTownOfIndepende_MerchantsOfIndependen.pdf


In March 1827, three state-appointed commissioners created a new town as county seat of Jackson County, selecting a site in the northwest section of the county. This was an unusual choice because state law required that they pick a central location. Instead they selected a knoll surrounded by a number of springs in the watershed between the Big and Little Blue Rivers. They platted the town in July of that year on the Osage Trace (later part of the Santa Fe Trail) about ten miles southwest of Fort Osage.7 Although the record is unclear, officials probably selected the town site because of an existing illegal settlement in the area, its fresh springs, its location on the Santa Fe Trail, and its proximity to the Missouri River. This article relays information on the history of Independence’s businesses and land distribution.