Independence, Missouri - Facts & Figures
Independence is known as the "Queen City of the Trails" because it was a point of departure for the California, Oregon and Santa Fe Trails. Independence was also the hometown of U.S. President Harry S. Truman; the Truman Presidential Library and Museum are located in the city, and Truman and First Lady Bess Truman are buried here. The city is also sacred to many Latter Day Saints, with Joseph Smith's 1831 Temple Lot being located here, as well as the headquarters of several Latter Day Saint factions.
Independence was originally inhabited by Missouri and Osage Indians, followed by the Spanish and a brief French tenure. It became part of the United States with the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. Lewis and Clark recorded in their journals that they stopped in 1804 to pick plums, raspberries, and wild apples at a site that would later form part of the city. Named after the Declaration of Independence, Independence was founded on March 29, 1827, and quickly became an important frontier town. Independence was the farthest point westward on the Missouri River where steamboats or other cargo vessels could travel, due to the convergence of the Kansas River with the Missouri River about six miles west of town, near the current Kansas-Missouri border. Independence immediately became a jumping-off point for the emerging fur trade, accommodating merchants and adventurers beginning the long trek westward on the Santa Fe Trail.
- Population: 117,030
- Industries: Educational Services & Health care, Retail Trade, Manufacturing
- Area Codes: 816
- ZIP Codes: 64050-64057
- Surrounding Cities: Raytown, MO , Kansas City, MO , Blue Springs, MO , Liberty, MO , Gladstone, MO