on the south bank of the Missouri River, near the western edge of the state, Independence,
was originally called home to the Kanza
who called the area Big Spring. Few towns its size can claim such a rich history. The first explorers to
the area were the Spanish, followed by the French. The region became
American territory with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
Lewis and Clark recorded in their
journals that they stopped here to pick plums, raspberries, and wild
apples. On August 10, 1821, Missouri became a state and through the
Treaties of 1825 with the Osage
and Kanza Indians
the U.S. government took control of the area. Jackson County was
organized on December 15, 1826 and the land was opened up for
settlement. Searching for a site for the county seat, the Missouri General Assembly chose Big Spring, and on March 29, 1827 authorities
approved a 160-acre site which became Independence.