A Quick History of Jefferson County Missouri

The Early Years

The very first known European explorers were French trappers who used the Missouri River with Native American tribes as a highway for trading and quests. Until the British success in the French and Indian War in 1763 resulted in the cession of the territory Jackson County was an element of New France.

Explorers Merriwether Lewis and William Clark passed through Jackson County on their well-known Lewis and Clark expedition. Among other things, their report suggested a high, controlling spot” along the river inside the present borders of Jackson County that in 1808 became Fort Osage. This stockade and trading post was one among the first U.S. military installations within the Louisiana purchase territory, and stayed active until 1822.

Jackson County became part of the recently admitted state of Missouri. On the other hand, the rapid increase in growth and Westward quest made Independence the starting point the California Trail, the Oregon Trail as well as the Santa Fe Trail. Together with the coming of the railways as well as the American Civil War, Independence was eclipsed by nearby Kansas City, though both towns stay county seats.

In 1838, a little parcel of land was purchased along the Missouri River in northern Jackson County from the “Town Company,” which created “Westport Landing” (now the River Market district). The region beyond Westport Landing was renamed the “Town of Kansas,” after the neighborhood Kanza Native Americans, in 1839. Having a population of around 60,000, the, in 1889 city adopted name to Kansas its new charter and changed In 1897, Westport was annexed by Kansas City.

The Latter Day Saints

Jackson County figures conspicuously in the annals of the Latter Day Saint movement. Although formed in upstate New York in March 1831, in 1830 Joseph Smith said that the location on the Missouri Kansas boundary was to function as the latterday New Jerusalem together with the middle area situated in Independence, the County Seat. Traveling to the place in the Summer of 1831, some associates and Smith officially proclaimed Jackson County as the site, in a service in August 1831.

Members and leaders of the Latter Day Saint movement started moving to Jackson County when word of the August 1831 dedication ceremony was printed. Open clash with earlier settlers ensued, driven by ethnic and spiritual differences, as well as the understanding by pro-slavery Missourians the Yankee Mormons were abolitionists. Vigilantes in the private and public sector used force to drive individual Angels from Jackson finally, Latter Day Saints were given before the end of November 6, 1833 to leave at the county. On November 23, 1833, the few staying Mormon residents were ordered to leave Jackson County. By mid-1839, following the Missouri Mormon War, Mormons were driven in the state entirely, never to go back to Missouri or Jackson County in significant amounts until 1867.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or LDS Church (the biggest of the Latter Day Saint churches) includes a powerful presence in the county at the same time, though its headquarters can be found in Salt Lake City, Utah. Joseph Smith prophesied that the temple will be constructed in Independence.

The Civil War

Throughout the Civil War, Jackson County was the scene of many battles, the most famous of which was the Battle of Westport, occasionally called “the Gettysburg of Missouri,” in 1864. The critical Union victory led to the failure of Confederate General Sterling Price’s Missouri expedition, and here established Northern control of Missouri. Other notable conflicts were fought in Independence in 1862, Lone Jack a few days after, and in Independence in 1864. All three conflicts resulted in Confederate successes.

Jackson County was greatly influenced by Union General Thomas Ewing’s infamous General Order No. 11 (1863). With active Confederate operations in the region a regular occurrence, and large amounts of Confederate sympathisers residing within its borders, the Union order was discovered to deprive Confederate bushwhackers of local support. The rural parts of the county virtually emptied, and resulted in the burning of substantial parts of adjoining counties and Jackson. In accordance with American artist George Caleb Bingham, himself a resident of Kansas City at that time, one could see the “compact columns of smoke originating in every way”, emblematic of what he termed “a callous military despotism which spared neither age, sex, nature, nor state”. The heritage of Ewing’s “imbecilic” order haunted Jackson County for decades following the war.

The Twentieth Century

The coming of the building as well as the railways of stockyards resulted in the accelerated growth of Kansas City in the late 19th century. During the 1920s and ’30s, the city became the headquarters of Hallmark Cards, in addition to a famous center for Jazz and Blues music as well as the positioning of Walt Disney’s first cartoon studio.

Suburban sprawl became part of the landscape War II as well as other workers moved into new houses being constructed in subdivisions that encroached on rural parts of the county of Jackson County. Lee’s Summit, Blue Springs and independence experienced increase in this time, which continues to the present. Kansas City, on the other hand, experienced the difficulties of urban decay that afflicted many big American cities in this time.