INDEPENDENCE, a city and the county-seat of Jackson county, Missouri, U.S.A., 3 m. S. of the Missouri river and 10 m. E. of Kansas City. Pop. (1890) 6380, (1900) 6974, of whom 937 were negroes. The city is served by the Missouri Pacific, the Chicago & Alton, and the Kansas City Southern railways, and by an electric line and fine boulevard to Kansas City. It is situated about 1000 ft. above the sea, and is surrounded by a fertile agricultural district. The city has a small public square (surrounding the court-house) and a public library, and is the seat of St Mary's Academy, under the control of the Sisters of Mercy. Among its manufactures are farming implements, flour and lumber. The municipality owns its electric lighting plant. Independence was laid out as a town and chosen as the county-seat in 1827, first chartered as a city in 1849 and made a city of the third-class in 1889. About 150x3 Mormons, attracted by the " revelation " that this was to be a Zion, settled in and about Independence in 1831 and 1832. They contemplated building their chief temple about % m. W. of the site of the present court house, but in 1833 (partly because they invited free negroes to join them) were expelled by the " gentile " inhabitants of Independence. In 1867 a settlement of about 1 50 Hedrickites, or members of the " Church of Jesus Christ " (organized in Illinois in 1835), came here and secretly bought up parts of the " Temple Lot." The heirs of the settlers of 1831-1832 conveyed the lot by deed to the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (with headquarters at Lamoni, Iowa), which brought suit against the Hedrickites, but in 1894 the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided the case on the ground of laches in favour of the Hedrickites, who fifteen years afterwards had nearly died out. In 1867-1869 a few families belonging to the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (monogamists) settled in Independence, and in 1908 their church here had about 2000 members. Besides a large church building, they have here a printing establishment, from which is issued the weekly Zion's Ensign (founded in 1891), and the " Independence Sanitarium " (completed in 1908). The faithful Mormons still look to Independence as the Zion of the church. In 1907 a number of Mormons from Utah settled here, moving the headquarters of the " Central States' Mission " from Kansas City to Independence, and founded a periodical called Liahona, the Elder's Journal. From about 1831 to 1844, when its river landing was destroyed by flood, Independence was the headquarters and outfitting point of the extensive caravan trains for the Santa Fe, Oregon and Old Salt Lake trails. During the Civil War about 300 Federals under Lieut.-Colonel D.H.Buel, occupying the town, were captured on the 16th of August 1862 by Colonel Hughes in command of 1500 Confederates, and on the 22nd of October 1864 a part of General Sterling Price's Confederate army was defeated a few miles E. of Independence by General Alfred Pleasonton.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)