Saving the Truman Courthouse
At 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 7, 2013, the iconic clock atop the Historic Jackson County Truman Courthouse chimed for the first time in a generation as hundreds of citizens converged on Independence Square to join County Executive Mike Sanders, United States Senator Roy Blunt, former Congressman Ike Skelton and Independence Mayor Don Reimal for the building's grand reopening.
That hour was chosen purposely, for it marked the exact hour in which Harry Truman rededicated the same courthouse September 7, 1933 following the extensive renovations he supervised that year as the county's Presiding Judge.
The restored 2013 Truman Courthouse has something the building previously never had before-an elevator allowing full access to every floor.
The national landmark is also once again a "working courthouse," housing offices for Jackson County’s Assessment, Collections and Recorder of Deeds Departments, as well as the Independence Tourism Department and Jackson County Historical Society. The courthouse's second floor now showcases the new Jackson County Museum of Art, featuring more than 2 dozen paintings by renowned 19th Century artist George Caleb Bingham.
Harry Truman's original office and courtroom, where he oversaw the day-to-day operations of Jackson County in the late 1920s and early '30s, has been historically preserved - as has the Brady Courtroom. Dating back to the original construction in 1836, the Brady Courtroom represents the oldest part of the building. Judge Joseph J. Brady presided over the courtroom as Jackson County 6th District Magistrate Court Judge from 1947 to 1972.
New Courthouse Grounds
Listed on the National Register of Historic places since 1972, the courthouse also now features the City of Independence Visitor Experience Center and the Jackson County Historical Society Local History Center and Bookshop.
The surrounding grounds feature statues of United States Presidents Harry S Truman and Andrew Jackson. Other markers commemorate pioneers, the Civil War, and the migration west. The Santa Fe, California and Oregon Trails marked Independence Square as their starting point.