County Historical Sites 
County History 1826-2007

On December 15, 1826, the Missouri State Legislature authorized the "County of Jackson," named after the seventh president of the United States of America, Andrew Jackson. Two years later, the first courthouse was built in Independence by Daniel P. Lewis for $150.

In 1836 the first permanent, brick Jackson County Courthouse was erected on Independence Square in Independence, the County Seat. That building, now commonly known as the "Truman Courthouse" has since undergone five major remodels.

Explore in detail more than 180 years of Jackson County history.

In 1926, Harry S. Truman was elected Presiding Judge of Jackson County and was instrumental in voter approval of a major bond issue that made possible the adoption of a County "Ten Year Plan." The plan called for a new courthouse in downtown Kansas City plus remodeling of the Independence Courthouse, a juvenile center, improvements at the Jackson County home, and modernization of roads and bridges.

President Harry Truman left a decorating legacy behind that began in Kansas City. In fact, his design savvy helped make Kansas City become known as the nation's top 10 city for art deco buildings. Truman traveled the country at his own expense to locate a design for the courthouse, which he found in Louisiana. The Jackson County Courthouse still stands tall and remains a well-known landmark in Kansas City.

Construction of this 300-ft. building began July 17, 1933. The courthouse was dedicated in 1934, the same year that Truman left County government to become a U.S. Senator. Harry S. Truman went on to become the United States 33rd President.


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