Independence, MO

The historical Jackson County Truman Courthouse in Independence, Missouri offers tours

CJ Coombs

Correction: A previous statement indicating the Truman Courthouse does not have county offices has been corrected.
Jackson County Courthouse, Independence, MO.Source: TheCatalyst31 with modifications by Kbh3rd, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons.
In 1821, Jackson County became part of the newly admitted state of Missouri. Jackson County was organized on December 15, 1826, and named for President Andrew Jackson. (Source.)

The City of Independence began years and years ago as a little settlement much like other cities in this state. Over a third of Missouri's counties have courthouses that are over 100 years old. The first courthouse in Independence was a log building built in 1837. The following year, a brick building was constructed.

The historic Truman Courthouse is home to the Jackson County Historical Society. There, you will find a History Center, an art museum, Archives, a Research Center, the Harry S. Truman Office, and the Brady Courtroom which provides guided tours. President Truman used this office in his early political years. The Jackson County Historical Society is located on the first floor and is open to the public.

The architectural style of the courthouse is Colonial Revival. The architect was David F. Wallace. The courthouse is also referred to as the Truman Courthouse. When Truman was a county commissioner, he would go between the Jackson County Courthouse in Independence and the one in Kansas City.

According to the National Park Service, the Truman Courthouse "is the official start of the Oregon Trail, where wagons were outfitted through much of the emigration era."

The historic building houses some county offices, and President Truman's office and Brady Courtroom were renovated and restored.

For over 175 years the site has undergone many changes to the building with major renovations and additions in 1848, 1873, 1887, and 1907--each one changing the clock tower and altering the design. (Source.)

The courthouse was enlarged in 1853. During the Civil War, it was used as a field hospital as two battles moved through Independence Square. The Truman Courthouse was re-dedicated on September 7, 2013.

If you're interested in touring the historical courthouse, according to the JCHS website, please email 24 hours in advance to schedule your appointment.

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Multi-genre writer and indie author with a BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. My working career has been in law firms, and I retired early so I could be a writer all day. You could say I'm from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri because I was born into the Air Force life. I love family, art, reading, history, true crime, travel, and research.

Kansas City, MO

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