Independence, MO

The historic Bingham-Waggoner Home and Estate from 1850 is open to the public and hosts events including weddings

CJ Coombs
Bingham-Waggoner Home and Estate, Independence, Missouri.Photo byMelissa Kothe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Bingham-Waggoner Home and Estate is located at 313 West Pacific in Independence, Missouri. This house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 22, 1980.

The estate is on a little over 19 acres of land. There's the main house, a barn, and a stable. The house is three stories tall. The architectural design was initially an Italian Villa in 1850, and in 1899, it was remodeled. It's generally Italianate but has a blend of other styles. The whole structure contains a porch all around it.

This house had been associated with artist, George Caleb Bingham, the Santa Fe Trail, and the Waggoner-Gates Milling Company of Independence, Missouri.

George Caleb Bingham

George Caleb Bingham (b. Mar. 20, 1811, d. July 7, 1879) bought the house and property of about five acres in August 1864. In 1865, Bingham purchased an additional 17.5 acres. Fans of the American genre art will be familiar with Bingham's work. Bingham's artwork, The Jolly Flatboatmen, was acquired by the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. in 2015.

Aside from being a great American artist, Bingham was also a captain in the Union Army under Robert T. Van Horn of Kansas City. He also was state treasurer under the Union government. When he retired from that in 1864, he went to Independence. He began serving on the Independence School Board in 1869. He did paint while living in Independence. In 1870, Bingham and his wife, Eliza, relocated to Kansas City.

In 1897, William and Peter Waggoner purchased the Bingham property (this was also the year Bingham died). Peter owned the Waggoner Flour Mill in Independence and when he retired, his son took over the business. He had a business partner named George Porterfield Gates. Interestingly, it would be Gates' granddaughter, Elizabeth Virginia Wallace (Bess), who would end up marrying Harry S. Truman, the country's 33rd President.

The Waggoner family has lived in the residence ever since its purchase with heirs continuing to reside there. The Waggoners remodeled the home in 1899. A stable and barn was added, and the outbuilding Bingham had used for a studio was taken down during the remodeling.

Other points of interest to visit if you visit the Bingham-Waggoner Estate are listed below:

  • Truman Presidential Library
  • Harry and Bess Truman's home
  • 1859 Jail & Marshall's home
  • National Frontier Museum
  • Chicago & Alton Depot
  • Vaile Mansion
The Waggoner family continued to live in this home until 1976, when Harry K. Waggoner died.  In 1979, a group of private citizens, in cooperation with the City of Independence, purchased the 19.5-acre tract for a museum and public park. (Source.)

Today, the estate is open to the public, including events such as weddings. The below video displays some of the history as well as interior views of the estate.

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Multi-genre writer and author/publisher with a BA in Eng Journalism/Creative Writing. I worked in law firms for 30+ years and retired early to pursue writing. I was born into the Air Force, so you could say I'm from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, research, history, true crime, reading, art, and travel.

Kansas City, MO

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