About Independence, Kansas
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In 1869, a band of men set out to find a favorable spot to live and become the founders of a new city. They eventually reached the banks of the Verdigris River to a place now known as Independence, Kansas. As they explored along the banks of the Verdigris, through the magnificent valley which skirts it on either side, they realized that here was the foundation for a rich and prosperous agriculture, the basis and support for a thriving city.
By 1872, a branch of the railroad was completed to the town and while Independence suffered disappointment in the first instance of railroad building, it was not to be left without the advantages of an institution of this kind, cost what it should. As early as March 20,1872, Independence had grown to a population of 2382.
Land rich with agriculture and oil brought many to Independence, along with the added benefit of the railroad. Legend has it that in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Independence had more millionaires per capita than any place in the United States.
You can find Independence to the north and east of the exact geographical center of Montgomery County, on the west bank of the Verdigris River sitting at the intersection of Highways 75 and 160 in Southeast Kansas.
For additional information on the history of Independence, Kansas, read:
"History of Montgomery County" by L.W. Duncan, 1903, at the Public Library in Independence.
"Who's Who" by Charles C. Drake, a history of Kansas and Montgomery County, published by the Coffeyville Journal Press, 1943.