Independence Travel Guide: 54 reviews and 134 photos

Harry Truman’s spirit is ever-present in Independence. His home is a part of the National Park system; there is a large Presidential Library/Museum; you drive into downtown Independence from Kansas City to the west on Truman Road; a large building commemorating WWI veterans just off the main courthouse square bears his name; a pamphlet describes a special walking trail that takes you past several buildings and sites that either had an impact on Truman’s life or that he had on that site. There are plenty of other witnesses in town to their most famous native as well. Not bad for a President who left office in 1952 with a favor ability rating of under 30%. Maybe Midland, Texas will be like this in 50 years from now with GW sites all over town to visit?

As you approach the town of Harry Truman from the west you also notice a gleaming spire and a large copper domed building just west of the main downtown area. These are the headquarters buildings of the community of Christ, the second largest church evolving from the Mormon tradition. While they are the most obvious branch of the Mormon tree here in Independence, they are far from the only one for it was here on a plot of ground - the so-called Temple Lot - between the two large Community of Christ buildings where Joseph Smith revealed to the faithful that Jesus would return here at the time of the Second Coming. The ground was the supposed site for the original Garden of Eden - according again to Smith. The Mormon faith underwent traumatic fractures at the time of Smith’s murder in Carthage, Illinois in 1844. Here in Independence, the aftermath of those layers of schismata can be uncovered.

  • Last visit to Independence: Apr 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (22)

Comments (3)

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Aug 3, 2009 at 4:04 PM

    Great depiction of the city as a suburb of KC. There is a lot to do out there, and I have been to the temple some times, and the big one in Utah. They are great and reverent

  • karenincalifornia's Profile Photo
    Jun 29, 2008 at 7:49 PM

    Interesting historical account of the Mormon church and all its schisms in this area. I have never been there, but my family says we will all move there some day. I'll book an advance reservation at that Olive Branch Inn.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    May 15, 2008 at 3:07 AM

    Between the Truman sites and the Mormon sites (and the organ concerts), Independence seems to have a lot to offer in the way of history. Thanks for your detailed descriptions.


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