Wednesday, July 11, 2012


We stayed around Kansas City for a few days following the SkillsUSA competition. We were staying in the Jackson County Park on Blue Lake only about 7 miles from Independence.  Independence, MO, is in Jackson Co.
We’ve visited the Truman Presidential Library so we decided to explore what else is in that interesting area.  We found a place to park right in front of the Clinton Drugstore where Harry Truman worked as a young boy. The soda jerks said they did not serve lunch at Clinton's, but recommended the Courthouse Exchange restaurant about a block away.  Food was good and the history of this spot directly across from the County Courthouse was very rich. 
After lunch we walked back to Clintons and had phosphates, otherwise known as floats.  Tom had a raspberry with chocolate ice cream that tasted like a truffle.  I had an orange with vanilla ice cream and that was like eating an orange bar. 
2012-06-30_14-25-20_822Next we went to the jail museum.  There was so much information about the part of the Civil War referred to as Bleeding Kansas.  This county and three other counties next to the state of Kansas were under the General Order #11 following the Lawrence Kansas massacre in 1863.  The Missouri Bushwhackers would cross the Kansas/Missouri border and raid, murder, and burn towns in Kansas.  Then to retaliate the Kansas Jayhawkers would cross the border and raid, murder, and burn towns in Missouri.  This was going on for several years before the Civil War was even declared.  Missouri was literally split in two states, North and South, with two capitols. Independence was held by the Union. General Order #11 was issued by General Thomas Ewing calling for the evacuation of all residents who would not sign a loyalty oath to the Union. Farms, homes, livestock were all confiscated.  A copy of Gen. Order #11 is displayed in the picture at the left with General Ewing’s picture below.  There was lots of bitterness in the Independence community.  The picture below, painted by George Caleb Bingham, was copied and displayed throughout the state of Missouri, depicting the cruelty of the Union against innocent citizens.

The Sheriff lived in the house next to the jail.  We visited the jail where Frank James, Jesse James’ brother was incarcerated for 6 months. He was regarded as the Robin Hood of Missouri.  So when his friends found out he had turned himself in following Jesse’s murder, they brought him all the comforts of home: a wool carpet, rocking chair, table and lamp, and he ate most of his meals with the sheriff’s family in their quarters.
We drove over to the Bingham House about 1 mile away.  It was closed for the day, but the grounds were open until dusk.  We took a walk around a loop where the wagons departed Independence for the Santa Fe Trail.   The ruts, called swales, still show in the field behind the Bingham House.

We returned the next day to visit the Bingham House.  Our guide was so personable and knowledgeable.  These are some of the rooms we loved seeing.
We left Kansas City (not in our rear view mirror), taking Hwy 435 north.
We passed granddaughter, Jamie’s, favorite park when in Kansas City, Water World.
These are some pretty interesting/scary statues.
We took Hwy 29 north through Sioux City, IA,
past the Monument of the only member of the Corp of Discovery to die on their way to Astoria, Oregon, and back to St Lewis, Sergeant Floyd.
We arrived at the Lions’ Fairground in Sioux Falls, SD.
Why did we decide to park at Sioux Falls?  Tune in next blog.


  1. Nice blog. I love all the history you're absorbing and sharing!

  2. Ditto Sharon's comment. We have got to get out "traveling" mode and get to know the towns we pass from their Main Street and not from freeway exit signs.


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