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About Jackson County

The History of Jackson County, Missouri
Source: Drury University

In the earliest days of recorded history, French trappers traveled the river and learned the secrets from the Osage Indians who first called this land home. Kansas City which was established as the Town of Kansas, was named after the Kanza Indians which inhabited the area along with the Hopewell, Shawnee, and Delaware tribes. In 1803, what is now Jackson County became United States territory, a part of the most valuable property deal in history, the Louisiana Purchase. 

The state of Missouri was admitted to the Union in 1821. In the same year, Francois Chouteau, a French fur trader from St. Louis, arrived in the region. He created an American Fur Company at Kawsmouth (where the Kaw runs from the Missouri). But 5 years later, the post was destroyed by a flood. He never left the area and moved upriver into Missouri along what is now Troost Ave. At this time, Jackson County was not part of the state, but the treaty of 1826 added this land at a cost of $800.00. Townships were surveyed in 1826, and in 1827 the county was formed and named for our seventh president, Andrew Jackson. On December 15, 1826, the Missouri General Assembly organized Jackson County. 

In 1838, a small piece of land was bought along the Missouri River in northern Jackson County by the "Town Company," which established "Westport Landing" (today Westport). The area outside of Westport Landing was renamed the "Town of Kansas," after the local Kanza Indians, in 1839. The town was incorporated by the State of Missouri as the "City of Kansas" in 1853. In 1889, with a population of around 60,000, the city adopted a new charter and changed its name to Kansas City. In 1897, Kansas City annexed Westport.

The county features prominently in the History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Joseph Smith, Jr. taught that the Garden of Eden was located in what is now Jackson County

During the Civil War, most of the county (except the portion known then as "Kaw Township" - today the heart of Kansas City) was burned to the ground General Order No. 11 (1863).

Today, with more than 650,000 residents living within its 611 square miles, the county is home to 37% of the metropolitan area's residents, 42% of its jobs and more than 50% of its top employers. Jackson County is among the leading Kansas City area counties that continues to add population. 

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My name is LaRae Halsey-Brooks, and my daughter, Eireann Brooks, and I are the Co-Coordinators for the Jackson County MOGenWeb Project.

Once again, our Sincere THANK YOU to Terry Parcel, the previous Jackson County Coordinator. Terry's years of dedicated work has been preserved on these pages, and has graciously offered to continue records transcriptions in the future....THANKS, Terry....8-)

We hope you enjoy your visit and please check back often for new information on your Jackson County families.


LaRae & Eireann

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Jackson County Co-Coordinators:
LaRae Halsey-Brooks & Eireann Brooks

This page was last updated January 23, 2022.


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