Independence, Kansas

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Independence is a city in and the county seat of Montgomery County, Kansas, United States.[3] The population was 9,846 at the 2000 census.



Independence is located at 37°13′42″N 95°42′41″W / 37.22833°N 95.71139°W / 37.22833; -95.71139 (37.228251, -95.711392)[4], along the Verdigris River just south of its confluence with the Elk River. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.0 square miles (12.9 km²), all of it land.

Area events

  • Independence hosts the annual Halloween "Neewollah" festival in late October.[5]

Area attractions

  • Independence Community College is home to the William Inge Center for the Arts,[6] which maintains the archives of playwright William Inge (an alumnus), utilizes the writer's boyhood home for a playwrights-in-residence program, and sponsors the annual William Inge Festival. Each year during the festival a lifetime achievement award is bestowed on a nationally-recognized American playwright.
  • The State of Kansas designated the childhood home of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Ingalls family at Independence as a historic site, which is open to visitors. It is the location from which the events of the book Little House on the Prairie take place. It includes a cabin modeled after the original and the post office that was originally located at nearby Wayside, Kansas. The Sunnyside School, a one room schoolhouse that was moved to the site is also featured. Much of the surrounding countryside retains its open and undeveloped nature. It is located on the William Kurtis Ranch about 13 miles southwest of downtown Independence.[7]
  • Miss Able, a rhesus monkey, was born at Ralph Mitchell Zoo. Miss Able along with Miss Baker, a squirrel monkey, became the first animals to fly in space and return alive on May 28, 1959.
  • At the 1964 New York World's Fair, Sinclair Oil sponsored a dinosaur exhibit, featuring life size replicas of nine different dinosaurs. On flatbed trucks they toured the United States. Sinclair was acquired by Atlantic Richfield (ARCO). After the acquisition by ARCO, one of the nine dinosaurs, the Corythosaurus was donated to Riverside Park.

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