|— City —|
|• Mayor||Rick Mott|
|• Total||7.75 sq mi (20.07 km2)|
|• Land||7.74 sq mi (20.05 km2)|
|• Water||0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)|
|Elevation||804 ft (245 m)|
|• Estimate (2011)||9,332|
|• Density||1,225.2/sq mi (473.1/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||0469414|
Independence was settled on land that was purchased from the Osage Indians in September, 1869 by George A. Brown for the price of $50, and on August, 21st of 1869 a group of Oswego, Kansas men led by R.W. Wright settled there with the intent to make Independence the county seat. E.E. Wilson and F.D. Irwin opened the first store in October of 1869, Wilson & Irwin Groceries.
Independence is located at , 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 7.75 square miles (20.07 km2), of which, 7.74 square miles (20.05 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.(37.228251, -95.711392)
2010 census 
As of the census of 2010, there were 9,483 people, 3,950 households, and 2,430 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,225.2 inhabitants per square mile (473.1 /km2). There were 4,528 housing units at an average density of 585.0 per square mile (225.9 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 84.2% White, 6.5% African American, 1.6% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 2.3% from other races, and 4.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.5% of the population.
There were 3,950 households out of which 33.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.9% were married couples living together, 14.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 38.5% were non-families. 33.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.95.
The median age in the city was 36.9 years. 26% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.5% were from 25 to 44; 24.9% were from 45 to 64; and 15.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.4% male and 51.6% female.
2000 census 
As of the census of 2000, there were 9,846 people, 4,149 households, and 2,609 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,979.4 people per square mile (764.9/km²). There were 4,747 housing units at an average density of 954.3 per square mile (368.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 87.00% White, 7.17% African American, 1.16% Native American, 0.62% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.10% from other races, and 2.95% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.84% of the population.
There were 4,149 households out of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.8% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.1% were non-families. 32.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32, and the average family size was 2.93.
In the city the population was spread out, with 25.7% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 26.1% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to 64, and 18.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $29,574, and the median income for a family was $37,134. Males had a median income of $26,552 versus $20,017 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,496. About 11.4% of families and 13.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.7% of those under age 18 and 13.2% of those age 65 or over.
Primary and secondary education 
- Independence High School, grades 9-12
- Independence Middle School, grades 6-8
- Jefferson Elementary School, grades 3-5
- Eisenhower Elementary School, grades Pre-K-2
- Zion Lutheran School, grades Pre-K-8
- St. Andrews School, grades Pre-K-8
- Independence Bible School, grades Pre-K-12
- Tri-County Education Co-operative, special education, all grades
- Sunflower Academy - Child Care Learning Center - Ages 2–5
Community college 
The Independence Community College main campus is located two miles south of the city. ICC West Campus is located in the city one mile west of the downtown. Each semester, over 1000 students are enrolled at ICC and about 100 people work there, making the College population an important contributor to the local economy as well as a significant portion of the people traveling about town.
Independence is located at the intersection of US-75 and US-160. Rail freight service is provided by the Union Pacific Railroad and South Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad. The Independence Municipal Airport (IDP) is located 5 miles (8.0 km) southwest of the center of the city.
Area events 
- Neewollah Festival, annual Halloween festival in late October. Neewollah is halloween spelled backwards.
Area attractions 
- Independence Community College is home to the William Inge Center for the Arts, 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 near Independence as a historic site; it is open to visitors. It is the location where the Charles Ingalls family resided between 1869-1871 and is described in his daughter Laura Ingalls Wilder's book Little House on the Prairie. 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. Then located on the Osage reservation, the property is now within the boundaries of the William Kurtis Ranch about 13 miles southwest of downtown Independence.
- Miss Able, a rhesus monkey, was born at Ralph Mitchell Zoo. Miss Able along with Miss Baker, a squirrel monkey, became the first monkeys 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.
- The Independence Public Library was the winner of the 2012 Best Small Library in America award through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Library Journal.
Notable people 
- Sheila C. Bair, former Chairwoman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
- Gerry Bamman, actor
- Donald Graham Burt, Academy Award winning production designer
- Jim Halsey, American artist manager, agent, and impresario
- Sherman Halsey, music video producer and director, talent agent
- Scott Hastings, NBA basketball player
- William Wadsworth Hodkinson, founded Paramount Pictures and ventured into commercial aviation
- Lyman U. Humphrey, newspaper editor, banker, 7th governor of Kansas
- William Inge, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Academy Award-winning screenwriter
- Bill Kurtis, television journalist
- Alf Landon, 1936 Republican presidential candidate, 26th governor of Kansas
- Mary Howard de Liagre, actress
- Dave McGinnis, NFL coach
- Gareth Porter, historian, journalist and author
- Derek Schmidt, current Attorney General of Kansas
- Harry F. Sinclair, founder of Sinclair Oil
- Ron Warner, NFL football player
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "2010 City Population and Housing Occupancy Status". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved March 6, 2011.
- Sherwood, Leon (1970). Official Centennial History of Independence, KS, p. 6. Independence Centennial Inc.
- Sherwood, Leon (1970). Official Centennial History of Independence, KS, p. 7. Independence Centennial Inc.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- Wiliam Inge Center for the Arts
- "Little House on the Prairie Website"
- Best Small Library in America 2012
- Independence Daily Reporter, February 23, 2009, p. 1
Further reading 
- Brown, Ken D. A Guide to Historic Homes in Independence, Kansas Independence: Tribune, 1993.
- Montgomery County
- Humphrey, Lyman U. History of Montgomery County, Kansas. Iola: Duncan, 1903.
- History of the State of Kansas; William G. Cutler; A.T. Andreas Publisher; 1883. (Online HTML eBook)
- Kansas : A Cyclopedia of State History, Embracing Events, Institutions, Industries, Counties, Cities, Towns, Prominent Persons, Etc; 3 Volumes; Frank W. Blackmar; Standard Publishing Co; 944 / 955 / 824 pages; 1912. (Volume1 - Download 54MB PDF eBook),(Volume2 - Download 53MB PDF eBook), (Volume3 - Download 33MB PDF eBook)
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