For the Love of Mail
Our City's history began as a modest farming community called Anderson District, so named in honor of John Anderson, the owner of the only general store in the area. In the late 1800s, the farmers and other residents of the area made a crucial decision in the development of our town. They were fed up with having to pick up their mail at the post office in Hickman's Mill, which was a full day's trip. They wanted their blossoming area to have a post office all of its own, but before they could request one from Washington, a name for the town had to be chosen.
The Famous Quote
Several names were submitted for the name of our town, but none seemed to fit. One fine day John Anderson called Solomon Young-President Truman's maternal grandfather-and Ervin Wallingford out onto the steps of his general store. Pointing out over the landscape, he declared to his friends, "Isn't that a grand view?" One of the men replied, "That's it! That's the name. Let's name the town Grandview." And so our town finally got its name...and a post office conveniently located in John Anderson's store on Fifth and Main Street.
When Harry Met Bess
During the early 1900s, a young Harry S. Truman spent nearly 14 years of his life on his family's beloved 600-acre farm in Grandview. During his time here Harry made quite an impact on the newly incorporated Village, organizing the Grandview Masonic Lodge #618, taking over the job of road overseer after his father's death in 1914, and serving on the local school board. Like the other early residents of Grandview, Harry also had a passion for the mail and served as postmaster of Grandview in 1915...though his love of letters may have been for reasons other than public service. From inside a small room in the Grandview farm home, Harry wrote letters to his sweetheart Bess Wallace, a girl he met during his school years in the nearby town of Independence. Their exchange continued while Harry served overseas as a Captain in World War I. In May of 1919 he returned home to Bess, and the couple married soon after on June 28, 1919 in Independence. Though he moved in with Bess and her widowed mother at that time, Harry kept his ties to Grandview. After he became the 33rd President of the United States, Harry S. Truman originally planned to build his Presidential Library in Grandview, though politics and events changed his plans and the "Truman Library" was eventually built in Independence. His family's home, now known as the Truman Farm Home, still stands in Grandview and is maintained by The National Park Service. Visitors come from across the country to see this piece of history, as well as that small room where Harry Truman gazed out over the rolling hills of Grandview, composing affectionate letters to his future wife.
In 1912, Grandview became a railroad division point and terminal for Kansas City Southern. The new transportation source brought an influx of people into the town, and by 1929 Grandview had grown into a city of 700 residents. A landmark of our town's history, the original Depot remains in our town, located right next to Grandview City Hall adjacent to Freedom Park. Maintained by the Grandview Historical Society, the Depot Museum houses artifacts, displays, historical photographs, antiques, and the authentically furnished station agent's office. Plus, explore the Union Pacific caboose right outside of the doors. It's a great place for kids to learn and adults to reminisce! Admission is only $1.00 for adults, and children under 12 get in free. Open Saturdays 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM...or arrange a special tour by calling (816) 761-6271 or (816) 322-3736.