In 1861 General James Lane led his Jayhawkers out of Kansas into the rolling hills of a future Grandview taking over the farm of Solomon Young, Harry Truman’s grandfather and ardent Unionist. The troops slaughtered 400 hogs and forced his grandmother to bake them biscuits while they shot her chickens.
Grandview began as a modest farming community called Anderson District named in honor of John Anderson, the owner of the only general store in the area, also a friend of You
ng’s. In the late 1800s, the farmers grew fed up with the day long trip to the nearest post office. Inspired by the landscape from the steps of his General Store, Anderson, Young and friend Ervin Wallingford declared it a grand view—and in 1912 a city was born.
Harry Truman grew up on his grandfather’s beloved 600-acre farm in Grandview. He was there when Grandview became a city and got its own post office. In 1917, he left to fight in World War I. When he came back after the Armistice he started on the path to the White House. But he always recalled the pleasant times he had in Grandview. 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 the small room where Harry Truman gazed out over the rolling hills of Grandview.
A Growing Grandview
In 1912, Grandview became a railroad 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. The original depot is still in Grandview next to Grandview City Hall and adjacent to Freedom Park. Grandview Historical Society maintains the building, now known as the Depot Museum, filled with a artifacts, displays, historical photographs, antiques, and an authentically furnished station agent's office.
Over the decades, Grandview grew from railroads to runways.Grandview became a proud military town when the
United States Air Force leased Grandview Air Force Base, later renamed Richards-Gebaur AFB. With it came a surge of military personnel and their families. Right behind them a construction boom. Grandview built its first major shopping center, Truman Corners, which Harry Truman himself dedicated. For decades Grandview enjoyed the comforts of what comes with being a military town; steady construction, thriving businesses and engaged residents, but nothing lasts forever. The department of defense closed Richards-Gebaur and transferred its personnel to Whiteman AFB in Central Missouri. The last military aircraft departed Richards-Gebaur on 12 June 1994.
Building Tomorrow's Community
Despite decades of stagnant growth and the Great Recession, Grandview never gave up. Our city is now blossoming into a vibrant, growing, 21st century community. More importantly, we survived without mortgaging our future. Grandview is recognized as a sustainable, walkable community for all ages with a diverse population and is the fastest-growing city in Jackson County. Grandview is Building Tomorrow’s Community.