|Cass County, Missouri|
Location in the state of Missouri
Missouri's location in the U.S.
703 sq mi (1,821 km²)
699 sq mi (1,810 km²)
4 sq mi (10 km²), 0.52%
117/sq mi (45/km²)
Cass County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. As of 2000, the population was 82,092. Its county seat is Harrisonville6. The county was organized in 1835 as Van Buren County, renamed in 1848 after Michigan U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Lewis Cass.
Cass is part of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,820 km² (703 sq mi). 1,810 km² (699 sq mi) of it is land and 10 km² (4 sq mi) of it (0.52%) is water.
- Jackson County (north)
- Johnson County (east)
- Henry County (southeast)
- Bates County (south)
- Miami County (west)
- Johnson County (northwest)
As of the census² of 2000, there were 82,092 people, 30,168 households, and 22,988 families residing in the county. The population density was 45/km² (117/sq mi). There were 31,677 housing units at an average density of 18/km² (45/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 95.62% White, 1.42% Black or African American, 0.58% Native American, 0.48% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.50% from other races, and 1.35% from two or more races. 2.21% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. (See also Race)
There were 30,168 households out of which 38.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.60% were married couples living together, 9.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.80% were non-families. 20.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.09.
In the county the population was spread out with 28.40% under the age of 18, 7.30% from 18 to 24, 30.20% from 25 to 44, 22.30% from 45 to 64, and 11.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 95.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.90 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $49,562, and the median income for a family was $55,258. Males had a median income of $39,001 versus $26,174 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,073. About 4.20% of families and 5.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.00% of those under age 18 and 5.20% of those age 65 or over.
The Kansa tribal range extended southward from the Kansas-Missouri River junction as far as the northern edge of Bates County, Missouri, taking in the sites of modern Pleasant Hill, Garden City, Archie and Drexel. On their southeastern border they were neighbors of the Osage, although there is no evidence that either of these tribes ever had a truly permanent settlement in the territory of Cass County.
At early camp meetings southwest of Harrisonville after the white man came, as many as five hundred Indians were often in attendance and seemed to enjoy religious services as much as the whites, with whom they mingled on such occasions. These Indians were reportedly Shawnees and Delawares, both of Algonquian linguistic stock.
In 1818 a grant of land in southern Missouri was made to some Delawares, but it was re-ceded by them in 1825, and most of them moved to a reservation in Kansas, while others had previously gone to Texas. Those who remained in the Harrisonville area were close relatives of the Sauk, Fox and Kickapoo tribes.
The first white settler on the site of modern Harrisonville was James Lackey, in 1830. Others early settlers were Humphrey Hunt, John Blythe and Dr. Joseph Hudspeth. Lackey was considered a "squatter", as he built a cabin and enclosed a small field on the tract of public land taken for county seat purposes.
Site of the town was fixed under an act of the Missouri General Assembly in 1835, by David Waldo of Lafayette County and Samual Hink and William Brown, both of Jackson County. In the same year, the first court met for the county, known as Van Buren County. The Justices James McClellan and William Savage, met in McClellan's residence about three miles southeast of Peculiar on September 14, 1835. William Lyon was appointed clerk of the court and county government was organized , included the setting up of Grand River Township.
In the spring of 1837 the town of Harrisonville was located by Enoch Rice, Francis Prine and Welcome Scott, who had been appointed commissioners by the state legislature in the winter of 1836. These commissioners in company with Matin Rice, the county surveyor, met at the home of John Cook on April 3, 1837 and finally decided on Lackey's pre-emption claim. In May they laid off the town in lots 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the northeast and northwest quarters of Section 4, Township 44N., Range 31W. Within these 160 acres there were to be four streets: Wall and Pearl running east to west, Lexington and Independence going north and south, each less than forty feet wide. Fleming Harris was appointed as town commissioner on April 8, 1837. The first town lots were sold on June 12 of that year; those facing the public square sold at $20 each, the others at $10.
"Democrat" was strongly urged as a name for the new town but was finally rejected. Instead, the town was named after Albert G. Harrison, a U.S. representative from Missouri.
On October 8, 1835 the first Harrisonville church was organized in the county two miles southwest of town known as Hopewell or New Hope Baptist.
The first house within the town was erected by Jason L. Dickey in 1836.
The first jail in Harrisonville and second for the county was established in 1838. Its site was 312 S. Independence. One of its successors is listed among the state's historic sites.
Harrisonville eventually was served by railroad lines presently known as the Missouri Pacific and the Frisco. Railroad construction was responsible for the notorious "Gunn City Massacre", the background of which began in 1857, Cass County approved a large stock subscription for the Pacific Railroad Company. This corporation later surrendered the bonds to the new Saint Louis and Santa Fe Railroad, from whence they were still later assigned to the Land Grant Railroad & Construction Company of New York. Citizens of Cass County sought by injunction to prevent the funding of these bonds, but by legal maneuvering and collusion, a new set of bonds was issued secretly. Three men, who helped to perpetrate this swindle , including the county attorney and a judge of the county court, were shot on April 24, 1872 while on board a Katy railroad spur between Bryson, Missouri and Paola, Kansas, now known as Gunn City.
The year before the Civil War, twelve cities in Missouri had population of approx. 2500 or more. Harrisonville ranked 37th with a population of 675. In 1863 the town was depopulated, and most of the buildings burned, the jail among them . Fort Harrisonville was a Union stronghold for a brief period in 1863 and provided protection for loyal Union families.
Cities and towns
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