The beginning of modern Kansas City, Missouri, dates back to the 1830s, once John McCoy founded the negotiation of Westport in ~ what is now Westport Road and also Pennsylvania Avenue. McCoy chose this area to open up an outfitting save for pioneers top top the Santa Fe Trail. He then created a river boat landing top top the bluffs at the bending in the Missouri River, simply two miles north of his settlement. This Westport Landing was associated to the settlement of Westport by road and sparked development in the area.

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1850s drawing of Westport Landing top top the south financial institution of the Missouri River.

A team of 14 investors, consisting of McCoy, formed the Town firm in 1838 to buy up residential or commercial property along the riverfront. This area had Westport Landing and also in 1850 was integrated as the city of Kansas. City founders obtained the name from the Kansas, or Kaw, river which was named for the Kansa Indians. The state the Missouri then integrated the area as the City that Kansas in 1853 and renamed the Kansas City in 1889. John McCoy’s settlement, the old city of Westport, was linked by Kansas City, Missouri, top top December 2, 1897.


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Portrait of man McCoy, one of the founders of Westport and Kansas City, Missouri.

During this time, various other settlements were developing across the river on the Kansas side in Wyandotte County. Few of these small towns incorporated as Kansas City, Kansas, in 1872. By specify name this town after the cultivation city ~ above the Missouri next of the state line, city leaders in Kansas to be able come capitalize top top the success of Kansas City, Missouri. That also feasible that the people in Wyandotte county felt the they had an ext right come the surname “Kansas City” than the people of Missouri had.


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1837 map mirroring the aboriginal American reservations west the the Missouri border. This area became part of the Kansas are in 1854.

Today Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri, stay two separately incorporated cities but together, along with a number of other cities and suburbs, as part of the Kansas City city area.

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1961 map the the higher Kansas City area reflecting the city"s growth outward indigenous the Missouri and Kansas rivers.

Continue exploring local history:The Pendergast years | Civil war on the western Border