The enduring legacy of Hiram Young

The story is familiar, replicated by scores of people living and working in Missouri in the 1800s. It goes something like this: a person starts from humble beginnings, takes big risks in moving west to pursue new opportunities, starts simple and builds a trade or business, employs many people, offers essential products or services that make life possible, and in the end not only enjoys success but becomes a benefactor for the common good.
Those stories are common. What is rare is a person who was born into slavery and then did all those things, like Hiram Young.


May 12, 1846

The Donner Party left Independence on this day headed for California. A phony map and bad advice left them stranded in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in winter where they resorted to cannibalism for survival.


1,000 Miles of Missouri’s Most Unique Museums

A Gentle Giantess, a 250-ton boat that flies, and 550 vacuum cleaners


November 25, 1846

Carrie Nation was born. She lived in Belton on a farm in Cass County and in Independence. This ax-swinging temperance advocate was famous for smashing saloons.


Discover the Best of Missouri Life Awards

The 2020 reader’s choice awards are here.


Inside the Home Where Ginger Rogers Lived

The actress, dancer, and singer was born in a home in Independence. This year, it went on the market and sold for $111,500.


Local Missouri Artists

Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear Release New Album

Independence duo Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear release their most intimate music yet on Started with a Family.


World State Fair in Missouri

2019 Discover the Best of Missouri Life Awards

You voted. We counted. Now you can discover some best-kept secrets and surprises around the state in eight different categories, such as culture, destinations, food, lore and legend, and more.


The Vaile Mansion is Always a Marvel

There’s no other way to describe the Vaile Mansion during the holiday season. Each year, the Victorian Society—a volunteer group dedicated to the mansion’s preservation—selects a Christmas theme and begins to deck the halls of this historic Second Empire-style home.