The Truman Courthouse

Situated in the very heart of the Historic Square of Independence, Missouri the Truman Courthouse has a history that dates back to before Independence's most famous (and only) US President served as the Presiding Judge of Jackson County.

An Unusual History

The original building on the site went up in 1836 in the Colonial Revival style. For over 175 years the site has undergone many changes to the building with major renovations and additions in 1848, 1873, 1887, and 1907--each one changing the clock tower and altering the design. The final renovation of 1933, designed by George Fredrick Wallace under the leadership of Presiding Judge Harry S Truman, again expanded the courthouse to accommodate all of Jackson County's functioning departments and created a new office where the future president served as the county's senior administrator.

The Modern Courthouse

Since 2008 the Truman Courthouse has undergone several phases of restorative work to return the grounds to their 1933 appearance while addressing serious drainage, foundational and structural issues that will bring the building up to code. With this restorative work the Courthouse is an attractive landmark for visitors and locals interested in the life and work of Harry S Truman.

For more information regarding the details of the restoration of the 1933 courthouse, take a look at the Jackson County Government's page on the topic,  take a gander at these Floorplans or catch up on the progress.

See it For Yourself

Most important to this organization, the Truman Courthouse in Independence, Missouri, is the permanent home of the Jackson County Historical Society. We have spent many years in the Courthouse and make available to the public a History Center; an Archives and Research Center (available by appointment); a museum of art; and, Harry S. Truman's office and courtroom (available for guided tours Monday through Friday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.).

The newly renovated Jackson County Truman Courthouse is also open to the public for county-related business. Don't forget to enjoy the surrounding grounds with statues of United States Presidents Harry S. Truman and Andrew Jackson, whose independent spirit inspired the name of the town. Other historical markers and monuments commemorate pioneers, the Civil War, and the trails west--Santa Fe, California and Oregon Trails--that marked the Independence Square as their starting point.

You can "wind the clock" as the teenagers of yore once did with a stroll around the Courthouse, or perhaps pay a visit to some of the local establishments. Surrounding the courthouse on the square are a number of local retailers and restaurants in addition to other historical sites--such as the 1859 Jail, Marshal's Home and Museum--for all to enjoy.

No need to put on a hard hat for our photographic tour of the courthouse remodeling: