by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
When was Grain Valley established? I supposed that would depend on how we interrupt our history. Some of you may recall an article I wrote two years ago about the original town (July 23. 2020). Part of that article included the statement on file with the Jackson County Recorder of Deeds:
Know all men by those present that I James F. Lucas of the County of Logan in the State of Illinois do by those present set apart four acres of land located in the County of Jackson and the State of Missouri described as follows, that is to say, commencing fifty-eight feet south of northwest corner of the east quarter of the southwest quarter of Section (35) thirty-five, Township (49) forty-nine, Range 30, hence seven hundred and fifteen feet, hence east four hundred and forty feet, hence south to the railroad hence following the railroad due West one hundred and twenty feet hence south to the southern limits of the town hence West to the place of beginning making in all four acres more or less all of said tract of land situated on the Kansas City-St. Louis and ( ? ) railroad. For the ( ? ) and purpose and profit of the town of Grain Valley. The aforesaid town being laid off by Joseph Peters given under my hand and seal this fifth day of September A.D. 1878. James H Cannon.
For those of us who were around in 1978, we will remember the weekend celebration of our centennial. There was a parade with old-cars, horse drawn carriages, music, old-fashioned clothing, and Tom Heidelberger and Ruby Johnson were named the Centennial King & Queen. I remember! It made the newspaper!
Last week, Grain Valley received a matching grant from Missouri Main Street. We hope you will soon see the results of that grant as the city and the business owners strive to revitalize the historic downtown area. It was at that time that I saw a sticker with the words, “GRAIN VALLEY, EST. 1884.” What? 1884? How can this be. However, a bit of internet searching led me to learn that our town was incorporated on July 11, 1884. Finally, Grain Valley became a 4th class city in 1945.
So when did we become Grain Valley? I’m going with 1878! I’m celebrating our Sesquicentennial on September 5, 2028!
After a certain age I realize I may not be around in 2028, but if I am I will celebrate then, too! And If I’m around in 2045 (which is highly doubtful, but who knows, I may live to be 99!) I will celebrate them. I never want to miss the opportunity for a good party!!!
It’s not a party, but it will be fun. First Fridays, June 3, July 1, and August 5 will welcome the Friday Night food trucks to the downtown district. The Historical Society will be opened from 4 PM until 8:30pm. Stop in, enjoy our air-conditioning while you eat your dinner, visit our exhibits, and purchase a Grain Valley (established in 1878) tee-shirt!
T-shirt design - available in youth and adult sizes. Photo credit: Grain Valley Historical Society