by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
Although this photograph is labeled Grain Valley, 1933, I cannot be sure exactly when it was taken. It appeared in a book entitled “Results of County Planning” published in 1933.
In the late 1920s, Harry Truman was the Presiding Judge of Jackson County. Scarcely known outside Independence, he had the vision and foresight to plan and then to push to completion a county road system which had few equals in the entire nation.
On May 8, 1928, the voters of Jackson County authorized a $6,5000,000 bond issue to finance the first portion of the proposed road construction program. During the next few years, 166 miles of concrete roads and 52 miles of secondary roads were built or improved in various parts of the county.
In May 1931, a second bond issue was approved for an additional $3,500,000 to complete the road program. At the same time bonds were approved for other capital improvements which included improvements in the county’s park system. Throughout this period, Judge Truman remained the leader and chief architect of the county planning activities.
In May 1932, the road program had been virtually completed and a celebration was held at Sni-A-Bar Farms in Grain Valley. Judge Truman and other members of the County Court published the 125-page book, “Results of County planning,” to show the voters of Jackson County as well as state and highway officials throughout the country the beneficial results that the county had achieved as the result of careful planning.
To look at the book and the newspaper article about the Celebration of Roads, visit the Grain Valley Historical Society, opened on Wednesdays from 10 AM to 3 PM or by appointment. Contact: email@example.com or call Marty @ (816) 686-7582. (Thanks to Allen Lefko for bring this photo to my attention!)
Downtown Grain Valley, 1933. Photo credit: Grain Valley Historical Society