by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
While perusing old newspapers, I became interested in a collection of papers intitled “Guide to Grain Valley.” These guides were published by The Examiner (Independence) for many years. The guides typically came out in August, just prior to Valley Fair Days.
I found these excerpts from the 1986 edition to reveal a great deal about Grain Valley’s growth and progress over the past 35 years. Laura Malt, a member of The Examiner staff compiled some interesting statistics. I hope you will agree!
“Grain Valley has a name in cattle and, of course, grain.
Taking its name from the Sni-A-Bar Creek Valley’s high grain yield, the town’s peculiarities distinguishes it from other communities along Interstate 70.
These details include:
The population was reported at 1,327 in the 1980 census. It is now (1986) estimated at 1,600 to 1,700.
The 25 to 29 age bracket has the most people in it with about 9 percent of the population. About 17 percent of the population is between 22 and 29. The next most-populous age brackets, 30 to 34 and 35-44, compose 13 percent of the population.
The median household income is $16,900. Median family income is $17,591. The city’s aggregate (total) income is $8,172,445.
Grain Valley’s coldest month is January, with an average temperature of 31.7 degrees Fahrenheit. The hottest month is July, hitting an average of 88 degrees.
February, at 1.2 inches of rainfall is the driest month; June, at 4.5 inches, the wettest.
The average rainfall per year is 19.5 inches.
The assessed value of city property is $2.8 million.
Basic property tax levy (per $100 assessed value) is as follows:
County: $ 0.94
The R-5 district received a AAA rating in 1985. About 850 students are enrolled from kindergarten to twelfth grade.
The district has three schools: Matthews Elementary (380 students), Grain Valley Middle School (190 students) and Grain Valley High School (280 students). The school also makes use of the Fort Osage Vocational School.
Churches: six of varied Protestant denominations
Public libraries: one
Gasoline stations: two
I might also note that doctors, dentists, recreational facilities, and communications were listed, but all were provided in surrounding communities. Needless to say, much has changed. While some may look back on our community with acute nostalgia, I like my local dentist, buying groceries less than a mile from home (in the 1950s and 1960s the land where Price Chopper is located was my family home and small farm), going to the movies and dining out in Grain Valley!