So why is there a Kansas City, Kansas, and a Kansas City, Missouri?
The origin of modern-day Kansas City, Missouri, dates back to the 1830s, when John McCoy founded the settlement of Westport at what is now Westport Road and Pennsylvania Avenue. McCoy chose this area to open an outfitting store for pioneers on the Santa Fe Trail. He then established a river boat landing on the bluffs at the bend in the Missouri River, just two miles north of his settlement. This Westport Landing was connected to the settlement of Westport by road and sparked development in the area.
A group of 14 investors, including McCoy, formed the Town Company in 1838 to buy up property along the riverfront. This area included Westport Landing and in 1850 was incorporated as the Town of Kansas. City founders derived the name from the Kansas, or Kaw, River which was named for the Kansa Indians. The state of Missouri then incorporated the area as the City of Kansas in 1853 and renamed it Kansas City in 1889. John McCoy’s settlement, the old town of Westport, was annexed by Kansas City, Missouri, on December 2, 1897.
During this time, other settlements were developing across the river on the Kansas side in Wyandotte County. Some of these small towns incorporated as Kansas City, Kansas, in 1872. By naming this town after the growing city on the Missouri side of the state line, city leaders in Kansas were able to capitalize on the success of Kansas City, Missouri. It’s also possible that the people in Wyandotte County felt that they had more right to the name “Kansas City” than the people of Missouri had.
Today Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri, remain two separately incorporated cities but together, along with a number of other cities and suburbs, as part of the Kansas City Metropolitan area.
For more information about why there are two Kansas City's check out KCHistory.org
All About Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City (abbreviated KC or KCMO) is the largest city in Missouri by population and area. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city had an estimated population of 495,327 in 2019, making it the 38th most-populous city in the United States. It is the most populated municipality and historic core city of the Kansas City metropolitan area, which straddles the Kansas–Missouri state line and has a combined statistical area (CSA) population of 2,487,053. Most of the city lies within Jackson County, but portions spill into Clay, Cass, and Platte counties. Kansas City was founded in the 1830s as a Missouri River port at its confluence with the Kansas River coming in from the west. On June 1, 1850, the town of Kansas was incorporated; shortly after came the establishment of the Kansas Territory. Confusion between the two ensued, and the name Kansas City was assigned to distinguish them soon after.
Sitting on Missouri's western boundary with Kansas, with Downtown near the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers, the city encompasses about 319.03 square miles (826.3 km2), making it the 23rd largest city by total area in the United States. It serves as one of the two county seats of Jackson County, along with major suburb Independence. Other major suburbs include the Missouri cities of Blue Springs and Lee's Summit and the Kansas cities of Overland Park, Olathe, and Kansas City.
The city is composed of several neighborhoods, including the River Market District in the north, the 18th and Vine District in the east, and the Country Club Plaza in the south. Celebrated cultural traditions include Kansas City jazz, theater which was the center of the Vaudevillian Orpheum circuit in the 1920s, the Chiefs and Royals sports franchises, and famous cuisine based on Kansas City-style barbecue, Kansas City strip steak, and craft breweries. The city was ranked as a gamma- global city in 2020 by GaWC.
All About Kansas City, Kansas
Kansas City, abbreviated as "KCK", is the third-largest city in the State of Kansas, the county seat of Wyandotte County, and the third-largest city of the Kansas City metropolitan area. The city formed as a streetcar suburb of Kansas City, Missouri, after which it is named. It is situated at Kaw Point, the junction of the Missouri and Kansas rivers. It is part of a consolidated city-county government known as the "Unified Government". Wyandotte County also includes the independent cities of Bonner Springs, Edwardsville, a portion of Lake Quivira, and the unincorporated area known as Loring. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 145,786 residents.
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