Independence is a city in and the county seat of Montgomery County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 9,483. It was named in commemoration of the Declaration of Independence.
Independence was settled on land that was purchased from the Osage Indians in September 1869 by George A. Brown for the price of $50; they were being moved to Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma. He originally called the townsite Colfax after Schuyler Colfax, vice president under President Ulysses S. Grant. On August 21, 1869 a group of Oswego, Kansas men led by R. W. Wright settled there with the intent to make Independence the county seat. E. E. Wilson and F D. Irwin opened the first store in October 1869, Wilson & Irwin Groceries. Independence was designated county seat in 1870.
A permanent lighting system was first used for an exhibition baseball game on April 17, 1930 between the Independence Producers and House of David semi-professional baseball team of Benton Harbor, Michigan, with the Independence team winning with a score of 9 to 1 before a crowd of 1,700 spectators.
Miss Able, a rhesus monkey, was born at Ralph Mitchell Zoo. Miss Able along with Miss Baker, a squirrel monkey, became the first monkeys to fly in space; they returned alive on May 28, 1959.
Independence is located along the Verdigris River just south of its confluence with the Elk River. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.75 square miles (20.07 km2), of which, 7.74 square miles (20.05 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.
Independence has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa) characterized by hot, humid and unpleasant summers, and chilly though extremely variable winters. Precipitation is heavy in summer due to frequent incursions of very moist air from the Gulf of Mexico: as much as 7.69 inches (195.3 mm) fell on May 27, 1984 and a maximum daily fall of 3.49 inches or 88.6 millimetres can be expected in an average calendar year.