Independence is a city in Polk County, Oregon, United States, on the west bank of the Willamette River along Oregon Route 51, and east of nearby Monmouth. It is part of the Salem Metropolitan Statistical Area. Thirty square blocks of the oldest part of Independence form the National Register of Historic Places-listed Independence Historic District.
The population was 8,590 at the 2010 census.
Independence was founded by pioneers who migrated from Independence, Missouri. Elvin A. Thorp arrived in the Independence area in 1845 and staked a claim north of Ash Creek in June of that year. He platted a small townsite that later became known as "Thorp's Town of Independence" or the "Original Town of Independence", now known as "Old Town". Thorp named the town for his hometown Independence, Missouri, and in honor of Andrew Jackson's characteristic of "Independence".
In 1847, Henry Hill came across the plains looking for a level piece of ground on which to raise stock. On November 14, 1847, he found his location on the west bank of the Willamette River (south of Ash Street) and marked off his donation land claim, which was 1 mile (1.6 km) square. In 1867, after returning from the California gold mines, Hill platted 40 acres (160,000 m2) for a townsite, thereafter to be referred to as Henry Hill's Town of Independence. The city charter bill of February 26, 1885, incorporated E.A. Thorp's Independence and Henry Hill's Independence.