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ANSWERS: How Well Do You Know The Northland?

Caroline Kull

So, how well do you know the small downtowns of the Northland?

Hopefully by now you have tested your knowledge — below are the answers.

1. Kearney

Population: 9,038

Established: 1869

 Kearney, originally called Centerville, was reduced to two or three families after the Civil War.  The effect the Civil War had on his hometown allegedly spurred legendary outlaw Jesse James into a life of crime. James was born and buried in Kearney, and the city has a festival bearing his name every September.

2. Liberty

Credit Caroline Kull / KCUR

Population: 30,096

Established: 1829

Liberty is the second-oldest incorporated town west of the Mississippi River. The Liberty Jail once held Joseph Smith, famous prophet of the Church of the Latter-Day Saints.  The city is also the site of the first daylight bank robbery in peacetime — allegedly by the Jesse James gang.

3. North Kansas City

Credit Caroline Kull / KCUR

Population: 4,319

Established: 1912

North Kansas City was specifically planned as a small town north of the river, separate from the city of Kansas City.  Today North Kansas City remains its own city, though it is almost completely surrounded by Kansas City, Missouri, on all sides.

4. Parkville

Credit Alyson Raletz / KCUR

Population: 5,928

Established: 1844

Native Americans lived in the Parkville area for 6,000 years before it was settled by Anglo-Saxons and officially incorporated. Colonel Park, who held the claim to Parkville for some time, was a rumored abolitionist. His newspaper was raided by a pro-slavery group in 1855, and the printing press was thrown into the Missouri River.

5. Platte City

Credit Donna Vestal / KCUR

Population: 4,799

Established: 1843

Platte City was burned by Union soldiers in 1861.  The Platte County Fair displayed a Confederate flag in reference to the city's Civil War history until 2015.

6. Weston

Credit Donna Vestal / KCUR

Population: 1,703

Established: 1837

Weston was founded as a steamboat port, and became the second-largest port on the Missouri River during the 19th century.  It was even bigger than Kansas City. The Lewis and Clark Expedition camped near Weston's current day city hall, and Buffalo Bill was a Weston resident for a spell.

7. Smithville

Credit sgt fun / Flickr--CC

Population: 8,954

Established: 1867

Smithville is named for Humphrey and Nancy Smith, a New York couple who became the first Anglo-Saxon settlers in the area. During the 1990s and early 2000s, Smithville was one of the fastest-growing populations in Missouri.

8. Gladstone

Credit Caroline Kull / KCUR

Population: 26,157

Established: 1952

Gladstone is the newest city in the Northland.  It was originally founded as a Kansas City suburb, but today it's completely surrounded by Kansas City.  Gladstone has also been known as "Linden" and "Happy Rock."

This look at the Missouri River is part of KCUR's months-long examination of how geographic borders affect our daily lives in Kansas City. KCUR will go Beyond Our Borders and spark a community conversation through social outreach and innovative journalism.

We will share the history of these lines, how the borders affect the current Kansas City experience and what’s being done to bridge or dissolve them.

KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and powerful storytelling.
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