The University of Missouri, located in Columbia, was the first public university west of the Mississippi River. It was founded in 1839 and has a long history of academic and athletic excellence.
Buchanan County, Missouri has a rich history that dates back thousands of years to when it was inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Kickapoo, Ioway, and Sac and Fox. European exploration and settlement began in the early 1800s, with French fur traders establishing trading posts in the area. In 1839, Buchanan County was officially established and named after James Buchanan, who later became the 15th President of the United States.

During the mid-19th century, Buchanan County played a significant role in westward expansion and the development of the Oregon Trail and Pony Express. The town of St. Joseph, located in Buchanan County, became a major jumping-off point for travelers heading west. A booming trade industry developed in St. Joseph, with steamboats navigating the nearby Missouri River, transporting goods and people to and from the region.

Buchanan County also had a significant impact during the Civil War. With St. Joseph strategically located on the border between the Union and Confederacy, the area experienced intense conflict and division. St. Joseph was under martial law for a period, and both Confederate and Union forces occupied the region at different times. Notably, Jesse James, the infamous outlaw and guerrilla fighter, hailed from Buchanan County and was involved in various conflicts during the war.

In the 20th century, Buchanan County witnessed industrial growth, particularly in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors. The county's fertile soil and favorable climate made it a prime location for farming, with corn, soybeans, and livestock being major agricultural products. Additionally, St. Joseph became a hub for industry, manufacturing, and transportation, contributing to the county's economic growth and development.

Today, Buchanan County continues to be a vibrant area, rich in history and culture. It is home to a diverse population and offers numerous attractions, including museums, parks, and historical sites that highlight its past. The county's location along the Missouri River and its proximity to major transportation routes make it an important economic and cultural center in Northwest Missouri.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Buchanan County, Missouri.

  • Buchanan County was established on December 31, 1838
  • 1850 - St. Joseph was incorporated as a city
  • 1850s - St. Joseph became a major outfitting point for those heading to the California Gold Rush
  • 1861-1865 - Buchanan County, like the state of Missouri, was torn between Union and Confederate sympathizers during the American Civil War
  • 1883 - The first railroad bridge across the Missouri River, the Hannibal Bridge, was completed in St. Joseph
  • 1927 - The Patee House Museum, a former luxury hotel where Pony Express riders once stayed, was opened in St. Joseph
  • 1945 - Buchanan County experienced significant growth during World War II due to the presence of the St. Joseph-based Kansas City Quartermaster Depot
  • 1952 - The Pony Express Monument was dedicated at the Patee House Museum in St. Joseph
  • 1994 - A bridge across the Missouri River, the new Pony Express Bridge, was opened connecting Buchanan County with Doniphan County, Kansas