GovernmentDepartmentsResidentsEconomic DevelopmentHow Do I?
Click to Home
Go To Search
Find Us On
History (cont.)
2 of 2Aftermath Recovery
Harrisonville was slow to recover after the war. Municipal rule was not completely reestablished until 1867 when elections were finally called. In contrast, the neighboring town of Pleasant Hill began to boom immediately after the war, primarily due to the arrival of the Missouri Pacific Railroad in 1865. It would be several more years before Harrisonville would benefit from the economic advantage of the railroad.

Harrisonville: Cass County Seat
The rivalry between Pleasant Hill and Harrisonville became intense as citizens of Pleasant Hill attempted to usurp Harrisonville’s role as the county seat by effectively lobbying the Missouri House to create a new county. By taking parts of Jackson, Johnson, and Cass counties, Richland County was proposed, with Pleasant Hill as the center. Although the Missouri House went so far as to approve the bill for the formation of new county, the Missouri State Senate was persuaded to reject the proposal due to the outpouring of opposition by the majority of the residents of Cass County. Harrisonville therefore remained the county seat.

Railroad Development
Finally, by 1885, the railroads had arrived in Harrisonville. By the end of the decade six railroads traversed the county and all of them converged on Harrisonville. Three depot buildings were built in Harrisonville to accommodate the various rail lines. Commerce began in earnest for the small town. The railroads gave Harrisonville access to all major cities in Missouri.

Snapshot of Harrisonville's Early CommerceProsperity & Economic Well-Being
The 1880s were known as a renaissance period for Harrisonville. By the mid-1880s, as many as 20 businesses had been established and five churches had become a part of the growing community.

The Cass County Democrat-Missourian, still in circulation today, was started in 1881. By 1889 three banks had been established in Harrisonville: the First National, the Bank of Harrisonville, and the Allen Banking Company (Allen Bank can still be found on the Square of Harrisonville). By that same year, Harrisonville was one of the larger telephone circuits of the west, with as many as 3,000 stations. And by 1893, gasoline lights had been installed on the city streets and the first electric lights were shining down on the Harrisonville Square.

Brick Made Its Way
The Square of Harrisonville was forever changed during this period. In 1885, a vein of brick clay was discovered close to town, leading to the establishment of a brick and tile factory in Harrisonville. Many of the town's wooden structures were replaced shortly thereafter by brick buildings, and many new buildings were erected in the more fashionable brick.

Noteworthy Buildings
The Cass County Courthouse, a three story, yellow-brick building, was erected in 1897 and proudly stands in the center of the Square today. It was designed by the prominent Kansas City architect, W.C. Root. Many of the striking buildings presently found on the Square date back to this period, as do the Square's brick streets, giving Harrisonville its unique turn-of-the-century historical charm.

Go Back...