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Formerly the site of the Osage Indian Reservation, the Independence area was opened to settlement in 1870 when the Osage agreed to move to the Indian Territory in what is now Oklahoma. In 1881 natural gas was discovered and Independence grew quickly, as it did again in 1903 with the discovery of oil. Today, with its gas and oil deposits depleted, the city relies on diversified manufacturing and agriculture.
Independence was the boyhood home of Pulitzer Prize winning playwright William Inge whose Midwestern upbringing shaped such dramas as “Splendor in the Grass” and “Come Back, Little Sheba.” The William Inge Collection, housed at Independence Community College, contains original manuscripts, documents and memorabilia; phone (620) 332-5468. Nearby Elk City Reservoir and State Park offers water sports and other recreation .
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Independence Area Chamber of Commerce 616 N. Penn Ave. INDEPENDENCE, KS 67301. Phone:(620)331-1890 or (800)882-3606
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Current Location: Independence, Kansas