Grain Valley’s history can be defined as unique and somewhat complex. The City itself was incorporated on July 11, 1884, and earned a fourth class city designation in 1945. Grain Valley has certainly experienced many changes in recent years. The City continues to grow and change; and while we are always looking toward the future, we are reminded of the history that has brought us to where we are today.
Grain Valley's beginnings can be traced back to Lewis and Clark's journey through this area which established Fort Point, which later became Fort Osage — named for the Osage tribe of Native Americans who lived in the area.
The Osage ceded nearly all of their land from the Missouri River to the Arkansas River in exchange for trade goods, yearly annuity, a one-time payment of $1,200, and the protection of the American government. The protection was not forthcoming, and the Osage were attacked by other Native Americans in 1812 that resulted in great loss for their tribe. By the 1820s, the Osage gave up all rights to land in Missouri.
Their former lands and the westernmost portion of the original Lafayette County formed Jackson County in 1826. The county's land was divided into townships. Sni-A-Bar township was created in 1834, covering the area from Little Blue River to the east county line. Today's Grain Valley is very much in the center of it.
The country's Civil War years, 1861 to 1865, greatly affected the area. Jackson County saw 68 battles and skirmishes. Guerilla warfare occurred due to mixed loyalties among residents. This continued until the end of the war and left the entire state behind in development compared to their neighbors.
In 1877, the Kansas City, St. Louis, and Chicago Railroad received a state charter to build a new railroad line. To be closer to the new line, the townships of Pink Hill and Stony Point consolidated and relocated, forming the City of Grain Valley, Missouri on September 5, 1878. The city was named for its abundance of grain and the geography of the area.
The railroad prompted growth, with many businesses and churches moving in through the turn of the century, including the Bank of Grain Valley that still operates today.
Recognized as a farm town at the start of the 1900s, Grain Valley expanded in size by the First World War and its population grew from a few hundred residents following the world wars to 1,077 by 1980 and 1,901 in 1990 and 5,160 in 2000 thanks in part to the area's housing developments. By 2018 the population had grown to 14,277 — a huge leap from its origins as a small farming community.
This account is taken and summarized from the documents linked below.