Westport, Kansas City, Missouri
Westport is a historic neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. Originally an independent town, it was annexed by Kansas City in 1897. Today, it is one of Kansas City's main entertainment districts.
Wagon Trail Replica in Westport
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Westport was first settled by Reverend Isaac McCoy and his family in 1831. It was located approximately 3 miles due south of the present day location of downtown, Kansas City, Missouri. It was platted three years later, and formally incorporated in February 1857. Isaac's son John Calvin McCoy is generally considered the "father of Kansas City" after he formally founded the town. He had supplies landed at a rocky point on the Missouri River between Grand and Main streets, which became known as "Westport's Landing." When the landing became popular, young McCoy and other residents banded together to form the "Town of Kansas" company to buy the land. Westport's Indian trade extended to the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains.
By 1850 Westport, together with Kansas City, displaced Independence, Missouri as an outfitting and starting point for traders, trappers, and emigrants heading west on the Santa Fe and Oregon trails. The town's greatest prosperity came between 1854 and 1860. During the Civil War, there were many skirmishes between pro- and anti-slavery groups in the area, and the Civil War's Battle of Westport was fought there in October 1864. Unfortunately, after the war, trade fell off sharply and never recovered, and by 1899, the fast-growing settlement of Kansas City annexed Westport.
An area within Westport, east of Broadway Street, is known as Nutterville. The historic Nutterville area was developed by James B. Nutter Sr. Nutter saw to it that the old homes in the area were adapted for use by businesses as offices in order to restore them. The houses are colorfully painted and enhanced with thousands of flowers and manicured lawns and shrubs.
Kelly's, at 500 Westport Road, and Chouteau's Store, at 504 Westport, are the oldest buildings standing in Kansas City.