• 1866: Independence School District established, with William Chrisman, William McCoy, Jacob May, Peter Hinter, Jacob Leader and U.P. Bennett as board members. The Rev. Jasper Smith is the first superintendent. The district purchases a former school building the next spring and soon moves in to establish its first permanent classrooms.

School buildings constructed during the rest of the 19th century into the 20th include Ott, Noland, Benton, Columbian and Douglass (later Hiram Young).

• 1888: Independence High School is founded, with classes held on a separate floor of an elementary school.

• 1907: Funds are approved for a separate Independence High School building at the corner of Maple and Pleasant. The building burned in 1939, destroying the city's lone public library inside, and the new building later constructed on the block became Palmer Junior High.

• 1912: Mrs. A.L. Yingling organizes the district's first PTA at Columbian School (now the site of the Community of Christ Auditorium). Yingling later helped organize other PTAs in the area.

• 1918: William Chrisman High School opens at 709 W. Maple Ave., on land sold by Chrisman's daughter Maggie Swope for $1. The building still stands under different ownership.

• 1956: Chrisman High School moves to its current location at the corner of U.S. 24 and Noland, in a facility expanded from the former Ott Elementary.

• 1964: The district opens its second high school, also on Noland Road – this one named for the district's most famous graduates, Harry and Bess Truman.

• 2007: In the November elections, voters in the Independence and Kansas City school districts approve the annexation of seven schools from the struggling Kansas City School District that are in Sugar Creek or western Independence. The move also is designed to boost neighborhoods in the area.

• 2008: After some legal battles, the former Kansas City district schools are officially transferred in the summer. Mt. Washington Elementary is too far from current code and gets shuttered, later to be sold (the building is now senior apartments). Anderson School, an alternative school closed in 2000, is part of the transfer but is never used and was demolished a few years ago. Van Horn High School, Nowlin Middle School and Fairmount, Korte, Sugar Creek and Three Trails elementaries are given big summer spruce-ups – the first of what has become the annual Project Shine. 

-- Compiled by Mike Genet