Kansas City Guide
Kansas City is the largest city in Missouri, with nearly half a million people spread over four counties. This sophisticated city boasts more boulevards than Paris and more fountains than any other city in the word apart from Rome, earning it the nickname "City of Fountains." The Kansas and Missouri Rivers meet here, dividing Kansas from Missouri and separating the city from its namesake in Kansas. (Kansas City, Kansas was actually founded about 15 years after Kansas City, Missouri, and adopted the name of its neighbor in an effort to attract bankers and bond speculators.) Although the two cities are distinct political entities, together they comprise the Kansas City Metropolitan Area.
In 1833, John Calvin McCoy built his trading post in the hills near the Missouri River, hoping to capitalize on the travelers headed west into the Kansas Territory along the Santa Fe Trail. He named his post Westport, to advertise its status as the gateway to the West. To compete with the town of Independence, already established as a supply stop for westward travelers, he built Westport Landing, a river boat port on the south shore of the Missouri River. In 1838, McCoy and 13 other investors purchased the land surrounding Westport Landing with the intention of forming a town. They considered several new names for Westport Landing, including Rabbitville and Possum Trot. However, they finally settled on the Town of Kansas, named for the Kansa natives in the area. The town, incorporated in 1850, became the City of Kansas in 1853.