Up the walk ahead of you is the Truman farm home. It was originally called the Young farm, since it belonged to Harriet Louisa Young, Harry Truman’s maternal grandmother. Harry Truman grew up in Independence and moved to Kansas City after he graduated from high school in 1901. His father suffered some serious financial setbacks that year due to some bad investments, which resulted in the rest of the Truman family (that would be Harry’s mother, his father, his brother, and his sister) moving here to Grandview to live with Harry’s Grandmother, in 1905.
The next year, 1906, his father decided he needed Harry’s help to run the farm, so Harry left Kansas City, where he’d been working as a bank clerk, and came here to live here with the rest of his family in this farm house—with no running water, no heat, no electricity—he’d had all those things—he was 22 years old, grown up in town, and he’d never farmed a day in his life. He learned, though, and ended up spending the next eleven years here.
By 1917, World War I had begun, and Harry enlisted in the military. He came back from the war two years later, in 1919, and married Bess Wallace, who was living in her maternal grandmother’s home up in Independence. That Independence home is what is now called the Truman home. Harry moved in with Bess and her extended family in Independence and lived there the rest of his life—before, during, and after his time in the White House. Mr. Truman never returned to farming, but he later referred to this property as “the finest place in the world.”
Most of the farm is gone now, but the old house still stands, as well as a couple of outbuildings that were here when Harry Truman lived here. Take this short tour to learn about some of the experiences on this farm that helped shape a young man that grew up to be President of the United States.