Independence : Kansas


What It Is Like to Retire in Independence

Independence is a small town of about 9,400 in southeastern Kansas, very near the Oklahoma border.  The town recently received significant fame for its Independence Public Library (pictured above courtesy of the Library's Facebook page), which was named the "Best Small" library in the country by Library Journal. Part of the reason for the prize was the library's hard journey in just a few years from facing a bleak budget picture to a bustling center for the community.  Indpendence Community College is a big part of the town as well. Laura Ingalls Wilder grew up near here and wrote her famous "Life on the Prairie" novel based on her experiences. Her childhood home is designated a historic site and is a popular museum. Photo of Independence Carnegie Library courtesy of Wikipedia and Kaethesson, Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0/


Where to Retire in Independence and Home Prices

Prices of homes in Independence are about one-fourth of the national average.  According to, the median home value was only $69,740 in early 2020 .


What Is Special about Independence

Having the 2012 Best Small library in the country is quite a distinction.  And being home to the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum and childhood home is another.


What Is Not Special about Independence

This is a rural area - definitely not for city people.


Who Will Like Retirement in Independence

People who want to be in the midwest in a small town with a low cost of living and a lower than average crime rate.


Local Economy Is Driven by

There is a considerable amount of manufacturing as well as agriculture.


Climate and Physical Environment

Independence is on the Oklahoma border in the southeast corner. The average Jan temp is about 30 and the average July temp about 80.  Tornadoes are a possibility, this being Kansas.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

The award winning Independence Public Library has a full range of cultural programs for citizens of all ages. The Community College also contributes to the cultural life, as well as the museum at the nearby Laura Ingalls Wilder childhood home.



The crime rate is a little below  the national average.


Medical Facilities

Mercy Hospital serves the community.



Independence has a municipal airport;  Joplin Missouri has an airport 73 miles away; the closest international airport is in Tulsa, OK about 90 miles away;  Independence is a very walkable community


Valuable Links

Independence Public Library

Laura Ingalls Wilder on Wikipedia


What people are saying about Independence

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