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The city of Harrisonville is the county seat of Cass County, Missouri. The first settlers came to the area around 1830, largely from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. At that time, the area was known as Van Buren County, which was renamed Cass County in 1849. The town site was selected as the county seat due to its proximity to the center of the county. Established in 1837, the town was named for Albert G. Harrison, one of the first U.S. congressional representatives elected to serve the state of Missouri. The first home was built in Harrisonville by Jason L. Dickey in 1837, and its first business was established by Henry F. Baker, who opened a mercantile store in a log cabin on the southwest corner of the town square. A courthouse and jail were built in 1838, and its first church was the New Hope Church, a Baptist mission southwest of town. A school was established in 1839. Harrisonville was incorporated in 1851. Its first mayor was S.G. Allen, while the town’s second mayor was Colonel H.W. Younger, father of the infamous Cole Younger. Due to the town’s Southern sympathies, Confederate troops took refuge in Harrisonville during the American Civil War, and William Quantrill, the leader of Quantrill’s Raiders, used Harrisonville and other parts of Cass County as a base from which to launch guerrilla raids. Finally, Order No. 11 was issued by the federal government, requiring all persons in Cass County living beyond a one-mile radius of Harrisonville or Pleasant Hill to vacate their homes within fifteen days, and all grain, hay, and food supplies from area farms were confiscated by Union troops, while many buildings were burned to the ground. Harrisonville then became a Union stronghold throughout the remainder of the war. Today, Harrisonville is reached by Interstate 49 and Missouri Highway 7.


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