History of Platte City, Missouri

Located between Platte City and the airport, our new and pre-owned car dealership is conveniently situated to witness all the sights, sounds and happenings of Platte City, Kansas City and western Missouri. As we take part in our community's continued growth, we also think it is important to pause and remember how this wonderful corner of the United States we call home came to be.

Founding of Platte City

The story of how civilization came to the Little Platte River began in the year 1836, when Platte County was added to Missouri with the Platte Purchase – a treaty that secured six counties from the Iowa, Sac and Fox Indians for a mere $7,500 (the equivalent of almost $200,000 in today's money). The Platte Purchase was the only instance in history when land was added to a state after it officially entered the Union.

According to local historians:

This newly opened frontier attracted many settlers — Virginia and Kentucky. Among the original settlers, Zadock Martin and his sons operated the ferries across the Platte and Missouri Rivers. Martin built his home on the East Side of the Platte River and the town of Martinsville was created. In 1838 Martin and his sons built a dam on the Platte River, at the Falls of the Platte, and a gristmill.

This mill became the site of the Falls of Platte town and the Platte County seat of justice (which would later be renamed to Platte City) in 1839. Platte City was officially incorporated as a city in September of 1843.

The Burnings of Platte City

On December 16, 1861, during an American Civil War raid, Union troops burned Platte City to the ground – known by historians as the first Burning of Platte City – in order to capture the Confederate guerilla Silas M. Gordon. Platte County officials had ignored Union Colonel W. James Morgan's request to hand over Gordon or have the city destroyed, so in response Union troops marched from St. Joseph to Platte City and set the courthouse and city ablaze.

Silas Gordon escaped and continued to plague Union troops for the next few years. Then, in 1864, Gordon returned to Platte City – as did the Union troops, who once again burned down the city – the second Burning of Platte City.

Following the war, construction on a new courthouse was completed in May of 1867. This building still stands as a landmark in Platte City today.

American Outlaws Jessie James and Bonnie & Clyde

Platte City's tumultuous history didn't end with the Civil War. Notorious American bandit and train-robber Jesse James planned a robbery of the Platte City Bank on April 3, 1883; however, his plot was foiled when he was shot and killed by fellow outlaw Robert Ford the morning of the raid.

About 50 years later, in July 19, 1933, the infamous outlaw duo Bonnie & Clyde got into a shootout with Platte County authorities at the Red Crown Tavern located near today's I-29 & Cookingham Road. The outlaw couple and their gang escaped town by driving the country roads north to Iowa, but two of the gang members were eventually captured – Blanche and Buck Barrows. Buck died of gunshot wounds, but Blanche was returned to Platte City where she was tried and convicted at the Platte County Courthouse.

Modern Platte City

In 1957, Platte City was chosen as a stopping point for travelers along Interstate 29 – a newly planned highway connecting Platte City to Kansas City in the south, and North Dakota and the Canadian border in the north. With this new highway came a wealth of visitors and opportunity, which quickly gave rise to a thriving Platte City economy and boosted local infrastructure. Businesses popped up everywhere and families from near and far put down roots in the once small, country outpost.

Nowadays, Platte City has a total area of 3.65 square miles and is home to 4,691 people, 1,975 households, and 1,174 families according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Whether you're a local or just visiting, there's no better way to explore Platte City's exciting past than in a new or pre-owned Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep or Ram!

In addition to fulfilling the auto needs of Platte City residents, our dealership sees visitors from all over Missouri, Kansas and the United States. Our proximity to Kansas City International Airport makes it convenient for people all over the country to fly in and experience our unbeatable deals, customer service and more. We even offer a free airport shuttle service or rental car for our customers flying in! Just one more reason to come to Platte City-Airport Chrysler!

Stop by our Platte City new and used car dealership (just minutes away from Kansas City International Airport) to test drive the latest and greatest models from America's top vehicle manufacturers.