In the early years of the city’s history, the Kansas and Missouri Rivers served as the western limit of American settlement. West of the river was the untamed frontier, full of Native American tribes,French and Spanish traders, and adventure-seekers from the east.
The city of Kansas City was founded in 1838, at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers. The town was originally called “Kansas” after the nearby river, but was renamed “Kansas City” in 1853. The city quickly grew into a thriving frontier town, and became an important stop for westward-bound pioneers.
Kansas City was a dangerous place in the early days. There was little law and order, and violence was common. Shootouts, brawls, and even murders were not unusual. The city was also a hotbed of gambling and vice. Prostitutes and gamblers flocked to the city, looking to make their fortune in the Wild West.