Back to the Wild West
Liberty's first white settlers came in the 1820s, and between then and now the city has seen a host of important events. For example, Liberty was home to Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon religion, and it was in this city that Smith and his followers experienced the early violence and intolerance that drove them West. During the Civil War, Liberty was a hotbed of anti-Union activity and sentiment. It also is the site of what many believe to be the first daytime bank robbery of Jesse James' gang. Today's Liberty is a far cry from these early Wild West activities.
William Jewell Colleg
Liberty is home to William Jewell College, a private liberal arts undergraduate school with an intimate student body. Though it was founded as a Baptist institution, the school has been independent from the Missouri Baptist Convention since 2003. The split between the Baptist Convention and William Jewell College came about because the school refused to reject evolution-based education in favor of creation-based science. The school has continued on with independent funding after the split, now offering more than 40 majors in liberal arts disciplines to its small student body of about 1,000 students.