The Independence Public Library is still located at the corner of Maple and Fifth, in the structure as it was built by the Carnegie Foundation in 1907. The Library currently houses 61,700 volumes of print and non-print materials, with a patron registration of 9,880
William Inge, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, was born and raised in Independence. Each year Independence Community College hosts a three-day festival to honor him as well as other nationally known playwrights. Past honorees include Arthur Miller and Neil Simon.
Located 13 miles southwest of Independence, just off of Highway 75, is an authentic, reconstructed log cabin located near the original site where famous author Laura Ingalls Wilder lived as a child. Near the cabin, the remains of what could possibly have been the well that Pa and Mr. Scott dug. An 1
Zoo residents include sun bears, buffalo, monkeys, cougars, a swan pond, caymans, eagles, and a flock of tame peacocks who roam the grounds. One of the more famous inhabitant was Miss Able, the first monkey in space. She resided at Monkey Island until her blast off in 1960.