The Bingham-Waggoner Estate – Independence Missouri
The Bingham-Waggoner Estate is found at 313 West Pacific in Independence, Missouri. This estate is named for some of its most famous residents. George C. Bingham was a famous Civil War artist. Mr. Bingham and his family moved to the estate shortly before the Civil War broke out, and Bingham maintained a studio in one of the log and clapboard buildings near his home. It was at this studio that he painted Order Number 11, which was based on a famous military order that was put into effect in Missouri. He was also a politician, and ran for Congress from the Sixth Missouri District but was defeated. He later moved to Kansas City where he served as Police Commissioner and Adjutant General.
The Waggoners were a family that also owned the estate and were a family of millers that came from Pennsylvania. In 1867, the family purchased the old city mill and moved to Independence. The family quickly gained a reputation for the best cake and baking flours. The ‘Queen of the Pantry" brand flour from the Waggoner’s mill became well known throughout the Midwest as one of the premier flour choices. Their home that was located across the street from the mill underwent renovations in the 1890s. The estate stayed in the Waggoner family until 1976, when Harry K. Waggoner died, and the city of Independence purchased the house and grounds to use as a museum and park.
The group that runs the Bingham-Waggoner Estate has three goals for the public. Their first goal is to educate the public by giving tours of the site, providing art programs, research materials and supplying the local schools with educational materials. They also have a social goal, which is to host events like the annual pig roast, the Truman Birthday Celebration, the Lewis and Clark Trail Breakfast, and the Arts and Crafts Show. Their third goal is for the community. They wish to provide the community with a facility for private, government and civic groups to use for special recognition programs.
The Bingham-Waggoner Estate is open from April to October. Their Christmas season is November 24 through December 30, and they are closed on December 23, 24, and 25. The hours of operation are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday through Saturday, and the Sunday hours are from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The admission prices are $5 for adults, senior citizens are $4.50, and children and students are $2. There is a group rate of $4.50.
The estate also has a gift shop in the carriage house that has gifts, mementos and other items to purchase. The carriage house is also home to an old-fashioned soda fountain, a period covered wagon and reproductions of George C. Bingham’s work. The carriage house can also be used for meetings or luncheons.