Community of Christ

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Heritage Plaza

Visit - Heritage Plaza

Flournoy House

Built in 1826 by Jones H. Flournoy, this was one of the first brick homes in this area and reported to be one of the oldest homes in Independence.

In 1831, Joseph Smith Jr. and Edward Partridge met in the Flournoy House,and it is believed this is where the purchase of the 63.33 acres known as the “Temple Lot Property” was negotiated and purchased for $130 by the church. The deed was recorded on December 21, 1831.

By 1833, Flournoy had become an ardent anti-Mormon and was one of the leaders who sought to evict over 1200 saints who had gathered in this area. He was present when they tarred and feathered Edward Partridge and others, burned several homes, destroyed the printing press, and ran the saints out of Independence.

After various owners, the house was sold to John Smith, who built another two-story addition, after which the building became known as the Pleasant Street Mansion. It was one of the social centers of the community until the 1940s. In 1964 the mansion was torn down to build a parking lot. William J. Curtis, a history teacher, purchased the original Flournoy House and carefully reconstructed it near his home. Again, community progress threatened the historic house. In order to preserve the heritage, the Restoration Trail Foundation purchased the little brick house and moved it. Although relocated several times, it is still within blocks of its original location. The building today appears almost as it did in 1826.

Frederick M. Smith Study

This structure is one of the few pioneer homes left in Jackson County that represent the era of the early Saints. It was built as a farmhouse out of soft yellow bricks which were commonly used in this area. The home was built by the Stallcup family in the early 1830s and is reported to be one of the oldest slave cabins in Missouri. The fireplace is made of native Missouri limestone.

Dr. Frederick M. Smith, President of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from 1915 to 1946, purchased the farm property and this little pioneer home in 1937. At that time the cabin was located approximately five miles east of Independence and was situated behind the main house.

President Smith’s daughter, Lois Larsen, and her family moved to the farm and into the main house with him. As her family grew, he began to spend more time in the cabin, using it as a retreat for study and meditation. He eventually moved permanently to the cabin, with no luxuries except electricity and a bathroom, taking his meals with his daughter’s family in the main house.

President Smith loved all creation and would not let a living creature be killed. It is reported that once, when a meeting was being held in the cabin, crickets kept chirping loudly and hopping around, distracting and disturbing those who were in the meeting. He would not let anyone kill any of the crickets; thus his home came to be affectionately called “The Cricket House.”

Being sensitive to history, Dr. Smith decided to have this structure preserved. The restoration is authentic, with original furnishings as they appeared in 1940. Included among the furnishings are hand-made items (his hobbies were working with wood and gardening) and the drafting table he used when drawing plans for the building of the Auditorium. The rosebush outside the study is the same rosebush that was outside the cabin when President Smith occupied the building.

Plan Your Visit

The Flournoy House and Frederick M. Smith Study are closed until further notice due to COVID-19.

Guided Tours

Tours may be arranged by appointment.