The Independent was established in 1899 by George Creel, who became a nationally-known writer, and Arthur Grissom, founder of Smart Set magazine in New York. Initially, The Independent had a strong political flavor, reflecting Mr. Creel’s opposition to the turn-of-the-century faction led by James Pendergast.


Politics discreetly dropped from the Magazine’s pages in 1909 under the new ownership of Katherine Baxter and Clara E. Kellogg. Mrs. Gleed Gaylord, the former Martha Nichols, acquired the journal in 1939, becoming owner, publisher and editor, as well as president of Creel Publishing Company. She had worked on the editorial staff of the Magazine under Katherine Baxter and Clara E. Kellogg for a decade prior to acquiring it. In 1983, Robert P. Ingram purchased the Magazine from Mrs. Gaylord, and in 1996 Laureen M. Ingram, daughter-in-law of Mr. Ingram, purchased the Magazine. In 2017, Rachel Lewis purchased the magazine from Laureen M. Ingram, and is the current publisher. 

Since its inception the Magazine’s editors have been: Arthur Grissom, 1899-1901; George Creel, 1899-1901; Katherine Baxter and Clara E. Kellogg, 1909-1924; Clyde Elaine Robinson, 1924-1927; Clara E. Kellogg, 1927-1940; Mrs. Gleed Gaylord, 1940-1975; Patricia Patzer, 1974-1990 (Having been on the editorial staff of the Magazine since 1960, she served as editor from 1974 until her death in 1990); Georganne Hall, 1990-1998; Anne Potter Russ, 2005-2008; and Ann Slegman, 2008-2012. In 2012, Nancy Sachse was named editor, and Jenny Owens Hughes was named associate publisher of the editorial department.

The Independent is the journal of society serving Kansas City and the surrounding area. It is unique in its field, as it is one of a very few glossy-paper publications in the nation presenting an editorial and pictorial content which focuses on the culture, philanthropic and social events of Kansas City. In its more than 117 years of publication, The Independent has missed only one issue – in 1947 when the journal was beset by a typographers’ union strike.