The events in the Independence section of the novel do not involve famous people or happenings, so history does not record them. Main and Maple Streets remain important thoroughfares in the bucolic town, while Blue Road long ago became Truman Road. In a reissue of an 1877 Illustrated Historical Atlas of Jackson County, Missouri, I found an eighty-acre parcel of land near the Little Blue River east of town that was registered to someone named J.G. Riley. The livestock in Kansas City’s West Bottoms area indeed burned to death in a major fire in 1917.