Alexander Majors House

A large white, two story historic home with a grand columns.
Visit Alexander Majors House.


Quick Facts
8201 State Line Road (east side of road near 85th Street), Kansas City
Alexander Majors operated the largest western overland freighting company in the 1850’s and helped create the Pony Express. Visit the historic house museum to learn more about Majors, westward expansion, and the overland trails.
National Register of Historic Places

Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits

A map of Passport and Places to Go locations for National Historic Trails.

Situated on the border between Missouri and Kansas, the Alexander Majors house was home to both the Majors family and one of his freighting companies called Russell, Majors, and Waddell.[1] The company was a venture with merchants William H. Russell and William B. Waddell who joined Majors in an attempt to gain a government contract to supply western forts.[2] Already an experienced Santa Fe Trail dealer, Majors had the knowledge and equipment, while Russell and Waddell had the capital, to secure the government contract. For a short time, the company had a “virtual monopoly of the army freighting business in the west and southwest.”[3] 

The 300-acre farmstead was dissected by the westernmost US border, making part of the property outside US jurisdiction and, thus, untaxable. The company’s barns, mule sheds, grazing lands, wagon and blacksmith shops, and other business-related entities were located on the portion of property located in the Kansas Territory.[4] A caravan camp was used to load the heavy freight wagons which would travel the trails.[5] 

The home was built in 1856, most likely using the labor of enslaved people.[6]  The “T” shaped floorplan with recessed front porch makes it a unique iteration of the Greek revival style in Kansas City.[7]  Today, it is one of the oldest buildings in Kansas City, as one of only 4 pre-Civil War buildings left standing.[8] Though the house remains, many of the other original structures are gone and the land has been divided into distinct plots. Among the lost structures were living quarters for the 16-17 people enslaved by the Majors’.[9] 

In 1930 Louisa P. Johnston, Majors’s great grand-daughter, travelled to visit her ancestral home and found the house abandoned. She bought the house in 1932 and, for the next forty years, worked to preserve the property. In 1984 the Alexanders Majors House Museum was opened to the public for tours and events. In 2010 the house partnered with the John Wornall House and Museum to create one nonprofit dedicated to preserving both properties.  

Site Information

Location (8201 State Line Road (east side of road near 85th Street), Kansas City)

Safety Considerations

More Site Information

Santa Fe National Historic Trail

Oregon National Historic Trail

California National Historic Trail

Santa Fe National Historic Trail


[1] Marc Simmons, Following the Santa Fe Trail: A Guide for Modern Travelers (Santa Fe, NM: Ancient City Press, 1984), p. 61.

[2] Martha Kusiak, “Alexander Majors House,” National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination Form. Jefferson City: Missouri State Park Board, 1970. Retrieved from National Archives Catalog:

[3] Kusiak, “Alexander Majors House,” p. 9.

[4] “The Majors House,” Wornall Majors House Museums, accessed August 14, 2020.

[5] Simmons, Following the Santa Fe Trail, p. 62.

[6] “The Majors House.”

[7] Kusiak, “Alexander Majors House,” p. 11.

[8] “The Majors House.”

[9] “The Majors House.” 

California National Historic Trail, Oregon National Historic Trail, Pony Express National Historic Trail, Santa Fe National Historic Trail

Last updated: January 10, 2023