Mountain men traversed the American west some years before the national trails came into existence, and in later years these individuals oftentimes settled and became prominent citizens in their chosen communities.
Mountain man Jim Bridger, who settled in Jackson County on a large farm north of New Santa Fe, also owned a mercantile store in Westport where all Santa Fe Trail traffic had been steadily passing since Westport was founded in 1834. Next door to Bridger’s, a grandson of famed mountain man Daniel Boone, Albert Gallatin Boone, had owned a trading post at one of Kansas City’s most historic street corners and in one of its most historic buildings.
Another Westport building was erected in 1850 by Cyprien Chouteau who sold it in 1866 to famed mountain man Jim Bridger where his son-in-law operated a store. Both buildings still stand, though heavily modified to accommodate modern operations.
The Ewing-Boone store at the corner of Westport Road and Pennsylvania was constructed in 1850-51 by William and George Ewing, licensed traders with the Shawnee Indians across the border in Kansas. They sold the mercantile to Daniel Boone’s grandson, Albert Gallatin Boone in 1854, the same year Kansas became a territory and the nearby Shawnee Reservation was terminated.