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History of Overland Park, Kansas

Overland Park can trace its roots to the period around 1905 when the founder William B. Strang Jr. arrived in the town. Strang platted various subdivisions, including one called Overland Park down a military roadway in the southwest of Kansas City. Before Strang died in 1921, he had established numerous housing developments, an airfield, and an interurban railroad, also he had a vision for the self-sustaining and well-planned community with the theme of a park. He wanted a community with convenient transport, vibrant neighborhoods, quality education, and strong commerce.

The formation of Overland Park was based on parts of land that communities shunned and didn’t want to occupy. You can reflect the history of Overland Park, KS by looking at the remains of the Strang interurban line within Downtown Overland Park, among others.

To help manage the rapid growth in communities like Prairie Village, Mission, and Overland Park, they collectively were organized to form a single urban township style of government that ran under a law that was passed by the legislature in Kansas in 1940. What followed was the rebirth of Mission Urban Township. Although this entity could form a government body, on the other hand, it didn’t have the right to plan or zone independently.

In the late 1930s and the early days of the 1940s, Mission Urban Township went through a time of stasis due to the repercussions experienced during the days of Dust Bowl and World War II. Then there was a boom in the area of residential development. As the Kaw River busted its banks and flooded Kansa City in 1951, the communities settling on the bluff were in a nice, dray area. During that time, Mission Township started seeing increased arrivals of slightly damp folks. The prevailing government at that time was not capable enough to deal with increasing growth and development. This led to the separation of the communities that formed the township. From then they separated and formed municipalities. This is the time when Overland Park was incorporated in 1960.

In the period 1960s to 1970s, it ushered in the sense of individuation. Overland Park began establishing its infrastructure of businesses, schools, and city services. Early in its official formation, the Overland Park government instigated the idea of having citizen surveys so that it could target key concerns of its people. In the survey, the government could also measure the satisfaction of its people with the kind and quality of life they were leading. The proactive approach of taking surveys to find out what people want and whether they are satisfied with their quality of life resulted in a balanced approach to Overland Park’s growth and development.