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Overland Park History, Kansas

Overland Park, KS US - History: City that deserves all its accolades

Overland park was incorporated on May 20, 1960. It is a first class city and ranks second in terms of population in the state of Kansas. It also includes Johnson County in its geographical area. Before incorporation, it was a part of Mission Urban Township. At that time, it included Mission and Prairie village.

The history of Overland park roots back to the first decade of 20th century when its founder William B Strang arrived, who illustrated the subdivisions in company with a military roadway. He stressed on creating a park like community that was planned and self-sustaining. Among other regions of his focus were strong neighborhoods, quality education, commerce, and transportation and accommodation facilities. He combined many subdivisions and named them as Overland park.

William’s barn is now the site of Traditions Furniture and his Carriage House is a historical society. The buildings are open to open to tourists and are positioned within the Overland business district.  Before he died in 1921, he also established interurban railroad, housing developments and airfield.

In the later part of the third quarter of the 20th century, the city developers planned to manage growth in schools, parks, land use, housing and zoning, industry and expressways. Oak Park Mall, Metcalf South Shopping Center and a new city hall came into existence in the 60s and 70s. They also started renovating the historic downtown area in the 90s. The Farmer’s market pavilion and the Clock Tower were also constructed. The city experienced a rapid growth in commercial and residential developments in 1980s.

Overland park also booked a place in ’50 fabulous places to raise a family. Factors, which were taken into account, included low crime rate, excellent education, health facilities and developments. The city also holds the distinction of one of the ‘top 10 best places to live in America’. It also came first among 13 AAA rated communities surveyed by County Economic Research in 1996 in the quality of life index. Parameters, which were taken into account, included education, crime, economic growth, local government cost, population growth and infrastructure.

Overland park is also honored with one of the top 20 places to raise kids in America. It was judged as the ‘Best Kansas City for Family Raising’, ‘Best Free Place to Visit’, ‘Best for Day Trip’ and ‘America’s best city for women’.

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