Shawnee, Kansas is an incredible place with a rich history. It was established in 1857, with a long history preceding this date. The Shawnee Indians have inhabited Johnson County for hundreds of years, and their stories remain preserved today.
Famous individuals with deep Shawnee connections have made lasting impressions too. Linda Cook is a renowned business executive and Phill Kline was the esteemed Attorney General of Kansas. Chris Porter is one of the most well-known comedians hailing from Shawnee.
Together they make up just part of the amazing fabric that weaves together the stories and legends of this impressive town in the Kansas City metropolitan area. It’s no wonder why people from all over come to pay homage to ‘the city between two rivers.’
Shawnee, Kansas boasts an impressive history reaching back to the mid-19th century when it served as an important government road. It is the seventh-largest municipality in the Kansas City metropolitan area which was historically linked to westward expansion in the mid-19th century.
During this time, Shawnee served as a government road that connected Fort Leavenworth and Fort Riley, with nearby travelers trekking along the Oregon Trail and Santa Fe Trail.
The origin of Shawnee’s name can be traced back to when Rev. Thomas Johnson was appointed to serve among the native Shawnees in 1830. In 1857, Shawnee Council established the town of Shawnee as it is known today, while at around the same time, Frederick Choteau opened up his trading post on American Chief (now Mission) Creek.
The following year, 1858, saw Shawnee County was created and named after these same indigenous inhabitants of this part of Kansas. In 1865 Topeka became an elected county seat with a new courthouse being built at 4th Street and Kansas Avenue in 1867 and still used until 1965 when it moved further south towards 7th and Quincy streets.
Today’s Shawnee Mission School District serves many communities in northeastern Johnson County that have been given names reflecting their association with the land’s original inhabitants:
The area was referred to as “Shawnee Mission” by local U.S Postal Service which refers to not just one single township but rather multiple suburbs outside downtown including Merriam and Prairie Village plus other adjoining cities such as Overland Park that makes up this part regional network spread out through lower northern KS suburbs next to Missouri state line.
Shawnee is home to 68,841 people as of 2023. With a median age of 38.2 years and an average household income of $108,089, its population has an 81.6% White majority and 9.19% of Latino or Hispanic origin. There is a population density of 1,640 people per square mile, and the poverty rate stands at 6.81%.
Native American citizens have the lowest poverty rate at 3.37%, whereas Black Residents have the highest, close to 8%. English is the main language spoken among most inhabitants, with Spanish also being present in plenty of cases.
Most inhabitants are also born in the U.S., accounting for 91.19% of its population. Thanks to its vibrant cultural landscape sprinkled with distinct neighborhoods and parks, Shawnee remains an attractive place to live for many Kansas families who offer unique cultural perspectives and experiences beyond the western suburbs it borders.
There is a range of educational opportunities available for all ages and abilities in Shawnee. The Shawnee Mission School District serves the city, providing Traditional K-12 education as well as Early Childhood Education and Special Education services.
Shawnee Mission Early Childhood Education Center, provides play-based learning that helps children develop their social, emotional, and cognitive skills. Parents can participate in the Parents as Teachers program to facilitate the growth of their children within their home environment.
The school district also has 48 schools of various kinds – traditional public schools, magnet schools, alternative schools – and a range of programs such as gifted education, English language learners, and special education.
In addition to the district’s offerings, students can attend college or university in nearby cities such as Kansas City MO, or Johnson County Community College and Baker University both based in Shawnee itself.
Shawnee residents can benefit from a wide range of educational opportunities that focus on helping young minds reach their full potential.
Shawnee is situated conveniently, providing access to major highways, airports, and railroads, allowing for easy journeys across the United States in less than four hours. This means teams, products, and residents can get anywhere quickly with convenience.
Some of the transport options available for its residents are CityRide, RideKC, Catch-a-Ride, and the Olathe Taxi Coupon Program. Check each option’s descriptions below:
|CityRide||Provides rides for Shawnee residents aged 65 or older or persons with disabilities, with trips available to private residences, businesses, physician offices, and other locations within Shawnee. The City supplements the cost of the rides through an electronic card program, and cards are available at Shawnee City Hall.|
|RideKC||A single, interconnected bus and transit system that provides affordable ride-hailing transportation in parts of Johnson and Wyandotte counties. RideKC is a shared ride program for low-income or disabled residents, providing affordable curb-to-curb transportation.|
|Catch-a-Ride||A volunteer transportation service provided by the Aging and Human Services Department for qualifying elder residents, people with disabilities, and/or others who have no other means of transportation.|
|Olathe Taxi Coupon Program||A reduced-rate transportation program is available for Olathe residents who are elderly and/or disabled. Taxi Coupons may be used for rides anywhere within the city limits of Olathe, and program participants may purchase two coupon books (20 one-way trips) per month for personal trips.|
The Kansas Department of Transportation creates plans to make transportation efficient, accessible, and convenient offering traveler information, planning, road design, and more services.
Points of Interest
Welcome to Shawnee Kansas, a growing suburb with a treasure chest of activities awaiting you. Discover history in Shawnee Town 1929 museum, take a stroll through Mill Creek Streamway Park, and explore an impressive 1,600 acres of trails and lake at Shawnee Mission Park.
Shop local downtown or grab some tickets for a show at the historic Aztec Theatre! Enjoy summer nights with Moonlight Markets and Of course don’t miss out on when traveling to the Kansas City area – Grinter Place, KC Ice Center, and Strawberry Hill Povitica Company for some tasty treats!
For all your friends who love adventure, there is Splash Cove water park, Black Hoof Park & Zip KC that have got you surrounded by Fun! Make sure to have a family-friendly getaway experience right here in Shawnee, whether it’s walking in nature at Mill Creek Streamway Park or exploring history at Johnson County Museum.
With its proximity to Kansas City and Lawrence restaurants as well & attractions galore – Shawnee is calling your name!