The History of Olathe, Kansas

In this article, you’ll learn about the many early residents of Olathe KS, the construction of the first hotel, the opening of a first-class store, the first lager beer, C. M. Ott’s bakery, and the arrival of the first white woman, Mrs. Jonathan Millikan. This article will take you through some of the most interesting people in Olathe’s history. Also, you’ll learn about the importance of Mrs. Bowen, who is remembered for her kindness and love.

Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop-Farm Historic Site

If you are interested in the history of the American West, visit the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop-Farm Historic Site in Olathe, Kansas. This historical site once served as a stop for travelers on the Santa Fe Trail, Oregon Trail, and California Trail. The trail actually originated in nearby Westport, Missouri. It is a great place to learn about the history of the American West, and a must see for all Kansas residents!

Bert Dudley

The story of Bert Dudley and the history of Olathe, Kansas starts on Sept. 19, 1916. Dudley murdered a well-liked couple near Stilwell. He was convicted of their murder and given a life sentence. On Sept. 21, 1916, while Dudley was being transported to the state prison, a mob formed outside of the jail. The mob was so violent that they overwhelmed the Sheriff. The Sheriff was unable to protect the prisoner, and a mob of 65 men gathered outside of the jail. The lynchers were thought to have come from the neighborhood where the murder occurred and were out for revenge.


Travis Bailey is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Olathe Chamber of Commerce, and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. He also serves as the Executive Director of Facilities and Operations for Olathe Public Schools, the second largest school district in Kansas. Among his responsibilities are new construction and facility improvement projects, maintenance and grounds, energy management, custodial services, and warehouse operations.

Mrs. Bowen

When the new town of Olathe was established in 1904, it was home to three hundred and thirty-six people. This population grew to thirty-two by 1910, and there are twelve miles of paved streets, a waterworks plant that cost approximately ten thousand dollars, and a twenty-acre basin that serves as the city’s water supply. The town also boasted a thirty-two-room high school that cost $30,000 to build. The Olathe Central School, which cost $25,000, was built in 1912; two ward schools cost $5,000 each. In addition to a 100-year old public library, Olathe city hall cost a total of $17500.

Thavis’s lyceum

The first course at Thavis’s lyceum was organized in Olathe, Kansas, on October 13, 1860, and its enrollment far surpassed those of any other course held in the town. The lectures were delivered by twenty-five well-prepared men, and the Hayes hall was filled to capacity on Wednesday evenings for a full 20 weeks. The other exercises held each evening would compare favorably with those of any institution of the kind anywhere.

Mrs. Bowen’s story

When you read about the life of Mrs. Bowen, you might be struck by a common theme: her love for helping others. She was one of the most generous people you’ll ever meet, and she lived by her motto: “Helping others, do the same.” This statement rings true even today, in a small city like Olathe, Kansas. But what really sets Mrs. Bowen’s story apart is her determination to make things better for everyone. That’s why the book focuses on the life and times of this Olathe, Kansas resident.

First railroad convention in Olathe

The town was incorporated in 1881, and the population was 2,285 at that time. The population increased by 20% between 1880 and 1890, with the city’s population increasing to 3,294 by the year of the census. In the early 1900s, the railroads were still the main form of transportation, though automobiles soon shared the road with farm wagons. The town also celebrated its centennial in 1957. A fourth printed history of Olathe was published in 1957, and two long-time weekly newspapers were bought by Harris Newspapers in 1959. The result was the Olathe News.

Thavis’ lyceum

When you visit Olathe, Kansas, don’t miss the chance to check out Thavis’ lyceum. This local theater provides an array of classical and contemporary performances for locals and tourists alike. Its historic interior is adorned with statues, paintings, and a lighted dome. The building was designed by noted Kansas artist Thavis LeFrak. It is one of five high schools in the Olathe, Kansas USD 233 school district.

Old Settlers’ Association

The Johnson County Old Settlers’ Association is a historical organization in Olathe, Kansas. It has been around since 1898 and fills up downtown Olathe with music, concerts, arts & crafts, and even a classic car show. The association runs 20 food booths run by local nonprofit organizations. The association is comprised of 47 Board members and meets 9 months out of the year.

William C. Quantrill

In 1776, a group of men led by William C. Quantrill took over the town of Olathe, Kansas. They were searching for men from the Twelfth Kansas Regiment. On one occasion, they shot Frank Cook. Frank had just joined the Twelfth Kansas, and was staying with his wife at her parents’ house when the raiders arrived. When he heard the commotion, he was in bed with his wife. He was shot in the chest and his head was crushed by a cannon ball.

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