About Olathe, KS

Kansas came into the Union under the Wyandotte Constitution in January 1861. The Civil War began in April. Two-thirds of all adult males in Kansas served in the Union Army. The infamous Quantrill raided Olathe on Sept. 6, 1862. General Price was forced from Westport to defeat at Mine Creek in 1864.

More than half the buildings standing in Olathe in 1861 were moved or destroyed long before the end of the war. During this time, city government was very chaotic, but after Appomattox, Olathe was reincorporated as a city of the third class.

The 1865 Johnson County census was 6,093. The Institute for the Deaf and Dumb was organized in Olathe in 1866. Olathe’s first public school was built of stone in 1868. The railroad reached the eastern edge of the city in 1867, and the southern edge of the county by 1869.

Olathe is the second largest among the 21 communities in prosperous Johnson County, and the fourth largest city in the state. It is located just 20 miles southwest of downtown Kansas City, with all of the cultural advantages of a major metropolitan area.

Olathe offers a lifestyle of exceptional quality. A drive through Olathe’s attractive neighborhoods shows a well-planned, pleasing community. Olathe’s Fire and Police Departments are among the finest in the state. The City’s school system is one of the best in the nation.

Outdoor recreation offers a variety of activities, including running, bicycling, fishing, boating, and team sports. The Olathe area is popular for hot-air ballooning and sailboarding. Olathe has two public lakes: Olathe Lake (172 acres) and Cedar Lake (45 acres.)

The City’s Parks and Recreation Department maintains year-round activities including music and dance, sports, health and fitness programs for all ages. Baseball diamonds, tennis courts and fitness trails are available throughout the city and there are four public outdoor swimming pools in Olathe.

Olathe’s quality of life invites an ever-increasing number of people to look at the community as a place to call home.

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