Remembering Glenwood

Glenwood Theatre, ca. 1968. Source: JoCo Museum.

Glenwood Theatre, ca. 1968. Source: JoCo Museum.

I always felt a sense of anticipation and excitement walking through the rectangular parking lot, over the gravel-filled medians into the Glenwood movie theater. Not only was I being transported to whatever fantasy world the movie created, I was also entering a forgotten and foreign world. The Glenwood had style: It featured a fire place and an indoor fountain, like those found outside at the Plaza. A vaulted ceiling with cathedral-esque windows allowed waves of golden sunlight to fill the lobby. And best yet, the actual theater might have been the biggest single room I had ever seen. Imagine that brief moment when the green preview shot would appear as a wobbly specter as the gigantic curtains parted way to reveal the majestic screen!

Glenwood Theatre, 1966 ca. Source: JoCoHistory.org.

Glenwood Theatre, 1966 ca. Source: JoCoHistory.org.

At the tender age of five in the year 1983, when we found movie times in the newspaper and had to wait in line to get tickets to a highly-anticipated blockbuster, my parents took my brother and I to see Superman III. You didn’t see a movie at the Glenwood: You experienced it. My personal list includes: Dune (1984, yes I saw Dune at the age of 6), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985), and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986), Mosquito Coast (1986), Raising Arizona (1987), Tim Burton’s Batman (1989, opening day), Independence Day (1996), Batman and Robin (1997, Yuck!), and Contact (1997). Basically, the formative years of my movie watching developed at the Glenwood Theater.

The Glenwood (lower left) at Glenwood Manor Motor Hotel. Source: JoCoHistory.org.

The Glenwood (lower left) at Glenwood Manor Motor Hotel. Source: JoCoHistory.org.

The last movie I saw at the Glenwood was Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace in the summer of 1999. There was so much excitement and I was so eager to return to my childhood years of wonder. Sadly, not only was that movie terrible (even though I saw it four times) but the theater itself closed a year later. I couldn’t help but feel as though those two events were inextricable, as if the movie gods said, “Try as you might, those halcyon days will never return. But you’ll always have the ticket stubs.”

Learn more about the Glenwood and nation-wide cinema treasures: http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/1854

-Scott Stone, Johnson County Library

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Who’s Lackman?

Have you ever wondered where some of the names in our County come from? One that stuck out recently with the Johnson County Library was the name Lackman, which refers to William Lackman. A librarian recently wrote about the County’s street names and mentioned Lackman briefly. Here’s a look further into the family and their importance to Johnson County History.

Margaretha and William Lackman, ca. 1905. Source: JoCoHistory.org.

Margaretha and William Lackman, ca. 1905. Source: JoCoHistory.org.

William and Margaretha Lackman were German immigrants who settled in the Kansas City area around 1880. He was a farmer and financier and bought a large piece of land – approximately 210 acres – in present-day Lenexa. Lackman is best known for two things in Johnson County history: 1. his estate; and 2. an interurban electric rail line.

Lackman began building his house in 1881 and spared no expense. He brought in European artisans to work on the house – Italian artisans to produce the ornate plasterwork and German workers to produce the furniture, embellish ceilings and a walnut staircase in the house.

Fireplace at Lackman-Thompson Estate. Source: JoCoHistory. org.

Fireplace at Lackman-Thompson Estate. Source: JoCoHistory. org.

His house was admired by citizens of the County and these admirations were noted in the Olathe Mirror. One citizen said, “W.M. Lackman has the finest dwelling house and nicest barn in this county any where, we are glad that some of our citizens have got some taste about them.”

Lackman was also known for an interurban rail project which he began in 1901. He and David B. Johnson were granted a charter to run a rail line from Kansas City to Olathe, which was appropriately named K.C. – Olathe Electric Line. At this time, Kansas City had an established railroad system and Olathe was quickly growing as the County seat. The rail line would run from K.C. touching on Rosedale, Merriam, Shawnee, Lenexa, Pleasant View and Olathe. Lackman Station, seen in the picture below, was on the east of the Lackman property.

Lackman Station, 1900-1910 ca. Source: JoCoHistory.org.

Lackman Station, 1900-1910 ca. Source: JoCoHistory.org.

Lackman and Johnson raised money for this venture by selling stocks. They surveyed the land, purchased the right of way and grading was in progress by the spring of 1904.

Unfortunately, everything did not go as expected for this endeavor when two of Lackman’s employees ran off with the $40,000 company bankroll, leaving him bankrupt. He sold the business to William Strang who completed the project and ran the Strang Line from 1906 to 1938.

In 1908, Lackman sold the farmhouse, all its furnishings and surrounding property to Frank Thompson for $32,000 (today’s equivalent approximately $3million). His family disappeared from Johnson County history and the Thompson family lived on the estate until 1991 when it was given to the Johnson County Community College. The Johnson County Museum was able to successfully register the estate on the Kansas Historic Register and it is the only Lenexa structure on the register. It now belongs to the city of Lenexa and houses the Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Council and Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Photograph of Lackman home. Source: JoCoHistory.org.

Photograph of Lackman home. Source: JoCoHistory.org.

To summarize, William Lackman was a valuable figure to Johnson County history. The Lackman-Thompson Estate still stands as a “reminder of Kansas history and the role its first occupants played in the shaping of the state, the region and the nation.” His interurban rail provided the beginning of innovative transportation from Kansas City to the suburbs of Johnson County, helping “make this area of Kansas the suburban mecca it is today by making it easy to sell, trade and transport goods in Kansas City”.

-Katie Stramel, Johnson County Library

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Drum roll please!

In 2011 Zickos Corporation made the decision to close its doors. After more than 50 years, William Zickos, known as the father of acrylic drums and John Brazelton, President, ceased production of their acrylic drum set. Because Zickos and Brazelton valued their top quality product, they chose not to sell out to one of their competitors. They believed in their product and wanted to keep the integrity of the Zickos name.

From left to right: William Zickos, Gregg Gerson, John Brazelton, 2001 ca. Photo courtesy of gregggerson.com.

From left to right: William Zickos, Gregg Gerson, John Brazelton, 2001 ca. Photo courtesy of gregggerson.com.

In 1959 Bill Zickos worked at Toon Music in Prairie Village by day and by night he played drums for the Ed Smith Band at the New Orleans Room on Wyandotte Street. While working at Toon Music, he tutored 30-40 aspiring drummers. It was during this time Zickos had the idea of taking clear plastic sheets and molding them into a drum set. What he got was a drum that was not only innovative in style, but also produced a crisper, louder sound.

drums

At a time when Rock and Roll was up and coming, that louder resonating sound would prove to be very popular. One unique aspect of clear plastic drums was the way lighting illuminated through the clear acrylic creating a tapestry of color. This unique light show was very attractive to young musicians just starting out in this new rock and roll genre. When money was tight this was an advantage. One humorous point of interest was that the drummer, due to the transparency of the drums, would now be required to wear pants during a performance.

drum set

During the early years of production Mr. Zickos’ drum students were the first employees hired to build these unique drum sets. They were also the first to own them. While traveling from show to show they would become the original Zickos drum promoters. One such student included Mike Thompson, today a local well known talent in the Kansas City area.

Mike Thompson playing on a Zickos drum set. Photo courtesy of Mike Thompson.

Mike Thompson playing on a Zickos drum set. Photo courtesy of Mike Thompson.

For several years drums gained in popularity with other local drummers. It is believed that during one of these local performances the unique style and cool, crisp sound was noticed by Ron Bushy (drummer for the popular rock group Iron Butterfly). Bushy was so impressed he purchased a set for himself.

Photo courtesy of drumarchive.com.

Photo courtesy of drumarchive.com.

This drum set would later become a focal point of a drum solo during the classic 18 minute song, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vidda.” Soon other groups would take notice and purchase Zickos innovative new drum set. Groups such as The Who, Beach Boys, Three Dog Night soon followed leading Zickos to open Zickos Corporation on 85th Street in Lenexa. Keith Moon of The Who, during an episode of Wide World In Concert: Midnight Special, played a 5 minute solo in which one of his acrylic drums was filled with water and goldfish.

-Terri Bostic, Johnson County Library

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A Favorite Pastime

Baseball. The crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd and an umpire yelling, “You’re out!” It is one of America’s favorite pastimes, and with the recent Kansas City Royals’ World Series success, a fan can feel the excitement in the air. What could be more exciting at this time of the year?

Zarah Baseball 2

Frank Russel and Harold Hines, players of the Zarah Ball Club, circa 1920-1925.

One hundred years ago, fans made a day out of a Sunday baseball game. It was a great outing for the entire family. Parents took their young children, and it created a lasting memory. They packed a picnic lunch and traveled to the park on the Interurban, our area’s own electric-powered streetcar system. The Hocker line ran farthest west, almost to the town of Zarah where Starwood Park was located.

Zarah Baseball 1

Edward “Babe” Garrett, player on the Zarah Ball Club, circa 1920-1925.

The Johnson County Baseball League included 8 towns: Olathe, DeSoto, Wellsville, Edgerton, Merriam, Overland Park, Shawnee and Lenexa. Even local companies, to improve relations with employees, created baseball teams. Eventually, with the desire to travel anywhere by owning an automobile, our Interurban’s popularity declined, but baseball has lasted!

Zarah Baseball 4

Kenith Anderson, player on the Zarah Ball Club, circa 1920-1925.

Today with spring upon us, each community is beginning to form its own annual team, bolstering community pride. So get out there and root for your home team!

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

By Jack Norworth (lyricist), Albert Von Tilzer (composer), Edward Meeker (singer), Edison’s National Phonograph Company (publisher) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

-Terri Bostic, Johnson County Library

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JoCo Street Names: M – Z

This third and last installment will highlight the last remaining road and street names in the alphabet. Thanks again to the Johnson County Museum for providing the research on the background of these names in Johnson County, Kansas. Now when you drive down roads, like Metcalf, Nall and Roe, you will know a little bit more about their history.

Mastin:  J.J. Mastin owned several acres west and south of Merriam where the Mastin subdivision is now located. [Journal Herald. May 13, 1999 p. 7.]

Marty Street: John Marty, vice president of the Overland Park State Bank in 1910. [Overland Park (Kan.). Community Development Dept. Comprehensive Planning Division. (1978). History of Overland Park. Overland Park, KS: City of Overland Park. p. 58.]

Mastin: J.J. Mastin owned several acres west and south of Merriam where the Mastin subdivision is now located. [Journal Herald. May 13, 1999 p. 7.]

Metcalf: Named for a George Metcalf, Oklahoma banker, who bought land for investment purposes and to farm when he retired. Overland Park (Kan.). Community Development Dept. Comprehensive Planning Division. (1978). History of Overland Park. Overland Park, KS: City of Overland Park. p. 58. [see portrait 1997.077.000 in museum collection]

Mission Road: Once named Porter road because it bisected the Porter Farm. [“Historic Johnson County” Johnson County Herald September 3, 1969 p. 7.]

Another possible reason for the name for Mission Road – once called Rock Road, followed the Rock Creek from Westport to the Indian mission. [“Many creeks take names from area’s history, but some are just a mystery.” Johnson County Sun September 1, 1993 p. 5A.]

Nall Avenue: John Nall and his brother purchased school land, then built a home near Nall and 67th. The land was later turned into city lots. [Overland Park (Kan.). Community Development Dept. Comprehensive Planning Division. (1978). History of Overland Park. Overland Park, KS: City of Overland Park. p. 58.]

Nieman Road: Nieman Road was a branch of the Santa Fe Trail. It was named after C. Nieman, cashier of the Shawnee State Bank, which opened in 1908. [Lenexa Historical Society. (1999). Heritage of Lenexa: Historic sites, street names. Lenexa, KS: Lenexa Historical Society. ]

Noland: T.W. Noland was a Johnson County engineer and was in charge of every road build in the county. [Lenexa Historical Society. (1999). Heritage of Lenexa: Historic sites, street names. Lenexa, KS: Lenexa Historical Society. ]

Pawnee Road: Indian name meaning “horn.” [“Historic Johnson County”.  Johnson County Herald September 3, 1969 p. 7.] [note: Pawnee became synonymous with “Indian slave” in general use in Canada, and a slave from any tribe came to be called Panis.–Carter Godwin Woodson, “The Slave in Canada”, The Journal of Negro History, Vol. 5, July 1920, No. 3, pp. 263-264]

Pflumm: Named for C.H. Pflumm, president of Shawnee State Savings Bank in 1958. [Overland Park (Kan.). Community Development Dept. Comprehensive Planning Division. (1978). History of Overland Park. Overland Park, KS: City of Overland Park. p. 58.]

Quivira: Name is indirectly linked to land sought by Coronado in Kansas in the 1880’s and by the name of the Quivira Indians who got their name from the Quivira River where they lived. Quivira was previously named Schlagel Road. The Schlagel family owned large tracts of land in South Overland Park. [Overland Park (Kan.). Community Development Dept. Comprehensive Planning Division. (1978). History of Overland Park. Overland Park, KS: City of Overland Park. p. 59. ]

Reeder: Andrew Reeder was the first territorial governor of Kansas. [Lenexa Historical Society. (1999). Heritage of Lenexa: Historic sites, street names. Lenexa, KS: Lenexa Historical Society. ]

Riley: This street was named for Thomas Riley, vice president and general manager for the Strang Line. [Overland Park (Kan.). Community Development Dept. Comprehensive Planning Division. (1978). History of Overland Park. Overland Park, KS: City of Overland Park. p. 59.]

Roe Avenue: John Roe came to the United States in 1860 from Ireland seeking farmland. [Overland Park (Kan.). Community Development Dept. Comprehensive Planning Division. (1978). History of Overland Park. Overland Park, KS: City of Overland Park. p. 59.]

Roe Avenue and Roe Lane: Named also for John Roe. [“Historic Johnson County” Johnson County Herald. September 3, 1969 p. 7.

Santa Fe Drive: Named for the Santa Fe Trail that follows through Overland Park. [Overland Park (Kan.). Community Development Dept. Comprehensive Planning Division. (1978). History of Overland Park. Overland Park, KS: City of Overland Park. p. 59.]

Slater: Named for Cyprian Slater, one of the earliest residents who served as the first school board treasurer in 1871. [Journal Herald May 13, 1999 p. 7.]

Strang Drive: This street is named after the founder of Overland Park and president of the Strang Interurban Railroad. [Overland Park (Kan.). Community Development Dept. Comprehensive Planning Division. (1978). History of Overland Park. Overland Park, KS: City of Overland Park. p. 59.]

Strang Line: Named after the interurban railroad started by William B. Strang, Jr. (1857-1921). [Lenexa Historical Society. (1999). Heritage of Lenexa: Historic sites, street names. Lenexa, KS: Lenexa Historical Society. ]

Switzer Road: One of the two Breyfogle roads that were in the Shawnee- Overland Park area that were combined and named Switzer. [Overland Park (Kan.). Community Development Dept. Comprehensive Planning Division. (1978). History of Overland Park. Overland Park, KS: City of Overland Park. p. 60.]

Walmer Avenue: Named for Edwin Walmer, assessor for Mission Township from 1927-1955. [Overland Park (Kan.). Community Development Dept. Comprehensive Planning Division. (1978). History of Overland Park. Overland Park, KS: City of Overland Park. p. 60.]

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JoCo Street Names: D – L

This is the second installment of our three part series about Johnson County, Kansas street names. Please stay tuned for the third installment that will be published next week. The street names are followed by a brief description about who or what they were named after and then a citation. Thank you to the Johnson County Museum for conducting this research.

Dice: Named after Fred Dice, a civil engineer, who was a Lenexa City County member in the 1970s. [Lenexa Historical Society. (1999). Heritage of Lenexa: Historic sites, street names. Lenexa, KS: Lenexa Historical Society. ]

Earnshaw Drive: Earnshaw family came to Shawnee in 1857 and was prominent landowners. [Lenexa Historical Society. (1999). Heritage of Lenexa: Historic sites, street names. Lenexa, KS: Lenexa Historical Society. ]

Flint: Lazarus, Elias and Levi Flint were landowners in Shawnee. [Lenexa Historical Society. (1999). Heritage of Lenexa: Historic sites, street names. Lenexa, KS: Lenexa Historical Society. ]

Garnett: Named after Hal Garnett, former mayor of Shawnee and jewelry store owner. [Lenexa Historical Society. (1999). Heritage of Lenexa: Historic sites, street names. Lenexa, KS: Lenexa Historical Society. ]

Gillette Street: H.D. Gillette moved to Lenexa in 1870 and started the first blacksmith shop. [Lenexa Historical Society. (1999). Heritage of Lenexa: Historic sites, street names. Lenexa, KS: Lenexa Historical Society. ]

Goddard Avenue: Named for prominent pioneer family in Shawnee. [Lenexa Historical Society. (1999). Heritage of Lenexa: Historic sites, street names. Lenexa, KS: Lenexa Historical Society. ]

Hadley Street: Named for Jeremiah Hadley the superintendent of the Quaker Mission in 1856. [Journal Herald. May 13, 1999 p. 7.]

Hallet Street: Hallet C. Parrish was former City attorney of Shawnee. [Lenexa Historical Society. (1999). Heritage of Lenexa: Historic sites, street names. Lenexa, KS: Lenexa Historical Society. ]

Hayes: Named for Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th president of the United States. [Journal Herald. May 13, 1999 p. 7.]

Hocker: Richard W. Hocker developed 40 acres west of Turkey Creek and named it Hocker Grove, but he never lived there. [Journal Herald. May 13, 1999 p. 7.]

Johnson Drive: Named for Reverend Thomas Johnson, founder of the Shawnee Methodist Mission and director of the Manual Labor Training School. [Journal Herald. May 13, 1999 p. 7.]

Kessler Lane: German immigrant George Kessler settled in the area on Kessler’s bluff, now called Sherwood Forest. [Journal Herald May 13, 1999 p. 7]

Lackman: William Lackman was a farmer, stock raiser and landowner who built a Victorian home at 11800 Lackman Road in 1886. [Lenexa Historical Society. (1999). Heritage of Lenexa: Historic sites, street names. Lenexa, KS: Lenexa Historical Society. ]

Lamar: Buxton named the street Lamar after Lucius Quitus Cincinatus Lamar, Georgian politician and mathematics professor. Overland Park (Kan.).  [Community Development Dept. Comprehensive Planning Division. (1978). History of Overland Park. Overland Park, KS: City of Overland Park. p. 58.]

Lee Boulevard: Named for Oscar Grant Lee, who built a house at 2320 West 96th Street in the early 1920s.

[“Home of Oscar Grant Lee (boulevard namesake) is still occupied today” Sun July 11, 1986]

Legler: Named for Adam Legler family who came to area.

Lenexa: Name changed from East Frontage Road to Lenexa Drive. Lenexa was named after a Shawnee Indian woman, Na-Nex-Se Blackhoof. [ Lenexa Historical Society. (1999). Heritage of Lenexa: Historic sites, street names. Lenexa, KS: Lenexa Historical Society. ]

Lichtenauer Drive: Named for Joseph and Berdine Zahner Lichtenauer. [Lenexa Historical Society. (1999). Heritage of Lenexa: Historic sites, street names. Lenexa, KS: Lenexa Historical Society. ]

Lone Elm: Named for a campground on the Santa Fe Trail. It took its name from a large Elm tree that served as a landmark. [Lenexa Historical Society. (1999). Heritage of Lenexa: Historic sites, street names. Lenexa, KS: Lenexa Historical Society. ]

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JoCo Street Names: A – C

Street names have been a hot topic around here lately and we would like to share with you some interesting information researched by the Johnson County Museum. Below is a list of street and road names in Johnson County, Kansas in alphabetical order A – C. The citations follow the description. Stay tuned for the next set of names in this three part series.

Acuff Lane: Named for Phil and John Acuff, residential developers in Lenexa and Shawnee. [Lenexa Historical Society. (1999). Heritage of Lenexa: Historic sites, street names. Lenexa, KS: Lenexa Historical Society. ]

Alden Road: William Alden owned 120 acres from one mile west of Shawnee and donated land for the Greenwood School. [Lenexa Historical Society. (1999). Heritage of Lenexa: Historic sites, street names. Lenexa, KS: Lenexa Historical Society.]

Allman Road: Robert O. and Frances Allman were landowners of an area north of 79th and west of Lackman Road. [Lenexa Historical Society. (1999). Heritage of Lenexa: Historic sites, street names. Lenexa, KS: Lenexa Historical Society.]

Antioch: Originally called Chase Road after the Chase family; later renamed Antioch because the Antioch Church was located there. [Overland Park (Kan.). Community Development Dept. Comprehensive Planning Division. (1978). History of Overland Park. Overland Park, KS: City of Overland Park. p. 55.]

OR

It could have been named for the city mentioned in the Bible. [Journal Herald May 13, 1999 p. 7]

Ballentine: Named for John N. Ballentine, grocer from Kansas City, Kansas who moved to Johnson County in 1919, [Overland Park (Kan.). Community Development Dept. Comprehensive Planning Division. (1978). History of Overland Park. Overland Park, KS: City of Overland Park. p. 55.]

Barkley Road: John L. Barkley helped develop the area and was on the mission Urban Township board. [Overland Park (Kan.). Community Development Dept. Comprehensive Planning Division. (1978). History of Overland Park. Overland Park, KS: City of Overland Park. p. 56.]

Barton: John Barton was the treasurer of Johnson County in 1857 and founder of Olathe. [Lenexa Historical Society. (1999). Heritage of Lenexa: Historic sites, street names. Lenexa, KS: Lenexa Historical Society. ]

Blackbob Road: Blackbob was the recognized chief of the Black Bob Band of Shawnee Indians in the Stanley – Stillwell area. [Lenexa Historical Society. (1999). Heritage of Lenexa: Historic sites, street names. Lenexa, KS: Lenexa Historical Society.]

Bluejacket Street: Could have been named for the famed Bluejacket spring used by Indians for water.

OR

The Shawnee Indians of White decent, Charles, Julia and Robert Bluejacket. [“Historic Johnson County.”  Johnson County Herald September 3, 1969 p. 7]

Boehm Drive: New street west of Loiret Boulevard in the Villas of Loriet. [Lenexa Historical Society. (1999). Heritage of Lenexa: Historic sites, street names. Lenexa, KS: Lenexa Historical Society. ]

Bradshaw Drive: Named for the family of Squire Charles A. Bradshaw, one of the founders of Lenexa. Lenexa Historical Society. (1999). [Heritage of Lenexa: Historic sites, street names. Lenexa, KS: Lenexa Historical Society.]

Bregfoyle: Well-known member of Overland Park and Olathe areas; a portion of this street was renamed Switzer. [Overland Park (Kan.). Community Development Dept. Comprehensive Planning Division. (1978). History of Overland Park. Overland Park, KS: City of Overland Park. p. 56.]

Caenen: Named for Remi Caenen, Belgium immigrant who moved to the area in the 1860s. [Overland Park (Kan.). Community Development Dept. Comprehensive Planning Division. (1978). History of Overland Park. Overland Park, KS: City of Overland Park. p. 56.]

Cedar Creek Road: Named after Cedar Creek, small stream that enters Kansas about 1 ½ miles east of De Soto. [Lenexa Historical Society. (1999). Heritage of Lenexa: Historic sites, street names. Lenexa, KS: Lenexa Historical Society.]

Cherry Lane: Believed to have been named after the Cherry Lane School located at 95th and Woodland. [Lenexa Historical Society. (1999). Heritage of Lenexa: Historic sites, street names. Lenexa, KS: Lenexa Historical Society. ]

Cody: Some people believe it was named after Buffalo Bill Cody. [Lenexa Historical Society. (1999). Heritage of Lenexa: Historic sites, street names. Lenexa, KS: Lenexa Historical Society. ]

College: Name changed from 111th street after the construction of the Johnson County Community College.  [“Man who named College Blvd. never foresaw massive growth” Sun October 30, 1991] [Lenexa Historical Society. (1999). Heritage of Lenexa: Historic sites, street names. Lenexa, KS: Lenexa Historical Society. ]

 

Conser: Named by Grant Conser, second generation Conser, when he came to the area. [Overland Park (Kan.). Johnson County Democrat March 4, 1954. Community Development Dept. Comprehensive Planning Division. (1978). History of Overland Park. Overland Park, KS: City of Overland Park. p. 57.]

Thank you for reading and remember to come back to see the next set of street names! Feel free to comment with any additional street names you’re interested in knowing more about.

-Beth Edson, Johnson County Library

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