Have you ever driven down K-10, maybe on your way to Lawrence or De Soto, Kansas, and glanced at the Kill Creek Road exit or visited Kill Creek Park and wondered how they got their name? There is an actual creek called Kill Creek, and this is the namesake of the road and park, but how did it get the name Kill? Over the last year, we have received several inquiries about the origin of Kill Creek’s name, and we wanted to share our findings. With help from our friends at the Johnson County Parks and Recreation District, we have discovered the origin of the name, and it’s probably not what you think.
There are several creeks on the East Coast that include the word “Kill” in their name. The word “Kill” may allude to a violent act that took place in that geographical area. However, in most cases these creeks are named Kill or Kille after the Middle Dutch term for creek or body of water. This is true for Johnson County’s Kill Creek Road and Kill Creek Park between Olathe and De Soto. The name simply means body of water.
We hope this quells any confusion or lingering curiosity you may have had about Kill Creek.
-Beth Edson, Johnson County Library