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Olathe ( , ) is a city in and the county seat of Johnson County, Kansasmarker, United Statesmarker. Located in northeastern Kansas, it is also the fifth most populous city in the state, with an estimated population of 118,034 in 2007. As a suburb of Kansas City, Missourimarker, Olathe is the fourth-largest city in the Kansas City Metropolitan Areamarker. It is bordered by the cities of Lenexamarker to the north, Overland Parkmarker to the east, and Gardnermarker to the southwest. In 2008, the US Census Bureau ranked Olathe the 24th fastest-growing city in the nation. The same year, CNN/Money and Money magazine ranked Olathe #11 on its list of the "100 Best Cities to Live in the United States."

History

Olathe was founded by Dr. John T. Barton in the spring of 1857. He rode to the center of Johnson County, Kansas, and staked two quarter sections of land as the town site. He later described his ride to friends: "...the prairie was covered with verbena and other wild flowers. I kept thinking the land was beautiful and that I should name the town Beautiful." Purportedly, Barton asked a Shawnee interpreter how to say "Beautiful" in his native language. The interpreter responded, "Olathe."

Olathe was not the first city established in Johnson County, but it quickly became the largest and was named the county seat in October 1859 [17622]. The city's early days were filled with violence, as pro-slavery forces from nearby Missourimarker often clashed with local abolitionists. These conflicts were known on a large scale as Bleeding Kansas.

As the 1850s came to a close, and as Kansas entered the Union as a free state in 1861, the violence lessened. However, a year later Confederate guerillas from Missouri led by William Quantrill surprised the residents and raided the city on September 7, 1862, killing a half dozen men, robbing numerous businesses and private homes, and destroying most of the city. Quantrill launched the raid because the people of Olathe were known for their abolitionism.

Olathe served as a stop on the Oregon Trail, the California Trail, and the Santa Fe Trail. Catering to travelers was the main source of income for local stores and businesses. The Mahaffie Housemarker, a popular resupply point for wagons headed westward, is today a registered historical site maintained by the City of Olathe. The staff wears period costumes, and stagecoach rides and farm animals make the site a favorite among children. Visitors participate a Civil War re-enactment, Wild West Days, and other activities there.

After the construction of the transcontinental railroad, the trails to the west lost importance, and Olathe faded into obscurity and remained a small, sleepy prairie town.

In the 1950s, the construction of the Interstate Highway system and, more directly, I-35, linked Olathe directly to nearby Kansas Citymarker. The result was tremendous residential growth as Olathe became a part of the Kansas City Metro Areamarker. In the 1980s, Olathe experienced tremendous commercial growth, which also drew more residents. It is estimated that Olathe's population surpassed 100,000 in 2001, and current projections show Olathe's growth continuing as the city expands into the farm fields south, west and north of town.

Geography

Olathe is located at . 2003 Orthophoto Aerial

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 54.5 square miles (141.1 km²), of which 54.2 square miles (140.3 km²) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.8 km²), or 0.55%, is water. Olathe has two public lakes: Lake Olathe with 172 acres (0.7 km²) of water surface and Cedar Lake with 45 acres (0.2 km²).

Climate

Temperatures range from an average low below in January to an average high of nearly in July. The temperature reaches an average of 36 days per year and an average of 3 days per year. The minimum temperature falls below freezing (32°F) an average of 102 days per year. Typically the first fall freeze occurs between mid-October and the first week of November, and the last spring freeze occurs between the end of March and the third week of April.

The area receives over of precipitation during an average year with the largest share being received in May and June—the April–June period averages 30 days of measurable precipitation. During a typical year the total amount of precipitation may be anywhere from 28½ to almost 53 inches. There are on average 96 days of measurable precipitation per year. Winter snowfall averages about 17 inches, but the median is . Measurable snowfall occurs an average of 10 days per year with at least an inch of snow being received on seven of those days. Snow depth of at least an inch occurs an average of 25 days per year.



























Source: Monthly Station Climate Summaries, 1971-2000, U.S. National Climatic Data Center
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Notes: Temperatures are in degrees Fahrenheit. Precipitation includes rain and melted snow or sleet in inches; median values are provided for precipitation and snowfall because mean averages may be misleading. Mean and median values are for the 30-year period 1971–2000; temperature extremes are for the station's period of record (1939–2001). The station is located three miles (5 km) east of Olathe at 38°53′N 94°46′W, elevation .


Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 92,962 people, 32,314 households, and 24,623 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,716.4 people per square mile (662.7/km²). There were 33,343 housing units at an average density of 615.6/sq mi (237.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 88.63% White, 3.70% African American, 0.43% Native American, 2.74% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 2.64% from other races, and 1.80% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.44% of the population. 26.1% were of German, 11.0% Irish, 10.7% English and 9.6% Americanmarker ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 32,314 households out of which 45.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.8% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.8% were non-families. 18.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.83 and the average family size was 3.24.

In the city the population was spread out with 30.8% under the age of 18, 9.2% from 18 to 24, 36.7% from 25 to 44, 18.1% from 45 to 64, and 5.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 99.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $61,111, and the median income for a family was $68,498 (these figures had risen to $72,634 and $82,747 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $45,699 versus $30,217 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,498. About 2.4% of families and 4.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.1% of those under age 18 and 4.1% of those age 65 or over.

Economy

Johnson County Executive Airport (KOJC) Tower (2004)


Olathe's commercial and industrial parks are home to many companies, including Honeywell, ALDI, Garmin, and Farmers Insurance Group. The United States Department of Transportation administers and maintains an Air Route Traffic Control Center in Olathe, designated ZKC. Johnson County maintains an airport in Olathe, Johnson County Executive Airportmarker, which is located on about 500 acres (2 km²) of land with a 4,100-ft (1250-m) runway, parallel taxiways, and a Federal contract air traffic control tower. The airport is the second-busiest in the state.

Education

Olathe is the home of MidAmerica Nazarene Universitymarker and the Kansas State School For the Deaf (established in 1866).

The city of Olathe is served by the Olathe School District and Blue Valley School District. As of 2006, there are 25,543 students enrolled in the Olathe School District [17623]. The Olathe School District has 33 elementary schools, 8 junior high schools, and 4 high schools: Olathe North, Olathe Southmarker, Olathe East, and Olathe Northwest.

Transportation



Notable residents



Sister Cities



References

Notes



External links

Official sites

Additional information




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