Olathe, Kansas - Facts & Figures
While Olathe was not the first city established in Johnson County, it quickly became the largest and was named the county seat in October 1859. The city's early days were filled with violence, as pro-slavery forces from nearby Missouri 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 guerrillas 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. Throughout the Civil War a military post operated in Olathe. The post probably was established in 1861 and was located on the public square on which the Johnson County Courthouse has sat since that time. In March 1862 one company of troops were known to have been stationed there. When Quantrill raided Olathe on September 6, 1862, more than 125 Union soldiers, almost all of them recruits, were there. They surrendered to Quantrill and were compelled to take an oath forbidding them from taking up arms against the Confederacy. It was decided in November that the recruits and soldiers in Olathe could not be compelled to obey oaths extracted by guerrillas, as such forces were not recognized as legitimate enemy military units.
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- Population: 135,473
- Industries: Health care & Social Assistance, Retail Trade, Educational Services
- Area Codes: 913
- ZIP Codes: 66051, 66061, 66062, 66063
- Surrounding Cities: Gardner, KS , Prairie Village, KS , Leawood, KS , Merriam, KS , Mission, KS , Lenexa, KS