In 1906, entrepreneur and New York railroad builder William B. Strang Jr. started a unique suburban housing development seven miles southwest of Kansas City that he named Overland Park. He chose farmland on a high ridge where the Santa Fe, Oregon, and California Trails once crossed and built an interurban railroad for the use of future commuters and real estate customers.
Advertised enticements, such as a lake with camping facilities and weekly entertainments, lured thousands of riders on his Strang Line to the new community. In 1909, he arranged for the first area aeroplane flight that astonished and charmed the metropolitan populace. He built the first private airfield in the Midwest, where he held spectacular air shows and extravaganzas like Buffalo Bill’s Wild West.
Overland Park has since grown to be the second largest city in Kansas. The highly rated school system has graduated many notable and recognizable figures, such as Paul Rudd, Jason Sudeikis, and former US chairman of the joint chiefs of staff Gen. Richard Myers.
Join the Author for a Book Signing!
When: Saturday, December 8th from 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Where: Barnes & Noble
11323 W. 95th Street, Overland Park, KS 66214
Images selected by F.W. Wagner from various sources, such as the Overland Park Historical Society, and the narrative by co-author Suzee SoldanEls Oberg show the transformation of “plowed ground” into a first-class city.
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