Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Merriam in Johnson County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

City of Firsts

Merriam Historic Plaza Walking Path

 
 
City of Firsts Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., July 2, 2011
1. City of Firsts Marker
Inscription.
A pioneer and leader in the development of the Johnson County area, Merriam has recorded several "firsts."

Prior to the incorporation of Overland Park in 1950, Merriam was home to the county's first high school, then known as Shawnee Mission Rural High School. Antioch Park was the first major park to be established in Johnson County. The forty-four acre park, established in 1956, functions today as one of the most popular parks operated by the Johnson County Park and Recreation District.

The first permanent library building in the Johnson County Library system was built in Merriam at Antioch Road and Shawnee Mission Parkway. The library system has experienced remarkable growth since first opening, and the Antioch site is now a library branch.

Johnson County Community College began in 1969 in Merriam, holding classes in the former Merriam School building and other buildings on Merriam Drive. In 1962, Shawnee Mission Medical Center became the first full-service hospital serving the citizens of Johnson County.

Merriam was a pioneer in the field of industrial bonds and made one of the earliest applications for Industrial Revenue Bonds to finance the construction of the Montgomery Ward Customer Service Center, now known as GE Consumer Finance.

Merriam was also the first city in Johnson County
Merriam Historic Plaza Walking Path image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr.
2. Merriam Historic Plaza Walking Path
Looking east
to offer franchise tax rebates to citizens who qualified under income guidelines.

About the Images
First Temporary Library Building -

The first temporary headquarters of Johnson County Library was in a store located on Merriam Drive.

First Permanent Headquartes of Johnson County Library -
The Antioch Branch Library is now one of 12 branches of the Johnson County Library system.

First Hospital -
Shawnee Mission Medical Center's 54-acre campus includes a 382 bed hospital, five office buildings, a freestanding outpatient clinic and an associate child care center.

First County Park -
Pictured is the A.P. Backstrom House at Antioch Park, which became the offices of the Johnson County Park and Recreation District. Purchased in 1956 through general obligation bonds and the efforts of local groups and citizens, this park is one of the most popular parks in the metropolitan area.

Did you know?
Merriam was given the honor of having the first Bell telephone office in Johnson County. The office was established in the back of the post office building in 1908. The exchange was so small that Marie Campbell, the operator, knew all of her customers' phone numbers by memory.
 
Erected 2006 by City of Merriam. (Marker Number 10.)
 
Location.
Temp Library Photo on City of Firsts Marker image. Click for full size.
By Unknown, undated
3. Temp Library Photo on City of Firsts Marker
Courtesy of Johnson County Library
39° 0.876′ N, 94° 41.397′ W. Marker is in Merriam, Kansas, in Johnson County. Click for map. Marker is at the Merriam Visitors Bureau, near Exit #228B of Interstate 35, and immediately southwest of the intersection of Shawnee Mission Parkway (US 56) and Eby Avenue. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6304 East Frontage Road, Mission KS 66202, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Community of Excellence (here, next to this marker); Incorporation of Merriam (here, next to this marker); The South Park Community (a few steps from this marker); Merriam Park (a few steps from this marker); Education in Merriam (a few steps from this marker); The Bear Pit (within shouting distance of this marker); The Trolley Line & Hocker Grove Amusement Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Merriam Park & George Kessler (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Merriam.
 
Also see . . .
1. Merriam, Kansas, Community Profile. (Submitted on December 17, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Shawnee Mission School District. (Submitted on December 17, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Johnson County (Kansas) Library. (Submitted on December 17, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Library Photo on City of Firsts Marker image. Click for full size.
By Unknown, undated
4. Library Photo on City of Firsts Marker
Courtesy of Johnson County Library

4. Johnson County (Kansas) Community College. (Submitted on December 17, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
5. Shawnee Mission Medical Center. (Submitted on December 17, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
6. Johnson County (Kansas) Parks and Recreation District. (Submitted on December 17, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. CommunicationsEducationEntertainmentScience & Medicine
 
Hospital Photo on City of Firsts Marker image. Click for full size.
By Unknown, circa 1990s
5. Hospital Photo on City of Firsts Marker
Courtesy of Shawnee Mission Medical Center
Backstrom House Photo on City of Firsts Marker image. Click for full size.
By Unknown, undated
6. Backstrom House Photo on City of Firsts Marker
Courtesy of Johnson County Park & Rec District
Do You Know? on City of Firsts Marker image. Click for full size.
By Unknown, circa 1910s
7. Do You Know? on City of Firsts Marker
Photo courtesy of Historic Merriam Society
Merriam Visitors Bureau Sign on Shawnee Mission Parkway image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr.
8. Merriam Visitors Bureau Sign on Shawnee Mission Parkway
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 413 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.   2. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.   3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.   8. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Paid Advertisement