Shawnee, Osage, and Kansa Indians formerly owned the land now developed into the City of Prairie Village. As settlers and pioneers headed west, one family decided to make Prairie Village their home. In 1858, Thomas Porter bought 160 acres of farmland. Porter’s children were all raised on this farmland and were engaged in agricultural development and civic affairs.
It wasn’t just the Porter family who helped to make Prairie Village home. Porter’s sister, Betty Porter, married Thompson A. Lewis who owned 80 acres between Mission and Roe. Henry Coppock arrived in Johnson County, in 1857, before heading further west to work in freighting and farming. He came back in the mid-1860s and bought land in 1865. Coppock built his family home on 900 acres in Prairie Village. Coppocks’s home stood for 30 years. Now on his land is Homestead County Club.
The original Prairie School was built in 1882 and a new building was constructed in 1912. This landmark was a community treasure until 1990.
In the 1940s, J.C. Nichols, an experienced developer, wanted to turn the farmland into suburban housing for soldiers returning home from the war. Nichols bought the farmland from the Porters, Coppocks, and Lewises. There were hurdles along the way including a lack of experienced builders post World War II, but this didn’t stop Nichols from pursuing his goal.
Prairie Village continued to expand as the Prairie Village Shopping Center opened in 1947 and the Corinth Square Shopping Center opened in 1955.
Prairie Village was the home to Robert F. Bennett, who served as Mayor of Prairie Village before going onto the Kansas State Senate and eventually becoming the Governor of Kansas in 1975.
Now, Prairie Village is a bedroom community serving the needs of citizens and families living in the greater Kansas City metro area.
Prairie Village: Our Story is a 50th Anniversary book celebrating the history of Prairie Village.
Prairie Village: Our Story
The information above comes from the book Prairie Village: Our Story. This book is a celebration of the people who've made Prairie Village what it is today. The pages are filled with stories and photos of past and present.
How to Order the Book
The book is now available in the City Clerk's Office. Stop by and purchase your copy today or mail in the order form.
For more information, call the Municipal Offices at 913-381-6464 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.