About This Place
Lenexa (pronounced /lɨnɛksə/) is a city in the central part of Johnson County, located in northeast Kansas, in the central United States of America. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 48,190. As a satellite city of Kansas City, Kansas, Lenexa is included in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. It is bordered by the cities of Shawnee to the north, Overland Park to the east, De Soto to the west and Olathe to the south. In July 2009, Lenexa was named the #26 best small town to live in the United States by Money magazine.
Twelve years before the town of Lenexa was platted in 1869, a young man named James Butler Hickok staked a claim on 160 acres (0.65 km2) at what is now the corner of 83rd and Clare Road. At about the same time, a census of the Shawnee Indians living in the area was being taken. One of the residents was listed as "Na-Nex-Se Blackhoof," the widow of Chief Blackhoof, who was the second signer of the 1854 treaty that ceded 1.6 million acres (6,500 km²) of the Kansas Shawnee Indian reservation to the U.S.Government. A few miles east in Westport, Missouri, was the start of the Old Santa Fe Trail. It meandered through the southeast part of Lenexa on its way to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Life in eastern Kansas was about to change dramatically.
Later, Mr. Hickok became a scout for the Free-State Army, a sharpshooter and eventually, "Wild Bill" Hickok, legendary lawman of the Old West. In 1865, shortly before Na-Nex-Se died, the Kansas and Neosho Valley Railroad was organized to take advantage of favorable new land laws. It later changed its name to Missouri River, Ft. Scott and Gulf Railroad and in 1869 purchased a right-of-way from C.A. Bradshaw with the stipulation that the railroad build a depot on the property. Mr. Bradshaw then sold 10.5 acres (42,000 m2) to Octave Chanute, a railroad civil engineer, who platted a town in 1869. Legend states that the town was first proposed to be named 'Bradshaw', but he modestly refused and the name "Lenexa," a derivation of the name Na-Nex-Se, was adopted.