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The history of Prairie village has a lot to do with a gentleman by the name J. C. Nicholas. Having successfully developed the Country Club Plaza in the city of Kansas, Nicholas shifted his efforts towards developing his home, Johnson County, just a couple of miles from the Plaza.
Prairie Village was planned back in 1941, and it got its name from Prairie School, which had been founded close to a century ago. In the year 1949, the National Association of Home Builders named Prairie Village as the best-planned city in America. In 1951, it gained city status.
The land that is today known as Prairie Village city was initially owned by Osage, Kansas, and the Shawnee Indians. In 1858, an early settler bought nearly 200 acres of land, where he raised all his children. He became quite a prominent figure in the agricultural scene here. He was also involved in community development by way of participating in civic affairs.
As development continued, more settlers continued trickling in into the region. One such individual was Betty Porter, Porter’s sister, who ended up marrying Thompson A. Lewis, an owner of 80 acres of land between Roe Avenue and Mission Road.
In the year 1857, Henry Coppock arrived in the Johnson County region, before proceeding further to the western side to work in farming and freighting. He then came back towards the mid-1860s and then proceeded to buy land in 1865. he built his family home on a whole 900 acres in this city of Prairie Village. His house stood on for 30 years, and today it is a well-established and maintained Country Club with lots of fun annual events.
Prairie School was constructed in 1882 before the establishment of a new building years later (1912). This establishment remained a community treasure and unique landmark until the 1990s.
Somewhere around the 1940s, J. C. Nicholas, a seasoned and experienced land developer, had a dream of converting the existing farmland into a kind of suburban housing facility ready for soldiers coming back home from the war. Nicholas purchased land from the Coppocks, Lewises, and the Porters.
Along the way, there were many hurdles, including a lack of experienced builders after World War II. However, this did not stop Nick from pursuing his dream; as a matter of fact, it seemed to drive him all the more. The city continued to grow gradually, expanding as the shopping center came into formation in 1947. in 1955, the Corinth Square Shopping was established in 1955.