History of Merriam


The community of Merriam dates back to between 1826 and 1833 when Shawnee Indians were moved into this region from Ohio and Missouri. Quakers, who had worked among the Shawnee in Ohio, followed them and built a mission in 1836, located near 61st and Hemlock in Merriam.

The Campbell Era

The first community that would become what is today Merriam is traced to when a Tennessean, David Gee Campbell, bought acreage from Mary Parks, an Indian. In 1864, he moved his home to the south side of Johnson drive near Turkey Creek. This early town was aptly named Campbelton and was made up of approximately 20 homes and a few businesses. Just a few years later in 1880, with the addition of the first railroad station, the name of the town was changed to Merriam, in honor of Charles Merriam.

Incorporation & Beyond

Fast forward to 1950 and the residents of Merriam were anxious to become an incorporated city. They petitioned the governor and Carl Engle Sr. served as the first mayor of the newly incorporated city of the third class, Merriam. Just few short years later in 1957, Merriam become a city of the second class.

Today, Merriam is a vibrant community, nestled just eight miles south of downtown Kansas City and minutes from anywhere in the metro. Although our transportation methods have progressed from trolley lines and railroads to automobiles, our area continues to grow and develop within the region.

More Information

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