Written by Bill Nicks
Featured in Lenexa Town Talk Magazine
November 2020, Issue #5
If we pay attention, history can ‘warn’ us. But happily, it can also ‘inspire’ us. Many of Lenexa’s street names do just that: INSPIRE. So now, pay attention…..get ready to be inspired…..and get out your Google Map.
The first Territorial Governor of Kansas, Andrew Reeder, has a Northeast Lenexa street named in his honor, REEDER STREET.
William Lackman built the beautiful Victorian home at College and LACKMAN ROAD, which currently houses the Lenexa Chamber of Commerce.
LINGLE LANE is named for Johnna Lingle, Lenexa’s first female Mayor. She later became a Johnson County Commissioner.
BLUEJACKET Street is named for Charles Bluejacket, a Shawnee Indian who came to Kansas in 1832 and became a highly respected Methodist minister.
CAENEN LAKE ROAD is named for Remi Caenen who came from Belgium as a baby. He was a farmer, stockman and home developer. He built the imposing ‘Caenen Castle’ at Johnson Drive and CAENEN STREET in Shawnee.
ALDEN ROAD is named for William Alden who donated land for the Greenwood School.
GILLETTE STREET is named after H.D. Gillette who started Lenexa’s first blacksmith shop. He came to Lenexa one year after its 1869 platting.
RENNER BOULEVARD is named for Adam and Anna Renner who were farmers, and arrived in Johnson County 11 years before Kansas became the 34th state, and 146 years before Lenexa City Center was envisioned on the boulevard bearing their name.
BRADSHAW DRIVE is named for Charles Bradshaw, one of Lenexa’s founders. He and his wife, Sarah, owned 160 acres at the Northwest corner of 95th and Noland. Lenexa’s original 43 acre town site was carved out of their property…………..While we’re on the subject of names, according to an 1892 Olathe Mirror news article, the Town of Lenexa was supposed to have been named TRENTON. Bradshaw was from Trenton, Illinois. Of course, that did not happen and our town, LENEXA, has a truly unique name.
Many thanks to Beryl Hennigh and Mary Kay Smith for the information found in their booklet “THE HERITAGE OF LENEXA” and to Jason Green for his research provided for this article.
See the original article in Lenexa Town Talk Magazine, November 2020, Issue #5.
The referenced booklet, The Heritage of Lenexa, was created by LHS staff and volunteers, for LHS, and is for sale inside the Legler Barn.