Stilwell is an unincorporated community in Johnson County, Kansas. It’s part of the larger Kansas City metropolitan area and boasts a humid subtropical climate with sizzling summers and cool winters.
Mostly agricultural land with sod farms as far as the eye can see, Stilwell still has plenty to offer in terms of suburban neighborhoods. There’s been an increased demand for properties due to population growth in nearby Overland Park, and that’s pleasantly raised the value of the land around present-day Stilwell.
With its outstanding climate and idyllic scenery paired with convenient access to main cities, it’d be hard not to appreciate life in Stilwell – whether you’re looking for an aesthetically pleasing rural backdrop or something a bit closer to a busier hub such as Kansas City.
Stilwell, Kansas is a thriving family-centric city. At 11,609 in population, it is larger than many of the surrounding towns. Over two-thirds of the population are married couples providing an enriching and mature environment for families. With 41% of households containing children, it is one of the more child-friendly areas in the county.
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Stilwell had its beginnings when the Missouri Pacific Railroad planned to extend its railway from Kansas City southwards. This led to Michael O’Keefe, J. Larkin, W.A. Kelly, and A.J. Norman filing a plat for Mt. Auburn in 1886, which became Stilwell by 1889. It was named in honor of Arthur Stilwell, founder of what is now the Kansas City Southern Railway line.
Today, the town is mostly agricultural land but with increasing demand for new neighborhoods due to Overland Park’s large population growth, some lands have become more valuable as suburban neighborhoods arise. Farms have become abandoned while others are still selling sod produce- a practice they have done often in years prior.
Despite this improvement in land value at certain points in Stilwell, it remains an affordable place to settle down into a great benefit for potential homeowners and local businesses alike who want to expand into the area’s markets without breaking the bank on land prices alone.
The town’s establishment continues to bring benefits today as people from different walks of life find ways to make Stilwel their new home or work location – a testament to Arthur Stilwell’s influence over the local area despite all these years since his life passed away in 1898.
Stilwell has a per capita income of $12,872 and a median household income of $31,637 as of 2017. 37.2% of adults and 49.0% of children in the city are living in poverty.
Ranching and agriculture have been a vital component of Stilwell’s economy for over a hundred years, but the role of strawberry farming has diminished dramatically since World War II. During the Great Depression and the Second World War, however, strawberries were one of the main sources of livelihood for inhabitants of the city.
These days, other industries such as manufacturing and retail drive much of Stilwell’s economy; but for many locals, life remains a daily struggle to make ends meet due to such a high poverty level.
Stilwell is part of Blue Valley School District, one of the best public school districts in Kansas. It serves over 22,000 students at 34 schools. It has a good reputation for excellence and a high graduation rate along with the majority of students attending college.
Blue Valley offers much more than traditional K-12 education; they have special education, gifted programs, and English language learners services as well. Plus, the school district has many opportunities for extracurriculars including sports, music, and theater.
86.8% of Stilwell’s residents have received their Bachelor’s degree or higher compared to the United States average of 46.6%. That figure includes 39.5% holding STEM degrees.
Blue Valley School District is an excellent option for anyone living in Stilwell – it provides quality education and access to many extra activities that help foster learning and personal growth.
The majority of Aubry-Stilwell commuters (78.5%) drive alone to work using a private car, with the greatest number taking 15-30 minutes one way to get there (46.7%). This is shorter than most Americans take when commuting.
Residents of the neighborhood spend less time driving to work than most other people in the U.S., thanks to their proximity to work and efficient transportation options accessible to them. This is evident through the fact that over two-thirds of those traveling by car complete their commute within half an hour each day, which also allows them better flexibility in terms of working hours.
Places to Visit
Stilwell is a small community in southeast Johnson County, Kansas. It offers breathtaking farm scenery to its visitors, just 25 miles south of Kansas City. The main routes to the city are US-169 and W 199th Street coming east from Missouri.
You can experience small-town life here in stunning detail. Visit Aubrey Vineyards or Serendipity Farm and Vine for farm tours and tastings. Or take a stroll around Camp Branch Glade Park in Stilwell. Midwest Aquatics Swim & Scuba is great for swimming and scuba diving trips. There are also vacation rentals for days spent away from the hustle and bustle of KC.
The locals have plenty of options for worship too. Stilwell has several churches: First Baptist Church Of Stilwell, Stilwell United Methodist Church, Grace Bible Church, Southwoods Christian Church, and Sunset Hill Christian Church–all places to explore your spiritual side in a peaceful countryside setting.
This area boasts a history as well as nature trails galore! Take a drive along the Frontier Military Historic Byway and imagine an era gone by. Or grab your grillers and tongs and hit up the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens nature trail grill or picnic with family or friends.
Local eateries offer up something special too – enjoy all your favorites at local snack bars or find activities to do together at local cultural spots like art galleries, sports leagues, or clubs like Mid America Soccer Association at Stargate Complex.
Hours spent learning about culture will be rewarding; whether you’re shooting hoops or sipping white wine on the porch of a pastoral vineyard in Stilwell – this place will have you falling head over heels for its rural charm!