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Mission Hills, Kansas

Mission Hills, Kansas
City Sign at corner of 56th Street and State Line Road
City Sign at corner of 56th Street and State Line Road
Location of Mission Hills, Kansas
Location of Mission Hills, Kansas
Detailed map of Mission Hiills, Kansas
Detailed map of Mission Hiills, Kansas
Country United States
State Kansas
County Johnson
Incorporated 1949
 • Total 2.02 sq mi (5.23 km2)
 • Land 2.02 sq mi (5.23 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 928 ft (283 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 3,498
 • Estimate (2013)[3] 3,582
 • Density 1,700/sq mi (670/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 66208
Area code(s) 913
FIPS code 20-47350 [4]
GNIS feature ID 0479020 [5]
Website City Website

Mission Hills is a city in Johnson County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 3,498.[6] The city is a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri, which is adjacent to the east, across the aptly named State Line Road. Mission Hills was originally developed by noted Kansas City developer J. C. Nichols beginning in the 1920s as part of his Country Club District plan.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
  • Demographics 3
    • 2010 census 3.1
    • 2000 census 3.2
  • Education 4
  • Libraries 5
  • In the Media 6
  • Notable people 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


An Indian mission was established at the town's site in the 1830s, hence the name of the later settlement.[7]

The city started as a planned upscale community for the elite by J.C. Nichols to be built around the Mission Hills Country Club (Kansas) on the hills above Brush Creek just south of the Shawnee Methodist Mission. Most of the country club's property is in Kansas but its original clubhouse was in Kansas City, Missouri, allowing it to serve liquor, which was prohibited on the Kansas side. Nichols laid out plans in 1914. He had developed the country club to enhance the value of his Kansas properties after discovering that upscale buyers were reluctant to live on the Kansas side of the state line.[8]

Adjoining the club Nichols established the Community Golf Club. After it dramatically grew, it moved to what today is the Kansas City Country Club. Nichols lured the Kansas City Country Club to take over the land, and the Community Golf Club went on to establish the Indian Hills Country Club. Together, the three clubs became the most prestigious in the Kansas City metropolitan area; many rank them in order of prestige: Kansas City first, Mission Hills second, and Indian Hills third.[9]

Nichols opposed incorporation of the community fearing that a city would not adequately meet the needs of its residents or properly enforce housing covenants. Consequently, the Mission Hills Home Company was founded on August 18, 1914. One of the most publicized early enforcements involved forbidding the family of a sick woman to enclose her porch with glass.[10]

Faced with prospects of annexation by neighboring relatively lower income communities seeking its wealthy tax base, Mission Hills incorporated as a city in 1949.[11]

Many of the early houses were designed by Clarence E. Shepherd, Edward Tanner, and Edward Buehler Delk.[12]

The city's most distinctive landmark, which is used on the official city seal, is the Verona columns and reflecting pool at the intersection of Ensley Lane, Mission Drive and Overhill Road. They were conceived by landscape architect S. Herbert Hare in 1924.[13]

In 1928 Ernest Hemingway and his pregnant wife, Pauline, stayed at the house of W. Malcolm and Ruth Lowry at 6435 Indian Lane. During this time, Hemingway wrote A Farewell to Arms. He later gave an autographed copy of the book to Don Carlos Guffey, the Kansas City doctor who delivered his son Patrick. The inscription, which is now in the University of Missouri-Kansas City library, said "...with much admiration and grateful remembrance of a Caesarean that was beautifully done and turned out splendidly." [14]


Mission Hills is located at (39.013705, -94.615083).[15] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.02 square miles (5.23 km2), all of it land.[1] However, Brush Creek runs through the northern section of the city.

The northern half of Mission Hills, north of 63rd Street, is informally called "old Mission Hills" and is dominated by opulent houses on large lots. There are two private country clubs in this section: the Mission Hills Country Club and the Kansas City Country Club. The southern half, consisting of developments Belinder Hills, Indian Hills and Sagamore Hills, contains affluent upper middle class residences and the private Indian Hills Country Club.


According to Forbes Magazine, Mission Hills ranks as the 3rd wealthiest municipality in the country.[17] Mission Hills has the highest median household income of any city in Kansas with a population over 1,000, as well as one of the highest median incomes for any city in the United States.

2010 census

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 3,498 people, 1,253 households, and 1,066 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,731.7 inhabitants per square mile (668.6/km2). There were 1,326 housing units at an average density of 656.4 per square mile (253.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.8% White, 0.2% African American, 0.2% Native American, 1.5% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.8% of the population.

There were 1,253 households of which 37.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 79.7% were married couples living together, 3.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 1.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 14.9% were non-families. 12.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.79 and the average family size was 3.07.

The median age in the city was 47.1 years. 28.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 14.3% were from 25 to 44; 35% were from 45 to 64; and 18.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.6% male and 51.4% female.

2000 census

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 3,593 people, 1,284 households, and 1,104 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,782.5 people per square mile (686.8/km²). There were 1,318 housing units at an average density of 653.9 per square mile (251.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.22% White, 0.08% African American, 0.03% Native American, 0.86% Asian, 0.17% from other races, and 0.64% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.09% of the population. 25.2% were of English, 21.4% German, 13.4% Irish and 7.1% American ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 1,284 households out of which 38.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 81.2% were married couples living together, 3.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 14.0% were non-families. 12.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.80 and the average family size was 3.06.

In the city the population was spread out with 29.6% under the age of 18, 3.1% from 18 to 24, 18.1% from 25 to 44, 32.5% from 45 to 64, and 16.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females there were 98.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $188,821, and the median income for a family was $200,000. Males had a median income of $100,000 versus $62,440 for females. The per capita income for the city was $95,405. About 1.4% of families and 1.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.8% of those under age 18 and 1.3% of those age 65 or over.


Typical residence in Mission Hills, Kansas, 2008
Verona Columns, 2009

Mission Hills is in the Shawnee Mission public school district. Some families send their children to one of the many secular private schools in the city like the Pembroke Hill School and the Barstow School or to religiously affiliated schools such as Bishop Miege High School or Rockhurst High School.


The Johnson County Library serves the residents of Mission Hills.

In the Media

Mission Hills is the setting for the ABC Family television drama Switched at Birth. The show is set in Kansas City, Missouri, but the main characters live in Mission Hills.

Mission Hills was ranked number 3 on the Forbes list of America's most affluent neighborhoods.[18]

Notable people


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010".  
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  3. ^ a b "Population Estimates".  
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names".  
  6. ^ "2010 City Population and Housing Occupancy Status". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved March 6, 2011. 
  7. ^ Capace, Nancy (2000). Encyclopedia of Kansas. Somerset Publishers. p. 236. 
  8. ^ A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans - William E. Connelly - Lewis Publishing Company - 1918
  9. ^ J.C. Nichols and the Shaping of Kansas City: Innovation in Planned Residential Communities - William S. Worley - University of Missouri Press (October 1993) ISBN 0-8262-0926-2
  10. ^
  11. ^ Mission Hills: Beauty and Location Continue to Draw Residents -
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  16. ^  
  17. ^ "Slide Show: America's Most Affluent Neighborhoods". Forbes. 
  18. ^ "America's Most Affluent Neighborhoods" 2011/1/18
  19. ^ Her Vision Embraces the World: After Succeeding on Her Own, She Now Owns a Nonprofit That Honors Businesswomen Around the Globe - June 27, 2006 -

External links

  • Mission Hills KS Neighborhood Website
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