Welcome to the City of Overbrook, Kansas! Our city is defined less by boundaries on a map than by the sense of shared values our residents hold dear. We take pride in maintaining a wholesome lifestyle, rich in cultural history, along with a deep commitment to the preservation of our environment and a progressive approach to local business.
CITY OF OVERBROOK MISSION STATEMENT:
“Overbrook is a strong, diversified community built on a trail of past success offering opportunities to everyone.”
CITY OF OVERBROOK VISION STATEMENT:
“Inspire opportunity for all in a respectful, sustainable way while building a healthier community for this and all generations to come.”
Overbrook is built on the old Santa Fe Trail (now US56); located SE of Topeka Approximately 20 miles, or SW of Lawrence- 25 miles. We are a similar distance to Ottawa. As you drive down Highway 56 you will be greeted by our water tower boasting our slogan "Don't Overlook Overbrook". We are a small farming community, rich in heritage, and wealthy in the spirit of community life. Our town is privileged to have two banks, a dental office, barber shop, beauty salon, quilting shop, restaurants and cafes, an excellent Library, swimming pool, a 24-hour Nursing Home with Assisted Living Apartments, and a community Retirement Center. Our 8 acre fishing lake sits on the east side of town just off Highway 56. It has been well stocked and is ready for the beginner and experienced anglers. Jones Park is just south of the lake and is a great place to watch area baseball and softball teams.
As you can see, Overbrook has numerous small businesses, a great school system, and a number of churches, which together creates a self-sustaining city with a hometown atmosphere for vistiors, as well as those already living in Overbrook. We enjoy meeting new friends, so stop by if your driving down Highway 56! While you are here you will see for yourself why so many of our young people have returned to their hometown to raise their families and...
Don't Overlook Overbrook!
Overbrook was founded in 1886, when the Kansas, Nebraska, & Dakota railroad built through the area. W. T. Coffman and J. B. Fairchild were the founders of Overbrook. They had farms side by side on which they started the town. They gave the railroad half-interest in the town in return for the railroad coming through the town site. The earliest description of Overbrook in a newspaper was in the Burlingame Independent, November 11, 1886. Overbrook was named by a construction engineer for the railroad. He named it after his hometown of Overbrook, Pennsylvania. The first business was a grocery store owned by William Kincaide. There was no other railroad station or trading point for miles around, so Overbrook attracted a good business from the start. Residents moved in from the surrounding area. By 1888 the town had two general stores, a grange store, a depot, a druggist, a hardware store, two blacksmiths, two carpenters, a confectioner, and a barber. The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in the spring of 1885 at a school house a mile and half southwest of the present town of Overbrook. The meetings of the society were held at the school house until 1886, and then moved to the school house a mile northwest of town, where the church remained until 1888, when the church building in town was erected.
1910 – 1930
It was in 1911 that “DON’T OVERLOOK OVERBROOK” was coined as the town’s slogan. That slogan was submitted by Lewis Coffman in a contest by the Chamber of Commerce. It was during this time that the town well was dug and the pump set in place in the center of Overbrook’s main street. There was a trough built where farmers would come to water their horses, and over the pump a white bandstand was erected. There was a city band that would play in the bandstand which was also used for many special events. It was the point where town folk gathered for special times.
Two young men from our community did surrender their lives in the first World War – Ralph P. Anderson and Joseph R. Raible. It was in their honor that Anderson-Raible American Legion Post was named. Hardly a family in Overbrook escaped the influenza epidemic of 1918 and one young woman in Overbrook died from the influenza. In 1919 the schoolhouse burned. This was a large two-story structure that housed both the grade school and the high school, and sat on the site of the present grade school. Nothing was saved. When the school was replaced, the grade school was built at the old site and the high school at the site of the Middle School located at Ash and Fourth.
1930 – 1940
The Thirties were among the hardest years this country has ever known. People who had had money in the Twenties lost it all in the Crash. There were 18 banks in Osage County before the Crash. After the Depression only three were still in business – two of those in Overbrook. In the summer of 1936, there were more than 80 days with a temperature above 100 degrees. Grasshoppers moved in hunting for a spear of something green. When the corn dried in the fields, local farmers tried to put it up for silage, but the grasshoppers had left nothing but the bare stalks. Prices hit rock bottom during this time – no one had money to spend. Farmers bought chicken feed in printed sacks and the women used the sacks to make colorful dresses, aprons, and even curtains. The Variety Store advertised peanuts for 14 cents a pound. G.P. Hart advertised bath towels for 25 to 50 cents, two pounds of raisins for 15 cents, and peanut brittle or orange slices ten cents a pound.
1940 – 1950
Things seemed to be peaceful and serene on the home front, but it’s plain to see that war clouds are gathering over Europe again. On December 7, 1941, when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, war came again In 1945, the war was over and Overbrook incorporated on the 28th of December, 1948. Carl Coffman became the first mayor.
1950 – 1960
The Betterment Committee was formed. In 1954 Dr. James Ruble came to Overbrook. Overbrook experienced much growth in the Fifties. Forbes Air Base and the Supply Depot in South Topeka brought many new families to Overbrook.
1960 – 1970
In 1961, the Kansas Centennial was held along with a big celebration of the Santa Fe Trail. Don Hoyt and his committee provided many Centennial activities. A caravan of persons, representing people from a hundred years before, left Westport and traveled to New Mexico helping all the towns along the way to celebrate 100 years of the Santa Fe Trail. On Overbrook’s big day, 3000 people were in Overbrook to celebrate. The Nina Schlink Memorial Swimming Pool also opened in 1961
1970 – 1986
The school districts of Overbrook, Scranton and Carbondale unified and Overbrook became a part of USD 434. A new high school was built five miles west of Overbrook. The Missouri-Pacific railroad left the community, but a spur remained for several years.
2019 Population Estimate: 1023
Median Household Income: $ 50,536
Median Housing Value: $ 118,900
Total Housing Units: 417