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Shawnee, Kansas: One of the Top 100 Best US Cities

Updated on July 1, 2017
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish is a successful employment & training pro, setting Midwest regional records with tens of thousands placed in gainful employment.

The Shawnee of Kansas and Missouri are traced by authorities to ancestors at Fort Ancient site in Ohio in communities like Sunwatch Village, shown here.
The Shawnee of Kansas and Missouri are traced by authorities to ancestors at Fort Ancient site in Ohio in communities like Sunwatch Village, shown here. | Source

A Major Crossroads in the West

The lands that became Shawnee, Kansas formed a hub of government and a center of native religion among the Shawnee people and the Osage Nation before them.

Native American trails developed through the efforts of traders and new settlers in the 1800s to become the Oregon, California, and Santa Fe Trails; followed by wagon trains and then the American railroads along the same troutes.

Highways and light rail follow these same paths today. The Shawnee KS area became a center of transport for Civil War groups. It remains an important transportation hub today, especially for companies like Bayer Animal HealthCare (see below).

The icon for business growth in Shawnee and Johnson County is likely Bayer and Bayer Animal HealthCare, featured as such a leader the Shawnee Chamber of Commerce. Other major employers of Shawnee and its metro area, Kansas City, are listed in sections to follow.

Shawnee has been named to the Top 100 Best Cities to Live in America by CNNMoney during several years and holds fast to place in the Top 20.

Shawnee KS:
Shawnee, KS, USA

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Suburb of Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri.

Exciting Kansas City Suburbs

Kansas City crosses state boundaries to cover property in both Missouri and Kansas. It includes suburbs on both sides of the state line. Shawnee is a Kansas City suburb on the southwest side of the larger metro area and on the Kansas side of the city.

Native Americans have lived on both sides of the state line in this areas as well. The Missouri group of Shawnee Nation among Native North Americans is called the Absentee Shawnee Tribe. The larger part of this Indigenous nation moved into what was Spanish-owned Texas at the time and later, into Oklahoma and another city called "Shawnee."

Other Shawnee native people remained in Kansas, near what is now the city of Shawnee. Considered part of the Cherokee Nation, they received independence and became the Shawnee Tribe in the year 2000. In turn, the Cherokee are related to the Mohawk Nation in the Northeast and, in fact, Shawnee Nation lived in Ohio at one time, before moving westward.

Before all these events occurred, the Shawnee descended from the mound builders in Ohio's Fort Ancient area and moved westward during the tragic and deadly Indian Removals begun by US President Andrew Jackson before the American Civil War.

The Great Shawnee Nation of Ohio and Kansas

The Shawnee Nation originally settled in the US States of Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, after migrating from the western parts of North America, but were driven away by the Iroquois Nations in the mid-1600s. They moved back westward and to certain southern states: Tennessee and South Carolina.

In the early 1700s, the Shawnee people had migrated as far as Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas; but went further back westward and gathered to stay in Oklahoma by the end of the American Civil War and afterwards, as a result of the Indian Removals.

As of 2017, the known bands of Shawnee inhabit several states:


  • United Tribe of Shawnee in De Soto; some Absentee Shawnee live around Shawnee KS.


  • Upper Kispoko Band of the Shawnee Nation in Kokomo.


  • Piqua Sept of the Ohio Shawnee Indians, located in Dayton
  • Shawnee Nation, Ohio Blue Creek Band of Adams County
  • Shawnee Nation United Remnant Band: Dayton-Yellow Springs metropolitan area. This band continues to buy back property once owned by the Shawnee.


  • Absentee Shawnee Tribe in Shawnee OK; Eastern Shawnee Tribe in Quapaw.

Fort Ancient OH:
Fort Ancient State Memorial, 6123 Ohio 350, Oregonia, OH 45054, USA

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Located northeast of Cincinnati OH and just off Highway I-71.

Adams County, Ohio:
Adams County, OH, USA

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Dayton, Ohio:
Dayton, OH, USA

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Yellow Springs, Ohio:
Yellow Springs, OH 45387, USA

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Kokomo, Indiana:
Kokomo, IN, USA

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Desoto, Kansas:
De Soto, KS, USA

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Shawnee, Kansas:
Shawnee, KS, USA

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Quapaw, Oklahoma:
Quapaw, OK 74363, USA

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Shawnee, Oklahoma:
Shawnee, OK, USA

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Osage Sovereignty Day 2010: Men's Fancy Dance

Modern Shawnee, Kansas: "Good Starts Here"

Kansas Sky. bcnunnery.
Kansas Sky. bcnunnery.

Additional Local Suburbs In Kansas

Shawnee KS:
Shawnee, KS, USA

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Overland Park KS:
Overland Park, KS, USA

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Lenexa KS:
Lenexa, KS, USA

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Independence MO:
Independence, MO, USA

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Harry S. Truman National Historic Site

The Harry S. Truman National Historic Site is operated by the National Park Service and includes the Truman Home in Independence and the Truman Farm Home in Grandview, as well as other buildings.

Harry S. Truman National Historic Site

Harry S. Truman National Historic Site:
Harry S Truman National Historic Site (Truman Home), 219 N Delaware St, Independence, MO 64050, USA

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Harry S. Truman National Historic Site:
Harry S. Truman National Historic Site (Visitor Center), 223 N Main St, Independence, MO 64050, USA

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Harry S. Truman Library and Museum

Harry S. Truman Library and Museum:
Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, 500 US-24, Independence, MO 64050, USA

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Farmlands. mexikids.
Farmlands. mexikids.

Shawnee Bayer HealthCare

The large conglomerate Bayer AG is headquartered in Leverkusen, Germany and operates successfully out of one division in Shawnee, Kansas.

Known for aspirin tablets for decades, Bayer is a leader in medical and healthcare this and other products for humans and animals.

Bayer Animal Health in Shawnee is part of the Bayer AG office for North American and develops and distributes over $1.3 billion annually in veterinary health products for cats, dogs, and horses.

Economic Strategy

Advantage Shawnee: The Bayer company webpages tell us that Bayer moved its North American HQ to Shawnee to take advantage of a Central Time Zone that allows wider opportunity to contact both West and East Coasts, along of less expensive transportation costs than found on either coast.

The two phenomena make for one of the advantages broadcast about the county in economic development circles, specifically The Johnson County Advantage. Lowered costs and increased client base are certainly business advantages that help Bayer to grow and along with it, Shawnee.

The Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Area is part of the Animal Health Corridor of the United States - and the world - dedicated to medical and health product manufacture, distribution, and sales of these products, including through Bayer.

Operating since 1963 in Shawnee, Bayer could be in no better location. Greater Kansas City companies account for nearly 1/3 of total global sales of such products.

Aspirin or Ibuprofen?

Aspirin sales may have declined overall in America after the drug ibuprofen was made available without a prescription.

However, medical research of the 2000s and 2010s that appeared in newscasts indicated that the drug loses effect in individuals ages 60 and older.

Has that increased sales of Bayer® Aspirin once again among the growing population ages 50 - 100+? Tell us what you think below in "Comments."

Bayer Corporation USA is a $9 billion, research-based company with major businesses in healthcare, life sciences, chemicals, and imaging technologies.

Interesting Bayer Products
Interesting Bayer Products | Source

Job Market Trends In Shawnee/Kansas City

According to MuniNet Guide and Sperlings Best Places, the median household income in Shawnee is well over $71,000 among a 2012 population somewhat over 62,000 individuals. The population increase from 2000 to 2010 alone was over 20%.

The Unemployment rate for June 2010 was 5.6% reduced to 5.4% in September 2013.With many job openings unfilled, Shawnee/Kansas City needs more workers.

By the end of November 2013, 61,000 job openings were advertised for the area across the Internet, an increase over the 25,000 job listings posted for August 2010. Jobs have been increasing since March 2010.

Federal, County & Local Job Projections to 2018

Job Listings expected to increased by the largest precentages from 2008 - 2018.

  1. Personal and Home Care Aides
  2. Computer Software Engineers, Applications and Systems
  3. Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents
  4. Computer Systems Analysts
  5. Sales Representatives for Services
  6. Bill and Account Collectors
  7. Medical Assistants
  8. Network and Computer Systems Administrators
  9. Database Administrators
  10. Registered Nurses (RNs)

Top 10 High Demand Jobs

  1. Nurse Practitioners (RN or higher license)
  2. Truck Drivers and Owner-Operators
  3. Automotive Technicians
  4. Physical and Occupational Therapists
  5. Customer Service and Retail Salespeople
  6. Mechanical and Electrical Engineers - Many of these positions are in the Energy Industry, including Gas & Oil Fields.
  7. Registered Nurses (RNs)
  8. Travel Nurses
  9. Pipeline Engineers
  10. Behavioral Health Technicians

Largest Metro Employers by Employee Numbers

The largest companies according to employee workforce size include 15 employers found on the list of the Top 10 Largest Companies in Kansas:.

  1. Sprint Nextel
  2. University of Kansas Medical Center
  3. Shawnee Mission Medical Center
  4. Unified Government of Wyandotte County
  5. Black & Veatch
  6. Johnson Country
  7. Loan Processing
  8. Oalthe Medical Center
  9. Quest Diagnoatics
  10. UPS
  11. Associated Wholesale Grocers
  12. Deffenbaugh
  13. Nebraska Furniture Mart
  14. YRC Worldwide
  15. Honey

Top Job Listers

  1. Saint Luke's Health System
  2. Burns and McDonell
  3. Cerner
  4. HCA
  5. Kiewit Trucking
  6. Swift Transportation
  7. C.R. England Trucking
  8. Shawnee Mission Medical Center
  9. Healthcare Traveler
  10. Brookdale Senior Living
  11. Apria Healthcare
  12. Aerotek
  13. Truman Medical Centers
  14. Sprint
  15. Pizza Hut and Taco Bell - Managers, Crew, and Drivers
  16. The University of Kansas Medical Center
  17. Garmin International

Throughout Shawnee and the Greater Kansas City Area, the largest numbers of job listings appear for Kansas City MO, Overland Park, Kansas City KS, Independence, Lenexa, Olathe, Shawnee Mission, and Lees Summit.

Shawnee Higher Education

  • Brown Mackie College
  • Central Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Friends University
  • University of Phoenix - Lenexa
  • Additional colleges, universities, and vocational/career schools are found in the Greater Kansas City Area.

Rolling Fields. Morrhigan.
Rolling Fields. Morrhigan.

© 2010 Patty Inglish MS


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