kids encyclopedia robot

Lee's Summit, Missouri facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Lee's Summit, Missouri
Downtown Lee's Summit
Downtown Lee's Summit
Flag of Lee's Summit, Missouri
Location of Lee's Summit in Jackson County and the U.S. state of Missouri
Location of Lee's Summit in Jackson County and the U.S. state of Missouri
Country United States
State Missouri
Counties Jackson, Cass
 • Total 65.84 sq mi (170.54 km2)
 • Land 63.82 sq mi (165.29 km2)
 • Water 2.03 sq mi (5.25 km2)
1,037 ft (316 m)
 • Total 101,108
 • Density 1,535.66/sq mi (592.870/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP Codes
64015, 64063, 64064, 64081, 64082, 64083, 64086, 64134, 64139, 64149
Area code(s) 816
FIPS code 29-41348
GNIS feature ID 0735684
Interstates I-470 (MO).svg
U.S. Routes US 40.svg US 50.svg
State routes MO-150.svg MO-291.svg MO-350.svg

Lee's Summit is a city located within the counties of Jackson (primarily) and Cass in the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2020 census its population was 101,108, making it the sixth-largest city in both the state and in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area.

Origin of name

LS Platt 1877
Lee's Summit circa 1877. From the 1877 Illustrated Historical Atlas of Jackson Co. Missouri.

Founded as the "Town of Strother", by William B. Howard for his wife, Maria D. Strother (daughter of William D. Strother formerly of Bardstown, Kentucky). Howard came to Jackson County in 1842 from Kentucky, married Maria in 1844, and by 1850 he and Maria had 833 acres (3.37 km2) and a homestead five miles (8 km) north of town. He was arrested for being a Confederate in October 1862, near the beginning of the Civil War, and after being paroled he took his family back to Kentucky for the duration of the war. After the war ended he returned and, knowing that the Missouri Pacific Railroad was surveying a route in the area, platted the town with 70 acres (280,000 m2) in the fall of 1865 as the town of Strother.

In 1865 the town of Strother changed its name for early settler Dr. Pleasant John Graves Lea, who moved to Jackson County in 1849, from Bradley County, Tennessee. Lea was listed as the postmaster of Big Cedar in the 1855 United States Official Postal Guide. Dr. Lea was killed in August 1862 by Kansas Jayhawkers (or Redlegs).

When the surveyors for the Missouri Pacific Railroad came through, the local people and the railroad wanted to name the town in Dr. Lea's honor. He had a farm on the highest point and near the path of the tracks, and his murder had taken place near the site of the proposed depot. So they chose the name of "Lea's Summit", the "summit" portion to reflect its relatively highest elevation on the Missouri Pacific Railroad between St. Louis and Kansas City. But they misspelled the name "Lees Summit" (with two "e's"; "Lee" instead of "Lea"; and leaving out the apostrophe) on a boxcar that was serving as a station and donated by the Missouri Pacific, then a sign next to the tracks, and finally in the printed time schedule for the railroad. Also the name was misspelled on the stone culvert near the station, on the side of the Missouri Pacific depot, but on the other side it was spelled correctly, accordingly the railroad used this spelling, as did travelers.

Others, those with Southern sympathies, claim that the town was named after famed Civil War General Robert E. Lee after Southerners began moving north into Missouri after the war. Attributed to a misquote in the Louisville Journal, January 3, 1866.

Since the name was already being circulated and published with two "e's", the town petitioned the state legislature and incorporated its name in 1868 as: "Town of Lee's Summit".


Growth of the town can be studied through historic Sanborn Maps, which document building types and uses in the city during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

In 1912, R.A. Long, the owner of a lumber company, began building his estate, named Longview Farm, on the western edge of the city and into part of Kansas City. When complete, it had a mansion, five barns and 42 buildings in the 1,700 acres (6.9 km2). (Moses Metheny, the great-grandfather of jazz legend Pat Metheny, was a co-founder.) The farm also had a church, Longview Chapel Christian Church, which was completed in 1915. It soon became internationally known as a showplace farm. Today, one of the horse barns is home to Longview Farm Elementary, and the site of Longview Community College. The church and mansion are on the National Register of Historic Places. Other parts of the farm have been turned into Longview Lake, Longview Community College, and a development called New Longview.

Lee's Summit is also home to:


Lees summit
The location of Lee's Summit in relation to counties and state

Lee's Summit is located at 38°55′21″N 94°22′27″W / 38.92250°N 94.37417°W / 38.92250; -94.37417 (38.922607, -94.374127). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 65.39 square miles (169.36 km2), of which, 63.35 square miles (164.08 km2) is land and 2.04 square miles (5.28 km2) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 693
1890 1,369 97.5%
1900 1,453 6.1%
1910 1,455 0.1%
1920 1,467 0.8%
1930 2,035 38.7%
1940 2,263 11.2%
1950 2,554 12.9%
1960 8,267 223.7%
1970 16,230 96.3%
1980 28,741 77.1%
1990 46,418 61.5%
2000 70,700 52.3%
2010 91,364 29.2%
2020 101,108 10.7%
U.S. Decennial Census

According to a 2017 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $83,601, and the population was 95,270. The median property value was estimated at $200,300.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 91,364 people, 34,429 households, and 25,126 families living in the city. The population density was 1,442.2 inhabitants per square mile (556.8/km2). There were 36,679 housing units at an average density of 579.0 per square mile (223.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 86.1% White, 8.4% African American, 0.3% Native American, 1.7% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.1% from other races, and 2.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.9% of the population.

There were 34,429 households, of which 39.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.3% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 27.0% were non-families. Of all households, 22.8% were made up of individuals, and 8.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.11.

The median age in the city was 37.2 years. 28% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27% were from 25 to 44; 26.6% were from 45 to 64; and 11.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.9% male and 52.1% female.


Lee's Summit experiences a four-season humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa) with mild days and cold nights during the winter, and hot days and muggy nights during the summer.

Climate data for Lee's Summit, Missouri
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 73
Average high °F (°C) 39
Average low °F (°C) 20
Record low °F (°C) −19
Precipitation inches (mm) 1.13


The Historic Jefferson Highway (known as the "Palm to Pine" highway) runs through town.

Major roads

  • I-470 (MO).svg I-470 is an Interstate 70 spur through Lee's Summit into southern Kansas City.
  • US 40.svg US 40: Forms half of Lee's Summit's northern border with Independence.
  • US 50.svg US 50: Follows I-435 from the west to I-470 then spurs off in Lee's Summit and becomes just US 50.
  • MO-150.svg Route 150: A highway linking southern Lee's Summit, and Grandview to the Kansas suburbs at State Line Road.
  • MO-291.svg Route 291: Formerly an eastern bypass route of US 71, the minor freeway connects Harrisonville and Lee's Summit to Independence, Sugar Creek, Liberty, KCI Airport and northern Kansas City. It fuses with I-470 through parts of Lee's Summit.
  • MO-350.svg Route 350: Connector highway that brings together I-435 with I-470 and US 50.


  • Lee's Summit (Amtrak station)
  • Lee's Summit Municipal Airport

Appearances in film

  • The feature film All Roads Lead Home has parts filmed in Lee's Summit.
  • The film Jesus Camp features footage of a children's prayer conference held at Christ Triumphant Church.
  • The film Full Count was filmed around Kansas City with a portion being filmed in Lee's Summit.


Top employers

According to the town's Economic Development Council, the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Lee's Summit R-7 Schools 3,116
2 Homeland Security - USCIS 3,000
3 Saint Luke's East Hospital 1,430
4 Truman Medical Center - Lakewood 1,200
5 John Knox Village 1,000
6 GEHA Holdings Inc. 880
7 City of Lee's Summit 786
8 Lee's Summit Medical Center 730
9 ReDiscover 450
10 CVS Caremark Call Center 450
11 Metropolitan Community College - Longview 406
12 Quest Diagnostics 350
13 Unity Village 325
14 Aspen Contracting 300
15 Viracor-Eurofins 290
16 IPL Plastics 271
17 R&D Leverage 265


Lee's Summit is served by parts of three public school districts: Lee's Summit R-VII School District, Blue Springs R-IV School District, Raymore-Peculiar R-II School District. Lee's Summit has four religious private schools as well: Summit Christian Academy (formerly Lee's Summit Community Christian School), Our Lady of Presentation Catholic School, Lee's Summit Academy (formerly Libby Lane Academy), and St. Michael the Archangel Catholic High School. Longview Community College is located on the extreme western edge of Lee's Summit. The college is part of Metropolitan Community College (Kansas City) or MCC for short. It also is home to the Summit Technology Center which is a branch campus of the University of Central Missouri. Lee's Summit is also home to a branch of Baker University.

Lee's Summit has three public libraries, branches of the Mid-Continent Public Library, on Oldham Parkway, Colbern Road, and a new branch on Blue Parkway.

Notable people

Cole Younger after the 1876 Northfield Raid
kids search engine
Lee's Summit, Missouri Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.