In 1912, George Hodges, partner in the Hodges Brothers Lumber Company, was elected Kansas governor on a Democratic ticket. Women’s suffrage passed in Kansas that year and the Carnegie Public Library opened. A domestic science and manual training building was completed for the school system in 1913. The Kansas School for the Deaf enrolled 250 pupils that year.
Over 300 farm hands had been placed by January 1915. Through the cooperation of this association many public improvements have been agitated.” An influenza epidemic and other diseases created a need for public health safeguards. From about 1910 until the start of World War I, the Olathe Chautauqua pitched a big tent on the natural slope of Parker’s pasture during the hottest two weeks of the summer.
Ott’s Boy’s Band was organized in 1913. Ed Blair of Spring Hill published the third printed history of Olathe in 1915. Earl Milton Collier, killed at Belleau Wood in 1918, was the first Olathe casualty of World War I. The need for army boots increased the reputation of the Hyer Boot Factory, and Olathe, in the United States.
Former Olathe resident Albert I. Beach became mayor of Kansas City, Mo., in 1923, the year Gemmel Memorial Gymnasium opened to student athletes. Kansas City Road, formerly the Santa Fe Trail, was paved in 1925. James “Indian Jim” Brown paved his way into local folklore during a contest among the bricklayers on the new road.