Charter Commission member withdraws Johnson County name change proposal but still wants to have ‘important discussion’

Shawnee Indian Mission Cemetery

Rev. Thomas Johnson, the county's namesake, is buried in a small cemetery off Shawnee Mission Parkway in Fairway. In his life, Johnson owned slaves and advocated for the Kansas Territory to enter the Union as a slave state. Ultimately, he changed some of his views and sided with the Union during the Civil War, but a recent proposal before the county's Charter Commission sought to begin a discussion to consider changing the county's name due to Johnson's past. File image.

The Johnson County Charter Commission will not consider a proposal to begin a discussion about whether the county should be named after a former slave owner following a commission member’s decision to withdrew the recommendation.

Tedrick Housh, who submitted the recommendation to “adopt a process of meaningful consideration” for changing Johnson County’s name, said over the weekend that the Charter Commission might not be the best venue for that.