Merriam is a small city in eastern Kansas, sharing a border to the north with Kansas City. Despite its relatively small size, it's been named one of the most tourist-friendly cities and among the best small towns in the U.S., earning attention for its convenient location, family-friendly community, local parks and public art.
The History of Merriam
Merriam was first settled by the Shawnee Native Americans, who were relocated from Ohio and Missouri to Kansas in the late 1820s. A group of Quakers followed them and built a mission in 1836 at the present-day intersection of 61st Street and Hemlock. By 1864, approximately 20 households lived in the area, which was named Campbellton at the time.
When the first railroad came through in 1880, the town was renamed in honor of Charles Merriam, who was the railroad's treasurer. Merriam became incorporated in 1957 and grew into a vibrant community over the next several decades.
Jobs in Merriam
The unemployment rate in Merriam is considerably lower than the U.S. average, which is good news if you're planning to start a job search here. Job growth is slow but steady, providing a sustainable flow of new positions in the area. A large percentage of locals work in sales, and office and administrative support, followed closely by industries that include production, transportation and finance.
The largest employer in Merriam is Shawnee Mission Medical Center, followed by GE Money, First Student, IKEA and Hendrick Chevrolet/Toyota.
Students in Merriam are served by the Shawnee Mission School District. Throughout Merriam and the surrounding county, there are quite a few private schools as well, many of which are faith-based.
Resources for Moving to Merriam
Here are a few handy resources for planning your move to Merriam:
Utilities: Merriam's primary utilities providers include Kansas City Power & Light, Kansas Gas Service and WaterOne.
Garbage and Recycling: The city doesn't provide trash collection services, so it's your responsibility to find your own private hauler. The company you choose is required to collect your trash at least once per week.
Transportation: Ride KC provides public bus service throughout Merriam and the greater Kansas City metro area.
Merriam has a cost of housing near the national average. The housing market can be relatively small at times, because Merriam is a small community. However, you can generally find a good mix of house styles, sizes and price points.