Time Capsules

Paul Benson opens a copper time capsule and uses pincers to pick up a business card

What did Johnson County look like years ago? The county has preserved artifacts for future generations by storing them in time capsules. County staff discovered a time capsule from 1951 and are preparing a new time capsule to be opened at a later date.

The contents of these time capsules strive to reflect the times in which they were prepared. From historical documents and programs to popular trends and technology, these items offer a glimpse of how Johnson County has changed and evolved over the years.

1951 Time Capsule

Anne Jones holds up a newspaper from the 1950s

Johnson County revealed the contents of a 71-year-old time capsule at a Board of County Commissioners meeting in 2022.

The time capsule was assembled and stored in the previous Johnson County Courthouse on May 7, 1951. It was discovered in a wall cavity during demolition of the courthouse last year. Contents included:

  • 36 sealed envelopes from various municipalities
  • A newspaper microfilm reel
  • A trial docket dated May 5, 1951
  • A program from the 1949 Model Airplane Meet
  • A program for the 1948 Old Settlers Day
  • A 1950 Olathe phone directory
  • Photographs of construction of the former courthouse

Possible public display of the time capsule and its contents are not yet determined, and details will be announced at a later date.

Discovery of the 1951 time capsule

See what's inside the 1951 time capsule