Sunflower Elementary was built on land that is part of the Wakarusa River Valley. The area was originally inhabited by tribes of Native Americans, the most recent being the Kansa and Osage. In 1830, the land was deeded to the Shawnee Indians. Beginning in 1854, European Americans and African Americans settled in the area. During the 1850’s and the Civil War era, the area was part of the free state versus slave state battles fought in Kansas. After the Civil War, farms covered the land. At the time the school was being planned, the site was covered with sunflowers. Since the sunflower is the state flower and represents Kansas history, it was deemed appropriate to name the school Sunflower. Sunflower officially opened for the 1994-95 school year.