The first individuals to own the land upon which Basehor now stands were Thomas S. and Mary Z. Townes. The couple bought it from the railroad in 1873 and mortgaged it to Ephraim Basehor the same year. On January 9, 1874, the Townes sold the 160 acres to Basehor.
Basehor was founded in 1889 by Reuben Basehor and his brother Ephraim. They both were of Pennsylvania Dutch descent and came to Kansas in 1854. After living in Lawrence for a time, Ephraim began working as a hired hand for an area farmer. He eventually bought the farm and other land holdings in the area.
Ephraim Basehor donated the land for the school house around 1900. The old grade school was located north of town and was originally called the Prairie Garden District #32. The first high school classes in the community met in 1905 above the Kemler-Hammond General Store. In 1906, a building was erected to house the high school and grade school. It was built for K-12 on the southeast corner of 155th Street and Leavenworth Road. The high school was upstairs, and K-8 was located in the three classrooms downstairs. In 1929, there were 5 graduates.
Reuben Basehor donated $1,000 to the school to build a library which was a cement structure east of the old school. A new two-story brick high school was built as a W.P.A. project in 1938. The grade school classes continued to be held in the old building until a new grade school was built in 1955. By 1963, a new high school was built, and the older building was taken over by the top two grades of the grade school.
There were 830 households out of which 36.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.5% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.6% were non-families. 19.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.09.
In the city the population was spread out with 27.2% under the age of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 28.1% from 25 to 44, 23.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 90.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $52,831, and the median income for a family was $60,000. Males had a median income of $40,540 versus $27,708 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,731. About 2.8% of families and 4.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.7% of those under age 18 and 6.4% of those age 65 or over.