Kaw Mission State Historic Site

Kaw Mission State Historic Site 500 N. Mission Street, Council Grove, KS 66846-1433 620-767-5410 kshs.org/kaw_mission Fee required

Kaw Mission is more than just a museum that tells the story of the building that was home and school to 30 Kaw boys from 1851-1854; it is a tribute to the Kaw (or Kansa), who gave our state its name. The Kaw lived in the Neosho Valley along the Santa Fe Trail for less than 30 years when, despite an impassioned plea by Chief Allegawaho, the U.S. government removed the Kaw to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). Learn more about Chief Allegawaho, the Kaw, the Santa Fe Trail, and their stories when you visit Kaw Mission.

The 2019 Kaw Mission Councils is a series of lectures and events focused on the rich history of women of Kansas.  Join u...
05/15/2019

The 2019 Kaw Mission Councils is a series of lectures and events focused on the rich history of women of Kansas. Join us this Sunday, May 19, 2019, for “Throw Like a Girl” – Famous Kansas women athletes by Laura Hartley.
All programs begin at 2 p.m. at Kaw Mission unless otherwise noted. There is a suggested donation of $3. Co-sponsored by the Friends of Kaw Heritage. #kansashistory

This is a watercolor of the Last Chance Store in Council Grove, Kansas. Shawna Bell painted this scene during the 2016 K...
05/14/2019

This is a watercolor of the Last Chance Store in Council Grove, Kansas. Shawna Bell painted this scene during the 2016 Kansas Archeology Training Program (KATP) excavation of the Last Chance Store. The Last Chance Store was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.
#LastChanceStore #Kansashistory #SantaFeTrail

Excerpts from the diary of Susan Shelby Magoffin in 1846:Council Grove, 145 miles from I[ndependence] Friday June 19th. ...
05/10/2019

Excerpts from the diary of Susan Shelby Magoffin in 1846:

Council Grove, 145 miles from I[ndependence] Friday June 19th. Camp No.9.

“We are now at the great rendezvous of all traders. Council Grove may be considered the dividing ridge between the civilized and barbarous, for now we may look out for hostile Indians. Council Grove is so called from the circumstance of the U.S. agents who were sent out in the year 1825, to measure a road from Missouri to Santa Fe, from having met here and held a consultation with some Indian tribes , (Osage) who promised in a treaty not only to let go unmolested the traders, but also to lend their aid in defending them against their more ruthless neighbors of the mountainous regions further west.”

It is a thick cluster of trees some miles in length, through which runs a small creek called Council Grove Creek (Neosho River). There is a quality of fine timber consisting of Oaks, hickory, walnut &c. Each company coming generally stop here a day or so to repair their wagons, rest the stock, get timbers for the remainder of the journey; these are lashed under the wagons. They also mould bullets & prepare their fire arms for now they are coming into the region of game.”

#SantaFeTrail #Womenonthetrail #kansashistory #CouncilGrove

This beaded top of a cushion was donated to the Kansas Historical Society and may have a Kaw or Kansa association. The b...
05/07/2019

This beaded top of a cushion was donated to the Kansas Historical Society and may have a Kaw or Kansa association. The beading was done on maroon wool. The edges have scalloped green, clear, and blue beads with a border of blue, red, clear and green beads. The floral pattern on top has purple, blue, green, clear, gold, white and red beads. Kaw Mission was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.
#Kanzapeople #kansashistory #KawMission

In a treaty signed on February 13, 1867, there were five main provisions. The Kanza agreed to cede their diminished rese...
05/03/2019

In a treaty signed on February 13, 1867, there were five main provisions. The Kanza agreed to cede their diminished reservation of (80,000 acres to the United States for $100,000. The United States would sell the remaining trust lands, using the income to retire Kanza debts. The new reservation in Indian Territory would be provided with an agent’s house, blacksmith shop, manual labor school, agricultural implements, livestock, and a house for a physician. Allegawaho, Fool chief, Watianga, and Joseph James each would be granted 320 acres on the diminished reservation “in consideration of services rendered.” Considering the large cessions of land the Kanzas had previously made while receiving little benefit from them, the United States would pay the tribe a perpetual annuity of ten thousand dollars. Information courtesy of The Darkest Period by Ron Parks and image courtesy of the Kaw Nation.

#Kanzapeople #kansashistory #kawmission #parttwo

Springtime is in full bloom at Kaw Mission State Historic Site! #kansashistory
05/03/2019

Springtime is in full bloom at Kaw Mission State Historic Site! #kansashistory

In February of 1867, Kanza Chiefs Allegawaho, Fool Chief, Watianga along with Chiefs from the Sac and Fox and the Potawa...
04/30/2019

In February of 1867, Kanza Chiefs Allegawaho, Fool Chief, Watianga along with Chiefs from the Sac and Fox and the Potawatomies were summoned to Washington D.C.
Soon after arriving in Washington, the assembled chiefs were told by the Indian Office that they had a choice. They either stay in Kansas and become U.S. citizens or move to Indian Territory to live as Indians. Of the tribal representatives present, only the Kanzas, Sacs and Foxes, and some of the Potawatomies needed interpreters for these meetings. The Kanzas and Sacs and Foxes were singled out by one official as the two tribes present who could be removed to Indian Territory without much expense or trouble, as they “have not a great deal of household furniture.” In one of the later meetings, Commissioner Bogey withdrew the option of the tribes remaining in Kansas, declaring the governments expectation that “you will move away next spring.” To be continued. Information courtesy of The Darkest Period by Ron Parks and image courtesy of the Kaw Nation.
#KanzaPeople #Allegawaho #CouncilGrove #kansashistory #partone

The UPRSB, which was renamed in 1869 the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railroad, or commonly known as the Katy, prepared t...
04/26/2019

The UPRSB, which was renamed in 1869 the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railroad, or commonly known as the Katy, prepared to build a line from Junction City down the Neosho Valley through Council Grove all the way to the Osage Reservation line in southeastern Kansas. The railroad was to traverse the Kanzas’ diminished reservation. On August 24, 1867, an advance party of officials, contractors, and promoters of the UPRSB stopped at the Kanza Agency. Agent Elias Stover escorted his visitors to the nearby agency trading store, where, to his surprise, they found a group of Kanzas arranged in a semicircle awaiting them. In the Center was a chief, Pahanle-gaqli.

The chief stepped out to extend his hand to the group’s leader, railroad contractor “Major” A.F. Beach of Ballston Spa, New York, and then with “appropriate enunciation and graceful gestures,” delivered an eloquent speech. “Father,” the chief said,

“a few years ago the Kansas Nation was great in numbers, their lodges counted more than any other tribes, their wealth in horses, and furs were greater, and their lands extended from beyond the great river on the East to the headwaters of the Kansas, and from the Kansas to the pale river of the North. Now they are few in number and poor in property, and their land has diminished to a small piece, which afford them no game, and upon which they do not wish to remain.”

“Father, the Kansas has always been the friends of the white, and wishes always to be. As an evidence of their friendly feeling, the Kansas presents you the pipe of Peace, cut from the sacred red stone quarry of the north. Where this pipe goes the arrow of the Kansas will not Fly.”

Afterwards, Pahanle-gaqli presented Beach an elegant res-stone pipe, along with many robes, moccasins and other handcrafted items. Robert McBratney of Junction City Wrote; “How like a farce this looks upon paper, and how strongly am I tempted to strike it from the journal of the trip down the Neosho Valley, and yet, in fact, how like it is to the approaching finale of a great tragedy.” Courtesy of The Darkest Period by Ron Parks

#Kanzapeople #CouncilGrove
#kansashistory

The Kanzas were deeply religious people who thought symbolic expressions such as sacred bundles, prayer, myths, ritual, ...
04/23/2019

The Kanzas were deeply religious people who thought symbolic expressions such as sacred bundles, prayer, myths, ritual, dance, and vision quests continually sought unity with Wakanda, the mysterious, pervasive, and all-powerful divinity animating the universe. This spiritual sensibility was infused into every major event of their lives and provided guidance in making decisions and taking actions. If a Kanza man prospered, he expressed his gratitude to Wakanda, saying “Wakanda has indeed been looking at me!” Religious leadership was provided by shamans, called Wakandagi, who had accessed the superhuman dimensions
Through dreams, visions, and spirit possession. Specific clans performed certain duties in ceremonials to maintain the delicate harmony between the Kanzas, the natural world, and Wakanda. For example, members of the Lo, or Thunder Being Clan. Would be at the time of the first spring thunderstorm put green cedar on a fire to protect against violent storms. Because Wakanda infused the manifest universe, the Kanza offered prayers to the rising sun in the morning and settling sun in the evening as well as to other stars, the hills, the four winds, the Thunder Being, and the morning star. The earth was alive and relationships between humans, other creatures, and plants were dynamic and full of mystery. The gap between the human and the supernatural was narrow and permeable, a condition requiring an attentive and worshipful sensibility as one went about everyday activities.

Courtesy of "The Darkest Period" by Ron Parks
Francis French Killer and Wahsistahshinka 1880

#KanzaPeople #KawMission #kansashistory

Wagons used on the Santa Fe Trail were pulled by mules, horses and mainly oxen. The wagons were different in size, color...
04/19/2019

Wagons used on the Santa Fe Trail were pulled by mules, horses and mainly oxen. The wagons were different in size, color, style and shape. The way that mules and oxen were hitched to the wagons was different also. A mule wagon came with a doubletree mounted by a pin on top of the front hounds and tongue. Hooked to the doubletree were two singletrees, and to these singletrees the traces of the leather harness were attached. This was to limit the movement of the doubletree, which swiveled in place. Stay chains ran back from near each end of the doubletree and were secured to the front axle. For a four-mule or horse team, a spreader bar with two singletrees was added by short spreader chains to the end of the tongue. An additional span of mules, which made a six-mule team, again required its own spreader bar with singletrees. This was connected to a ring in the end of the tongue by a length of chain, called a fifth chain. (Fig. 1.2) The team was driven by a muleskinner, who rode not on the wagon, but in the wagon on the “near wheeler,” which is the mule closest to the front wheel on the left side of the wagon.

On a oxen wagon, there was no doubletree, nor were spreader bars and singletrees used. Instead, an ox wagon was equipped with a hook attachment on the end of the tongue to which the ring of a double ox yoke was secured. The next yoke was fastened through a fifth chain to the end of the tongue. This was to relieve the strain on the tongue, there were often a chain that ran from the end of the tongue back to the front axle. Each additional yoke required its own length of chain, which was fastened to the ring of the yoke behind it. The bullwacker, or Ox driver, also sometimes referred to as bullyboys, walked alongside his team and he did not ride like the muleskinner.

Courtesy of Mark L. Gardner’s “Wagons for the Santa Fe Trade”

#SantaFeTrail #kansashistory #SFT200 #2021

Some freighters purposely matched their teams by color or other distinguishing characteristics. Colonel James F. Meline ...
04/16/2019

Some freighters purposely matched their teams by color or other distinguishing characteristics. Colonel James F. Meline describes the ox trains he saw in Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1866 as “remarkable, each wagon team consisting of ten yokes of fine Oxen, selected and arranged not only for drawing but for pictorial effect, in sets of twenty, either black, all white, all spotted, or otherwise marked uniformly.”

How frequently teamsters followed this practice is unknown. However, it is clear from surviving bullwhacker accounts that once a team was selected for a wagon, whether by the wagonmaster or the teamster, that team remained with the assigned wagon for the entire journey. What Meline deemed a “pictorial effect” was likely the bullwhackers’ system for quickly identifying their oxen in a train’s large herd at yoking time each morning.
Courtesy of Mark L. Gardner’s “Wagons for the Santa Fe Trade”

#santafetrail #kansashistory

Leavenworth County, Kansas, in 1880 had five carriage and wagon-making establishments. The Kansas manufacturing Company ...
04/12/2019

Leavenworth County, Kansas, in 1880 had five carriage and wagon-making establishments. The Kansas manufacturing Company of Leavenworth, founded in 1874, employed 233 men, a little over half of all the men engaged in the carriage and wagon-making business in the county. The use of the word “employed” however is misleading, for approximately two hundred of these workers were convicts from the Kansas State Penitentiary. From 1874 to 1878, the company paid the state of Kansas a total of forty-five cents a day for each convict employed; from 1878 to 1880 it was fifty cents. With the help of a 250-horsepower steam engine and a large assortment of machinery, the workers of the Kansas manufacturing Company turned out seven thousand wagons a year in 1880, or “thirty wagons per day, or one wagon every twenty-five minutes.” The firm was proclaimed the “largest manufacturing concern” in the state of Kansas. Courtesy of Mark L. Gardner’s “Wagons for Santa Fe Trade”

#kansashistory #SantaFeTrail

Hispano Merchants might not have dominated the trade, but they owned a significant portion of goods hauled across the pr...
04/09/2019

Hispano Merchants might not have dominated the trade, but they owned a significant portion of goods hauled across the prairies before and after the Mexican war. For example, out of the 956 wagons hauling freight from Council Grove to Santa Fe in 1859, more than half belonged to Hispanos. It is not possible to determine the value of the merchandise carried by each ethnic group, but it is likely that it was in proportion to the volume. Records of caravans during the 1850s and 1860s indicate no major changes in this pattern, and carved inscriptions in Oklahoma, at such places as Autograph Rock, corroborate the presence of large numbers of New Mexico traders until the 1880s. Courtesy of Los Capitalistas by Susan Calafate Boyle
#kansashistory #SantaFetrail #SFT200 #2021

Johann Fredrick Schmidt served as a Sergeant in the Mexican-American War and settled in Junction City after being honora...
04/05/2019

Johann Fredrick Schmidt served as a Sergeant in the Mexican-American War and settled in Junction City after being honorably discharged on June 1, 1856. Schmidt became Junction City’s first Postmaster and Mayor. In 1864, during the Civil War, Schmidt was recruited for one hundred days of military service for the purpose of bringing men and mules to Council Grove for special training.

Schmidt’s wife, Lucy tried to buy the Gilkey Hotel from Charles Gilkey, but was unsuccessful. Instead she established a boarding house on the Santa Fe Trail. One of their residences was the Kaw Mission. The family moved to the corner of Fifth and Main on the Santa Fe Trail and built a home and boarding home. After Johann death on July 17, 1881, Lucy moved the house and built the Pacific House on the site. The Pacific House was a large, square white frame building furnished throughout with beautiful Victorian walnut. There were ten hotel rooms, family quarters, a large office filled with captain chairs, a ladies parlor, a huge dining room, kitchen, washrooms, and pantries.

For years the hotel could not accommodate the guests requesting lodging. Mrs. Schmidt was a celebrated cook and by 1887, both the Katy and Missouri Pacific trains were making dinner stops at Council Grove. An old newspaper account states “When Grover Cleveland visited Council Grove, Kansas, the Pacific House sent meals to his train..

#Kansashistory #SantaFetrail #GroverCleveland

Frank Haucke acted as Master of Ceremonies. Roy Taylor spoke in his native language and he said in his speech "I am glad...
04/02/2019

Frank Haucke acted as Master of Ceremonies. Roy Taylor spoke in his native language and he said in his speech "I am glad again to be back in the land of my fathers and I feel grateful to the white man for the great tribute he paid one of my people." Toward the end of the ceremony an airplane flew over to spread flowers. It was supposed to drop a wreath of flowers over the spiral of the monument, but it missed
In 1930 vice president Charles Curtis who was not able to attend the original dedication came to the monument. Frank Haucke approached Vice President Curtis with a flowered wreath and said Mr. Vice President I present you this wreath to lay on the Tomb of the Unknown Indian. The Vice President then spoke of his boyhood time on the reservation and concluded with his tribute "I place this wreath on the monument to the Indian whose name none know here below, but whose name is registered above and indelible ink."
#kansashistory #Kanzapeople #CharlesCurtis #parttwo

At 4 p.m. on  August 12th, 1925, around 2000 people were assembled near the newly erected stone monument. The large crow...
03/29/2019

At 4 p.m. on August 12th, 1925, around 2000 people were assembled near the newly erected stone monument. The large crowd was partly due to this event being the climax of a week-long celebration Council Grove was having to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Santa Fe Trail. The thousands assembled stood in silent reverence. A small group had assembled around a copper casket at the foot of the hill formed a procession, led by a military band that played a dirge. The procession begin to wind its way up the hill. Behind came a military procession carrying the coffin, draped in a United States flag and guarded by a squad of soldiers. Behind the coffin a Kaw Indian led a rider-less horse that had been dubbed with red paint, an old Kansas custom for a slain warrior. Twenty-five mounted Kansa and Indians followed the rider-less horse as they were followed by a troop of the 2nd U.S. Calvary from Fort Riley. A group of Boy Scouts and members of the American Legion brought up the rear. The procession circled the monument and then halted before the cement lined tomb. The mounted Indians handed the reins of their horses to waiting Boy Scouts and took the casket from the caisson. Taps were sounded as six braves edged the casket into the tomb. Seventeen shots were fired from a one-pound artillery gun on a nearby hillside. The rider-less horse was given by its Indian charge to a Boy Scout, which is another custom of the Kansa.

This series to be continued next week in part two. Photograph courtesy of the Kaw Nation

#Kanzapeople #kansashistory #CouncilGrove #SantaFeTrail #partone

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500 N Mission St
Council Grove, KS
66846-1433

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