Kaw Mission and Last Chance Store Museums

Kaw Mission and Last Chance Store Museums 500 N. Mission Street, Council Grove, KS 66846-1433 620-767-5410 kshs.org/kaw_mission Fee required
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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 Kansas City Journal of Commerce on May 22, 1858 speaks of how Santa Fe Trail wagons were not “farm wagons” or “lumbe...
05/29/2020

The Kansas City Journal of Commerce on May 22, 1858 speaks of how Santa Fe Trail wagons were not “farm wagons” or “lumber wagons.” They were “prairie wagons” or “schooners” that weighed 4,000 pounds. Furthermore, they reported that wagons carried 5,500 to 6000 pounds. #kansashistory

Information from the following sources: Wagons for the Santa Fe Trade by Mark L. Gardner.
Kansas City Journal of Commerce, May 22, 1858.

In November of 2019, Kaw Mission and Last Chance Store Museums had the pleasure of having Chef Walter Staib and his prod...
05/22/2020

In November of 2019, Kaw Mission and Last Chance Store Museums had the pleasure of having Chef Walter Staib and his production team from the PBS show “A Taste of History” visit us. Their show explores America’s cuisine. Chef Staib, an award-winning internationally known chef with over four decades of experience, is a master of open-hearth cookery. The show has visited locations such as Jefferson’s Monticello and Philadelphia’s Rittenhousetown. In each episode, Chef Staib explores the origin of featured recipes and ingredients to reveal historical context.
The show was sponsored by the Santa Fe Trail association as they filmed at Mahaffie Stagecoach stop & farm in Olathe, Kansas and then followed the Santa Fe Trail to Council Grove and filmed at the Kaw Mission and Last Chance Store Museums, the Hays House, and Trails Days Café and Museum.
#kansashistory

The bison was an important source of food, clothing, shelter, tools, and weapons for Native Americans. Naturalist and et...
05/15/2020

The bison was an important source of food, clothing, shelter, tools, and weapons for Native Americans. Naturalist and ethnologist George Bird Grinnell and scout Luther North joined the Pawnees for their 1872 hunt. Despite a heavy fog, four thousand Pawnees moved out in a long column in the direction that a large herd had been spotted. Eight men walked in front carrying long poles wrapped in red and blue cloth and decorated with feathers. The sticks were buffalo sticks which were closely guarded symbols of the hunt. Next came 30 or 40 members of the tribe riding horses with beautifully decorated saddled and bridles. Women led two ponies each that were packed with the lodges. All around were well armed Pawnee on foot. The reason was to rest their ponies for the hunt. Camp would be setup by the women who would tear it down the following morning and the procession would begin again until the herd was found, at which the men would strip down to their breech clothes and the hunt would begin.

Information from: The Buffalo Hunters by Charles M. Robinson III #kansashistory

05/08/2020

Christopher Columbia and family settled in the Council Grove area in 1852 and soon his brother Charles Columbia made a home there as well. Christopher was considered the first white to settle on a farm near Council Grove. The Columbias were wagon and carriage makers. With the Santa Fe Trail passing through the middle of Council Grove, Columbia was in great demand along with many other blacksmiths, wheelwrights, and wagon shops. This advertisement was from The Council Grove Press August 25, 1860.

#kansashistory

Seth Millington Hays operated a trading post in Council Grove along the Santa Fe Trail.  Under the ownership of Boone an...
05/01/2020

Seth Millington Hays operated a trading post in Council Grove along the Santa Fe Trail. Under the ownership of Boone and Hamilton in 1847 and later under his own name along with partner Albert Simcock, they built a large framed trading house that opened in 1859. Hays kept records of travelers that passed on the Santa Fe Trail through Council Grove. #kansashistory

During the 19th century the Bison was killed by whites for both profit and sport. Sadly, the future of the animal was no...
04/24/2020

During the 19th century the Bison was killed by whites for both profit and sport. Sadly, the future of the animal was not considered as conservation was not a priority of the era. Millions of bison existed at one time but today there are about half a million in the United States. #kansashistory

The Neosho River, which runs through Council Grove, was prone to come out of its banks, flooding both the town and valle...
04/17/2020

The Neosho River, which runs through Council Grove, was prone to come out of its banks, flooding both the town and valley. The 1903 flood was considered the worst since the first white-European Seth M. Hays settled in Council Grove back in 1847. Along with the rising waters, a fire broke out at one of the local lumber yards. Flood waters stretched from east to west in the valley. The Main Street bridge that ran near the Santa Fe Trail was washed completely off its trusses. The photographs show that travelers had to start using the original Santa Fe Trail crossing until a new bridge could be constructed.

#kansashistory

In 1827, six Osage individuals were taken to Europe by David Delaunay and Paul Loise.  For the Osage, this was not a pos...
03/27/2020

In 1827, six Osage individuals were taken to Europe by David Delaunay and Paul Loise. For the Osage, this was not a positive experience as Delaunay and Loise’s intent was to make money by exhibiting them. Delauney went broke and was imprisoned for debt. The Osage suffered as they were left to make their way around Europe. During this time two children were born, and one was adopted by a Belgian woman. In 1830 the surviving members made it back to their tribe after funds were raised to send them back home. Sadly, two men died on the way back.
#kansashistory

Information from “The Beginning of the West” By Louise Barry.

After 1825, the Kansa controlled 2 million acres of land. This arrangement worked out well for the Kansa in the beginnin...
03/13/2020

After 1825, the Kansa controlled 2 million acres of land. This arrangement worked out well for the Kansa in the beginning, but soon their circumstances would change. Severe flooding in 1844 destroyed their fields and villages. On top of this, sickness plagued the tribe. Even their horses and the deer population were impacted by disease and death. By early 1846, the disasters and poverty had caused Kansa Chiefs to be ready to meet and make a deal to sell their reservation. #kansashistory

Artwork by Chris Pappan.

Allegawaho and other chiefs and members of the tribe, wrote a letter to the Honorable Lewis H. Bogy asking for assistanc...
03/06/2020

Allegawaho and other chiefs and members of the tribe, wrote a letter to the Honorable Lewis H. Bogy asking for assistance in 1867. Their conditions were poor. The hunting was bad, their corn crops had spoiled due to a wet year, and the weather was frigid. Their effort to form a treaty resulted in white settlers stealing from them. #kansashistory

Dr. Leo Oliva will be sharing with us about “International Cooperation: The U.S. and Mexican Military Escorts on the San...
03/01/2020

Dr. Leo Oliva will be sharing with us about “International Cooperation: The U.S. and Mexican Military Escorts on the Santa Fe Trail” today at 2 p.m. We hold Kaw Mission Councils every month at the Carnegie. Here we see a glimpse of last month’s Kaw Mission Council. #kansashistory

The Kaw made treaties with the government in 1825, 1846, and 1859, which unfortunately resulted in disease and starvatio...
02/21/2020

The Kaw made treaties with the government in 1825, 1846, and 1859, which unfortunately resulted in disease and starvation for the tribe. Despite declining populations throughout the 19th century, today they are a federally recognized self-governing tribe with over 3,100 members residing in Oklahoma. #kansashistory

Late in 1863 Chief Ishtalasea and headsmen found themselves having calmed their opposition to a new treaty, which would ...
02/14/2020

Late in 1863 Chief Ishtalasea and headsmen found themselves having calmed their opposition to a new treaty, which would remove them from their Kansas reservation to present-day Oklahoma. They wished to go to Washington to discuss a new treaty, and a delegation was put together to head to Washington. In June 1864 the delegation worked out a treaty for the sale of their current land and for the purchase of new land. In addition to this, other benefits to the tribe were included, such as an investigation by the government claims of horse stealing and timber destruction by whites.

Information from “The Darkest Period” by Ron Parks.

Francis Aubrey only lived to be 29, but he lived much life in those years. He moved from Quebec to St. Louis and worked ...
02/07/2020

Francis Aubrey only lived to be 29, but he lived much life in those years. He moved from Quebec to St. Louis and worked for a few years before setting out on the Santa Fe Trail with his goods. He made a good profit on this trip and the next year he was able to set out with his own caravan. He made the news for his adventures through dangerous territory, as he sped ahead of the caravan carrying the mail and news with him. In 1847 he set out to break the record, which at the time was 24 ½ days between Independence and Santa Fe. Despite many obstacles such as bandits, blizzards, and Indians, he made it in 14 days. He broke many records, even stationing horses along the route and making the journey in 5 days and 15 hours. After a few years of life back and forth on the Santa Fe Trail, he headed westward to California. Sadly, he was killed during an argument, and after his death the FX Aubry, a Missouri steamboat, was named after him. #kansashistory

Information from: True West Magazine by Ron Soodalter

Jay Clark will share with us about Buffalo Soldiers and their role guarding the Santa Fe Trail today at 2 p.m. This mont...
02/07/2020

Jay Clark will share with us about Buffalo Soldiers and their role guarding the Santa Fe Trail today at 2 p.m. This month’s Kaw Mission Council will be held at The Carnegie, 303 West Main, courtesy of the Morris County Historical Society. #kansashistory

In the early 20th century, the Daughters of the American Revolution took it upon themselves to mark the Santa Fe Trail. ...
01/31/2020

In the early 20th century, the Daughters of the American Revolution took it upon themselves to mark the Santa Fe Trail. While the origin of the idea is debated, the hard work they did is not. Kansas DAR worked to gain support, an appropriation from the legislature was secured, and private funds were raised, with even school children helping out. They originally envisioned nine markers, but 96 were established in the end. Colorado, Missouri, and New Mexico soon followed suit in the years to come, raising the number to over 160 markers along the trail. The dedications of the markers were often a cause for celebrations. One marker, located in Council Grove, was accompanied with festivities including speeches, a historical parade, and a time capsule. The time capsule was opened in 2007, and due to flooding not much was found. A new capsule will be opened in 2107. #kansashistory

Information from “The Old Trail to Santa Fe” by Marc Simmons.

Over the 19th century and the years of the Santa Fe Trail, the gun market was ever changing. Many types were competing o...
01/24/2020

Over the 19th century and the years of the Santa Fe Trail, the gun market was ever changing. Many types were competing on the market. By the time that traffic had increased on the Santa Fe Trail, travelers were moving away from flintlock and turning to other models that were metallic cartridge and breech loader. #kansashistory
Information from: “The Historic Santa Fe Trail” by Mary Ensel.

Traveling on the Santa Fe Trail had many expenses. The cost of the wagon itself was reported to be around 150 dollars fo...
01/17/2020

Traveling on the Santa Fe Trail had many expenses. The cost of the wagon itself was reported to be around 150 dollars for William Becknell in the early 1820s. In the 1840s, the cost was reported about the same. All of this depended on the size of the wagon. In 1854, one report states 200 dollars for a large Missouri wagon that could carry 5,000 to 5,500 pounds. Other expenses included the cost of oxen or mules to pull your wagon, and smaller items such as harnesses. #kansashistory

Information from: "Source Wagons for Santa Fe Trade" by Mark L. Gardner

During the 1860s, the Kaw Reservation experienced a flurry of construction. In addition to the construction of many ston...
01/10/2020

During the 1860s, the Kaw Reservation experienced a flurry of construction. In addition to the construction of many stone houses, the activity was centered around the expansion of the agency-mission complex. #kansashistory

Information from: The Darkest Period by Ronald Parks.

Charles Curtis learned how to ride a horse young, sharpening his equestrian skills while living on the Kaw Reservation. ...
01/03/2020

Charles Curtis learned how to ride a horse young, sharpening his equestrian skills while living on the Kaw Reservation. The Kaw enjoyed horse racing and it was a popular activity. They would even bet against Osages, Potawatomis, and even the white settlers at county fairs in Kansas. Charles experienced his first formal horse race when he was just nine years old. This was only the beginning for young Curtis. He would go on to become a jockey. #kansahistory

Information from: Mixed-Bloods and Tribal Dissolution by William E. Unrau

Council Grove RepublicanAugust 29, 1873John Robinson's GREAT WORLD’S Exposition, Museum, Aquarium, Animal Conservatory a...
12/27/2019

Council Grove Republican
August 29, 1873

John Robinson's

GREAT WORLD’S Exposition, Museum, Aquarium, Animal Conservatory and STRICTLY MORAL CIRCUS

Seating Capacity 15,000
Adults 75 cents
10 years and under 50 cents

#kansashistory

Did you know the Last Chance Store building was used for more than just a store? The building served as a polling place,...
12/20/2019

Did you know the Last Chance Store building was used for more than just a store? The building served as a polling place, a residence, an antique store, and a financial institution, among other business ventures. #kansashistory

This week's Kaw Mission Council is cancelled due to weather. Stay tuned for updates, as this will be rescheduled after t...
12/13/2019

This week's Kaw Mission Council is cancelled due to weather. Stay tuned for updates, as this will be rescheduled after the holidays. #kansashistory

Council Grove PressMay 4, 1863“WANTED- A middle-aged man six feet, four inches high, well proportioned, to stay in our o...
12/13/2019

Council Grove Press
May 4, 1863

“WANTED- A middle-aged man six feet, four inches high, well proportioned, to stay in our office, and kick men downstairs, who interrupt the printers, spew tobacco juice about the floor, smoke in the office, meddle with the type, read copy, &c. If such a one does not come soon, We shall commence the work in person.”

“A gentlemen who has counted, says over one thousand wagons have passed through Council Grove the past week, towards the River. Our trade here is immense this season.”

#CouncilGrove #SantaFeTrail #kansashistory

Excerpts from the Council Grove DemocratJuly 1, 1866 state:“Business- Ledrick & Robbins shipped to St. Louis, last week,...
12/06/2019

Excerpts from the Council Grove Democrat
July 1, 1866 state:

“Business- Ledrick & Robbins shipped to St. Louis, last week, $30,000 worth of furs and [Bison] robes, and yesterday, in addition to a heavy local trade, sold a bill of goods, to a trader in New Mexico, amounting to $2500. The rest of our merchants have all been doing very fair business.

Trains moving- For a week past, there has been one continued throng of wagons passing, to and fro, on Santa Fe Avenue [present Main Street]—Even the devil himself can’t keep count and attend to his legitimate business. Several large trains, eastward bound, are encamped out west of town, and as we put this to type, the main thoroughfare is completely lined with large caravans, heavily loaded, from Kansas City, as far as the eye can reach, east and west.”

#KansasHistory #SantaFeTrail #CouncilGrove

In the days before the Kaw were given a reservation in the Council Grove area, travelers often encountered members of th...
11/29/2019

In the days before the Kaw were given a reservation in the Council Grove area, travelers often encountered members of the tribe. While the individuals passing through felt fearful, they soon discovered that the Kaw were more interested in trade. The Kaw were looking for items such as tobacco, coffee, gunpower, flint, or alcohol.
#kanzapeople #SantaFeTrail #kansashistory

Information from “Bound for Santa Fe” by Stephen G. Hyslop

An excerpt from a letter from Thomas Sears Huffaker to Lt. Col. Dickey, Agent for Kansas Indians on August 9, 1859:“Acco...
11/22/2019

An excerpt from a letter from Thomas Sears Huffaker to Lt. Col. Dickey, Agent for Kansas Indians on August 9, 1859:

“According to request I send you a statement of the facts in regard to a difficulty that took place between the Kansas Indians and whites at this place [Council Grove] on the 17th of June as I saw and heard them. 2 days previous to this a Mexican trader came to this place and stated that three Kaws came to his herd whipped his herdsmen and drove off 2 of his ponies. He asked his drays and other citizens to assist him in getting back the stolen ponies. The citizens as they always do on such cases called some of the head men together and advised them to give up the ponies and after counciling 2 days, they resolved to bring them in and on the morning above named about one hundred of their men came into town armed and painted as they are when they want to fight. They assembled at the door of Mr. Hay’s house where they supposed the owner of the stolen property & saying we should take care of themselves and let others do the [?]. Hays said he did not want to be abused for doing what he considered every man’s duty and told the Indians they must stop their abuse and leave that they had evidently come for mischief.”

#CouncilGrove #kansashistory

There was a great turnout for October’s program on Amelia Earhart!  This month’s Kaw Mission Councils program is a first...
11/16/2019

There was a great turnout for October’s program on Amelia Earhart! This month’s Kaw Mission Councils program is a first-person presentation by Kim Newman on Carry Nation tomorrow, Sunday, November 17. #kansashistory

Pawnee Rock is located in the southwest corner of Barton County, with only about 100 yards separating it and the old San...
11/08/2019

Pawnee Rock is located in the southwest corner of Barton County, with only about 100 yards separating it and the old Santa Fe Trail. It is considered sacred ground for the Pawnee, who held
tribal councils on its flat top. Many Plains tribes reportedly used it as an observation point to hunt for buffalo herds. For travelers passing through the area, the landmark was the half way point on their journey on the Santa Fe Trail. Many travelers even took the time to engrave their names into the stone.
In 1909, through the efforts of the Woman's Kansas Day club, the remaining portion of Pawnee Rock became a historic site. The original rock had been much larger, but settlers used part of the stone for building use. In 1970 the site was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

#SantaFeTrail #kansashistory #KansasStateHistoricSite

This photograph shows a pictograph by a Pawnee artist. The pictograph was on a robe and was gifted to Agent Benjamin O’F...
11/01/2019

This photograph shows a pictograph by a Pawnee artist. The pictograph was on a robe and was gifted to Agent Benjamin O’Fallon in 1819 while at a Pawnee council. It shows a Pawnee-Kansa battle where Kansa warriors had approached a Pawnee village to steal and attack. The Pawnee band was larger and all the Kansa, numbering 18, were killed.
Information from The Beginning of the West by Louise Barry
#kansashistory

In May of 1823, a Santa Fe-bound expedition of thirty-one men captained by Stephen Cooper and Joel P. Walker left Missou...
10/25/2019

In May of 1823, a Santa Fe-bound expedition of thirty-one men captained by Stephen Cooper and Joel P. Walker left Missouri. Each trader had one or two pack horses and an average of about $200 in goods. On June 1, on the bank of the Little Arkansas, Indians stampeded and ran off all but six of their horses. Cooper and five others returned to Missouri to buy more animals. When they returned to their group they found some 1,500 Kansa, who were on a buffalo hunt, camped nearby. Cooper took his company over the Cimarron desert route where they nearly died from lack of water. Walker later claimed that his men encountered a party of trappers on their way to Santa Fe. In the party of trappers was the brother of Joel P. Walker, Joseph R. Walker, famed Mountain Man who would be part of the Sibley Expedition in 1825. Walker also claimed that they were so desperate for water that they killed buffalo and drank the blood, which helped them reach Santa Fe safely. #kansashistory

#kansashistory #SantaFeTrail

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500 N Mission St
Council Grove, KS
66846-1433

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Nala our 2 yr old Female Husky has been missing from the Arnold, NE area since 2/9/18. She is Grey/Black with Blue Eyes and a White Face. We believe someone passing through the Nebraska area may have picked her up and without tags or collar had no way to contact us. If you have seen her or know someone that may have her please help us bring her home. We are offering a $2000 Reward for her safe return. 402-214-4737. Thank You!
During Guy Munroe's tenure, a casino was built, the Kaw Nation made some land purchases and bought into a bank in Oklahoma. He commuted every day to the tribal headquarters in Kaw City, Okla. Read more here:
It's been 60 years since I left Council Grove and I still get a pang of homesickness when I see pictures like this and remember Neosho St. and the river. How I loved those bridges !!
If possible, I would like to hear any information on Santa Fe School. It was a one room school house about 6 miles east of CG and north 1/2 mile..Dunlap road or 1 west of Lyon Co/Morris Co line. My family attended from late 40s through 1953 when the school closed. Mrs. Agnes Reeves was the teacher part of that time.