WABAUNSEE COUNTY, KANSAS

INDIANS


Wabaunsee County is one of unusual interest to the student of Kansas history, by reason of its location, Indian reservations, early settlement, and war record.

Its locality according to the belief of many of its people, would seem to fit the description of Quivers,

"In that half forgotten era,"

Given by Coronado in the old Spanish documents concerning his explorations in 1542. Mr. J. V. Brower, an archaeologist of note, has spent years in research over this and adjoining counties, and many valuable archaeological collections have been made which would seem to substantiate the belief of many people that the Quivera Indians once lived on the soil of Wabaunsee County. Great interest is shown in historical matters. A Quivera Historical Society was formed at Alma in 1901 to continue the research and preserve records. The Legislature of 1907 passed a bill authorizing the Board of Commissioners of Wabaunsee County to provide for the use of the Wabaunsee County Historical Society, a room in one of it s county buildings for its museum and library, and were authorized to appropriate $1,200 out of the county funds for the purpose of providing and erecting a room for the use of that society. The Quivera society joined in the dedication of the monument erected and completed August 12th, 1902, by Capt. Robert Henderson, at Logan Grove, Geary County in commemoration of the exploration of Coronado in the country of the Quivera and Harahey Indians.

It is interesting to note that there is a difference of opinion as to Coronado's line of march. Mr. W. E. Richey, the archaeologist of Harveyvile, who has his own ideas on this subject has an interesting collection of Indian specimens and an old Spanish sword which he deposited with the Historical Society in the State House at Topeka.

Whatever tribes composed the aborigines, Quivera's or Harahey's, it is known that prior to 1846 the land embraced in Wabaunsee County was claimed by the Kansas or Kaw Indians. In 1833, Rev. Isaac McCoy, a missionary who had charge of the location of the Indian tribes, was sold to this locality to survey a portion of land for the Shawnee Indians. In 1846, by treaty with the Kaws, the Pottawatomie Indians of Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana were given a portion of land thirty miles squares beginning two miles west of Topeka, into Wabaunsee, Pottawatomie and Jackson Counties. This reservation extended over one-fourth the area of Wabaunsee County and was occupied by over two thousand Indians. The Kaws had been given a reservation in the southern part of the county. All these lands had been allotted in severalty or thrown open for settlement by 1872. The Pottawatomies of the Woods and the Kaws went to the Indiana Territory. The Prairie band of Pottawatomie Indians still lives on the reservation given them in Jackson County.

(Source: Business Directory and History of Wabaunsee County, published by the Kansas Directory Company of Topeka, Kansas, 1907, pages 7-8, transcribed by Peggy Thompson)

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