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Disbursements :

Three pen and ink drawings of Shawnee Mission

bldgs. by Harry Feron $17.50

Balance, August 21, 1951:

Cash $783.69

U. S. savings bonds, Series G 5,200.00

5,983.69

~ $6,001.19
STATE APPROPRIATIONS

This report covers only the membership fee fund and other custodial funds.
It is not a statement of the appropriations made by the legislature for the
maintenance of the Society. These disbursements are not made by the treas-
urer of the Society but by the state auditor. For the year ending June 30,
1951, these appropriations were: Kansas State Historical Society, $97,251.44;
Memorial building, $12,784.80; Old Shawnee Mission, $5,526.00; First Capitol
of Kansas, $2,250.00.

On motion by Wilford Riegle, seconded by Robert T. Aitchison,
the report of the treasurer was accepted.

The report of the executive committee on the audit by the state
accountant of the funds of the Society was called for and read by
John S. Dawson:

REPORT OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

September 26, 1951.
To the Board of Directors, Kansas State Historical Society:

The executive committee being directed under the bylaws to check the
accounts of the treasurer, states that the state accountant has audited the
funds of the State Historical Society, the First Capitol of Kansas and the Old
Shawnee Mission from August 22, 1950, to August 21, 1951, and that they
are hereby approved. JOHN S. DAWSON, Chairman.

On motion by John S. Dawson, seconded by Robert Stone, the
report was accepted.

The report of the nominating committee for officers of the
Society was read by John S. Dawson:

NOMINATING COMMITTEE'S REPORT

September 26, 1951.
To the Board of Directors, Kansas State Historical Society:

Your committee on nominations submits the following report for officers
of the Kansas State Historical Society:

For a one-year term: William T. Beck, Holton, president; Robert Taft,
Lawrence, first vice-president; Angelo Scott, lola, second vice-president.
For a two-year term: Nyle H. Miller, Topeka, secretary.

Respectfully submitted,

JOHN S. DAWSON, Chairman.

The report was referred to the afternoon meeting of the board.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned.



ANNUAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETY

The annual meeting of the Kansas State Historical Society con-
vened at 2 P. M. The members were called to order by the presi-
dent, Frank Haucke.

The address by Mr. Haucke follows:

Address of the President

FRANK HAUCKE
THE KAW OR KANSA INDIANS

MY paper today is on the Kaw Indians: The Indians who gave
our state its name, and for whom our famous river was
named; and the tribe that gave to this nation a vice-president. His-
torians do not credit them with being the most colorful or spectac-
ular tribe to dwell within our state, yet they left their mark on
Kansas history. As long as Kansas exists the memory of the Kansa
or Kaw Indians will live.

These Indians were known by some 50, and perhaps even more,
versions of the name Kansa, which means wind people or people
of the south wind. Kaw was the word used by the early French
traders as sounding something like that used by the Indians them-
selves. Since about 1868 it has been the popular name of this group
of Indians.

There is a difference of opinion as to whether the Kaw Indians
lived in what is now Kansas in the aboriginal period of American
history. Some historians hold that they originated east of the Al-
leghenies and were drifting west when they first became known to
white men. The earliest recorded notice of the Kaw Indians was
by Juan de Onate in 1601. In 1702 Iberville estimated that they
had 1,500 family units. From this, the tribe has diminished until
today there are fewer than 25 full bloods.

It is known that the Kaw Indians moved up the Kansas river in
historic times as far as the Big Blue. In 1724 de Bourgmont spoke
of a large village. Native narrators gave an account of some 20
villages along the Kansas river before the Kaws moved to Council
Grove in 1847.

In 1724 de Bourgmont set out from New Orleans for the Kansas
river to visit the Padoucas, or Comanche Indians, who were not
friendly to the fur trade. He was met by a party of Kansas chiefs
and was escorted to their village. The grand chief informed de

(36)



THE ANNUAL MEETING 37

Bourgmont that the Kaw Indians would accompany him on his
journey. The French remained for some time with the tribe before
setting out on their journey. The Kaws supplied them with wild
grapes during their stay, from which the French made wine.

In 1792, when the Spaniards owned Louisiana, they thought
some of developing an overland trade between New Mexico and
Louisiana. Pedro Vial was sent from Santa Fe to Governor Caron
at St. Louis to open communications for that purpose. In his daily
account of the journey, he reports that when his party reached the
great bend of the Arkansas river they were made captive by the
Kaw Indians and taken to their village on the Kansas river.

Lewis and Clark recorded in 1804 that the Kaws lived in two
villages with a population of 300 men. These explorers reported
that their number had been reduced because of attacks by the Sauk
and Iowa Indians. Two years later they found that the lower vil-
lage had been abandoned and that the inhabitants had moved to
the village at the mouth of the Big Blue. The Kaws were furnishing
traders with skins of deer, beaver, black bear, otter, raccoon; also
buffalo robes and tallow. This trade brought the tribe about $5,000
annually in goods sent up from St. Louis.

The first recorded official treaty with the Kaws was in 1815, at
St. Louis. This was a treaty of peace and friendship. In it the
Kaws were forgiven for their leanings toward the British in the
War of 1812. One of the signers of this treaty was White Plume,
who was just coming into prominence and who later became one
of the great chiefs of the tribe. He was the great-great-grandfather
of Charles Curtis.

On August 24, 1819, Maj. Stephen Long met with the Kaws
and Osages on Cow Island east of the present Oak Mills, Atchison
county. Secretary of War John C. Calhoun had sent out an ex-
ploring expedition with Major Long commanding. They went up
the Missouri in a steamboat and were to ascend the Kansas river to
the Kaw village, but found it unnavigable. A messenger was sent
ahead to summon the Kaw tribe to council at Cow Island. When
the Indians assembled, they were more interested in the demonstra-
tions made by the steamboat than in the council. The bow of this
boat was in the shape of a great serpent with a carved head as high
as the deck. Smoke and fire were forced out of its mouth, which
greatly interested the Indians. The council and entertainment con-
tinued for some time. The Indians admitted their depredations,
promised peace and accepted their presents. Rockets were fired
and the flag of the United States was raised.



38 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

The Kaw tribe signed a treaty at Sora creek (Dry Turkey creek),
August 16, 1825, giving consent to a survey of the Santa Fe trail.
They promised unmolested passage to citizens of the United States
and the Mexico Republic. The tribe received $500 in cash and
$300 in merchandise. The place of the treaty was about five miles
west of present McPherson.

The Kaw Indians ceded to the United States on June 3, 1825, a
vast tract of land which extended along the Missouri river from the
mouth of the Kansas river to the northwest corner of the state of
Missouri; thence west to the Nodeway river in Nebraska; thence to
the source of the big Nemaha river; thence to the source of the
Kansas river, leaving the old village of the Pania Republic to the
west; thence on a ridge dividing the waters of the Kansas river
from the Arkansas to the west line of Missouri; thence on that line
thirty miles to the place of beginning: the mouth of the Kansas
river. They reserved a tract on both sides of the Kansas river, be-
ginning 20 leagues up the river, including their village, extending
west 30 miles in width through the lands ceded as above. This
village was two miles east of present Manhattan on the north bank
of the Kansas river.

The reservation thus set aside by the Kaw Indians was held by
them until 1846. As construed, the treaty covered a tract of the
best land in Nebraska, reaching from the Missouri to Red Cloud
and extending north at one point more than 40 miles. This domain
was cut off at the head of the Solomon, from where it reached to
within 12 miles of the Arkansas northwest of Garden City. Thence
it followed the divide to the Missouri line. It included nearly half
of the state of Kansas. For this the Kaws received $4,000 in mer-
chandise and horses, an annual tribal annuity of $3,500 for 20 years,
plus the limited reservation. They also received some cattle, hogs
and chickens and some half-breed allotments.

The Kaws did not own so vast a tract of land. They never had
possessed it and much of it they had never even hunted on, as far
as can be determined. The government wished to extinguish the
Indian title and having purchased it from the Kaw Indians no other
tribe could set up a claim to it.

The Kaw town at the mouth of the Blue river was partly depopu-
lated about 1827. That year an agency was established on allot-
ment number 23, which was on the north bank of the Kansas river
and in what is now Jefferson county. This town was south of pres-
ent Williamstown. There was appointed for the Indians a black-



THE ANNUAL MEETING 39

smith and a farmer. The farmer was Col. Dan Morgan Boone, son
of the great pioneer. White Plume was the head of the village.
Frederick Chouteau was the Indian trader. His trading post was
on what is now Lakeview. This agency was abandoned after 1832.
Frederick Chouteau moved his trading post to Mission creek.

By 1830 the Kaw population had moved down the Kansas river
and settled in two villages at Mission creek and one about a mile
west of Papan's ferry, or north of the present town of Mencken.
This was the largest Indian village near the present city of Topeka
and was located in the southwest quarter of Section 16, Township
11, Range 15. The Indians made a good selection, because in 1844,
1903 and 1951, when all the valley was submerged, this spot at
Menoken and surrounding land was dry. After the recent flood
we visited this spot and found* it high and dry and have pictures
showing the land. There was another Kaw village, but little is
known of it. Remains of Indian burial grounds have been un-
earthed in several places, one south and west of the Skinner Nursery
in Shorey, North Topeka. The extent to which these Indians
roamed over this territory is still unknown.

In 1830 the missionaries turned attention to the Kaw Indians, and
the Rev. Wm. Johnson was appointed missionary to them. He
started as a missionary to the Kaws at Mission creek. He went to
the Delaware Indians in 1832, returning to the Kaws in 1834. In
the summer of 1834 he began work on the mission buildings. He
continued there until 1842, when he died. In 1844, the Rev. J. T.
Perry was sent to continue this missionary work. Nothing of ac-
count was accomplished and the school was discontinued. Much
of the missionaries' time was spent in learning the language, which
did not leave much time to use the language after it was learned.
It has been recorded that during Johnson's stay with the Kaws a
book was printed in the Kansa language; however no trace of the
book has ever been found. These old mission buildings erected by
Johnson were occupied for a time by a Kaw woman and her half-
breed Pottawatomie husband. In 1853 he tore these buildings
down.

On January 14, 1846, the Kaws ceded two million acres of the
east end of their tract. It was provided that if the residue of their
land should not afford sufficient timber for the tribe the government
should have all the reservation. The lack of timber existed, so the
government took over the land. Another tract of land 20 miles
square was laid out for them at Council Grove. Until 1847 the



40 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

territory now embraced in Morris county was held by various tribes
as neutral ground upon which all had a right to hunt.

In 1859 the Kaws signed a treaty retaining a portion of their res-
ervation intact, nine miles by 14 miles. The remainder was to be
sold to the government and the money used for the benefit of the
tribe. These lands were sold by acts of congress of 1872, 1874,
1876 and 1880.

From 1847 to 1873 the Kaws dwelt on their diminished reserve
in the Neosho valley near Council Grove, Morris county. They
settled in three villages, each with a chief.

The largest village was on Cahola creek south of the town of
Dunlap. Hard Chief, Kah-he-ga-wah-che-cha, ruled here from the
time the tribe moved from the Kaw valley until some time in the
1860's when he died. He was never considered a very brave or
outstanding chief. He was succeeded by Al-le-ga-wa-hu, who was
one of the greatest chiefs ever to rule over the Kaws. He was of
fine character, was trusted by all, and was considered the wisest
leader of the tribe. He was tall and stately, about six feet, six, and
was an eloquent orator. He was one of the few Indians of his time
who could not be bribed.

Chief Al-le-ga-wa-hu had three wives, one of whom was his fa-
vorite. As was the custom with the Kaws, when a young man mar-
ried he married the oldest daughter of a family and the other sisters
also became his wives. A story is told of the beauty of his favorite
wife and how he tried to please her on all occasions. Once when
she was ill she craved the delicacy of dog meat. Not having a dog,
the chief went to Council Grove in search of a nice fat one. He
found one that could be purchased for $2, but not having the $2,
he had to borrow the money from a friend before he could carry
home the prize.

The second village was known as Fool Chief's village and was lo-
cated in the valley near the present town of Dunlap. Fool Chief
ruled over this village for a long time. Fool Chief had a strong and
positive nature and was a serious type of man. He was a good
speaker and many times represented the Kaws when officials were
out from Washington. His death was caused by overeating on the
day his annuity money was received. He, like many others, had
been on short rations. Like most of the Kaws, he had a large roman
nose and high cheek bones.

The third village was located near Big John creek, southeast of
Council Grove, and was not far from the agency. At one time this



THE ANNUAL MEETING 41

village was situated within a mile of Council Grove. Peg-gah-
hosh-he was the first chief to rule here. He was a stubborn leader
and much set in his ways. He died about 1870 and was succeeded
by his nephew. Neither were considered outstanding leaders. In
the Kaw tribe, chiefs obtain leadership through inheritance; war
chiefs through bravery.

In the fall of 1848 Seth Hayes moved into the reservation as In-
dian trader. The next to arrive were the Chouteau brothers. The
Chouteaus of St. Louis were associated with the Astors of New York
in the American Fur Company, which came to dominate the busi-
ness.

In 1850 the population of the Kaws was about 1,700. The agent
of the tribe resided in Westport, Mo., the law at that time not re-
quiring the agent to live at the agency.

Several attempts to improve the condition of the Kaw Indians
were undertaken during their stay in Morris county. In 1850 the
Methodist Episcopal church, desiring to help civilize the Indians,
entered into a contract with the government to establish a school.
The board of missions erected a stone mission or schoolhouse at
Council Grove and subcontracted with T. S. Huffaker to teach the
school. The school was closed in 1854, because of the large expense
of $50 per capita annually. The government refused to increase
the appropriation. The pupils were either orphans or dependents
of the tribe. All were boys, as the girls were not allowed to go to
school. Mr. Huffaker reports that he knew of only one Indian who
was converted to the faith. The Kaws never took kindly to the re-
ligion of the white man. They kept and guarded their own beliefs.

Thomas Sears Huffaker was 24 years old when first employed as
an Indian teacher. Mr. Huffaker's influence with the Kaw Indians
continued long after he gave up teaching. His name is mentioned
in their treaty with the government in 1862 and in many other rec-
ords pertaining to the tribe.

The Huffaker family lived for many years in the building after
the closing of the school. Five children were born at the mission,
and three in another home across the street. Carl Huffaker was one
of the latter three, and it was from him that the state of Kansas pur-
chased this old building last spring. It is to be a museum devoted
to the Kaw Indians and the Santa Fe trail. The building is two
stories high. It was built of stone from a nearby quarry and of
native lumber from the original Council Grove. When constructed
it had eight rooms, and in each gable two large projecting chimneys.



42 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

The walls are very thick and the whole building is still a beautiful
and solid structure.

This building has been used for many purposes: schoolhouse,
council house, courthouse, meeting house, and fortress during In-
dian raids. Governors, officials of state, and officers of the army
have been entertained there. It was a welcome resting place for
many a weary traveler on the trail.

From 1854 to 1863 there was practically no missionary or religious
work among the Kaws. In 1852 and 1853 over four hundred of the
tribe died of small pox. Their burial grounds were scattered all
along the Neosho valley. Many died from other epidemics and par-
ticularly from hardships to which they were subjected by the pres-
sure of white settlers, the killing of their game and the introduction
of whisky. The traders were not permitted to sell whisky, but the
Indians had no trouble in getting it as long as they had money or
something to trade. When their annuity was received, the money
in most cases went for liquor instead of food. As a result, they and
their families were starving most of the time. In looking through
government reports on the Kaw Indians we find that teachers, agents
and others again and again requested that some action be taken to
stop the liquor traffic. Some recommended that annuities be re-
ceived annually so the Indians would have to work for food in the
meantime. When traffic was opened on the Santa Fe trail this prob-
lem increased.

The Civil War affected the lives of the Kaw Indians. John Dela-
shmitt came from Iowa and enlisted a company of Kaws numbering
80 men for service in the Union army. They left their women and
children at home to tend their meager fields and to live as best they
could. In 1863 the population was reduced to 741 and the follow-
ing year to 701. During the latter part of the war the Kaws could
not go on buffalo hunts to secure meat because of the danger of
their being killed in the campaigns against the Plains Indians.

Many amusing stories are told of the Kaw soldiers in the Civil
War. After enlisting they went to Topeka where they were issued
uniforms. Just as soon as they received them they took out on foot
for Council Grove with their uniforms under their arms. Just be-
fore they reached their destination they put the clothes on and
walked in all dressed up to show their kinsmen what a soldier
really looked like. When they were at Fort Leavenworth, in the
heat of the summer they would insist on walking through the streets
in their drawers alone. One of the head chiefs of the Kaws was a
sergeant.



THE ANNUAL MEETING 43

When a Kaw enlisted in the army it was necessary for him to
take on a new name, as his Indian name was not sufficient for the
records. Many of the Indians at this time took French names, such
as Chouteau. Some believe a good many Kaws have French blood
because of their French names, which in many cases is not true. In
later years many Kaws took on other names; the son of Al-le-ga-
wa-hu, for example, took the name of Albert Taylor.

After the treaty of 1859, when the Kaw reservation was reduced
in size to what was known as the diminished reserve, the agency
of the tribe was moved from Council Grove to a point about four
miles southeast of the city, near the mouth of Big John creek on
what is now the Haucke land. The buildings erected by the gov-
ernment were substantial structures, consisting of an agency build-
ing, house and stables, storehouse, council house and two large
frame school buildings. They were constructed of native oak and
black walnut sawed from the forests of the Neosho. The govern-
ment also built some 150 small stone buildings for the use of the
individual Indian families. The Kaw Indians did not appreciate
these stone houses and continued to live in their tents which they
considered more healthful. However, in bad weather, they did
stable their ponies in these buildings.

Many of the agency buildings still stand on the Haucke land. We
have tried to preserve them as much as possible. The old cabin
occupied by Washunga still stands. He was a minor chief when
the Kaws lived in Council Grove and a head chief after their re-
moval to Oklahoma. Here Vice-President Charles Curtis spent a
few of his boyhood years with his grandfather and grandmother,
Louis and Julia Papan.

Land near the agency was homesteaded by my father, August
Haucke, who left Germany when a young man and headed for the
new world. He left behind him a brilliant career as a professional
soldier, having served as military instructor at the German general
staff headquarters at Potsdam, near Berlin. He participated in the
Franco-Prussian War. In the siege of Paris he commanded a tele-
scope rifle corps, and when Napoleon III surrendered, he com-
manded a body guard, guarding him from being assassinated by his
own people on account of his surrender.

When my father reached the Eastern shores of our country he
was advised to go West, where there were many opportunities for
young men. He took this sage advice and bought a railroad ticket
to Topeka, where he outfitted himself with a team, wagon and sup-
plies and started out on the trail. He learned from Harry Richter,



44 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

who was later lieutenant governor, that the Kaw Indian land would
soon be opened for homesteading and decided to stay and prove up
on a claim. While doing this he worked on the section of the Mis-
souri, Kansas & Texas railroad at 50 cents a day. He lived in Morris
county until his death, with my mother, who had accompanied her
family to America from Germany at about the same time.

I recall hearing my father tell about the acquisition of the right-
of-way through the Kaw reservation. Many farmers contended that
the Missouri, Kansas & Texas did not have right-of-way through
the reservation but had merely traded firewater for permission to
build through the Indian land. This condition continued until
about 1920, when my father and Mr. Brown, counsel for the Mis-
souri, Kansas & Texas, worked out a peaceful right-of-way settle-
ment with the farmers and the railroad through what was formerly
the Kaw reservation.

In the summer of 1859, the most serious trouble between the
Kaws and the whites took place. Much horse thieving had been
going on and the settlers blamed the Kaws. Two white men had
been suspected of some of the work. They were caught, and after
they confessed one side of their heads was shaved before they were
set free. The Indians watched this performance with interest. The
Indians, who had stolen horses from two Mexicans, were threatened
with the same treatment.

Early on the morning of June 2, a hundred Kaws came riding
down the trail from the west, painted and feather-decked for war.
Al-le-ga-wa-hu was leading them. They stopped their ponies in
front of the Hays tavern in Council Grove and the Indians said,
"You white men are all cowards. You shave each other's heads but
are afraid of the Indians. Mexicans are a heap worse than Indians
but you protect them. If you want the horses the Indians stole
come and get them."

Mr. Hays fired into the mob and the Indians returned the fire.
One white man was hit by a shot and another by an arrow. The
Indians then withdrew across the river. Before the town had time
to organize themselves, the Kaws had returned from the Elm creek
woods. The settlers started south and several times the Kaws raced
the settlers from west to south, south to west, until they were ex-
hausted. Then the Kaws retreated to the timber along Elm creek.



Online LibraryKansas State Historical SocietyThe Kansas historical quarterly (Volume 20) → online text (page 6 of 76)