Courageous Man Risked All For Town

    Samuel Geer was a founder of Osawatomie who
    worked to build the community in its infancy. Geer was
    among the first settlers, who emigrated to Kansas
    Territory and settled in Osawatomie, and was a
    pioneering business owner in the community,
    becoming a trustee of the town of Osawatomie, sitting
    on the board of directors for the Osawatomie Town
    Company, which oversaw the early development of the

    Geer was a courageous man, for he was willing to risk
    his life and property, which is evident in that he
    allowed the community to use his house as a polling
    place, which made his home a target for proslavery

    Geer built the first building in Osawatomie and
    operated a boarding house. Geer built the first hotel in
    the town, which was burned to the ground when John
    Reid’s proslavery forces sacked the town following
    both attacks on Osawatomie in 1856.

    Geer was financially devastated  by the two Battles of
    Osawatomie in 1856, losing his hotel, five houses, a
    horse and wagon and other items that added up to a
    loss of $7,200.

    However, he rebounded and went on to rebuild his
    hotel and the Osage Valley House, which was the site
    of the founding of the Kansas Republican Party on
    May 18, 1859.

    Geer also was a part owner of a ferry along with other
    Osawatomie pioneers and demonstrated the tenacity
    of Osawatomie’s founders in the face of not only
    nature, but proslavery attacks as well.

    Geer and other pioneers literally built a town on a site
    that was completely undeveloped, and with the real
    danger that proslavery forces were ready and willing
    to ride into Osawatomie, kill them, and burn and
    destroy all of their work at any time.

    Proslavery forces did not merely threaten to attack
    Osawatomie, they did so twice, and Geer and
    Osawatomie’s founders refused to give up and rebuilt
    despite proslavery advocates’ attacks.

    Historians tend to place business owners like Geer
    who tenaciously work to build up their communities via
    day-to-day strenuous effort and sacrifice in their

    However, Osawatomie’s citizens still benefit from their
    courage and hard work, for they built the town that we
    live in today, and we owe Geer and his peers a debt of
    Reverend Samuel Adair and
    his wife, Florella were peaceful
    abolitionists who came to
    Kansas and settled near
    Osawatomie, an abolitionist
    community and a center of
    conflict during “Bleeding
    Kansas.” The Adair cabin was
    a station on the Underground
    Railroad and Florella’s half
    brother, John Brown, used this
    cabin as his headquarters.
    The cabin Osawatomie where
    John Brown and 30 free-state
    defenders fought 250
    proslavery militia in 1856, and
    stands on the battle site today.
    Learn more about the Adairs,
    John Brown, and others who
    struggled to survive the border
    war when you visit the John
    Brown Museum.
Hannes Poetter Design and Sponsorship - all rights reserved
Miami County Historical Museum - 12 E. Peoria, - Paola, KS 66071 Phone: 913-294-4940
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