a 150 year history in detail
CHAPTER 1: LAYING THE FOUNDATION FOR SETTLEMENT
“The Indian Nation”
For thousands of years before Paola was officially recognized as a city of The Kansas Territory in August, 1855, the
area surrounding Paola was part of the Osage Indian land.-–Records of the Kansas Territory Government, KSHS.
Before and after the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, the English, Spanish, and French at various times claimed the lands
already settled by the Kansa and Osage tribes. The French had established early trading posts in Missouri and at
Trading Post in Linn County. Often referred to as the “Great American Desert,” this land was never American or a
desert. It was the home of the native Osage Indians and had provided them with plenty.—“A History of Kansas,” By
Anna E. Arnold.
Treaties with the Kansa and Osage Indians in the “Removal Policy” of the American government resulted in the moving
of these tribes toward the South freeing up land for the arrival of various tribes from the Eastern states. This included
the Indians that were to be transplanted in the Paola area.--“op cit.”
At this same time various religious organizations: Baptist, Presbyterian, and Catholic missionaries arrive to establish
missions/schools to “convert” the Indian way of life to a Christian life style.
The following is a very important dissertation compiled and written by a local historian. It is obvious after reading the
next three pages of local history, that Mr. Long has completed a piece of local history that needs to be published in its
entirety and it needs to be presented here—in our book of Paola history.--Phil Reaka.
VERY EARLY PAOLA HISTORY
By Harold L. Long
1803-1855--A United States delegation traveled to France to buy New Orleans from the French. On April 30, 1803 an
agreement was reached to purchase this territory. Congress ratified the Louisiana Purchase treaty on October 20,
1803. The United States Government took possession of the Louisiana Purchase from France at New Orleans December
30, 1803 and at St. Louis on March 9, 1804.
Before this time, both Spain and France had claims to this territory but made no settlement. Both had explored some of
the area and had contact with various Indian tribes that were inhabitants.
At this time, this entire region was rolling tall grass prairie with timber along the larger streams, flood plains, and
around some springs. The area was home to buffalo, elk, deer, antelope, prairie chicken, black bear, cougar, wolves,
coyote, and numerous other animals.
Also, the Osage Indians lived along the Osage and Missouri Rivers in Missouri and the Neosho River in Kansas and
Oklahoma. The Kansas Indians lived along the Kansas (Kaw) River above the Missouri River. Both tribes are presumed
to have used this area as a common hunting ground. Both are branches of the Sioux Indians. Both likely camped at the
springs (North Pearl Street in Paola) on their hunting trips.
On June 2, 1825, the Osage Indians signed a treaty relinquishing all of their land in Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, and
Oklahoma and accepted a reservation in Southern Kansas, 25 miles west of the Missouri line. At the same time, the
Kansa Indians relinquished their claims and accepted a reservation along the Kaw River from near Topeka and
westward. Their former lands were allotted for immigrant Indians moving from the east to settle on reservations in this
Because Congress passed the Indian Removal Act, in the summer of 1828, several U. S. Government Agents,
delegations from several Indian tribes, and Isaac McCoy, an Indian activist, Baptist preacher, toured the partly
surveyed, future reservation areas in Kansas.
The Wea tribe representatives along with government agents selected a site to be developed as a future Indian village
and a U. S. Government Agency location.
The Wea delegation along with government agents select a site at the twin springs area (there were two springs) near
Bull Creek. The upper spring is on the East side of Pearl Street going up the hill. The lower spring is northwest of the
intersection of Iron and First Street now covered over by an industrial site. Both springs are now piped into the storm
drain through the area.
According to government records, the area near North Pearl Street was recorded as Wea Village and as a U.S.
Government Indian Agency. It was continually occupied ever since by the Agency and the Indians.
It should be noted that Wea Village had been incorrectly referred to as Peoria Village. The Government officially lists
Peoria Village as being located along the banks of the Marais des Cygnes in Franklin County not in Miami (Lykins
County). A second settlement called The Peoria Methodist Mission one mile west of this settlement also in Franklin
County. Also on the north bank of the Marais des Cygnes River. (Then called the Osage River.)
On October 29, 1832, the Wea’s and Piankashaw’s sign a treaty to relocate on the Kansas Wea lands. Some arrive at
Wea Village (already established) in early 1833. (Pearl Street)
Each tribe relocating to Kansas was to be furnished a government agent, a blacksmith, a miller, a gunsmith and a
farmer. Not all of these positions were always filled. Also, several buildings for the Agency and the Indians were to be
constructed at the located villages. The house for the Wea Government Agency was located above the upper spring.
(North of Wilson Funeral Home location.) A blacksmith for the Weas, Piankashaws, Peorias, and Kaskaskias was located
here at Wea Village. General Maston G. Clark was the first agent. William Carlisle was the blacksmith. Also, there were
two gunsmiths on location. Churches were encouraged to Christianize the Indians and to establish missions.
August, 1833, a Presbyterian Missionary visited Wea Village and in February 1834 started a mission about a mile east
of town. The Mission was discontinued in 1838 and sold to the government for $750.00.
On October 25, 1833, The American Fur Company and Chouteau’s were granted trading rights and established a post
listed as being about a mile east of Wea Village at the junction of Bull and Wea (Indian) Creeks. This actually was
about one and a half miles southeast on South side of Wea Creek. This license was renewed at least four times over a
period of ten or more years.
In 1835 Maquahononga or (“Negro Legs,”) a 90 year old chief of the Wea’s dies at Wea Village. He came to the village
On April 13, 1837, the Osage River Indian Agency is relocated from Fort Leavenworth to the Presbyterian Mission
buildings. The Agency is moved to the Pottawatomie near Lane in 1840, to Sac and Fox, to Miami Village and last
relocated at Wea Village after 1854. The Wea Agency was always located above the spring on Pearl Street and was
combined with the Osage River Agency after 1854. The Osage Indian Agency was located on the Neosho River near St.
Paul not to be confused with the Osage River Agency.
The government sold the Presbyterian buildings on Wea Creek east of town, to the Baptist in 1840, and Dr. David
Lykins came in 1844. He, then, went to Shawnee Baptist Mission in Johnson County in 1845 and 1846 and returned to
Wea Baptist Mission in 1847 replacing the retiring minister. He started and operated an Indian school named The
Harvey Institute until 1857.
Rev. Isaac McCoy, an activist Baptist minister and a government surveyor surveyed the boundary lines for the
Wea/Piankashaw Reservation. His son, John McCoy, surveyed the original town of Paola in 1854 and 1855, filed for
record October 13, 1855 in old book A at the Miami Courthouse.
Baptiste Peoria was allotted 1280 acres! From this acreage he transferred the above 240 to the Paola Town Company.
Christian Dagnette, another chief of the Wea’s dies in 1848 southeast of Louisburg where he lived. His widow, Mary
Ann Isaacs, then re-married Baptiste Peoria. She lived in Paola until her death on March 4, 1883. Baptiste Peoria moved
with the Indians in 1867 to Oklahoma and died September 13, 1873 as chief of the confederated tribes.
Both the Catholics and Methodists held religious meetings in Wea Village The Methodists state that besides preaching
at Peoria Methodist Mission, located in Franklin County, they preached 12 miles distance to the east at Wea Village.
The Catholics established a mission at St. Paul and Fr. Christian Hoechen and later Fr. Paul Ponziglion, A “horseback
missionary” traveled a circuit including Wea Village. In 1846 Baptiste Peoria donated land and built a chapel below the
spring. Fr. Paul Ponziglion baptized all of the tribe present in mass. He, being an Italian, furnished the name of
Paoli/Paola after his native country, Italy. He started many area Catholic churches and later went west to Colorado
and Wyoming preaching to the Indians. He retired and died in Chicago, Illinois.
In Washington D. C. May 30, 1854 with Baptiste Peoria as interpreter, and Eli Moore as Indian Agent, the tribe
representative signed a treaty retaining 160 acres for each Indian and some land in common for other purposes. They
ceded the rest of their reservation to the U. S. Government.
The Wea, Pianchaskaw, Peoria, and Kaskaskias are now combined and known as the Confederated Tribe and Baptiste
Peoria is made their chief.
On May 30, 1854, President Pierce signs the Kansas-Nebraska Bill officially opening the Kansas Territory for settlement
except for the Indian allotment lands. The Indians can, now voluntarily sell their allotment with the approval of the
Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington and move to Oklahoma. It was in 1867 that they were required to become
citizens of the United States and settle on their 160 acres or move to Oklahoma.
Baptiste Peoria and family are allotted 1280 areas. As chief of the confederated tribes, he selects lands at Wea Village.
At this time, he had a trading post along with the government agency, as mentioned before, located on the hill north of
Paola. Also, there is a blacksmith shop, Indian Chapel, and several other log cabins at the location of the first true site
of the city of Paola.
Baptiste welcomes in settlers along with persons already working in the area and at the agency. Baptiste and
associates, start laying out a town. John C. McCoy began a survey of the original town of Paola in the fall of 1854 and
completed it in 1855.
As far as I know, Baptiste was French and Delaware/Miami Indian and spoke several dialects. His wife, Mary Ann, may
be French and Brotherton Indian. They came to the area under the Indian Removal Act.—History by Barry, Andreas,
Wilder, Blackmar, KSHS, Methodist History, Catholic History, Connelly, local historians, and papers.—Harold L. Long.
CONTINUING THE INDIAN STORY
(Some of the information that follows may be a repeat of parts of what was written by Mr. Long! However, to
present history as accurately as possible, accounts of different people and their writings, even if it concerns the same
subject, must be presented without alteration. You, therefore, will read some accounts that cover the same historical
subject again and again.)
1822—Father DeLacroix and French traders entered the area.-- History of Our Cradleland, Reverend Thomas H.
1837—The Wea Village near Mitchler Springs (Wilson’s Funeral Home) was the first attempt at a permanent settlement
which was actually within the present day city limits of Paola. (Mitchler Springs, the site of the Osage Indian River
Company and Baptiste Peoria’s Trading Post (North Pearl Street).
The “original” beginning of Paola began many years before August of 1855. Mitchler Springs and Granny Wakefield
Springs (as they were later named) were the stopping point for hundreds of years or more for thirsty travelers, most of
whom were the Native American Indian. (Mitchler Springs is active today near the Wilson Funeral Home and the Granny
Wakefield Springs close by-—probably from the same water source.)
This area was to become the actual beginning of the town site of Paola. When a government Indian agency was
established here, many names were used in reference to this site: Wea Village, The Osage River Indian Agency, The
Osage Indian River Company, Baptiste Peoria Trading Post, Battiesville, The Indian Trading Post, Bulltown, and
mistakenly Peoria Village. (One must not confuse the Baptist Indian Mission east of town on Wea Creek with this site!)--
Various references including The Ethyl Hunt Collection and B. J. Sheridan.
1840---“….near the banks of Wea Creek, was located the Baptist or Wea Mission. Connected with the Mission was a
well-conducted school for Indian children. This Mission and school was established in 1840, and had, for a number of
years been under the charge of Dr. David Lykins, who discharged his trust with great fidelity and to the infinite
advantage of the Indians. There were a number of white men employed about the Mission in various ways and
capacities, but they were generally transitory characters whose names are not recollected and who did not reside
here long enough to become identified with the settlement of the county…..”op. cit. B.J. Sheridan.
1840--. . .“At the beginning, the mission property (obtained from the government—it had been headquarters for the
Osage River Sub agency) consisted of one dwelling (38’ x 18’) a story and a half high (divided into four rooms), with
two stone chimney’s, and a one story cook house (17’ x 18’) connected to it by a passageway. . . .--Bureau of Indian
Affairs Report, St. Louis Missouri.
1844-—Davis Lykins arrived from Indiana.—B. Wallace
1848-—Wea (Baptist) Mission was establish and headed by Superintendent David Lykins. -- History of Our Cradleland,
Reverend Thomas H. Kinsella, Ll.D
1848--Located east of Paola near Wea Creek, this Indian school was named after the Sub-Agent “H. Harvey” who was
in charge of the Osage Sub Agency. This mission is often referred to by many names: The Old Presbyterian Indian
Mission, Baptist Mission, Lykin’s Indian Mission, Harvey Institute, etc.–Bureau of Indian Affairs Report, St. Louis Missouri.
1850-—Edwin Lykins was born in the “Old Baptist Mission” and became first child born in Miami County.--–1971 Edition
of Miami Republican by Ethyl Hunt.
1852-—Mrs. David Lykins dies in the “Baptist Mission” and was buried at the Indian cemetery the site of which is
somewhat unknown today.--“Op Cit.”
1852-—Col. Ely Moore was appointed the Indian Agent for the Miami, Wea, Pianchaskaw, and Kaskaskia tribes.—-
History of Our Cradleland, Reverend Thomas H. Kinsella, Ll.D
1854-—Some of the earliest residents of the Wea Village on North Pearl (not yet called Paola), included: Daniel Martin,
Charles White, Thomas Rice, James Poland, William Chestnut, O C Brown, John Everett, Elden Palmer, Henry Devillens,
Alan Wilkerson, and Knowles Shaw, a blacksmith.—- History of Our Cradleland, Reverend Thomas H. Kinsella, Ll.D.
1854-—“At the close of the year 1854, the following persons were residing at or near the Agency: General W. A.
Heiskell and family, the Shaw family consisting of the four brothers, Cyrus, Isaac, Knowles and William, with their
mother and sister, and D. L. Perry.”—op.cit. B. J. Simpson.
1854—-Sam Boon built a log cabin at northwest corner of village—used as a hotel—torn down in 1869.-—Miami
1854--Cyrus Shaw was born in Hamilton, Ohio, March 8, 1829. He was educated in the common schools of Indiana and
brought up on a farm until eighteen years of age. He then entered a store as a merchant's clerk and was soon in
business for himself. In 1854, he came to Kansas, located at Paola where he served for some time as clerk in the store
of the noted Indian chief Baptiste Peoria. He was subsequently engaged in mercantile business for himself about two
years. He was elected the first Treasurer of Lykins County, now Miami. In 1858 he received a contract for carrying the
mail between Kansas City and Fort Scott. He ran the first four horse stage over that route and continued that business
four years. He was subsequently engaged in milling at Paola. He was elected County Commissioner in 1867. Was re-
elected and held the position until 1871. He has been connected with the Miami County Bank since February, 1879, in
the capacity of bookkeeper.--William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas.
1855--“The Osage River Indian Agency was located on the immediate north and adjoining the town sire of Paola, and
on the spot now occupied by the dwelling of Cyrus Shaw. It consisted of a row of log houses, and one or two detached
log ones, and near it, on the slops of the hill alongside of the main road from Kansas City to the southern part of the
territory, was a large spring of sparkling, cold water, now the property of George W. Mitchler. Many thirsty Indians and
many more white immigrants still hold that spring in grateful recollection.”--“A Sketch of the Early Settlers of 1854”, By
B. J. Simpson.
a 150 year history in detail