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Council Grove, Kansas

Council Grove, Kansas

They Gathered at "The Grove." The name "Council Grove" originated from treaty negotiations conducted here in 1825. The treaty, forged between U.S. commissioners and Osage Indian chiefs, granted whites safe passage along the Santa Fe Trail.

The site of Council Grove was a camping and meeting place for native Americans, explorers, soldiers and Santa Fe Trail traders. Here they found ample water, grass and abundant wood due to the extensive groves of hardwood timber. As a rendezvous point for caravans moving west on the Santa Fe Trail, Council Grove provided both Hispanic and American travelers an opportunity to repair wagons and secure provisions in preparation for the long overland trip to Santa Fe.

The Kaw (or Kansa) Indians lived in three villages located three, seven and ten miles southeast of Council Grove from 1848 until their removal south to Indian Territory in 1873.

Noted personalities such as John C. Fremont, Kit Carson, General Custer and the great Kaw chief, Al-le-ga-wa-ho, are associated with Council Grove. Town founder Seth Hays was the great grandson of Daniel Boone and Kit Carson's cousin.

Today the famous "Hays House" restaurant still operates in the store building constructed by Seth Hays in 1857. Because of efforts to preserve our many historical buildings and sites, Council Grove offers visitors an encounter with Authentic western American history.

Attractions and Upcoming Events


Madonna of the Trail

This striking statue, depicting a pioneer mother with two children, pays tribute to the sturdy women of covered wagon days. The 10-feet-tall figure is made of pink Algonite stone and was erected in 1928

Council Grove, KS Memorials

Farmers and Drovers Bank Building

A Council Grove landmark, the Farmers and Drovers Bank is one of the community's most ornate buildings. The two-story red brick bank with limestone trim was built in 1892 for $20,000. Its "eclectic"

Council Grove, KS Historic Buildings

Early Day Jail

Desperadoes, ruffians, robbers and horse thieves all "bunked" here in this early day calaboose (jail), built in 1849. It was said to be the only jail on the Santa Fe Trail at the time. Other Durland Park attractions:

Council Grove, KS Pioneer Life

Last Chance Store

Like its name warns, this store was once the "last chance" for travelers on the Santa Fe Trail to buy supplies for their journey to New Mexico. Built in 1857, the limestone structure is the oldest commercial building in Council Grove and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Council Grove, KS Pioneer History

Things to do near Council Grove, KS