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Morrill & Janes Bank Hiawatha Kansas Chamber of Commerce

Hiawatha, Kansas

Hiawatha, Kansas

Hiawatha was founded in 1857. John M. Coe, John P. Wheller, and Thomas J. Drummond were instrumental in organizing the town site was staked out February 17, 1857. B.L. Rider reportedly was responsible for naming Hiawatha, taking the young Indian's name from Henry W. Longfellow's poem, "Song of Hiawatha." The main street was designated Oregon Street after the Oregon Trail. Parallel streets north of it were named after Indian tribes north of the Trail, and streets south carried tribal names of those south of the Trail. Hiawatha became the Brown County Seat in 1858, and the first school opened in 1870.

Hiawatha is noted as the "City of Beautiful Maples," due to the brilliant foliage in the fall, and home of the world renowned Davis Memorial, a unique tomb featuring 11 life-size statues of Mr. and Mrs. John M. Davis. Since 1914, Hiawatha has been the site of the Halloween Frolic, the oldest such celebration in the nation, held on October 31.

Hiawatha is located between the Kickapoo, Iowa and Sac-Fox Indian Reservations at the intersection of Highways 36 and 73 in northeast Kansas.


Brown County has 6,296 acres of walk-in hunting.

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Davis Memorial

The Internationally known Davis Memorial is located just three blocks north of U.S. Highway 36 & 73 junction and east 1/2 mile in Mt. Hope Cemetery. There are eleven life-sized figures depicting John &

Hiawatha, KS Memorials

Town Clock

The Town Clock is the only such clock between Indianapolis and Denver on Highway U.S. 36. It was built in 1891 as part of the First National Bank building and is listed on the Kansas Register. The clock is owned by the City of Hiawatha and the building by a local businessman.

Hiawatha, KS Landmarks

Brown County Historical Society Museum

Listed on both the Kansas and National Registers of Historic Places , the building which houses the Museum was built in 1920

Hiawatha, KS Museums

Old Homes Tour

The self-guided old homes tour features 14 of Hiawatha's beautiful turn of the century homes that will help you relive some of the past. The brochure has a map and short history of each house featured. The brochure can be picked up at the Chamber office and several businesses in Hiawatha. <

Hiawatha, KS Tours

Brown County Courthouse

The Brown County Courthouse was built in 1925 and graces the square in downtown Hiawatha.

Hiawatha, KS Historic Courthouses

Things to do near Hiawatha, KS