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Osage County, OK

Osage CountyFrom early tribal tradition, and from the research of archaeologists and historians, and the ancestors of the Osage, we know that this tribe of Indians was closely affiliated with the Siouan, or Dhegiha tribes,
their dialect being much the same.

The name, Osage, is a corruption of the tribal name, Wa-Zha-Zhe, that the Indians used themselves, the meaning and derivation is not clear.

The first recorded note of the Osage was by Marquette in 1673. His writing placed them on the Osage River in present Vernon County, Missouri, where they were still established, nearly 100 years later in 1759.

There is little known about the Osage from this time until the treaty at St. Louis in 1804. Here we find the explorers and French traders marrying into the Osage tribe. Almost from the beginning, trading with the Indians became a lucrative enterprise, for the white man and the spead of trade brought a large number of tribes into contact with the French, Spanish and English. All groups trying to make allies among the Indians.

The Osage signed their first treaty with the United States in 1808, ceding to the Federal Government lands new comprising over half the state of Missouri and northern Arkansas, including their old village located on the Little Osage River.

When the Osage signed the treaty of 1825 at St. Louis, they ceded all their lands to the United States, all of Oklahoma north of the Arkansas and Canadian Rivers, northwestern Arkansas, western Missouri and nearly half of Kansas.

Osage County today is the largest county in Oklahoma. Big Prairie? Imagine the vastness of 37,000 acres of prairie, disturbed only by the thunder of more than 800 bison. This is the Nature Conservancy's Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, lying just 17 mile north of Pawhuska. At one time, the American prairie spanned across fourteen states. Now, less than 10% of this original prairie remains, but the prairie surrounding Pawhuska is still flourishing. On the Tallgrass Prairie alone, over 600 plant, 300 bird, and 80 mammal species have been identified. Film teams from around the world have discovered the Tallgrass Prairie as a place of ecological richness and uncommon beauty.

Real Cowboys? Over 250,000 head of cattle thrive on the bluestem grass on over 1,000 ranches around the county. Numerous rodeos and ropings throughout the year give these real American cowboys the chance to showcase their immense skill to the public.

Explore Osage County

White Hair Memorial

This Osage center features a collection of Lillie Morrell Burkheart. It is the former home of the first woman to be nominated to the Osage Tribal Council and a descendant of Chief Pawhuska. Ribbonwork and other cultural items are on display.

Hominy, OK Memorials

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church

This church is known widely as the "Cathedral of the Osage". Special permission from the Vatican had to be granted to depict living tribal members in the glorious stained glass that was crafted in Munich, Germany in 1919

Pawhuska, OK Historic Churches

First National Bank Historic Site

The First National Bank is on the site of the second Osage Agency as the original log cabin in the valley burned. The Osage Tribe built a hand-cut sandstone two-story building which housed the agency and commissary. In 1924, this current structure was built.

Pawhuska, OK Ethnic Heritage

Downtown National Historic Register District

The historic district in Pawhuska is comprised of 98 buildings, 86 of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. These two and three-story brick structures, along with a five-story triangle building, provide an impressive tribute to days gone by.

Pawhuska, OK Historic Districts

Osage County Historical Museum

One of the three museums in and around Pawhuska, the Osage County Historical Museum is housed in the historic Santa Fe Depot built in 1922

Pawhuska, OK Museums

Osage County Courthouse

The County Courthouse building was completed in 1914. Osage County is the largest county in Oklahoma, twice as large as the entire state of Rhode Island and Delaware combined.

Pawhuska, OK Historic Courthouses

Bronze Sculptures

"Okie Cowboy"

"I spent much of my boyhood with a cowboy, the genuine article. This bronze sculpture reminds me of him, a man who had time for a boy." - Pawhuska Sculptor, John D. Free

A gift to the city of Pawhuska from Strat and Bobbie Tolson, 2000

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Pawhuska, OK Arts

1904 School House

The 1904 Stone School House was built as a subscription school on the Osage Reservation. The building was also used for early church services, funerals, and plays. Literally saved from the bulldozer in the 1960

Hominy, OK Historic Schoolhouses

Superintendent's Home

Superintendent's Home has been the residence to 30 Osage Agency Superintendents. In 1994, the home was turned into administrative offices for the recently formed Osage National Council. This building is constructed of sandstone quarried in Osage County and is listed on the

Pawhuska, OK Ethnic Heritage

Marland Oils Building

Hominy's 1921 Marland service station is one of the few surviving examples of the popular triangle design utilized by the old Marland Oil Company (now Conoco). The building is under restoration by the Hominy Heritage Association.

 

Hominy, OK Historic Buildings


Battle of Chustenahlah Site

"This site, 3.5 miles NW is where Col. James McIntosh, 2nd ARK.MTD. Rifles, routed loyal Union Indian forces, December 26, 1861. The Battle opened with fire from the Indian line on Patriot's Hill, 2 miles SW. The loyal union Indians finally fled to Kansas." - Oklahoma Historical Society, 167-1995

Skiatook, OK Battlesites

Explore Osage County