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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

Kaw Mission

The Kaw (or Kansa) Indians lived in three villages southeast of Council Grove from 1848 until their removal south to Indian Territory in 1873. Methodist Episcopal missionaries built this school for Kaw children in 1851

Council Grove, KS Museums

Seth Hays Home

The town founder, Seth Hays, built this home in 1867. His slave, Aunt Sally, lived in the basement and cared for Hays and his adopted daughter, Kittie Robbins, until her death in 1872. Hays died a year later, February 3, 1873

Council Grove, KS Museums


Atkinson Log House

This building houses the two-story Atkinson Log House, constructed in 1858 on Clark's Creek near Large Spring near Latimer, and moved to this site in 1996. It is one of the two oldest wooden structures known to remain in Morris County.

Council Grove, KS Pioneer Life

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

Things to do near Council Grove, KS

Self-Guided Walking and Driving Tours

Emporia, founded in 1857, includes several sites of national and local significance. These tours provide a view of Emporia fr...

McPherson State Fishing Lake (Canton Lake)

46 acres, boating, boat ramps, picnic areas, basic camping, fishing piers, nature trails ...

Art Room 114

A gallery, studio and frame shop in a clever space....