Old Jefferson Town, Museum, and Research Library

category : Museums
Old Jefferson Town, Museum, and Research Library Old Jefferson Town is a collection of nine restored and furnished vintage buildings from different locations around Jefferson County. They are preserved as a historic town of early day settlements. The town was named because of Jefferson County being referred to as Ol' Jefferson.

The village plan began in 1967 when Bill and Betty Leech donated 10 acres to the Jefferson County Historical Society. Since then, many buildings and attractions have been added to the site including John Steuart Curry's boyhood home and a sculpture remembering Sam Peppard and his wind wagon. Other buildings include a church, blacksmith shop with tools, one-room schoolhouse complete with dunce cap, the jail, a windmill and working tank, and a museum and gallery.

In 1988 an additional 5 acres was donated by the Leeches for a native grass and wild flower prairie. The native plants were planted by Roger Coleman.

Museum and LibraryThe Museum Building was once separate buildings for the Kilgour and Plum Grove Schools before being moved to Old Jefferson Town. Although the structures were combined to make one building, it still serves a dual purpose. In the front of the building is the research library which contains numerous records, newspapers, and other information maintained by the Jefferson County Genealogical Society. In the back of the building is the museum.

This museum focuses on the businesses of the county from around the turn of the century. The display includes doctor and dentist equipment, post office windows, bank fixtures, printing equipment, barbershop chairs, blacksmith tools and millinery. There are also old county photographs and two restored buggies.

Research Library

Old Jefferson Town is the headquarters of the Jefferson County Genealogical Society and is equipped with a library and research center.

Available Records Include:

census records - state and federal records from 1855 through 1920

newspapers - every issue that was printed in the county since the mid 1850's and could be obtained is available

obituaries - for people with connections to the county

cemetery records - 1850's to the present

marriage records - 1850's to 1930's

surname files military records family histories

town histories church histories

resource books - how to research family history etc...

indexes - on CD Rom, Microfische, & Books

International Genealogical Index (IGI)

Social Security


Guides on how to research in other countries - Great Britain, Ireland, Germany, Scotland, Canada

Similar records are also available from the following states:


* Volunteers are available to help you during all open hours and upon special request.

* Computer, Copy Machine, Microfilm Reader, and Microfische Reader are availableOpen Hours:

All the buildings are open from May through September - Saturdays: 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. Sundays: 1:30 - 5:00 p.m.

The Research Library is open Year Round on Saturdays: 1:00 - 5:00 p.m., and April through November, Sundays 1:30 - 5:00 p.m. The library is operated by the Jefferson County Genealogical Society.

The Old Jefferson Town buildings are operated by Jefferson County Historical Society and open from 1st weekend in May until end of September - Saturday: 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. and Sunday: 1:30 - 5:00 p.m.

For more information on Old Jefferson Town, please contact:
Margaret Dick 785-766-6342 or Mary Luse 913-683-0539

Admission: free will donation
Hours: Saturday 1-5pm Sunday 1:30-5pm
Address: Old Jefferson Town, Oskaloosa, KS
Phone: 7857666342
Our Email:

Come visit us in Oskaloosa, Kansas

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Nincehelser House

William J. Nincehelser moved to Jefferson County from Ohio about 1880, married Minnie Wendorff, and moved into this house in Oskaloosa. Mr. Nincehelser had a livery stable on the square and operated a

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Winchester Jail

Built in 1909, this jail came from the town of Winchester, Kansas. Since it was not fireproof, it was never locked. It was a place for drunks and tramps to sleep. The jail was a meeting place for the city council, police court and voting.

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Sam Peppard's Wind Wagon

Samuel Peppard, a blacksmith and wagon maker during the mid 1800's, has provided the area with one of the most famous and interesting stories. While looking for adventure in the drought year of 1860

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Edmonds Chapel

Edmonds Chapel stood 4 1/2 miles north of McLouth, Kansas, for more than 75 years. Edmonds Church was an affiliate of the United Brethren in Christ (UB), though people from many denominations worshipped there down through the years.

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