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Missions and Missionaries

AD 1825 through 1850

Between 1825 and 1850, 25 tribes were relocated to Kansas as part of the Indian removal. Missionaries who wanted to establish schools and educate the Indian children quickly followed these groups. Assemblages from six such Missions are in our collections: the Iowa Sac and Fox Presbyterian Mission (14DP384), the Ottawa Baptist Mission (14FR308), the Shawnee Methodist Mission (14JO362), the Wea and Osage Mission (14MM322), the Pottawatomie Baptist Mission (14SH325), and a small assemblage from the Pratt Delaware Baptist Mission.


Gold-plated serving spoonThis serving spoon was recovered from the crawl space under the North building at the Shawnee Methodist Mission in Johnson County. On the front of the handle are two initials etched in cursive: LW.  The reverse of the spoon reveals that it was manufactured by the Cowles Company.




Crucifix from Shawnee County


This crucifix was recovered from the Pottawatomie Baptist Mission in Shawnee County.











Shell button moldThe circular hole in this mollusk shell reveals that it was probably used a a button blank. It was recovered from the excavation at the Pottawatomie Baptist Mission.





Archeological References - Iowa Sac and Fox Mission

Sketch of Iowa Sac and Fox Mission


A sketch drawn in 1841 of the Iowa Sac and Fox Mission in Doniphan County.





Sac & Fox well

This well-constructed wall at the Iowa Sac and Fox Mission was exposed in 1994.











Archeological References - Ottawa Baptist Mission

Meeker well

A view of the interior of the Meeker well from the Ottawa Baptist Mission taken during the excavation in 1985.







meeker house foundation

Amongst the rubble of the foundation of the Meeker house lies the case iron handle of a skillet or griddle.







painting of Ottawa Baptist Mission

An artist's view of how the Ottawa Baptist Mission appeared when it was occupied.





Archeological References - Shawnee Methodist Mission

Sometimes the only trace left of a building is an outline in the vegetation.  Here part of the foundation of one of the buildings at the Shawnee Methodist Mission is outlined by brown grass.





Archeological References - Wea and Osage Mission

Wea and Osage Mission walls

An interior view looking at the walls of a building at the Wea and Osage Mission in Miami County in 1992. Archeologists can study past construction methods by excavating such areas.




Archeological References - Pottawatomie Baptist Mission


west porch excavation

Excavation of the west porch area in 1975 at the Pottawatomie Baptist Mission in Shawnee County. This building still stands on the grounds of the KSHS.





Archeological References - Pratt Delaware Baptist Mission

Baptist Mission walls

A building that once may have housed students at the Pratt Delaware Baptist Mission is now home to trees and vines.






Baptist Mission chimney

A tumbled chimney from the Pratt Delaware Baptist Mission lies nearly forgotten.

Entry: Missions and Missionaries

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: June 2014

Date Modified: February 2016

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.