The county seat of
Morris County and one of the most
historic towns of Kansas, Council Grove is situated on the
in the eastern part of the county.
The place where Council Grove now stands was
mentioned by travelers as early as 1820, and in 1825, a treaty was negotiated
Osage Indians for a right-of-way for the
Santa Fe Trail,
a portion of which would later become the main street of Council Grove. The
treaty between U.S. commissioners and the
Osage Indian chiefs took place in “The
Grove,” thereby providing the name of the place.
Long before a town ever developed, many who
traveled along the
Santa Fe Trail
gathered their wagons together here, and moved westward in larger groups, as
beyond the “Grove” the trail was often fraught with
Santa Fe Trail ran right down Council
Grove's Main Street. Vintage photo, 1885. This image available for photo prints &
As early as 1825 and continuing for the next
two decades, a large oak tree, dubbed “The Post Office Oak," was utilized
by passing caravans to leave messages for incoming travelers. These
messages placed in a cache in the base of the tree, held various types
information, such as water, danger, or opportunities on the trail.
In the spring of 1846, the Kanza Indians signed a
treaty with the government ceding their reservation land along the
near Topeka in exchange for a new but smaller reservation located along the
upper valley of the
in what is now Morris County. In April, 1847, the 20 square mile Kanza
reservation was established near Council Grove and the Indians were moved.
That same year,