Council Grove to Unveil Buried Treasure

Council Grove Unveils Buried Treasure
Friday, Aug. 10th- 1:30 PM
at the Historic Council Oak

Courtesy Council Grove Chamber of Commerce:

The Council Oak Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution and the Kansas Historical Society will uncover a one-hundred-year-old steel case buried at the historic Council Oak in Council Grove.

On August 10, 1907, the Daughters of the American Revolution marked the site in Council Grove where US Commissioners met with members of the Osage Indians on August 10, 1825, to sign an agreement providing for safe passage of travelers along the then-new Santa Fe Trail.

That historic site is at the Council Oak where the Commissioners and Indian leaders met – and where Council Grove got its name – the US Government Agents advising the Native Americans that they “would council in the grove of trees along the Neosho River”.

Incidentally, the Kaw Indian tribe (from whence Kansas gets its name) and native to the area was not in Council Grove during this treaty-signing as they were on a buffalo hunt near what is now McPherson, Kansas.

About a week later in 1825, members of the US Government met up with the Kaw where, they too, signed the “safe travel” documents. Each tribe was compensated with a little over $800 in goods and cash.

The Daughters of the American Revolution early in the 20th Century set about identifying and marking important and historic trails across America with the Santa Fe Trail being marked by placement of a granite bolder at the site of the 1825 meeting.

During that ceremony on 10 August 1907, a steel case measuring 11 by 9 by 5 inches was filled with artifacts of that era and placed beneath the granite boulder marking the historic site. It is this “steel case” that the Council Oak Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, with the help of the Kansas Historical Society will uncover and open to learn what was buried there a hundred years ago.

Kansas Senator George P. Morehouse was the speaker at the 1907 event. Julie Pope, Sites Division Researcher for the Kansas Historical Society will be the speaker for this August 10 event. The Kansas Historical Society has held the key to the strong box all these years and that will be presented by Ms. Pope during her remarks. It is hoped the key will still open the box.

To complete this historic occasion, the DAR will be placing another container under the monument to be opened by the area’s descendents one hundred years from now. Anyone having items they would like placed in the new burial vault should take those artifacts to the Council Grove/Morris County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism office at 207 West Main Street in Council Grove where they will be displayed until the August 10 re-burying.

A committee will select those items to be included in the new time capsule. Not all items nominated for burial may make the final cut to be included. The Chamber and Tourism office will also display items taken from the 100-year-old steel chest.

For information on the upcoming historic uncovering, one may contact Colleen Anderson (785-499-6865), Sarahmae Swanson (620-767-5769) or the Chamber and Tourism office at 620-767-5413.

631 SW Commerce Pl. Topeka, Kansas 66615 phone: 785-272-6397 fax: 785-272-1363 email:
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