The Sac and Fox of the Mississippi owned and held about three-fourths of the State of Iowa. They were forced to accept another reservation “upon the Missouri River, or some of the waters.” This new home was a tract of land thirty-four miles long by about twenty miles wide on the Marais des Cygnes River west of the present town of Ottawa, Kansas. The Sac and Fox did not arrive in Kansas until 1846. They finally took up their residence in western Franklin, most of Osage, and part of Lyon counties thereafter.

On October 1, 1859, these Indians were forced to made a treaty by which all their lands lying west of range sixteen, about three hundred thousand acres, were to be sold “for their benefit.” This left them about one hundred and fifty-three thousand acres.

One Robert S. Stevens was in various very questionable schemes in Kansas in the early days. By some devious connection with the Indian Department he was employed to build for these Indians one hundred and fifty stone houses on the lands remaining theirs. They did not want these houses, and protested against the waste of their money for any such purpose. But their protests were unheeded at Washington.

The Methodist Episcopal Church, South, did some missionary work among the Sacs and Foxes before the Civil War. In 1860, the Methodist Episcopal Church appointed Rev. Richard P. Duvall missionary to this tribe. He began his labors at the tribal agency at once. In April of 1863, he opened the mission school. This was in two large buildings distant about a mile from the agency. In 1862-63 some of the tribe sent their children to Baker University, at Baldwin City, Kansas.

The end of the Civil War and the final return of the pro-Union refugees to Oklahoma—thousands of whom had been subsisting on the Sac and Fox diminished reserve—provided an opportunity for Kansas to take control of most of its Native American residents’ lands.

The Sac and Fox were given seven hundred and fifty square miles of land, supposed to be worthless, in what is now Oklahoma in exchange for their Kansas land. In 1867 they began to migrate to that tract, and in a period of five years they were mostly living on it.

This information was compiled by the Franklin County Historical Society.

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