Council Grove in Morris County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Post Oﬃce Oak
The stump before you is all that is left of a grand old oak tree that was about 270 years old when it died in 1990. The tree, which once stood 80 feet high, was located in the campground used by Santa Fe Trail travelers. It is said to have been used as a "post office" from the 1820s to the 1840s. Travelers reputedly left messages in [the] cavity at the foot of the tree about water sources, Plains Indian unrest, and other information.
In 1855, Council Grove's first postmaster was appointed. But, because there was no official post office, the postmaster simply distributed mail from a sack on the street, or emptied it onto the floor of a store where postal patrons claimed their own mail.
Communication is something that we take for granted today. During Santa Fe Trail days, information moved much more slowly. For instance, news of President Abraham Lincoln's April 14, 1865, assassination reached Council Grove on April 20, and Santa Fe fifteen days later, on May 5.
Erected by National Park Service, City of Council Grove, and Morris County Historical Society.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Postal Mail and Philately, and the Santa Fe Trail marker series.
Location. 38° 39.708′ N, 96° 29.179′ Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Council Grove KS 66846, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Post Office Oak (a few steps from this marker); Brewery (a few steps from this marker); Madonna of the Trail (within shouting distance of this marker); Bur Oak (within shouting distance of this marker); Rendezvous on the Trail (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Bur Oak (about 400 feet away); Guardian of the Grove (about 500 feet away); Council Oak (about 600 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Council Grove.
More about this marker. The fiberglass marker is heavily mildewed and barely legible.
Also see . . .
1. Santa Fe National Historic Trail. (Submitted on July 24, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
2. Santa Fe Trail Association. (Submitted on July 24, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
3. Council Grove, Kansas. (Submitted on July 24, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
4. Council Grove, Kansas. (Submitted on July 24, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
Categories. • Communications • Roads & Vehicles • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page has been viewed 356 times since then and 45 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.