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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Kansas City in Jackson County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Chez Les Canses or “Chouteau's”

 
 
Chez Les Canses Marker image. Click for full size.
By Thomas Onions, September 4, 2009
1. Chez Les Canses Marker
Front of marker
Inscription. Beginning around 1799, French-speaking traders and farmers moved up-river from the French settlements in the Illinois country, around Ft. Chartres, St. Louis, Kaskaskia and St. Genevieve and from Three Rivers in Canada, and settled at Randolph Bluffs near the Chouteau Bridge to the east, and the "French Bottoms" to the West which now comprise the Central Industrial District. The little enclave at Kawsmouth was entirely French-speaking until 1840 and was strung out in little "arpent" (Paris acre) or strip farms on either side of Turkey Creek (now covered over) in the bottom land to the West below this marker, and around to the east along the bank of the Missouri. A few families clustered around the French church of St. Francis Regis on present Quality Hill. The French were comfortable but somewhat impecunious, and an early priest jokingly called the community "Nouveau Vide Poche" (New Empty Pockets), a rather unflattering comparison with poverty stricken Carondelet on the Mississippi. A French map of 1840 listed 24 French families along Turkey Creek and down the bank of the river to the East. A local priest said that on a clear night you could hear the French fiddlers playing and the French songs wafting up from the French Bottoms during the balls and "bouillons" the French loved to hold. The great flood of 1844 totally eradicated the
Chez Les Canses ou "Chouteauville" image. Click for full size.
By Thomas Onions, September 4, 2009
2. Chez Les Canses ou "Chouteauville"
Reverse of marker - French translation
French community in the bottoms, and the priest said that all that remained of the French farms were their little clearings back from the creek, and that the sounds of the birds and squirrels replaced the fiddles and chansons and laughter of the French.

reverse of marker is the French translation
 
Erected by Chouteau Society and Mildred Lane Kemper Fund.
 
Location. 39° 6.163′ N, 94° 35.554′ W. Marker is in Kansas City, Missouri, in Jackson County. Marker is on Jefferson Street 0 miles north of 10th Street, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Kansas City MO 64105, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. James Pendergast (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Old French Cemetery (about 600 feet away); Etienne Veniard - Sieur de Bourgemont (approx. 0.2 miles away); Lewis and Clark (approx. 0.2 miles away); The French and the Lewis & Clark Expedition (approx. 0.2 miles away); Lewis and Clark Expedition Across Missouri (approx. 0.2 miles away); Chouteauís Church (St. Francis Regis) (approx. 0.2 miles away); Missouri Interstate Paper Company Building (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Kansas City.
 
More about this marker.
Chez Les Canses Marker image. Click for full size.
By Thomas Onions, September 4, 2009
3. Chez Les Canses Marker
This is an area photo of the marker shooting to the west.
Parking during business hours Monday-Friday could be at a premium. This marker is tucked behind a retaining wall at the south end of Case Park.
 
Also see . . .
1. Chouteau Society. Link to the Chouteau Society who placed the marker. (Submitted on September 11, 2009, by Thomas Onions of Olathe, Kansas.) 

2. Kansas City, Missouri Visitor's Bureau. Official Link to the KCMO Vistor's Bureau (Submitted on September 11, 2009, by Thomas Onions of Olathe, Kansas.) 
 
Categories. Settlements & Settlers
 
View of the "French Bottoms" image. Click for full size.
By Thomas Onions, September 4, 2009
4. View of the "French Bottoms"
Note that Kawsmouth or the location where the Kansas River empties in the Missouri can be seen in the center of the photo.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Thomas Onions of Olathe, Kansas. This page has been viewed 1,254 times since then and 10 times this year. Last updated on , by Michael W. Kruse of Kansas City, Missouri. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Thomas Onions of Olathe, Kansas. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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