John A. Mathews Park
A Kansas Landmark
This old well is whiteman's improvement to an everlasting spring used by the Indian tribes for ages and marks the first known white settlement in southern Kansas.
John Mathews settled here to serve as blacksmith for the Osages about 1841 and became their licensed trader in 1847. His slaves dug and walled this well during that period. Mathew's home and trading house was a two story, double log structure located about one hundred, eighty feet west. It stood lengthwise north and south with a large stone fireplace in each end, and was painted white. His race track and stables were located about two blocks southwest.
The Little Town Band of Osages occupied a village scattered below the bluffs to the east. Little White Hair (Pawhuska) became village chief about 1855, and succeeded to principal chief of the tribe in March 1861. Mathews was killed by Union Soldiers from Ft. Scott September 18, 1861, and his settlement burned. Little White Hair moved his village immediately to a point on the Verdigris near the present Independence, Kansas.
Location. 37° 10.019′ N, 95° 6.033′ W. Marker is in Oswego, Kansas, in Labette County. Marker is at the intersection of Union Street and 4th Street, on the right when traveling north on Union Street. Click for map
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Little Town Well (here, next to this marker); Sulky Plow (approx. 0.4 miles away); Osage Indian Village (approx. 0.4 miles away); KATY Caboose Number 109 (approx. half a mile away); Riverside Park (approx. 0.6 miles away); Historic Riverside Park (approx. 0.6 miles away); Veterans Memorial Auditorium — Gymnasium (approx. 8.9 miles away); Parish of Sacred Heart - Chetopa (approx. 9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Oswego.
Also see . . .
1. John Allen Mathews at Kansas Memory. (Submitted on August 17, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
2. Osage History in Kansapedia. (Submitted on August 17, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
Categories. • African Americans • Industry & Commerce • Native Americans • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page has been viewed 90 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page was last revised on August 17, 2016.