Custer Lives!

Kaw Indian Mission


In July 2009 I visited the Kaw Mission State Historic Site in Council Grove, Kansas. Unfortunately for me it was July 4th weekend and the site was closed. I did not get to go into the museum, bookstore, or the former Kaw Indian residence.

I could peer into the small stone "Indian Hut". By our 21st century standards it was crude but was most likely quite adequate to White settlers from that era. The hut is one of 138 structures built by the the US government on the Kaw Reservation in 1861. Many of the Kaw did not like them and used them as stables, preferring to live in tepees and bark-and-mat lodges. The Council Grove Rotary Club dismantled the hut and reassembled it on the grounds of the Kaw Mission State Historic Site in 1961.

The Mission building was home and school to thirty Kaw boys from 1851–1854. It contains the museum and offices. I could also peer into the windows and see some of the exhibits. The Mission was remodeled in 1926 as a private residence so I'm quite sure the interior is now much nicer than when the Kaw boys were housed there.

Sadly, there was only one full blooded Kaw alive in 1997. The Kaw Nation currently has about 2,500 members.

The Historic Site is in a park setting with information signs, benches, and a trail nearby. It's one of the many historical sites to see in Council Grove.


 The entrance to the site.

The stone "Indian Hut".

The Mission building housing the museum, bookstore, and offices.

Information about the Kaws, the Mission, and the Santa Fe Trail.


Custer Vacation Menu

Custer Lives! Main Menu