|Preserving our past - a series of articles on the beginning of the Oswego Historical Society.|
Museum is located on the first floor of a two story building owned
by the Historical Society. Look into our many
rooms, set up just the way it might have been in the lives of someone
in your family. Our museum is filled with furniture and artifacts
left to us through the years. From the early log cabin to turn of the century
living, we have collected many things to fascinate you.
Little Town Well, located on the corner of 4th and Union, is the site of the original spring. Used for many generations by the indians and travelers throughout the area. The well was dug about 1841 by slaves owned by John A. Matthews, who also established a trading post nearby. On the corner of 4th and Commercial is the mural of the Osage Indian Village (The village of White Hair, taken from the original painting by E. Marie Horner) and the Matthews Trading Post.
Many artists in our community both from our past and present share their art with everyone that walks into the museum. Whether it be of prominent citizens, a social gathering, or landscapes, these beautiful pieces are on display in the museum. Ten showcases are filled with interesting artifacts of our history.
The Historical Society maintains four large signs throughout Oswego. Each describes a part of our History. These signs are located at;
Oswego Genealogy Department
The following resources are available for research at the Oswego Museum:
We are glad to
be of help to those doing their own research.
Open June 1 to
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PRESERVING OUR PAST - The Oswego Historical Museum
Established high on the bluff south of the Neosho River,
was the site of an Indian Trading post of one John Mathews, a good friend
of the Osage tribe who lived below. It was an idyllic peaceful life that
was destroyed by Union soldiers at the beginning of the Civil War, and
the land lay deserted and barren until after that conflict.
The years passed and with each year came the people, each making their own place in the history of the town. We remember and honor those settlers like the Halls and Howells, the Embrees, the Clovers. Another to remember is Nelson Case, an attorney, who used his pen in recording the history of our little village and the people who lived here. His books are in the local museum to be read and researched.
We will always hold in honor Wayne O’Connell, who we all knew as “Pat.” It is because of his interest and enthusiasm in preserving the history of our town that we have your heritage available in the Oswego Historical Museum.
The date was Jan. 19, 1967 when an organization was incorporated
under the name of Oswego Centennial, Inc, selected for the 100th Anniversary
of the City of Oswego.
In February 1970, members of the Oswego Historical Society, Inc. were given information that Oswego was entitled to approximately $1,500 per year from County tax money to support a museum. Quickly, a Board of Directors was appointed and by the month of May, an open house was held at 411 Commercial to receive antique articles for exhibit. All items were to pertain to Oswego and the surrounding community. When the collection was completed it included a living room, bedroom, dining room and kitchen. An authentic early day railroad depot waiting room filled a corner of the museum. Because of lack of space many items were left in storage, so began the discussion of larger quarters for the museum.
It was reported there was $2,000 in the Frank Farris Fund, being held by the Rotary Club and designated for use in providing a new museum. Those funds had been drawing interest for 17 years with a total of $2,800. With additional assistance of our benefactor, Pat O’Connell, the Oswego Historical Museum moved to the lower level at 410 Commercial. The Adams Lodge #63 retained the use of the second story for their meeting rooms. That arrangement continues. The Lodge building was acquired on March 1, 1989. The property had been owned by the lodge since Feb. 26, 1879, 110 years that date.
Those persons who gave their time and energies during the formative years of the Oswego Historical Museum must be honored for their dedication to bring this to a reality. We know Loyal Clough, Paul Miller, Dr. Dillenberger, Nadine Herridge, Mable Barker, Jeff Kitterman, Mary Lou Mumy, Bob Carpenter, Lounette Dillenberger, Clint Tuttle, the Tot Colmans, Mrs. Art Burgess, Ruth Sutton, Louise Baker, Clarence Gore and of course, last but not least, one Jerry Barnard are but a few of many others getting the museum off to a glorious start. –– Submitted by E. Marie Horner
A New Location
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The Smith / Hollingsworth Log House
day history of our little city is shown in many of our downtown buildings,
parks, and the town well, but we point with the most pride at the “double”
log house built in 1869, surrounded by tall maple trees, visited often
by the curious public.
From the land and nature’s bounty,
After a few seasons, it was apparent local woodpeckers liked the statue as much as we do. So thanks to efforts of Lyn Kirk and funding provided by Grace Lewis, the statue has been carefully sealed and protected from the environment. –– Submitted by E.M. Horner