OTTAWA - KANSAS

Ottawa

Ottawa

Ottawa

Ottawa

Ottawa

Ottawa

Ottawa

Ottawa

Ottawa

Ottawa

Ottawa

Ottawa

main

Population 12.000

 

On September 6, 1864, a town company was founded along the south side of the Marais des Cygnes, (River of Swans) where a community known as Ottawa was in the early stages of development. The town grew up around Indian settlements.

ottawa mission
Kansas Mission

The Ottawa tribe lived in the area from 1837 to 1867 and donated land for Ottawa University. The town and university were named for the tribe.

The Ottawa knew that in order to survive their children must be educated. In 1862 the Ottawa were allotted 74,000 acres of land. The Ottawa gave 20,000 acres of that land to be used and sold to raise money to build a Baptist school for the education of whites and Indians. This university was named after the Ottawa. The Indians made an arrangement with the university that the Ottawa children would be educated free of charge. The reservation where the Ottawa lived became a township named after them.

ottawa tribe

The town was incorporated in 1866, and, in 1867, voted to become a City of the Second Class under the guidelines established by the State of Kansas. During that same time, a bridge company was formed which constructed a suspension bridge across the Marais des Cygnes at Main Street. The City purchased the bridge in 1874.

map

Rail service arrived on January 1, 1868, with the Leavenworth, Lawrence and Galveston Railroad. This was closely followed in 1870 by what is commonly referred to as the Santa Fe Railroad and, in 1880, by the Missouri Pacific Railroad.

panorama 1909

The city of Ottawa has a history of flooding due to the Marais Des Cygnes river. One of the first big floods which was noted happened in 1844, twenty years before the city's founding in 1864.

In 1943, German and Italian prisoners of World War II were brought to Kansas and other Midwest states as a means of solving the labor shortage caused by American men serving in the war effort. Large internment camps were established in Kansas: Fort Riley established 12 smaller branch camps, including Ottawa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most of the Victorian-era mansions and buildings in Ottawa were designed by renowned architect George Washburn.