Papinville Tour Cancelled: Final History Release: The Missionaries arrive at Osage River.

Missionaries Journey Has Ended To The Harmony Mission Location is the final series of Harmony Mission History. Due to high water and rain, the June 12th tour has been cancelled. We hope you enjoy our final press release. There will be more information at the end of this historic feature story.

The missionaries have arrived on the Osage River, a little east of what

Is known as Halley’s Bluff. They met with some Osage Indians and they made plans to go looking for a location on the Little Osage and Marais Des Cygnes Rivers. It was decided that Brothers Dodge, Newton and Jones should go to the place where Mr. Sibley is erecting a trading establishment ( located at Papinville) and that Brothers Pixley, Austin and Bright examine the  banks along the Little Osage.

Aug 3  No good location was found on the Little Osage.

Aug 6  This day most of the brethren went to the United States Factory to take  another look for our establishment. Here we met with Bill Williams, an interpreter, that had been hired by the government for the factory. (The factory was located at Papinville about where the new bridge is located.) Conversed with Bill William for some time about the Osage and then returned to our boats. (They had decided on the location on the Marais Des Cygnes River about 1\2 mile north of  Papinville)

Aug 7  This morning we concluded to make it further up the river. Unloaded part of the goods on a skiff boat and as soon as possible we need to build a warehouse on the location to store our goods.

Aug 8  This morning we set two men and a boy to the skiff while a number of brethren went up to our location to cut timber and begin building on the location.(The reason for  unloading the supplies on the skiff boats was because the water was too low to go over the rapids

(known as Rapid de Kaw) about a mile and a half east of Halley’s Bluff on the Osage River.

Aug 9  Brothers Newton and Bright departed to purchase horses, oxen and cows. Today we planted potatoes.

Aug 11 After laboring, until towards night, we returned to our boats where we found  the chiefs of the Osage assembling together with seventy of their people.  They were anxious to attend immediately to the business of the establishment.

Aug 12  We invited the Osage to attend our worship and they agreed. Went on shore and held public worship. Although they could not understand our speech they could form some ideas of our worship.

Aug 13  We assembled our family, old and young, on the deck of our boats.  The Indians chiefs came on board and with token of friendship and shook hands with everyone.

Aug 15  Our boats are seven to eight miles down stream and can’t at  present be moved. We kept three hands busy in running the skiff boat to fetch up things that are immediately necessary to be moved to the mission location.  Moved some of the missionary families and feeble members who are sick.

Aug 21  Several members of our family and three of our hired men are attacked with ague (Malaria),fever and other health disorders.

Aug 25  This day  we finished unloading our boats. It has been a heavy job. We had to bring our goods up a very steep bank. We have them now secured under shelter. The families have all left the boats and arrived at the location. We are now all dwelling in tents.

Aug 26  This morning (Sabbath) we had the pleasure of hearing the word dispensed by brothers Chapman and Dodge preaching.  At the close of the exercise we were visited by a number of Osage.

The daily information was taken from the book “The First Protestant Osage Missions  1820- 1837’ By Wm. W. Graves

The Missionaries journey stories have ended. The following is from a letter written by Rev Dodge to Domestic Secretary; AMR March 1822 that Holcomb’s  had in the History of Vernon County .This is just a part of the letter.

It’s members (missionary families), had come from comfortable homes of the elite New England and Atlantic States. Educated and refined, they had moved among society’s best. They could have “made their mark” most anywhere. Yet they sacrificed all this and more, made a perilous trip of two thousand miles, much of it through a wilderness, to locate in the strange land of the untutored, where a white face was seldom seen and there housed in uncomfortable cabins, devoid of the most ordinary comforts, exposed to all the dangers of the elements, far from civilization and sources of supplies, to spend their lives in efforts to improve the condition of a strange people and for what?

The missionaries received no salaries and were provided with necessities by what the board, relatives or friends sent them. What must have been the spirit that animated these people to make such sacrifices? There can be only one answer: Christianity.

We are sorry we can’t go on the tour June 12. Do to the high water and the rain it is too wet to go to the location. We will keep your name on the reservation list you had made and we will contact you went the tour will be held. Sorry we can’t do anything about the weather.  Hope you have enjoyed the stories. Through the summer months there will be stories about interesting facts and people of the mission.

If you would like to see the Papinville Museum, school, bridge (on the National Historical Register) or use the shelter house for a family reunion, schools or organization outing call 417-395-2594 or 417- 395  -4288.

Submitted by Phyllis Stewart      Activity Director