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|EARLY INDIANS IN AUDRAIN COUNTY|
Joe Lee Bomar, in the Mexico Evening Ledger, February 4, 1928.
In the early part of the nineteenth century roving bands of Shawnees,
Delawares, Missouris, Osages, and perhaps other tribes of Indians in≠habited
roved and hunted all over this section, but began to move further
west and southwest from the beginning of the War of 1812. Punished by the
settlers and ranger forces, such as the Boones and Col. James Callaway,
and other bold frontiersmen, tradition and other evidences from both
whites and Indians demonstrate that they had a hunterís bivouac in what
is now Audrain county. This was on Scattering Fork Creek, four miles south
of where Mexico stands.
also had a village of huts and wigwams at, or near, the two forks of Salt
River, and a burying ground on the present Otto Schopp Dairy Farm. Their
tribal and war dances were held on the ridge running north from the Schopp
Dairy barn, and arrowheads, spearheads, flints, pottery, and other relics
can be found there today.
the extreme north end of this ridge on the yellow banks of Salt River is
the burying ground, the resting place of Black Thunder and his tribe of
village and camp referred to were there in 1819, as my grandfather and
others of Callaway county saw it on one of their hunting, trapping, and
prospecting expeditions of that date. As late as 1831 there were many
signs at both places, and rocks, shells, tent poles, skillets, camp
kettles and other camp equipment could be seen, but before this date the
Indians had departed toward the setting sun.
there were occasional returns of visits to some of the old haunts and the
burial place of their fathers. Black Thunder, a sub-chief, medicine man,
preacher and prophet, was interred on Salt River, and the last pilgrimage
I ever heard of was in 1867, when fifteen or twenty Osages, Missouris,
Shawnees, Kaws, and two Delawares visited the old scenes.
stopped for water and provisions at my grandmotherís, Nancy Bomar, four
miles south of Mexico, where all their wants were supplied. In addition,
they were given cider and honey. One wanted, and got the tin pitcher
containing the honey, and hung it about her neck with thongs.
were then on a pilgrimage to Washington, D. C., on tribal business to see
Andrew Johnson, president of the United States.
Osages had a reservation and mission in Van Buren county, now Bates
county, near the old French town, Pappinsville. I grew to manhood within
four miles of this Old Harmony Mission.
I was ten or twelve years old many of the old apple trees and tumble down
buildings, as well as other evidences of their having lived there, were to
mission was conducted by the Presbyterians, in conjunction with the
agency. Three forts were on the margin of the hunting grounds. Fort Osage,
near where Sibley, Lafayette [Jackson] county now is, and Fort Scott, on
the west, and Ball Town, on the Little Osage in what is now Vernon county.
Mrs. Sibley, the wife of Col. Sibley, who founded Lindenwood College at St. Charles, was at Fort Osage. Col. Emmette McDonald was at Ball Town. He was later killed at Hartsville, Mo., when in the Confederate army during the Civil War.