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History of Osawatomie
Osawatomie is the only town by that name in the United States and probably in the world.  The town was named for two Indian tribes, the Osage and the Pottawatomie, for which the two rivers bordering Osawatomie were named.  The Osage River was called the Marais des Cygnes (marsh of the swans) by French explorers and trappers living among the tribes, and the Kansas Legislature later adopted the name "Marais des Cygnes" in Kansas because there is another Osage River in Kansas.

Geography placed Kansas in the middle of the nation, and history and fate brought John Brown to Osawatomie (a year after it was founded) where he made his stand against slavery.  In 1855, Brown was called by his sons who had come west and settled in Franklin County.  Because Osawatomie, a free-state town, was surrounded by pro-slavery communities, the radical Brown came with a wagon load of guns.

The hill upon which John Brown met battle in 1856 is now John Brown Memorial Park, dedicated in 1910 by former President Theodore Roosevelt.  John Brown's Cabin and his bronze statue in the park indicate that Osawatomie considers Brown a hero rather than the villain some historians claim.

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City of Osawatomie 439 Main St. Osawatomie, KS 66064 Ph: 913-755-2146 Fx: 913-755-4164