The Downtown Ottawa Historic District - Ottawa, Kansas
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
N 38° 36.908 W 095° 16.115
15S E 302488 N 4276509
This sign is hanging above the sidewalk between 215 & 217 S Main in Ottawa, Kansas.
Waymark Code: WMF7AK
Location: Kansas, United States
Date Posted: 09/04/2012
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member GEO*Trailblazer 1
Views: 6

The city of Ottawa in Franklin county was laid out in 1864 on two half sections of land on the Marais des Cygnes river. This was an area formerly part of the Osage and later the Ottawa Indian reservations. Title to the land passed from the Ottawas in 1864 when the tribe set aside 20,000 acres in trust to help establish Ottawa University. Portions of the trust lands were soon acquired by white settlers and investors, and the Ottawa Town Company was formed later the same year. The leading men of the town company were Rev. C. C. Hutchinson, the Indian agent, and Rev. I. S. Kalloch. Other prominent local members were John T. "Tauy" Jones, a Baptist minister and Indian leader, and James Wind, chief of the Ottawas.

The town site was surveyed in the spring of 1864 by Edward Wolcott. Early settlers pitched tents, and the first frame house was built on March 31. The prime objective of the town company was to secure the location of the Franklin county seat, and lots were given away as an inducement for people to locate there and support the courthouse drive.

An election on August 1, 1864, to determine the site of the county seat resulted in an overwhelming victory for Ottawa over three other contenders. Ottawa received 261 votes, Peoria 40, Ohio City 36, and Centropolis 1. The county records were officially moved to Ottawa from Ohio City on August 15, 1864. According to the county clerk, at the time he moved his office Ottawa "consisted of 15 or 20 dwellings, one store kept by an Ottawa Indian, and a large barn used for a hotel."

Frame business buildings were constructed on Main street in the 1860's. And as the town grew -- from 3,000 in 1870 to 6,200 in 1890 -- and prospered, merchants and entrepreneurs began building more substantial brick and stone structures in the 1870's and 1880's. By the 1890's both sides of Main street were lined for several blocks with two and three story buildings of brick and stone. Many of them featured large highly ornate metal pediments and cornices and decorative window lintels.

- Downtown Ottawa Historic District National Register Application

Marker Name: The Downtown Ottawa Historic District

Marker Type: Other (Please identify in marker text)

Marker text:
This marker hangs above the sidewalk between 215 and 217 S Main. The text of the marker reads:

Is a block of commercial structures built between 1872 and 1900 of late Victorian styling with Renaissance, Eclectic and some Classical features. The buildings are individualistic but have the same underlying style and character. Their uniqueness lies in almost unaltered facades and great aesthetic compatibility. This block was placed on the The National Register of Historic Places, June 29, 1972.

Franklin County Historical Society Marker

Marker Location: Franklin

Name of agency setting marker: Other (Please identify in marker text)

Year Marker Placed: Not listed

Official Marker Number: Not listed

Marker Web Address: Not listed

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