Harmony Mission

Harmony Mission (HMQPN)

Location: Rich Hill, MO 64779 Bates County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 5.823', W 94° 21.2'

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American Presbyterian and Reformed Historical Site No. 33

Historic Harmony Mission, a school for the Indians of Missouri, once stood east of Rich Hill, on the north bank of the Osage River, near the centuries-old camping sites of the Great and Little Osage tribes.

The mission was founded in 1821 by the United Foreign Missionary Society of N.Y., supported by Presbyterian, Congregational, and Dutch Reformed churches. Among the 41 members of the mission family were teachers, mechanics, and farmers, headed by minister Nathaniel B. Dodge. The Osage gave land and the U.S. provided a buildling fund.

With heroic effort, the missionaries soon built homes and a school. An Osage-English dictionary of some 2000 words was made with the help of "Bill" Williams, later famed as the "Mountain Man," but then serving as interpreter at a nearby U.S. trading post.

The school was only a moderate success, largely because the Osage ceded the last of their Missouri land to the U.S. in 1825 and began to move away. The mission was closed in 1836. The main building, moved to Papinsville, was burned in the Civil War.
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(Continued from other side)
Harmony Mission, Missouri's first Indian mission school, was the first county seat and the first white settlement in Bates County, organized, 1841, named for Missouri Governor Frederick Bates. Later the once thriving Osage River town of Papinsville, named for a French trader, was county seat. In 1856 centrally located Butler, named for a Ky. congressman, became county seat.

During the Civil War, Bates was one of the counties depopulated by Union General Thomas Ewing's Order No. 11 of 1863. The next year only 390 persons were living in the county, but the post war years brought over 10,000 by 1868 to farm the fertile acres and mine the rich coal deposits.

Here in the Osage Valley of Bates and Vernon counties were the villages of the Wazhazhe Indians, called Osage by the French. In 1808, less than 100 years after they were first visited by a white man, Du Tisn?, 1719, they ceded most of their Missouri land to the U.S. They ceded the rest, 1825. The first chief called Pahuska (White Hair) once lay buried in Blue Mound and for years they returned to honor him.

American Presbyterian and Reformed Historical Site No. 33
Registered by the Presbyterian Historical Society
Philadelphia, Pa.
Year Placed1955
Placed ByState Historical Society of Missouri and State Highway Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 11:58am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15S E 381335 N 4217447
Decimal Degrees38.09705000, -94.35333333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 5.823', W 94° 21.2'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 5' 49.38" N, 94° 21' 12.00" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)417, 660
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1200-1298 State Hwy A, Rich Hill MO 64779, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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