Grandma Mellie's Scrapbook
Copyright © 2001, Michael S. Cole, M.D.

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Shawnee Mission

    Fall is in the air. Although the summer was hot and dry, for the most part, it seemed short. We missed the column while Mrs. Upton was on vacation.
    My husband and I have just returned from a visit to his sister in Kansas City. We visited many places of interest. One especially was the Shawnee Mission, just over the Missouri and Kansas line. The Methodist mission was established in 1830 by Thomas Johnson.
    In 1838 by agreement between the Methodist Church and the Federal government, school was organized and in 1839 the building was begun on the present site. It was on part of the Shawnee lands.
    To this school Indian children of many tribes were sent to learn English, manual arts, and agriculture. It was an establishment of 2000 acres at its height and had 16 buildings and an enrollment of nearly 200 Indian boys and girls.
    The school was discontinued in 1862 and the property fell into private hands. During the Civil War the mission buildings were barracks for Union troops.
    The mission, consisting of 12 acres and three brick buildings, is now owned by the Kansas State Historical Society.
    The trip to the Mission was interesting to us because my husband's grandfather, E. T. Peery, was superintendent and teacher of the manual training in 1845. There were 137 pupils enrolled that year.
    Among items in the annals of the school were bills paid by E. T. Peery--salt $26.70; the wagon maker, $350; lamps for chapel, $19.50; tinware, $62.20; two barrels of vinegar, $8; groceries $391.47. The superintendent submitted his account showing the sum of $9441.66 due the school from the government.
    The rooms in the east building have been restored with the original furniture. There is a desk that belonged to this grandfather. It was given to the Mission by my husband. The grandmother's picture also hangs on the wall.
    Another piece of interest was the old Union Cemetery which we visited. The grandfather and father Peery are buried there.
    Part of the land was donated by this grandfather. The cemetery was incorporated in 1853. The grandfather was born in 1800 and died in 1864.
    Many Civil War soldiers are buried there. Among names on the tombstones are Bingham, born 1811, died 1879; Lykins, born 1800; Overton Ellis, born in Nodaway County, Missouri in 1860. He was chief justice of the supreme court in Washington state at one time; Hale, McCoy, Wilhite, Shouse, and Bryan.
    I like old cemeteries and like to read inscriptions. One old stone had this inscription: "Our boy."
    Many of the tombstones were tall and large, typical of that day.
    We visited another cemetery--Mount Moriah, where my husband's mother is buried. Masons and Eastern Stars are buried there. All graves have marble markers level with the ground and the cemetery is well cared for.
    Many blessings to all readers of "Over The Ozarks." Look for good things of life that are just around the corner. Happiness hides there and the little things make hearts bright and days glad.

Mellie Peery
September 1963

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