Welcome to Miami County Kansas Historical Museum

Miami County Courthouse
More than 6,000 square feet of surprises await visitors to the Miami County Historical Museum. It is dedicated to telling the “Story of Us,” a history of Miami County. Located just south of the Kansas City Metro area, Miami County’s rich history is on display, from prehistoric life to early settlements; from the plight of Native Americans to the struggle surrounding Slavery, from Christian Missions evolving into small-town Americana.

The Indian Heritage Room

The Indian Heritage Room overflows with one of the largest collections of Indian Artifacts in the State of Kansas, ranking it as a regional gem. A large mural, hand-painted by a local artist, depicts the county’s early days and should not be missed. Also displayed are pictures and artifacts of the Potawatomie Trail of Death terminating at Sugar Creek Mission/Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne Mission, Lykins Mission Park, and the Osage Trading Post.

The Main Gallery

The main gallery boasts a Historical Timeline highlighting local figures who played prominent roles in our country’s history. Visitors may be aghast upon learning William Quantrill taught school in Miami County prior to his escapades as bandit leader and “bushwacker” during the Bleeding Kansas and the Civil War periods. Quantrill’s diametrically opposed nemesis, John Brown, headquartered his violent Kansas abolitionists activities, which were forerunners to his infamous raid on Harper’s Ferry, in Miami County. Later, an orphaned teenager born into slavery named George Washington Carver briefly graced the county with his presence before becoming one of the country’s preeminent scientists and inventors. Integrated into the displays are QR codes that provide supplemental information online.

The Military Room

The Military Room displays a wide collection of artifacts from four of America’s wars (Civil War, Spanish American War, WWI, WWII), including a civil war uniform and numerous military weapons, while highlighting Miami County’s contribution to those war efforts, including personal artifacts.

The Early Industry and Business Room

The Early Industry and Business Room tells the story of oil and natural gas exploration, local businesses, churches, schools, and residents during the Post Civil-War and turn of the century periods via clothing, tools, quilts, household items and photographs. Amazingly, the first oil well west of the Mississippi was drilled one mile east of Paola after a newspaperman recalled “stories” of an oil spring on the Baptist Indian Mission grounds.
The museum’s Library hosts historical and genealogical records of deaths, births, marriages, cemetery plots and other vital statistics at the disposal of the public. The museum’s unique façade displays a mural of iron silhouettes designed and created by local artists and master craftsmen capturing the unique history of Miami County, from a native American on horseback to a plane landing at the Miami County Airport.  An annual Museum highlight is the July International Miniature Art Show featured in the main gallery.
Some displays rotate, so visit us regularly and you’ll discover something new each time.
Located just south of the Kansas City Metro area you will find Miami County, rich in history, tranquil and laid back in today’s world, yet reflective of a past that presents the very struggle of our great nation with the blood, sweat, and tears of many generations and their quest for a peaceful future. From prehistoric life to early settlements; from the plight of Native Americans to the struggle surrounding Slavery, from Christian Missions evolving into small-town Americana, a true picture of the efforts of a people who cherish good values and look at their historic past as a picture book of lessons on which to build a prosperous future.