Pre-European Exploration in Miami County Kansas

Native Americans

Early Aboriginals in the Americas and Miami County’s First Inhabitants.

Over 25,000 years ago a “land bridge” connected Asia to what today is Alaska. This offered the opportunity for peoples to travel to the Western Hemisphere. It is also true that some aboriginals may have arrived to the Western Hemisphere by way of boats or water transports to South America. Today, DNA studies support that the aboriginals were related to peoples of the Pacific Islanders. Artifacts of Native Americans seem to date up to 10-15,000 years before Europeans had arrived. These peoples had developed civilizations and cultures to rival any others in the Old World. The Incas, Mayas, Aztecs, Mound Builders all numbered in the millions and were very developed with their pyramids, large cities, pottery, textiles, agriculture, and transportation systems that demonstrated their skills and abilities. In what was to Miami County, there were probably no permanent villages prior to 1800. However, the area was a bountiful hunting grounds for the Osage and the Canza (Kansas) Indians.

Not until the 1830’s did Kansas and Miami County become permanent settlements for the Indians. The U. S. government had forced the Indians of the eastern United States to move to the “open territory” of the west. Reservations were established in what was to be Miami County. Wea, Piankeshaw, Peoria, Kaskaskia, Miami, Shawnee, Potawatomie Nations were settled here. All, however, by 1870 were again removed from Miami County to other locations in Oklahoma or Kansas. Even though many left, some remained and today the influence and artifacts of these first inhabitants remain to this day.