The Osage County Historical Society Museum preserves artifacts, but more important are the peoples’ stories that would fade into the sands of time. Four major areas are featured – Ranching, Oil, Osage Heritage and Settlers of The Osage. The bookstore is rich with heritage stories and research material. Recently, the museum assisted David Grann in his research for his book “Killers of the Flower Moon”, which is currently being made into a motion picture staring Leonardo DiCaprio.
Osage County is rich in ranching history. Four major ranches developed from lands purchased for the Osage people. The museum features the history of brands, the Hadden Chuck Wagon, guns from early reservation days, and saddles, etc. from early cattle history. Lawlessness thrived from the beginning of Osage County. Murder was commonplace and early day lawmen were tough and unrelenting. There were bank robbers, train robbers, bootlegging and whiskey. All of this amazing history is present throughout the museum for our guests to see.
The Osage Heritage artifacts include photographs, as well as beaded items, finger weaving, and ribbon work. Many well known chiefs are featured, as is a special Osage exhibit room provided by the John Moncravie family. A special Maria and Marjorie Tallchief ballet case features the story of America’s Prima Ballerina, Maria, and her sister, Marjorie, who was equally ranked in Paris, France. Historically, the Osage have had the highest percentage of soldiers compared to other tribes. The most famous soldier of the museum is Major General Clarence Tinker, who was the first General killed in World War II. When money flowed like “Black Gold” from the earth, banking was big in Osage County, and there were banks in every little town… and bank robbers. The First National Bank in Pawhuska housed a trillion dollar adding machine, featured today at the Osage County Historical Museum. The Museum features stories of all kinds; teachers, preachers, law men, crooks, mothers, babies, cowboys, Indians and ballerinas. They even boast a very real cougar as the museum mascot. Come visit, where there is always a story waiting for you. Museum and Bookstore open Tuesday through Saturday. 10-4 PM.