objects public.jpg

Jefferson County Historical and  Genealogy Society
preserving and recording the ongoing history of
Jefferson County, Kansas



The Jefferson County Historical Society (JCHS) and Jefferson County Genealogy Society (JCGS) have worked hand in hand for the past 50 years preserving and recording the history of Jefferson County Kansas.  The two societies share the responsibilities in maintaining Old Jefferson Town. 


Old Jefferson Town consists of 10 buildings and a prairie grassland that preserve and exhibit donated artifacts (objects, documents, photos, books, maps, etc.)  It has an extensive genealogy library open to the community on weekends throughout the year and by appointment. 

A variety of volunteers keep the museum up and running. Recently the Genealogy and Historical society merged to better meet the needs of Old Jefferson Town.  JCHGS meets monthly to  hold a business meeting to discuss events and the needs of the facilities.   Community members are encouraged to be a part of the meetings. 


Volunteers work on accessioning and displaying objects, clipping and filing paperwork (obituaries, maps, family histories, photos etc.), planning events and connecting to the community through the local newspapers and social media.  Local school groups and 4H groups help with projects outside keeping the grounds picked up and landscaping maintained. 


Perry, Kansas

 A new exhibit is on display at the Perry, KS pocket history museum.  The exhibit features the personal collection of Georgie Petrie Stebbins. The artifacts are from the multiple businesses she and her husband, Merrill ("Bood") owned and operated in Perry for more than 50 years, starting with Stebbins Grocery in the mid-1940's.

The pocket museum is located at First State Bank & Trust and is managed by the Perry Pride History Committee. 

For more information about the Perry Community, click on the  link below.

Georgia Petrie_edited.jpg

Valley Falls, Kansas

 The Valley Falls Historical Society is continuing to preserve history in Jefferson County, Kansas by housing artifacts in a beautifully arranged building on the main street of Valley Falls.  The volunteers hold a monthly meeting on the third Thursday of the month.  

For more information about the Valley Falls, Kansas Museum, click on the  link below.

Winchester, Kansas

Ozawkie, Kansas

The City of Ozawkie

History Timeline of Ozawkie

A brief time line borrowed from the City of Ozawkie webpage: 

1819 – U.S. Government Exploring Expedition under Major Long was said to be first white men to have visited the area.

1825 – After the Indian Treaty of June, 3 1825, Major Daniel Morgan Boone, son and 7th of 10 children of famed “Kentucky Pioneer” Daniel Boone, arrived to this area after being appointed “Kansa Indian Agent” where he was to advise the area Indians on agriculture matters.

1828 – On August 22nd the first white child born in Kansas Territory, Napoleon Boone, was the 12 child of Maj. Daniel Morgan Boone.

1831 – Delaware Indians, originally from the Lenape People from the Delaware Region, complete their move to Kansas from Missouri.

1854 – Kansas becomes a Territory. The Delaware Nation lands were surveyed and each tribe member received compensation for all but a small portion of their land by the United States, which was dispersed in the “Delaware Trust Land” sale. Both Pro-Slavery and Free-State Settlers came to Kansas to set claim on land. The first election was held in the district and a rivalry broke out between the two groups.

1855 – Osawkee boundaries were surveyed and town becomes county seat, the first post office, and first school house were also built. A bill was introduced in Legislature to change the town’s name to Wabash, which failed to pass.

1856 – Under the order of Colonel Whipple, many pro-slavery homes of Osawkee were raided with the aid of Captain Ephrain Bainter, a free-state man who was later elected free-state sheriff of Jefferson County.

1857 – Federal Lands sales take place and the area population rises to 3,500 due to an influx of immigrants. Unmarried men were said to be obliged to pay 25¢ per acre more than a married man.

1858 – An election was held after the Legislature of 1857-58, which gave the people of Jefferson County the ability to vote for the county seat. With 177 votes, Oskaloosa became the new county seat of Jefferson County. In the middle of the night a short time after the election, the court records were seized and transported to Oskaloosa via an oxen drawn wagon.

1860 – The remaining “Delaware Trust Land” was given to the Leavenworth and Pawnee Railroad to make way for the railroad, of which had never been built. A great drought plagued the area.

1865 – A water powered flour and grist mill was constructed by William Dail and J. M. Funk just south of Osawkee. It was used by the government to grind grain where they supplied flour to the remaining Delaware Indians occupying a small area of land south of Osawkee.

1867 – Due to their tiring of the “white man’s antics”, the remaining Delaware Indians moved out of the Osawkee area where they eventually settled in Oklahoma. 1870 – Drought and depression hit hard for the area forcing some to move; decreasing the population to 1,600.

1872 – Flooding of Osawkee.

1874 – Massive invasion of the grasshopper wiped out entire crops and anything else in their way.

1875 – Due to the frequent invasions by grasshopper, the town’s folk changed the river’s name from Grasshopper to Delaware.

Public Access to our museum records!

As you browse, if you see something that you can give more information about, please use the email link at the top of the page.  We'd love to hear from you.  If you see typing errors, mispelled names, words, etc. please help us by letting us know.  You won't hurt our feelings!

Use the following link to take a walk through the rich history of Jefferson County, Kansas:

Public Site link: https://oldjeffersontown.catalogaccess.com/

Become a Member!

Help Preserve Jefferson County History

Membership Information


Membership in the Jefferson County Historical and Genealogy  Society is available by  printing out the membership form and mailing it in or contacting:


Mary Luse


16786 126th

Winchester, KS 66097



Annual dues are $25.


The Jefferson County Historical Museum and Genealogy Society  is a non-profit organization that maintains Old Jefferson Town.  Your dues are used to help with the continuing upkeep of the buildings and grounds at Old Jefferson Town.  Your membership will help to maintain and preserve the rich history of Jefferson County and its communities.


As a member, you will receive a digital copy of the quarterly newsletter and the Yesteryears that comes out twice a year.  Yesteryears are filled with historical stories and information about the citizens and communities in Jefferson County.  (older issues are on this website - go to the Newsletters/Yesteryears tab)

Monthly meetings are held the second Thursday of each month at 7:00 pm at Old Jefferson Town. Members and non-members are encouraged to attend the meetings.


Become a volunteer!

Old Jefferson Town would not be here if it weren't for its volunteers. For over 50 years, history keepers have helped to preserve Jefferson County history.  Come and be a part!




Jefferson County Historical Society

P.O. Box 146

Oskaloosa, KS 66066

Old Jefferson Town

705 Walnut Street

Oskaloosa, Kansas 66066


October 1 - May 1

OJT buildings closed

Genealogy Library

Saturday 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Arrangements can be made to open at other times.  Please contact us at our email address.

Thanks for submitting!


© 2023 by BRW BAR inc. Proudly created with Wix.com

  • Facebook