Much of the rich history and culture in Osage County is credited to the Osage Nation, which relocated here in 1872. The Osage Nation is actively working within the communities to build a future for Osage County. The American Dream began in this part of the country for oil barons such as Frank Phillips and E. W. Marland, who gathered around the Million Dollar Elm in Pawhuska to bid on oil leases to make their fortunes. Today oilmen continue this legacy, pumping oil throughout Osage County.
Osage Settled on New Reservation
In the 1850s the permanent removal from eastern Kansas, to the newly defined Indian Territory, today's Oklahoma, began.
In 1871, the Osage abandoned their Reservation in Kansas and by 1872 had been settled on their new reservation in Indian Territory.
The Osage had purchased their Reservation, from the Cherokee, with funds from the sale of their Kansas lands, by the U.S. to new white settlers. More than 3,600 full-blooded Osage Indians made the move.
Osage Allotment Act
By the 1890s the Osage had come under considerable pressure from Washington D.C. to divide their Reservations into individual allotments. In 1890s, oil had been discovered on the Osage Reservation.
Then in 1906, the Osage were the last Indians in Oklahoma Territory to give up communal ownership of their Reservation.
On June 28, 1906, Congress passed the Osage Allotment Act. Osage allotment was unlike that of any other tribe. Land was to be equally divided among the 2,229 tribal members. Because of the tribal ownership of mineral rights, the Osage Reservation would retain limited Reservation status.
On November 16, Oklahoma became the 46th state to join the Union.
The Osage in World War I
In August 1914, World War I started in Europe and the economic effects of the war were quickly felt. After America entered the war, this process accelerated.
George Wright, the Osage Agent during the war, actively discouraged the Osages from joining the military, saying the full-bloods were not citizens. In spite of their agent, at least 153 Osage men served in the military.
Many were members of the Thirty-sixth Division formed out of Oklahoma and the Texas National Guards.
Several served as officers and pilots in the Army Air Corps.