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Monday, May 17, 2021

Harmony Mission Day coming next month: Some interesting history


The U.F.M.S. begin taking applications for families to head to Missouri to build the mission for the Osage. The families had to consist of mechanics, machinists, farmers, physicians, preachers and teachers. The women would teach music, sewing and cooking skills.

The people selected assembled in New York on March 3, 1821 and had farewell services on March 5th and 6th. The first lap of the trip, for the missionaries to their new far western home, was to board the steamer, Atlanta. Then they left by wagon train to Pittsburg, PA which took them 23 days. They were grateful when they got to Pittsburg because of the delays they had from sickness and failure of wagons and horses. At Pittsburg they loaded two keel boats with supplies they received on their way to Pittsburg. They were headed down the Ohio River, and up the Mississippi, Missouri and Osage rivers to their destination in the Osage Country.

The week of April 7th was spent fitting and loading the boats. They were fortunate to hire the same chief pilot who had taken the Union family to Arkansas Territory the year before. The steersman for the second boat agreed to go with them not for wages, but because of his own belief in their cause. They were paid 50 cents a day, only if they engaged for the whole journey. Each stop they made the people were very supportive of their mission and gave them money, food and supplies for their journey.

Parts of this story were taken from the book “The First Protestant Osage Missions 1820-1837” by William W. Graves and the “Papinville History” book composed by Beverly Sullins and Phyllis Stewart. The next story will be on the journey down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers ending up in St Louis, Missouri. We hope you are enjoying the stories and will join us for “Harmony Days” at the Papinville Museum on June 12th. To make reservations for the wagon ride to Harmony Mission call 417-395-2594 or 417-395- 4288. If there is no answer, please leave a message with your name and number and we will get back with you. Times for the wagon rides are 10:00, 1:00 and 3:00.

Submitted by PHYLLIS STEWART (Activity Director)