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Early Settlers

John and Margaret Naudier

John and Margaret Naudier were both natives of France, born in 1816. In 1827, Margaret migrated to America with her parents. They located in Clermont County, Pennsylvania, where she met John. In 1835, they were married in Frenchville, Pennsylvania, by Bishop Kenrick.

John and Margaret moved west to Illinois. In 1857, they set out for Kansas, taking Durham cattle, fine horses and machinery to start a stock ranch. In April, they arrived at Fort Scott and took up a claim north of the military post. These were trying times in Kansas before the war. Jayhawkers forced them to go to the fort for protection. For a while they lived on Kaw Creek, where they had gone to make hay. John became sick while they were there and they were again forced to seek safety at the fort to save themselves from border ruffians.

On August 14, 1867 John and Margaret moved to Osage Mission. In Osage Mission, they built the Neosho House, the first hotel in the city. During its construction, John had to make the brick for the building. On September 14, John died, but Margaret continued the building until it was completed. The Neosho House was considered the finest hotel in southeastern Kansas and was located on the northeast corner of block 26. Margaret reportedly made $100 a week, for the first few years of its existence. In 1881, she sold the hotel for $2,600 and retired from business.

John Naudier was treasurer of the original Osage Mission Town Company when the town was formed. In August, 1883, John would be the first person buried in the present St. Francis Cemetery.

In 1870, Margaret began to erect a brick house near St. Ann's Academy. This would be the first brick house in Neosho County. In 1881, she would build a stone house west of the Neosho House. Mrs. Naudier passed away June 24, 1900.

John and Margaret Naudier gave the city the land where the city park is now located.

Jacob Beechwood's Trip to Kansas

In May 1865 Jacob Beechwood went from New York to St. Louis by rail, from St. Louis to Kansas City by steamboat, and from Kansas City to Ft. Scott, as Kansas City was the end of the railroad division at that time. He went from Ft. Scott to Osage Mission of foot looking for a location.

Osage Mission was founded by the Jesuit order of priests, Father Schoenmakers being the head of the order at that time, and Mother Bridget was head of the Sisters of Loretto then located at Osage Mission.

Jacob Beechwood returned to New York in July, 1865, held a sale about the 15th of September, and with his family returned to Kansas, by rail to St. Louis, to Kansas City by steamboat; stayed in Kansas City about ten days, then hired two teams, paying $50 for one team and $40 for the other, to haul them to Ft. Scott. They stayed in Ft. Scott until the last of October, then hired a team to take them to Osage Mission, arriving there November 1, 1865. The family first moved into a log cabin on Flat Rock creek, owned by a half-breed Indian. Mr. Beechwood took up as a claim 160 acres two miles east of Osage Mission, it being the first land taken up by a white man in the county. Their log cabin was built by six half-breed Indians, the manager being Ogeese Captain. At that time deer, wild turkey and prairie chickens by the thousands were all over the country.

Ft. Scott was the nearest trading point for groceries and provisions. It took a team of oxen five days to make the round trip, as there were no horses, buggies or carriages here at that time.

In 1866 flour was $14 per hundred pounds, corn meal sold for $2.50 per bushel, and hogs on foot were $13 per hundred, matches ten cents a box and other things according.

We grubbed out about two acres of land the first winter and raised everything we ate the first year. After the first summer we all took the chills and fever and thought we would die. Then came drouth and grasshoppers. The last grasshoppers in southeast Kansas were here in 1876 and left in 1877. We had several burn-outs and hard times after that. The people did not ask for federal aid then, and there was no tariff on corn or wheat.

We had to walk two miles to school and church thru the mud or drive oxen. I was the first white boy that went to the Mission school among the Indians. Brother Cavanaugh was my teacher. Brother Lyons taught the higher grades. Brother George made the gardens and took care of the boys. Brother Frederick made all the clothing for the Indian boys.

The small flour mill was run once a week by ten mules, grinding wheat and corn on old fashion burrs.

The road passing the old Beechwood home today is known as Beechwood Hill.

This data is furnished by a son of Jacob Beechwood - (Signed) Charles F. Beechwood




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