Leave Osawatomie, Kansas, going south on 6th Street, which becomes Plum Creek Road, then becomes highway 7 as you cross highway 169. Go through Beagle, Kansas, continuing south on the same road (Plum Creek Road) which finally becomes CR 1077. Turn west (right) on county Highway 530 into Parker, Kansas. Turn south (left) on Center Street which becomes CR 1077 again and go through Goodrich, Kansas. Follow paved CR 1077 as it jogs back and forth and through Dunlap Station. Turn east (left) on 1525th Road and go about 2 miles to St. Philippine Duchesne Memorial Park.
This is 5.5 miles west of Highway 7. It is 20 miles south of Osawatomie, or 3 miles south of Centerville, Kansas.
Entrance Gate to St. Philippine Duchesne Memorial Park. GPS N-3814398 W-9456539.
Located at former St. Marys Sugar Creek Mission on 1525th Road 5 miles west of Highway 7, about 3 miles east of Centerville or 20 miles south of Osawatomie. This is 450 acre Catholic retreat. The mission was the true end of the Trail of Death, where the Potawatomi lived for the next 10 years. Mother Rose Philippine Duchesne came in 1841 to teach the Potawatomi. She established the first Indian school for girls west of the Mississippi River. At age 72 and in failing health, she was not able to work. She dedicated herself primarily to a ministry of contemplative prayer. Noticing that she was praying at night and still praying in the same position the next morning, the Indian children placed pebbles around her long black robe. Discovering the pebbles undisturbed, they realized she was praying all night. The Indians named her Woman Who Prays Always. She was canonized in 1988, the first female saint west of the Mississippi River.
A large circular altar and a 30 foot tall metal cross were erected in 1988. The memorial park also has 14 Stations of the Cross, many religious pictures made in stone, wooden signs about the Potawatomi Indians and the original mission buildings. The former log buildings are outlined by white field stones, including the chapel, school, dormitories for Indian boys and girls, and the house where St. Philippine lived 1841-42. A new wooden trading post was erected in 1988 for meetings. Father Robert Pool and Robert White, head of the Knights of Columbus, were in charge of the fund raising to purchase the land and erect these memorials. This entrance gate was built in 1989. (Photo by Shirley Willard, 1989.)
St. Philippine Duchesne Memorial Park entrance sign. GPS N-3814398 W-9456539.
The first Trail of Death Commemorative Caravan reached the end of their journey at the new Trail of Death sign, erected by Father Robert Pool below the St. Marys Mission sign. Left side front row: Wayne Harvey, Ruth Zartman, Shirley Willard. Back: Lawrence and Marjorie Miller, Rachel and Harrison Crabill, Lois Baldwin, Bill Willard, George Godfrey, Sister Virginia Pearl, Bob Pearl.
Right side front row: Kenny Zartman, Freda Hale, Wilma Hollopeter, Sally Beasley. Back: Bill Wamego, Elwanda Lloyd, Merrylynn and Gale Balmer, Bill Baldwin, Deb Yocum, Carmen Rennie, Alvin Hale, Marion (Jack) Lloyd.
George Godfrey, Sister Virginia Pearl, Bob Pearl, William O. Wamego, Elwanda Lloyd and Carmen Rennie are Potawatomi. Alvin Hale was Cherokee. (Photo by Father Robert Pool, Sept. 23, 1988)
St. Philippine Duchesne Memorial Park - Trail of Death diary wall. GPS N-3814324 W-9456646.
Located at the former St. Marys Sugar Creek Mission on 1525th Road 5 miles west of Highway 7, about 3 miles south of Centerville or 20 miles south of Osawatomie.
The diary plaques were edited and condensed from the official government 1838 diary by Shirley Willard and Judy Cecrle in 1988. The plaques were printed by Hardesty Printing, Rochester. They were decoupaged on wooden plaques by Bill Paxson, Logansport, in 1989. One set was kept by Fulton County Historical Society and is exhibited only during the Trail of Courage Living History Festival in September each year. The other set was given to the St. Philippine Duchesne Memorial Park. Bob White, head of the local Knights of Columbus, made the fieldstone wall and installed the diary plaques. After about 10 years the wooden plaques deteriorated and were replaced by Plexiglas plaques with yellow lettering. The statue in front of the plaques is the Holy Family dressed as American Indians. (Photo by Bill Willard, 2004)
St. Philippine Duchesne Memorial Park - Holy Family statue by Trail of Death diary wall. GPS N-3814324 W-9456646.
This is a close up of the statue of the Holy Family dressed as American Indians, in front of the Trail of Death Diary Wall. Erected by Bob White, Overland Park, Kansas, and Knights of Columbus in 1989. (Photo by Shirley Willard, Rochester, Indiana, 1989.)
St. Philippine Duchesne Memorial Park - seven wooden crosses. GPS N-3814105 W-9456654.
The crosses have metal plaques with names of the Potawatomi who died here 1838-1848. Among them is Alexis Menominee, age 50, died April 15, 1841. (Chief Menominee was baptized Alexis in Indiana.) The names of the Potawatomi were furnished by the Linn County Historical Society from their translation of the burial records. The crosses were erected in 1989 by Bob White and Knights of Columbus. Many Potawatomi come to search for the names of their ancestors on the crosses.
Groups of Potawatomi were removed from Northern Indiana in 1837, 1838, and 1840. About 600 Potawatomi died here in the 10 years this was a mission. The effects of the terrible march and disease that killed so many on the Trail of Death contributed to the many deaths the next 10 years.
Pictured above are members of the Trail of Death Commemorative Caravan in 1998. (Photo by Shirley Willard, 1998, at the end of the caravan.)
St. Philippine Duchesne Memorial Park - new Father Petit memorial. It has boulders from each of the four states and one from St. Louis. GPS N-3814105 W-9456654.
Erected in 2003 and dedicated by Trail of Death Commemorative Caravan at end of the trip. The project was coordinated by Margaret Twardosz Colbert, a Forest Band Potawatomi, who was living in Junction City, Kansas. She got the small stone from St. Louis, Missouri. The Indiana and Illinois boulders were hauled there by Bill Willard - the Indiana boulder donated by Rex Bowen, Rochester, and the Illinois boulder donated by Frank Griffin and son Snake Redhawk Griffin, Quincy, Illinois. The Missouri and Kansas rocks were donated by Tom and Rita Moylund, LaCynge, Kansas. The boulders were moved into place by Bud Lauer, Knights of Columbus, who also arranged to have the names of the states sandblasted unto them.
The plaques were sponsored by Fulton County Historical Societys Indian Awareness Center and Bill and Shirley Willard, Rochester, Indiana; by Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Shawnee, Oklahoma; by the descendants of Joseph Masse/Moss and Zoe Langlois, Potawatomi (led in this project by Margaret Twardosz Colbert, Junction City, Kansas); and by Tom Hamilton, Warsaw, Indian, who designed the plaques, a descendant of Abram Burnett, full blood Potawatomi who was on the Trail of Death. The sketch of Father Petit is from an 1837 George Winter painting, courtesy of Mrs. Cable Ball, Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo by Bill Willard, 2004)
St. Philippine Duchesne Memorial Park - Trail of Death map. GPS N-3814324 W-9456646.
The map contains an error: Exeter and Quincy are reversed. It also shows the last part of the route taken by Philippine Duchesne when she went from St. Charles, Missouri, to Sugar Creek Mission, Kansas, in 1841. Erected by Knights of Columbus, Osawatomie, Kansas. (Photo by Bill Willard, 2004)
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