David Lykins, a Baptist missionary, who built a log mission on the
    banks of Wea Creek.  The county was settled by Indians who had
    emigrated here from Illinois in 1832.  They had been living in the
    Northwest Territory, now Illinois and Indiana, but as the white man
    Peorias and Kaskaskias were granted 150 sections of land in Miami County
    by the Federal government under the jurisdiction or the Osage River Agency.

    Under the Treaty of 1854, the Peoria, Wea, Piankishaw, (sic) and
    Kaskaskia tribes united to become the Confederated Peoria tribe.  These
    tribal members were remnants of the mighty Illinois Nation. Illinois means “
    tribe of superior men.” Today, their descendants are Peoria Tribe of Oklahoma.

    The land for the town (403 ½ acres) was in the head right of Baptiste Peoria.
    The name Paola, evolved from the Indian pronunciation of the word Peoria, in
    honor of Baptiste Peoria. The Paola Town Company was formed in 1855.
    Paola City was incorporated in 1859. Streets were laid out at a angle and east
    and west streets were named after various tribes having reservations in this
    part of the territory.

    The town was built around a square given to Paola by the town Council
    headed by Baptiste Peoria. The gift carried a proviso that no building would
    ever be built on it. Baptiste made the square a playground for his people, and
    many horse races were held there.

    Baptiste Peoria lived in a log house just outside of Paola, now 314 North
    Pearl Street, where he ran a store and hauling service. The Indians got their
    water from Mitchler Spring which has never gone dry at this location, now on
    the grounds on Penwell Gabel funeral home. A cupola from the demolished
    Brescia Hall at the Ursuline Convent, is now over the spring.

    An Indian burial ground was located at 402 North Pearl Street and extended
    back the distance of the full lot. David L. Peery requested permission from the
    City Council in 1910 to move the graves from this location to Oak Grove
    Cemetery. These graves are now in the Oak Grove Addition in the Paola
    Cemetery, and were a part of the tombstone preservation project started in the
    fall of 1992.

    Baptiste Peoria married a Miami Indian named Mau me wah. The couple had
    several children, four of whom survived and lived in Paola. Several buried in
    Paola Cemetery.

    After the death of Mau me wah, Baptiste married Mary Ann Isaacs Dagenett,
    whose ancestors were French and American Indian. She came to be known
    as Mother Batees and was highly reguarded by the community and was
    influential in the selection of Paola as the county seat. After Batiste moved his
    people to the Oklahoma Territory, Mary Ann remained in Miami County and
    became a U.S. citizen. Mary Ann Isaacs Dagenett Peoria is buried in the Indian
    Cemetery south of Louisburg. Baptiste was the chief of the Peorias for 30
    years and died in the Indian Territory, Oklahoma on September 13, 1873, at
    the age of 87.

    Early symbolism tended to pattern life and the motifs were generally harsh
    and severe. By the latter 19th century attitudes had changed and the art work
    was more focused on a life in the hereafter. These stones show willows,
    meaning earthly sorrow and the doves are symbolic of the soul and purity.

    Paola Cemetery is located at the intersection of Miami and West Street. To
    find Lot 397, enter Paola Cemetery at the Otttawa street entrance off of West
    Street. It is the second lot on the north side of the drive in the first lot row of the
    section marked Oak Grove Addition.
Paola Kansas
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Miami County Historical Museum - 12 E. Peoria, - Paola, KS 66071 Phone: 913-294-4940
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