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Month: December 2020

Ordinance No. 3783 Info

All About Ordinance No. 3783 (Mask Ordinance)

“On July 9, 2020, the City Council passed Ordinance No. 3783. The Ordinance requires the wearing of masks or other face coverings in public spaces; addresses the requirements of persons, businesses, organizations, and non-profit associations; outlines specific exemptions from the requirement of wearing masks or other face coverings; and addresses the penalties for a first, second, and any subsequent violations of the Ordinance. A complete copy of the Ordinance can be found at or in the office of the City Clerk, 509 5th Street. This summary is certified by the City Attorney.”

This Ordinance will go into effect on Wednesday, July 15th, 2020 after publication in our local newspaper.

Now, what does this mean for you as a citizen of Osawatomie? Some of you may not notice a change in routine as many of these places had already implemented similar restrictions for their guests.


Dine-In:  You’ll be required to wear a face covering when you enter the restaurant and while you wait for your table. Once you’re seated at your table with your family or friends, you may remove your face covering and enjoy your meal or beverage. When you’ve finished, the face covering goes back on, you pay your bill, and exit the restaurant. Your face covering can be removed once you’re outside, and you are not required to wear one in your vehicle.

Takeout: You’ll be required to wear a face covering when you enter the restaurant and while you wait for your takeout meal. Your face covering can be removed once you’re outside, and you are not required to wear one in your vehicle.


You’ll be required to wear a face covering when you enter a retail business in Osawatomie, and wear it for the duration of your shopping trip. Once you’ve left the business after your purchase, you may remove your face covering and continue on your day.


Face coverings are only required in outdoor public space when social distancing of 6ft cannot be maintained. For instance, if you’re on a walk or run you do not need to wear a face covering. Face coverings should not be worn while swimming at a public pool, but are required for those sunbathing or using the pool facilities (concession stand or restrooms), when 6ft of distance cannot be maintained at all times. “Public space” means any indoor or outdoor space or area that is open to the public; this does not include private residential property or private offices or workspaces that are not open to customers or public visitors.

Other Facilities:

Face coverings are required when indoors of any public space (including banks, churches, City-owned facilities, etc.) when 6ft of social distancing cannot be maintained at all times. “Public space” means any indoor or outdoor space or area that is open to the public; this does not include private residential property or private offices or workspaces that are not open to customers or public visitors.


Our enforcement approach is aimed at being educational rather than antagonistic. We want to educate people on the importance of face coverings during a pandemic, and what the risks are to both public health and our economy should people decide to ignore it.

We’ve developed an online form (found here) that allows people to submit noncompliance from businesses or individuals, and City staff will contact those with violations. Hopefully, after meaningful discussion, that first violation will be the only violation and we won’t have to revisit with them. However, for those who continue to fall into noncompliance, we will issue them a citation on their third violation with an associated fine of $25. On their fourth violation, a citation and fine of $50. For every subsequent violation, another citation and fine of $100.

PLEASE do not call law enforcement about face covering noncompliance, except in cases of actual emergency.


The goal of this Ordinance is to take a proactive approach to the COVID-19 pandemic, rather than a reactive one. The state of Kansas has seen sharply rising rates of infection and larger outbreaks of community spread in recent weeks, and this Ordinance hopes to keep Osawatomie’s hard-fought low numbers from seeing the same spike. We cannot prevent the virus 100%, but we can slow it down and help keep our more at-risk populations a little safer.

There is also significant consideration being given to the possibility that a continued, sharp increase in positive cases could trigger another statewide stay-at-home order which would force our already struggling local business into another indefinite period of shutdown. We want to do everything we can to avoid that and this Ordinance, and others like it popping up in cities across the state, is one of the tools that can help navigate us away from even stricter regulations from our State leaders.

For complete information on this Ordinance, including full information on exemptions, please visit our Ordinance page.

The Soldiers Monument

The Soldiers Monument was dedicated August 30, 1877, and was erected to honor the five men killed in the Battle of Osawatomie (August 30, 1856). The men buried beneath the monument are Fredrick Brown, George W. Patridge, David Garrison, and Theron Parker Powers. The body of Charles Kaiser was never found but his name appears on the stone. The name of John Brown also appears on the north side of the shaft but he is buried in North Elba, New York.

The monument was paid for by friends and relatives of those buried beneath it, and was planned and erected by “The Monument Association” which later disbanded and gave the ground and monument to the city.

The Mills House

William M. Mills, an oilman from Pennsylvania, drilled over 400 oil and gas wells in his lifetime. He drilled the Norman #1 well in Neodesha, Kansas which was the first successful commercial oil well west of the Mississippi and opened up the mid-continent oil field. His companies supplied gas to the towns of Osawatomie, Paola, and Spring Hill.

In 1902, he used profits from these ventures to build a magnificent home on First St. in Osawatomie. The Queen Anne style house was designed by the famous architect, George Barber, and cost $49,000 to build. It has:

  • 7,000 square feet
  • 9 fireplaces
  • elaborate woodwork
  • ornamental ceilings

During the mid-1900s, the house was converted into several apartments and was allowed to deteriorate. Fortunately, the home is now being restored to its original beauty by former State Senator Doug Walker and his family. The home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

MoPac Railroad Depot Museum

Located next door to the Osawatomie History Museum, the MoPac Railroad Depot Museum is an exact replica of the town’s original train depot. Dedicated in 2002, the depot museum houses the majority of the Osawatomie History Museum’s railroad artifacts and memorabilia.

The Kansas Republican Party was organized in Osawatomie in 1859 and Horace Greeley, founder and editor of the New York Tribune, attended the first convention on his famous overland journey to promote a transcontinental railroad.

The railroad, then the St. Louis-Kansas-Arizona line, reached Osawatomie in 1879, and later became the Missouri Pacific and now the Union Pacific and was for years the principal employer in Osawatomie. The Union Pacific still operates a major switching operation in Osawatomie.

Our history as a railroad town is rich and storied.

Osawatomie History Museum

The Osawatomie History Museum has plentiful exhibits on the history of Osawatomie, including our storied railroad past, the Osawatomie State Hospital, our community as it was pre-Civil War, the rural culture of small-town-Kansas, and the enduring social history of Osawatomie.

An exact replica of the original train depot was erected next door and dedicated in 2002 as the newest wing; it houses the Museum’s railroad memorabilia.

Contact Us
628 Main St.
Osawatomie, KS 66064


Tuesday – Sunday
1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
or by appointment

Old Stone Church

The church was built by Rev. Samuel L. Adair and his son Charles of native stone hauled from the hills around the city. It was dedicated on July 14, 1861. Rev. Adair was many things to the community a kind hearted abolitionist, a minister and a mental health pioneer. The brother-in-law of John Brown, Rev. Adair first served as a volunteer chaplain and then the first official chaplain at the Osawatomie State Hospital.

Renovation was started on the church on October 7, 1948 and rededicated July 14, 1963 as an All Faith Chapel. The building can now be rented for special meetings and weddings. If you are interested in using the Church for your special event, please contact our Utilities Department at 913-755-2146, Option 1.

John Brown Memorial Park and Museum State Historic Site

John Brown, considered a fanatical abolitionist by some and a martyr by others, is closely associated with the proslavery and free-state struggle of the Kansas Territorial period (1854-1861). John Brown followed five of his sons to Kansas in 1855 where he saw an opportunity to help make Kansas a free state — bringing a wagon load of weapons along with him. He made headquarters at the log cabin belonging to his half-sister Florella Adair and her husband, the Reverend Samuel Adair.

In May of 1856, a small party consisting mainly of Brown and his sons raided the cabins of proslavery men, killing five of them. Up to that time there had been little bloodshed between proslavery and free-state groups. Brown’s raid brought retaliation. On August 30, 1856, Brown and his followers were attacked by a large force of border ruffians. In the “Battle of Osawatomie” five of Brown’s men, including one of his sons, were killed and the town of Osawatomie was burned.

Brown was in and out of the area over the next few months and took part in the border skirmishes near Ft. Scott. Later, on December 23, he made a raid into Missouri to liberate slaves and other property from slaveholders. The group was hidden in the Adair Cabin and later safely made their way to Canada and freedom.

The John Brown State Historic Site is located in beautiful John Brown Memorial Park, which was dedicated by President Teddy Roosevelt in 1910. The family-oriented park sits on the site of the Battle of Osawatomie and houses the John Brown Museum, which includes the original Adair family cabin. Through artifacts and interpretation, visitors learn about the struggles of these early pioneers.

The Adair cabin, originally located just outside of town to the west, was carefully dismantled and relocated to John Brown Park. It is encased in a protective stone pavilion to help preserve it for generations to come.

It took hard work and courage to take a firm stand against the spread of slavery into Kansas Territory. Kansas was admitted as a free state in 1861.

First Land Office

This land office building was built in 1854 and was used by the first mayor of Osawatomie, H.B. Smith, and his brother who were the first land patent agents in the territory. It was deeded to the city in 1954 by A.Q. Youngberg as a memorial to his wife.

Formerly a Tourist Information Center in the summers, it was operated by the Osawatomie Historical Society.

Dedicated May 18, 1995, the Trail of Death plaque, a memorial to the Pottawatomie Indians, is on this site.

Creamery Bridge

The Creamery Bridge, which spans the Marais des Cygnes River at Eighth St., is one of two Marsh Arch triple span bridges located at Osawatomie. The other spans the Pottawatomie Creek at Sixth St., and both are on the National Register of Historic Places.

James B. Marsh’s patented design used rainbow arches that would expand and contract along with the bridge floor under varying conditions of moisture and temperature. The Creamery Bridge, built in 1930, has a rainbow span reaching 140 feet into the air at its highest point. The Pottowatomie Creek Bridge was built in 1932, reaches 120 feet into the air, and contains 1,500 cubic yards of concrete and 313,000 pounds of steel. These are two of only eight Marsh Arch triple span bridges remaining in Kansas.