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Pawhuska – The name means White Hair; it was given to Osage Chief Paw-hiu-Skah (spellings vary) after he took part in a battle in Ohio against American troops during the Washington administration. The name is believed to be a corruption of Harmony, for the old Harmony Mission in Missouri.

He tried to scalp a fallen officer, only to have the officer’s white hair (a powdered wig) come off in the chief’s hand. The chief thought the hair had great power – it had helped protect its wearer – and kept the wig with him for the rest of his life, taking the name White Hair as a result of his experience. Local artist Cha Tullis’ metal sculpture on the hill immediately west of town depicts an Indian war party.

Shot to death by a posse in northern Osage County when he was just 31, he would in death have a career twice as long as his meager lifespan, travel more, earn more money (for others) and achieve far greater fame and notoriety than he ever did in life. (I’ll get back to Elmer before we’re through.) Osage County. Here is bluestem grass that many call the best grazing land in America.

Here the wooded Eastern half of the nation fades away as the drier conditions of the West take over, inhibiting tree growth.

A Wichita chief was selected for this ‘honor.’ The taking of the scalp in 1923 understandably caused a rather nasty intertribal incident and the U. government banned any future scalp-hunting.” PEOPLE IN THE OSAGE Herbert Hoover – The future president, an orphan, spent summer months in Pawhuska after his uncle, Maj. During World War II more cattle were unloaded and loaded here than at any spot in the United States. It had two booms: first in agriculture (corn, alfalfa, cattle, hogs) and second as a shipment point serving the Burbank Field.Foraker – Located a few miles west of the preserve, it was named for a U. Once it had 2,000 residents; today it’s maybe two dozen.It is proud of its “Main Street oil well,” though one account says the well came first and the street was built around it. See the marker next to a tiny museum about the Tallant plant three miles north (alongside Oklahoma 11), a petrochemical pioneer that played a key role in World War II. A ghost town (a few residents remain) worth exploring.Blackland – Cattle loading area outside Tallgrass preserve on Bison Loop road.