Mound builders were region’s first residents

Michael Bushnell
Publisher


This week we’re shifting gears and coming back to our Historic Northeast roots with a profile of our own Indian Mound located at Gladstone and Belmont Boulevards.


We’re going to defer to a piece written by J.W. Chandler, President of the Kansas City, Mo., Archeology Society for a book published by the Northeast Optimist Club in 1983 entitled “Northeast Families / Communities, Kansas City, Mo. 1983.”


In 1884 Samuel King purchased land from the United States government. The high land overlooking the Missouri and Blue River valleys included an Indian mound. Years of neglect, picnickers, erosion and indiscriminate digging left only a faint resemblance of the former mound.


As early as 1877 the Kansas City Times reported a Judge Hunter and a group investigated two mounds on the Scarritt place and reported burials and burned stone hearths.


In 1923, Edward Butts, curator of the museum located in the public library, excavated what is now known as Indian Mound. Butts excavated four directions from the center of the mound. Each trench was 50 feet long and five feet deep. Butts reported finding arrow and spearheads, flint knives and stone grinding tools used for processing grain. He noted the soil used to construct the mound was foreign to the area.


The mound building period in North America began as early as 3000 BC with modest mounds covering shallow graves and reached its peak with the building of Monk’s Mound in Cahokia, Ill. which measured 98 feet high with a base of 16 acres. It was thought to have been constructed by the Mississippian people between 900 AD and 1100 AD.


Excavation of other mound sites has been conducted by the Smithsonian Museum in the Riverside and Parkville area, resulting in many Hopewell Mississippian artifacts being recovered.


After much indiscriminate amateur digging, the Northeast mound was re-sculptured in 1937 by the Parks Board working with the Works Progress Administration, reconstructing the mound back to what was thought to be the original shape and dimensions. The flat top and absence of any human remains would indicate a temple mound with some sort of structure on top.


Examination of pottery, projectile points and presence of charcoal could date the mound. However, the location had probably been visited and used by prehistoric peoples and various indigenous tribes such as the Osage or the Konza people for over 10,000 years.


Interestingly, in 1940, the Parks Board passed a resolution to move the city’s Scout statue from Penn Valley Park to the Northeast Indian Mound. During a Wed., July 17, 1940 meeting, Parks Commissioners Moore, Peters and Chandler introduced a resolution to move the iconic Cyrus Dallin sculpted Scout statue because the Indian mound overlooking the Missouri River Valley would be a more fitting and realistic location for a statue of that nature.


Another reason was because North Terrace Park was lacking in ornamentation, having only the Colonnade at the Concourse and the Thomas Hart Benton memorial at Benton Boulevard and St. John Avenue, and Penn Valley Park already having a “cluster of statues and statuary within its confines.”


The move, according to a Kansas City Star article published on July 19, 1940 was to quell the vandalism that the statue was suffering at the time and the Northeast location would have been a more fitting and safer location. The Municipal Arts Commission never approved the resolution so The Scout statue stayed put in Penn Valley Park.

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • Sears, Roebuck & Co.

    December 2nd, 2020
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher Just in time or the holidays, we bring you this postcard of the iconic Sears Distribution Center […]


    Remember This? Rubber toys

    December 2nd, 2020
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor The development of children’s toys followed the development of new vehicles. Once the gas-powered farm tractor was […]


    Remember This? Paper decorations

    November 25th, 2020
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Gobble, gobble! Make room on your Thanksgiving dinner table for this turkey decoration, then just fold it […]


    Thanksgiving Greetings

    November 25th, 2020
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher What Americans celebrate as Thanksgiving is traditionally tied to a three-day feast involving the Pilgrims after their […]


    The Wish Bone

    November 18th, 2020
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher Phillip Sollomi opened the Wishbone Restaurant in 1948 in a renovated private residence, just north of the […]


    Remember This? The Rival Crock-pot

    November 18th, 2020
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Cooks were able to take their daily cooking tasks “out of the Space Age and into the […]


    Remember This: Coffee Flavored Candy

    November 11th, 2020
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor If there’s still candy rustling in the bottom of the trick-or-treat bag, the remainder may be better […]


    The Westgate Hotel

    November 11th, 2020
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher The Westgate Hotel was constructed at the junction of 9th and Main and Delaware in 1916 at […]


  • Chocolate Treats at the Loose-Wiles Biscuit Company

    November 4th, 2020
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher In today’s market, a case could easily be made against Joseph Loose for collusion and the sharing […]


    Remember This? Bazooka Bubble Gum

    October 28th, 2020
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor What type of goodies will you find in your trick-or-treat bag? Among your candy favorites, you’ll likely […]


    Ghostly guests at Kansas City’s Coates House

    October 28th, 2020
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher The foundation for the Coates House, originally the Broadway Hotel, was laid in 1857 prior to the […]


    Remember This? Candy Cigarettes

    October 21st, 2020
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor What type of sweets will you find in your trick-or-treat bag? Candies that were once popular may […]


    A chardonnay with spirits please!

    October 21st, 2020
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher Originally built in stages between 1900 and 1935 on a 240-acre hillside just outside the county seat […]


    Ghostly Guardians at The John B. Wornall House

    October 14th, 2020
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher The description on the back of this Chrome style postcard published by James Tetrick, 619 W. 33rd […]


    Remember This? Peanut Butter Kisses

    October 14th, 2020
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor What type of sweets will you get in your trick-or-treat bag? Once you’ve gobbled your favorites, there […]


    Ghostly check-ins at the Elms Hotel

    October 7th, 2020
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher For the month of October, since Halloween everywhere else seems to be cancelled, we here at the […]


  • Northeast Newscast


  • Faces Of Northeast


  • Remember This?


  • retorts illustrated by bryan stalder


  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.