HomeMembership InfoDirectoryAbout OsawatomieCommunity LinksPast Spotlights
Business of the Month

About Osawatomie

Osawatomie is a community of 4,600 people located in the rolling hills of eastern Kansas on the Marais des Cygnes (marsh of the swans) River. The town is in southwest Miami County, just 30 miles south of the junction of I-169 and I-35 which is the southern edge of the Kansas City metropolitan area.   Osawatomie is a great place to live, work and raise a family.  We feature a strong sense of history, high quality of life, excellent schools, and quality public services.
History of Osawatomie

Osawatomie was named for two Indian tribes, the Osage and the Pottawatomie, for which the two rivers bordering Osawatomie were named.  The Osage River was called the Marais des Cygnes (marsh of the swans) by French explorers and trappers living among the tribes, and the Kansas Legislature later adopted the name "Marais des Cygnes" in Kansas because there is another Osage River in Kansas.

Geography placed Kansas in the middle of the nation, and history and fate brought John Brown to Osawatomie (a year after it was founded) where he made his stand against slavery.  In 1855, Brown was called by his sons who had come west and settled in Franklin County.  Because Osawatomie, a free-state town, was surrounded by pro-slavery communities, the radical Brown came with a wagon load of guns.

The hill upon which John Brown met battle in 1856 is now John Brown Memorial Park, dedicated in 1910 by former President Theodore Roosevelt.  John Brown's Cabin and his bronze statue in the park indicate that Osawatomie considers Brown a hero rather than the villian some historians claim.

See additional information on our many historic sites by visiting the City of Osawatomie website.  

Economic Development

Census Information

Business Climate:  Osawatomie's location along U.S. Highway 169 offers prime visibility for businesses and easy access for customers.  Kansas currently offers a unique incentive for all Osawatomie businesses.  A portion of their capital investment can be returned as either a tax credit or as a cash rebate.  Unlike many state incentives, this program assists all business types and does not require a minimum investment.  

Northland Project:  The Northland Project is a vision that will capitalize on the these valuable assets that Osawatomie offers:

  • Easy access and centralized shipping via 169 highway
  • Rail access
  • A large pool of qualified workers
  • Nearby colleges and universities
  • Nearby county airport for private aircraft
  • Potential tax and land incentives
  • Large tracts of available land