About This Place
Council Grove is a city in Morris County, Kansas, United States. It was named after an agreement between European Americans and the Osage Nation about allowing settlers' wagon trains to pass through the area and proceed to the West. Pioneers gathered at a grove of trees so that wagons could band together for their trip west. It is the county seat of Morris County. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 2,182.
Council Grove was one of the last stops on the Santa Fe Trail heading southwest. The first European-American settler was Seth Hays, who came to the area in 1847 to trade with the Kaw tribe, which had a reservation established in the area in 1846. Hays was a grandson of Daniel Boone. In 1858, the town was officially incorporated by the legislature. Hays also opened a restaurant in 1857, the Hays House, which is said to be the oldest continuously operating restaurant west of the Mississippi River.
The town has 13 sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. One is the Post Office Oak. Travelers left their mail in this designated tree to be picked up by others going in the right direction. General Custer of the United States Army slept here with his troops during the American Civil War, under a large tree known now as the Custer Elm.