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Properties Owned and Maintained by MCHS

303 W Main St
Home of the Morris County Historical Society
Open Wednesdays 1 - 4 and by appointment

The historic Carnegie Library was completed in 1917. This charming brick building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, showcases a projecting entrance with an arched transom, limestone keystones above the door and windows, brick quoins at the corners and along the entrance bay, and a wooden entablature with a brick parapet along the roof. Reflecting a common feature of Carnegie libraries, the entrance is accessed by a staircase, symbolizing the "ascent to knowledge." Serving as the City Library until 2003, it still retains the original charging desk and shelving from its years of operation. Attracting visitors from across the country, the library stands as a testament to Council Grove and Morris County’s rich cultural heritage.

201 Wood St
The house was built by Seth Hays in 1867. While Hays never married, he did adopt a daughter in 1867. Hays' slave, "Aunt Sally," lived in the basement and cared for the family until her death in 1872. The home, operated by the Morris County Historical society, is open in the summer on Sunday afternoons and by appointment.
Post Office Oak exterior with full tree.


20 E Main St

The name of the museum comes from the large oak tree, believed to have been 270 years old when it died in 1990, is alleged to have served as an unofficial post office. Travelers could leave messages in a cache in the base of the oak tree. The tree trunk stands next to the Post Office Oak Museum. This was originally a one-family home built in 1864 with a brewery on the lower floor and a 18 x 25 x 9 foot cave to the east of the house. The brewery provided refreshment for travelers on the Santa Fe Trail.

Seth Hays home-1.jpg


This image captures the historic Dunlap Learning Academy located in the northern part of town. It served as both a school and a boarding facility for students and educators. In 1891, the Academy was forced to close due to financial difficulties. Subsequently, the building was sold and split into two parts. Alfred Parrish purchased one section, integrating it into his existing residence in town. The other section was relocated to a farm north of the area. Following the closure, the students of the Academy were dispersed to various rural and urban schools in the region. These schools had varying policies on segregation, a practice that continued until the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision in Topeka in 1954, which mandated desegregation.

Morris County Historical Society

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