In the following days-after having passed through the territory of the Shawnee and the Delaware, where the only notable thing we saw was a Methodist college, which, for reasons easily understandable, had been erected in the midst of the best Indian territory ...
--- Father Nicholas Point, 1841.
North Building of the Shawnee Methodist Mission, 3403 W. 53rd Street - Fairway, KS
In 1839, the Reverend Thomas Johnson relocated the Shawnee Methodist Mission to its present location in Fairway from its original 1830 location in present day Wyandotte County. The new site was more centrally located and provided an opportunity to serve multiple tribes. In addition two other Shawnee Indian mission properties, Shawnee Baptist Mission and Shawnee Quaker Mission, were located on the northern route from Westport through Johnson County.
The missions were established to convert the Indians to Christianity and to “civilize” Native American children. Lessons included classes in English language, basic academics, agriculture, and manual arts such as spinning, weaving and carpentry.
The missions were often used as meeting places for travelers beginning their westward journey. In 1843, John C. Fremont, a noted westward explorer, camped near the Methodist mission before heading west. Dr. Marcus Whitman, a missionary physician, stayed at the Methodist mission before joining Fremont’s party. next slide