Bill Conner, Osage Indian Chief, was mentioned in a number of Cowley County, newspapers. C. M. Scott, at one time editor of the Arkansas City Traveler, was a friend of Mr. Conner, and published a number of news items about him. The early issues of the Traveler are extant. They did not get microfilmed. As a result, only from area newspapers did we glean stories of early settlers and persons like Wm. Conner.

In my original story re Osage Mission, I ended with the following paragraph re Bill Conner, which was found in the March 11, 1875, issue of the Winfield Courier.

ABill Conner, an Osage Chief, was recently in Arkansas City. Pausing in front ot the litle meeting house for a moment, he went in and took his seat among the congregation. The preacher was discoursing on the text of the >sheep and the wolves,= and had evidently been drawing a contrast between the two subjects. AWe who assemble here from week to week and perform our duty are the sheep, now who are the wolves?= A pause and our friend Conner rose to his feet. AWa=al, stranger, rather than see the play stopped, I will be the wolves!= The preacher was vanquished.@

We learned from the July 10, 1874, issue of the Winfield Courier that Bill Conner, a Little Osage Chief, was married to Miss Angie Pyne, of Osage Mission, last week. [This item drew my attention as it mentioned Osage Mission and was thus used by me in article. Since then, Kay has decided the information on Bill Conner should be in a separate article; as a result, the article about the sheep and wolves was removed from Osage Mission story.]

Other items re Bill Conner follow.

Winfield Courier, October 2, 1874. AWe have received a letter from Bill Conner, an Osage, in which he states there need be no fear from Indians entertained at this place, as the Osages and wild tribes are not on good terms, and would war on one another. William only speaks for a portion of the Little Osages, when he makes his assertion. He also informs us that the 150 ponies seen by our scouts, on the Salt Fork, belong to the Little Osages, and are being herded there on account of the grass being destroyed on their reserve.@

Arkansas City Traveler, February 21, 1877.

AWm. Conner, well known in this vicinity and the Territory as the most intelligent Osage Indian in the Territory, made us a call last week to renew acquaintances. >Bill= was on his way west, as a guide to the party of Ponca Indians inspecting the country west of the Arkansas. Since leaving this place some years ago, Wm. Conner has donned citizens= clothes and has a farm of 107 acres on the Cana (later called the Caney) River, with a number of ponies and hogs.@

[NOTE: About this time, Mr. Miller, of the 101 Ranch, was working with the Ponca Indians on locating them on a new reservation from south of Baxter Springs. They, of course, located near what has become Ponca City, Oklahoma.]

Winfield Courier, June 5, 1879.

[Letter sent to the editor.]


EDITOR COURIER:The Pawnees held a council last Saturday and declared their intentions to go back to their Reserve in Nebraska if the Government didn=t pay them according to the treaty. No one seems to know why they are not paid, and the delay is shameful and is working a great hardship upon them. The government should hold faith with the Pawnees, if with no other tribe. It can=t be recollected when they were at war with the whites, and I believe them as loyal men as exist today. Go among them and call for recruits today, and every soul that can cling to a horse will come forward and tell you as they did the agent in their council, they were ready to die for the government. This they said with tears in their eyes, while they begged to be told what wrong they had committed that they should be treated so negligently.

As ASun Chief@ said:

AWe feel as though we had killed some of the Great Father=s children, yet we know that we have not.@

I like the Pawnees. They are men all over. When they go on the plains, no Indian can cope with them, and when they talk, they are listened to. It is not so with the Osages. With them it is Ahow@ to your face and an arrow to your back. Of course, there are exceptions. My friend, Ah-hun-ke-mi, is one. (I put this in for fear ABill Conner@ will see it, and ABill,@ or AAh-hun-ke-mi,@ is a special friend of mine.)