This mission was founded in 1847 for Osage Indians
living along the Neosho and Verdigris rivers. A manual
labor school for boys was established by the Jesuits
and a department for girls by the Sisters of Loretto.
Highest recorded enrollment was 239. In 1848 the first
Catholic church in southern Kansas was built. During the
Civil War when property was laid waste throughout the
border the mission was always spared and school was never
suspended. When the Osages moved to Indian territory
in 1870 white children gradually replaced the Indians.
The school became St. Francis Institution for boys and
St. Ann's Academy for girls. St. Francis closed in 1891
and St. Ann's was destroyed by fire in 1895. Notable
in service here were Mother Bridget Hayden and Fathers
John Schoenmakers, John Bax and Paul Mary Ponziglione,
the latter an Italian nobleman. A town, Osage Mission,
organized in 1867, became St. Paul in 1895.