HomeAmericaHistory of Huron Indian Cemetery

There are some incredible stories about various Native American historical sites, and many historians actively research them all over the US and Canada.  However there’s often a lack of documentation about many sites, and the only records are verbal ones mainly with tribal elders and chiefs.

Here’s one interesting site called the Huron Indian cemetery which has a fascinating history and stories shrouded in mystery.  There’s online material available in some places although often this is Geo restricted or only accessible to academics with the appropriate clearance,   You can often bypass these blocks by accessing through a residential IP based in the correct location but this is not always the case.

Published Public History: (Missouri State Archives)

In July of 1843, 664 Native Americans were moved from Ohio to Kansas. While camped along the Missouri River, illness swept through the camps and 50 to 100 of the Native American died. Their bodies were carried across the river to the Kansas Territory, to a ridge which overlooked the Kansas and Missouri Rivers

Huron Indian Cemetery was established to bury the bodies.

A few years, the Wyandotte (Native America) were granted the land including the ridge and used as a cemetery.

By the 1890s, the Huron Indian Cemetery was prime land and developers, wanting to purchase the cemetery land, negotiated with the Wyandotte Nation in Oklahoma. In 1906, the Secretary of the Interior was instructed to sell the land with the remains to be moved to the Quindío Cemetery.
Two daughters of Andrew Syrenus Conley (who is buried in the cemetery) moved onto their family’s burial ground, erected a small shelter that was nicknamed “Fort Conley,” padlocked the gate, and posted a sign, “Trespass at Your Peril.” They maintained a vigil for over 2 years and in 1909 Eliza (Lyda) Burton Conley became the first Native American woman admitted to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Although the court was sympathetic it didn’t not rule in her favor. In 1913 Congress repealed the bill authorizing the sale of the Huron Indian Cemetery, but the dispute between those wanting to preserve the cemetery, and those wanting to develop the land continued year after year.

One year Lyda Conley (pictured above) was arrested for shooting a policeman in the Huron Indian Cemetery. Even the placing of the Huron Indian Cemetery on the National Register of Historic Sites years later in 1971 didn’t stop those wanting to exploit the land.

Controversy continues until this day.

It is believed that there are over 400 bodies buried in Huron Indian Cemetery. And the facts are we will never know where all the Native American bodies are. 400 bodies 80% unaccounted for.

Further Reading: Proxies for Instagram, John Harris, 2017