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Early Indian Territory Photograph

Group Portrait at Pawhuska

An early Osage Agency, Indian Territory photograph, attributed to Thomas M. Concannon by the Oklahoma Historical Society. The photograph is a very early outdoor group portrait of people at the Osage Agency, Pawhuska, Indian Territory.

The Osage Agency was established by Quaker missionary and Indian Agent Isaac T. Gibson in 1872, on Bird Creek in the Osage Nation, Pawhuska, Indian Territory. The place was named in honor of Paw-Hiu-Skah (White Hair), chief of the Thorny Valley People, one of the tribe's divisions. In later years the area experienced an oil boom, with public lease auctions in the 1910s-1920s conducted by Colonel Ellsworth Walters beneath the Million Dollar Elm, near the Osage Agency. 

The photograph shows the Osage Agency Superintendent, Employees and Citizens of Osage Agency, Indian Territory, 1875.  Approximately forty Osage people with a number of Agency staff sit among trees. Indian Agent Isaac T. Gibson (with bow tie slightly askew) appears in the right sitting close to several Osage. By 1876 Gibson was succeeded by Cyrus Beede as Indian Agent at the Osage Agency. A print of this image in the Oklahoma Historical Society is attributed to Thomas M. Concannon, a pioneer western photographer who operated in Independence and Coffeyville, Kansas.


Early original photographs of Native Americans and the Osage Agency are quite rare in the market.

Condition Description
Original albumen photograph. 8.25 x 5 inches, on 10 x 8-inch card mount. A bit of age toning. Some spotting and wear to the mounts. Overall condition is quite good.