The Tribes who Lived and Hunted in Adair County

Truman State University was once the ancestral lands of many different Native American tribes. It was primarily used as a hunting grounds by the Ioway, Missouria, and Otoe tribes who shared the land equally. These tribes primarily hunted buffalo for a living until they came into contact with the French until they came into contact with the French with whom trade trade become an important part of their living. Much of their tribal history is intertwined because these three tribes share common ancestry with and through the Winnebago tribe in pre-contact times. The three tribes had split into their separate identities by the 1600s, but they never lost contact with each other and continued to intermarry. The introduction of European colonists in the late 1600s and 1700s irrevocably changed the Ioway, Missouria, and Otoe’s way of life. The Europeans brought many new tools and implements as well as diseases, such as smallpox, that affected the ways that the Ioway, Missouria, and Otoe interacted with each other and within their own communities. 

 The image to the right is an aerial view of Kirksville and the surrounding area. The black arrow points to the town of Kirksville. This area is mostly agricultural with some forested portions which show up as a darker blue-green on this image. At the time that the Native Americans inhabited this area this land was apart of the Plains culture. 

To learn more about these three tribes click on the links below.


Foster, Lance. “Overview of Iowa and Otoe Genealogy.” The Ioway Cultural Institute, 2013, Accessed December 2018. 

Ariel shot of Kirksville, Mo
Lund, Ken. "Kirksville, Missouri (7235176544)." 15 May 2012. Wikimedia Commons,,_Missouri_(7235176544).jpg.CC BY-SA 2.0.