GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH IN OTTAWA COUNTY
by John Schehrer
CEMETERIES: There is no cemetery at Picher. Most people who lived there for a long time are buried at G.A.R. cemetery at Miami. This includes folks from Commerce, Cardin, and Quapaw, towns that are also without a cemetery. Another large cemetery is Greenlawn Cemetery. It is north of Picher several miles and in Kansas. Baxter Springs, Ks. Cemetery is another location. Many miners came from Jasper and Newton Counties, Missouri and may have been buried there instead of in Ottawa County. FUNERAL HOMES: Check all area mortuaries. There is a funeral home directory listing most of these places and just about all funeral directors have one. MINING AND COUNTY MUSEUMS: Dobson Museum at Miami, Picher Mining Field Museum, Baxter Museum, Galena Museum, Dorothea B. Hoover museum at Joplin all have lots of mining pictures. Although they may not know it, most of their mining pictures are from the Picher field. There is lots of historical and genealogical information stored at these places.
COURTHOUSES: Miami, Ok; Columbus, Ks; and Carthage, Mo.
ARCHIVES: Besides having much material on each county, the state historical society at Oklahoma City has microfilm of old newspapers including those that are no longer published. Same goes for the Kansas State Historical Society at Topeka, Ks. Also, bound copies of original papers are available at the Dobson Museum at Miami, Oklahoma.
BOOKS: "The History Of Ottawa County" by Velma Neiberding is a great source of information on Ottawa County towns, lead and zinc mining, native americans, and just about everything that happened in this county. This book can be found at the Miami Public Library, Dobson Museum, and Joplin Public Library, as well as other locations in the area. The book also contains biographies of many citizens who lived in the area. I have heard that another book containing genealogical information is being worked on. Also, Mrs. Neiberding was very interested in Native Americans from the county and wrote many articles for the local papers about their history and folk lore.