History & Heritage
The Historical Museum is filled with many artifacts including several pioneer items, Native American relics and arrowheads, and collections of military objects, such as the cannonball that struck the courthouse in 1862 amidst the Battle of Kirksville during the American Civil War.
The Veterans Memorial and Memorial Plaza commemorate the sacrifices of area men and women who have served in the military. Alongside the Veterans Memorial is a WW I German Howitzer as well as a Civil War Cannon. (See also Veteran Names for more information.)
During the American Civil War, Kirksville was the site of an important 1862 battle which cemented northern Missouri for the Union. The mass grave of executed Confederate soldiers is marked in the Forest Llewellyn Cemetery, a few blocks west of Kirksville’s Square. (See also the Llewellyn map for more details.)
The Log Homestead and Coal Miner’s Museum contains coal mining items, farm antiques, and antique two story log house from the 1850’s, a log smokehouse, an antique log outhouse, and memorabilia from local businesses. Visitors can also trace the history of coal mining in Northern Missouri from its peak into the mid-1900′s.
The Exhibition of Amtrak History is a former Amtrak Mail Handling Car (MHC). It houses the complete collection of the Amtrak Historical Society as well as many artifacts that have been donated over the years.
The Museum of Osteopathic Medicine showcases the evolution of Osteopathy from its beginnings in Kirksville up until present time. A collection of original documents and other artifacts span 150 years, and a two-story atrium adjacent to the museum houses the birthplace log cabin of Dr. Andrew Taylor Still (1828-1917), founder of Osteopathy, along with the original two-room classroom building of the American School of Osteopathy, founded in 1892.
Located in Thousand Hills State Park, rock formations containing historic Native American carvings can be found in a sheltered exhibit. Visitors can walk on a path along the walls to read information about the petroglyphs and then match up the symbols on the rocks below. More information on the petroglyphs can be found by visiting Thousand Hills Park Petroglyph Shelter.
The Ruth Towne Museum and Visitors Center offers a place for visitors to become acquainted with Truman State University and its rich heritage. The Museum is open to the general public, with many exhibits showcasing the history of the University, the history of Kirksville, and the history of Missouri.
At the Pickler Memorial Library on the campus of Truman State University, visitors can find a variety of rare books and historic artifacts in the Special Collections department, including ancient Cuneiform tablets.