Bed & Bath
The Mabelle's History
Mabelle Kennedy, for whom the house is named, came to Oklahoma in 1891 in a covered wagon with her parents. They had been warned of the risks but years later she said, "It was a delightful trip ... It was a picnic to me and I was sorry when it was over." The family eventually settled in Ralston, which was "... as big as any town in Oklahoma at that time."
After schooling at Oakland College she met her future husband, Edmund Kennedy, a young Kansas City banker. After their marriage they moved to Pawhuska, where he bought the National Bank of Commerce in 1909. Mabelle raised five children, but her husband died in 1936 leaving her the bank and five Osage County ranches. She had no commercial experience but, undeterred, she studied banking and ranch management to learn business methods.
Mabelle served as mayor of Pawhuska and held various political and administrative posts, for example as a delegate to four national Democratic conventions. She served on President Truman's inaugural committee, and he appointed her Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, the second woman to hold such a position, and later appointed her to a goodwill commission to Brazil.
In 1974 she was honored with a "Mabelle Kennedy" day in Oklahoma. In 1980, when Mabelle received the fourth annual Pioneer Woman Award, Governor George Nigh said she was "... highly deserving and a natural recipient because of her true pioneer heritage and lifelong civic involvement."
She explained that she had been named May Belle after two aunts, but at school she couldn't write the "y" correctly. Her mother, believing she should have a voice in how she was named, assured her, "From now on, you are Mabelle."
Mabelle was "deeply touched" in 1975 when a new road was named the Mabelle Kennedy Highway, ending a 23-year struggle to improve links between Ponca City and Pawhuska. "I prayed to live long enough to see this highway finished," she said, "I'm going to live to enjoy it."
Mabelle Kennedy died in 1981 at the age of 93.
THINGS TO DO
Immaculate Conception Church
I have lived in Europe and have toured some of the most famous and impressive cathedrals in the world. None have stained glass windows quite like those at the Immaculate Conception Church in Pawhuska.
Osage Nation Museum
Start your study of the Osage Nation with a visit to the Osage Nation Museum. The oldest tribally owned museum in the country, it offers free admission .
Ben Johnson Cowboy Museum
The new Ben Johnson Cowboy Museum is a great place to learn more about the cowboys, cowgirls, and western heritage in Osage County. It is located near downtown at 201 E. 6th Street.
Take a tour with Roaming the Osage
Every first visit to Pawhuska should begin with a guided tour by Roaming the Osage Historic/Scenic Tours. A fantastic 90-minute overview of the community and its history.
Tallgrass Prairie Preserve
At 39,650 acres, the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve is the largest protected remnant of native tallgrass prairie on earth. With about 2,500 free-ranging bison, any visitor to the preserve has a good chance of spotting one or more of these majestic creatures.
Woolaroc Wildlife Preserve and
Hidden away in the rugged Osage Hills, Woolaroc was established in 1925 as the ranch retreat of oilman Frank Phillips. The ranch is a 3,700 acre wildlife preserve, home to many species of native and exotic wildlife, such as bison, elk and longhorn cattle. It is also a museum with an outstanding collection of western art and artifacts, Native American material, one of the finest collections of Colt firearms in the world, and so much more.
Beautiful spotless home, remarkable furnishings and an outstanding host! James anticipates your needs before you even know you need it. He makes you feel comfortable in his historic home.
A remarkable home that is a statement to the grandeur of the past, with all amenities of today. James is a delight and shares stories of the home and the town. We had a wonderful stay in the Red Bud room
James and Kathie were so wonderful. Their warm welcome and hospitality made us immediately feel right at home. The home is beautifully decorated, has some great personal touches in each room and you will find an amazing view of the area from the terrace. We enjoyed delightful conversations in the evenings and they were so kind and helpful in giving us ideas of places we should visit in the area. We definitely look forward to our next opportunity to stay at The Mabelle.