Bates County Historical Society & Museum

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The Bates County Historical Society & Museum was established in 1961 and now is housed in the beautiful, old County Poor Farm, built in 1915. Sitting on the outskirts of Butler, the rural setting provides an excellent background for the exhibits and displays that tell the stories of the people who have called this county home. Research material is available and Original County and Tax record books are accessible to visitors. Many of Bates County’s early records were lost or destroyed during the Civil War; however, the 1863 Tax Record book was saved and is at the museum, along with a few other pre-War records and copies of the first plat maps listing early property owners. The museum has a small collection of letters, journals, photographs, family histories, etc. and is working to transcribe them. Researchers are welcome to contact the museum and we will do our best to respond to any inquiries.

Our stories are rich, our collections are impressive, and our hospitality is unparalleled! The Bates County Museum is Preserving Our History & Sustaining Our Heritage. We are honored to be a part of this website and are very grateful to the Kansas City Public Library for making this remarkable digital library a reality.

802 Elks Drive / PO Box 164
Butler, MO 64730