Osawatomie is a city in Miami County, Kansas, United States, 61 miles (98 km) southwest of Kansas City. The population was 4,645 at the 2000 census. It derives its name from two streams near by, the Osage and Potawatomie. It is the only town of its name in the United States, and possibly the only Osawatomie in the world. In 1900, 4,101 people lived in Osawatomie; in 1910, 4,046. Osawatomie was chartered in 1883 and in 1890 became a second-class city. The commission form of government was adopted in 1914.
Osawatomie was one of the free-State settlements made by the Emigrant Aid Society in 1855. On August 30 1856, abolitionist John Brown lead the defense against a pro-slavery invasion of the town. After he and his followers were dispersed, the town was almost completely demolished by the proslavery men.
Osawatomie is the site of the oldest state psychiatric hospital in Kansas, first established as the "Kansas Insane Asylum" in 1866. It was renamed "Osawatomie State Hospital" in 1901. At opening, it had only 12 beds, but the number quickly grew to the point where the patient to physician ratio in 1945 was 854:1. Osawatomie State Hospital was the last Kansas hospital to abandon the use of restraints, continuing to use straightjackets as late as 1956. These practices have since been discontinued. The hospital currently has 176 beds and serves 46 counties in Kansas.
Osawatomie is surrounded by the two rivers. There is an Indian legend stating that a village in between two rivers cannot be touched by a tornado, since there is a body of water on each side. A tornado has never touched down in Osawatomie.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.5 square miles (11.6 km²), of which, 4.4 square miles (11.5 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (1.11%) is water.
There were 1,781 households out of which 34.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.9% were married couples living together, 13.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.5% were non-families. 31.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.03.
In the city the population was spread out with 27.2% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 30.0% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 14.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 90.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $29,104, and the median income for a family was $37,172. Males had a median income of $30,650 versus $23,043 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,353. About 10.9% of families and 12.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.5% of those under age 18 and 10.6% of those age 65 or over.