The Little Osage River, a tributary of the Osage River in eastern Kansas and western Missouri, rises in southeastern Anderson and northeastern Allen Counties of Kansas as three short streams — the North, Middle, and South Forks. The forks converge in northwestern Bourbon County and the river flows generally eastward past Fulton, Kansas into Vernon County, Missouri, where it passes Stotesbury and collects at the Marmaton River. On the boundary of Vernon and Bates Counties of Missouri, the Little Osage River joins the Marais des Cygnes River to form the Osage River, six miles west of Schell City, Missouri. The 88-mile-long river derives its name from the Osage Nation.
Compiled by © Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, updated April 2022.