Thoh-dah Prairie. Photo: Bruce Schuette.

Thoh-dah Prairie

Osage word for "peace."


Pronuniciation of "thoh-dah," the Osage word for peace or peaceful.

About Thoh-dah Prairie

In December 2021, the Missouri Prairie Foundation (MPF) purchased this 154.8-acre, original, unplowed prairie, which had been owned by members of the Neuenschwander family for many years. This purchase was made possible thanks to a bequest from the late Edgar “Ed” W. Schmidt of St. Louis and a grant from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) Conservation Land Acquisition Program.

“Thoh-dah” is the Osage word for “peace” or “peaceful.” In 2022, MPF made a request to the Osage Nation to use their word to name the prairie, and the Osage Nation granted permission. The name recognizes the Osage heritage, which is intertwined with prairie, as well as the sense of well-being that this prairie imparts. The name also honors Ed Schmidt, who worked for peace in many areas of his life.

Valley Center, the neighborhood around the prairie, was formerly known as German Valley until anti-German sentiment during the World War I-era precipitated the change of name. The community is anchored by the Valley Center United Church of Christ, founded in the 1870s. The church still stands at the northeastern corner of the prairie, and is the home of an active congregation, although the original church building was completely destroyed by a 1916 tornado that tore a 10-mile wide path through the area.

This rolling upland, dry-mesic sandstone/shale prairie has swales draining to the north, south, east and west, and includes a small pond. Prior to MPF ownership, this prairie was used for the production of prairie hay and its beauty was enjoyed by its previous owners and the surrounding community. The site supports at least 14 remnant-dependent plants, and three species of conservation concern are known from the site: Mead’s milkweed (Asclepias meadii), prairie grass pink orchid (Calopogon oklahomensis), and the prairie mole cricket. Future studies will provide additional information about the biological diversity of this prairie.

Read about the prairie dedication in this Missouri Prairie Journal article, and the 2022 Prairie BioBlitz at Thoh-dah Prairie.

2022 Floristic Integrity Report: Cook Meadow, Linden’s (Plot 3), and Thoh-dah Prairies by the Institute of Botanical Training, LLC

2022 Missouri River Bird Observatory Breeding Bird Surveys on MPF Properties (includes Thoh-dah Prairie)

Printable Tri-Fold Brochure for Tho-dah Prairie



Thoh-dah Prairie is located approximately 5 miles south of Deepwater and 3 miles northwest of Lowry City, in St. Clair County, Missouri; MDC’s Chapel View Prairie is located approximately 5 miles to the northwest.  From Deepwater, take HW13 S for approximately 5 miles, turn right onto NE 1126 Road for approximately 1 mile, the prairie is on the left. Parking: Valley Center United Church of Christ has graciously allowed for limited parking at its property whenever it does not have events. By GPS, N38 11.1291 W93 46.1723 (in decimal degrees, 38.18510649374715, -93.75938366642859).

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