Ottawa is located in Franklin County, south of Lawrence on Highway 59, just north of Interstate 35. Ottawa is the county seat of Franklin County. Forest Park is the property of the city, and lies within its limits. It contains 40 acres, and lies on the banks of the Marais des Cygnes River.
Through the liberality of the city, the Chautauqua Assemblies, one the of largest and best equipped of all the Chautauquas, was provided with a large and convenient tabernacle, normal-class building, and assembly-hall. The Assembly had free use of the park during the meetings, and the people of the city and adjoining country took an active and earnest interest in the welfare of the Assembly. Ottawa's chautauqua was one of the biggest around.