CHILOCCO INDIAN SCHOOL.
Arkansas City Traveler, April 5, 1882.
The following extract from a letter received by Hon. C. R. Mitchell, from Senator Plumb, will explain itself.
"I have succeeded in getting on the Indian appropriation bill, in the Senate Committee, a provision for the erection of an Indian school at some point in the Indian Territory, near the south border of Kansas and convenient to the Ponca and Pawnee Reservations.
"The appropriation for the building will be $15,000, and for teachers, etc., $10,000. The building is to accommodate 150 scholars."
Traveler, May 31, 1882.
Indian Industrial School.
The Indian Industrial School to be located in the Indian Territory, just south of Arkansas City, is no longer a myth. Word has just been received from Senator Plumb that his amendment to the general Indian appropriation bill, appropriating $25,000 for the Indian Industrial School, has become a law. The bill requires the school to be located in the Indian Territory, near the south line of the State of Kansas, convenient to the Ponca and Nez Perce reservations. The site selected is on the banks of the Chilocco, near the place where the three large springs flow into that stream.
$15,000 of the present appropriation is to be used in erecting buildings, and $10,000 to run the school for the first year. This is the best location we know of in the United States for such a school. An abundance of stone of the very best quality can be found nearby for all building purposes, and a better agricultural district cannot be found anywhere. The school will be convenient to all the Agencies, so that the distance to be traveled by the students will not be a drawback to attending it, and the farmers of Bolton Township have no superiors in the State, and thus the students will have the advantage of observing first-class farming in the immediate vicinity of the school. We predict that the school will have a full attendance, also, for the reason that the scholars are afforded an opportunity to see their relatives and friends occasionally, and will feel more at home than in Pennsylvania.
They will also be far enough away from the uncivilized tribes to prevent their unruly influence being felt. It will have a tendency to make an industrious class of people of the tribes south of us, and will develop the resources of the best agricultural district in the Indian Territory. It means the occupancy of a large district of the now unoccupied lands near the south line of this county by the class of Indians who are anxious to become first-class farmers and stock raisers. It also means the shipment of the different kinds of commerce to and from this section of country at some time in the near future. It means incalculable benefits to the Indians, business for the businessmen of Arkansas City, and prosperity for Southern Kansas, if the present intentions are carried out as they should be. Our people will give every encouragement to such an enterprise, and we wish it the best of success.
Arkansas City Traveler, August 23, 1882.
Major Haworth, U. S. Inspector, with Haskill, architect, of Lawrence, Kansas, are here looking out a location for the Indian Industrial School. Mr. Haworth has examined about all the Territory in the section where the school is proposed to be located, and pronounced it as fine lands for the purpose as it is possible to find, and he is selecting out of the elegant lands just south of us two of the most suitable sections to be used for the purposes of the school.
He has been engaged for several days in surveying the lands, and has in his employ Commodore Topliff and Chas. Schiffbauer, who are a whole team, and if the lines and corners are not found, it will be because they are not findable.
We did not get a description of the building to be erected, but have been informed that it will consist of one large main building, with two wings with east front, and will contain a large school room, two recitation rooms, office, dormitories, kitchen, dining room, laundry, etc., all finished and furnished in modern style to accommodate 150 pupils for the present.
Mr. Haworth brought the architect with him so that he could examine the ground as to the location of the building before drawing the plans and specifications. Mr. Haworth is not like some of the U. S. Inspectors we have seen, but when he has work to do, pulls off his coat, and does it with a will; he has shown remarkably good judgment in the selection of these lands, and has taken the trouble to examine them before selecting, and hence knows what he is getting. We are all anxious to see this school a success, and from the present outlook we have nothing to fear.
Arkansas City Traveler, September 6, 1882.
Indian Inspector Haworth has located the Indian schools one-half mile south of the State line, and four miles from Arkansas City. This involves an expenditure of $25,000 for buildings, and $10,000 for schools for the first year. Fine, large buildings will be erected immediately, and schools established as soon as the buildings are completed.
Kansas City Indicator.
Traveler, December 27, 1882. The contract for the building of the Chilocco schools was let last Thursday to C. Schiffbauer, of this city.
Traveler, August 8, 1883. Dr. Carlisle, of East Bolton, has had the furnishing of the fine stone used in the Chilocco Schools, and says he last week fulfilled his contract therefor. The Doctor has one of the finest stone quarries in this section of country.
Arkansas City Traveler, September 26, 1883.
The Arkansas City Indian Industrial School.
As the building for the above institution is nearing completion, it is time for us to have something to say concerning it. The building was built under the direction of the Interior Department, and of course the school will be sustained by the government. Indian school inspector, Maj. J. M. Haworth, by whom the school was located, has full charge of the enterprise, and will himself select a superintendent, who will appoint the remainder of the employees for the various departments of the school. The superintendent is allowed four teachers, one clerk, an industrial teacher, and four mechanics, besides a matron, an assistant matron, cook, seamstress, laundress, etc. As it is an industrial institution, there are to be 900 acres fenced in for a farm, and on the start 400 cows will be placed in the fenced pasture. The children for the school are to be collected from the various Territory agencies, and the general course of instruction will be similar to that of the Carlisle school.
Arkansas City Traveler, October 24, 1883.
The Agency people and employees of the Cheyenne school are sorry to part with W. J. Hadley, who has so successfully conducted the Cheyenne schools. He goes to Arkansas City to take the superitendency of the new Indian school at that place. Mr. Hadley=s experience and ability assures success for that institution. Mr. Hadley and his estimable family will be greatly missed by both the whites and Indians of this Agency, as they are very popular among both. Transporter.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 9, 1884.
Indian Industrial School.
The pupils for the Indian Industrial school south of this city left the various agencies last Monday, and are expected to arrive at the schoolhouse about the 13th. Something over ninety children in all will start, taken as follows from the boys and girls of the various tribes: Cheyenne, 24; Arapaho, 8; Kiowa, 24; Comanche, 16; Caddo, 8; balance from the Wichita. They are all bright, intelligent children, anxious for advancement, and under the able corps of teachers will no doubt make rapid strides toward civilization. They have been selected by Major Haworth in person, who has just returned from a trip among the respective agencies in the interest of the school. This new temple of learning for the rising generations of red men and women will soon rank as high as the similar institution at Carlisle, Pennsylvania; and situated as it is, so much nearer the country from which its support is drawn, will afford greater advantages to the Indians. Parenthetically we may remark that it will also be of great benefit to the business interests of Arkansas City, the future great of Kansas.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 23, 1884.
THE INDIAN INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL.
ITS FORMAL OPENING ON SATURDAY LAST.
An Institution for the Advancement of the Indian Race.
The Indian industrial school, located just within the boundary line of the Indian Territory, some six miles south of Arkansas City, has from the beginning been an item of interest to our citizens, everybody feeling a strong personal pride in its rapid progress, and taking advantage of all opportunities to show its beauties to visitors in this garden of Kansas. The present magnificent structure is the result of Arkansas City enterprise, we might truthfully say. Arkansas City men were first to suggest and most persistent in pressing the great advantages offered by this locality for such an institution, and the result of their untiring efforts was an appropriation from congress providing the necessary funds, which has been supplemented by active work, so that today we have at our very doors a veritable temple of learning for the education and civilization of the Indian youth.
The building is located about six miles south of Arkansas City, one mile from the state line, fronting east. It is constructed entirely of stone taken from quarries within two miles of the building, is four stories high, and standing as it does on an elevation higher than the surrounding country, it presents a most imposing appearance, and can be seen several miles away. Haskell & Wood, of Topeka, are the architects, which is a sufficient guaranty of the general excellence of the work. The main building, containing the officers= and employees= departments, is 36 x 74 feet, with north and south wing each 20 x 542, all four stories. The west or rear wing is 28 x 88, three stories in height. Adjoining the main building and the western projections of the north and south wings, are two two-story additions, each 14 x 16; the north one used for the officersCkitchen downstairs and dining room on second floor; the south one has a boys= lavatory on first floor, and dormitory on second floor. The first floor of the main building is divided into industrial departments; second and third floors, employees= rooms; fourth floor, dormitory. In the north and south wings, the first floors are for recitation and playing rooms; the other stories for sleeping, sewing, and nurse rooms. The dining room and kitchen are on the ground floor of the west wing; the second story will be the main school room, and the third a dormitory. As completed, it represents an outlay of $25,000.
For the success attending the efforts of those who have long worked for this glorious result thanks are mainly due Secretary Teller and Commissioner Price. Their influence has always been in favor of the civilization of the Indian. They are zealous workers in the cause of Indian education, and will tend every aid in their power to all measures having for their object the elevation and true advancement of the coming Indian.
This building is only intended as a boarding school. A building designed exclusively for recitation purposes will be erected this summer. It is of excellent finish in every particular, and reflects great credit on Schiffbauer Bros., of our city, who were the contractors, and who furnished everything except some of the inside casing and finishing.
Belonging to the school are 1,280 acres to be used as an industrial farm. It is the intention to break 600 acres this summer, and fence the entire tract, which will be done by the Indian boys. One hundred head of cattle will be on the farm in a few weeks, when all the work will be thoroughly systematized and carried on under the supervision of competent instructors.
This school is to be conducted on the same plan as is the one at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and is in every way equal to that institution. At Carlisle pupils are received for a term of three years; they leave their homes expecting to return in that time, but if they wish to remain longer they may enter for another term of three years. This is the same plan at present adopted by Mr. Hadley, the superintendent, but it is his aim to have the length of a term fixed at five years.
Some three weeks since Major Haworth, United States superintendent of Indian schools, returned from a trip among the various tribes in quest of children. The trip was made in the dead of winter, under most trying circumstances, and at a time when the Indians were loath to send their children away; yet such is the confidence of the Indians in Major Haworth, who is known among them as ASim-po-quo-dle@ (ARed Beard@), that the response was very general. One of the chiefs, in making a speech, said no man, Anot even the great Washing-ton,@ commanded the esteem and trust of the Indians so fully as did Major Haworth.
The children arrived last Friday night, and on Saturday morning introductory or dedicatory services were held, conducted by the school officers and assisted by Rev. Fleming.
The exercises opened with singing by the Indian children, which was somewhat of a surprise to those who had an idea there was no music in the red man=s soul. Major Haworth then made quite a lengthy speech, telling the Indian children what the government had done for them, and what great possibilities were theirs if they but made the best of their opportunities.
Rev. Fleming, of the First Presbyterian Church, offered a short prayer, and then directed a few earnest words to the officers and employees, impressing upon them the responsibility resting upon their shoulders, and that they as teachers had it in their power to inaugurate a work of reformation that would sound their praises through all time. These speeches were translated into Kiowa and Comanche by Mr. Maltby, and from these tongues into Caddo and Wichita by Mr. Edwards, interpreter for the latter tribes. The children were then informed that the building was theirs for the purpose of bettering their condition, and they proceeded to wander about over the house, acquainting themselves with the myriad rooms, halls, closets, etc., and making themselves literally at home.
There are eight tribes represented so far: Kaw, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa, Comanche, Apache, Caddo, and Wichita. The Kaws send 4 girls, and 4 boys; Cheyennes, 22 boys, 12 girls; Arapahos, 8 boys, 4 girls; Comanches, 11 boys, 1 girl; balance from the Wichitas and Kiowas, swelling the number to 131C94 boys and 37 girls. The ages of these children range all the way from 6 to 23 years. The Pawnees will in a week or two send 6 boys and 6 girls. Children are also promised from the Sac and Fox, Nez Perce, Ponca, Otoe, Pottawatomie, and Shawnee Indians, and are expected within two weeks. Six chiefs accompanied the lot that arrived Friday: Big Tree and Dangerous Eagle, Kiowas; White Man, Arapaho;. Tukinish, Caddo; Lone Horse, Cheyenne; Left Hand, Arapaho. These chiefs will return to their homes this week.
W. J. Hadley, who for four years has been superintendent of the Indian schools at Cheyenne Agency, has accepted the position of superintendent of this school, and entered upon his duties last Saturday. He and his estimable wife have had a great deal of experience with Indians, are well qualified for the place, and are general favorites with those under their charge. Then there are fourteen teachers, who give instructions in the primary course of English, and in such industrial work as sewing, cooking, laundering, etc., for the girls. The boys are to receive instructions in carpentering, blacksmithing, shoemaking, farming, etc. Mr. Maltby, of Olathe, Kansas, who has been among the Kiowas and Comanches for a number of years, is retained as clerk. It is the intention to make the Indians self-reliant as far as possible. To illustrate, in the dining room, as soon as order has been brought out of the present chaotic state, the children will be arranged at the tables according to their advancement; waiters will be supplied from among the Indians themselves, leaving only one white person required in the room during meals to maintain necessary order. The culinary department, however, will always be in charge of a white person.
At present there is but the one immense building on the farm, but as soon as spring opens they will commence the erection of a school building for recitations, capable of accommod-ating 300 pupils; a commissary department; a permanent laundry; buildings for instructions in the various industrial branches, such as shoemaking, carpentering, blacksmithing, etc. A water tank and windmill will also be built, and water carried by pipes throughout the basement and probably into the officers= and teachers= departments. The entire 1,280 acres will be fenced and divided into fields, pastures, and meadows; the ground will be broken and put into crops as fast as practicable, and all the work incident to an enterprise of this nature carried on as rapidly and as systematically as their force will permit. One more year will see a miniature city to the south of usCa city peopled by a rising generation of Indians and those who are earnestly laboring to elevate the coming red man to the plane of respectable citizenship.
In conclusion, we will say that there is a general disposition among the Indians to educate their children. They want their sons and daughters to have clearer ideas of the realities of life, its everyday business and responsibilities; and under the able and conscientious corps of instructors employed in the Chilocco Industrial School, we feel sure these items will receive due attention, while every effort will be made to teach them a higher faith than that of their fathers, who still Asee God in clouds or hear Him in the wind.@ As yet there is some reluctance in letting the girls go away from home, but as the progress of the more favored ones is watched, no doubt all objections will give way to the desire to make strong civilized men and women of the coming generation. To which we say God=s speed.
Winfield Courier, May 1, 1884.
An Indian School.
Last Friday a party of our ladies and gentlemen visited Chilocco school, situated in the Indian Territory about five miles southwest of Arkansas City. The building is of stone, three stories above the basement, and was built and furnished by the government for the purpose of educating Indian children. School opened in January with three teachers and superinten-dents of sewing and cooking. One hundred and seventy-five children are now attending, ranging in ages from about eight to sixteen years, and representing seventeen different tribes. They were neatly dressed and well-behaved. The example in arithmetic on the board showed they learned quickly. Some of them play the organ naturally and most of them could draw without being taught as some flowers on the board proved. After they had sung the party started for home thinking they would accept the invitation to go again.
Winfield Courier, June 26, 1884.
ARKANSAS CITY REPUBLICAN.
Fifteen Kiowa Indians on horseback rode into town one day this week. To the stranger, they present a curious and interesting spectacle.
An addition to the Chilocco Indian school is now being built. It will be 20 x 70 feet, and two stories high, and will be used for bath rooms, laundry, and kitchen.
Arkansas City Traveler, October 22, 1884.
The new superintendent for the Chilocco Indian school turns out to be our old friend, Dr. H. J. Minthorn, formerly agency physician at Ponca Agency. We are glad to welcome him back to this country, where he has so many friends, and trust his stay will be permanent. He has for several years been located at Forrest Grove, Oregon, engaged in educational work. Dr. Minthorn is an energetic businessman, well liked by Indians and whites.
Arkansas City Traveler, March 11, 1885. Dr. Minthorn, superintendent of Chilocco Indian School, has tendered his resignation to take effect March 31. He is busy in getting things ready for his successor. Dr. Minthorn has been in the Indian service for six years, first as physician at Ponca Agency, then superintendent of Oakland Agency, then superintendent of Forest Grove Indian Training School, and last, superintendent of Chilocco Industrial School. He will probably (if agreeable to his successor) remain in the school for three months in some subordinate position, in order to have a better opportunity to settle his accounts with the department.
Arkansas City Traveler, June 10, 1885.
CHILOCCO INDIAN SCHOOL.
How It is ConductedCIts Uses and Objects Described.
A few days ago ye newspaper man took a pleasant ride to the Chilocco Indian School, to spend a day among the inmates of that pleasant retreat. A breezy drive of six miles along wheat fields coloring for the harvest, and corn recovering from the effects of a backward season, brought me to the entrance of the school reserve, and a drive westward of another mile over that ample domain brought us to the main building. A pleasant greeting from the superintendent, Dr. Minthorn, and an introduction to his estimable wife, gave assurance that our visit was welcome, and under the doctor=s guidance, we proceeded to look over the place.
It may be known to the reader that the late Major Haworth, Indian school inspector, the most useful and efficient man who ever devoted his services to the cause of the red man, procured a grant of $25,000 and a section of land from Congress to found an Indian training school. The rapid spread of the white population impressed on that excellent man=s mind the conviction that the two races could not much longer live apart. The hereditary hunting grounds of the red tribes are rapidly being turned into wheat fields and pasture land by the aggressive pale-face, and the march of events will very soon require of the Indian that he become self-supporting or depart to the happy spirit land, where, it is to be hoped, the surveyor=s chain will no longer disturb his serenity. Mr. Haworth=s idea in founding the school was to gather up the children of the various tribes in the Territory, and educate them together, in order to efface from their minds all tribal differences and infuse a common-race sentiment. The education given them is scholastic and industrial. One half the day is spent in the school room, and the other half in the field or other necessary pursuits. In the Hampton and Carlisle schools, the Indian children are taught various handicrafts, some of which will be of no service to them when they return to their people. But at Chilocco the tasks assigned them are just such as will be useful to them in the primitive mode of life they are likely to pursue: raising grain and vegetables, milking, the care of stock, learning the use of tools, and domestic service. Major Haworth=s plan also contemplated settling the graduates from the school on small farms of twenty or forty acres on the school reservation, where they can build homes of their own, marry, and bring up families. To this end he procured an executive order from President Arthur, issued July 12th, 1884, setting apart 13 additional sections of land, surrounding the original school section, for a school farm, making the entire area 8,960 acres.
Major Haworth selected the site on Chilocco Creek, a rich piece of land adapted for all farm purposes, with a natural spring which supplies the inmates with an abundance of cool pure water. The building is of stone, two stories, basement and attic, with a frontage of 110 feet. It consists of a main building 50 feet deep, with north and south wings, and a western extension 87 feet long. It has dormitories for 300 children, but is deficient in dining room and accommodations for officers and employees. To build necessary offices, congress lately apprropriated $5,000, which money is now being expended under the direction of Dr. Minthorn. A laundry was badly needed, and this is in course of erection, a commodious, substantial two-story frame house, with a water pipe connected with the spring, and a drying room on the second floor. The Indian commissioner allowed $3,000 out of the appropriation for this purpose, according discretion to Dr. Minthorn to invest the surplus, if any, in the purchase of wagons and teams. Enough remained to buy four teams, two wagons, and three sets of harness. With the remaining $2,000, the doctor is now erecting two hospitals (for male and female), a girls= workshop (for sewing), and a boys= workshop, where they may learn the use of tools. He has nine mechanics from this city engaged in the work, who board themselves and spend Sundays with their families. Barns and corn cribs are yet wanted, and a commodious shed for wagons and farm implements. Hog pens should be erected as a measure of economy to utilize the refuse from the kitchen and tables, and also a hennery to supply the employees with a few dainties. Their fare is plain enough.
THE SCHOOL BOOKS.
After a brief stay in the office and an introduction to several employees whom we found there, we were conducted by Dr. Minthorn to the schoolroom presided over by Miss Emma De Knight. The apartment is supplied with a recitation room and storage for school books. It is well lighted and ventilated and tastefully finished. The blackboards which run the length of the two side walls are surmounted with florid designs, in crayon, by an Indian pupil, who shows a natural art gift. The American flag and tutelary eagle are well drawn, and a study of dogs is really meritorious. There were 30 scholars at their studies, who spend the forenoon at their books, and who would be replaced by thirty others in the afternoon, these having tasks of various kinds assigned them. To prevent confusion and miscellaneousness, a detail lasts three months. It would be interesting to devote some time to this lady=s school, but the space at our command will not admit. Miss McIlwain and Miss Emma Pearson are the other school teachers; and it is but justice to say that all three are competent, devoted to their labor, and render efficient service.
The bell ringing for dinner, we were conducted to the refectory in the basement, where three parallel tables, ranged the length of the room, at which about 170 scholars were seated. Quiet was observed under the superintendence of Mr. Wind, an educated Indian, who in the capacity of butler, has charge of the dining room, the bakery, and the stores. The fare was plain but abundant, consisting of meat, vegetables, and bread, and was eaten with evident relish. The sanitary rules of this establishment may be fairly estimated when we mention that with 200 inmates (scholars and employees), there is not one on the sick list and there has not been a death since the present superintendent has been in charge.
After partaking dinner with the officers and employees, this writer was driven over the spacious grounds by Dr. Minthorn. A more charming spot could nowhere be selected, and the doctor expressed the belief that should the Indian country be organized into a territory, the capital would most probably be located in this neighborhood, as the geographical centre of the red man=s nation. Driving south some two or three miles, we came across the herd, consisting of 287 cows (sixty of which are milked for the schools), and fifty calves, in care of Mr. Gregory, who has charge of the livestock and the fences, and also superintends the milking. The milking is done at 6 in the morning and 4:30 p.m. Twenty-five or thirty boys perform this duty, who drive the animals into an enclosure; from these one-third are cut off and turned into the calf pen, where they are set upon by their bleating progeny, three of four calves often surrounding one cow in their eagerness to get a meal. The remainder are milked without any use of violence, although it is found necessary sometimes to tie up an unbroken cow until she gets used to the duties required of her. Lassoing a refractory bovine is better than a picnic to these dusky dairymen. No butter is made on the farm; the milk all being served to the children.
Mr. Houston is the school farmer, a man who says but little, but whose work tells his worth. With the crude help of some of the larger boys, he has put in 160 acres of corn and 60 acres of oats, which are doing finely, besides 50 acres of sod corn and 30 acres of pumpkins. He has also sowed 100 acres of millet. Kitchen farming is done on a comprehensive scale. The potato patch is 8 acres in extent, and as we drove by a score of little boys from Co. D were busy with their hoes cutting down the weeds.
Eight acres are sown to turnips, 7 to carrots, 6 to watermelons, 6 to sorghum, 22 to beets, and one to radishes, which last crop has already been consumed. Onions were not planted for want of seed. Next fall 200 acres of wheat will be sown, for which crop 100 acres of sod have already been broken. Mr. Houston says his boys show a fondness for farm work, very few of them betraying a disposition to indolence. During the spring 300 peach trees and as many shade trees were set out.
The assistant superintendent is Mr. Munson, who has charge of the buildings and supervision of the boys, and Dr. Minthorn speaks of this gentleman as a valuable aid. The ladies employed in the school, besides the teachers whom we have named, are Miss Hogan, the matron; Miss Hayes, assistant matron, who has care of 67 of the smallest boys; Mrs. Wind, the sewing mistress; Miss Quackenbush, the cook; and Mrs. Chapin, the laundress. Under Dr. Minthorn=s efficient superintendence, the entire machinery of this school and farm moves like clock work; the right persons have been fitted into the right places; and a contented, prosperous, and well ordered household is the result.
Arkansas City Traveler, August 5, 1885.
The new superintendent of the Chilocco school, Walter R. Brennan, arrived in town on Monday, accompanied by his wife, and there being some school teams in town, the pair started for their new home after taking dinner at the Occidental.