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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1879
([1879])

Reports of agents in Nebraska,   pp. 101-109 PDF (4.5 MB)


Page 101

REPORTS OF AGENTS IN NEBRASKA. 
1@co 
GREAT NEMAHA AGENCYy 
Nohart, Nebr., August 18, 1879. 
SIR: Thisagency is composed of two small tribes,  viz, Iowa and Sac and Fox
of ae Mis- 
souri, located upot contiguous reservations situated in Northeastern Kansas
ad South- 
eatern: Nebraska, containing some of the finest farming and grazing lands
in the two 
States. 
IOWAS. 
These Indians live in houses, which are furnished with the conveniences usually
found in the houses of the ordinary white settlers. Five families own and
operate sew- 
ing-machines purchased by themselves, Several families also have carpets
in theiT 
houses, the rags for which were made by themselves. 
A lmost every family has. A fenced field or farm ; five Indians have from
50 to 160 
acres each under fence,' and mostly under cultivation. They have planted
within the 
las6t three years 1,600 fruit-trees and 300 grape-vines. Almost every house
has its flour- 
ishing little orchard of fruit-trees; a number of families have wells near
their doors; 
two have good-sized barns with basement stables, and granary above, constructed
at- 
ihdividual expense, except the carpenter-work. 
The equivalent of one log and three frame houses. has been built during the
year; 
tVo of the frame houses being additions, 14 by 16 feet, one and a half stories
high, to- 
one-room log houses. For these new buildings individual Indians furnish from
$18 to 
$25 each in cash, and cart all lumber. For the log house they prepared the
log5 and 
raieed the house to the "square."  The log house, was erected in
lieu of an old one an- 
tenantable. One good house was destroyed by fire and a new one erected in
its stead. 
This gives the actual number of houses same as last year, but the quality
muech im- 
proved. 
The Iowas are practicaly self-supporting, there being much more produce raised
upon the reservation than they could possibly consume or their own support.
They 
receive no gratuitous pecuniary assistance from the government in the form
of special 
appropriations, their only aid arising from interest on stocks, bonds, &c.,
held by the: 
government, which was formerly paid to them largely as cash annuity, but
within 
the last few years has been partly diverted for the purchase of implements
of husbandry 
and raising the grade of the houses occupied by them. 
Their crop of corn the present year will be larger than ever before raised.
It has 
been well cultivated, and will abundantly reward the owner for his labor.
Their 
Wheat crop is also larger than has been raised for a number of years.  In
fact, in the 
way of agriculture there seems to be nothing but encouragement for them.
Notwith- 
standing several families have removed to the Indian Territory to settle
within the 
year, others have extended their farming and cultivate the land left vacant
by them. 
Several good houses are tenantless, made so by reason of the "exodus."
One Indian apprentice to the blacksmith and wheelwright was secured about
April 
1, wid seems to be making satisfactory progress. 
It is of the utmost importance to the lowas to have their reservation surveyed
with- 
out delay, as those who desire to remain upon it as their permanent home
should have 
some means of designating the boundaries of their respective claims, which
could not 
be encroached upon by any action on the part of that faction of the: tribe
which has 
seen fit to remove to the Indian Territory. Several families have expressed
a desire 
to take allotments, but this is impossible until a survey is made. Too much
import- 
ance cannot be attached to this subject. 
IOWA INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL. 
Oae industrial or manual labor school has been successfully conducted for
the lowas 
supported from the funds of the tribe. All children of school-going ages
have been in 
school during some portion of the year; the average monthly attendance for
ten and 
one-half months of continuous school being 371 out of a school population
of 46. The 
authority granted by the department-to withhold the annuity of all children
who were 
of proper age and did not attend school has had a salutary effect, there
being but one 
payment when it was necessary to enforce the authority ; that-being sufficient-to
cause 
the Indians to understand it was a fact. 
Eighty acres of land are cultivated for school purposes, producing all the
wheat, 
corn, pork, and vegetables, and in about one year more will produce all the
beef neces- 
sary for the support of the school. An Iowa Indian woman has been employed
as 
seamstress for the school, and has given general satisfaction. By comparing
the annual 
reports for several years past it will be observed that the average school
attendance hM 
increased each year. 
In January of the present year the industrial school building was destroyed
by fire, 
since which t1he children have attended school from their own homes, some
walking 
from three to four miles daily. As an incentive- t- reg-ls  atteadane- the
rR~itm  at- 


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