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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1905
Part I ([1905])

Reports concerning Indians in Idaho,   pp. 196-202 PDF (3.3 MB)


Page 199

REPORTS CONCERNING INDIANS IN IDAHO.                  199 
tract of wild land. The Indians are contented with their lot as a whole,
but 
many of the younger men are forging ahead, looking forward to the time when
old age creeps in; and are trying to lay aside something for their future
when 
they can no longer maintain the energy they now feel. 
Statistics.-The census of the Bannock and Shoshoni Indians taken June 30,
1905, gives the population of both tribes, which can not be taken separately
on 
account of the intermarriage of the two tribes, as follows: 
Total population (males. 677; females, 655),---------------1 332 
Males over 18------------------------------------------424 
Females  over  14 .........__-                           457 
Children between 6 and 16--------------------263 
A. F. CALDWELL, 
Superfntendent and Special Disbursing Agent. 
REPORT OF SUPERINTENDENT IN CHARGE OF NEZ PERCt AGENCY. 
LAPWAI, IDAHO, July 31, 1905. 
The location and surroundings which constitute our headquarters have been
so often described that further information on the subject is deemed not
neces- 
sary. 
Population.-The Indians belonging to this reservation are classified, to
wit: 
Number of males, 742; number of females, 820; total, 1,562. They are known
as Nez Percs. They, as a tribe, however, resent this nomenclature, which
denotes "pierced noses," and contend that they should be called
by their proper 
name "Nu-me-poos." 
Vital statistics.-The present census of these Indians shows a decrease of
17 
since that of a year ago. There were, according to our best information,
23 
births and 40 deaths, the principal mortality being caused by an epidemic
of 
measles, which first made its appearance in one of the public schools, which
was 
attended by 8 Indian children. The disease spread rapidly and resulted fatally
in a great many cases. Outside of measles, the reservation has been remark-
ably free from disease. These Indians are above the average in cleanliness
and 
their sanitary precautions are well advanced. Tubercular trouble is a tribal
enemy, and nearly every family is marked more or less by its ravages. 
Allotments and improvements.-Nearly all have allotments in severalty. The
basis of acreage is a patent for 80 acres each of good agricultural land.
Where 
the allottee did not receive his full 80 of tillable land the balance was
given 
him in the ratio of 2 acres of grazing land for every acre of farming lnd
not 
patented. These farming allotments are nearly all under cultivation and are
fairly well improved with wire fences and houses, barns and granaries. These
improvements in most cases have been made by white tenants, and are usually
the consideration for the first year's rental. There are, however, quite
a numo 
ber of the Nez Perce who made good use of their land payments and had 
houses and barns constructed that would do credit to any farming community.
In taking their allotments the families usually selected for their home a
tract 
lying well in some of the valleys through which runs a creek or river. These
streams are bordered with sufficient wood for fuel and are fed with numerous
springs which afford the Indians an abundance of pure water. The balance
of 
the family allotments were taken out on the high plateau, where at the present
time enormous crops of wheat, oats, and barley are being grown. 
Timber reserves.-The agreement of May 1, 1893, not only provided that each
Indian should have an allotment of 80 to 160 acres, but it provided also
for the 
reservation of about 32.000 acres of timbered land, so distributed that all
mem- 
bers of the tribe could in the future have sufficient building material.
Accord- 
ingly sixteen different tracts were set aside for their exclusive use and
benefit. 
Two sawmills were soon afterwards constructed and put in operation. Millions
of feet of lumber have been manufactured, at a cost to the Indians not exceeding
$4 per thousand. 
Agriculture.-While most of these Indians cultivate small patches of corn,
potatoes, and other garden truck. and plow up a small field for hay, very
few 
have made a genuine attempt at farming. These few do well and demonstrate
the fact that all could do as wvell providing they were so disposed. The
upland 
allotments are especially adapted to this branch of imdustry, and I am sorry
to 
Dote and record the indolence of so manny of these well-provided-for Indians.
I can offer only one expedient to cure the "tired feeling" now
in possession 


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