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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])

Report concerning Indians in Iowa,   pp. 221-223 PDF (1.5 MB)


Page 223

REPORT CONCERNING INDIANS IN IOWA.                     223 
ship of the Secretary of the Interior and thus dispose of one phase of the
"Indian problem" in Iowa. 
The sale of intoxicants to the Indians has been reduced to the minimum, and
but very few cases of drunkenness have been reported. Doubtless there have
been some infractions of the laws, and liquors in small quantities have been
smuggled onto the Indian lands, but the difficulty encountered in getting
one 
Indian to testify against another Indian in such cases presents an insurmount-
able barrier to prosecuting the offender successfully. 
One murder has marred the otherwise peaceful life of these people during
the past year, the granddaughter of the chief being the victim. The circum-
stances and conditions surrounding the commission of this crime were peculiar,
and gave rise to many theories and conjectures, both as to the cause or causes
which led up to the commission of this dastardly act and as to who was the
guilty party. This girl and a young man to whom she had been formerly 
married (Indian custom), but from whom she had separated for cause, were
seen together late on the evening of March 4. 1905, and soon after the said
date she was. reported missing, and while diligent inquiry and search was
made for her, no tidings as to her whereabouts was obtained until, April
14, 
her dead body was found some 4 miles west of the Indian camps, and less 
than one-half mile from where she and the young man referred to above had
been seen together on the prior date; but no evidence could be obtained that
would connect him with the crime, so he was released. It is conjectured that
some of the Indians are conversant with the details of the sad affair, but
abso- 
lutely refuse to testify against the criminal. Much loose talk was indulged
in 
by people not conversant with conditions on the reservation, or the habits
of 
the Indians, and the thought was freely and frequently expressed that the
crime was the outcropping of factionalism, but the fact that all of the parties
suspected of having any knowledge of the crime belonged to the same faction
effectually disposes of this theory. After a careful study of the conditions
and circumstances affecting the parties most interested, I am of the opinion
that it was purely a case of jealousy and revenge. 
The tendencies and trend of the everyday life of these people is decidedly
in the direction of higher ideals in their social relationship and moral
condi- 
tion, as is observed in the fact that there are less divorces (Indian custom)
than heretofore, less drunkenness and brawls among them, and that more of
the applicances of civilization are being introduced into their domestic
life. 
The young men dress almost exclusively in citizens costume, and a large pro-
portion of the middle aged men do likewise. 
While it will be observed that the acreage under cultivation by the Indians
during the present year remains practically the same as last year, the crop
is 
more diversified, there being a much larger proportion of small grain than
here- 
fore and a correspondingly less number of acres planted to corn. Some of
the older fields have been sown down to grass, thus indicating a growing
tend- 
ency toward diversified farming. To emphasize this statement, I herewith
submit for comparison the number of acres cultivated by them in the different
crops mentioned: Field corn, 375 acres; oats, 180 acres; wheat, 18 acres;
millet, 10 acres; sweet corn, 35 acres, for canning; gardens, 50 acres, planted
to squaw corn, potatoes, beans, squash, etc. 
A very large proportion of these crops have been well cultivated, and will
yield fair returns. Estimates of this yield are given in the statistics accompany-
ing this report. 
The school at this agency has been fairly successfnl during the past year.
The highest enrollment was 82, and the average attendance about 72, the 
attendance being quite regular. There were no runaways, and no deaths at
the 
school. Two pupils were sent home on account of failing health, and two 
were discharged because of misconduct. While it is patent to even a casual
observer that these Indian children have not been subjected to careful home
training and sometimes do not yield readily to the restraints of school life,
yet 
constant, consistent, well-directed effort does accomplish wonderful results
in 
modifying these naturally wild dispositions and bringing them into harmony
with the idea of our higher civilization, and as their ideals are 'enlarged
and 
elevated their progress toward a higher standard of American citizenship
will be 
accelerated. 
W. G. MALI:N, 
Superintendent and Special Di~bursing Agent. 


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