United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1905, Part I
Reports concerning Indians in Kansas, pp. 224-227 PDF (1.9 MB)
226 REPORTS OF THEB DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR. is invested in improvements. Several good houses are now under contract, to be paid for either from money received for rents or from the proceeds derived from the sale of inherited lands. Inherited lands.-Under the act of May 27, 1902, for the sale of inherited Indian lands there have been about 5,000 acres sold, the average price received being a fraction over $20 per acre. A number of the tracts were bought by men who are improving them for the purpose of making homes, and no better plan could be introduced for the civilization of the Indian, the white purchaser becoming a neighbor to the Indian, and in the daily contact with the civilization of the white man they acquire more or less of his customs. In a few years it means free schools on the reservation for the white and Indian children. I am more than ever convinced that if these lands were offered for sale upon the plan suggested in my annual report for 1904, on annual payments at a low rate of interest, the heirs would obtain a better price, and a class of men would become the purchasers who would become citizens of the reservation, and thus benefit the heirs in the additional price paid for the land, as well as the substantial improvements made thereon, enhancing the value of the adjoin- ing property. Civilization.-The Indians of this reservation are progressing slowly toward civilization and eventually to citizenship. While there is much to discourage the worker among these people, when the progress and changed conditions of the life of the Indian on the reservation are carefully considered, the advancement made within the past quarter of a century is surprising. It is from the tepee to the well-built, and in some cases tasteful, cottage, furnished with many of the comforts of civilized life; and one of the hopeful signs, especially among the school graduates, is the growing desire manifested by them for better and more comfortable homes-a looking upward to better things. Industries.-There are no industries on the reservation except those of farm- ing and stock raising. A number of the more progressive members are thus engaged quite extensively, and their influence on the less progressive is being manifested in the increased number who are either cultivating their land or employing labor to assist them in cultivating their allotments. Missionary work.-The Methodist Church has erected a small chapel in the reservation and has a minister and his wife. as missionary workers. The Catholic Church also does missionary work on the reservation. Health.-There has not been an epidemic of any disease on the reservation the past year, and but little sickness. Tuberculosis is very prevalent, and seems to be on the increase, and is the enemy that will eventually exterminate the race if it is ifot checked. Extracts from the report of the agency physician, F. H. Welty, are as follows: These Indians, I find, like others, In my long experience of over sixteen years in the Indian service, are subject to consumption, scrofula, and such degenerative changes as result from phthisis. The mixed bloods are very much subject to the degenerative changes resulting from intermarriage. In the young there is a great deal of skin disease, eczema being the most frequent. Births are very frequent, but owing to neglect of common laws of health the death rate is high among infants of a few months of age. I find a good deal of malarial disease, although we have not yet reached the fall, when the extensive decomposition of vegetable matter will release the miasm of this dis- ease in abundant quantities in the creek bottoms, where these people mostly build their homes. I look for a great deal of sickness from this cause this fall. We have had no epidemic of any contagious disease except influenza, with a few deaths, complicated with pneumonia. In March we had three cases of varioloid. All recovered (in same family). I immediately vaccinated this family, as also near neigh- bors, and fortunately confined this disease to them. Also, as soon as I could procure a good supply of vaccine matter, I vaccinated the employees of agency and school; also the pupils of the school. No other cases of smallpox on this reserve have occurred. The Potawatomi School is conducted in a most able manner, and the care of the pupils by the matrons is most efficient. The percentage of sickness among these children I find less than that of some others that I was connected with formerly. Two girls about 15 years of age developed acute phthisis and were sent home and soon died; also one boy with scrofulous periostitis was discharged from school and Is under treatment by me. With these exceptions the health of the pupils of this school is very good. Education.-There is only one school on the reservation-the Potawatomi Training School, with a capacity rated at 80 pupils, but the enrollment has been over 100, with an average attendance of about 95. The equipment of the school will be equal to any reservation school in the service when the employees' quar- ters, now under contract, are completed. Improvements.-There is now under construction a new employees' cottage. When completed it will largely relieve the congested condition of the dormitory and add very much to the comfort of the pupils and employees. G. L. WILLIAM:S, Superintendent and Special Disbursing Agent.
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