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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1905, Part I

Reports concerning Indians in Nebraska,   pp. 248-254 PDF (3.5 MB)

Page 252

WINNEBAGO, NEBR., August 31, 1905. 
I assumed charge of the work at Winnebago April 24, 1905, and consequently
am unable to give a full and complete report of the work for the entire fiscal
Location.-The WInnebago Reservation is located in the northeastern part 
of Nebraska, and comprises about 110,000 acres, a large proportion of which
is farming land, adapted to cultivation of corn, wheat, and other small grains.
Sale of land.-During the fiscal year ending June 30, 1905, 3,043.75 acres
inherited Indian lands were sold under the act of Congress of May 27, 1902,
ranging in price from $13.50 to $36.30 per acre, according to the character
location of the land. 
Census.-The population of the reservation according to the last census is
All ages (males, 574; females, 500)-----------------------1074 
Between 6 and 18 years (males, 153; females, 109)----------262 
This shows a decrease in the population since the census of 1904, which,
think, is due largely to the excessive use of intoxicating liquors. 
Morals.-These Indians are especially noted for their immoral practices. 
The medicine dance, so-called religious meeting, is one of the most degrading
of any of the Indian customs I have ever seen. Following the recent decision
of the Supreme Court, rendered on April 10, 1905, in which it is held that
Indians to whom land has been allotted are citizens, and therefore it is
not a 
violation of the Federal laws to sell them liquor off the reservation, the
Indians spend a great deal of time in the towns of Homer, South Sioux City,
and Hubbard, Nebr., where they can buy all the whisky they want over the
Conditions became so bad at the town of Homer, which is located just north
of the reservation, that the good people of the town filed a remonstrance
the town board, and the saloons were closed. 
Boot leggers then begun work among the Indians, and on the night of May 
10, 1905, shortly after I assumed charge, Logan Lambert, an ex-saloon keeper
at Homer, visited an Indian dance with a wagon load of whisky, which he 
sold to the Indians. I secured an indictment against him, and he was tried
in the Federal court at Omaha, Nebr., on June 19; found guilty of introducing
liquor upon the reservation, and selling without paying a Government tax,
was fined $100 and costs, and sent to the penitentiary for one year. 
I have since secured indictments against 11 Indians for the introduction
liquor, and their cases will be tried in the Federal court in November. 
Buildings.-The buildings at the agency are all frame, and in most cases are
in poor condition, while those at the school, except the barn and some of
other outbuildings, are in fair shape and can be kept in repair at a very
Water .ystem.-The water at the school is pumped from a large well into 
a reservoir on a hill near the school plant, and is piped from this reservoir
into the buildings. The water used at the agency is hauled from the school
in barrels, and one team is kept busy keeping the employees in water. This
is a very unsatisfactory system. 
Edueation.-The Government school at this agency can accommodate about 
90 pupils, which is about 34 per cent of the children of school age living
the reservation. A great many are at nonreservation schools, some attend
district schools, and many are excused from attendance at school by reason
of some physical disability. 
Very good work was done at the Government school last year, and the 
results obtained were very gratifying. School was closed June 1 on account
of funds for Indian school support being exhausted, and all the employees
except the engineer and carpenter and industrial teacher were furloughed
the entire month. In order properly to care for the garden and keep up the
other work at the school it was necessary to keep a detail of boys for this
work. As there was no cook for June, Miss Rila A. Pettis, teacher, kindly
volunteered her services to cook for the detail. 
Returned students.-One of the most serious questions which is confronting
us at the present time is, What are we to do, or what can we do, for the
men and young women when they leave school? Only those who are on the 
ground can fully undIerstand the conditions, It is true that most of them

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