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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 Washington,   pp. 355-371 PDF (8.3 MB)


Page 370

370     REPORTS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR. 
By instructions from the Indian Office the school was closed on May 31, 
1905, on account of there not being funds available to continue to the end
of 
the school year. 
The total enrollment at the school during the year 1905 was 170. The highest
enrollment at any one time was 164. The average daily attendance from Octo-
ber 1, 1904, to May 31, 1905, was 128.84. 
Reservation matters--Allotments.-As reported in my last report, there were
2,484 allotments on the reservation approved. During the past summer there
have been 655 new allotments made by Special Allotting Agent W. E. Casson.
These, with some few which had been previously made and were pending ap-
proval, makes the total number of allotments on this reservation 3,154. The
recent allotments were made in compliance with the provisions of the bill
passed by Congress last winter, providing for the allotment of all Indians
en- 
titled on the reservation and for the disposal of the surplus or tribal lands.
Practically all the lands that it was considered could be irrigated were
allotted 
several years ago, and the' late allotments made are nearly all dry sage-brush
land, and it is not yet definitely known when and how water can be obtained
for irrigating them. 
Leasing.-There are 379 leases now approved and in force covering lands on
this reservation, the total acreage covered being 28,559.37 acres. There
are 14 
leases now pending approval for the crop season of 1905, covering an acreage
of 1,140.77 acres. Improved lands on this reservation lease for from $2 to
$5 
per acre. Unimproved lands are leased mostly for terms of five years at a
cash rental of from 50 cents to $1 per acre, and valuable improvements, the
nature of which is stipulated in the leases. The average cost of clearing,
plow- 
ing, leveling, and fencing these lands and of building the houses usually
agreed 
upon is about $12 per acre; if sown to alfalfa or clover the cost is usually
about $16 per acre. 
While prices for produce have been good for several years past, and there
has been no failure of crops, still there have been but very few of the lessees
who have made anything from their leases, and some have lost money. It is
generally claimed that the length of the terms of the leases is too short;
but I 
am inclined to think that but few know how to handle water for irrigating,
and that the lands are not put in proper condition and properly leveled to
begin with; also that most of the lessees rent and try to cultivate more
land 
than they can properly care for and cultivate. 
Most of the Indians on the reservation have a home place allotted to some
member of their families, where they live and where they do considerable
farming. Their principal crops are gardens, grain, and hay. 
Irrigation.-The Government has expended about $100,000 in constructing 
canals, laterals, headgates, etc., of an irrigation system for the purpose
of 
watering the allotted lands of the reservation. It will require about $50,000
more to extend and complete the system undertaken and planned. 
Some irrigating companies who have appropriated water below the Govern- 
ment system at lower points on the Yakima River have instituted suits to
prevent the Government from diverting water from the river. I am of the 
opinion, and the indications are at this time that these suits will not be
prose- 
cuted, for the present at least, or until the officers of the United States
Recla- 
mation Service, who are now investigating the water supply of the Yakima
River and trying to make arrangements satisfactory to all water users along
the river, with a view to having the Government construct dams, etc., for
the 
storing of the water at the lakes at or near the sources of supply, can complete
their investigations and make their reports. One of the principal causes
of 
the trouble is that there is an unusually small supply of water in the river
this year, as there was but little snow in the mountains last winter. The
river 
is very low at this season of the year, and each year there is an increased
acreage to be irrigated. It is now conceded by all that means must be adopted
to store the water for use during the summer season by the construction of
storage dams at the sources of supply, and it is to be hoped that the United
States Reclamation Service will be able to do this in the near future. 
Inherited-land sales.-During the past fiscal year there have been 12 inherited
Indian allotments sold, containing an aggregate of 960 acres. The total pro-
ceeds of these sales has been $37,393, the average price per acre being $38.95.
There are now listed for sale 21 allotments, the total acreage being 1,682.20
acres. Bids received on these allotments will be opened at stated times during
the next two months. 
The bill referred to in my last report in reference to the settlement of
the long- 


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