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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 of superintendents of independent schools,   pp. 415-440 PDF (11.7 MB)


Page 427

REPORTS OF SCHOOLS IN NEBRASKA AND OKLAHOMA.                427 
Many repairs and improvements to the buildings have been made, new walks
have been laid, lawns extended and improved, new ground added to the cul-
tivated portion of the farm, hundreds of fine fruit trees set out in the
orchards, 
etc., until- Chilocco is now a splendidly equipped institution. 
Enrollment.-The highest enrollment during the year was 848. The average 
attendance for the year was 720. Many applications for admittance have been
turned down for the reason that we were not prepared to take them in this
year. The student body came from almost every western and northern tribe,
but principally from States and Territories east of the Rocky Mountains and
west of the Mississippi River. With the improvements made and the buildings
added during the year we have a capacity now for 800 or more students. 
Heating and lighting.-This entire plant is heated and lighted from a central
plant equipped with powerful boilers and dynamos. Small motors are placed
in the shops, laundry, and barns for use in turning machinery, grinding feed,
etc. This plant is so well equipped with necessary machinery that any student
who takes the full course in engineering can go forth supplied with knowledge
of how to operate any steam or electric plant of reasonable capacity and
to 
make general repairs thereto. 
Additional improvements.-There should be a few additional improvements 
made to this plant to make it complete, the most important being an auditorium
of sufficient size to accommodate the student body and the numerous visitors.
The largest hall at Chilocco is in the school building, and has a capacity
of only 
500. The new auditorium should seat 1,000. 
There should be an addition built to the present girls' home, adding dormi-
tory space for 150 girls. This in order that all girls might be located in
one 
building. At present we have the large girls in one home, boys in two homes,
and boys and girls in one home. It is very inconvenient and not wise to keep
both boys and girls in one building. 
The plant needs a larger, more modern dairy barn. This we hope to have 
within another year. With the addition of an auditorium, the enlargement
of 
the girls' home, dairy barn, and corrals, there will be no need for further
im- 
provements in the way of buildings to make the Chilocco plant complete in
every respect for the proper accommodation of 800 students. 
Results.-The year has been fruitful and satisfying. The members of the 
faculty have labored together harmoniously and effectively. It has been little
trouble to secure all the students we could take care of, and the children
who 
have come in have been of higher grade. 
Interest and activity along agricultural lines have increased in gratifying
measure. Our students no longer dread the farm and farm work. It is made
too interesting to be tedious or monotonous. Each farm boy has his team which
he must care for himself and is made to feel a pride in the showing he makes
of 
it, his tools, crop, etc. Some 2,000 acres of the school farm are now under
cul- 
tivation, and the school's crops of corn, kaffir, maize, cane, cowpeas, beans,
wheat, oats, potatoes, etc., are the equal of those produced by any of our
neigh- 
bors. The boys as well as the faculty are proud of the present condition
of the 
plant, crops, and stock, and deserve the many congratulations they receive.,
In order to make farming more interesting and attractive, we adopted the
plan in the spring of allotting to each boy belonging to the senior class
in agri- 
culture, one acre of ground upon which to demonstrate his ideas and abilities.
During the cold months of the year the teacher of agriculture gives regular
class instruction from the best books. On these allotments the boys put into
practice the plans formulated in the class room. These allotments were lo-
cated along one of the main roads leading to the school, so that they would
be viewed by a large number of people. A large sign board was set about mid-
way of these allotments, upon which was painted the following: "Chilocco
ex- 
perimental demonstration and seed tracts-agricultural class allotments "-and
the names of the allottees are printed on nice boards set at the head of
each 
allotment. Each boy exercises freedonj in the manner of preparing soil, ferti-
lization, selection, and cultivation of his crop. All matters pertaining
to the 
work, however, are discussed in the class room, the teacher of agriculture
pre- 
siding. 
The plan has been a great success from every point of view. Individuality
and independence in thought and action developed. Pride was aroused and 
ambition evolved. If weeds appeared in any plat there were plenty of critics,
and if a crop failed of its best the search for causes and reasons of failure
brought into play the analytical mind. The plan has proven so satisfactory
that we have adopted it as a permanent feature of our work and shall increase


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