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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the years 1921-1932

Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to the Secretary of the Interior for the fiscal year ended June 2, 1921,   pp. [1]-69 ff. PDF (26.8 MB)

Page 27

The year ended showed a decided increase in the disbursement of 
individual Indian money. This is partly accounted for by the policy 
of disbursing their funds to returned soldiers who ask for the same, 
and the fact that there were more competent Indians and therefore 
larger sums were turned over to them than heretofore. The con- 
tinued high prices in some sections of the country, the numerous 
crop failures, and the tight money market in general made it neces- 
sary to expend larger amounts than usual for the benefit of the older 
In many cases it necessitated the selling of Liberty bonds, which 
were held in trust for various Indians, in order to provide them, with 
the funds needed to purchase food, clothing, and the proper farm- 
ingequipment to enable them to work their allotments. 
On the whole the Indians have made good use of their money. A 
great many of them have purchased comfortable houses or have made 
improvements to their old ones. They have also invested largely in 
cattle and modern farming implements. 
In regard to minors, while the general policy of conserving their 
funds has not been changed, it has been found necessary and advis- 
able in some cases to allow the disbursement of their money for the 
purchase of land and cattle and the payment of tuition at colleges 
or automobile schools. In the first-named purchases the deed to the 
realty is made in their names and the cattle are branded with their 
individual brands. In other cases their funds have been used to pay 
traveling and hospital expenses when medical treatment was deemed 
necessary by a reputable physician. 
The demand for depositaries for Indian moneys continued through 
most of the year despite the fact that receipts from land sales at 
some agencies were much below-what they would have been had the 
money market been easier. Deposits amounting to $6,345,800 were 
authorized for 258 banks. At some agencies, owing to decreased 
receipts, it was necessary to reduce the deposits to meet current 
disbursements and in a number of instances to disontinue some banks 
as depositaries. 
Due to the great demand for money by banks, better interest rates 
have been procured on Indian funds than during any previous period, 
the average rate in some localities being 5 per cent, and at one agency 
practically all the time deposits are earning 6 per cent. 
The number of bonds or renewals of bonds approved during the 
year was 1,846, representing a total amount of $38,560,396. As a 
margin of 5 per cent and in some cases 10 per cent must be allowed to 
cover interest as it accrues the deposit under these bonds is, of course,
considerably less. 
Considering the large number and wide distribution of banks which 
carry Indian deposits it was perhaps inevitable, in a period of such 
general financial strain as the country has been experiencing, that 
there should be a few of these depositaries among the banks which 
closed their doors during the year. It is gratifying to report, how- 
ever, that in some instances the closing was only temporary, and that 

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