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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1879

Reports of agents in Idaho,   pp. 52-57 PDF (2.8 MB)

Page 53

REPORTS OF      AGENTS IN      IDAHO.                   53 
wants as would a boarding-school. Children who live at home, and are surrounded
the influences of camp-life, must necessarily make slow progress in learning
to speak 
the English language, and in adopting the habits and customs of civilized
With the exception of needing papering and painting, the frame buildings
are in 
good repair. Estimates were made for wall-paper, white lead, &c., but
as they were 
not furnished, the buildings did not get the required attention. The grist-mill
is in 
good working order, but the increased amount of grain raised by the Indians
makes it 
necessary to add to it one more run of stone. The saw-mill, shingle and planing
chine are in good condition.. 
During the year the following buildings have been erected by the regular
without any extra expense to the government: Warehouse 50 by 20 feet; addition
physician's house, 24 by 16 feet; dwelling-house for assistant farmer at
Bannack Creek, 
24 by 16 feet; house for Indian apprentice, 16 by 14 feet. The above are
frame build- 
ings one story high. Have also built a wood corral of slabs, 65 by 40 feet,
and 7 feet 
high, with a large gate at each end, thus making a drive-way through the
center; also 
a hay corral and a corral for holding beef-cattle have been rebuilt.    
The success with which the Indians cultivated the soil last year, and the
harvests with which they were rewarded, so encouraged them in this branch
of indus- 
try that this spring nearly every able-bodied man was eager to put in a crop
for him- 
self. They have worked cheerfully, and have taken more interest in their
work than 
ever before. Unfortunately for them the season has been exceedingly dry,
and the 
scarcity of water for irrigating purposes has materially damaged their crops.
have cultivated 530 acres of land, an increase of 130 acres over last year,
of which 460 
acres are in wheat, 61 acres in vegetables, 8 acres in oats, and I acre in
barley. Their 
crops are estimated as follows: Wheat, 6,200 bushels; potatoes, 8,100 bushels;
260 bushels ; barley, 45 bushels; turnips, 500 bushels; cabbage, 2,000 heads;
500 bushels, and 50 tons of hay, worth in the aggregate, $11,662.00. The
farms are lo- 
cated at different points on the reservation, where water can be conveniently
out for irrigation purposes, and vary in distance from the agency, from 5
to 25 miles. 
At Bannock and Murshaw Creeks there are 147 acres under cultivation; Port
32 acres; Pocotellah. 5 acres; Emigrant Rock, 122 acres, and at the agency,
224 acres. 
As it is too far to haul grain from the remote farms to the agency to be
threshed by 
steam power, I have purchased a horse-power for the separator and will send
the ma- 
chine to the several farms to do the threshing. 
.The agency farm consists of 20 acres, of which 14 acres are seeded with
oats, 5 acres 
with potatoes, and 1 acre with turnips. The crops are estimated at 700 bushels
900 bushels potatoes, 100 bushels turnips, and 50 tons of hay. To show what
ment the Indians here made in farming during the last four years, I quote
the follow- 
ing from my annual report for 1875: "Five Indian families, one of which
is Tihee, 
the chief, have cultivated 42 acres for themselves, with the following results:
285 bush- 
els wheat, 210 bushels potatoes, 20 bushels oats. I have no doubt but that
families can be induced to cultivate farms for themselves another year."
Before closing this report I would again urge upon the department the economy
there would be in furnishing these Indianswith 500 head of good stock cows.
herd in three years' time would furnish all the beef the Indians would need.
The 17 
head of cows issued to the most deserving farmers three years ago have increased
over 50 head of stock. The Indians are exceedingly anxious to have cattle,
and would 
take good care of them. Under proper management these Indians will in two
time produce all of their own bread and vegetables, and with a good start
in cattle, in 
three years' time can be made self-supporting so far as their subsistence
is concerned. 
For sanitary condition of agency, I respectfully refer you to report of physician,
closed herewith. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
?JUnited States Indian Agent. 

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