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)
REPORTS OF AGENTS IN IDAHO. 53 wants as would a boarding-school. Children who live at home, and are surrounded by 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 life. AGENCY BUILDINGS, &C. 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 ma- chine are in good condition.. During the year the following buildings have been erected by the regular employ6s without any extra expense to the government: Warehouse 50 by 20 feet; addition to 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. I INDIAN FARMS. The success with which the Indians cultivated the soil last year, and the abundant 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. They 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; oats, 260 bushels ; barley, 45 bushels; turnips, 500 bushels; cabbage, 2,000 heads; carrots, 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 taken 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 Neuf, 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. AGENCY FARM.' .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 oats, 900 bushels potatoes, 100 bushels turnips, and 50 tons of hay. To show what advance- 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 twenty families can be induced to cultivate farms for themselves another year." CONCLUSION. 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. This 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 to 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 years' 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, in- closed herewith. Very respectfully, your obedient servant, W. H. DANILSON, ?JUnited States Indian Agent.
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