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

Reports of agents in Washington territory,   pp. 140-159 PDF (11.7 MB)


Page 143

REPORTS OF AGENTS IN          WASHINGTON      TERRITORY.        143 
for the night a short distance below the old English boundary commission
buildings, 
and near the old Hudson Bay Fort Colville. The next morning took an early
start 
down the Columbia, via Rickey's Bridge, across Mill Creek. Down Mill Creek,
at its 
mouth on the Columbia, came to the farms of Kasmer, or Cas-i-mer, and his
band, 
Kom-ines, Martine, Pen-wa, Pierre, Joseph, Paul or Semer, and Quil Quil Skolski.
Here 
was a village of seven log dwellings and the same number of barns. The houses
com- 
fortable, of hewn logs, and farms well fenced, and some of them well cultivated.
We 
here met Joseph and Quain-akin, who have farms on the opposite side of the
Colum- 
bia, and below the mouth of Kettle River. Owing to the high water we could
not visit 
them. They need a plow, set of harness, and cradle. From these farms we kept
on to 
Semer's place, a model farmer. His fences are in good order; he has irrigating
ditches, 
good log houses and was then erecting a log barn and stable, 50 by 18 feet,
of peeled 
logs, with passageway through the center, to be covered with cedar shakes,
and for 
which I promised him some nails. He had, while we were there, two plows running;
has a good, strong-made Eastern wagon, and three teams. 
The next place was Joe Louis's and his son-in-law Jeremiah's. They had a
small field 
on the bank of the Columbia, but were opening a much larger farm with good
land 
for grain and some low land suitable for hay. They will have a good place.
They 
were putting up a barn the size of Semer's, 50 by 18 feet, also of peeled
logs. The next 
place visited was Quil-lo-asket's, another model farmer, with his log barn
60 by 1S feet, 
with his thrashing floor and granary (the only Indian seen on the trip thrashing
his 
grain in his barn), two log dwellings, log granary with both wheat and oats
thrashed 
and in the sheaf, au elliptic spring two-horse wagon. We saw him and one
of his peo- 
ple leaving for church with a mule and horse harnessed together before this
wagon, 
with half a dozen sheaves of oats in fo1'feed for the horses. Quil-lo-asket
himself, 
with a stove-pipe hat and black overcoat with cape on, driving. From here
we went 
to Pascal's, another good farm of about 80 acres, with log dwelling and barn
and a 
good Eastern-made wagon. A few ealves in a pen, around which were some fine-look-
ing cows that the Indians were milking. 
From Pascal's to Charley's place. Charley has rather more land fenced in
than 
Pascal, part of which is cultivated for wheat and garden, and the balance
used for hay, 
of which he cuts three or-four tons. Charley prides himself upon his vegetables.
He 
showed me beans and two kindsof pease, small and marrowfat, of last year's
raising. 
His irrigating ditch, atter using for his land, he runs down to the bank
of the Columbia, 
wbere it is used by Chinese miners in gold washing, for which they pay- Charley
$5 per 
month. A short distance below Charley's house, on the bank of the river,
with the 
help of only his own people, they have erected a neat little church (log)
and a smalL 
cabin for the fathers' use when visiting them. 
After leaving Charley's place we intended going to old Charley's, but in
some man - 
nor lost the trail and were -compelled to camp that nighbt in a low muddy
place, an& 
where there was but little feed for our animals. In the morning early left,
and after 
a ride of five or six miles eame to Ore-poken's, one of the Spokans. From
his plase 
we visited the farm of his son; then on over the hills some three or four
miles to the 
trail leading down the mountain to the Spokan River. We here struck a most
beautiful flat of 500 or 600 aeres, in which there were two or three small
Indian farms 
or gardens of only three or four acres each. From here up the Spokan the
traveling 
-was bad and dangerous. We: had many streams to cross leading from the mountains
to the river, :deep and rapid, and one very bad landslide to pass over. We
were glad 
-when we. again commenced acending the ruountaia-- a long, steep, and sandy
trail. 
From the summit, aride 9f five.: r six mils, through a flue graing and wheat-produc-
ing country of thousands of aeres, with two or three permanent little streams
running 
_through it, brought us to the farm or farms of Ah-ma-melican, and a mile
from there 
to Whistle-poo-sum's band and farms. At Ah-ma-melican camp there are between
200 
and three hundred acres inclosed, with probably 150 acres cultivated, and
Whistle- 
poe-sum has, I should judge, nearly 800 acres inclosed. Within the inclosure
are the 
different farms, not to exceed, however, 200 acres in cultivation. The land
was so wet 
and miry that it was impossible to give it a thorough investigation. But
little was 
doing excepting the repairing of the fencing. They were soon in hopes of
getting in 
their wheat. Whistle-poo-sum had no seed wheat. I told him to send to the
agency 
after some. 
After leaving this place, a ride of about eight miles through the timber
brought 
us to Haines's, at Walker's.Prairie. Glad to get into civilization again
and to have a 
dry place to sleep and to cook our meals. We had had five days in succession
of rain 
and snow, and but two days of clear pleasant weather on our trip. 
On the 3d of June we left for the Middle Spokan and Coiur d'Al6ne reservation.
The first farms visited were those of Baptiste Peone and Fragin and their
people, some 
ten miles north of Spokan Falls. We here found some fine grazing and agricultural
lands. The farms of the Indians looked well. Corn was very fine, but still
I think 
early frosts will prevent its ripening. Wheat looked promising. Baptiste
has a fine 
band of horses and also of cattle. The whites, though, are beginning to hem
them~in 
pretty closely, but so far there has been no trouble on either side. 


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