United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1884
Report of Chilocco school, pp. 209-211 PDF (1.4 MB)
210 REPORT OF CHILOCCO SCHOOL. Our school opened up, at the time referred to above, under very unfavorable cir cumstances, the wveather being very cold and inclement, and the children having to be transported so far across the plains in wagons, and at considerable expense to the Government; but under the careful management of Mr. Frank Maltby, who was at the time employed as clerk and industrial teacher for the school, there was brought from the Kiowa, Comanche, and Wichita Agency, and from the Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency. 123 children, without any great suffering or any sickness being contracted, although they passed through a "norther" of two days' duration, causing a delay of that length of time. From other agencies we received other pupils until our num- bers reached that referred to above. We have been visited quite often by parents of the children and by chiefs of the different tribes, who invariably express themselves as well pleased with the school and its prospects, and pledge themselves to work for the school and its interests; es- pecially those of the Southwest said to me, "When you want more children let us know, and you shall have all you want." The future may decide as to the sincerity of their expressions. Some of our larger pupils have been somewhat discouraged on account of not hav- ing the necessary accommodations for learning trades, as they had expected when they came, causing discontent with some, and a few returned without permission to the agencies; but since your order to agents to return such as left the school without permission we have had -o further trouble in that direction, and if proper arrange- ments are made in the way of shops, &c., I think no difficulty will be had in keeping the children well contented. For the most part, the pupils have engaged in the work of opening up the farms, fencing, digging sewers, &c., very willingly, and, considering their experience, have done well; and with a prospect of a little pay next year they will enter upon their work with more zeal than ever before. We had not the children long enough for any of them to learn any one thing sufficiently well to do it without some help. Some of the girls could, with a little help, cut and make plain garments, and could render some assistance in laundry and kitchen. I find, however, that in their first lessons they are much more liable to break tools they work with or dishes they use than after they have had some training. Our garden has been of considerable benefit to the school, notwithstanding it has been partially destroyed by stock which are running at large in this part of the Territory. Our pumpkins and squashes planted on the newly broken ground promise well; also the millet is looking well; seed-corn will not pro- duce very nmuch; melons and cucumbers look nicely-latter ready for use. The trouble we have had with trespassing stock will be avoided soon by our fence being put up. The children have made commendable progress in all branches of study they have undertaken. We find a less number of dull children among these children than among an equal number of whites. Our Sunday exercises consist of Sunday-school at 10.30 o'clock a. m. and preaching each alternate Sunday by some of the ministers from the city; we also have each evening through the week, in addition to the regular study hour, a time for devotional exercises, singing, &c. The stock interests have only begun, having just received cattle under modified contract of H. C. Slavens, and 18 high grade polled Angus and Galloway bulls bought in open market from Mr. Blacksheve, of Kansas. One of the latter has since died; the others are all doing nicely, and are being cared for by the boys, with the assist- ance of Mr. R. A. Munson, an irregular employd. As an experiment we have given permission for some of the children to visit their parents during vacation, with the promise to return at the beginning of the school year without expense to the Government. The sanitary condition of the school has been very good, considering the fact that the greater part of our children were sent to us without the proper medical examina- tions. We have lost but two by death the past year, one Cheyenne girl and one Caddo boy. In receiving children in future we hope to be able to exercise more care and have them properly examined before admitting them. Our limited number of apprentices are doing well; four in the bakery, and five at the carpenter's trade, and three are learning painting. With the same progress through another year that has been made in the past, we will be able to do our own baking without the aid of a white baker. Our carpenters show an aptness for their work and are learning rapidly. The painters have been at work on some of the out-buildings, doing well for beginners. I think that the prevailing and oft-repeated idea "that on account of the close proximity to the agencies it will be impossible to make Chilocco a success" is already proven to be an erroneous idea. There is no reason why she may not, under careful management, take her place in the front as an educational institu- tion for Indian children.
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