University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1905, Part I
([1905])

Reports concerning Indians in Arizona,   pp. 156-180 PDF (12.1 MB)


Page 167

REPORTS CONCERNING INDIANS IN ARIZONA.                  167 
The Navaho is energetic, peaceable, and is making marked progress. Their
services are greatly in demand on railroad work, at mines, beet fields, and
elsewhere, where they are offered from $1.25 to $2 per day. 
The Government has paid the Indians during the year, for irregular labor
and products purchased, sums as follows: 
Transportation of supplies--                        $5, 369.41 
Irregular labor                                      3, 870. 99 
Beef for schools and police        .                 6, 159. 44 
Coal and wood-_-                                     2, 547. 16 
Hay                                                    708. 84 
Fence posts                  -160. 00 
Total  ....... .   -.-                         18, 815. 84 
The greatest source of income the Navaho has is his sheep, goats, cattle,
and 
the sale of the Navaho blanket. Something like $600,000 annually are derived
from these industries. The NaVaho is now making a better grade of blanket
than ever before and is finding ready sale at better prices. 
The sheep owned by the Navaho have been inbred for so many years that only
a small quantity of inferior wool is produced; but with a view to improving
their sheep 335 full-blood Rambouillet bucks, which produce annually 20 pounds
of wool per head, have been purchased for issue. The grazing is excellent,
owing 
to the heavy snows and rains during the past season, and their stock is in
excellent condition. 
Their farms have been enlarged, and much more corn, wheat, and alfalfa will
be raised this year than ever before, and they will be able to harvest a
large 
quantity of mountain hay, of which about $2,400 worth will be sold to the
Government and much will be put up for the subsistence of their own stock.
Altogether this is the most prosperous year they have had during the last
fifteen. Additional farmers have been stationed at Chin Lee, 50 miles northwest
of agency, and at Sa ha le, 40 miles north. 
Improvements.-During the year 88 miles of road were repaired, 12 miles 
made, and 4 bridges built. The heavy rains during July and August, 1904,
did such great damage to the roads that the improving of the same was almost
equal to building new roads. The police quarters and guardhouse was moved
from the school grounds and rebuilt at a cost of $550; the agency barn (an
old 
stone building) was raised to one and one-half stories, roofed, and converted
into excellent large shops for the agency wheelwright and blacksmith, at
a cost 
of $999; a two-story frame barn, 112 by 36 feet, was erected for housing
school 
and agency stock, at an expense of $1,318; about 3,000 acres of land were
fenced for pasture at the Navaho school; the dwelling occupied by the mis-
sionary was purchased for $1,250 and is occupied by the agency blacksmith;
the old irrigation system at Fort Defiance, which has been out of use for
a 
number of years, has been repaired and a diversion dam placed in Bonito Creek,
which gave a good flow of water for the school gardens and for 8 small farms
below the school, this without cost to the Government. 
The lumber for building purposes has been furnished from the agency saw-
mill, 170,000 feet of lumber and 160,000 shingles having been cut during
the year, 
Much more would have been done had it not been for the heavy snows and 
rains, making it impossible to get logs to the mill. On the 26th of June
the mill 
was destroyed by fire, which was a great detriment to the service; but it
is 
hoped that it will be rebuilt in the near future, and if so it wlil be located
in a 
well-timbered section. 
The farmers stationed at Chin Lee and Sa ha le have rendered valuable 
services to the Indians in assisting them with their crops, improving their
ditches and in the handling of water, and instfucting them in the care of
their 
stock, and in settling disputes among them. Two more farmers should be fur-
nished this agency, and it is impossible to accomplish what ought to be without
stationing more farmers among the Indians. The farmer at Sa ha le met with
the difficulty at the wheat fields of having seven Indian families controlling
about 600 acres of exeellent land under the Government ditch, but we have
divided this land into 10-acre lots and are locating Indians on these lots,
allow- 
ing the old settlers each 15 acres. 
The Indians are anxious to have good men located with them for the purpose
of assisting and instructing them, and as $20,000 are to be expended during
the 
current fiscal year in the development of water for irrigation purposes the
area 


Go up to Top of Page