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

Reports concerning Indians in Oklahoma,   pp. 291-323 PDF (15.9 MB)

Page 309

REPORTS CONCERNING INDIANS IN              OKLAHOMA.             309 
ing some kind of sickness during the year. The mortality with the full bloods
is heaviest in infants. This is attributed to lack of knowledge on the part
the mother as to the treatment of her babe. One physician states that tubercu-
losis kills more than one-half of the infants who die in their first and
year. On the whole, the sanitary condition of the tribe has been better than
heretofore and the mortality less. Both mixed and full bloods show a small
increase in number. 
Police.-The work done by the police department of the reservation, which
consists of a chief of police, six constables, and twenty-five or thirty
officers, has been very satisfactory, and the record is very encouraging.
work done by the force is reported by Mr. Warren Bennett, chief of police,
The work of the police department for the past year has been fairly satisfactory.
constables, as a rule, have been alert, diligent, and energetic in the enforcement
of the 
law, rules, and regulations of this agency. 
Their duties have been largely increased, due to the fact that the Midland
Valley Rail- 
road Company has had a line of railway under construction, extending from
the southeast 
part of the reservation to the extreme northwest corner, bringing with it
the usual num- 
ber of reckless characters incident to railroad work. Increased development
in the oil 
fields has called for increased vigilance in protecting standing timber,
and the work inci- 
dent to the development of this field has lent its share toward the increase
in population 
of the reservation, which has made a gain of about 20 per cent during the
Notwithstanding the above-mentioned increase in population, the number of
arrests of 
sufficient importance to sustain an action in the district court show a decrease
over last 
year, due largely to the fact that disreputable characters have not been
permitted to stop 
on the reservation, a great number of whom have been removed therefrom. 
Conditions upon the reservation, so far as crime is concerned, compare most
with the organized counties surrounding it, which is remarkable when you
take into 
consideration that the Indian country is usually considered the rendezvous
for the crim- 
inal element, and that the Indians, who own the best horses that can be bought,
them hobbled near their camps or in near-by pastures, are only short four
head from 
theft during the year. This speaks well for the vigilance of the police department.
The whisky peddler upon the reservation has not thrived, although considerable
quantities of liquor have been confiscated and destroyed at the various railroad
,most of which, presumably, belonged to persons who intended it for their
own use. The 
Indians, as a whole, have been sober and contented, except a small per cent
of those liv- 
ing near Grayhorse, Fairfax, and Ralston, Okla., who repair to the latter
place on every 
occasion, and there find saloons with high board fences surrounding the yard
in the rear, 
termed " bull pens." Small rooms are partitioned off in the rear
of the buildings, fitted 
up with dumb-waiters and various other contrivances, to prevent the Indian
from seeing the person from whom he procures his liquor, and also to prevent
the officers 
from seeing what is taking place. The condition of these particular Indians
is deplor- 
-able. Some of the women have become so debauched as to make a practice of
their virtue for liquor (something unheard of among the Osages a few years
back). It is 
no uncommon sight to see 15 or 20 intoxicated Indians on the streets of Ralston
at a 
time, some of whom, almost naked, having bartered their blankets for whisky,
or they 
were stolen from them while in a drunken condition. 
A great number of itinerant boot leggers have been arrested and convicted,
but the real 
criminal-the saloon proprietor-has so far gone "scot-free."   The
difficulties in the 
way of procuring evidence against these saloon keepers are many. They are
with all the officers, and are on the lookout whenever any of them are in
town, and give 
the boot leggers the pointer to close operations. I am of the opinion that
if the Depart- 
ment would furnish a special officer, who is entirely unknown to this dountry,
great good 
could be accomplished in the suppression of the liquor traffic among the
Indians at 
The civil work done has been fairly satisfactory. The constables, with one
or two ex- 
ceptions, have taken considerable pride in keeping their districts under
good control, and 
have been active in enforcing and collecting the payment of permit and grass
taxes, the 
receipts from the former source showing a large increase over last year.
All disputes 
placed in their hands for adjudication have been settled, and the interests
of the Indians 
have been well protected. I am gratified to report no serious altercations
between the 
officers and outlaws, which is a decided improvement over last year. 
Below is a report, in detail, of the arrests made and of cases handled by
the courts for 
the reservation: 
Arrests made------------------------------------------------88 
Convictions                                             13 
Dismissed (United States district court, United States com- 
missioner, and grand jury)                            42 
Nature of offenses committed: 
Murder2-------------------------------------------       2 
Larceny                                                 17 
Introducing and disposing                               46 
Assault with intent to kill    -    -------              4 
Miscellaneous (assault, timber depredations, etc.) ....... 19 
Following is a statement of cases presented in the district court at Pawhiuska,
members of the Osage tribe were defendants, some of which were handled by
the sheriff 
of Pawnee County, the Osage Reservation, by an act of legislature, having
been attached 
to said Pawnee County for "judicial purposes."- 

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