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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 Oklahoma,   pp. 291-323 PDF (15.9 MB)


Page 318

318      REPORTS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR. 
few desertions, and the deserting ones were promptly returned, usually by
the parents. 
The children were contented at the school and desirous to learn. 
Buildings.-The main building is in fair condition. The schoolrooms, reading
room, 
chapel, sewing room, dining room, kitchens, play rooms, and halls were calcimined,
and 
the woodwork painted in the fall. The office, mess dining room, and employees'
sitting 
room were papered and painted. Several employees had their rooms papered
at their 
own expense. The barns and hog shed need repairing, estimates for which have
been 
submitted. 
Health.-The health of the children was very good. There were no deaths and
no 
epidemics of any kind. A few children had attacks of pneumonia, but speedily
recovered. 
One child was allowed to go home on account of scrofulous conditions, and
one on account 
of very defective eyesight. 
Employees.-The employees have been both loyal and faithful in the discharge
of their 
duties. The success of the school is largely dfie to their efforts. The majority
of the 
employees have held their positions for a number of years, which fact greatly
adds to 
the efficiency of their work. Two vacancies occurred during the year, a rather
unusual 
occurrence. A teacher was promoted and transferred at the beginning'of the
school year 
and a new teacher appointed. The baker resigned in December, but the Indian
Office 
filled the position somewhat over a month later with a very efficient appointee.
Literary.-The class-room work in both primary and advanced rooms was very
satis- 
factory. The children in the primary and kindergarten room attended school
both fore- 
noons and afternoons. The children in the advanced room attended school the
usual half 
day. The evening sessions were devoted to singing, drawing, and literary
exercises of a 
general character. Emphasis was laid on the learning of good English. The
holidays 
were observed with entertainments. 
The Ponca Indians have good farm land, and farming can be made the most successful
industry by -them. For this reason all the older pupils were organized into
a special class 
for instruction in agriculture, to supplement the work in garden and field
with more 
scientific knowledge. The instruction consisted mostly in the study of samples
of soil 
and concrete demonstrations of textures of soils, percolation, capillarity,
and plant food. 
Work done by the boys in garden and field was discussed and methods explained.
The 
pupils showed much interest in the study of this sub)ect. 
Industrial.-The work done by the girls in the sewing room and laundry was
quite com- 
mendable, and reflects creditably upon Miss Hageman, seamstress, and Miss
Hammack, 
laundress. The school garden, in charge of the industrial teacher, was planted
and culti- 
vated by him and the boys. It was a model garden, and an abundance of potatoes,
sweet 
corn, cabbage, beans, peas, radishes, lettuce, tomatoes, etc., to supply
the children's tables, 
has been produced. Nearly an acre of melons of fine growth promises to supply
the de- 
mands of the children for this article. All the children have individual
gardens, in 
which they raise a variety of vegetables. The care of these gardens is under
the super- 
vision of the class-room teachers. 
The lawns of Bermuda grass were kept mowed by the   boys, and made a fine
appear- 
ance. A few additional shade trees were planted in the spring. There are
350 shade 
trees in the school campus. They are soft maple, walnut, catalpa, mulberry,
elm, box 
elder, and cottonwood. 
Farm and stock.-The farm is in good condition, and the crops are showing
the results 
of the very efficient management of the farmer, George W. Haas. The farm
contains 400 
acres. Of this there are 60 acres of corn, 42 acres of oats, 10 acres of
alfalfa, 2 acres of 
peas, 1 acre of sorghum, 2 acres of potatoes, 4 acres of garden, and 10 acres
of orchard; 
120 acres are in pasture and 140 acres are hay land. Corn is an excellent
crop, promis- 
ing a yield of 50 or 60 bushels per acre. Oats yielded nearly 40 bushels
per acre. 
Alfalfa made an excellent growth, and offered a good pasture for over 100
hogs. 
The orchard comprises apple, peach, and cherry trees. There was a good yield
of 
cherries, but there are few apples and no peaches on account of the severe
winter and 
spring. Two hundred grape vines were planted last year, which already bear
quite a few 
grapes. 
There were 79 head of cattle in the school herd through the winter, which
were not 
in a satisfactory condition when spring arrived. The unsatisfactory condition
of cat- 
tle was largely due to the fact that the school had more cattle than could
be properly 
cared for. During the summer 53 head of cattle were sold. With the fewer
cattle it 
will be possible to teach stock raising and dairying according to more approved
methods. 
Needs.-The greatest need for the school is a bath house. The old bath house
is dilapi- 
dated and unfit for use. The bath tubs were condemned by the last visiting
inspector. 
As the school has no facilities for bathing the coming year, we hope that
the Indian 
Office will be able to furnish the school something in this line. Plans for
a bath house 
or lavatories have been submitted to the Indian Office. A new system of water
supply 
and sewerage is needed. Water is pumped from a small drilled well, and is
insufficient 
for all purposes required. The school is still lighted by kerosene lamps,
which are very 
dangerous and require very careful handling. A few fires, started by accidental
drop- 
ping of lamps, were extinguished by the timely use of fire extinguishers.
A new lighting 
system would be welcomed. 
The 'farm needs a cornstalk cutter, a lister, and a press drill. The possession
of this 
machinery would obviate the borrowing of these machines from neighboring
farmers. A 
new casing for the standpipe to water tank is needed, as the present casing
is not suffi- 
cient protection to prevent water from freezing in cold weather. 
Religious.-Sunday school was held by the teachers, and the International
Lessons 
were taught. Religious services were held on Sunday evenings by Reverend
Mr. Simms, 
the only missionary among the Ponca. The beneficial influence of the religious
work is 
shown by the moral conduct of the pupils. 
Reading circle.-A reading circle was organized during the year by the school
em- 
ployees. Meetings were held regularly, and alternate meetings devoted to
agriculture and 
literature. 
Missionary work.-The missionary work at this agency is under the manage-
ment of the Woman's Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, Rev. A. J. Simms being in charge. There are 67 communicants, services
being held at the district schoolhouse near the agency each Sunday morning,
and at the training school each Sabbath evening during the school session.


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