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)
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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