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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 Wisconsin,   pp. 371-380 PDF (4.4 MB)


Page 372

372     REPORTS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR. 
settlement, and these filings recorded with and recognized by their business
committee. 
Population.-The recent census shows the following: 
Menominee: 
Total population-                      -1, 370 
Males over 18 years of age                             466 
Females over 14 years of age--------------------------393 
Children between the ages of 6 and 16 years ---------  296 
Stockbridge and Munsee: 
Total population-      -   --  --                     540 
Males over 18 years of age                   -163 
Females over 14 years of age_        ---      -       178 
Children between the ages of 6 and 16 years ...........- 132 
There have been no material changes during the past year in the general 
conditions that exist among the Indians here. Ordinary progress has been
made and social conditions have improved somewhat. I quote from last year's
report: 
The Indians are progressing slowly toward civilization and eventual citizenship.
They 
have adapted themselves to the white man's style of dress, and the majority
read and 
speak English. They all occupy comfortable frame or log dwellings, with ordinary
con- 
veniences for housekeeping. As a rule their homes are neatly kept and their
tables well 
provided. With the exception of the old and decrepit, who receive rations,
they are self- 
supporting. They have demonstrated some ability in the management of their
business 
affairs, and many of them have been quite successful in their logging operations.
If it 
were not for the curse of the liquor evil and the laxity of the marriage
relations and 
their antipathy to agricultural pursuits their condition would be quite satisfactory.
Lumbering continues to be the principal industry, and the usual amount of
logs were cut and banked by the Menominee last season. Their logging opera-
tions are very profitable, last year's cut netting them $250,000. Their accumu-
lated fund from this source now amounts to over $2,000,000, four-fifths of
which draws interest at 5 per cent per annum. The interest money derived
from this fund is more than sufficient to pay the annual running expenses
of the 
tribe, and provision has been made to pay them annuities from the accumulated
interest, a new roll of the tribe having been prepared for this purpose.
Agriculture receives but limited attention, although the opportunities for
profitable farming are good. There has been no perceptible increase in the
acreage of cultivated lands for a number of years. The character of the soil
is suitable for general farming, producing good crops of wheat, oats, and
hay 
when properly tilled. Agriculture does not appeal to the Menominee Indian,
and at present he can not be induced to cultivate his lands except in a limited
way, although he is well versed in the ordinary rudiments of farming and
per- 
forms good service in this line for others. As the timber resources-diminish,
however, he will be obliged to turn his attention to the improvement of his
lands to earn a livelihood and will eventually take his place in the ranks
of the 
farmer. 
. The Menominee Reservation is rich in timber resources and furnishes a large
proportion of the Indians with profitable labor the greater part of the year.
Logging operations in the past have been confined almost exclusively to pine
timber, but there are large tracts of hemlock and hardwood that are practically
untouched, which will prove a great source of wealth when opened to the market,
and furnish the Indians with labor for many years to come. The proposed line
of the Green Bay, Oshkosh, Madison, and Southwestern Railroad is located
through this hardwood district, and if constructed as proposed will furnish
a 
much needed outlet for this body of timber. 
The Indians are beginning to appreciate the improved and careful methods
of 
logging adopted for the past three seasons, and the enormous saving of timber
that has resulted. The loose and shiftless manner in which they were allowed
to 
log for many years resulted in a loss of 40 per cent for the tracts cut over.
In the 
past two years we have logged from the old slashings, or cut-over lands,
10,000,- 
000 feet of dead-and-down pine, for which the Indians have received $50,000
for 
their labor, also a considerable sum to be placed to their credit in their
fund at 
Washington. We expect to clean up 5,000,000 feet more of this class of timber
from the old cuttings this season. 
-Education.-The destruction of our school buildings by fire last January
was 
a serious interruption to our school work. The prospects for a successful
year 
were unusually bright. Our average attendance at the time of the fire was
far 
in excess of the highest average for the previous year. Harmony and good


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