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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1874
([1874])

Information, with historical and statistical statements, relative to the different tribes and their agencies,   pp. 23-[84] PDF (29.5 MB)


Page 31

REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER           OF INDIAN    AFFAIRS.      31 
'Two hundred houses are now occupied by them and 250 acres cultivated. 
A road is being opened this season from Red Lake to White Earth, 
which will bring it seventy-five miles and three days nearer the railroad,
and lessen the expense of transportation at least $30 a ton. 
The following extracts from report of Agent Pratt show the work ac- 
complished during the past year: 
Arriving here so late in the season last year-13th August--cold weather came
upon 
us before we were prepared ; and it was about the 1st of January before the
three 
dwellings and school-house were ready for occupancy. 
Logs were cut, hauled, and have been sawed, turning out over 300,000 feet
of very fair 
lumber. This spring extensive repairs were made on the mill and dam, consisting
in a 
new flume, an addition to the mill 15 by 24 feet, a new 40-inch turbine water-wheel,
a 
matcher, a planing-machine, a cut-off, and edging-saws, raising the dam about
2E, feet 
and strengthening it, with this satisfactory result: The old mill could turn
out per 
day from two to three thousand, at a cost of $3.25 per thousand, while the
improved 
mill will turn out in same time from ten to twelve thousand, at a cost not
exceeding 
$1.25 per thousand. The matcher, planer, and edger are so effective that
the cost of 
building has been reduced nearly one-half from that of last year, and all
this has been 
secured at an expense of about $2,500. 
Limestone scattered along the shore of the lake has been gathered and burned,
yielding lime of very good quality. 
In addition to the foregoing there have been erected and finished since spring
an 
,office 18 by 28, suitable for and occupied by the agent and the physician,
and ware- 
house 24 by 40. 
Many pieces of new ground were cleared last spring by the Indians, and broken
for 
their use by Government teams. I am now building for them, and with their
assist- 
ance in many cases, some ten dwellings, neat, commodious, and comfortable.
Many 
of the most noted chiefs and braves are setting a worthy example, laboring
diligently 
with their hands. Already good results are coming to light in the inquiry
made for 
such articles as chairs and stoves, by those hitherto content with sitting
on the floor 
and warming their wigwams by clay fire-places. 
The plan adopted by the Department, and approved by Congress, of giving supplies,
&c., only to those who, if able, help themselves, is working well here
so far as tried; 
and, indeed, I attribute a considerable share of the above-mentioned improvements
in 
the habits of the Indians to the application of that principle on this reservation.
In farming operations some improvement should be reported, more land cultivated
this year than last, and better cultivated, with the following approximate
results: 
The Indians have secured this year 40 bushels of wheat, so that the feasibility
of raising 
wheat is no longer a question. Those who raised it this season, as well as
their neigh- 
bors, seem delighted, and their example will be followed by many more next
spring. 
Of corn the yield is about the same as last year, say 4,500 bushels; while
the potato crop 
was cut short by the bug and drought, yielding only about 2,000 bushels,
being some 
500 bushels short of last year's yield. 
In educational affairs I can report the completion and occupancy of a neat,
commo- 
dious, and comfortable school-house, and the maintenance of a day -school,
but with very 
irregular attendance, many living so remote that attendance on a day-school
is out of 
the question. This suggests the great need of this agency, educationally
considered- 
a good boarding-school, supplemented perhaps by day-schools at some of the
other 
points; and until we have such a boarding-school the educational work here
will be of 
little use or benefit. Many of the best Indians themselves strongly urge
the estab- 
lisbment of a boarding-school, and have, as I am informed, pledged from their
lumber- 
fund $1,000 toward securing it. 
IOWA. 
SAC AND FOX AGENCY.-After their removal to Kansas, about 80 of 
the Sac and Fox tribe returned to Iowa, where they were subsequently 
joined by straggling Pottawatomies and Winnebagoes, until they now 
number 338, and under the name of Sac and Fox hold in fee-simple 
419 acres in Tama County, Iowa, along the Iowa River, which they pur- 
chased of individuals, and by act of Congress March 2,'1867, are allowed
to receive their per capita share of the tribal funds as long as they 
are peaceable and the State of Iowa is willing to harbor them. They 
cultivate 110 aces,1i patchesof 3 to 10acres per family. The remainder 
is used as pasturage for their ponies, of which they have too many for 
their own good.    N=early all is inclosed with substantial fence. They 


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