In 1898, Congress passed a bill creating the only ‘Institution for Insane Indians’ in the United States. The Canton Indian Insane Asylum, South Dakota (sometimes called Hiawatha Insane Asylum) opened for the reception of patients in January, 1903.

Many of the inmates were not mentally ill. Native Americans risked being confined in the asylum for alcoholism, opposing government or business interests, or for being culturally misunderstood. A 1927 investigation conducted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs determined that a large number of patients showed no signs of mental illness. The asylum was closed in 1934. While open, more than 350 patients were detained there, in terrible conditions. At least 121 died.

Land was set aside for a cemetery, but the Indian Office decided that stone markers for graves would be an unwarranted expense. Today, the cemetery (121 names) is located in the middle of a golf course in Canton. No one knows the cause of death of the incarcerated or why they were even at the asylum. The National Park Service has recently added the cemetery to the National Register of Historic Places.

This page covers the male patients interred in Canton Asylum during the year of 1924.

June 1924 Male Patients

Canton Indian Asylum, 1924 Male Patients

Number Name Tribe Reservation State
1 Bear, Frank Navajo Navajo Arizona
2 Black Bull, James Sioux Rosebud South Dakota
3 Brown, John Sioux Santee Nebraska
4 Carpenter, Joseph Sioux Cheyenne South Dakota
5 Catron, Kee Navajo Navajo Arizona
6 Charley, Creeping Piute Nevada Nevada
7 Clafflin, Peter Menominee Keshena Wisconsin
8 Cox, John Charles Omaha Omaha Nebraska
9 Davis, George Creek Muskogee Oklahoma
10 Dayea, Willie Navajo Navajo Arizona
11 Fairbanks, Richard Chippewa Leach Lake Minnesota
12 Francisco, Chico Papago Sells Arizona
13 Frenier, Henry Sioux Cheyenne South Dakota
14 Graves, Anson Chippewa Red Lake Minnesota
15 Gray Blanket, John Sioux Pine Ridge South Dakota
16 Harrison, Steve Sac and Fox Sac and Fox Oklahoma
17 Hawk, Charley Sioux Pine Ridge South Dakota
18 Hayes, Robert Chippewa Turtle Mountain North Dakota
19 Henry, James Creek Muskogee Oklahoma
20 Juan, Benito Papago Sells Arizona
21 Kennedy, Alfred H. Sioux Lower Brule South Dakota
22 Kentuck, Peter Hoopa Hoopa Valley California
23 Keoshot Potawatomi Potawatomi Kansas
24 Leve Leve, Earl Walapai Truxton Canon Arizona
25 Lucas, Anselmo Papago Sells Arizona
26 McCarter, Watt Cherokee Muskogee Oklahoma
27 McEwinn, Joe Cherokee Muskogee Oklahoma
28 Mahkimetass, Earl F. Monominee Keshena Wisconsin
29 Marlow, George Sioux Sisseton South Dakota
30 Memdoza, Juan Papago Sells Arizona
31 Mitchell, Willie Potawatomi Potawatomi Kansas
32 Moccasin Top, Oscar Sioux Pine Ridge South Dakota
33 Monroe, James Chippewa Red Lake Minnesota
34 Red Rock, Benjamin Sioux Pine Ridge South Dakota
35 Ree, Amos Sioux Yankton South Dakota
36 Richards, Alfred Chippewa Turtle Mountain North Dakota
37 Roberts, Henry Chippewa Red Lake Minnesota
38 Romero, James Sioux Pine Ridge South Dakota
39 Root, Jack Chippewa La Pointe Wisconsin
40 Ruby. Thomas Pima Pima Arizona
41 Smith, Matt Chemehueve Colorado River Arizona
42 Stands by him, Luke Sioux Rosebud South Dakota
43 Sweet Medicine, Jacob Northern Cheyenne Tongue River Montana
44 Turpin, Peter Chippewa White Earth Minnesota
45 Two Teeth Sioux Crow Creek South Dakota
46 Wauketch, Edward Menominee Keshena Wisconsin
47 Wauketch, Seymour Menominee Keshena Wisconsin
48 Wolfe, Joe Cherokee Cherokee North Carolina
49 Wolfe, Roy Unknown Tahlequah Oklahoma
50 Zimmerman, Alex Sioux Cheyenne South Dakota