Founded in 1883-84, the Chilocco Indian Agricultural School was one of the first, large off-reservation boarding schools established by the Federal government for the education of American Indian students. It offered academic and vocational training to children of tribes across the United States. The following information concerning the school, was published in the December 1904 edition of the Indian School Journal:

The Chilocco Indian Industrial School, established by the Honorable James M. Haworth, the first superintendent of Indian schools was opened for pupils in January, 1884, in the large building now known as the boys’ home. Its location is on a beautiful tract of land, 3 miles in extent north and south, and 4 1/2 miles east and west, in Kay County, Oklahoma, but bordering upon the Kansas state line, about six miles south of Arkansas City, Kansas. Large as this school reservation seems to be, it is all either under cultivation or utilized as meadow or pasture. Chilocco was a money-order post-office; it had telephone connections both north and south, and flag stations on the “Santa Fe” and “Frisco” railway systems – both railroads running through the school lands.

The school plant once consisted of some thirty-five buildings, principally of stone, mostly heated by steam or hot water and lighted with electricity, with modern conveniences and equipment. The stone used in their construction is the handsome magnesian limestone, quarried on the reservation. The water and sewerage systems were first-class.

This was known as the best equipped institution in the Indian Service for imparting a practical knowledge of the agricultural industries “so much needed” by the majority of Indian boys. The principal crops were wheat, corn, oats, broom corn, sorghum, millet, alfalfa, and prairie hay. The beef and dairy herds contain about 1000 head. Over 10,000 gallons of milk were produced during the last quarter, and most of the beef and pork used during 1903 was raised and butchered at the school. The large orchards, vineyards, nursery and gardens afforded means of practical instruction in all these closely related industries. There was a large amount on hand of budded and grafted nursery stock, of best varieties, which was sold cheap to other schools, or to Indians who planted and cared for it on their allotments.

The trades school includes instruction in blacksmithing, horseshoeing, wagon making, carpentry and cabinet making, shoe and harness making, painting and paper hanging, printing. broom making. tailoring. stonecutting, stone and bricklaying, engineering, plumbing and steam fitting: also the domestic arts, such as sewing, dressmaking, baking, cooking, housekeeping, laundering and nursing. Instruction, rather than money making, was the object. Nearly the entire product, however, was utilized by the school.

The 1904 attendance was about 700 pupils, from 40 different tribes of a dozen different states and territories.

Chilocco Indian School Records of Grades 1916-1944

Arranged chronologically by school year and within the year by class or grade level. This series includes scholarship reports in chart form of pupils from primary grades through vocational school listing names, numerical grades earned in each class and general rating in department and academics. Reports are signed and dated by the examining teacher.

Chilocco Indian School Attendance Reports 1914-1936

Arranged chronologically by date of record. This series includes daily records of attendance and enrollment totals at Chilocco. There are records relating to the enumeration of boys present and absent, girls present and absent, total enrollment, and number of deserters. There is also a record of the names of pupils signed in and out by date, admissions, and drops by date.

Descriptive Statement of Children

This series includes originals of Form 5-138 describing children transferred from an agency to Chilocco Indian School. The statement is signed by the agent and certified by the physician of the home agency of the children. Information about children includes Indian name, English name, blood degree, nation, band, father’s name and rank, whether parents are living or dead, child’s sex, age, height, weight, and remarks.

Guidebook of the Chilocco School

Unarranged for the first volume. The second volume is arranged chronologically by classes and thereunder alphabetically. This series includes an earlier volume which is dated 1916-1918 and lists grades of 112 girls in the home training department. Each student is graded on such items as care of bedroom, cleanliness, home decorations, etc. The latest volume is dated 1922-27 and contains a record of grades made by students in all of their classes. Sometimes the student’s age and major study emphasis is noted. A Junior Class Roll and minutes of the Junior Class meeting are written in the book.

The Indian School Journal

Arranged chronologically by date of issue. This series includes magazines published by students and printed in the print-shop at Chilocco. The records includes articles about the Indian service and various tribes, stories, poems and inspirational paragraphs, and advertisements from various states and countries, There are numerous photographs of students, faculty, school buildings, Indian houses and artifacts, and other subjects of interest to students of ethnology.

 

Quarterly Attendance School Report

Arranged chronologically by date or report. This series includes early reports and duplicates of a list of pupils sent to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Information includes name, blood, tribe, age and number of days in attendance. In 1936, the quarterly report was required in lieu of the monthly and semiannual reports.

Register of Pupils

Statement of Arrivals and Departures

The Chilocco News

The Chiloccan Annual Yearbook, 1926-1980