The Iowa Indians of Kansas and Nebraska are fairly educated, at least the younger portion of them. Nearly all of them understand the English language; many of them speak it fluently, and many of their women are well educated. They are of good physical condition. They are also free from any external evidence of venereal disease. They are vigorous and active, and in appearance temperate, although it is said many of the men will drink whenever they can get whiskey.
As a rule they cultivate their farms with judgment and skill, and raise all that is necessary to supply their wants and leave much to sell, while many of them are accumulating property and surrounding themselves with the comforts of life. Orchards of apple, peach, plum; and cherry trees are numerous. The women are careful, industrious, and prudent, and many of them are good housekeepers and excellent cooks. The marriage relation is regarded by them as sacred, and not to be broken by either party, while all agree that their women are as a rule virtuous.
These people seem to be prosperous and happy. They dress in citizens’ clothes and are very much like white people, many of them so near white that the Indian blood is quite difficult to discover.
Their wealth consists in lands, horses, cattle, and swine. Their farms are all fenced. They were allotted some years ago under a special act of Congress. They have selected their tracts, but patents have not yet been issued to them. They live in good houses, either frame or log, or both combined. Many of them have 2-story frame houses with large frame barns. They are increasing quite first in a natural way. Last year there were 9 births and only 1 death. The year previous there were 8 births and only 6 deaths.
Their lands are good and all available for either tillage or pasturage. They are well watered, and the soil is rich and fertile, producing in abundance all the crops usual in this latitude. Some of their lands near the Missouri river are quite rough and broken, but covered with timber and can be made available for pasturage. There are no minerals found upon these lands nor quarries of stone. The rainfall is usually sufficient for all agricultural purposes. The agency buildings are in very fair repair and belong jointly to this tribe and the Sacs and Foxes of Missouri, whose reservation adjoins this. Their value is about $6,000.
Many of them have become Christianized, the larger number being Catholics, though some of them have become members of the Episcopal church; a few, however, remain pagans. Their children are sent to school at the government boarding school provided jointly for them along with the Sacs and Foxes of Missouri. Of this reservation 5,120 acres lie in Kansas.
The Iowas in Kansas went to their present reservation in 1854. The Iowas at Sac and Fox agency, Oklahoma, went to Indian Territory in 1868, and their present reservation was created by executive order of August 15, 183. The Iowas are civilized Indians.
The total Iowa population in the United States in 1890, with location, is as follows:
Iowas at Iowa reservation, Kansas 165
Iowas at Sac and Fox agency, Oklahoma 102