[Note: Information I had on the opening of “Chilocco” is in Volume 2, “The Indians,” of Cowley County history. The following information I found on some microfilm at the Arkansas City Public Library in April 2003. MAW]
CHILOCCO INDIAN SCHOOLS
Now Enjoying the Largest Attendance in its History.
The Schools Full.
Arkansas City Daily Traveler, Monday, December 7, 1896.
The Chilocco Indian schools are now running at the high water mark. It is now full and pupils applying to enter will have to be refused. Superintendent Taylor has worked the attendance up to 420 pupils, the limit of the institution. The largest attendance prior to Superintendent Taylor taking charge was 320. Since he assumed control he has increased the attendance one hundred. If the appropriation is made by congress that is being asked for, the Chilocco Indian schools will be made the largest in the country.
Chilocco is a great institution and during the school year is quite a good sized municipality in itself. Its trade with Arkansas City is quite an item in advancing our business interests. The amount of merchandise consumed at these schools is certainly enormous. As an item showing the food consumption Supt. Taylor says it takes a good sized steer each day to feed all. That is equal to over 365 steers each year. Other eatables are consumed in a like proportion. Besides the beef a great many hogs are butchered. At present this institution butchers about fifty head of its own cattle annually and 100 head of hogs. It is the aim of the superintendent in time to raise sufficient cattle and hogs to supply the schools with all its own meat. At present they have a herd of 500 cattle and it is expected to increase the number to 1,000 head. After that the increase will supply all the necessary beef.
This large herd of cattle is well taken care of. They run on a 4,000 acre field which is surrounded by a fence ten wires high. The fence is very strong. The wires are close together and the posts are five feet apart. An entrance to the pasture is through a large gate which is kept locked. Each morning the herd is turned into the field and a watchman sent with them. At noon he is relieved by another watchman and at night the herd is brought in and put under shelter. A guard looks after them at night. Consequently, the loss by stealing is very small.
Another improvement that is now being figured on is the putting in of an electric light system at the schools. It is the intention to light up the entire institution by electricity in the near future.