Chilocco Indian School

153
City/Town: ChiloccoNewkirk
Location Class: SchoolGhost Town
Year Built: 1884
Year Abandoned: 2001
Status: AbandonedNational Register of Historic Places
Photographer: Cody CooperDavid LindeJohnny Fletcher

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“An institution, founded to transform Indian youth was paradoxically given life by the very people whose tribal identities it was committed to erase”

-K. Tsianina Lomawaima “They call it Prairie Light”

Chilocco was founded in 1884 as an agricultural school for Native Americans. From 1884 until the early 1930s Chilocco operated according to a template devised by U.S. Army officer Richard H. Pratt at Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania. The large off-reservation schools used rigorous military discipline and stressed instruction in trades and manual and domestic labor known as “actual work.” Alumni from these years remember twenty-two bugle calls a day, Government-issue uniforms, scanty meals, inadequate health care, and a lack of individual attention. Life at Chilocco was very difficult for many in its early years. The harsh regimen was the driving force to integrate, assimilate and civilize the Native Americans. They also remember the bonds of loyalty and love that knit students together, and the rivalries of tribe, degree of blood, age, and language difference that cross-cut school society.

Before reforms from the federal Indian Service in the 1930’s, Chilocco was under strict militarized rule. Every moment of the students lives was scheduled and controlled by staff members. Perfection was the only acceptable way of life. Beds were to be made every morning perfectly, much in the way the military does today. Alumni recall tests involving coins being dropped onto their beds. If it didn’t bounce, every bed in the often overcrowded dorms were overturned and each student was to begin again.

While moving about the campus each student was lined up according to height. They marched in formation at all times. Any wavering from this was immediate punishment. Chilocco’s discipline plan was based on a system of demerits. These were to be “worked off”. One demerit equalled one hour of work. Girls often had to polish the terrazzo floors until they shined “so they could see their faces” or making pillowcases and mending the uniforms. (K. Tsianina Lomawaima-They Called it Prairie Light”) Boys were often required to work in what they called the rock pile. This involved taking huge limestone boulders and splitting them into smaller ones for construction projects at the school. Although this strict way of life was harsh, many students appreciate how it benefited them later in life. However some do not.

In 1928 an expose of federal Indian Service mismanagement scathingly critiqued conditions in the boarding schools, including Chilocco, and in the early 1930s some reforms were introduced. Boys and girls could sit together in the dining rooms, more attention was invested in academic work, and drudgery work devoted to school upkeep was cut back. Nonetheless, many aspects of student life endured: separation from home and family for years at a time, devotion to fellow students, strict discipline, and curricula that remained focused more on vocational than academic preparation. A copy of an older Chiloccoan yearly depicts this:

The institution was established and is maintained by the United States Government, not to give its students anything but to loan them each a few hundred dollar’s worth of Board, Clothing, and Tuition. The tuition is in the following lines:

Academic.-This course is the equivalent of the usual High School Course but not the same. Non-essentials are eliminated and one half of each day is given to industrial training and the other half to academic studies. All effort is directed toward training Indian boys and girls for efficient and useful lives under the conditions which they must meet after leaving school.

Vocational.- Special stress is placed upon the courses in Agriculture and Home Economics for these reasons:

1. The Indian has nine chances to earn a livelihood and establish a permanent home in a congenial environment as a farmer to every one in any other pursuit.

2. His capital is practically all in land, of which he must be taught the value, and which is appreciated as of any considerable value only when he has gained the skill and perseverance by means of which he can make it highly productive.

Our large farm of nearly 9,000 acres offers unusual facilities for giving practical instruction in Farming and Stock raising, Gardening, Dairying, and Horticulture.

The course in Mechanical Arts offers Instruction in Printing, Engineering, Carpentry, Blacksmithing, Masonry, Shoe and Harness Making and Painting.

The girls are furnished instruction in every department of home making including Domestic Science and Domestic Art and Nursing. Instruction in instrumental music is provided for those who manifest talent for it.

Vocation at Chilocco was heavily entrenched in the curriculum. The thought was that the Indian students would have a better chance of leading useful and productive lives if they were taught how to live and how to provide rather than be educated as a white student in a public school. “Life instruction” was also an aspect of students lives.

Many could not speak English, could not use a telephone, or write. Enunciation was not only an exercise but a necessity as the soft accents of the Native American often came through in the English language they spoke. The development to bring the control of perfect diction was a way the children could come into the mainstream of the American lifestyle. Assimilating the Indians was very much about the limiting of ones cultural background in the pursuit of a civilized way of life. Girls were even instructed on how to make a home. As Donna depicts in her article -from Electricscotland.com

“Maybe five or six girls were plucked from the dormitory to spend a short training period by actually staying in the small house or cottage together. The purpose was a kind of living training for being prepared to care for our own homes. Meals were prepared and served at a table instead of at the sterile cafeteria where we normally took our food. The small number at the table created more of a family situation. Napkins, silverware, delicate water glasses made the table setting pleasant. The girls never tired of the ice in their glasses even though it was during the coldest time in the winter. This was a pleasure not normally enjoyed as each had walked through the chow line at Leupp Hall.”

Chilocco emphasized the individual. They taught that personal fulfillment and protection was the most important aspect of life. For many this was a difficult concept to comprehend. This ideal was a complete juxtaposition to what many students were raised to believe. Tribal life teaches the importance of the greater good of the group, as opposed to the later. Having been separated from their families, many students struggled to maintain this way of life and often, many ran away because of the difficulty this separation caused. As a resort many formed what the students called clans. Often they would immediately side with members of their tribe, which, often caused rifts among classmates and along tribal lines.

Religion was also an important lesson taught to students. All of the employees were heavily involved in their Christian faith. As a result Christianity was the only religion available to students. Each week a service would be held that featured a different faith, as one former student recalls. “

At Chilocco once a week the service was staccato like, orderly, reverent and with beautiful music. Another service the next week would be a speaker who reasoned with the students in a rather paternal like, manner. Still another speaker would be a podium pounding, energetic, fire-breathing-advocate for saving our souls from hell-fire. Mostly I kept my head down so as not to giggle at the thought of how sinful could we be? There we were almost, virtually prisoners in a rigid military regime. How much sinning could we do when we were scheduled so tightly to such a close timing that we actually had little time to make an error.”

Later though, the school and its employees began to respect the Native Americans cultural belief. Around 1955 the Indian Club was established. It allowed students to practice their beliefs and was open to any student who wished to join.

The campus of Chilocco is centered around a Main oval, with buildings having to do with the operating of the school extending out from its center. All of the original buildings on the campus are constructed out of limestone quarried from the property. They are very imposing structures, enduring, and lasting.

Thus giving the campus an appearance of dominance and control. At the north end of the oval is Leupp Hall. This was where all meals were had. Vocations in weaving, cooking and baking, sewing, health and nursing classes, and family values were taught. Social training was taught here also for girls to learn how to put on banquets and parties. On the east side of the building was the bakery which served two purposes. It provided the bread and other pastries for the daily meals of the total student body and was training for boys who wished to work at this as a vocation after they graduated. The kitchen was located in this building and there was the latest equipment in use. A walk in cold storage stored produce from the school’s orchards and gardens. Great stainless steel vats cooked the food. Beef, mutton, and pork produced by the school was cooked here.

To the east and south of Leupp is one of the girls dormitories, Home 4, the Employees Club and more social training classrooms. These older dormitories usually held four girls in each room. Each was allowed a very small closet of their own in the room. There are several communal restrooms and showers on every floor of the three story building. A central entry hall and day room like area featured a beautifully carved mantel and fireplace.

Immediately south of of these buildings is the imposing structure on Hayworth Hall. It housed the

auditorium, principals office, and vocational classes in the basement. The stage in the auditorium was where many different presentations were made for the students enjoyment. There was a projector room on top of of this room, and this is where movies were shown on a screen. These movies were where girls and boys were allowed to enjoy each other’s company as a kind of date.

Speeches, pageants, church services on Sunday, visiting dignitaries, all shared their moments in the limelight. The choir also presented their programs here. On the nights the choir performed, everyone, boys and girls, gathered in the basement. They were organized this way because they were required to march into the auditorium.

The auditorium has a large balcony which encircles the lower area. Stunning balustrades round the balcony.This is one of many buildings that is in total disrepair. Most notably because the roof has completely caved in upon the once grand auditorium. The red stage curtain still hangs with the large gold cursive C. Hayworth Hall is named after the man who chose the site for Chilocco.

The gym and pool buildings are across the oval and behind Home 6. Chilocco was known for its award winning boxing team which held its practices here, along with the basketball,and the swim teams. Dances and socials as well as pageants took place in the gym. To the west is a newer building, a dormitory for boys. It was built in the 1960’s when Chilocco received federal funds to improve the campus. It has two large day areas at its front and a cafeteria. The dorm is three floors, with each room housing 4-6 boys. Students had their own dressing area with a small built in desk and closet. Although this building is the newest structure on the campus it too is in a serious state of disrepair. Broken windows are everywhere. Holes have been punched into the walls and plumbing was been salvaged. Although it is in a dire state, it is important to mention that small memories of past students are drawn on walls. Small drawings and messages to other classmates show the life that was once here.

To the west of this building is the vocational area. Buildings for studies in laundry, drafting, welding, and woodcraft. Here you can still find curriculum scrolled on blackboards and posters. The laundry still has its semester plan which involved classes on how to remove different stains from clothing, and dry cleaning. There are still large pressing machines here. A small gas station and auto shop are directly behind. The fire station and it’s fire truck are still intact also. The fire engine still gleams red. Emblazoned on its side “Chilocco Indian School Bureau of Indian Affairs”

Staff housing, and the school incinerator are to the west of this area, as well as the water tower that looms over the campus. To the north behind Leupp Hall and west are the dormitories that NARCANON refurbished. They have central courtyards and are larger then the girls dorm next to Hayworth Hall. The walls are painted pastel pink and dark green. What they assumed as Native American motifs are painted as borders throughout the buildings. These buildings have a large day room with a grand fireplace and a bowed window. However, furniture is strewn about the building and scientology paraphernalia is scattered about. North of this was additional staff housing as well as the practice cottage.

But the most beautiful part of Chilocco is the immense lake.

A small foot bridge with white railings crosses the water. Ducks, and geese move through the gentle water. Being that this is the first thing you see after you come up the long drive from the entrance, the stage is set for a beautiful school, set alone on the Oklahoma prairie. Although the campus and school was impressive, lasting and well equipped to continue educating Native American youth well in the the future, it’s decline began.

During the 1960’s and 1970’s Chilocco was on a track to closure. Enrollment and funds began to dwindle. It was becoming more expensive to house and educate the students than if they were to attend public schools. Chilocco was now no longer serving it’s surrounding areas. In 1972, 158 students were from tribes in Oklahoma, 605 students were from elsewhere, mostly Alaska. Senator Bellman lobbied that the school be closed amid severe budget cuts. In their eyes, the school had served it’s purpose, it had brought the American Indian into the main stream of society. And with that there was no longer a need for the institution.

Chilocco also suffered from a series of scandals that plagued the school until it closed. In 1972 Carlton Grass beat a fellow student, Eugene Voight. Grass beat Voight to death in a dormitory. The national Youth Council sent out letters to parents regarding “unreasonable restraints on children, invasion of privacy, inadequate recreational activities, ineffective counseling, illegal detention of juveniles, and lack of parental and tribal control.” They cited the unlawful detention of several girls in the Newkirk jail. Also in 1972 the National Indian Youth Council staged a sit-in in the administration office. They demanded “an examination of all phases of education from curriculum to brutality” . Although, it is important to note, that a Daily Oklahoman article states that the students support the school and that the student council opposed the sitin and the letter. After this though enrollment dropped rapidly. When Chilocco opened it housed well over 800 to 1,000 students well into the 1950’s. Now it barely held 100. Chilocco was dying.

The last class to graduate from Chilocco had only 11 students. It’s dilapidated structures were no longer maintained and the campus was a shell of what it once used to be. At the last commencement ceremony held, Chilocco’s superintendent C.O. Tillman addressed the remaining students “Let’s go out of here smiling and proud if the school is closed. So we can look each other in the eye when we meet again and know we did our best” They were unsure if the school would re-open in the fall. However one attendant at the the event says “the OG&E trucks were there waiting to cut off the electricity, ONG was there to cut off the gas”. It is a very sullen moment to realize that a place that offered many so much hope and determination was no longer a reality. Chilocco closed and the gates were locked.

Chilocco is owned by five tribes: The Kaws, Tonkawas, Pawnees, Poncas, and Otoes. After its closure they sought ways to save the school. They attempted to turn the school into an Indian College but this never came to fruition. They had no other options until NARCANON arrived. NARCANON, which is a Scientology based drug and alcohol rehab center opened around 1990. In much fanfare Kirstie Alley opened the center as Chilocco New Life Center. Alley is a driving force in Narcanon and Scientology They hoped to encompass the entire campus of Chilocco to have the largest NARCANON center in the world.

Based on the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, NARCANON’s treatments are based on sauna like exposure, where patients sweat the drugs out of their system with heavy doses of vitamins and rigorous exercise.

These treatments are not approved in Oklahoma. Thus they never obtained an official license from the Oklahoma Department Health. They only recieved temporary liscenses. NARCANON argued that since they were on tribal lands they were exempt from state law. The surrounding areas also protested the arrival of NARCANON. They leased the land for 25 years but paid nothing to the tribes for the first two. And they also failed to pay the state in back taxes. Narcanon relocated to Lake Eufala in 2001, which is no longer open.

The story of Chilocco is one of bravery, heartache and perseverance. For many it represents the best years of their lives. For others it was their worst. It’s purpose to assimilate is controversial but realize that it was not alone. Many other Indian boarding schools across the country existed for the same purpose. Chilocco at times was hell and at others was heaven. Alumni look back and recall their memories. Their opportunity to better themselves. A school such as Chilocco is a monument to the hardships of the Native American people. Having been forced out of their homes to integrate into an “American” society is a hardship that most often fail to realize. Chilocco is still here though. It is a historic landmark and is apart of not only Native American’s history but ours as well. Chilocco was called “the light on the prairie”, Although its halls are dark and silent, it still shines as a part of every Native American.

“The smoke from the bowl of the peace pipe has died down, yet there is one bright ember still glowing. Keep it alight students of Chilocco”

-Chiloccoan graduating class of 1931

WARNING: Chilocco Is heavily guarded by both 24/7 security as well as a large pack of guard dogs. This is not a place for you to get in you car and go visit. This is for your online viewing pleasure only. Because this land is being used by law enforcement as practice and training grounds, it is governed by federal police; not local police. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO VISIT CHILOCCO INDIAN SCHOOL.

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psychosaw13
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psychosaw13

I am so proud of this project & happy to be apart of it! Congratulations to all the rest involved, We Did it! I am ecstsatic that we could document this fading piece of Oklahoma history.

AbandonedOK Team
Guest

It's a story that has to be told, one that most Oklahoman's have never heard. And not only is it Oklahoma History, it is a part of our National History. It is an amazing place with an equally amazing story. Enjoy!

A Student
Guest
A Student

"FADING piece of Oklahoma history"
is correct!!! http://chilocco.yuku.com/forums/66/t/Public-Forum

Teresa Leemhuis Char
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Teresa Leemhuis Char

I enjoyed the video very much, i just wished that it could have been a then and now showing. It was scary at times while watching the video and remembering the day back in 1979-1980. Brings back some good memories. Again thank you. Member of the Caddo/Seminole Tribes.

Barrett Williamson
Guest

Thank you for publising this. There are existing efforts underway to preserve this important campus, and they need help. We have developed emergency stabilzation plans for Haworth Hall. The funding required to prevent the collapse of this structure is $300,000.00. If you would like to be a part of preservation efforts, please contact me for additional information. I can be reached at (405) 360-5818.

billy
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billy

Hell of a post guys. Hell of a post. Amazing job.

John
Guest
John

Great photos with fitting music. Good job!

papaOU
Guest
papaOU

In the related article I wonder if the Inidan children were really “clamoring” to get in.

guest
Guest
guest

actually the children had no choice so as for 'clamoring' i dont think so.

Liz
Guest
Liz

This location is full of history, you did a great job putting all this together.
Is there someone I would need to contact to beable to go inside the buildings? If so please contact me at ppighosts4@yahoo.com
Thanks so much.
Liz

Kari Hosar
Guest
Kari Hosar

We visited last January and the place was overgrown and in comlete dispair. I’ve done a lot of research and learned that the state of Oklahoma is (or was at one point recently) considering renovating the place and re-opening it as another school/college/historic site. There are also yearly alumni reunions in the summer months and a group of volunteers that tends to the cemetery. Fiend, if you visited in August it was probably an alum group prepping for the reunion.
I have many more pics, but am unsure where to contribute them. The forum?

Fiend
Guest
Fiend

Yeah, make a post in the forum. I definately want to see more pics.

Anthony Q
Guest
Anthony Q

That’s strange. I was THERE in 1996 as a “student” at Narconon. As far as I know, It’s still Narconon Arrowhead.

AbandonedOK Team
Guest

Narcanon is no longer at the location. It is patrolled 24/7 by private security with the Council of Confederated Chilocco Tribes.

OKCEXP
Guest
OKCEXP

Did you "sweat it out" LOL Not to be rude but did it work? What was Chilocco like then? Did you use all the buildings like the cafeteria and the auditorium building? Very cool!

jiggsd
Guest
jiggsd

ya..i was there in 96 and 98 and sweated it out….it was nuts…but man, it was a cool place…creepy…but cool

ms t
Guest
ms t

in 1980 new laws and regulations were put in place. it carried alarge impact on all state and gov “schools”. they did’t close because the kids were mainstreamed! the cost was greater then the need. these places were just mini-prisions. I was a kid at one of the fine oklahoma “school’s” for children. it wasn’t all that fine after all….

Robert Allen
Guest
Robert Allen

I wonder what it would be like to actually go to an Indian school as a student. I know that several across the country are still open. I would imagine that it isn't as strict, but definately not easy. Any comments?

Emil Arthur
Guest
Emil Arthur

hello I have been to a Boarding School at Flandreau, SD. It wasn't too bad they weren't as strict like back in the old missionary days. I enjoyed it got ayway from home met new people from around Indian Country. Only thing was that you have discpline urself to do homework but, I managed to get my done.

Kravet
Guest
Kravet

I live near Arkansas City and pass this place alot. I had always seen the outside of it growing up. Very cool, I didn't imagine it like that. Though it had a very seedy reputation among the kids in AK city.

Jofa
Guest
Jofa

I remember tha scandals that happened at Chilocco. A relative of mine went there in the 1970's. Although it was never reported aparantly a student hung himself in the gym. I hope his would is at rest.

Tsianina Lomawaima
Guest
Tsianina Lomawaima

sincere thanks to all who contributed to this posting; it’s stunning

AbandonedOK Team
Guest

Thank you Tsianina! It was a pleasure to read your book as well! It was fascinating and full of such great stories and information.

Daniel Ford
Guest
Daniel Ford

Awesome article, the History of this place is amazing, it would be a wonderful story if former residents could be located and their stories published.

Keep up the Great Work and God Bless!!!!

A Student
Guest
A Student

These tribes have let this place go for 30 years. Plus let drugheads in to tear it up.
Now they are begging for help to fix what they have let go of.
After 30 years under these tribes control it looks like this.
What will it look like in another 30 years.
A $100 water leak when it started has now turned into a $300,000 repair.

A Student
Guest
A Student
Nikole Sturm
Guest
Nikole Sturm

Wow. I'm impressed. You guys put a lot of work into make this absolutely amazing! Thanks for sharing this place on your site 😀

kelly anquoe
Guest

almost brought a tear. Chilocco stands as a testament to the 20 Century Oklahoma Indian. My mother graduated i the early 50's, my uncle was a coach, and many other family also attended. I will share this and hope to one day purchase the DVD with all the photos and yearbooks. AHO!

Carolyn
Guest
Carolyn

yup i went looked at the photo's of the School what a crying SHAME that is to just let it go, an a historic Place at that? SHAME SHAME SHAME !!! wish i'd hit the almighty lottery, i'd get it back to where it should been all along in Good condition an students still went to school there 🙂 Chilocco will 4 ever be deeply in my heart

Kimberly Saul
Guest

Hey Kelly, I say ditto.Was very blessed to attend this years reuion on campus .Looking forward to next yrs.We need to organize a pow-wow maybe fall 2013.Lets revive Chilocco.Go Indians.Kimberly Saul

Donna Wilson Berry
Guest
Donna Wilson Berry

My Dad and his siblings, along with their Mom and Dad spent many growing-up years at Chilocco where my Grandfather taught. I have found many pictures of the grounds and buildings. Very interesting; only wish I had asked more questions and knew more of the answers.

Emil Arthur
Guest
Emil Arthur

My father had attended this school his name is Marcus Arthur

Phil Zephier
Guest
Phil Zephier

I attended Chilocco Sept. 1964 to May, 1968.
The place was in it's full glory days than.
I've met and made so many friends from
different parts of the U.S. and Alaska. I
still have these friendships to this day.
It's like I became a member of one huge
family. For this, I'll always rmember and
love my days at Chlocco.

Georgette Long-Abrah
Guest
Georgette Long-Abrah

I attended Chilocco Sept. 1964 and graduated January 1967. At that time, there were 100's of students and most of them were arriving from Alaska. My most precious fond memories were of my high school years spent there and the many friends I made. I talk about it yet to my grandchildren.
Your right Phil, we were at one time a huge family!

R Morris
Guest
R Morris

Hi Georgette. My father (Lincoln Morris) taught at the Print Shop during your attendance.
His students produced all publications & the Annual Yearbooks.
He loved & was very dedicated to his students as where many teachers.
I'm glad you too have fond memories.
R Morris

Claudene Boyer
Guest
Claudene Boyer

Chilocco is a place where I return to in my dreams. I attended Chilocco four years, 1964 to 1968. It was a beautiful school. There were so many tribes there. It was a learning experience I'll never forget. I missed being at home but the friendship and warmth from the students held to me like a blanket. Chilocco became my home away from home. I learned how to type in my sophomore year. I could have excelled in the sciences, or the math classes, but I was distracted just by watching the seasons in which we lived. The staff and… Read more »

pius savage
Guest
pius savage

HI;

DO YOU REMEMBER ME pIUS SAVAGE.IF YOU DO SEND ME BACK MAIL.
PIUS SAVAGE

Pius Savage
Guest
Pius Savage

Yes. I remember two brothers (?). Thanks for the e-mail. Claudene

Pius Savage
Guest
Pius Savage

Glenice (Evening) Teton remembers your name and your brother. We work together in the Tribal Attorneys Office at Fort Hall, Idaho. I remembered seeing you and your brother but had not met you in person. Glenice's brother, Sonny Evening, was acquainted with you. He is now deceased. Thank you, again.

Dr. David Begay, Sr.
Guest
Dr. David Begay, Sr.

Claudene,

Very interesting indeed to see your posting. I don't know if you remember me as a friend when we were at Chilocco. Since Chilocco, I served in the army in the Vietnam War, went back to school (University) for seveal years and received my Ph.D. Now, I am Associate Research Professor at UNM, Albuquerque and Adjunct Professor in the Dept of Physics and Astronomy, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff. I assume you are in Idaho and fully grown. I would like to hear from you via email should you receive this message.

Claudene Boyer
Guest
Claudene Boyer

I remember you, (Dr.) David Begay (Sr.). Thanks for the post. My e-address is claudene_boyer@yahoo.com. I'm not a degreed individual as you have become. I'm proud of you. I'm glad you had the incentive to become an intellectual. B) I'm infamous and loving it.

Sharon (Moses) LaCla
Guest
Sharon (Moses) LaCla

Some of my happiest memories were of Chilocco,teachers, friends made & bonds kept. It was a chapter in my life I will never forget as it made me a stronger person. I will forever endear those moments and memories to my heart. I thank all of those that had a hand in making those memories. We are still a family, no matter where we are or how far apart. We still have that bond. I Love Chilocco Indians!!!

Angela Mendez
Guest
Angela Mendez

Wow, sure brings back memories of my two years at Chilocco. Very sad to see the abandoned buildings. Drove through there in 1997………..Thanks for sharing the video

Angela Mendez
Guest
Angela Mendez

Wow brings back old memories of my two years at Chilocco. Really sad to see the abandoned buildings………thanks for sharing

Tzo'-Nah
Guest
Tzo'-Nah

Yes, very interesting place. At the time I was there, I was entranced with the natural world surrounding the school. Very different from my home lands in Idaho. Inside, I made friends. But my dreams are still of the trees–which had very interesting objects growing from them, the insects and the sky-the weather was fierce at times but also fun. I didn't learn much there from a western educational perspective.

Tina Kalama (Aguilar
Guest
Tina Kalama (Aguilar

I attended Chilocco from Sept. 64 to May 68. I met alot of people and treasure each one that are still alive today. Our school might be in ruin but our memories can never be taken. I can honestly say I truly loved being there with all my Chilocco family. I miss those that are gone but loved all.

Rachel
Guest
Rachel

I have never been to the school and never seen pictures of it before. I live close to it and never even knew it was closed but always wondered what it looked like inside. Thanks for sharing this with those who would have never seen it at all.

medina jackson
Guest
medina jackson

i hope that place goes back to the earth from which it came or made into a memorial like a holocost museum

Bill Koropsak
Guest
Bill Koropsak

My father taught math their in 1968 and he always spoke of how he love the students he had. It's a shame that it's gone. Bill

Rodger Morris
Guest
Rodger Morris

Hi. My father (lincoln morrris) taught printing 1961-72. He too lived & was very dedicated to his students
Rodger Morris

James Smythers
Guest

I used to live close to this school but never took much interest in it. Thanks for the info, quite enlighting

Caroline
Guest
Caroline

I am fascinated by this place. I spent all morning researching this place, and it seems that since it closed its doors in 1980, it has served some interesting purposes. Apparently Chilocco operated as a Narconon rehabilitation/detoxification center for a while I believe in the 90s, which was run by the scientologists. Then up until recently it was used as a military training facility. Such a large and interesting campus, I would love to go see it and take pictures. I tried to find anyone affiliated to get in contact with to get permission or see about a guided tour… Read more »

Jon
Guest
Jon

Very interesting. I have had the opportunity to be on most of the 5000 acres that make up "Chilocco" in working with the various tribes. I was never on the main campus though. I was amazed at many of the agricultural buildings/barns that were build off the main campus and are hidden in the trees. I would have loved to have been able to photograph those buildings. Also it is worth mentioning that there were many small erosion structures all over the country around the area that many older farmers say are remenants of Chilocco students learning stone work by… Read more »

Steve
Guest
Steve

I have this CD. Great choice for your slideshow.

pius savage
Guest
pius savage

call me anyone if you remember chilocco from 1965-69

(907)230-5628

Pius Savage

Pius Savage
Guest
Pius Savage

Sorry for a late reply. I am not that technically challenged. I replied to your e-mail at my address. Sorry for the discrepancy. Glenice (Evening) Teton remembers you. We work here at the attorneys office in Fort Hall, Idaho. I remember you. Hope all is well with you. The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes are having their festival starting today through Sunday. Plenty busy here. Catch you later. Claudene

Frank BearCloud
Guest
Frank BearCloud

Hello Pius good to see your still with us.. Frank BC

gordon i hobucket
Guest
gordon i hobucket

i have memorys of you guys sitting around the dorm room playing cards.how has the world been treating you oh pius savage?
🙂

Art Hill Jr
Guest
Art Hill Jr

Chilocco holds a special place in my memory as I was a freshman there in 1979-80. The last year it was open and operated by the BIA. My dad graduated from Chilocco in '57
So yes I have an established Chilocco blood line…….

Nancy Rhoades
Guest
Nancy Rhoades

My great-aunt Epsie Louise Ladner was a Chilocco graduate of 1932, I believe. Would you have any information on her. She was president of her Baptist Youth Club there. I have pictures that were passed on to her sister, Ruby Ladner, after she passed away. I also have pictures of students that I believe graduated with her. Some pictures are taken of her and her sister on the campus. I also have a postcard of the football boys of 1932. If you have any information of her or Ruby, my grandmother, please contact me! (580 276 4226) or text or… Read more »

Cloud
Guest
Cloud

I attended Northern Oklahoma College in Tonkawa and some locals took me and a few friends out there one night. Hands down the scariest and most interesting places I've ever been. Just looking at the picture and reading the article gives me chills all over again. Anyone I've talked to that has been there has a story about paranormal activity and just as we crossed back over the bridge to leave in my friends 2007 truck (brand new at the time) it died and would not start. We sat there for almost an hour before it started up again! Scaryyyyy… Read more »

Carol Afraid Of Hawk
Guest
Carol Afraid Of Hawk

Hi My Name is Carol Afraid Of Hawk. I attended Chilocco in 78,79, It was the best years i ever attended at school If any body that was there at that time maybe you remember me they used to call me Munchkin. My adress is box 282 Fort Yates N.D.

Joanne Twoteeth
Guest
Joanne Twoteeth

I remember you. I am Joanne Twoteeth from Helena, Montana.

cheryl warrior
Guest
cheryl warrior

Hello,
Munchkin I remember you, Cheryl Warrior.

Jan Small
Guest
Jan Small

Some of my most memorable moments in life were @ Chilocco. My grandfather, Dee Gregory worked @ Chilocco for 30 years. My mother and her sisters grew up there. It was a sad day when they had to move off the grounds. Every chance I get I return to look at whats left and talk to my kids about what a wonderful time I had visiting my grandparents and aunt every holiday and summer. I will never forget the good ole days @ Chilocco.

Steve Lowell
Guest
Steve Lowell

Jan:
I remember taking Janice Dee, Greg, Jill and Todd there. We stayed at your Grandparents and had Thanksgiving. I believe that the year was 1979 or 1980. I think that you had left home by then and that was the reason you weren't there. I look at the photo's often.

Bev Moses
Guest
Bev Moses

I learned alot from Mr Gregory

jan
Guest
jan

My grandfather was a wonderful man. I remember his laugh most of all and his gentleness and he was a great listener as well. You were so fortunate to have learned from him as well. Thank you for the compliment.

Fanchone
Guest
Fanchone

I bet your Moma was Janice or her little sister. I graduated with Janice, she was a dear friend, and a beautiful and gracious young lady. I still miss the fun times we had in high school, and getting to visit with her at our class reunions. She left way to early, guess God needed a beautiful angel to play the flute in his band.
Fanchone Myers

jan
Guest
jan

yes my mother is Janice Dee. I miss her so and have heard so many good things about her. I loved chilocco as well.

Indian Warrior
Guest
Indian Warrior

Does anyone know what year Lousie Fixin Cameron graduated from Chilocco Indian School?

Jim B
Guest
Jim B

1950 – I have the yearbook with her picture in it.

Luig Finata
Guest

Many thanks for your info about Music Instrument

Loraine Rutiaga
Guest

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dennis james
Guest
dennis james

How many of us are left outside of history alone? I'm still kicking call me Dennis James at 19184575516 if you are still out there and remember days past. It seems we are going extinct , Bill my brother, Doris my sister, Margie oldest sister, have all past all. Does anyone remember how beautiful Betty Buffalo Head was back in the early fifties? I wonder how many of our bunch are still around, it is sad that our breed is so few now.

Donna Flood
Guest

Dennis,
How wonderful to know you are still with us. I've never lost my memories of you. What a wonderful
part of my life was Chilocco. Nothing has ever come close to those times as far as pleasant living.
No worries, it was great.
Here is my web page: http://stonescry.tripod.com/ Go to Electric Scotland from there to see what I'm
doing, in my old age. <grin> I write daily or so, more or less at the forum with Electric Scotland, so
you can see what's going on with me today: http://www.electricscotland.org/forumdisplay.php/

Donna Jones Flood, class of '55

Bev Moses
Guest
Bev Moses

hello Dennis I will call you. what do you want me to call you?

Doris Casey
Guest
Doris Casey

Did you ever know Edith Etsitty (Edie)

William Parker
Guest
William Parker

Dennis do you remember the following people? Beverly Powless OnondagaNation, Elizabeth Powless Onondaga Nation, Martian Powless Onondaga Nation, and Billy Harrison Navajo Nation?

dennis james
Guest
dennis james

I can't believe I've made it to 74 years of age, it's getting dark ha, ha

Darwin Bushyhead
Guest

Both of my parents worked at Chilocco from 1958 to the closing in 1980. I was born in El Reno but was raised at Chilocco as were my other siblings. My dad, Victor Bushyhead worked in Agriculture and my mom, Clara Bushyhead worked in the girls dormitories. If you went to Chilocco in that time frame YOU KNEW MY PARENTS. I grew up with Chilocco being my playground and with that made many lifetime friends that I still hold dear today. I know they miss Chilocco just as much as I do, and I am sure as anyone who had… Read more »

Carolyn
Guest
Carolyn

Hey Darwin, hows ur Mother? she was my Matron in 72 , OMG this is so Amazing !!! i finally found some one i know LOL.

Darrell Htcher
Guest
Darrell Htcher

Are you related to the Bushyheads in Arkansas City? I grew up with and spent a lot of time with Gary. I left in 1975 and go back periodically.

nita befort
Guest
nita befort

Is there anyone we can talk to, to let us visit?

jan
Guest
jan

Is your sister Shanista? My grand parents lived there for 35 years…the Gregorys. I loved Chilocco

Darwin Bushyhead
Guest

After the closing of Chilocco in 1980, I didnt return until 1989 with my then wife who worked for Narcanon it was a very sad experience to see the grounds so empty of life. I saw the empty run down buildings and could remember when the students and faculty housed them with such pride and honor, along with the music. It sadened my heart to see it in that shape, but i will always have such great memories.

Cory Slavens
Guest
Cory Slavens

People should Read on the History of this Tragic Place.

Patty
Guest
Patty

My daughter and I drive by the sign for Chilocco Indian School every time we go to Native Lights Casino. We have always wondered what the school looks like. It's so sad seeing the pictures. If I were physically able, I would volunteer for free to help clean up the place. I have always been fascinated with the Native American culture.

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