SILETZ INDIAN AGENCY, OREG., August 26, 1895.
SIR: I have the honor to submit this, my second annual report, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1895.
The census roll submitted herewith shows a population of 507males 264, females 243; between the ages of 5 and 18 years, 11767 males and 50 females. The record of the physician shows 20 deaths and only 11 births, a decrease of 9 during the fiscal year 1895.
The condition of these Indians is not as much improved as I had hoped to be able to report at the end of the fiscal year just closed, yet some Indians have made good advancement, while others have made none.
The cause of most of the trouble and hindrance to progress has been the unrestricted sale of intoxicating liquors to them. While a portion has not been seriously affected, a portion has been, and unless some measure can be adoped to control or prohibit the sale of intoxicants to these Indians the results are much to be feared for them. We are situated near some small towns where the Indians do most of their trading. When they go out they are sought by whisky men and loafers who congregate about saloons, whose influence is always bad; and since they have become citizens, and backed by the decision of the United States court that it is not a violation of law to sell them whisky, these men have used every means possible to induce the Indians to buy whisky. The consequence is we have had much drunkenness among them.
We have some increase in the amount of grain, hay, and vegetables produced; we also have an increase in live stock. The most notable increase is in horses. Only a part of this is natural increase; the greater portion have been bought by the Indians since the payment made by Special Agent Lane in November last; the horses purchased, however, are a good class of work animals
With the payment of $23,025 above referred to, to these Indians, they should have made greater advancement than they have, and I can only attribute the failure to the demoralizing effect of the liquor traffic.
Education work.The Siletz boarding school being the only school maintained on the reservation, especial attention has been devoted to the work connected therewith and the result is very satisfactory.
The health of the school was very good until April; at this time quite an amount of sickness developed, as stated in my monthly report for the month of May.
The agency physician, superintendent, and myself commenced a thorough investigation to see if any local cause existed. We found that the pipe from the kitchen sink had become disconnected and all the wash water was running under the house, becoming stagnant and very offensive. Since the close of school I have been putting in the water-closets authorized for the dormitories, and necessarily had to open up the sewerage to make connections. I found the entire system clogged and in a very bad condition, no cement having been used in laying the tiling. These condition necessitated the taking up, the purchase of cement, and relaying the whole system. I also found no traps to prevent sewer gas from escaping into the building. I have purchased these traps and now have about completed the work, greatly improving sanitary conditions.
Aside from these unfavorable conditions the results of the year's work in school are very gratifying the advancement is much greater than in any previous year; this progress is attributed to the unremitting labor and efforts of all school employees. The school has been unusually well supplied with vegetables; during the entire school year we had vegetables every day while school was in session, all grown on the
school farm by the schoolboys under the supervision of the industrial teacher, and our prospects are reasonably good to be well supplied for the coming year, though we have been and are now suffering a considerable drought which may result unfavorably.
During the vacation I have used all the paint we had on hand, but did not have sufficient to cover more than half the surface of the school buildings. This work will be continued as soon as we receive the paint estimated, which work is very necessary in preserving the buildings.
Agency buildings.All agency buildings are in need of repairs, and unless repaired soon they will become unfit for occupancy. The only repairs made on agency property during the year have been the purchase of a new boiler for the sawmill. This we have in place and it works finely; but we still have another attachment to the mill that is entirely worn outthe old planer. A new planer is much needed.
Leasing allotted lands.While it is the expressed purpose of the Government in dealing with the Indian to induce him to work and build a home, there are so many of these people that are are unable to improve their land that it would be far better for them if their land could be leased for the full term allowed by law for improvements only than to let it remain unimproved and unproductive, which must be the case with the greater portion of the allotted land. Were these lands in cultivation the rental value alone would do more toward the support of these people than we are now deriving from them with all the labor we can induce them to do.
Permit me, in conclusion, to thank the Indian Office for their prompt action in responding to our request and the uniform kindness with which we have been treated. Much of our success has resulted from your actions.
United States Indian Agent.
The COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS,
Washington, D. C.