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Nancy Bellzona's Picture Book
Chilocco - Chilocco Indian School


Chilocco Indian SchoolThis is only one of the massive buildings on the campus of the school. Pictured here is Home Three. The buildings were built from quarried stone after the style of Oxford University buildings. They were massive and castle like. Opening the section on the PONCA part of the family is this photograph since the school was woven through the growth of the family and the tribe. Our grandmother, Elizabeth Little Cook Pensoneau Hernandez graduated there, our mother, Velma Louise Pensoneau Jones was an alumna. Donna Jones Flood graduated, 1955.

The memories of the school would fill a book all of its own. There was fun, hard work, happy times, and many of the puppy love affairs turned into marriages between the graduated students from the school. It was probably responsible for the greatest mixing of the tribes than any other event in the history of the Native American. This is where grandmother, full Ponca, met grandfather, Shawnee.

In the early days the school was a military institution and even though later the marching to classes and uniforms had been dropped there was still many military custom hold overs. We spoke of the "chow line," nicknames were the rule, early sunrise breakfasts after room inspections were the order. The floors were to be shiny enough to see one's reflection. There were details, demerits, and grand marches at the social affairs.