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Chilocco Annual Year Books

CHILOCCO STUDENTSComments made by L.E. Correll, Superintendent

"I want each of you to know that it gave me a great deal of personal satisfaction to approve the recommendations of the faculty of the Chilocco Indian Agricultural School when that group recommended each of you to me for the graduation in the Class of 1946. You have all worked hard to achieve this educational goal, and I hope you will make good use of the things that we have attempted to teach you while you have been a student in our high school. I am particularly concerned about what you will do with your knowledge after you leave our campus, to continue your education in some school that offers higher learning or to go into some type of work or business for yourselves in order to earn a living.

Your class has had some hectic times brought about because of the war. You have lost fully one third of your original class who should be graduating with you this spring.  This means that you young people who have stayed in school and who have received your basic education will have to work all the harder if you are to uphold, in the future, the good influence that graduates of this school have always taken back to their communities after graduation. I hope all of you realize that the things that you have learned in our regular academic as well as in your vocational classes, are not the all important teachings that we have given you while you have been here on our campus.  One of the most important things we have tried to teach you is to learn what many people lack the ability to live happily together each helping the other as ladies and gentlemen in your home communities where you can do as you please to a certain extent. I hope that all have learned that you must help by doing your part in any worthwhile project which presents itself in your community whether it be the church, the school, or the town Chamber of Commerce. It is only through cooperation that we' re able to live happily in a democratic society and you as citizens must take part and make your likes and dislikes felt in your community. Never take the attitude of a defeatist. You have something to offer share it with others by being active in every type of work that you are called upon to perform. Above all, do not start out in life doing only those things that you will be paid for in dollars and cents. If you do you will miss many of the joys of living.

Graduation of a fine class of eighty or eighty-five students, such as you have in your group, always brings some pangs of sorrow, and regret along with the satisfaction and joy in the knowledge that we, as employees of this school have assisted another class of fine Indian boys and girls in their efforts to fortify themselves with the necessary working tools (a high school education) for a successful adult life as an American citizen. So let me take this method of congratulating each of you in having attained at least the fundamentals of a good education. 

Time only will tell whether our efforts and your efforts have been worthwhile. Employees of this school are always concerned and interested in your future welfare.  Records made here at Chilocco will be here for time immemorial and should be used by you whenever you feel that they will be helpful to you wherever you go. Do not fail to call on this school at any time in the future, and I assure you that you will never have reason to regret such a request.

May success always be yours wherever you go."

L.E. Correll, Superintendent

Principal's Greeting, Chilocco Yearbook, 1946

Chilocco is proud to have your name added to the register which now numbers thousands. This register is a long and varied one containing names of many individuals with varied personalities. These personalities show the traits, characteristics and achievements of the individuals. Those with whom you have enrolled have found their way along many different walks of life. Some of these have led to fame and fortune; some to grief and poverty. Each enrollee has developed according to inherited and acquired traits and each has been influenced by the world in which he lives and the associations which he has.

By having attended Chilocco you have been associated with many others like you and you have become a part of a great institution founded for the education and training of youth. When you first entered Chilocco you were just another person, now, you have identified yourself as an individual who has grown and developed mentally, spiritually and physically. It is through your growth and development that you have acquired your personality which is the badge of a true Chiloccoan.

This badge is more than a mere pin or button of identification for it's YOU and because of your personality you have become an individual among many. The badge of a Chiloccoan is one denoting honor, fame and success and it is because of this that you will always stand out as an individual watched by your fellow men.

Should you meet with even greater success after leaving Chilocco then when you take the badge of a Chiloccoan to greater fame, but should you meet with dismal failure, then likewise you take the badge of a Chiloccoan to shame and disgrace. Chilocco is not separate and apart from you but Chilocco is a part of you.  You owe an obligation to those others like you who have their names on its register. They trust you to wear the Chiloccoan badge, to take care of it, to always be proud of it. Chilocco is an old, reliable institution founded in Indian Territory and although its stones buildings may crumble and be replaced with new, its lake dry up and be refilled with rain, and its campus may grow new trees to replace the old, it will always be dear in the hearts of those boys and girls like you who wear the badge of a Chiloccoan.

Ernest C. Mueller, Principal

Lucille Griffin, 1946 Football Queen Pictured

Lucille GriffinLucille Griffin was elected Football Queen.  She was crowed at a special party honoring the football Team and the Queen.  Lucille is a Cherokee from Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and is completing her third year at Chilocco where she is a member of the junior class. She is a member of the Student Council, and the 4-H Club. 

This girl's name is Lucille but she could have been anyone of the girls at Chilocco.  Weeks were spent selecting a dress, finding dancing shoes, jewelry, accessories and deciding on a hair style for a special event like this.

The coolness of fall was quick to come upon the great stone buildings where we lived.  To echo this crisp sharp bite in the wind so stood the young men at the entrance of the lobby.  Hard as ice was the marble floor where the handsome well dressed boys stood and waited. Maybe the girl was as jittery and nervous as the young man, but she had the freedom of being able to walk down the short flight of stairs toward him.  She thus gave him the opportunity of seeing her emerge like a butterfly out of her cocoonish  regular school dress. If this did not set the scene for the young people to fall in love and become partners for life then nothing would.

They would walk the distance of several blocks from the dormitory to where the social was actually being held.  These moments together in the chilly night air, stars twinkling above and with the need for the girl to cuddle close to the boy's warm shoulder as they walked gave them a closeness.  They knew they were being scrutinized by the house mothers, but still the spell was being woven.

Depending on what the occasion there was a different decoration to greet them.  The old floors of the well used gymnasium became a perfect smooth surface for dancing.  It was true what the principal said at their graduation. They had come here to Chilocco just as another person.  Now, they had become individuals. A new world of delicate fineness had been opened up to them, along with the simple joys of being able to learn to socialize in a different way. This was of formal dresses for the girl's, sharp good looking suits for the boys, sparkling decorations,  new dances and skills of conversations. The evening wore on, and then it was over too soon.

As the girls were escorted to the building  by their dates again they had moments together. These brief times became stepping stones for blocks of memories to hold the young people together even though they did not get together as boyfriend and girlfriend.  Over the years this closeness was often observed by the outsiders and they never understood. The tie was held by the students and only they understood. It was a brotherhood developed in their struggles together as they work and strive to become as successful as they were expected to be. The foundation of this was built on the strong values of those in control and I sincerely believe that value was love, the greatest of them all.

Victory Tribute, 1941-46

This is a list of students who lost their lives in WW2:

William Biggs, Class of '40 Haskell Knight, Class '40
Jack Burns, Class of '39 Woodrow James, Class '39
Jack Blair, Student '43 Ramsey Knight, Class '38
Ben Clemons, Student '40 William Lasley, Class '36
Thomas Cornell, Student '42 Henry Nolatubby, Class '39
Sequoyah Downing, Student '36 Wilson Odom, Student '40
Earl Gil, Student '38 Bennie Quinton, Student '40
James Haas, Class '41 James Sulphur, Class '35
William Hanks, Student '41 Grady Roberts, Class '38
Cornelius Hardman, Class '42 Boney Starks, Student '40
Kenneth Harrison, Class '40 Yarma Tarpaleechee, Student '39
Jack Hickman, Class '39 Charles Taylor, Class '39
Hiawatha Tuggle, Class '40

Chilocco Indian Club, 1946

Chilocco Indian Club, 1946

Should any of us forget while we look at the pictures of the polished children dressed in the fashion of the day that they are first of all American Indians,  this picture is here.

One will notice the many different tribes represented.  They are positioned in this picture, age old enemies, sitting next to one another. Cheyenne next to Apache, Ponca next to Osage and so on. The question arises, why is this possible?  For lack of an explanation I can only draw on my own experience at the school.  For example, if one was out of soap, and needed to borrow,  no questions were asked as to whether the person was Osage, Otoe, or whatever tribe, it didn't matter.

The regimen of the school left little time to engage in anything dealing with one's own culture, certainly not native. One student who did not stay at the school gave the reason for leaving as being, "I didn't like having every minute programed for me."  It was true, one had a duty every minute of the day. Even after "lights out,"  there were still some who would study from the light coming through the crack of the door from the hall light. That  is until a hall monitor caught them and would run them off to bed.

As a rule the American people still do not comprehend that each tribe has its own culture as different to another tribe as French is to Irish. Someone who did the planning for this school understood this and left no room for the division to come in upon them. Even though the Indian Club was there for the students it was completely controlled with dates and timing for performances scheduled and named, "The Indian Dramatics Club."  In other words,  a performance to educate, nothing more.

My father's background was so strong as to Christianity there was no problem for my fitting into the government educational system at Chilocco.  However, now as I am older the realization comes that we were and have been shut off from our own beliefs and traditions even though it was done in a "soft" way by loving educators.

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