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American History
Headlines in the Ponca City News, Wednesday September 27, 2006

Chilocco Indian Agriculture School Listed as Historic

Picture of Haworth Hall as it originally stood.

    On September 9, Chilocco Indian Agriculture School was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in Washington D.C. This listing was recorded at the national level.

    The National Registrar of Historic places is the nation's official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation. Authorized under National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect our historic and archeological resources.

    Properties listed in the Register include districts, sites, buildings, structures, and  object that are significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture.

    The National Register is administered by the National Park Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

    Opened in 1884, Chilocco was one of the first government run, non-reservation Indian boarding schools established in the United States.

    Located in Kay County, this school was the largest school in terms of acreage in the government system, and vied with Haskell Institute in Kansas for the largest number of students.

    This nationally significant school closed in 1980 and the campus, consisting of 70 buildings, has seen a rapid decline. Currently, the Kaw Nation, Otoe-Missouri Tribe, Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma, Ponca Nation, and Tonkawa Tribe share ownership of the campus.  Preservation Oklahoma, a statewide non=profit preservation advocacy group, has listed Chilocco in its annual list of Oklahoma's Most Endangered Historic Places for the past three years.

    The hope is that the listing will spur further interest in the preservation and adaptive use of this campus.

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