Beltrami County Historical Society

1700 - The Sioux superseded the Arikara (i.e. Balani, Aricaria, or Arikarees) at Red Lake and as early inhabitants of Northern Minnesota. The Ojibwa followed the Sioux.

1730 - The Sioux were probably being driven out of Northern Minnesota about this time by the Ojibwas.

1737 - A map containing "New Western" discoveries in Canada is contained in a letter of Mr. deBeauharnois on October 14 in which he points out that the source of the Mississippi is shown south of "Lac Rouge" (Red Lake). The water course that is represented between "Lac Rouge" and the Mississippi is intended to show simply that a route of travel went that way, in this respect ante dating both Beltrami's and Thompson's visits to the Red Lake area.

1748 - Sioux War parties were sent out from Leech Lake after being strengthened by other Tribes from the West against the Ojibwa of the Pembina and Rainy Lake area. A battle some place near the present site of Big Falls on the Big Fork River and northeast of Red Lake was fought which ended with great losses on both sides. The Sioux withdrew and returned to Leech Lake.

1750 - The Ojibwa began occupying the sites abandoned by the Dakotas after expelling them from the Mille Lac, Leech, Winnepeg (Winnibigoshish) and the Red Lake areas. The Ojibwa war parties originally came from the LaPointe area and then from Sandy Lake after they conquered the Sioux.

1755 - Par M. Bellin's map of North America dated 1755 has Red Lake located and charted but calls it "Lac Rouge". He also has the source of the Mississippi located and charted just a little to the south and west of "Lac Rouge".

1755 - Approximate time that the Cross Lake (Ponemah) Chippewa Indians began living in the area called "O-bash-ing" or the Narrows (Now Ponemah Point) and around Miquam Bay to the East. It is believed that the Ojibwa lived on the south side of Red Lake first and some of the Chiefs and their Tribes migrated around to the north side near "O-bash-ing" or "O-baush-eeng" or "Ve-bash-ingie" (a strait or place the wind blows through).

1765 - The Sioux withdrew from the Red Lake area after a bloody encounter with the Chippewas (Ojibwa) near the mouth of the Sandy River around Big Stone in which Cross Lake (Ponemah) Indians annihilated the entire Sioux party. The Sioux previously had laid in ambush and killed one Chippewa trapper and wounded another near the mouth of the Battle River and had fled, leaving them both for dead.

1770 - Northern timbered areas Minnesota were conquered and occupied by the Chippewa as semi-permanent homes. Few Sioux, except for some hunting and small raiding parties, were seen in this area for any length of time after this date.

1775 - A map published in London on June 10, 1775, is of North America from the French of Mr. Anville and improved with British surveys which shows much Minnesota and river locations. It is important in that it shows the Monsonis [Algonquian Tribe] as located north of Rainy Lake and the "Outowacs" [Ottowas] between Green Bay and Lake Superior.

1792 - Wa-won-je-gwon, an aged and intellectual Chief of Red Lake in 1850 stated that from the date of the expedition of Jean Baptiste Cadotte in 1792 or l 793 can be dated the settlement of Red Lake permanently by the Ojibwas.

1796 - Battle of Chief's Mountain took place somewhere west of Red Lake.

1798 - David Thompson, a British surveyor and trader for the Northwest Company, was returning from the difficult mission of locating the forty-ninth parallel of latitude and while surveying a route to the headwaters of the Mississippi River passed through Red Lake. He continued on southward and reached Turtle Lake which he established as the Northern source of the Mississippi.

1806 - A Fur Trading Post of the "N.W.Co." was in operation at the east end of Red Lake as indicated on an early historical map.

1806 - About 200 Chippewa warriors and their families were roving the "Pembinar" (Pembina) River area. No doubt some of these roved the area northwest of Red Lake.

1810-1815 - The Battle of Thief River between warring tribes took place at some unknown spot in that area. There is no knowledge as to what group. However, Sioux raiding parties were always headed northward against the Chippewa, the Assiniboins, or the Cree and it is most likely this engagement was between the Sioux and Chippewa since the Chippewa were in that area about that time.

1823 - Count Giacomo C. Beltrami took leave or separated from Major Stephen H. Long's party at Pembina. He engaged two Chippewa guides and an interpreter and headed Southeast toward Red Lake. They met up with a few Sioux who were leaving the area hurriedly and the Chippewa guides deserted. He finally reached Red Lake where he secured a half-breed to guide him southward. They followed the shore to Mud Creek then southward to a heart-shaped lake that he named "Julia". This lake he believed to be the most Northern source of the Mississippi

1830 - Fur traders were at Red Lake earlier but about this time people began to settle there permanently to form one of the oldest villages in Northwest Minnesota.

1839 - D. P. Bushwell, Sub-Agent at LaPointe, Wisconsin, reported the number of Chippewas at Red Lake as 70 men, 90 women, and 130 children for a total of 290 Chippewas. He reported a total of 2,914 Chippewas for all of Minnesota.

1842 - The first Mission was established at Red Lake by Rev. Frederick Ayres who left David Brainerd Spencer in charge. It was short lived but continued at intervals by Mr. Bernard (Ordained in February 1848), and by the Rev. Sela G. Wright up to the year 1857. Another source says, "abandoned in 1859".

1843 - Rev. S. Hall reports from LaPointe, Wisconsin on October 12 on the Methodist mission at Pokegama as follows: "The school at Pokegama which has been suspended for more than two years is about to be resumed, and will be taught by a competent and experienced teacher . . . A Station has recently been formed at Red Lake and a school will be opened the present season . . . "This Red Lake station very soon became a charge of the Congregational American Missionary Association", by some agreement with the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions in 1845.

1843 - The Red Lake Indians were so successful in raising grain and vegetables that they supported many families who fled to them to escape starvation. Some fifty families from other bands wintered at Red Lake in 1842-43, and were fed from the surplus supplies which they had on hand. The Red Lake band were known to be thrifty farmers even before the whites came.

1843 - There was evidence that corn was raised at Red Lake in quantities and that a surplus was available because $100.00 worth was purchased by Alfred Brunson, Sub-Agent at LaPointe, Wisconsin for distribution to Chippewas of other areas.

1849 - The Territory of Minnesota was formed.

1849 - A battle between the "Red Lake and Pillager Ojibwa and the Sioux" was reported by J. E. Fletcher, the Winnebago Agent. He stated that these last battles were in the vicinity of Cass Lake, Leech Lake, and Winnibigoshish Lake which resulted in the last withdrawal of the Sioux southward and westward.

1850 - Alexander Ramsey Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Minnesota, stated: "It is a worthy note, that so far north as 47-30' the Missionaries had fields of winter wheat growing and all kinds of planted vegetables looked good."

1851 - Governor Ramsey, Dr. Thomas Foster (Secretary of the Indian Commission), and Hugh Tyler, special agent and acting Commissary left St. Paul late in the summer (August 18) to conclude a Treaty with the Red Lake and the Pembina Ojibwa. They were to purchase 5,000,000 acres of land in the Valley of the Red River of the North for the sum of $230,000 to be paid over a period of twenty years without interest. Thirty thousand dollars of this was to be paid the half breeds and $2000 annually given for agricultural and educational purposes. This Treaty was not confirmed by the Senate at this time. [See 1863 and 1864 for amended Treaty.]

1851 - In September, S. T, Bardwell, agent for the American Missionary Association Oberlin, Ohio, gave the following report for the year ending May 31, 1851: RED LAKE. "Here a school was taught nine months with twenty-one scholars, with an average attendance of nine. Forty have been boarded and clothed entirely by the mission. Many of the children enter the school in a state of nudity, and we are obliged to furnish them clothing."

"Red Lake prospects are more encouraging than those of either Cass Lake or Lake Winnibigoshish stations. They will raise the present season an abundant supply of corn and potatoes. They are becoming more industrious and making more rapid improvement than any other band in the territory. They are beginning to feel in some measure the importance of educating their children."

"The Soil at Red Lake its the best I have seen in the territory, and produces abundantly almost all kinds of grain and vegetables. The lake also abounds in excellent fish."

"The missionaries have raised this year an acre and a half of winter wheat which will yield forty bushels per acre. They have a small piece of winter rye which is the best I ever saw in any country. The corn yields from fifty to seventy-five bushels of shelled corn per acre. Potatoes yield abundantly and are of a better quality than can be raised in the states. Some of these Indians have what may with some propriety be called fields of corn. Most of them from two to three acres. Some of their gardens have been cultivated for more than thirty years in succession, without manuring or ploughing, and still produce from thirty to fifty bushels of corn per acre. Their good soil, however, consists only of a narrow strip of land along the margin of the lake from forty rods to three-quarter of a mile in width; enough, however to produce sufficient food for all the Indians in the territory, if they could be induced to settle on and cultivate it."

"Our mission farmer is not able, with his other duties, to plough for them as much as they need and are disposed to cultivate. He has usually ploughed what new land they clear from year to year, and they dig up their old ground with hoes."

"I have just visited a band of Ojibwa on the north side of Red Lake, who have for some years been urging us to send them missionaries. There are, as near as I can learn, about three hundred. souls in that band. They are more isolated than any other band in this part of the country, but have an excellent location, and more children, according to their number of families, than any other band I have visited. They greatly need assistance, and I have concluded to establish a mission among them next spring."

These missions continued a few years longer and then no more accounts were in the reports of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. It is stated that they were surrendered, not much later, to the Episcopalian church.

1850 - 1851 - The Northern or Red Lake Division of Ojibwa had their villages principally at Pembina, and at Red, Cass and Winnepeg [Winnibigoshish] lakes. These Indians numbered about 1200 in an estimated census in 1846 by Sub-Agent J. P. Hayes at La Pointe. These Ojibwa received no annuities at this time. They lived chiefly from agriculture and anticipated a crop of 2000 bushels of corn this year. (C. R. 1851)

In the winter season, the Redlake and Pembina bands often moved their camps west of the Red River, to hunt buffalo, which still were plentiful about that time. In the summer, some joined the hunting caravans of the Red river half-breeds. They lived in a state of constant warfare with the upper or Sisseton bands of Sioux and only at the insistence of the government did they refrain from fitting out war parties.

The boundaries of these northern tribes were plainly marked and defined by the treaty at Prairie du Chien in 1826. However, the Red Lake bands and Pillagers claimed, by right of conquest and actual possession, a large tract of country lying west of the Red River. Since the head chiefs of these northern bands were not present to represent their interests at the convention of Prairie du Chien, their claims may have justification and are still pending.

The chieftainship among the Red Lake and Pembina bands was a subject of contest. Wa-wan-je-guon had for some years been the chief recognized by the government; but he was represented as an Indian of limited influence with his bands and not belonging to the hereditary family of chiefs. Wa-wush-kin-ik-a, or "Crooked Arm," was the hereditary chief at Red Lake in 1850, and was said to be much respected by his fellows.

Gov. Ramsey, Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Minnesota in a report for 1850, disclosed for the first time that the northern Chippewa would gladly sell a portion of their lands to relieve the poverty which pressed upon them, and become eligible for government annuities.

1851 - 1852 J. P. Bardwell, Indian Agent, reported that the Red Lake 1852 school was in a prosperous state but that those at Cass Lake and "Winnepeg" [Winnibigoshish] lakes were in bad state and the latter had to be abandoned. At Red Lake the scholars registered were eighteen, and the average attendance twelve. He stated: "Those who commenced with the alphabet at the beginning of the year now read in the third reader of the eclectic series, and write a legible hand. All have made improvement. Singing is also taught by an experienced teacher, and the children have made good proficiency in art. The girls are also taught to sew, knit and do housework." "We have at present fourteen boarding scholars, and intend to increase the number to twenty-five or thirty as soon as we can erect suitable buildings for their accommodation."

1852 - In 1852 Gov. Ramsey issued an order abolishing the literary and religious schools and the substitution of manual training schools, or manual-labor system. He was supported by all Indian Agents of Winnebago, the Sioux, and the Ojibwa. This had an effect on Red Lake as the mission or religious school there was abandoned in about 1855.

1852 - About this time the government system of manual-labor schools began, but in many cases, the missionaries being the best class of teachers led the government to adopt the custom of entrusting the new schools to the church denominations. They were to follow the instructions with which the money was granted and conditions required. Emphasis was on the self-supporting phase required in every day life.

1853 - D. B. Herriman, the new Ojibwa agent, stated that farms were opened at the agency of Red Lake, Sandy Lake, Gull Lake, and at Mille Lacs. According to his report, the Red Lake Indians not only were more prosperous, as farmers, raising as much as forty-five bushels of wheat per acre, but petitioned for cellars for their houses for protecting their crops from depredations of the Pillagers and others who had no farms. He also suggested a saw mill for Red Lake, stating, "There is a fine mill-site within one mile of the agency, surrounded by magnificent pines, in quantity sufficient to last the Indians fifty years." It is interesting to note that he also calls for and urges the establishment of manual-labor schools where book education should have little attention. At this date he reports that many of the Indians had adopted the dress of the whites, and the women were making their own dresses. He urged that the boys be taught the use of tools and be put in various shops to learn anything useful; that the teachers allow no Indian dresses to be made in the school nor worn by the scholars; that they learn to wash, bake, knit, make soap and candles, to reside in houses, sleep in beds, eat at tables on plates, with knives and forks; and in general he asked that their culture be changed. Finally, he suggested, "Let books be a secondary consideration, except to those who are too young to handle tools."

It was Herriman who urged a treaty for the purchase of lands owned by the Ojibwa east of the Mississippi river, especially the mineral lands and the timber lands.

It appears from the records that there was a direct conflict of methods between Herriman and the teachers.

1854 - On August 7, 1854, J. P. Bardwell, Agent, stated: "The Indians at Cass Lake . . . improved their condition but have not kept pace with the Red Lake Bands." (C.R. 1854 pp 55).

1855 - From this time on and for several years following there was a general unrest among the Ojibwa and many schools and missions were closed or were being closed. This unrest was general through-out Minnesota.

1856 - J. P. Bardwell, Agent, stated: "The average attendance at the Red Lake school was 15." He further stated: "We have erected a good water mill for sawing lumber, with a portable grist mill attached. We paid the Indians for the privilege of building the mill and what timber we wanted for building purposes, but because the missionaries were unwilling to build them a council house, a fort, and dwelling houses for each family, they forbade their cutting any timber." (C.R. 1856 pp 51)

1856 - Shortly after this, due to unrest of the Ojibwa, no records appear in the Commissioner's reports so it is apparent that the Missionaries abandoned their station at Red Lake some time after 1856 and before 1859.

1858 - A Catholic mission was opened at Red Lake by Rev. Father Lawrence Lautischar who came from Crow Wing on August 15th. He occupied a portion of the house owned by Joseph Jourdain a trader, and it was located a little east of the Agency. Father Lautischar froze to death while crossing the lake on December 3 perhaps after a visit to the Cross Lake Indians at "O-bash-ing" or (O-baush-eeng). The mission was then visited from Crow Wing and from White Earth periodically by Fathers Francis Pierz (1858-67), Joseph Buh (1867-75), Tomazin (1875-83), Aloysius Hermanutz (1883-88). Father Tomazin visited Red Lake from White Earth from 1875 to 1879. After 1879 he was stationed permanently at Red Lake until 1883. Father Aloysius Hermanutz also visited Red Lake from White Earth and spent a good deal of his time here at Red Lake up to 1888. In 1888, Fathers Thomas Borgerding and Simon Lampe came from St. John's to take over duties and permanently established the St. Mary's Mission at its present site. Florian Locnickar followed in 1915, Egbert Goeb in 1940, Leo Hoppe in 1941, Beno Watrin in 1947, Columban Kremer and Omer Maus in 1952, Albin Fruth in 1955 and Cassian Osendorf in 1956.

1862 - In August, officers of the U.S. Government were on their way with a train of some thirty wagons, loaded with goods and attended by about 200 head of cattle, and headed toward the lodge of the Red Lake Chippewas to conclude a treaty with these tribes. They were caught in the line of the Sioux up-rising and forced to take shelter in a fort. Most of the supplies and the cattle were lost to the fleeing Sioux as they were being pursued westward.

1863 - The first Treaty between the Red Lake and Pembina Ojibwa and the Federal Government was concluded at Old Red River Crossing on October 2nd. A large tract of fine agricultural land was ceded to the government to be opened to homesteaders already in the area. [This Treaty was amended in 1864].

1864 - Census of the Red Lake and Pembina Chippewas was estimated at 2000 persons.

1864 - Chief Moose Dung and his Braves and Chief Red Bear and the Pembina Ojibwa sent a delegation to Washington and amended [the Treaty of 1863] on May 6th which provided for the ceding of approximately eight million (8,000,000) acres of land which extended nearly to Devils Lake, North Dakota.

1865 - Dr. V. P. Kennedy served as physician of the Red Lake Chippewa Agency at Red Lake until 1867. He was born in Butler County Pennsylvania July 11, 1829, and graduated from Rush in 1851. After leaving Red Lake he moved to Meeker County.

1865 - D. N. Cooley, Indian Commissioner, reported a census of nearly 2000 Red Lake and Pembina Ojibwa and that "many of them are industrious thriving farmers."

1865 - The American Fur Company established a Trading Post at Red Lake.

1866 - The Leech Lake sub-agency was established this year and the report stated, "at Red Lake I [The Agent] had eight government oxen, which were kept busy during the plowing season, the farmer estimates that at least 130 acres were plowed." (C.R. 1866 pp 294).

1866 - The population of the Red Lake and Pembina bands was reported by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs as 2,114 Indians. The report was sent in by Agent Edwin Clark (C,R.1866)

1868 - Migration and unrest of the Ojibwa caused many of the schools to be abandoned following the Civil War. There was much lack of government supervision and help on the Reservation or areas, where Indians were concentrated, for about ten years.

1868 - A sawmill and grist mill were finally built near the mouth of Mill Creek which empties into Red Lake. However, these were used very little due to difficulties in operation and perhaps lack of sufficient water for power. The grain crop this year was exceedingly good and amounted to over 7,000 bushels.

1869 - Captain Hassler, Indian Agent, speaking on October 12 had this to say of the Red Lake Indians: "I cannot speak too highly of the conduct of these Indians since I have had charge of this agency. They are a sober, industrious, and well behaved tribe, and deserve every kindness and consideration that the government can bestow."

"They have made earnest and repeated requests for a school, and I would recommend that their request be complied with, if possible, as I am satisfied that nowhere in the Indian Country would a school meet with more beneficent results. The saw-mill constructed last year for the use of these Indians has thus far been of no benefit to them. . . spring thaw unsettled the foundation of the dam at one end .... washed out a portion of it . . . until thoroughly repaired the mill cannot run." This was a water-powered mill and a steam mill was recommended.

He also stated that the Red Lake Indians had continued to cultivate very successfully the narrow belt of fertile land lying along the southern and eastern shores of that lake, and they always appeared to have enough. He reported the Pembina bands as in a destitute condition on account of the grasshoppers and the disappearance of the buffalo.

1870 - Lieut. George Atcheson, Agent for the Chippewa in Minnesota reported that the Red Lake bands continued to cultivate their soil with great success producing a large vegetable crop and mature corn. He also stated that the saw-mill had been restored.

"Of late years the educational interests of these people have been entirely neglected [meaning the Red Lake Indians]. No provision is made by the government for this purpose, and no religious association has assumed the burden of sustaining schools or missions at this point."

This was the last year Military Agents submitted reports to the Indian Bureau. Army Officers could no longer be Indian Agents and President Grant solicited religious denominations to aid in restoration of a greater degree of honesty in dealing with the Indian and to recommend Indian Agents of good christian character. This was to lessen the military and political influence.

1871 - Agent E. P. Smith, first incumbent of the "Chippewa Agency" under the new regime listed the census of the Red Lake bands at 1,049. He stated that the Red Lake bands were in their usual prosperous condition, but made a request for tools of all kinds, more land to cultivate and a school. Mr. Wright, a former teacher at Leech Lake, had aided them in their house building and in farming during the year.

1871 - An estimate of the Red Lake pine was set at 50,000,000 to 75,000,000 feet. (C.R. 1871 pp 593)

1872 - The Red Lake band had very large crops and built many new houses. [The saw-mill likely was helping this project.] A school under the American Missionary Association was in a prosperous condition. This is the first mention of a school being started again after a lapse of about fifteen to twenty years and especially during and after the Civil War.

1872 - The Agent recommended that the pine timber on the Red Lake Reservation be sold and stated further: "the highest offer was $2.50 per M. and the contract at that rate is waiting the approval of the Interior Department."

The population of the Red Lake Ojibwa was listed as 1,050 persons and 50 births and 14 deaths were recorded. (C.R. 1872 pp 209).

1873 - Dr. C. P. Allen served as resident physician of the Red Lake Agency from July 3rd to June 23, 1879. He wrote the following note to his successor: "Although an entire stranger to you, I, nevertheless, wish you abundant success in caring for the sick and distressed of these interesting people. While they possess in common with any minority people, some defects of character, my heart goes out in sympathy to them in their abjectly distressed condition. May heaven's richest blessing be showered on you and these Indians."

1873 - Agent Pratt, when he reached the Red Lake Indians on August 13th reported, "I found things in rather a demoralized state, with accounts unsettled for several months, and it required a vast amount of work to get them into good working order, but have succeeded in making good progress with new buildings. Nearly all the lumber was boards and the saw-mill was out of repair and few logs were in the mill-yard. But by considerable attention we have made the mill do good service, so that now we have three dwelling houses well under way." etc., etc. [This is an example of how different agents viewed the situation upon their arrival.]

1873 - The first record of a school being built by the government was this year and it had a capacity of twenty students.

1874 - C. A. Ruffee made a study of the conditions of the Chippewas of Minnesota and the same is contained in a report dated January 1875. It verifies the exaggerations if not the un-truth of many of the reports made by government Agents upon their arrival on the scene.

1874 - A road was opened from White Earth to Red Lake to improve the hauling of mail and freight between these two points. Also over 300,000 feet of lumber was sawed by the saw- mill at a cost of approximately $1.25 per M. (C.R. 1874 pp 30).

1875 - Approximately 375,000 feet of logs were delivered to the saw-mill. These were cut by Indians. Hay was made and delivered on the flat boat for $4.00 per ton. Funds for a steam tug on the Red Lake were recommended. (C.R. 1875).

1875 - At Redlake the Rev. Francis Spees was sustained by the American Missionary Association. Agent Pratt reported that a gratifying rate of improvement was noted. He also reported a census figure of 1,141 Chippewa Indians and 120 mixed bloods.

1875 - The Red Lake Post Office, the first in Beltrami County (yet unorganized), was established at Red Lake on August 4th. The first postmaster was Laura A. Pratt and Allen Jourdain had the contract for the mail route from White Earth to Red Lake. Na-zhe-kay-we-gah-bow was one of the carriers for Jourdain.

1877 - A government Boarding school was established at Red Lake with a capacity of fifty students. It opened in November [The first boarding school recorded built in Minnesota was at Leech Lake and it opened in November 1867 and had a capacity of fifty students. At White Earth a boarding school opened in 1871 with a capacity of 110 students.] The teachers were not listed.

1877 - The Episcopal Mission was founded at Red Lake on January 1 by Rev. Samuel Madison, Rev. Fred W. Smith, and the Rev. J. A. Gilfillan who came over from White Earth. They secured an old abandoned log house and this served as their home and chapel until 1880 when the new log church was built. It is still in use to the present day. Rev. Smith continued for eleven years Many successors have been Indian missionaries.

1877 - A total of 177,000 feet of lumber was sawed by the saw-mill at Red Lake. Approximately 250,000 feet of logs were cut altogether, 150,000 of which were driven down Mud Creek, boomed and towed to the mill at Red Lake. A storm caused the boom to break and scattered the logs over the lake. (C.R. 1877 pp 127).

1878 - Mrs. Adelia A. Allen became postmaster at Redlake on October 15.

1878 - A new Agent, A. D. Baker, reported good progress at Red Lake in acquiring the ways of civilization such as dress and methods of living.

1878 - An Episcopal Mission under the leadership of Rev. Fred Smith, John Coleman, George Smith, and Rev. J. A. Gilfillan was attempted among the "Pagans" of Cross Lake [known as O-bash-ing and now Ponemah] but failed. The missionaries were rejected and upon their return founded a mission instead at Ondatamaning [Old Chief's village now Redby] in December of the same year.

1878 - Approximately 32,000 feet of lumber were cut and sawed. The drive was held up in Mud Creek perhaps because of low water. "Sineca Root" [Seneca Root] was sold and $3,500 was received from the sales.

1879 - The Red Lake and Leech Lake Agencies were consolidated with the White Earth Agency in April. [Another source said in 1878.] These bands were practically self-supporting, the Agent reported.

1879 - Jonathan Taylor was appointed postmaster at Red Lake on July 21.

1879 - A store was started at Red Lake by W. R. Spears and located about 400 feet from the main traveled street. It is just a little north on the road that is taken to the POW-WOW grounds.

1880 - The Agent recommended a new saw-mill at Red Lake to replace the old one which was unfit for use.

1880 - The Red Lake and White Earth bands harvested 39,000 bushels of wheat, 13,000 bushels of corn, and 22,000 bushels of potatoes.

1880 - The Episcopal Mission church was built of logs at Red Lake and is now regarded as the oldest building on the reservation. .

1881 - Clement H. Beaulieu was appointed postmaster at Red Lake on October 24.

1881 - Dr. H. W. Brent served at Red Lake from April 5 to February of the following year, 1882.

1882 - R. R. Wentworth was appointed postmaster at Red Lake on January 6th; Hattie R. Smithes on May 12th; John H. Wilson on August 30. On October 12th the post office was discontinued and moved to White Earth. It was re-established at Red Lake on November 27 with William R. Spears as postmaster.

1883 - Dr. J. R. Hollowbush served as physician at Red Lake from May 15 to September 19, 1885. He was appointed postmaster also on November 12, 1883 and served until May, 1886.

1884 - The Commissioner's report contained the following statement, "Attention is called to the fact that this evil (intemperance) is unknown among six of the seven bands of Indians on the Red Lake Reservation."

1884 - Courts of Indian offenses were established on several reservations including one at Red Lake. These were not given legal recognition until several years later but they greatly aided the Indian Agents in dealing with law offenders.

1885 - Because of the Magnitude of the Red Lake Reservation it was almost impossible to protect its boundaries from pine thievery. A report stated, "Timber cutting and logging operations are carried on from both sides of the International line, and the vast extent of the timber zone renders it utterly impossible to protect the timber from wholesale theft."

"A Bill was introduced in the 48th Congress (H.R. 4384) as a substitute for the one previously introduced (H.R. 846) which, among other things, provides for the appraisement and sale of stumpage on said Reservation, for the benefit of the Indians. There should be some provisions for the protection of this valuable timber against unlawful depredation." (C.R. 1885 pp LXI).

1885 - 1886 The Red Lake Boarding school had a capacity of fifty students and the day school twenty students. There were four teachers and seven employees. The largest monthly attendance was 123 and the average attendance was sixty-eight for the Boarding school and eleven for the Day school. The school continued for ten months at a total cost to the government of $5,076.37 or an average cost per capita per month of $7.47.

The employees listed were: Jerry Sheehan, Head teacher; Mary English, S. M. Rowell and H. Heth Jr., assistant teachers; Anna M. Rowell, matron; L. L. Laird, matron; Elizabeth Graves, seamstress; Josette Lawrence, cook; Isabel Martin, cook; and Madeline Jourdain, laundress.

1886 - S. M. Rowell was appointed postmaster at Red Lake on May 6. He was succeeded by Jeremiah Sheehan on August 20 and he continued until October, 1888.

1886 - The Indian Court of Claims was established and a Commission was authorized by Congress to hear cases against the government, recommend treaty modifications as needed on the Reservations and other changes that were needed. The members of the commission were Hon. V. Wright, Rt. Rev. H. B. Whipple, and Charles F. Larrabee Esq.

1887 - Destructive fires were reported on parts of the Red Lake : Indian Reservation destroying good timber areas.

1887 - The Drexel Sisters of Philadelphia visited Red Lake and the Catholic Mission. They came from White Earth in a lumber wagon. After seeing the terrible plight and conditions and the need for more and permanent missionaries, they promised to do all they could to encourage the sending of Sisters and permanent Missionaries to Red Lake.

1888 - The Red Lake postmaster, Roderick McKenzie, was appointed on October 3 and served to January 1892.

1888 - Cutting operations continued and it was recorded in the record, "The Indians of Red Lake cut and banked 858,420 feet of lumber in the log, but as none of this timber has been sold, the logs remain on hand ready for sale as soon as a purchaser can be found." (C.R. 1888 pp 149).

1888 - Arrival of Fathers Thomas Borgerding and Simon Lampe from St. Johns Abbey Collegeville, Minnesota, on November 15 to take charge of the Catholic Mission at Redlake. Two Sisters arrived that same year and during the winter opened a small boarding school in the old American Fur Company Store building. The first boarder brought in was the daughter of Ombigijig, now Mrs. Charles Prentice.

1889 - Dr. Wallace E. Belt came to Red Lake on June 5 and stayed until about 1896. That year Dr. George S. Lescher was also at Red Lake.

1889 - Congress authorized that "dead and down" timber on the Red Lake, White Earth, and Oak Point Reservations could be cut and sold by the Indians. The President gave authority under Act of October 16.

1889 - During the year 1889-1890, according to Folwell's "A History of Minnesota," Vol. IV, 11 million feet of lumber was cut on Reservations in this season by 300 Indians and 8 whites. In 1890-1891, 15 million feet was cut, 18 million feet in 1891-1892, 4 million in 1894-1895, and 11 million feet in the year 1895-1896.

1889 - The first log structure was built on the present site of St. Mary's Mission on land granted to them for educational and religious purposes. This marked the first beginning of the present St. Mary's Mission although the mission was established in 1858 by Rev. Lawrence Lautischar who arrived from Crow Wing.

1889 - A Commission was authorized by an Act of Congress approved on January 14 to negotiate a Treaty with all the Ojibwa bands in Minnesota with respect to removal and the ceding of all surplus lands not needed for allotments according to the Allotment Act of 1887 dated February 8. Red Lake and White Earth were exempt from the removal order but allotments could be taken if the Indians so wished.

The Commission appointed on February 26, 1889 was composed of Henry M. Rice of Minnesota, Bishop Martin Marty of Dakota, and Mr. Joseph B. Whiting of Wisconsin. This Commission secured the able assistance of Bishop H. B. Whipple, who appointed Rev. E. S. Peake as an aid, and Archbishop John Ireland, who appointed Father Aloysius Hermanutz, O.S.B., as his aid to the commission. These Missionaries had had long relations with the Indians and could give valuable assistance. W. C. Hubbell was Secretary to the Commission.

Councils were held at Red Lake, White Earth, Gull Lake, Leech Lake, Cass Lake, Lake Winnibigoshish, White Oak Point, Mille Lac, Grand Portage, Bois Fort and Vermillion Lake and Fond du Lac.

The first open Council at Red Lake was held on Saturday, June 29, 1889 at 2:00 p.m. in the school building. There were seven open Councils held in all at Red Lake. B. P. Schuler, U.S. Indian Agent, introduced the Commission who in turn read the provisions of the Treaty. Paul H. Beaulieu was interpreter for the Commission.

The Indians complained to the Commission of unfulfilled promises by the Government in past Treaties, pleaded for mills and cattle, and that their boundaries might be surveyed in accordance with past treaties. They also asked for an Agent to be quartered at Red Lake as the White Earth Agency was eighty miles away. The loss of their crop the past year made food scarce and help was needed. They also asked for sufficient land to be set aside on each reserve for Government buildings, such as may be needed for physician, blacksmith, farmer, carpenters, and for Missionaries, Traders, etc.

Since the Treaty stated in section 3 that any Indians living on any reservation could take up allotments there, the Red Lake Chiefs and Headmen objected to it on the grounds that their land would be shared by other bands. They preferred to hold their reserve in common. The young men, however, favored the Treaty.

A census was taken according to the provisions of the treaty and 1,168 Red Lake Indians were found to be living on a reservation of 3,260,000 acres. A two-thirds vote of the male Indians over 18 was necessary to approve the treaty to make it effective. There were 386 males listed and 422 females over 18 for the Red Lake and Pembina bands. Red Lake had 303 males and 359 females over 18. Of the 303 males for Red Lake, 247 signed the Treaty. Pembina had 218 Indians with 83 males and 63 females over 18. Of the 83 males, 77 signed the treaty. Many "Pagans" living on the north side of Red Lake refused to sign the treaty. However, a total of 324 males from Red Lake and Pembina bands signed out of the 386 listed.

The agreement reached after the signing on July 8, 1889, ceded to the government 2,905,000 acres of land. However, plenty of pine was reserved upon the advice of Bishop Marty.

The Commission had been very patient during the long seven open council meetings at Redlake and many of the things mentioned by the Indians were written down and the Commission promised that they would be presented to the President for consideration. The Commission reported further that the Red Lake Indians should be encouraged to commence farming and building houses to live in the following spring. They also requested that the Red Lake Indians be furnished with cattle and implements. [See Appendix for complete report and signatures.]

1889 - The Treaty and Agreement of 1889 was signed by the following Chiefs:

TABLE II No. Name English Name Status Age Mark Seal
1. May-dway-gwa-no-nind(He that is Spoken to) Chief 82 X Seal
2. Nah-gaun-e-gwon-abe (Leading Feather) Chief 71 X do
3. Mays-co-co-caw-ay (Red Robed) Chief 64 X do
4. Ah-nah-me-ay-ge-shig (Praying Day) Chief 63 X do
5. Naw-ay-tah-wowb (Sitting Alone) Chief 41 X do
6. * 7. Nah-wah-quay-ge-shig (Noon Day) Chief 32 X do

* I-een-ge-gwon-abe (Changing Feather) Chief 50 (Did not sign treaty and agreement)

1889 - The first annuity payment of $9.90 per capita was made to the Red Lake Indians.

1890 - B. P. Schuler was Indian Agent until 1893 assigned to the Red Lake sub-agency which was under the White Earth Agency.

1890 - The judges of the Court of Indian Offenses were Joseph Charette (age 53), William V. Warren (age 41), and John G. Morrison, Sr. (age 48). These men received their appointment on July 1, 1889 and likely took care of both the Red Lake and White Earth Reservations.

1890 - A small green school was operated by the government that had one teacher in charge and a capacity of twenty students. It was likely the one built in 1873 and operated also with the boarding school built in 1877 which had a capacity of fifty students.

1890 - As the saw-mill at Red Lake was old and unfit for use since about 1880, it was evident by the records that the logs and stumpage were sold to contractors instead of sawing it themselves. These logs were banked and then boomed across Red Lake to be sent down the Red Lake River to lumber companies.

Page CVI of the Commissioner's report states: "White Earth and Red Lake, 8,063,510 feet at $5.10 per M. $41,123.00. From this, the scaling and other expenses are to be deducted."

The agent's report on page 112 shows: Red Lake 1,559,620 feet; value of logs $9,406.74; advertising and stumpage $1,657.66; paid to contractor $7,749.08.

1890 - Steam boats began running on Red Lake about this time and marks the beginning of a busy and heavy traffic on the lake for about two decades.

The names of some of the boats were: Chippewa, Dahlberg, Mud Hen, Bismark, Long Boat (Sunk west of the Narrows), Alice Meehan (A passenger boat), Beltrami, Margarite, Michael Kelly, and the J. P. Kinney. Other boats were the Viking, Christina, Martin Lally, Jim Anderson, James Meehan, Ethel and other smaller boats.

1891 - Contract Schools grew in importance and the federal funds received by these schools was 50% in 1896. The amount became less each year and ceased entirely in 1900. These contract schools followed the government (Army) Manual-Labor schools or the Manual-Training schools as they were sometimes called. Prior to the latter schools were the church or Literary schools that were abolished in 1852. After 1900 a series of Government Boarding schools were built and this system of schooling lasting until about 1935. Day schools then took over from about 1934 on until public schools became a part of the school plan.

1891-On the Red Lake Reservation a total of 5,988,310 feet of timber was cut. The value of the logs was $35,929.86; advertising, scaling and stumpage $3,768.69; paid contractor $32,161.17. (C.R. 1891 pp 261).

1892 - A census of the Red Lake Ojibwa numbered 1,259 Indians.

1892 - Government freight began coming from Fosston instead of from Detroit (Detroit Lakes) via White Earth. This indicated that the railroad had been extended to Fosston at this time. 1892-A government portable saw-mill was put in at Shell Lake which is about seven miles from Red Lake. It was to be used to cut lumber for the Agency buildings, Indian houses, and also for use in making coffins.

1892 - Ida Rowe was appointed postmaster at Red Lake on January 21.

1892 - An executive order on November 21 set aside certain lands as an addition to the diminished Red Lake Reservation on three sections for the purpose of clearing boundaries.

1893 - The present St. Mary's Mission church was built. The lumber used in the Construction was said to have been sawed by the saw-mill at Shell Lake.

1893 - Red Lake began to show itself as a growing and prosperous little village about this time. There were hotels or stopping places, and stores, with traders' supplies larger than anywhere in that part of the country. Many settlers and homesteaders passing through stocked up with groceries and supplies for their journey ahead. The village took shape beginning about 1830. Beltrami County was not organized until 1897.

1894 - William R. Spears was again appointed postmaster at Red Lake on March 16. He moved the postoffice into his store and also started a hotel.

1895 - The population of Red Lake was 1,341 Ojibwa Indians according to a census taken that year.

1895 - This year some 903,282 feet of logs were cut on the Red Lake Reservation and $5.00 per M. was received for them on the bank of the lake. (C.R. 1895 pp 54 and 176).

1895 - John Van House mentions in his "Early Days in Northern Minnesota" that while living in Fosston between 1895 and 1897 he made many trips hauling with a livery team into the surrounding country. While working for Jim Campbell and Louis Suderberg in the livery business he made many trips to Red Lake, hauling cruisers and missionaries back and forth. He hauled Episcopal Bishop Morrison, and Father Thomas many times. On many of his trips from Fosston to Red Lake he stopped at Henry How's stopping place which is about five miles north of where Bagley is now. From How's stopping place he would go north to Neving's stopping place on Clearwater Lake and then continue on to Little Sandy River. From Little Sandy there were two routes to the Red Lake Agency. In wet weather the Little Rock road going along Red Lake for four miles was taken. In dry weather the sugar bush road was taken.

1895 - John George Morrison, Sr. moved from White Earth to Red Lake and opened a hotel in a building he bought from Joseph C. Roy. He became postmaster on April 19.

1895 - Robert M. Allen was the Indian Agent assigned to the Red Lake sub-agency.

1895 - Robert M. Allen, Indian Agent, reported, "The majority of the Indians of this agency send their children to school without any compulsion and I found that it is not necessary to use police to compel school attendance."

1896 - The attendance at the Red Lake Boarding school (Capacity fifty) was forty-four and at St. Mary's Mission (Contract school) it was seventy.

1896 - Ceded Reservation land was opened for settlement to homesteaders on May 15.

1896 - The first of the Red Lake timberland ceded in 1889 was offered for sale at the Crookston Land Office, July 1st.

1896 - The sale of "dead and down" timber on the Red Lake and White Earth Reservations produced a revenue to the Indians amounting to $51,160. At Red Lake 3,336,810 feet of "dead and down" timber was cut. (C.R. 1896 pp 170).

1896 - Dr. G. S. Davidson was the resident physician stationed at Red Lake to give medical care to the Indians up to the year 1900.

1896 - A "Carter Mission" for lace-making was started at Red Lake under the direction of the "Sybil Carter Indian Mission and Lace Industry Association", of the Episcopal church. Miss Sophy Styles was the teacher in charge. Of the three "Carter Missions for Lace Making" that were started, Red Lake, White Earth, and Leech Lake were chosen as sites in Minnesota. There were about twelve such sites through-out the United States which had their beginning in 1887 with ten Indian women.

1896 - During this year, the Boarding school (capacity 50 and built in 1877) was improved and enlarged. It appears from the record that 10% of the gross value of the timber was taken for stumpage and used "for the relief of the old, sick and otherwise indigent members of the band." (C.R. 1896 pp 51.)

1897 - "Dead and down" timber sales on the Red Lake and White Earth Reservations, cut under contract, amounted to $363,900.31.

1898 - Although the "dead and down" timber Act was repealed in 1897, it appears that three contracts at Red Lake were let equaling 4,500,000 feet at a value of $22,500. Likely more than that amount was cut. About 10% was deducted for stumpage. (C.R. 1898 pp 181).

1898 - Two Boarding schools were in operation at Red Lake. These were likely the regular government boarding school and the St. Mary's Mission (Contract) Boarding school.

1898 - The postmaster was Nathan J. Head appointed June 18.

1898 - The first logging railroad in Beltrami County was started in about 1896 and completed in 1898 from Nebish northward nine miles through the Reservation to the lake [Red Lake] where Redby now is located. This railroad was extended from Nebish to Bemidji in 1905.

1898 - In 1898 John and Lester Van House went into partnership Toting from Solway to Red Lake. This was about the time a New Government Boarding school was being built at Red Lake and at Ponemah. All the materials had to be hauled from Solway to Red Lake by Tote team and they were paid a dollar a hundred pounds. Culp from Park Rapids had the contract for all the hauling. Hauling was also done for the stores of Selam Fairbanks, William Spears, and for Morrison. Many men and their trunks had to be hauled over this same route and each trip usually took four days-two days over and two days to return. Neving's stopping place was the usual place to spend the night. The route taken was by Bagley Dam and Neving's stopping place and then across Little Sandy.

1899 - The Red Lake Agency was separated from the White Earth Agency and became a charge of the Leech Lake Agency with headquarters at Onigum. John H. Sutherland was the Agent in charge of the Leech Lake Agency. George A. Morrison was sub-agent in charge at Red Lake.

1899 - The Act of 1899 was passed which authorized and directed the Secretary of the Interior to make investigations of alleged cutting of green timber under contracts for cutting "dead and down" timber on the Chippewa ceded and diminished reservations of Minnesota. This was the result of investigations started during the Autumn of 1896 by Dr. B. E. Fernow on the Red Lake Indian Reservation upon complaint among the Red Lake Indians.

1899 - The Secretary of the Interior, E. A. Hitchcock, issued an order on March 30 suspending all appraising, examining, and cutting of timber and all land sales to investigate first illegal cutting of timber on Reservations.

1899 - The Indian Commission, appointed in 1889, practically ended its work on the Reservations and only one commissioner was left in 1889, D. S. Hall.

1899 - W. A. Mercer, Captain, 7th Cavalry was appointed acting U. S. Indian Agent until 1901. He had charge of the Red Lake sub-agency still under the Leech Lake Agency. The sub-agent in charge at Red Lake was George A. Morrison and Dan Sullivan up to 1902.

1899 - The Indian Agent recommended a new saw-mill for Red Lake.

1900 - William R. Spears declined the postoffice appointment made on December 15 at Red Lake.

1900 - Dr. Julius Silverstein was the physician in charge at Red Lake.

1900 - A Census of the Red Lake Reservation listed 1,350 Ojibwa Indians.

1900 - Construction was started on a new government Indian Boarding school at Red Lake. Nearly all the building materials and supplies were hauled across from Solway by "Tote Team." The school was finished in late fall and opened with Oscar H. Lipp as Principal and head of the school.

1900 - Trouble was encountered in establishing a location for a Boarding school at Cross Lake. An attempt to locate the school at the Narrows, known as "O-bash-ing" or "O-baush-eeng", was met with severe resistance by the "Pagan" Indians of Cross Lake. They didn't want their burial grounds and homes molested and said they would destroy any school built at that site. A compromise was made and the school was built further to the east which proved a much better location later on.

1900 - Construction was started on the Cross Lake (Ponemah) Boarding school and it was completed late that fall. It opened on January 10, 1901, with John G. Morrison Jr. as the Principal, Mrs. Morrison as matron, William Bonga as the Industrial teacher, Madge (Margaret) Nason as teacher, and Josette Lawrence as seamstress. Mary Brun was cook and Susan Sayers was the laundress. The attendance grew from nine to forty-two in the first six-months. (See 1907 for the Principals or head teachers that followed.)

1901 - A smallpox epidemic broke out in Ponemah and the Agency physician, Dr. Schneider attended the sick. He ordered the school closed, but by some directive it was ordered to remain open. The students were all vaccinated and none of them got the illness. They were not allowed to leave school to mingle with others at home.

1901 - An application for a post office at Cross Lake was made to help facilitate the handling of mail to this remote station. The names of Spears, Narrows, and Ponemah were submitted. The latter name (Ponemah) was selected [the name of a suburb of Philadelphia] and a post office was opened on May 10 of the same year. John G. Morrison, Jr. was the first postmaster and continued until July, 1902. Ponemah means, "Hereafter".

1901 - Peter Graves was appointed postmaster at Red Lake on April 30 and served for several years.

1901 - The Commissioners report stated: "Cut on Redlake diminished Reservation - 5,783,120 feet of logs, which were sold for $33.731.35 and the total expense of these logging operations amounted to $21,781.83, leaving a balance of $11,949.52 to be de- posited to the credit of the "proper Indians". (C.R. 1901 pp 69).

1902 - No timber was cut this year because of the negotiations to cede land.

1902 - G. L. Scott, Major 10th Cavalry, was acting Agent in charge of the Leech Lake Agency until 1906 and Red Lake was a sub-agency under his direction. The sub-agent in charge of Red Lake was Robert E. Lee Daniel.

1902 - An Amendment to the Act of January 14, 1889 had some effect on the Red Lake Indian Reservation. On March 10, 1902, James McLoughlin, an inspector with the Indian Service, concluded an agreement with the adult male Indians of the Red Lake Reservation to cede 256,152 acres of land within Red Lake County to the U.S. Government for $1,000,000. Of this amount, $250,000 was to be paid in cash as per capita payments to all Red Lake Indians (share and share alike, men, women, and children) within ninety days after the ratification of the agreement. The remainder, ($750,000), was to be paid in cash per capita payments in fifteen (15) annual installments of $50,000 each in October of each succeeding year. [See appendix for the complete signatures and witnesses.]

This agreement was amended as approved on February 20, 1904. The chief difference from the 1902 agreement was in the manner of compensation or the paying of the money as stated in article two and three. Instead of paying $1,000,000 for the ceded portion, the 256,152 acres of land were to be offered for sale, subject to the homestead laws of the United States, at the rate of $4.00 per acre at public auction. It was provided further, that one-fifth (1/5) of the purchase price was to be paid at the time of the purchase bid and the balance paid in five equal installments. The proceeds of the land realized would be credited to the Red Lake Indians and deposited with the U. S. Treasury.

According to Folwell's, "A History of Minnesota", Vol. 4, this 256,152 acres was sold at public auction which took place at Thief River Falls from June 20 to July 14, 1904. It was resumed again at Crookston on October 3, 1904 and at later sales. A total of $1,265,000 was received through sales in this manner and credited to the Red Lake Indians. This amount exceeded the original agreement made in 1902 by comparison.

1902 - The Agreement of 1902 was signed by the following Chiefs:


No. Name English Name Status Mark Age Seal
1. Kah-bay-no-din (Perpetual Wind) Chief X 67 Seal
2. Mays-ko-ko-noy-ay (Red Robed) Chief X 70 Seal
3. Pay-she-ke-shig (Striped Day) Chief X 35 Seal
4. Nay-ay-tow-up (Lone Sitting) Chief X 54 Seal
5. Ak-mun-e-ay-ke-zhig (Praying Day) Chief X 76 Seal
6. I-een-je-gwon-abe (Changing Feather) Chief X 63 Seal
7. Kay-bay-gah-bow (Perpetual standing) Chief X 55 Seal

There were 213 other male adult Indians that signed.

Other signatures were James McLaughlin as United States Inspector;
Jos. C. Roy, C. W. Morrison and Peter Graves as interpreters;
Daniel Sullivan, Overseer of Sub-Agency;
Frank Kratka, Mayor of Thief River Falls;
G. L. Fairbanks, White Earth Agency;
and G L. Scott, Major, 10th Cavalry, Acting Indian Agent.

1902 - Madge Nason was appointed postmaster at Ponemah on July 26 to become the second postmaster that was appointed. The first mail carrier contract to Ponemah with two mails per week was awarded to J. C. Roy. The lake was used a great deal during the summer months for this purpose as the distance was shorter and travel easier.

1902 - There were a number of Non-Reservation schools through- out the United States that were listed as Indian schools and students from various reservations were privileged to attend them upon approval of their agency superintendent. These schools were; Haskell Institute, Pipestone school, Hampton Institute, Vermilion school, Morris school, Tomah school, Carlisle school, Chilocco school, Chamberlain school, Riggs Institute, Toledo school and Pierre school.

Sometimes large numbers from White Earth and Redlake attended these schools. The White Earth Agency during this year had 274 in attendance in all of the above named schools. No record was found listing the number from Red Lake since it had been under the Leech Lake Agency since 1899. Prior to that time Red Lake had been under the White Earth Agency.

1902 - The Cross Lake school (Ponemah Boarding school) had an enrollment of sixty students and forty-two of these were boarded. There were seven employees-six Indian and one white. The cost to the government was $6,630.29 or a per capita cost of $157.86.

1902 - The Red Lake Boarding school with a capacity of one- hundred students had an enrollment of ninety-three with seventy-seven students boarded. There were ten employees with one Indian among them. The total cost was $12,619.49 or $163.88 per capita.

1902 - The St. Mary's Mission Boarding school with a capacity of eighty students had an enrollment of seventy-one students and sixty-two were boarded. Eight employees were listed with seven white and one Indian. The per capita cost to the Mission was $70.73. [Non-Government.]

1904 - A severe storm in the Ponemah area in late Autumn (September) resulted in one of the worst blow-downs on record. It was toward evening and great storm clouds gathered followed by a calm. Then winds of such velocity as had never been recorded unleashed in torrential rains resulting in the blow-down of approximately 25 million feet of timber. It was scaled at about 23 million feet and sold later and cut by timber companies. A full history of the blow-down timber on the Red Lake Diminished Reservation was given in The Annual Report to the Department of Interior.

1904 - Timber cuttings records on the Red Lake Reservation for this year were as follows:


2,818,387 feet White Pine @ $4.00.............$11,273.55
7,065 feet White Pine Waste @$8.00...............56.52
7,718,211 feet Norway Pine @ $3.00..........23,154.63
25,058 feet Norway Pine Waste @ $6.00........150.35
One-half Scaler's Salaries......................................572.98

1901 - It was said that the heavy rains during the Autumn of this year caused the ground to become loose and soggy and therefore portions of the Reservation suffered heavy windfalls.

In a narrative summary compiled by William Heritage, Regional Forester in 1936, he states that, "in 1905 to 1914 heavy windfalls occurred on the Reservation at different times. Fire also swept over portions of "The Point" (Ponemah) and through large areas near Sandy River and elsewhere on the south side of the lake, killing and damaging a considerable volume of timber. The records prepared at the Red Lake Forestry office showed that during this time a total of 56,376,376 feet of timber with a value of $328,512.41 was sold under the "Dead and Down Act". The areas burned on "The Point" during these fires are now covered with an exceptionally heavy growth of Norway and White Pine, while a considerable portion of the areas on the south side of the lake are covered with Jack Pine and brush. Where the more barren areas occur, plantations have been made."

1904 - The Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians ceded to the Government on February 20, 256,152 acres of land known as the eleven western townships. After the sales of the land were complete a total of $1,265,000 was received and credited to the Tribal Fund. Payments were made in accordance with the Treaty agreements as amended.

1904 - By an Act of April 8, the Minneapolis-Red Lake and Manitoba Railway Company was authorized to select 320 acres from land on the Red Lake Reservation, adjacent to the Northern terminus of its line of railroad. A map showing the lands selected was approved on March 18, 1905, and the agent of the Leech Lake Agency was designated to appraise the land selected, which amounted to 300.50 acres after excluding the right of way previously acquired. The Agent's report of appraisement, submitted on April 26 and approved the same day, showed the value of the improvements to be $1,355.00 and of the land $5,461.20, for a total of $6,816.20. This amount was paid by the company through its attorney. The application for the issue of a patent to the company covering the lands thus acquired was denied by the Department on June 26. Thus no patent was ever issued.

l905 - The Act of February 8 granted 320 acres on the Red Lake Reservation as right-of-way for the Minneapolis, Red Lake and Manitoba Railway Company.

1905 - There was reported a severe storm and blowdown on the Red Lake Reservation and Dr. B. E. Fernow, Special Agent, was sent to look after the timber matters and cutting contracts. He issued this special report on Red Lake:


    6,097,505 feet White Pine @ $5.00                     $30,487.53
  10,878,403 feet Norway Pine @ $4.00                    43,513.61
       207,690 feet W. P. Boom Timbers $7.00              1,453.83
         80,410 feet N. P. Boom Timbers @ $6.00             482.46
         22,290 feet W. P. Waste Boom Timbers                
                                             @ $ 10.00                          222.90
         41,630 feet N. P. Waste Timbers  @ $ 8.00            333.04
         17,410 feet N. P. Camps @ $4.00                             69.94
         One-half of scaler's salaries ($1345)                         672.50

Deduct for correction 10,690 feet W. P. credit recheck scale 53.45 8,480 feet N. P. credit recheck scale 33.92 87.37 : Net Proceeds $ 77,158.14

Some timber left in woods. (C.R. 1905 pp 79)

1905 - The Townsite of Redby was platted by the Minnesota Red Lake and Manitoba Railway Company. This marks the be- ginning, yet the continuance, of a village that had long existed.

1905 - Early Indian Police were poorly paid. They received $10.00 per month as a private and $15.00 per month as an officer with some rations allowed while on duty in certain cases. These rations were staple foods as salt pork, tea, flour, etc. If the police- man had to use a horse for part of his work, the feed had to be furnished by him in any manner that he could secure and pay for without re-embursement. The clothing worn was of the old blue suit kind with the dark blue hat. The Agent recommended a change to the Army tan or similar color to give the police more prestige.

1905 - The first police force for Ponemah was allowed by the government this year. The salary was $10.00 per month and the policemen for Ponemah at different intervals were Joe Brown, Charles Jackson, John Stillday, George Blakely, James Downwind, Charles Dick, Mike Blakely, Spencer Whitefeather, John Signa, Peter Martin, Dan Perkins, George Oldman, Charles Bug Sr., John George, Harry Johnson Sr., Alfred Wind and Tom Cain.

Early policemen for Red Lake were: George Highlanding, Kay-bay gah-bow, Lewis Jourdain, Pay-she-Ke-shig, Joe Bellanger, Henry Taylor, Joe Mason, Nay-gah-wah-jeence, Way-me-tig-oshe, John Martin, William Jourdain, David Lajeunesse, Clifford Sitting, Peter Graves, Joe V. Roy, Norman Kelly, Chas A. Beaulieu, Mike Lussier, Bazil Maxwell, Holinday, Francis Gurneau, Bazil Lawrence, O-ge-mah-eenze, Patrick Lussier, Baptiste Thunder, Leo Desjarlait, William Blue, William Fineday, Warren Greenleaf, Gus Lajeunesse, Peter Sitting,, Ed Prentice, Albert Stately, Sr., Gilbert Lussier, Stoneman, Frank Prentice, Charles Prentice, John Squirrel, Alex Jourdain, Geo. Chase, Albert Jones, John A. Smith, Louis Yellow, Louis Barrett, Llewelyn Parkhurst, Herman Smith, Herman English, Charles White, Marvin Yellow, Simon Beaulieu, Tom Barrett, John English, Louis Caswell and Louis Jourdain. Deputy Special Officers: Louis B. Harwood, Charles Harkins, Lizziam Archambeau, Earl Robinson and Theodore Murphy, Present Police: Royce Graves, Mathew Sayers, Melvin Strong, Frank Stately, Albert Stately Jr., and Tom Cain.

1905 - Small hospitals with the necessary attendants were recommended for each of the five Boarding schools under the Leech Lake Agency. Red Lake and Cross Lake [Ponemah] were included in the five. The Cross Lake school had wood stoves and kerosene lamps yet at this time and a steam or hot water system was recommended for heating and an acetylene plant for lighting. The Red Lake school was reported without a cottage for use of the employees. The Superintendent, wife, and two children, together with nearly all other employees occupied badly needed rooms in the school building. A cottage was recommended. (C.R. 1905).

1905 - The first payment to the Red Lake Chippewas for the sale of the western portion of the diminished reservation was made in February.

1905 - John G. Morrison Jr. was re-appointed postmaster of Ponemah.

1905 -The railroad was extended from Nebish to Bemidji giving the Reservation railroad service from Redby to Bemidji for the first time. This brought the Indians in closer touch with the outside world.

End of excerpt.

This excerpt was reprinted from Mittelholtz' Historical Review of the Red Lake Indian Reservation copyright 1957 by the Beltrami County Historical Society. Reprinted with permission.

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