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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Indian Troubles!

We have talked a lot about a lot of things. Some of which are dry, statistics, however, they were important to note of the early settlers.
Today we are going to talk about Indian Troubles, of which one of my ancestors had some interaction years and years ago.
Remember again, please that the words I type are the words that I am reading from this old old encyclopedia.
By a treaty made between the United States and the Sioux Indians, July 15, 1815, almost three-quarters of a century ago, this tribe was duly considered at peace with the whites.  Their treat made at Portage des Sioux of Minnesota and Upper Iowa, by William Clark and Ninan Edwards, Indian Commissioners, was merely a treaty of peace and friendship on the part of these Indians toward the United States Government at the termination of the War of 1812.
We now come to speak of the Great Spirit Lake Massacre of 1857, which, even after thirty years, sends a thrill of terror through one's veins. Its history is too well known and recorded in various Iowa historical works to be enlarged upon here, only so far as the causes which, indirectly, lead to it and to causes which, indirectly lead to it and to immediate effect it had upon the settlement of Cherokee County.  After carefully studying these causes, it must be said that the imprudence and bad faith of our white race brought on that series of depredations and inhuman outrages which finally culminated in the Spirit Lake trouble, causing data for one of the bloodies chapter in the history of Indian ferocity. If the whites at no other time broke faith with the treat made to the Indians in July, 1815 in this one instance they did. Not as a government, by any means, but personally was this too true.  While there is more of poetry and romance regarding the truly noble and honorable conduct of Lo! the poor Indian that of real truth, yet it must be admitted that even a civilized, Christian people have from time to time acted in bad faith and virtually forfeited all protection and right under their various treaties of peace.
Sometime during the month of February, 1857, a hunting party of Sioux Indians passed down the Little Sioux River.  They made a short but quite friendly stop at the Cherokee settlement and then proceeded to Smithland, in Woodbury County.  Here the whites demanded of the Indians where they were journeying and insisted on knowing something concerning their business before allowing them to go by.  The Sioux replied that they were going down to shake hands with the Omahas; at this the whites made the Indians give up their guns---which is to the savage what virtue is to a woman--the last thing she will compromise.  Their surrendering arms enrages the Indian band, who turned upstream breathing vengeance upon the whites. White men stole their guns and now white men must make restitution, which would only be satisfied in the sacrifice of human blood.
Consequently they entered every cabin home, insulting the helpless inmates and taking what guns they possessed.  Arriving at Cherokee, furious with passion for the wrongs they had sustained, they acted in a brutal manner. What arms they had picked up before arriving at this point were directed against the settlers to frighten them into giving up more and also to suffer and indignity that an uncivilized race might conceive of. Cattle were stolen and scanty provisions seized and devoured by them, standing the while with cocked guns to enforce any command.  They remained feasting for three days, seeming to debate whether to murder the whole settlement or not.  These were the longest days and nights ever experience by the "colony".
The experiences of these poor people are hard to imagine. Comparing those to the folks in the Middle East is the only way I can imagine it.
Next time we will continue on with more Indian and settler problems. (Problems) sound like such a weak word doesn't it?


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Education Part 4

This chapter is about the education that my mother and grandmother took part in at one point; The Normal Institute.

By an act passed by the General Assembly of the State of Iowa in 1873, the county superintendents were required to commence and each year hold a teachers' institute at some convenient point in each county, for the drill of those who were teachers or who intended to teach.

The design was to furnish teachers an opportunity to review and enlarge their knowledge of the branches to be taught, to acquaint themselves with improved methods of instruction, etc; also to awaken an increased desire for self-improvement in knowledge and skill and power to control others, and to give them more confidence and ability in managing the affairs of the public schools.  For the purpose of defraying the expenses incident to such gatherings, the institute fund was created, to which the State pays $50 a year, the balance being made up by the $100 examination fees paid to the superintendent. While there is no law compelling teachers to attend these Normal Institutes, yet each applicant for  teacher's certificate is required to give good and sufficient reason for not being in attendance.
These Normals have always been well attended and admirably conducted by superior instructors.  It is owing to this fact, with others, that the grade of teachers in this county is what we find it today-high in point of excellence. The teachers go forth from their training school, and profiting by what they have learned from the experience of others, they are better fitted to do good service in their own school room.
In conclusion, it may be added that the schools of our country have wonderfully improved since our fathers and mothers were school children. While the old log cabin school room with its puncheon floor and rough slabs for seats, and the back log brightly burning in the fireplace, afforded much for the pen of the poet, we are only too glad to be educated in a milder manner.  The easy school desks and seats, the light, warm and airy school house of today, are a decided improvement.  The poet may sing of the vine and the brook, and our fathers may tell of the fearful flogging they had in the eastern and middle states; of the teacher "boarding around," and schools paid for by subscription, but give us the modern Iowa public school system, wherein boys and girls are managed by intellect and not by brute force, and where all may be educated by a public fund.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Education Part 3

The county was provided with 132 frame and two brick school buildings 134, which valued at $92,555, Apparatus, $3,961/
Indeed this a true record, which any county in the Union of forty-two states cannot excel and of which any may well be proud  "A school house on every hill top and no saloon within the valleys!"
Great has been the change and material improvement in education facilities in Iowa since Cherokee County was first settled.  And it is a pleasing fact to record, that the lady teachers are ardent, successful competitors in the race as instructors.  Women's vallue was seen impressed on the mind of our General Assemblies years ago, and finally culminated in that enactment which grants woman the next right to that of casting a ballot- namely, the right to be ballotted for. 
In Iowa now. a lady can hold the important offices of recorder of deeds, school superintendent, school director, etc.  In justice to her sex it should be said that the books of record, reports, etc. of the ladies who have been elected to such offices, have been especially well kept.  Iowa has been generous in enacting laws for the advancement of women, and now woman is doing her part nobly toward purifying politics.  It will be observed by a glance at the report given above that all of the teachers in the hundred and thirty schools in Cherokee County are women, except sixty seven.
Two hundred and one ladies teaching in the public schools of this county!
Again, no finer set of county records can be found in all Iowa than those now being kept by Miss Eva L. Gregg, the efficient lady superintendent of schools in Cherokee County, whose efforts are advancing the educational matters of the county to a high degree.
My mother and grandmother were both teachers for a short time before they married in Cherokee.  In those days, my mother told me that ladies were supposed to be teachers, married or bookkeepers, NEVER a nurse that which my mother wanted to be. My mother did go to school when she was in her fifties to become a nurse.
I thought I would insert a photo of Helen Keller, age 8 and her teacher, Anne Sullivan. I think that Helen's teacher signifies the importance of all teachers. In my blog a few years ago I wrote about favorite teachers. Mine was Miss Fransisco. She always had a smile and above all patience with a little girl that just could not "get" long division. Helen Keller was so disabled that without Anne I am sure, she would have withered away into herself.
Next time we will talk about Normal Schools for those that were for teachers or for those that wanted to teach.


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Educational Part 2

It is conceded by all thinking minds that the safety and perpetuity of our highly prized republican institutions depend upon the diffusion of intelligence among the masses of the people--for we are a self-governed people. The statistics from prisons and almshouses throughout our American domain furnish the most abundant proof that education is the best and cheapest care for crime and pauperism.  Again, education is the great equalizer of human rights and conditions. It places the poor and the rich on a more even footing, both social and legally.  It subjects the evil passions and morbid appetites of the rich to the restraint of sense and reason, and thus prepares the two classes for positions of usefulness and honor. Every consideration, therefore, impels us to sustain and improve our common-school system to the highest possible degree of efficiency.
Not unlike their Puritan ancestors, the little band known as the Milford Colony, together with the Ohio Colony, who effected the first settlement in Cherokee 
County, forgot not the benefits of the public schools, but at once established the same here in Iowa.
They came to the State when every act of the Legislature, for a series of years, tended to foster and encourage the public schools.
The Twelfth section of the act of Congress, establishing the Territory of Iowa shall enjoy all the rights and privileges hitherto granted to the domain of Wisconsin , from which it was taken."
This then brings us within the rights given by the third article of the ordinance granted by Congress July 13 1787--"That religious, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind,schools and all the means of education shall be forever encouraged." 
The people of Cherokee County have ever been in accord with these broad and liberal views concerning educational matters.
The "book" gives pages of reports of voting by township for the record by the School Superintendent Miss Eval L. Gregg's Annual Report made in October 31, 1888.
Next time we will visit about the males and females attending and what the school houses materials were made of.