Many thanks to Mark Fruendt for his help in starting this page by sending in some GREAT PHOTOS from his mother & grandmother's collection, along with the Clintoville newspaper item written about his grandmother.  The additional 2 news items (1919 & 1922) were added by me.

We frequently get asked questions about Native American research and the Indian Missions & Schools in Shawano County... not much has been written about them...YET.  This is MY attempt to offer a glimpse of the Indian Mission on Mission Lake as well as the WHY & HOW behind them... the first one we're researching is the Red Springs Indian Mission on Mission Lake, just outside of Gresham in the town of Red Springs... since all of our Shawano GenWeb pages are updated when additional information is obtained, I look forward to updating this one as well... please send in anything you would like to share.

This page, as well as ALL THE PAGES in the Shawano GenWeb Project, are copyright protected-ATC© 2009

Again, many thanks to Mark for the inspiration and for the great pictures.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words and I believe it!  Mark sent in the following Tribune Gazette newspaper article written about his mother's experiences while living at the Lutheran Church's Red Springs Indian Mission where her mother was a cook.  Life was hard for Tillie... it was 1920 and Tillie Hafemann was a young widow with two small children to support.  Her husband, Fred Hafemann, had died during the flu epidemic two years earlier... Tillie not only managed to provide for her young family during the Depression, she also sent them through college. Very hard-working woman!

The following article appeared in the Clintonville, Wisconsin Tribune Gazette, the exact date is not known, but it is estimated to be in February, 1981: 

Remembering the Mission
             By Becky Schnurr 

     “My brother, Andrew Raisler, took me up there.  I watched his car leave with tears running down my face.  About an hour later, Miss Amanda Graper got there.  She worked so fast, and she helped me with whatever she could.  She was just like the sun coming out on a cloudy day.”
     That’s how Tillie Mandery, 33 Hughes street, Clintonville, describes her arrival at the Lutheran Indian Mission, about three miles northeast of Gresham on Mission Lake, and a recent addition to the National Register of Historic Places.
     It was 1920 and Mrs. Mandery, then Tillie Hafemann, was a young widow with two small children to support.  Her husband, Fred Hafemann, had died during the flu epidemic two years earlier.  Tillie and her children, Lucille and Donald, had moved to her parent’s home in Nicholson and she went to work at a mill.
     But then she was told that the Lutheran Indian Mission needed a cook and an aide, and she was asked to take the job as cook and bring along whoever she wanted as an aide.  Tillie agreed to give it a try, and brought Esther Roesler along as her helper, she says.
     “The thing that made me so happy was when the pastor told me I could have a place of my own and could have my children with me,” Mrs. Mandery recalls.  And the family did get their own little apartment in the mission’s dormitory building.
     Thus the Hafemanns arrived at the mission prior to the start of the 1920-21 school year.  At the time, the main buildings were the church, built in 1901, which is still in use, and a dormitory-school building, built in 1902.  There were almost 120 children enrolled in the school, mostly from the Stockbridge-Munsee tribe.  But actually, 11 tribes were represented recalls Tillie’s daughter, Lucille Fruendt, with students from as far away as the Dakotas.
     There were three teachers and three classrooms at the mission.  In 1920, the first and second grade classroom was in the church, while third through fifth and sixth through eighth grades each had a room in the other building.  Lucille started school there that fall, attending first grade in the church classroom.  By the time Donald started school a few years later, a new dormitory building has been completed and the older building now held all three classrooms.
     The new dormitory was a beautiful building overlooking the lake, constructed by area Stockbridge Indians.  The building has since been torn down, however.
     The pupils at the Lutheran Indiana Mission were mostly boarding students.  They paid no fees to attend, but they did have to help with the work, says Mrs. Mandery.  Each child was assigned a job, be it hauling water, helping with the baking, laundry, chopping and hauling wood, peeling potatoes or drying dishes, among others.  The jobs were rotated each month, she adds, so that each student learned every job.
     During all the cooking for 120 pupils was by no means an easy job, even though the girls helped with the bread baking.  They made 50 to 60 loaves of bread every day.  Mrs. Mandery says, adding, “Sometimes when I was done baking bread at night, I was so tired I’d just cry.”
     Tillie ordered her supplies for the school from Green Bay.  They were shipped by train from Green Bay to Lindhurst, and from there to the mission by horse-drawn wagon or, in winter, by sleigh.
     Another drawback during the first year, while they were still in the old building, was the “kitchen” and “laundry room” were one and the same.  Long rows of clotheslines were strung across the room, so Tillie and the girls who helped her had to dodge wet laundry as they prepared meals.  “It was much better when the new building was built.”  Mrs. Mandery says.
    Miss Graper was a tremendous help to Tillie during the early days at the mission.  A Clintonville native, Miss Graper had already been at the mission for four years when the Hafemanns arrived, so she “knew the ropes.”  Says Mrs. Mandery.  Together, they managed to get most of the weekend work finished on Saturday so they could go to church on Sunday.
     The mission used margarine on the bread, Mrs. Mandery recalls, and back then, it wasn’t colored, so it was very white.  Once when she and Miss Graper colored the margarine yellow, a state official found out, and they were fined.
     The pupils at the mission were always quite cooperative, according to Mrs. Mandery.  If they hadn’t done their work just right, and she said they had to do it over, they did it without feeling angry or hurt.
     “They just felt that was my job,” she explains.  “I have to give them credit for that.”
     Favorite food among the mission students, Mrs. Mandery recalls, was baked beans.  Given their choice for Sunday dinner between baked beans or beef roast, the student’s chose beans every time.
     Like any other kids, those at the mission appreciated a good joke.  On his very first Sunday at the mission, they taught little Donald about “wild Indians.”  Donald had been “warned” by his grandmother to “be careful of the Indians.”  A few of the students decided to play a little joke, so they put strips of cloth around their heads, then got a few feathers from the mission’s chickens and stuck these in their hair.  Then they went to surprise Donald, who promptly turned and ran to his mother screaming, “The Indians are coming!  The Indians are coming!”
     Despite the help and cooperation she received, the first year at the Lutheran Indian Mission was a tough one for Tillie.
     “It was an awfully hard year.  I had decided I wasn’t going to come back,” she says.
     But Lucille was doing well in school, and the mission board begged Tillie to stay, so she finally agreed.  And she stayed not only that year, but the next and the next, and finally ended up spending seven years there.
     Lucille was able to complete all eight grades in those seven years.  Apparently, she got a quality education at the mission school, too, because when she took the eighth grade tests required by the county, she had the highest score of anyone.  And she had no trouble with her studies when she attended Lutheran High in Milwaukee for the next four years.
     “We learned how to study, and I’m still grateful for that,” Mrs. Fruendt says.  “We had a good system.  There was a required study period every night.” 
     Being the only white student in her grade school classes didn’t cause any problems for Lucille either.
     “As far as I was concerned, I didn’t actually realize that I was white and different,” she explains.  “They were all very good friends of mine.”
     After Lucille graduated from eighth grade, Tillie accepted a position as a cook at Concordia College in Milwaukee, where she spent more than 10 years, working until her children were through college.  And she’s proud that she was able to provide her children with a good education, even though she was a widow with just an eighth grade education herself.
     “I’m thankful the Lord gave me the health and strength to do what I did.” Mrs. Mandery concludes.

New dormitory at the Lutheran Indian Mission dedicated in May 1921. 
Notice the teepee on the roof of the building.

Please click on the thumbnail pics below to see the larger more detailed picture... and we can use your help on identifying people in the photographs as well!

Reception Hall at Mission Dormitory

Mr. Wallechlarger Senior Department 1925
Can you help identify the students?

Confirmation Class 1927
Lucille Hafemann on far right.
Can you help identify any of the people?

Inside Alter View
Miss Zinke at the organ

Confirmation class of 1924
and Margaret Hammer baptized
Can you help identify the students?

Lutheran Indian Mission Church

Note: It is not my intention to offend anyone with any portion of the Shawano GenWeb site.  My Grandmother Taylor was Native American and I know first-hand how Indian people were viewed.  In the 1880s, my grandmother wasn't even registered as being born because she was part Indian living off-reservation... in the early 1900s, some of her family were taken away to Government Schools to be "taught the ways of the white man" -- as far away as Carlisle, PA.  In the 1920s when she was asked to enroll officially in the tribe, she declined as she had been trying to pass as white her entire life to avoid the social stigmatism she endured  so her children could be considered "white"...  So I do understand completely... portions of this page contain articles I located that were written by the founders of the mission schools and do reflect the belief they had regarding the WHY & HOW.  Again, this was the belief of a few people in the 1920s -- this is not my feeling but I think it is important to include it to understand WHY the missions and schools existed.

The missions and schools were originally opened to offer Native American children an education, accompanied by Christian doctrine... in 1910, the federal government's Bureau of Indian Affairs established a policy allowing 2 hours each day to be spent on religious activities in these schools.  These Indian School Missions had both positive & negative effects as we look back -- hindsight being 20/20.  They took small children out of their homes and attempted to "Americanize" them into society... most rebelled, some participated but when all was said and done at the end of the day, these children were losing their language, culture & deep family traditions.  Now, for a few words on behalf of the church missions, they were not doing this to be malicious or cruel -- it was their intent to HELP these children function in the modern world... and they did have many good points: they offered food & shelter AND education.  Deaths among Native American babies & children were unbelievably high compared to their white neighbors... along with Christianity, the missions brought medical care & new ways of preventing illness.  There were pros and cons to the issue but by the 1950s & 1960s, the federal government discontinued their support of the Indian Mission Schools and eventually they were closed.  History is the real judge of the success of Indian Mission Schools... I know this is a very controversial subject and I am trying to give both viewpoints.

I WELCOME any information regarding the schools from people who attended them.  I know there are still older folks who attended them that could shed more light on how they felt being there... I would love your input!

Located on County Road G in the Red Springs Township on Mission Lake, this church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  It was originally known as the Emmanuel Mohican Lutheran Church Mission School for Native American children in the area.  The Mohican Indian Lutheran Church, with a school annex, was built in 1901 on a small lake now called Mission Lake. The dormitory next to the church was built in 1908. In about 1923, after a new dormitory was built, the two-story building next to the church became the school. The boarding school closed in 1933, a day school continued until 1958. The church, parsonage and school building remain in use by the Mohican Immanuel Lutheran Congregation.

WHY & HOW...
Published articles...
Lutheran mission work among the American Indians by Albert Keiser
Published by Augsburg Publishing House, 1922
(AGAIN, this is his view as written in 1922!)
Original from Harvard University
Digitized Jan 2, 2007 - 189 pages

It was in 1898 that a delegation of Stockbridge Indians came to Rev. Th. Nickel, at that time pastor in Shawano, and requested that he begin church work among them. With alacrity Rev. Nickel accepted the invitation, all the more so since these Indians understood the English language. In that language he preached to them, a considerable number attending the services. In addition, several showed a willingness to take instruction and be baptized. The whole undertaking thus had an auspicious start.

In the following year the Missouri Synod decided to take over the mission, the work to be under the direction of an Indian mission board. Mr. J. D. Larsen, of Springfield Theological Seminary, was called as the first missionary. On September 3, 1899, he was ordained and installed among his future charges. For the purposes of the mission twenty acres were bought, and a parsonage was erected at once, one room of which was to serve as a place for religious meetings. However, only nine short months was Rev. Larsen permitted to work among the Indians, his failing health demanding the discontinuation of the highly successful labors. Since it was not possible to secure a new missionary immediately, a student named E. Biegener supplied the mission for one year. The services were well attended. Soon the meeting room became too small, and in 1901 a church had to be built, an addition to which served for school purposes. The mission station is known as Red Springs, while the mail is received at Gresham.

The same year a new missionary was secured in the person of Rev. R. Kretzmann, who was installed on July 14, 1901, at the same time the newly built church and school being dedicated. Rev. Kretzmann began his work with great enthusiasm. Already in 1901 he extended his field to the town of Keshena, and succeeded in establishing a preaching place there. The same result was obtained at Morgan. And in time Gresham was also visited, where he ministered to a number of Indian families. It has always been realized that a successful mission is largely dependent upon a school where the children may be imbued with the spirit of Christ and thus won over. Rev. Kretzmann as well as the board had no doubt on this point. What else could one expect of members of the Missouri Synod, whose parochial school system has been unapproached by any other Lutheran body in America! Mr. O. W. Volkert was accordingly engaged as teacher for the mission school. In August, 1902, he began his work, but already in 1903 God called His faithful servant to his eternal rest. Tho the position remained vacant for some time, the work was continued nevertheless. Rev. Kretzmann himself instructed in religion, while the other subjects were taught for a time by an educated Christian Indian woman. Later, former Rev. Kraft and a student named Gleffe served in the same capacity. It was not till 1905 that a regular teacher was secured in the person of J. F. Luebke, a graduate of the Teachers' Seminary at Addison. Under his careful guidance the school in Red Springs began to flourish. Children whose parents lived too far from the school were now admitted into the homes of Christian Indians, and this increased the attendance of the school considerably.

Rev. Kretzmann worked with great zeal and enthusiasm, and soon added another place to his already extensive parish. Twenty miles from Red Springs, almost buried in the primeval forest, is the so-called Wiaskesit Settlement of the Menominee Reservation. The missionary in his tour of investigation was informed that a number of children probably could be secured if a school were opened. Acting upon this information, the mission board had a school built, later also a house, and thus the station Zoar came into being. The Indians of that vicinity were still heathen, and sanitary conditions among them were unknown. As teacher of the school a certain Barneko was called, whose references seemed to indicate that he would be the proper person for the trying position. But unequal to the chaotic conditions, he left after a few weeks. In order that the work might go on, Rev. Kretzmann secured the services of educated Christian Indian women. But as a rule no one was willing to perform the dreary task long, and the teachers passed in rapid succession.

It was imperative that a regular teacher be secured, and finally the board was successful in calling Mr. A. Krenke. In September, 1904, he began his duties, but already in March, 1905, the illness of his wife compelled him to relinquish the position. After his resignation, educated Indian girls taught for a time, while later the school was abandoned temporarily. However, soon a great change for the better took place. The former missionary, J. D. Larsen, accepted a call to Zoar, arriving in January, 1906. His wife taught school, while he himself did missionary work, besides teaching wherever an opportunity offered itself. But the position of the missionary was anything but pleasant. The Indians were very much addicted to rum, and when their Government allowances were paid, their indulgence knew no bounds. Under such conditions life among them became at times dangerous, tho no real harm was ever done to the missionaries. But in spite of all efforts no visible fruit was seen, for not a single Indian became a Christian. However, Rev. Larsen and his heroic wife worked on till conditions in Red Springs necessitated their removal thither.

The work in Red Springs, the chief station, did not always progress according to the expectations of Rev. Kretzmann. The vices of the Indians especially caused the missionary many a gloomy hour. But in spite of it he worked on courageously, fearlessly denouncing the sins. In time the Indians grew impatient of the continued admonition and became hostile. Mr. Luebke, the faithful teacher of the school, did not escape. And soon the hostile Indians requested the Presbyterians to serve them, an invitation which was accepted. By this time the severe labor had tolled on the missionary, and in 1908 ill health compelled him to accept a call from a white congregation. Soon after, the teacher, Mr. Luebke, also left, since the school had almost gone out of existence. For a time the board tried unsuccessfully to fill the vacancy, tho an early appointment had become imperative, as the minister of the Presbyterians was expected within a short time.

In order to save the field, Rev. Larsen of Zoar had to be transferred to Red Springs, where he began his work in April, 1908, one week after the representative of the Presbyterians, a half-blood Sioux Indian, had arrived there. However, Rev. Larsen had this advantage over his rival that he had been stationed in Red Springs before and enjoyed the confidence of the Indians. Under these circumstances the half-blood Sioux soon found it advisable to abandon the field. The incursion of the Presbyterians had had few ill effects. Soon large audiences again greeted the missionary, and the Indians also requested that a school be opened.

Within a short time their request was granted. For in the same year the synod at its general convention decided to erect an administration building and dormitory at Red Springs. In the fall of 1908 the plans were carried out, the building with its equipment costing in the neighborhood of $5,000. Soon seventy-nine children attended the school. Mrs. Larsen had charge of the school, while Rev. Larsen himself taught Catechism and Bible History. Thus the work prospered, a strong impression also being made upon the adults.

Some of the conversions were truly remarkable. One in particular may be mentioned here. During Kretzmann's residence in Red Springs an old heathen Indian, a former soldier, had exposed himself to the cold while intoxicated, with the result that he became very sick. Rev. Kretzmann visited him and spoke to him about his sins. The Indian appeared to be repentant, was baptized, and promised that he would take further instruction and be confirmed just as soon as his state of health permitted. But with the return of health he continued the former sinful life. Again his intoxication threw him upon the sickbed which became his deathbed. Rev. Larsen, who was then in charge of the mission station at Red Springs, visited him and reproved him sharply on account of his sins. The Indian replied : "You are right, Reverend. I have lived a bad life. You cannot enumerate all the bad things I have done. But now I'll change." When the missionary voiced his doubt about the sincerity of the repentance, the Indian answered: "What you say is all true. They have often called me and I would not come. But now I feel that I must go. My end is coming, and I want to be saved." He desired instruction and the consolation of God's Word. The missionary gave both. When the Catholic priest heard of the sickness of the man, he went to him. Seeing the poverty, he promised to provide all the necessities of life if the man only would turn Catholic. But his offer was met with the reply: "You cannot bait me with a soup bone." Rev. Larsen was rejoiced to see how gladly his instruction was received. Even when the sick man became weaker and weaker, he would rise in bed, raise the folded hands and his face toward Heaven, and exclaim: "Take me, Lord Jesus, Son of God, take me! I come, I come!" With these sentiments he departed this life.

Not much need be said of Rev. Larsen's activities during his later years, as he became more and more indifferent toward the mission and went into farming and stock raising for himself. Finally, in 1914, the board ended the intolerable condition by accepting the resignation of the missionary.

As successor Rev. Carl Guenther was now called, who formerly had worked for twelve years among the Apaches in Arizona, ill health at last forcing his resignation. He entered upon the duties of his new office on December 6, 1914. As a true missionary he accounted it a privilege to supervise the boarding school and to serve the Indian congregation. The children, to the number of sixty, ranging from six to sixteen years, found a true father in Rev. Guenther, who worked unceasingly for the moral and spiritual uplift of his charges. They were instructed in religion during school hours and had their regular devotional services in connection with their meals. In addition the missionary assembled them at other times, talking to them and praying and singing with them. Miss Koehler in the school did her best to transmit some knowledge to the minds entrusted to her care. Soon the cheerful Christian spirit spread from the children to the parents. Stricter measures in regard to the congregation, insistence upon order, etc., brought only temporary opposition. And the mission board gave its hearty co-operation for the advancement of the station.

But the work of the missionary was destined to be short. Some time after Easter he found his strength failing, but instead of enjoying a much needed rest, he was forced to carry the additional burden of six weeks' instruction in the school. The board, notified of his condition, urged him to hold out till the end of June. When this seemed inadvisable, Rev. Guenther handed in his resignation, which was, however, not accepted, a second attempt sharing the same fate. At the end of the school year he was forced to leave. When the rest brought no improvement, the resignation was finally accepted, as another man was now ready to take up the work.

After the resignation of Rev. Guenther a new missionary was secured in the person of Otis L. Lang, a graduate of the theological seminary at St. Louis, Missouri. He arrived in August, 1915, and immediately took charge. His task was principally to superintend the boarding school of the mission, to do general mission work, and perform the duties as pastor of the Indian congregation, then numbering twelve voting members. As the school was without an instructor at that time, he opened it personally the following September with an initial attendance of fifty children. Within a short time Mr. E. Hassold, a student from the seminary at St. Louis, was secured, who ably conducted the school during the year. In the fall Mr. E. A. Peetzke took charge, but the increase in the attendance to almost eighty made a division into two sections necessary. Miss Ina Kempf was in charge of the lower class till the summer of 1917, when Irene Brehmer was secured, who remained at her post until health conditions forced her to resign. In the meantime the school had increased to almost one hundred children.

The missionary took great delight in the religious and secular training of the Indian children as they progressed in faith and knowledge. "To hear them answer the questions of the catechism and give account of their faith in religious instruction, to hear them cheerfully singing praise to their Maker, Redeemer, and Comforter in their Christian hymns, to see them kneeling about their little beds at retiring, saying their evening prayers, is an experience that thrills the heart and melts the eyes in tears of joy of anyone who is familiar with the blind heathendom and savagery that mark the history of their forefathers; it shows by striking examples the Gospel's power in the heart of children when brought under its influence. And to prove the strength of the faith of these little ones, I shall relate an instance. One of them fell victim to the disease so prevalent among the Indians, tuberculosis, and failed very rapidly. She was removed from the school and placed in the care of a relative. Shortly before her death, a Roman Catholic priest, in whose denomination she had been baptized, came to see her and tried with persuasion, threats, and even force to induce her to return to his church. But she marvelously held her ground, refuting his arguments with passages of Scripture. When finally he told her that her only salvation would be by imploring the Virgin Mary to intercede for her, she pointed to a little prayer book I had left with her and said: 'I pray directly to my Lord Jesus. He has redeemed me and He loves me. He is almighty to save and my only comfort and hope. I need none other to intercede for me.' Thereupon she bade him go. She is seeing now what she faithfully believed."

The mission work in general was also successful. Besides Red Springs with the mission school and congregation, two preaching stations were also served. Until he left, in the early part of 1918, the missionary had baptized three adults and fifteen children, confirming ten in all. He also had the blessed experience of witnessing on deathbeds the triumph of faith in the last bitter hour, the greatest satisfaction and recompense mission work can offer. The Red Springs congregation had almost doubled when in the early part of 1918 ill health forced Rev. Lang to hand in his resignation. But he has not lost his interest in his former charges, which is evident from the following passage: "To behold a Christian congregation of Indians is a remarkable and, indeed, cheering sight, if one reflects upon the history of these people. While formerly the women were treated like despicable beasts by the haughty warriors, they now come arm in arm to sing their Maker's praise. How often did I think of that when glancing over the eager copper faced audience before me. God bless our Indian Mission!"

When Rev. Lang was forced to leave, a call was tendered to and accepted by H. M. Tjernagel, a former missionary among the Eskimos in Alaska, who arrived on the field April 5, 1918, receiving a royal welcome from a committee of five Indian women who had prepared a splendid supper in the parsonage. Since that time the work has steadily progressed. However, in late years the boarding school had outgrown its quarters, the building provided in 1908 being entirely too small. The school rooms were overcrowded, and the equipment, including playground, entirely inadequate. The same could be said in regard to dormitory conditions. For some time the synod had been aware of the pressing needs of the mission, and in 1917 made an appropriation of $26,000 for a modern building and equipment. But at first lack of funds, and then the war and the high cost of construction made the mission board hesitate to go ahead. However, at last necessity compelled action, and during the summer of 1920 the erection of a dormitory accommodating about one hundred pupils and the employees was begun. The estimated cost of the building is $37,000, and it is hoped that it will be fully equipped and ready for occupancy at the opening of the new school year in September, 1921. The old dormitory is being remodeled and will be used as a school building.

During the last two years on the average a few more than one hundred pupils were enrolled in the boarding school. All the eight grades are taught by the two teachers, the missionary himself giving instruction in religion. When Mr. Peetzke left in 1918, being drafted into the army, women teachers and students were employed in the school. As these assistants under the supervision of the missionary have given satisfaction, and as there is a scarcity of the regular parochial teachers, no change is contemplated for the present.

At the present time, the missionary work is carried on at three different places. Red Springs with its church and boarding school forms the center. At Morgan Siding, four miles from Red Springs, preaching services are conducted every second Sunday. Since there seems to be considerable interest, the synod in 1920 appropriated $1,000 for the erection of a chapel. Semi-monthly services are also held at Neopit, twelve miles from Red Springs, where a number of Lutheran Stockbridges work in the mill. Besides giving spiritual food to these people, the services are instrumental in winning annually a number of children for the boarding school at Red Springs. At the three stations there are eighteen voting members, forty communicants, and two hundred forty-four souls, while in all about four hundred persons are reached thru instruction and preaching. Some of the adult Indians are well versed in Lutheran theology, and are good church members.

Thus the work is bearing fruit and showing gratifying results. As an appropriate working motto the missionary has chosen Isaiah 55 :10-11: "For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." On the strength of this he not only hopes but knows that the expenditures in labor and money are not in vain.

The Lutheran Pioneer by Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America - 1919
(AGAIN, this is his view as written in 1919!)
Original from Harvard University

An Urgent Appeal...

It was once thought that the Indian question could be easily solved by herding the red men of the country into a number of reservations, where they could be taken care of as long as they might last, which was supposed to be but a very short time. But the "vanishing" Indian race refuses to vanish; there are today as many red men in America as there were when the white men first came. At the present time there are more than 300,000 Indians in the United States, not including Alaska, They are principally found in Oklahoma, Smith Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Arizona, New Mexico, California, Montana, and Washington, Not one-third of them are American citizens, and only a little over one-third speak English.

Missions of various denominations are supporting 76 schools for the red men, but there are 115,789 Indian children of school-age who attend no school. When we remember that some of the founders of our Church in this country were among the pioneers to do missionary work among the red men, our Lutheran Church might be expected to be doing a great part of the work. But in reality our Church is spending less than a cent a year to make the Indian a Christian. The Synodical Conference is working among the Stockbridge Indians of Wisconsin and among the Apaches of Arizona. In both fields the workers are laying great emphasis upon the teaching of the young, which is done by means of Christian day-schools, where religious instruction is a part of every day's work.

In 1908 it was decided to open a boarding school for Indian children in connection with the mission conducted among the Stockbridge Indians located in Shawano County, Wis., and a suitable building was erected. This boarding-school has by this time outgrown its quarters. Last year ninety-six pupils were enrolled in this school, of which number no less than seventy-five had their home in the dormitory, and were fed and largely clothed by the mission during the school year. A new building ought to be erected to remove the present congestion, and it is estimated that about $48,000 will be needed for this new building and other necessary improvements.

There can be no doubt that the only proper way of carrying on work among the Indians is by means of boarding schools. Among the Indians the bringing up of the children is left to the mother, and she has absolute power in the home. Habits which the children acquire under her teaching they carry with them the rest of their lives. It is in the homes and in the tepees on the reservations that Christian workers are needed. It is here that the diseases which work such havoc among the Indians get their first start, Three-fifths of the Indian babies die before the age of five. About thirteen per cent, of the Indian population is affected with tuberculosis and more than twenty per cent, with trachoma. Dark tepees or huta, dirt, unsanitary conditions, and lack of fresh air lie at the bottom of these troubles. But no white missionary, if he values the success of his labors, will go into the tepees and houses, and tell the Indian woman that her dish-pan needs washing, or that her baby needs a bath. The squaw would consider this an intrusion, and would not hesitate to say so. Native Indian girls and boys, Christians, who have been thoroughly instructed in the theory and practice of housekeeping, and who from practical experience know what it is to live in a truly sanitary and healthful way, are the only people who can successfully carry on the work of lifting up the Indian to a truly Christian level. While we do not attach any saving properties to soap, water, and sanitation, we are of the firm conviction that, all other things being equal, the Gospel will make greater progress where the preaching of the Word goes hand in hand with the application of a generous quantity of soap and water and a liberal supply of fresh air, together with thorough sanitation.

We hope that the Stockbridge Indian Mission, so signally blessed in the past, may not be checked in its progress because of the lack of the necessary funds to erect another building so necessary to carry on the good work.                             F. J. L.

Georgia 24