Montana State Industrial School

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Montana Industrial School for Indians
Established 1886
Opened 1886
Closed 1896
Demolished 1896
Building Style Single Building
Location Pryor, MT
Alternate Names
  • Bond's Mission School
  • Montana State School


The Montana Industrial School for Indians was established in 1886 by the American Unitarian Association, along with a promise of $108 per student from the Federal Government. Founded by the Rev. Henry F. Bond and his wife Pamela, the school, also known as Bond's Mission, was located on a Crow Indian reservation near Custer Station on the Big Horn River. The school was built using $1,000 donated from "ladies of some auxiliary conferences in Boston" who held a sort of charity auction, and $4,000 more contributed by further donations. The large 2-story building was wood framed and painted white.

Fifty Indian children lived at the school by the end of 1886. The school taught farming, mechanics, and the domestic sciences, despite still lacking a proper kitchen, blacksmith shop, carpenter shop, or complete equipment. The school closed after a decade when the federal government withdrew the $108 per pupil annual subsidy. The buildings were sold to the government for one dollar.