Quapaw Industrial Boarding School

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Quapaw Industrial Boarding School
Opened 1872
Alternate Names


The school originally opened in 1872, after Hiram Jones (a white man) had been appointed by the Federal Government as appointed resident agent for the Quapaw Agency. Using tribal funds, Jones built a Quaker boarding school and employed white, Quaker teachers & a likewise superintendent. The couple retired in 1879.

Open 1872-1920, located 12 miles NW of the Quapaw Indian Affairs Agency on the Quapaw reservation near Baxter Springs, KS. The campus held fourteen wood frame buildings with a capacity of 90 students. The buildings included a schoolhouse, a large boys sitting room, boys dormitory, superintendent's quarters, employees building, a bath house, laundry, hen house, commissary, girls building with kitchen & dinging room, tank house, grocery house, little boys room, and a barn.

Built near the center of a 160 acre farm, the school was conducted as an industrial training institution. Along with studying spelling, arithmetic, reading, writing, geography, United States history, physiology and the other topics. It was a common practice for the boys to aid the school custodians in cultivating the soil, milking the cows, caring for the poultry and hogs, aiding in constructing and repairing buildings and in doing various other things of an industrial nature. On the other hand, the girls joined with the matron, seamstress, and cooks, aiding in the general housework, doing the sewing, laundry, ironing and cooking.

In a 1881 report, the school had 75 Quapaw students enrolled. By 1898, Quapaw was one of two boarding schools belonging to the Five Civilized Tribes to enroll more than 1,000 students.