Rainy Mountain Boarding School

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Rainy Mountain Boarding School
Opened 1893
Closed 1920
Location Gotebo, OK
Alternate Names


When the Rainy Mountain Boarding School opened on September 5, 1893, south of Gotebo at the Kiowa-Comanche-Apache Reservation, officials hailed it as an example of the power of education to assimilate Indians. A typical reservation boarding school, it offered Kiowa children a common-school education through the sixth grade based on a curriculum divided between academic instruction and practical skills. For girls, this meant training in domestic arts; for boys, it meant working in the school's various farming and industrial departments. The Kiowa generally supported the school, and by the turn of the twentieth century annual enrollment averaged 130, a number that exceeded the school's capacity. A very small number of Rainy Mountain students continued to receive education at off-reservation boarding schools such as Carlisle and Phoenix, but for most students, Rainy Mountain was their only formal education. A well-organized petition drive by the Kiowa could not prevent the school's closing in June 1920 after the campus had fallen into disrepair and the government scaled back federal Indian education programs.