CAROLYN THOMAS FOREMAN
Dwight Mission, located on Sallisaw Creek in 1830, is the oldest school in the State of Oklahoma, although Union Mission was established at an earlier date. Named in honor of the Rev. Timothy Dwight of Yale University, the mission has added luster to the name by the great educational work accomplished among the Cherokee Indians.
Much modern history of Dwight Mission is contained in the pages of a small magazine called Cherokee Gospel Tidings, which was first printed on the Presbyterian Mission Press at Siloam Springs, Arkansas. The paper bore "Goingsnake, Indian Territory" on the date line in January, 1898; and in August, 1900 it was issued from the mission near Marble, Indian Territory, which was to be its future home.
The Rev. Frederick L. Schaub and his wife arrived at Dwight Mission in 1900, and the following eleven years of their lives were devoted to the upbuilding of the school. Mr. Schaub was superintendent; he served as editor of the magazine, while his devoted wife gave her time to the welfare of the Indian children.1
1Frederick L. Schaub was born in Iowa City, Iowa, September 25, 1866 and with his parents removed to Kansas City when he was a small child. They later made their home in Independence and Parsons, Kansas, where the boy gained his education in the public schools. He was the eldest child of the family and he was soon obliged to go to work to help with the expenses. As a youth Mr. Schaub became the devil in a printing office, and there he learned to set type, which was an aid when he took charge of Dwight Mission, As he made great use of the press in his work.
Mr. Schaub was ambitious to become a missionary in the foreign field, but was obliged to forego that career. He attended night school and studied pharmacy which also proved very useful in the Indian country, as doctors were few and far between, and he frequently prescribed for pupils in the school and among the Cherokees in the neighborhood. The time finally came when he could no longer resist the call to become a missionary, and after an intensive course in the work he was licensed to become a worker among the Cherokee Indians. He was stationed at Siloam Springs, Arkansas, three years, and at Welling before he took charge of Dwight Mission.
Mr. Schaub was married to Miss Della E. Mansfield of Parsons, Kansas, September 11, 1893, and two sons were born to them—Clifford at Siloam Springs and Dwight at Dwight Mission. On September 1, 1924, Mr. Schaub was killed by lightning at Noel, Missouri.
Cherokee Gospel Tidings, printed in English and Cherokee, contained selections from the Bible, news items about the teachers and pupils at the school, and many interesting illustrations which, while crude, have preserved scenes that otherwise would have been lost. Frequent accounts are given of the other Presbyterian missions, the churches and Sunday schools of the Indian Territory. A fairly complete file of the magazine is in the Library of Congress in Washington, D. C.; Mrs. Schaub of Muskogee, Oklahoma, has many numbers, and the Author has had access to both files. Gospel Tidings was issued monthly by the Sabbath School and Publication Committee of Sequoyah Presbytery, for an annual subscription price of twenty cents a year.
Accounts of the Elm Spring Mission appeared in the pages of Gospel Tidings, and in January, 1900 it was announced that the post office of the mission was changed from Tahlequah to Welling, Indian Territory. The next issue reported that Miss C. H. Montgomery2 of the mission had been critically ill, but the physicians gave hope of her speedy recovery. Two members, George Pritchett and Mrs. Sallie Jumper Ratt, of the Elm Spring church, died and passed to their reward.
On the first Sunday of 1900 Rev. F. L. Schaub and Elder Thomas Still of the Sequoyah Presbytery organized a new church about four miles west of Westville, to be known as Sequoyah Presbyterian Church. Judge Ned Foreman and Mr. Levi Willis were elected as ruling elders, and Mr. J. B. Jones a deacon. The magazine for March, 1900 contains an article in the Creek language contributed by Mrs. A. E. W. Robertson who devoted the best part of her life to translating the New Testament into the
2Miss C. H. Montgomery was a native of Pennsylvania and a graduate of Wilson College. Her parents moved to Topeka, Kansas, where Miss Montgomery taught music before taking up work at Elm Spring Mission. Funds were limited at the school, and Miss Montgomery worked out a plan by which she could conduct school five days a week. This was made possible by the parents furnishing food for their children who were pupils. At first the supply sent consisted principally of jerked meat and meal. Cooking the meat proved a hardship to the missionaries as it gave off a nauseating odor. The children were also supplied with pork from hogs fattened on acorns; the meat was of a grayish color and flabby instead of firm and white, as corn-fed pork is.
When Miss Montgomery, was away on her vacation she spent much of the time soliciting funds for her school, and every year when she returned her trunk would be full of dishes she had collected from her friends for use at the mission.
Creek language. In April the publication reported that Dwight Mission school had been closed for several weeks on account of the measles, a disease which had been a scourge to the Indians since an early day when missionaries wrote of whole tribes or neighborhoods being laid low by it. Miss Carrie M. Elliott3 had been given entire charge of the Elm Spring school, and Miss Montgomery had recovered so far that she planned to leave for home the first week in April. The marriage of Miss Annie R. Miller, principal teacher at Dwight Mission, to Mr. W. R. Orr of Durango, Colorado, was celebrated Thursday, March 15, but Mrs. Orr planned to continue her work in the school.
Frequent mention is made of A. F. Romig, the Sabbath school missionary of the Presbytery, who since his arrival the previous August had "placed" fourteen Sabbath schools and visited in the neighborhood of 500 families.4
In May, 1900 Gospel Tidings gave a list of the churches in Sequoyah Presbytery, with the number of members; Achena, 25; Broken Arrow, 25; Claremore Mounds, 12; Eureka, 24; Elm Spring, 30; Fort Gibson, 56; Muskogee, 171; Nowata, 22; Nuyaka, 51; Oowala, 10; Park Hill, 31; Pleasant Valley, 18; Sallisaw, 18; Tahlequah, 89; Tulsa, 111; Vinita, 69; Wewoka, 67. Churches at Wagoner, Vian, Smallwood and Davis contributed to Home Missions. The Smallwood church had formerly been known as Barron Fork Church.
Children's Day was observed at Elm Spring on April 29, by the Sabbath School, and a large congregation enjoyed the exercises. Three of the girls, Anna Turner, Addie Keys and Bertha Lyman, were awarded Bibles for committing to memory the Shorter Catechism. Rev. Evans P. Robertson, the faithful English-speaking Cherokee preacher, was assigned work among the fullbloods. He was to be associated with Rev. F. L. Schaub who had had charge of the fullblood work for the past four years. John Greece of the Elm Spring church was the interpreter for them, assisted by others as they were needed. With this in-
4Mr. Romig, a son of Bishop Benjamin Romig, was a member of the Moravian Church. The family originally came from Germany, and so many members were in the mission service in different parts of the world that it was said that the sun never set on their labors.
crease of workers, the churches that had services only a few times a year received preaching once a month.5
In the July, 1900 number it was stated that Dwight Mission was to be opened as a boys' boarding school. "In response to an appeal to the Women's Board of Home Missions, they have decided to re-furnish, their valuable plant at Dwight and open it October first to a limited number of boys who will supply their own table board. The plan of a self-supporting boarding department has been in successful operation in Elm Spring school for a number of years, and what the Elm Spring school is to the girls, Dwight will be to the boys. Under this, plan there is not a man in the Cherokee Nation too poor to place his boy under the influence of a Christian boarding school. For the coming year the school will be under the supervision of Rev. F. L. Schaub, with Miss MaBelle True, M. D., as matron, and Miss Florence Bingham, class '00 Park College, as teacher. There will be a day school for the children of the neighborhood in connection with the boarding school."6
This issue contains also a report of the exercises held at Elm Spring on the last day of school when a number of pupils received gold medals for perfectly reciting the Ten Commandments, Apostles' Creed, the Lord's Prayer, the Beatitudes and the Books of the Bible. The fortunate young people were Tiny Ratt, Annie MeLemore, Nannie Starr, Elsie Ratt, Jennie Ratt, Bertha Lyman, Annie Ballentine, Maude Mankiller, Anna Turner, Addie Keys, Callie Fivekiller, Lou Keys, Henry Keys and James Kendrieks. Addie Keys and Annie McLemore also received silver medals for neat and correct written work.
6Parents who were able, paid fifty cents a week for board for each child. That charge did not include coffee for which an additional sum was asked. Mr. Schaub cultivated a large garden at the mission, where he grew potatoes, cabbage, turnips and sweet potatoes. Large quantities of the vegetables were stored for winter use, so as to give the children a better diet than pork and meal, and they served to keep the pupils in good health.
Mr. Schaub made frequent trips to Fort Smith, where he bought flour, meal, coffee and sugar by the barrel at wholesale prices. He also purchased fresh meat there. Later, a representative of Armour's supplied the school with fresh meat at eight or nine cents a pound. While the meat was from cheap cuts, it was always of an excellent quality, according to Mrs. Schaub. Every effort was made to keep down the expenses of the mission, as they were supplied with so little money. When the costs ran above the allowance, Mr. Schaub had to pay the extra amount from his meager salary.
From the May, 1900 issue of Twin Territories, published at Muskogee, Gospel Tidings copied an account of Dwight Mission written by Isaac B. Hitchcock: "The American Board of Boston sent out the first missionaries to these Western Cherokees in 1820. My father was of that first company. They established the first school and preaching station on the Illinois Bayou in what was afterwards Pope county, and about three miles from where Russellville [Arkansas] now is. This was called Dwight. With the Cherokees they moved up into the present Indian Territory, and re-established the boarding school at Dwight Mission on Sallisaw, about twelve miles above its mouth. For a number of years this was the only school among the Cherokee people. Before the Cherokees moved into this Territory there were a few whites living scattered about through the country. One so-called 'Town' was on the Sallisaw, half way between Forts Smith and Gibson, with a postoffice called 'Lovely's Court House.' This was the only postoffice in all this country outside of the Military Posts. I was born in February 1825 at the old Dwight Mission, and was four years old when we moved in '29 . . . ."
The August and September numbers were combined, and the paper tells of the repairing of Shepherd Home7 at Dwight, and that the building would be in first-class condition for the opening of school October first. The other Presbyterian schools were opened at Elm Spring, Welling, on September 3; Tahlequah Institute, September 10; Park Hill, September 17, and Henry Kendall College, Muskogee, September 26. The October issue had a picture of "The New Home of The Cherokee Gospel Tidings," which was described as follows: ". . .To use commercial language, we now occupy over 1400 feet of floor space while at Siloam Springs we had only 120 feet. The building is a four-room, story and a half log house, sealed inside and outside and well arranged for our work. The rooms are occupied as, study and office, composition and press, stock room and bindery.8
7This house was named in honor of Mrs. Eliott F. Shepherd, of New York, who was a large contributor to missions.
8Mr. Schaub taught his wife to set type, and she was soon able to set up the Sunday school lessons. Certain of the Indian boys learned the trade also, and they were of great help in the printing office.
"It is quite fitting that the mission press should occupy" this historic old building which has been the home of so many missionaries. It is one of the oldest in the Territory but its usefulness continues as it becomes the home of the Mission press of the Sequoyah Presbytery. By the help of the Board of Home Missions and other friends of the Cherokees we have been enabled to add to our equipment a 10x15 0. S. Gordon job press, a 22 inch Paragon paper cutter, 100 lbs of body type, several fonts of job type and other necessary material, thus making the plant equal to most 'country' offices . . . ." In the re-furnishing of Dwight and the moving of the office the editor extended thanks for substantial favors from the Kansas City Southern Railway, the Missouri, Kansas and Texas and the Missouri Pacific railroads.
"Dwight Mission was formally opened October 1st, with a lecture by the Rev. E. M. Landis, of Sallisaw. Nearly forty have been enrolled but the attendance has been very light on account of the cotton picking. The average attendance for October will hardly reach twelve but November promises a much better record. The, boarding department is also quite small, due to cotton picking and sickness."9
The issue for December contained a long article on the National Problem of Cherokee Affairs while No. I of Vol. 4 reported: "After one week's vacation the Dwight school opened December 31, with a marked increase in attendance. Sixty-nine of the brightest children in the Cherokee Nation are now enrolled. All the grades are doing good work. The average grades made in the term examination would be a credit to any school. George Choate, Gussie Sanders, Callie Choate, Hooley Sanders, Virgie Hotchkill, Jesse Thornton, Guy Arrington, Sherman Mullen, Jane Choate, Sallie Chucolate, Charlie Fields, May Fields, Georgia Leathers, Carrie Ayles and Lonnie Ussery distinguished themselves and were given grades from 91 to 98."
The April edition of the magazine was all in the Sequoyah characters except the advertisements which were in English. In May the paper announced: "We have on hand a good supply of Cherokee Testaments and can supply them at 25 cents each.
. . . Mr. David Smallwood and family, of Saline District, have moved to Dwight Mission and Mr. Smallwood will be connected with the Mission as interpreter, translator and Printer.10
"The wide-awake people of the 'Pilgrim's Rest' neighborhood, near Stilwell, have established a day school similar to the Presbyterian mission schools and have installed Miss Nellie Matthews of Hanover, Indiana, as teacher . . . ." A flourishing Sabbath school had been organized and a committee of the Presbytery visited the neighborhood with the view of organizing a Presbyterian church.
Dwight Mission closed its first year as a boys' industrial school May 31, and the teachers were proud of the successful work accomplished and of the high grades maintained by the pupils. Jesse Thornton, Henry Hinton and Georgia Leathers made the highest grades, an average of 96, in the final examinations. Both Elm Spring and Dwight schools were hampered during the year by illness in the neighborhoods and in the vicinity of Elm Spring every family but one suffered from smallpox. The teachers of the two schools departed for their homes or to attend a summer course at the Kansas State Normal, while Mr. Schaub went to Kansas City to purchase a supply of paper for the Cherokee songbook which was to go to press about the middle of July. A first edition of 3000 copies of 100 pages each was to be issued.11
The summer of 1901 was unusually hot and dry and seriously affected the corn. on the Mission farm where only half a crop was made. Every effort was made to provide winter and spring
10David Smallwood was a son of the Rev. Joseph Smallwood, a fullblood Cherokee minister who had preached for years throughout the Cherokee hills. After his death he was sadly missed, as there was not one authorized to hold service, to marry people and to read the service for the dead. Mr. Schaub took up this work, and sometimes he preached in a community where his congregation had not heard a sermon for ten or fifteen years. When Mr. Schaub went on a trip into the country, he always took a bundle of tracts with him and gave them out to the people. He took all of the newspapers about the mission also, and gave them to people far from towns. These papers frequently were used as wall paper in the small homes, but they performed a greater service as they were the only text books of many children who were taught to read by a parent or brother or sister who had attended school at a mission. The children devoured the pages of the papers, and frequently, when Mr. Schaub returned to a home, some child would lead him to the wall, point out some words that he did not understand, and ask the meaning.
feed on the farm and several acres of rye, some Kaffir corn, an acre or more of cane and half an acre of stock peas were planted. Reports concerning the unfavorable location and health conditions of Dwight were circulated so persistently that the editor gave a statement of facts in the magazine in October, in which he reported that during the school year from October 1, 1900 to June 1, 1901, thirteen persons were quartered in Shepherd Home. It was the first year in the country for five of the number but. not one had an attack of malaria. There were only two cases of malaria and one of the patients was a boy who was "subject to ague and chilled at Dwight as he had at one of the other schools." The other case was that of the superintendent, who suffered an attack following heat prostration. Three or four cases of grippe constituted all of the illness during the year.
Miss Emma McBride of Park College opened a school at Pilgrim's Rest, near Stilwell on September 23, while Sabbath School Missionary Romig and Rev. E. M. Landis conducted evangelistic meetings at Bunch. Several towns along the extension of the Frisco railroad south of Sapulpa were making a rapid growth and Mr. Romig organized a Sunday school in Beggs, a town which had only two houses in the early summer, but in October had more than fifty business houses and dwellings, and was still growing.
Mr. Romig held his Sunday morning service in a nearby grove, and bales of hay furnished his pulpit and seats for his congregation. In the afternoon the Sabbath school was organized in an incompleted store building, where planks were placed across bundles of shingles for benches and a barrel of lime served as a desk. Business men of Beggs encouraged the work by securing $22.00 for the use of the school.
The Elm Spring School opened the first Monday in September with a good attendance. Miss C. H. Montgomery had been called east to represent the Woman's Board before the societies in New York and Pennsylvania, and Miss A. M. Stringfield, well known in the Cherokee Nation as a mission teacher, replaced her on the teaching force.12
A very useful gift was presented to Dwight Mission in the autumn of 1901. This was a bell to call the children to classes and worshippers to service., The two-year-old niece of the superintendent, Ruth Blake of Parsons, Kansas, was the donor. On Thanksgiving day that bell rang out a summons which brought the people to services, where Rev. E. M. Landis preached the sermon on "Be ye thankful." "The chapel was appropriately decorated with baled hay, corn, turnips, sweet potatoes and two live 'possums."
School opened at Dwight Mission October 16, and thirty-three pupils were enrolled the first day and within a few weeks the number reached 52, two more than could be accommodated. More came for admittance but it was necessary to refuse them. Fortunately at that time a field representative of the Board visited the school, and upon her return to New York arrangements were made to add another worker to the force for the 'winter term, so that all the pupils could be admitted who desired to attend the school. Miss Nellie Miller of Topeka, Kansas was secured as a teacher and began her work on December 9.
The holidays were saddened for the Elm Spring community by a number of cases of pneumonia and the deaths of Aleck Clay, Nicholas Whittington and Stephen Nofire in less than three weeks.
The February number of Gospel Tidings announced that the Ozark, Cherokee and Western Railroad was assured. The line was to run from Fayetteville, Arkansas to Tahlequah, Indian Territory, and several large grading outfits were at work west of Westville. Elm Spring Mission was on the line of the road, and the magazine said that the school would soon be "out of the woods."
Gospel Things reported the winter of 1902 as the most severe the section had experienced for years. The cold weather continued for ten weeks and caused great hardships to the people and much loss of stock. Provisions were so high in price that many were almost denied the necessities of life; while in instances man and beast suffered for the want of food. During this trying time Mr. Schaub and Missionary Romig were both ser-
iously ill, while Elder John Ratt of Elm Spring Church died on March 6 and was buried the next day. John Ratt was a fullblood Cherokee and a man of fine influence among his people.
The April issue of the magazine contained a list of the Permanent Committees of Sequoyah Presbytery.
Rev. Charles W. Kerr of Tulsa, Rev. E. M. Landis, D. M. Marrs.
Rev. A. G. Evans, Rev. D. M. Allen, Rev. W. F. C. Lippert, Z. T. Walrond, D. M. Marrs.
Rev. David N. Allen, Rev. Leonidas Dobson, Robert Meigs.
Rev. F. L. Schaub, Rev. E. P. Robertson, A. Quesenbury.
Rev. E. X Landis, Rev. C. W. Kerr, Z. T. Walrond.
Rev. H. C. Williams, Rev. E. M. Landis, G. M. Hagood.
Rev. E. B. Evans, Rev. T. W. Perryman, D. M. Hodge.
Rev. T. W. Perryman, Rev. E. B. Evans, W. B. Robe.
Rev. E. B. Evans, Rev. Dorsey Fife, G. A. Brown.
Rev. H. C. Williams, Rev. F. L. Schaub, A. F. Romig.
Rev. W. F. C. Lippert, Rev. C. W. Kerr, J. M. Robe.
The May edition published a list of the churches of Sequoyah Presbytery: Achena, Broken Arrow, Claremore, Davis, Dwight, Elm Spring, Eureka, Fort Gibson, Muskogee, Nowata, Nuyaka, Park Hill, Pleasant Valley, Sallisaw, Tahlequah, Tullahassee, Tulsa, Vian, Vinita, Wagoner. Vacant and non-contributing churches were given as Claremore, Mounds, Girty Springs, Muldrow, Oowala, Pheasant Hill, Checotah, Sapulpa, Sequoyah, Wewoka, Red Fork, Smallwood, Wetumka, Okmulgee.13
In the June number the magazine copied an article from the Siloam Springs Herald: "Some of the leading papers over the country have been saying that the Cherokee Advocate, which is to be suspended soon, is the only paper in the United States, or elsewhere, for that matter, which is part printed in the Cherokee language. They are mistaken. The Cherokee Gospel Tidings, a religious monthly . . . partly printed in the Cherokee language. It will be quite a distinction to the Tidings to be the only paper of the kind in the world."
The Dwight Mission report to the Indian Office in Washington showed an enrollment of eighty-two pupils for the year ending June 30. There were twenty-three Cherokee boys, fourteen Cherokee girls, twenty-four white boys and twenty-one white girls. The closing exercises at Dwight passed off most pleasantly. The pupils were all at their best, and all present enjoyed their songs and "Pieces." Nearly all of their parents were present with well-filled baskets, and after the exercises a big dinner was spread under the beautiful oak trees.
The prodigious amount of printing executed on the small press at Dwight Mission is almost beyond belief when the lack of facilities is known. In July it was stated that the first form of the Cherokee Hymn Book was on the press and that a supply would soon be ready to fill the demand. The August number of the magazine reported that the Mission Press turned out 12,000 pages of English and Cherokee tracts, and over 60,000 pages of the new Cherokee song book in July. Added to this the Tidings was printed and made about 8,000 more pages. The output was limited by the supply of Cherokee type, as a few pages exhausted the case and they had to go to press, print the number of pages needed for immediate use, and distribute again for the next pages. Cherokee type was not on the market and could not be bought as needed.
Miss Bingham, the principal teacher at Dwight, left for a vacation, afterwards taking up her work in Utah. Dr. True had been in Chicago attending lectures at the Moody Bible Institute, and returned to Dwight in July. Miss Nellie Miller of Topeka, Kansas, was added to the force of Dwight as primary teacher and assistant in the superintendent's office. Miss Rada Mathes,
an experienced mission teacher from Tennessee, was appointed to replace Miss Bingham.
One of the most interesting enterprises of Dwight Mission was the trips made by the Presbyterian Gospel Wagon. The first itinerary started Tuesday morning, August 5. "Camp Ebenezer" consisted of Miss C. H. Montgomery organist, Miss Nell Holderman soloist, D. E. Smallwood interpreter, W. T. Morrison and A. F. Romig, Sunday school missionaries, with Rev. F. T. Schaub Evangelist in charge. The caravan was led by a pioneer bicycle with Missionary Morrison in the saddle, followed by the loaded covered wagon containing the outfit for the party, tent, organ, cots, bedding, stereopticon, grips and, Messrs. Romig Smallwood and Schaub. The ladies of the party followed in a buggy.
Tuesday night the tent was pitched at Marble and a service was held illustrated with the magic lantern. Though a storm threatened, a good audience was present. Wednesday evening a service was held in the church house at Bunch, and the party was well cared for by Dr. and Mrs. R. B. Choate and Dr. and Mrs. Hotchkiss. Thursday they gave an evening service in the McLemore neighborhood where the people were deeply moved by both exposition and the illustration on the sheet. Friday found the evangelists at Flint, while Saturday evening and Sunday were spent at Pilgrim's Rest, where the party was shown every courtesy by Colonel Johnson. Several services were conducted there and the Sunday school attended.
The tent was next pitched at Baron, where it remained two evenings; three services were held, two of them illustrated with the stereopticon. A Sunday school was organized there and the party was entertained by Mr. and Mrs. F. Howard, Jr., Mrs. Frank Howard, Sr., and Miss Kline. Wednesday service was conducted at the Smallwood chapel, and the following evening they camped and held a service at Peacheater Springs. At Chance on Friday, one hundred and fifty gathered to listen to the Gospel, and Saturday and Sunday were passed at Oil Springs where three services were conducted. The party met its first difficulties on Monday when they were misdirected and took a log chute for a road, where the wagon had to be unloaded and the contents packed
back up the hill in order that the wagon could be hauled back. They camped that night after a hard day's drive of five and one-half miles from the starting place in the morning. A late service was held by some of the party at Elm Spring the next night, while the other members had become lost and were trying to decide which was the Tahlequah and which the Welling road. The company was disbanded the next morning after a service at Park Hill.
This tour was considered such a success that the Sabbath School Committee of the Presbytery decided to make it into an annual affair. There was much hard work involved, and the members were weary at the end, as the wagon had to be loaded and unloaded, the tent taken down and set up, six people were fed, four horses were cared for, and the people of the different communities had to be invited, and then a two-hour or longer service held. The party covered nearly 175 miles, the average attendance was 65 and the estimated number of conversions over 20.14
Dwight began its third year as a school for boys October 14, 1902, with eighteen boarders and twenty-six day pupils. The November magazine reported the meeting of the Sequoyah Presbytery at Wewoka as one of the best in its history. The members of the Wewoka church were fullblood Seminoles, and they came from far and near, camping about the church, and attended all of the meetings. Dinners were served in the camp to all of the members of the Presbytery. The Second Presbyterian Church of Wewoka was organized, and Mr. McNabb, one of the newly elected elders, was ordained.15
Dwight suffered the hardship of a change in the corps of teachers during the school term, as Miss Miller was called home on account of illness in her family. After much difficulty the place was filled by Miss Luella W. Luthy of Parkville, Missouri.
By an act of the Cherokee National Council of 1886, Dwight received thirty acres of land which was reserved and surveyed by the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes. This necessitated
the changing and building of fences and clearing of land during the winter of 1903.
The second chapter of "The Road to Heaven" by Miss Helen Clark had been translated into Cherokee, and it was printed in the March issue of the paper. The Tidings office was the proud possessor of a stereotyping outfit which had long been needed and which greatly increased the capacity of the press to furnish matter in the Indian tongue. The outfit was the gift of friends, and Mr. W. T. Morrison of Philadelphia was instrumental in raising two-thirds of the money. He had spent the summer in the country as a missionary, and realized the need of the printed page among the people.16
The Presbytery of Sequoyah met in Okmulgee April 16, and nearly all of the ministers were present and almost all of the churches were represented by an elder. The Rev. James K. Thompson, pastor of the Muskogee church, was moderator, and Mr. John M. Robe, superintendent of Nuyaka Mission, temporary clerk. The Presbytery had lost two of its ministers— the Rev. Harry C. Williams17 and the Rev. Thomas W. Perryman, a native of the Creek Nation18, whose loss was greatly felt.
The July magazine contained an account of the commencement exercises at Dwight which were of unusual interest that year because of the graduation of Richard Baxter Sanders, known to all of his friends as Hooley, who was the first graduate of the school. The Western Union Telegraph Company had established an office at Marble, and a telephone had been installed in the Mission giving direct connection with Sallisaw, Marble, Bunch, Stilwell and Westville. The Frisco railroad took control of the Ozark and Cherokee Central Company on July 1, 1903, and the Gospel Wagon was scheduled to make a second trip.
17Rev. Harry Cummings Williams was the son of Dr. Mason Fitch Williams of Muskogee, and the grandson of the Rev. Samuel Austin Worcester.
18Thomas Ward Perryman was born in 1846. He was educated at Tullahassee Mission, and before being, ordained as a Presbyterian minister he was a teacher, dstrict attorney, and an elder in the church. He was a member of the Creek Council for several years, where he served as chaplain and where he devoted much time to the educational committee. Mrs. A. E. W. Robertson stated that Mr. Perryman had assisted her on the final revision of translations of the New Testament (Bibliography of the Muskhogean Language, James Constantine Pilling, Washington, 1889, p. 69.)
The work at Dwight had developed to such an extent that the Board added a new matron, and Miss Nellie Long of Parsons joined the faculty as primary teacher and office assistant. Miss Carrie M. Elliott, after a year of special study along industrial lines for girls, returned to the Elm Spring, where she had previously taught six years.
The Gospel Wagon party of 1903 was composed of the Rev. F. L. Schaub, the Rev. W. C. F. Lippert, pastor at Claremore, Mr. A. F. Romig, missionary, Mrs. M. C. Wade of Henry Kendall College, Miss Edna Hotchkiss and Perry Templeton, Dwight students. The tour started on the first day of August, and leaving the wooded hills of the Cherokee country the course was westward. Each evening as the camping place was approached the party extended invitations along the way to the meeting, and sent word to every house within reach. The meetings were held in the open and often under the trees near a schoolhouse. A screen was stretched between two trees and a magic lantern was used to help with the program. Usually fifty or more made up the attentive audience.
Early every morning, except Sunday, camp was broken, and much of the day was spent on the road. The contents of tin cans furnished the food for the party with the exception of potatoes and apples and one feast of fried chicken. Where the trail crossed the railroad there was usually a small town where the attendance at the meetings was larger and compensated for the discomfort of having to pitch their tents in the dusty weeds beside the road. The second Saturday a community was reached where there was neither church nor school. An arbor had been built to shelter the Sabbath school Which Mr. Romig had started some time before, and, there the meetings were held. Four services were held, and Sunday evening during a heavy rain thirty or more brave souls gathered under the dripping arbor to listen to the sermon. After ten days Nuyaka Mission was reached, and it seemed a haven of rest to the weary travelers who enjoyed the kind hospitality of their friends. After two days the party turned their faces east on the journey home.
The third Saturday the camp was on the banks of the Arkansas at the hospitable home of Judge and Mrs. N. B. Moore
near Haskell, where the Evangelists enjoyed unstinted hospitality and where two evening meetings were held in their dooryard with the congregation sitting on the grass in the shade of the fine old trees. Two more meetings were held before the travelers reached the beach of the Illinois River where it empties into the Arkansas. There, tired and happy, they enjoyed their first campfire and talked over the events of the trip. More than two hundred pounds of tracts and papery had been distributed to people along the journey, which had covered about two hundred miles. Good-byes were said, and the wagons arrived at Dwight just three weeks from the time of departure.19
19Vol. 6, No. 9, pp. 2, 3. Much of the information in these footnotes was obtained from Mrs. Frederick L. Schaub, Muskogee, Oklahoma.