J. N. Kagey
Ever since 1860, the Choctaw Indians have maintained boarding schools for the educating and training of Indian boys and girls; and as a result some of the best educated and most influential citizens of Oklahoma are Choctaw Indians.
The Choctaws have been fortunate in having leaders who have advocated and encouraged the best education possible. They have also been fortunate in having men and women to manage their institutions who were successful school people.
The Choctaws have at no time discouraged education and at the present time own and support three of the best boarding schools in the state; hence they are considered one of the leading tribes in the United States in education. Jones Male Academy, located four miles northeast of Hartshorne, Oklahoma, is one of the youngest Choctaw institutions, but in a short time it has made an enviable record. This school was established in 1891. At that time Hon. Wilson Jones was the Principal Chief of the tribe, and Hon. Simon Dwight was National Superintendent of Schools under the tribal government. The school adopted the name of Jones in honor of the Chief and Simon Dwight was selected as the first superintendent. Mr. Dwight was a full-blood Choctaw Indian. He was a college graduate, having been educated in one of the eastern states.
Following Mr. Dwight’s administration, the school has had several superintendents, namely: Mrs. Jack McCurtain, W. A. Durant, Wallace Butz, Sam L. Morley, W. F. Aven, Edwin L. Chalcraft, H. P. Warren, and Joseph N. Kagey, the present superintendent.
The school plant consists of the following buildings: a main building, which includes the class-rooms, dormitories, employees’ quarters, dining-hall and kitchen, office, hospital, laundry, and lavatory. The outside buildings consist of a manual training shop, an engineering shop, a blacksmith shop, a large horse barn, a modern dairy barn, poultry houses, a commissary, and two cottages.
The farm contains seven hundred and twenty acres; one hundred and forty acres in cultivation, sixty acres in meadow, and the rest in pasture and timber land. The principal
crops grown are oats, wheat, corn, cane, and potatoes. Enough wheat is grown to supply the school with flour, and we have oats to market. Garden vegetables are grown extensively, too.
Our Holsteins furnish the school with sufficient milk and butter; the poultry, with eggs; the swine herd with "pork chops"; and the orchards, our fruits.
At present Jones is enjoying one of the most successful years in her history. This school is doing a great work towards educating and molding the character of the Indian boys of Oklahoma, who otherwise would never get an education. Besides their academic training, their practical industrial training in farming, dairying, engineering, blacksmithing, carpentry, and painting, is considered very valuable and indispensable in helping them to choose their life work.
J. N. KAGEY, Supt.