Carlisle Indian Industrial School

Some of the Names

. . . with introduction by Barbara Landis.

In 1995, I met Genevieve Bell at a museum exhibit gallery in Carlisle, PA. I was astonished to hear her explain that her computer housed the entire database of the Carlisle Indian School student files of the National Archives Record Group 75. She had all the names.

We have, since our first meeting, shared those names. Among them - the Family names, the Christian names, the Indian names, the Married names and our own Terms of Endearment. For us, the name "Nellie" can be only one Nellie although there were dozens of Nellie's at the Carlisle School.  The Nellie we know best is that girl who took a  trip to the moon  in 1890.  It was that Nellie who came to Carlisle as a student, graduated in the second class (1890), went on to university, returned to Carlisle as teacher and then matron, and was one of the last people on campus when it closed in 1918.  It was that Nellie who generously donated the school publications to the State Museum of Pennsylvania in order that a most complete collection of publications survives today.

One passion Genevieve and I share is to get the names to the nations to whom they belong. That passion brings with it distractions, as with each name comes not one story but a web of stories connecting child to family and family to clan and clan to nation. So - we make promises to send names to nations - and - we get around to it . . . eventually. In the meantime, what follows are some of the distractions borne out of the research requests Genevieve and I have gotten as a consequence of this amazing medium that has brought so many Carlisle descendants to our email boxes.

We wanted to acquaint you with some of the names we have found - some famous, some not-so-famous.

Chauncey Yellow Robe, student and staff at CIIS.

He was unquestionably one of Pratt's favorite students - having come to the Carlisle Indian School speaking no English in November 1883.  One of the graduates of the class of 1895, the boy who came with the name translated from Lakota: "Kills In Timber" went on to star in the first Native American-casted silent movie, The Silent Enemy.  Yellow Robe wrote, "At the age of 15, I was taken away to the far east to school by big general RH Pratt, wearing my full Indian costume, long hair, painted face, feathers, mocassins and blanket and not knowing a word of English.  Yet in a few years I was able to pass from the silent walls of the school house as an independent American citizen.  To educate the Indians is not a disgrace to American civilization." Some of the many newspaper references are featured at this link.

Charles Eastman, Physician.  Staff at CIIS

Eastman and his wife, Elaine Goodale Eastman lived and worked at the school from 1899-1900.  References to their time in Carlisle are gleaned from the school newspapers from the time of their marriage in 1891 through Eastman's stint as YMCA camp director in Maryland in 1914.  Charles Eastman, Sioux, was the physician who ministered to the wounded during the massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890.

Chief Joseph (Nez Perce) and Gen. Oliver Otis Howard

 These two old adversaries met at Carlisle during the Commencement exercises of 1904, shared lunch and gave speeches.  The text of those speeches was reported here, in the RED MAN.

assacre at Wounded Knee in 1890.

Sylvester Long

was an exemplary student with a distinguished academic career at Carlisle.  He went on to become the famous Chief Buffalo Child Long Lance, his career peaking with the publication of his autobiography of that name.  Long was cast in the hero's role in the movie The Silent Enemy, opposite Chauncey Yellow Robe.  His life is chronicled in Donald Smith's,


What do an Aleut Indian from Alaska, a Mohican from Wisconsin, an Oneida from Canada, two Eastern Cherokees from North Carolina, a Wyandot from Michigan, a Mohawk from New York, a Nez Perce from Idaho, a Chippewa from Minnesota, and a young Caddo man from Texas, all have in common?  In 1908, they worked at the Hershey Chocolate Factory!


Some Carlisle students eventually made their way to Hollywood and into film careers. Their brief bios are among those listed in A Golden Quiver of Noted Native Americans from the Silent Era. Jim Thorpe, Isaac Johnnyjohn, William Malcolm Hazlett, Lillian "Red Wing" St. Cyr, Luther Standing Bear and Richard Davis Thunderbird worked in films after leaving the Carlisle Indian School. Thank you, Grace Slaughter, for sharing this information with us.


There were several students identified as coming to Carlisle from the Abenaki Tribe, among them Robert and Estelle Tahamont. The Tahamont's at Carlisle page gives a broad idea of the types of references found in the Indian school newspapers as well as what type of information is found at the National Archives. There are dozens of newspaper references for Robert Tahamont, and only one found for Estelle, yet the volume of information found at NARA is fairly comprehensive.


Theirs was the first wedding at Carlisle. Etadleuh Doanmoe (Kiowa) was one of the Ft. Marion prisoners who helped Pratt set up the new school in the Cumberland Valley. Instrumental to the success of the first "Outing Program", Etadleuh served as the model Indian for Pratt's first immersion-provider patrons (See Adams' "Education for Extinction: American Indians and the Boarding School Experience, 1875-1928" , p. 156). Laura Toneadlemah (Kiowa) married Etadleuh and their son, Richard, was born at the school. In THE MORNING STAR is a newspaper account of their wedding. Etadleuh passed away after only a few years of marriage. His widow, Laura, was a frequent visitor and correspondent to the school throughout the years.


"Mr. and Mrs. Charles Holstein, who were married at the bride’s home in California last April, visited Carlisle for a few days in August. Mrs. Holstein was formerly Miss Louise Kinney, one of the brightest mem-bers of class ‘10. Mr. Holstein is an ex-student of Carlisle and is a young man of good character and ability, who promises to do well for himself and his worthy bride. Mr. and Mrs. Holstein are, at present writing at White Earth, Minn."    Sept 4, 1914 ARROW


Was memorialized in Dickinson College's 1900 yearbook, Microcosm.  His college classmates wrote: "We cannot speak too highly of the noble character of our departed classmate.  He was true to every trust, and greatly beloved by all who knew him.  He died in the noble attempt to free his people from bondage."  Joseph's story comes to us through the pages of the weekly newspapers published at the Carlisle Indian School:


Lista Wahoo (E. Cherokee) and Joseph Twin (Winnebago). To quote Genevieve: "They eloped, he spirited her a car in the middle of the night...." More may be found in Bell's dissertation.


Clarence Three Stars (Sioux) [Indian name: "Packs the Dog"] worked with Luther Standing Bear at Wanamaker's store in Philadelphia, then ran away, married Jenny Dubray, taught at the Pine Ridge Indian School 1910, and by 1913 was living in Martin SD working as state's attorney for Bennett County. Jenny DuBray (Sioux) had come to Carlisle from Rosebud at age 13, spent lots of time on Outing (one stint at Seaside in New Jersey). In 1910 she was married to Three Stars living in Pine Ridge, working for Indian Service.


From Osage territory came Fred Lookout, son of "Wahtsaketo" and Julia Pryor, daughter of "Pah e Hun Kah". These children arrived together in the winter of 1881 and left the school together in June of 1884. Julia's sister, Josephine, was among the party of Osage students to be educated East. Julia worked Out with a Miss Edge from 1882-1883, whereas Fred only lasted a month in his Outing home. In follow-up surveys tracking these former students who by 1911 were married, Pratt wrote of Julia . . ."alright, but a gambler." The couple lived in Pawhuska OK, where they owned land and stock. Fred was a member of the Osage Council from 1908-1910, and also became assistant chief of his tribe.


The Indian Craftsman Angel DeCora (Winnebago) was hired to develop the Native Arts and Crafts program at Carlisle in 1906. She had spotted Lone Star Dietz (Sioux) at an exhibition where he and his fellow Haskell student sculptors were creating a work of art, so she hired him as her assistant at Carlisle. They worked together , married, raised a pack of Russian wolfhounds, lived at Carlisle, designed the artwork for the monthly Indian School magazines ... he got caught up in the great football scene and also worked as ass't coach to Pop Warner. They were commissioned to illustrate a book written by Elaine Goodale Eastman, wife of Charles Eastman, the Sioux physician who ministered to the wounded at Wounded Knee. Angel also had illustrated Francis LaFlesche's THE MIDDLE FIVE, and Zitkala Sa's OLD INDIAN LEGENDS. After the decline of the Carlisle school with the Senate investigation of 1914, Lone Star left to coach Washington State and Angel followed but art pursuits in the East continued to beckon. So she returned to Carlisle where she maintained residence although no longer connected to the school, divorcing Lone Star. Angel Decora was stricken during the great flu epidemic of the 1920's. 

<---- 1904 magazine cover designed by Lone Star.

TAKE THE TAIL - aka Lucy Pretty Eagle

(click on this heading to find out more about her)


Famous Sioux writer Gertrude Simmons (later Bonnin) aka Zitkala Sa came to Carlisle, taught, fell for Thomas Marshall (Sioux), who was a Dickinson College student in charge of the students living in the little boys dorm of the Carlisle School. She lost favor with Pratt, was courted by the New England literary set, left Carlisle and wrote some articles for Harper's Weekly, and finally - headed back to the rez to record the stories of the elders before they would be forever lost.   Much more extensive biographical work about Zitkala Sa, including transcripts of some of her stories can be found at The online archive of 19th Century Women Writers page, edited by Glynis Carr.

Thomas Marshall was stricken with measles and passed away Feb 1899.  His is the large marker in the middle of Indian cemetery at Carlisle, directly under the weeping cherry tree.


Famous Sioux writer Gertrude Simmons (later Bonnin) aka Zitkala Sa cameto Carlisle, taught, left to pursue music and writing, was mourning the passing of her fiancee, Thomas Marshall, when she fell for Carlos Montezuma, the Apache doctor who once worked as the Carlisle School physician and whotraveled with the 1899 football team (might be when he and she met). They became engaged and carried on their affair via letters, copies of which are in the microfilmed papers of Montezuma. She lost his heirloom ring, he wanted it back, Pratt called her a "pagan" -she affectionately closed her letters with "your little pagan" to Montezuma who lost patience with this woman who was nothing but trouble and who lacked respect for his revered mentor, Pratt. The letters are full of affection, fun and sarcasm - a great read. Needless to say the courtship did not survive the tests of distance and philosophical differences, but there were tender reconciliatory correspondences years later after she was married to Mr. Bonnin, contemplating sending her only son to boarding school, and working with Montezuma to keep the Society of American Indians alive after they both had spent years organizing and supporting that organization.


William Paisano (Laguna Pueblo) married Mary Perry (Laguna Pueblo). William became the Governor at Laguna. He was a storekeeper, had siblings at Carlise, became the postmaster at Laguna. Previously schooled at Haskell. There's lots in his NARA file. A sister, Mary/May Paisano is buried in Indian Cemetery. Descendants of the Paisano couple still live at Laguna.


(Note: the email links on the California list page shown in the heading above, are both outdated and won't work for Landis and/or Bell.)  Here are some biographical abstracts of some of the Indians who came from the various rancherias and agencies in California.  The archival source of many of the sketches are found at the Cumberland County Historical Society in Carlisle.  Special thanks to Russ Imrie for posting the list of California students many years ago - when Vieve and I first started.

(more to come)..............

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