The Indian Wars ended in 1886 with the surrender of Geronimo and his Apache band. Geronimo and his band of warriors were removed toFloridaand thenFort Sill,Oklahoma.
The Indian population had been moved to reservations around the country including Arizona. More than 20 tribes lived inArizonaand over one fourth of the state is now reservation land. The children of many of the tribes were forced to attend the Indian boarding schools where they were indoctrinated into Christianity and forced acculturation.
In 1912, the subject of what to do with the Apache warriors and their families who were living in Oklahoma was in the news.PhoenixIndianSchoolwas in the news and the sports page as they were the defending valley baseball champions and playing for the championship again.
The Arizona National Guard formed an all-Indian Company F, composed of older Phoenix Indian School students and alumni. During the Mexican Revolution, they would be assigned to protect the border town ofNaco. In 1912, Indians were still discriminated against and prejudice and stereotypes were reinforced by the newspapers of the day.
Bisbee Daily Review – August 10, 1912
Globe – Cattlemen in this district appealed today to Sheriff Haynes to protect them from loss of cattle, which they attributed to Indians of the San Carlos reservation. They claim many of their cattle had been killed.
Tombstone Epitaph – April 7, 1912
Representative Hayden has introduced a bill in the house to authorize the Secretary of Interior to investigate the necessity for the construction of bridges in the San Carlos Indian reservation.
Bisbee Daily Review – August 14
A.L. Lawshee, agent at the San Carlos Indian reservation has ordered out the Indian police to prevent further killing of cattle belonging to cattlemen of the Pinto Creek range. At the same time Frank H. Lyons, Sheriff and W. Childres, sanitary inspector, have begun an investigation of the killing of cattle.
Lawshee stated today he would refuse to issue further permits to leave the reservation to Indians at San Carlos.
Tombstone Epitaph – June 12, 1912
That that portion of the road between Geronimo and San Carlos across the Apache reservation, will be sought for as the best piece of Ocean-to-Ocean Highway before January 1, 1913 is a fact that all travelers will soon admit.
As Mr. Lawshee is at San Carlos to take care of the Indians, and that he well knows that a good road across the reservation will civilize the Indians faster than any other factor, it is sure that the road from Geronimo to San Carlos, when completed will not be excelled on the Ocean-to-Ocean highway.
Tombstone Epitaph – June 2, 1912
Forest Supervisors report that there is more than three million dollars worth of valuable pine and spruce timber on the Fort apache Indian reservation; on the south side of “Old Baldy” mountain there is said to be the largest body of spruce in the United States.
Tombstone Epitaph – December 12, 1912
A band of Apaches from the San Carlos reservation, who are employed in a railroad camp between Courtland and Pearce got a hold of some firewater yesterday, went on the warpath and made things lively for awhile. There were bloody noses, bruised faces, perhaps broken bones and for a time it appeared the results would be serious. A hurry call was sent to the Sheriff’s office inTombstone. Sheriff Wheeler and Deputies Howe and Rafferty arrived on the scene and the fight quieted down, and later the redskins peaceably went into their camp on the railroad. The officers have information where the Indians secured their liquor and arrests are expected to follow.
Bisbee Daily Review – July 30, 1912
(New York Times)
Apache spirit humbled back to the reservation
The final chapter is now being written in the tragedy of a race, and it has to do with the only prisoners of war in theUnited States. One would have to go back to the French exiles inCanadato find a story so pathetic as that of the Apache Indians, who have been prisoners of war atFort Sill,Oklahomafor many years.
Broken in spirit, their warlike natures crushed, the remnants of the bands of bloodthirsty warriors who made the name “Geronimo” a thing of terror on the southwestern frontier thirty years ago may be restored to their mountain retreats inNew MexicoandArizona. But the Apaches that go back to the reservations after a generation of imprisonment, will not be the same Indians who were taken from there by General Miles at the close of the last Apache war.
Many of the old chiefs, including the great Geronimo himself, are dead. Their children, born prisoners of war have so remained all these dreary years.
The Indian spirit has been humbled. The Apache is now a man of peace. He is, to a considerable extent civilized. He no longer wears the blanket and moccasins of his fathers, but the store clothes and brogans of the white trader. He has become in a way, the tiller of the soil. His children have been educated in the Indian schools – as prisoners of war, the only prisoners of war in the wholeUnited States.
A bill which is now pending in the house, and which has been favorably reported to that body, authorizes the Secretary of War to remove to the Mescalero Indian reservation in New Mexico all of the apaches that desire to make the change.
Tombstone Epitaph – December 30, 1912
Geronimo’s band of red-handed Apache Warriors to be moved to New Mexico
A Washington dispatch says: – Plans were made today for the final disposition of the famous Geronimo band of Apache Indians, held as military prisoners at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. They have been allowed to choose whether to remain there, or go to their old fighting grounds in the Mescalero section ofNew Mexico. Eighty six elected to stay atFortSill. The remainder, about 200, will be located at permanent homes inNew Mexico.
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