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Nancy Bellzona's Picture Book
Chilocco - L. E. Correll

L.E. Correll, ChiloccoL.E. Correll, Chilocco, Oklahoma Early Days 1900's

L.E. Correll shown here on a prize Morgan horse. Mr. Correll was one of the strongest supporters of the boarding school for the Native American. There was never a student who spoke unkindly of him. There probably will never again be a time in the history of America when such a great thing happened as the education here for the students.

These students came from every part of the country and from every tribe. The school offered them a refuge from bigotry and in some cases poverty. If a society could ever be considered beautiful this would have to be said to be so about Chilocco. One could peacefully go about their studies or endeavors with only encouragement and good from the staff and loyal teachers on the grounds. There were happy and pleasant memories to be carried throughout the life time of the graduates. A complete balance of life and living was achieved from diet to social activities. Never was there any worry connected with not having all one needed for their welfare in order to go into each activity. School supplies, food, housing, medical care, and clean living as to linens, shower supplies etc, all was provided. Some complaints could be heard as to having to use G.I. or government issue. These students simply bought their own as to their liking.

There are memories of the waltz at socials to the swing dance of the evening canteen social. This intertwined and mixed with other memories. There was encouragement toward each student to worship in their own faith on week-ends.

The picturesque campus was constantly groomed and the lake which set to one side held fluffy white geese bobbing and floating about against its dark waters.

An interesting point to record is that all the functions were provided by the students themselves as they learned whatever trade they were to pursue. There was a dairy farm, an orchard, and a meadow. The cattle provided beef for meals as well as training for a rancher's son. A print shop turned out a weekly paper and the school annual at the end of the year, and this too was a trade. Many of these students still work in shops all about the nation, and indeed, own their own shops. Journalism was too a favorite.

For every place in society there was a way to learn of it at Chilocco. Every student was detailed to one after another place until he found his choice for then and for life. Maybe it was the bakery or the auto-mechanics shop, the beauty shop or the home economics department.



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