Sunday, January 11, 2015

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Charles Shepard Newton Principal of the Manual Labor School at the Sisseton Agency in 1877

Dear Grandparents,

I am a week behind in starting Amy Johnson Crow's "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2015 Challenge" but determined to make it to the end. Last year, I made a good start but got bogged down in my desire to make everything perfect and to tell each ancestor's entire story (of course, moving did not help). This year, I have decided to tell interesting stories about ancestors whether I know the entire life story or not. Here goes... first up my second great grandfather, Charles Shepard Newton.

Cousin Mary Newton and I have been researching the family and she reports her grandfather Leslie Charles Newton was taught a Sioux prayer as a child. I imagine that his father John Reuben Newton and my great grandmother Helen Brown (Newton) Cone learned the prayer as children when their father Charles Shepard Newton was the Principal of the Manual Labor School at the Sisseton Agency in the Dakota Territory beginning in 1877.

Unsigned letter to J. C. Smith, Commissioner of Indian Affairs
from "U. S. Ind. Agt" dated 23 June 1877 reporting the employment
of Mr. C. S. Newton of Worthington, Minna as principal
Manual Labor School, Sisseton Agency
(Family Search microfilm #1661559)

                                                                                                        Sisseton Agency Dak,
                                                                                                        June 1st, 1877
Hon. J. C. Smith
       Com. Indian Affairs

     I have the honor to report that Mr. C. S. Newton of Worthington, Minna, has been employed as principal of the Manual Labor School, vice Mr. A. H. Kimball, suspended. I respectfully request that the employment of Mr. Newton as Temporary Service at $800 per annum be approved, until such time as Mr. Kimball's discharge is approved. I shall recommend the permanent appointment of Mr. Newton, and submit his testimonials as to fitness and ability.
     Henry A. Linn, Agency Storekeeper was temporarily detailed to take charge of the school but his services are indispensable at the Agency.
     I deemed it highly important to maintain the school without any break and am able to report it in good working condition with about 40 pupils.

Very respectfully,
your obt servant

U. S. I Agent

A second letter reveals that Charles Shepard Newton began his service at the reservation 16 May 1877.

Charles Shepard Newton circa 1902 Mapleton, Utah
Who was this 35 year old, married father of three young children who was willing to take a position on a Reservation in the Dakota territory less than a year and a couple of hundred miles removed from Custer's Last Stand? A story for another day.


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