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Cherokee National Female Seminary
Notes from the Souvenir Catalog, 1906

"The Female Seminary"
"Health Department" ~ "Religious Department"
"The Male Seminary" ~ "High School Course 1906"

[**Note: Cultural information may vary from clan
to clan, location to location, family to family,
and from differing opinions and experiences.
Information provided is not 'etched in stone'.]

Notes from the Souvenir Catalog, 1906
"The Female Seminary"

This building is a magnificent structure. Being one of the finest in the southwest, and affords ample accommodations for one hundred and seventy five girls, all the members of the Faculty and the Steward's family. It is situated on a small hill at the northern edge of Tahlequah and affords a beautiful view of the town and the country for miles in every direction. On the first floor are the parlor, library, chapel, recitation rooms and kitchen. On the second floor are the music rooms and rooms for the teachers and students, the hospital, and the dormitory for the primaries. The building has the advantages of modern improvements. The classrooms are well ventilated, bright and pleasant. It is furnished with electric lights, heated by steam and supplied with water from one of the many excellent springs for which Tahlequah is famous. The school prior to the burning of the first building was located four miles south of Tahlequah, in the Park Hill neighborhood.

HOW SUPPORTED - The Seminary, as all of the schools of the Nation, is supported by money invested in United States registered stocks from the sale of lands to the United States government. The interest alone on this investment is drawn and used for educational purposes. The boarders are charged a mere nominal sum as an addition to the school fund. The United States Government renders no assistance in the support of the Seminaries. Insane Hospital and Common Schools of the Cherokee Nation, except paying the interest on invested funds.

HOW CONTROLLED - The Seminary is under the control of the Supervisor of Schools and a National Board of Education consisting of three members, each elected for a term of three years. Among their duties as prescribed by the Secretary of the Interior under terms of the late treaty are to adopt and enforce rules for the examination of teachers, and for the admission of pupils to the Seminaries, and to prescribe and enforce courses of study in the Seminaries, Orphanage and Primary Schools.ADMISSION - boarders: The daughters of citizens of the Cherokee Nation are received into the school by paying the steward the required amount for board.

PRIMARIES - Each of the nine districts is allowed a certain number of pupils in the Primary Department. The pupils entering this department must be at least twelve years of age.

By eneactment of the National Council, all persons desirous of having their children admitted into the primary department of the Seminary shall make a sworn statement that there is no public school in the neghborhood in which they live, and that they are unable to pay the board of their children and on the presentation of such statements to the steward, such children shall be admitted; and no class of children, except boarders, primaries and day scholars shall be admitted.

EXPENSES - Boarders are charged seven dollars and fifty cents per month. This pays for board, lodging, fuel, lights, washing, tuition and text books. Instrumental music, per month, five dollars. Vocal music, per month, five dollars.

ARTICLES FURNISHED BY PUPILS - Each pupil must bring her own bedding, sheets and towels.

UNIFORMS - Each girl is required to have one blue serge jacket suit and black mortar-board cap. This, together with one dress for evening and the usual every day apparel, is all that is necessary throughout the year.

Notes from the Souvenir Catalog, 1906
"Health Department"

This department is under the direct supervision of a medical superintendent, who, since the last treaty, is appointed by the Department of Education. He is assisted in his work by a matron in charge of the sick.

Six rooms, including bath on the third floor of the building, have been reserved for use as a hopsital. These rooms have been properly furnished and are well equipped for the care and confort of the sick. Every sanitary precaution has been taken and the health record of the school is excellent.

Dr. C. M. Ross, the Medical Superintendent, was born in Tahlequah, Cherokee Nation, December 17, 1868. He is the grandson of the chief, John Ross. He was educated at the Cherokee Male Seminary from which institution he was graduated in 1887. He then entered the Missouri Medical College at St. Louis, Missouri, and was graduated from there March 31, 1891. He returned to Tahlequah and engaged in local practice until November, 1896, when he was selected by joint ballot of the National Council and commissioned by the principal chief as Medical Superintendent of the Seminary.

Dr. Ross also served as Superintendent of the Male Seminary, Insane Hospital and Orphanage.

Miss Jennie Martin, who was educated at the Howard-Payne College, Fayette, Missiour, is matron is charge of the sick.

Notes from the Souvenir Catalog, 1906
"Religious Department"

In training our students for the active duties of life mentally and physically we do not forget the spiritual side of their natures. The students are required to attend the church of their choice each Sunday morning.

The Young Woman's Christian Association was organized in 1896 by Missess Callie Eaton and Bluie Adair, then assistant teachers, with the following officers:

Gertrude Rogers, President
Annie M. Ballard, Vice President
Mattie Eaton, Secretary
Janie M. Lamar, Corresponding Secretary
Nellie Duncan, Treasurer

Through the influence of this organization many noble God-fearing young women have gone out from the seminary and are spreading lasting Christian influence all over our Nation.

The association has as its present enrollment twenty active members and twenty-five associate members who are earnest faithful workers and whose sole object is the development of Christian character in the school.

Daily morning prayer service and a weekly Sunday afternoon devotional meeting are conducted by the members.

The association was visited last year by Miss Jessie Adams, then State Secretary of the Y.W.C.A. of Kansas, and this year by Miss Amy Gordon Bruce, present State Secretary of the State of Kansas. The officers for the present are:

Ethel Scales, President
Clyde Horn, Vice President
Mayme Butler, Secretary
Cynthia Downing, Treasurer
Miss Ballard, Advisory Officer
Edith Stover, Pianist

Notes From the Souvenir Catalog, 1906
"Cherokee National Male Seminary"

A history of the Female Seminary would be incomplete without a mention of its "brother" institution.

The two schools are so closely allied as to their history, course of study, and social life that they are generally regarded as one institution.

It is located one mile and a half west of Tahlequah on a small eminence overlooking its own farm lands and the surrounding country. The old part of the building is modeled after the Park Hill Seminary. After several years, a three-story addition was made. Upon the first floor are recitation rooms, chapel, study hall, library, laboratory, text book room, parlor, dining room, kitchen, and Steward's apartments. Upon the second floor are teacher's and student's rooms and bath rooms, and upon the third are students' rooms and storage rooms. There are about eighty-five available rooms and all are ventilated from without and by open courts from within.

Notes From the Souvenir Catalog, 1906
"High School Course 1906"


First Year: Composition, three lessons per week. Classics, two lessons per week. Longfellow - Courtship of Miles Standish, Hawthorne - Great Stone Face, Mosses from on Old Manse, Tennyson - Enoch Arden. Shorter classes, outside reading, oral reports.

Second Year: Composition, one recitation per week. Classics, three recitations per week. Lowell - Vision of Sir Laufal, Eliot - Silas Marner, Coleridge - Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner, Addison - Sir Roger de Coverley Papers. Outside reading, oral and written reports.

Third Year: Composition, one recitation per week. Classics, four recitations per week. Scott - Ivanhoe, Shakespeare - Julious Ceasar, As You Like It, Tennyson - The Princess.

Fourth Year: Study most important forms of poetry, most important forms of prose. Second semester: Classics - English Literature. Chaucer - Prologue, Spencer - Fairy Queen, Bacon - Essays, Shakespeare - Merchant of Venice, Milton - L'Allegro Il Penseroso, Tennyson - Some of the Idyls of the King. Shorter Classics - Cotter's Saturday Night; Deserted Village, etc. Outside reading, written reports.

Related paths and contacts:

For more information contact the source:
The Cherokee Nation Cultural Resource Center
E-mail: cultural@cherokee.org

* Cherokee Heritage Center
Mail: P.O. Box 515; Tahlequah, OK 74465
Location: 21672 S. Keeler, Park Hill, Oklahoma
Phone: 918-456-6007 ~ FAX: 918-456-6165
E-Mail: info@cherokeeheritage.org

* Official Site of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma
P. O. Box 948 Tahlequah, Oklahoma 74465
Phone: (918) 456-0671 ~ Toll free OK only: 1-800-256-0671

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