1866 Cherokee Nation deeds land for the creation of a school for Indian Children
1882 Congress authorizes a non-reservation boarding school to be built on the land deeded by the Cherokees
January 3, 1884 Major James Haworth, the first Superintendent of Chilocco Indian School, makes the final preparations for soon to arrive students
January 20, 1884 “Major Haworth’s Pet”, the first building on Chilocco’s 1191.06 acres, is opened to 100 students
July 12, 1884 President Chester A Arthur signed an Executive Order assigning an additional 7449 acres to Chilocco
1884 Home Two built and houses smaller boys
1893 Home Three erected, houses larger boys
1894 – First graduating class of 15 students
1899 Home One built, it has only 10 rooms
1903 Additions to Home One, Home 4 is built for girls
1907 Fire destroys the school building, when it is rebuilt it named “Haworth Hall”
1909 More additions to Home One
1923 Larger boys moved from Home 3, small girls move in. Home One is also completed
1927 Declining enrollment forces officials to close the elementary school
1930′s Because of the stock market crash of 1929, enrollment begins to rise
1931 Home 5 built, it houses Jr and Sr girls
1932 Home 6 built for Jr and Sr boys
1960′s Homes 1, 2 and 3 are demolished.
1967 a new dormitory, eventually named “Wheeler Hall”, is erected to house boys.
1968 a Student Union is completed and opened.
1975 Wheeler Hall is converted to a classroom building and dining hall when Leupp Hall and Hayworth Hall are declared unsafe and comdemmed.
1980 – The last graduating class of 27 students
June 3, 1980 the doors to the Chilocco Indian School are closed. They will not open for 11 years, and then only to be a drug rehab center.
At it’s height, the campus has over 100 buildings, including a printing press, golf course, gas station, fire station, a lumber shed, grainary, garages, tennis courts, swimming pool, a water tower, and several dorms, a hospital and a National Guard Armory (Co. C, 45th Division) with over 150 students as citizen soldiers.
Some Chilocco Facts: 5,542 students received a high school diploma from Chilocco. They represented 126 Tribes. Over 18,000 students actually attended Chilocco from 1884 – 1980. The Cherokee had 688 graduates, Choctaw – 573, Navajo – 545, Creek – 452. Female graduates – 2,741 and males – 2,801. Special Navajo Program began in 1949. First 5th Yr Class graduated in 1952 and the last class in 1964 with total 5th yr Navajo graduates of 574 students. From 1950 to 1974, 640 Post Grads representing 66 tribes completed Voc. or College education at Chilocco. The first Navajo to graduate from Chilocco was Bertha Shipley in 1915. Three Congressional Medal of Honor recipients were affiliated with Chilocco, Two were students (Ernest Childers and Jack Montgomery). The third (Pvt Charles George), was a regular Army enlistee from Cherokee, NC. Upon arrival in Korea, he was assigned to Co. C, 1Bn 179th Inf Regiment, 45th Division. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions that save lives of his fellow soldiers.