While transcribing the Native American draft registrants in Nebraska, I had noticed a few in Nance County. It’s not the most common county to find Native people. When I ran across John Red Wolf’s information, the Nance County designation made more sense.
John Red Wolf was born on March 4, 1899 and registered for the draft in Nance Co., Nebraska in 1918, while attending the Genoa Indian School located in Genoa, Nance Co., Nebraska. His next of kin was listed as Sam Red Wolf in Kyle, SD. This tells us that John is not likely Native to Nebraska. His permanent address is also given as Kyle, SD.
This led to me to search for information about the Genoa Indian School, an institution I had never heard of.
The Indian Industrial School at Genoa, Nebraska was the fourth non-reservation boarding institution established by the Office of Indian Affairs. The facility was completed in 1884 and operated until 1934, a full half of a century. Now restored, it is owned and operated by a foundation as the Genoa U.S. Indian School Museum. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
This photo is the shop building, now part of the museum.
The facility opened on February 20, 1884, and, like other such schools, its mission was to educate and teach Christianity and European-American culture to Native American children for assimilation. The village of Genoa was selected because the Federal Government already owned the former Pawnee Reservation property there; however, existing buildings at the site were unsuitable and in poor repair. The Pawnee had been removed to Indian Territory in 1879.
The school expanded, eventually serving Native American children from ten states and over 20 tribes. In time the school grew from the original 74 students to an enrollment of 599. It encompassed more than 30 buildings on 640 acres. The US government closed the school in 1934 during the Great Depression.