Chilocco Indian School

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United States Gotoarrow.png American Indians Gotoarrow.png Oklahoma Gotoarrow.png Indians of Oklahoma Gotoarrow.png Chilocco Indian School


Chilocco Indian School opened in 1884 with 100 students. It was built on land donated by the Cherokee Nation in 1866. The school closed in 1980. At its height, it had over 100 buildings, including a printing press, golf course, gas station, fire station, a lumber shed, granary, garages, tennis courts, swimming pool, a water tower, and several dorms. Over 18,000 students attended Chilocco between 1884 and 1980, representing 126 tribes. 5,542 received a high school diploma from Chilocco, nearly half of which came from four tribes – Cherokee, Choctaw, Navajo, and Creek.


A large portion of the records of Chilocco School are deposited at the Southwest Regional Archives of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) at Fort Worth. This collection includes the standard administrative records, including:

  • Lists of students, 1884-1960
  • Student case files, 1912-60

The Oklahoma Historical Society also has a sizeable amount of records in their Chilocco Indian School Collection, 1884-1980, including newspaper articles, school annuals, and some student files. At least a postion of this collection has been microfilmed and is available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah in their collection beginning with Family History Library film number 1671145. These records include:

  • Student enrollment records, 1884-1923
  • Correspondence from parents, 1899-1908

Texas Tech University at Lubbock has a collection of records for the Chilocco School, 1963-1996. This collection includes the original student rosters for the years 1968-1975, which provides such information as student names, grade level, sex, birth date, tribe, name of guardian or parent, community address, and agency.

As noted above, microfilm copies of student enrollment records and some correspondence in the holdings of both the Oklahoma Historical Society and the Ft. Worth Regional Archives are also available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

Microfilm copies of ...Narrative and Statistical Reports... for the Chilocco School are included in National Archives Microcopy M1011, Rolls 18-19, available in the National Archives system and in the collections of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City (their microfilm number 1724236-37).


  • American Indians: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications. Washington DC: National Archives Trust Fund Board, National Archives and Records Administration, 1998.
  • Hill, Edward E. (comp.). Guide to Records in the National Archives of the United States Relating to American Indians. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1981.
  • Preliminary Inventory No. 163: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Services. Available online

Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States

Lomawaima, K. Tsianina. They called it Prairie Light: The Story of Chilocco Indian School. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1994.