San Carlos Indian Reservation


Erwin Baer Unknown bus5053p.jpg IN-A-101 Sepia 1500-0101-0005 bus5053p Photo Card Print 5x7 Historic Photographs 1890s Reproduction requires permission. Digital images property of SHM Library & Archives


A group of Apaches sitting on ground with the San Carlos Indian School building (left) in distance on the San Carlos Indian Reservation.

In February 1873, 1,200 Apaches were marched from Fort Grant to establish the San Carlos Reservation at the confluence of the San Carlos River and the Gila River. The chosen location on a gravel terrace above the combined rivers was barren, inhospitable and could not support the population. A small detachment of soldiers remained at the new reservation and a system to supply weekly rations to the population was established. That system would last until after 1900.

The San Carlos School was established in 1887 to educate Apache children. It was located in the community of San Carlos, one of the two Indian agencies serving the White Mountain Reservation, the other being Fort Apache. During the decade of 1887-1897, improvements and expansion occurred, including a new brick bruilding, allowing the student capacity to double from 50 to 100. The school campus (at that time comprising several buildings) burned in 1904, and salvage structures were converted to a much smaller day school.


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