Otoe-Missouria Tribe

Daily Life - Stories

Photograph of Lizzie Dailey HarperLizzie (Dailey) Harper: "My Indian name is translated to 'Standing on the Earth'... I was born north of the agency here... We practically always had white people with us because my father always had hired hands of different nationalities. Mother was busy housekeeping and she had to cook for and take care of the hired hands. My father was hardly home because he was the captain of police and all his time was at the agency. So mother and grandmother had to carry on the home work and I was just a little girl..." (Otoe-Missouria Tribe, p. 34)

Photograph of BurgessTruman Dailey: "When my father and mother got married and they got started, he was kind of a policeman. They had range riders. The north, west, and south boundaries of the reservation, there was an Otoe would ride that line every day. Dad got that job on the west line over there, riding it north and south. This was before allotment, and they could live wherever they wanted to on the reservation, so to be close, Grandma said best to move over there. So they built a cellar over there near the west line. And course Dad's 'brother' Burgess was handy -- he learned carpentry at Hampton -- so they bought lumber and they built kind of a three-room shack over there.

Photograph of Otoe Indian Police"Every day my father rode the line. We was just about three-eights mile from the line. He'd go north one day and back, next day he'd go south and back. Then when they had allotment they chose theirs over there, and when they built them government houses, they got one of those. They built on my father's place, on his allotment. And by that time my grandmother (a member of the Iowa tribe) had my father to start farming. Several years, they added on to that house -- both sides. When I was born and began to remember, we had a big house. Five rooms on the main floor and three rooms at the top. Had a big barn. Big fields of corn. Big orchard. "And my grandmother knew about orchards, and when they built the house my grandmother told my mother to tell my father to establish a yard and plant an orchard. On the east side the yard run about a eighth of a mile or a little longer. And then on the south, it was about the width of an acre and a half. And then on the west side and on the north-again.

Photograph of Otoe MenDad plowed a furrow around all four sides, made it straight. And he planted walnuts a-l-l around the outer circle of the yard. So when I was born and remember, them tree, to me they was tall, and every fall we'd have a g-r-e-a-t big pile of walnuts. And then inside was our orchard. We had apples, pears, peaches, plums and cherries. That's all I know about the orchard. And then later on, when that land was settled and them homesteaders come in there, it was their style to put out a vineyard. They'd make wine. So after they began to get acquainted with them, I guess Mother and Grandma would go out there and see that, and so then we had a vineyard. Four rows, maybe a hundred yards long. We didn't make wine, but there was grape jelly, grape jam, fruit in season.

My grandmother was the instigator of all that..." (Stanley, p. 152-154)

Lizzie (Dailey) Harper: "A woman from the Blackfeet, Miss Clarke, she's the one who came and surveyed this reservation. And a lot of our old people, if they see the rocks, cornerstones, the four rocks marking the lines, well, they take them and throw them away. They didn't want that. But the law come and told the old people to take those rocks and put them where the cornerstones were supposed to be. So that was it. Allotment one and ten years later, Allotment two." (Otoe-Missouria Elders, p.35)