World War I Veterans Honored

Stewart Indian School Cultural Center and Museum recognizes American Indian Soldiers who served and contributed in the Great War

Stewart Indian School Has 26 Stars Exhibit

Over 13,000 American Indian soldiers served in the Great War and Native people contributed $15 million in Liberty Bonds when they were only a small proportion of the American population is truly admirable. Their service and contributions deserve to be recognized and appreciated.

Students from Stewart Indian School, a government boarding school for American Indian children in Carson City, Nevada, participated in World War I either as enlisted men or as volunteers, before they were even citizens of the United States (US).

Although WWI began on July 28, 1914, the US did not enter the war until April 6, 1917. Thousands of Nevadans volunteered or were drafted into military service. Many served in the Army’s 91st Division, also known as the “Wild West Division.”

More than 13,000 Indian men enlisted to fight for the US Armed Forces, with more than 75% enlisting voluntarily. Under the Dawes Act of 1887, all Indians receiving allotments became citizens. Few native people in Nevada owned land allotments so the vast majority did not have US citizenship. They chose to serve anyway.

Some of the largest non-reservation boarding schools sent hundreds of students to the front lines. Stewart had 26 enlistees, which was 9% of the student body at the time.

Stewart Indian School supported the war effort in other ways as well. Superintendent James B. Royce had the students participate in public displays of patriotism. Similar to other cities, Carson City held a Loyalty Day parade on May 7, 1917, and Stewart students were featured in the parade. Over 3,000 men, women, and children lined Carson Street to watch a showing of military support.

The students also took part in national “Tag Your Shovel Day” on January 30, 1918. Students placed paper tags on shovels to encourage citizens to save a shovel full of coal every day. A parade of students, headed by the Stewart Indian School band and cadets, marched down Carson Street. The column finished their march at the residence of Nevada Governor Emmet Derby Boyle who had his own shovel tagged.

To honor the service of Indian men during the war, Congress granted citizenship to all honorably discharged Indian veterans in 1919. In 1924, Congress passed the Snyder Act, granting citizenship to any American Indian not already designated a citizen.

CLICK HERE to read and download the poem, “In Flander’s Fields,” written by by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae.

CLICK HERE to visit the “American Indians in World War I” web page, presented by The United States Foundation for the Commemoration of the World Wars .

Stewart Students who Served in WWI

Avery Alec • William Bridge
Manuel Cordova • Cleveland Cypher
Jackson Snooks • Oliver Evans
Theodore Hampton • James Horton
John Hicks • Roma James
Harvey LeSuer • Frank Menz
Hastings Pancho • Willie Shaw
Ray Smith • Dewey Sampson
Simon Tanner • Charles Davis
William Taylor • Joe Taylor
Edwin Richards • Harry Tom
Thomas Wasson • Chauncey Rubin
Bert Newman • Cubit Rhodes

James Horton passed away from his war wounds after returning home, and earned a gold star. This story is from the Nevada Golden Stars Book. To download, CLICK HERE,

Stewart Indian School WWI Photo Library and Archives