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 31 Stars

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 (and some employees), 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 31 enlistees.

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.

Stewart Students who Served in WWI

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

James Horton was one of three enlistees from Stewart who 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