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Individual Indian Files

About Individual Indian Files

Among the 3.5 million documents housed in the OHS Research Division is a series entitled "Individual Indian Files." These files vary in content from agency to agency, but in most cases, the files pertain to grazing or mineral leases.

Beginning in the mid to late 1880s, leasing of a person's allotment began in the effort to generate income for certain tribal members while the individual was still receiving instruction in farming activities. Most of the lease records in this series begin around 1900 and in some cases continue to 1933.

Researchers should note that the Individual Indian files pertain only to the agencies listed below. The Five Tribes and the Chilocco Indian School do not have Individual Indian files.

Lastly, the Individual Indian Files are not an exhaustive record for every tribal member within a particular agency. It is surmised that only those members who were restricted, meaning those with one-half degree or more, have records included in these files.

Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency

  • Darlington – 3 boxes, 1,500 pages
  • Cantonment Sub-agency – 20 boxes, 10,000 pages

Sac and Fox and Shawnee Agency

  • Absentee Shawnee – 8 boxes, 4,000 pages
  • Citizen Potawatomi – 14 boxes, 7,000 pages
  • Iowa – 3 boxes, 1,500 pages
  • Mexican Kickapoo – 18 boxes, 9,000 pages

Kiowa Agency

  • Apache – 3 boxes, 1,500 pages
  • Comanche – 1 box, 500 pages
  • Kiowa – 19 boxes, 9,500 pages

Pawnee Agency

  • Pawnee – 83 boxes, 41,500 pages
  • Kaw – 7 boxes, 3,500 pages

View Sample Files

View a PDF of scans from an Individual Indian File.

Order Copies

The Research Center offers Individual Indian file research requests for a flat fee of $15. Be certain to include the information listed in the index, including the individual's full name, agency/tribe, box, and folder number. To order by mail use the printable order form or call 405-522-5225 to order by phone. Please have your credit card ready.

Access These Records

Visit the Research Center to view these materials, or order copies of the files for a fee.