An oil well smack in the middle of Main Street.
Nez Perce Chief Joseph by William R. Sanford, 48pp.
Chief Joseph and the Nez Perces by Robert Alan Scott, 144pp.
I Will Fight No More Forever: Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce War by Merrill D. Beal, 366pp.
The Nez Perce were moved to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in November , 1877. The following year the tribe was moved again, this time to the Quapaw Indian agency at Baxter Springs, KS. In 1879 they would be uprooted and moved a third time, then to the Oakland Reservation in the Indian Territories, the site of present-day Tonkawa. The Nez Perce made a serious effort to become economically self-sufficient there. They even established a day school that attracted both adults and children. However, they could not become acclimated to the harsh environment, and the death rate was abnormally high.
Continued petitions before Congress for their repatriation finally bore some fruit in May, 1884. The bill became law on July 4th, however the tribe was to be moved not to their homelands along the Clearwater River, at Lapwai, Idaho, but instead to another reservation, the Colville Reservation, in Northern Washington. Chief Joseph and his people objected to the move, saying they had been “punished enough and would not voluntarily consent to further humiliation.” Before boarding a train on May 22, 1885, four Nez Perce chiefs were required to sign a document relinquishing any claims to the Oakland Reservation.
During their stay at Tonkawa, from 1879 to 1885, over 100 Nez Perce children had died of malaria and other diseases, including Chief Joseph’s daughter. Also buried here is Halahtookit, the son of William Clark and a Nez Perce woman. Before departing, Chief Joseph had the burial ground enclosed by a log barrier so that the graves might be preserved. In Nez Perce, Tonkawa means “They all stand together.”