Agent Davis reported that a boarding school had been in operation at the Uintah Agency for the past eight or ten years. The school opened for the 1884-85 year on September 20, 1884. There was a teacher, a matron and a cook. For the first three months there were ten to twelve students. That rose to twenty to twenty-five during the winter months. As farming began in the spring, the “larger boys” left to help with the work. The number of students returned to ten to twelve and the school year ended on the May 18, 1885.
The agent’s comment on education is revealing:
The school children are bright and intelligent, and would make excellent progress if they only understood the English language…To be sure many are taught to read, write, and spell, but in no one case to my knowledge have the teachings received at the agency school had a tendency to eradicate from the minds of the pupils the superstitions of the tribe. They are so intimately connected with the tribe, even when they are at school, that they know nothing and dare nothing except what the superstitious parents tell them. I advocate sending the children away to school as the only way to make permanent improvement among them.
From “Reports of Agents in Utah,” Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs 1885