In 1900, the Ouray boarding school at Leland, Utah had enrollment of 60 students with average attendance of 44. Enrollment more than doubled during the year from 24 in the first quarter, to 33 second quarter, 51 third quarter, and 54 fourth quarter. Superintendent John M. Commons hoped to reach full capacity of 80 students the following year.
Commons reported during the previous year the school’s farming activities produced “half enough potatoes for the pupils, besides a good supply of other vegetables, and plenty of hay to feed our herd of 25 cattle during the winter.”
The school’s greatest need was a water system. Water had to be hauled by buckets from the Uinta River to the school, a distance of 300 yards. This took several of the larger boys away from their studies for a considerable amount of time. Commons said, “when the mercury ranged for 10 to 20 degrees below zero, and when the pails, barrels, and wagon become covered with ice from an inch to 4 inches in thickness, hauling water for all purposes in the school of 50 or 60 pupils is a real hardship.”
From the Report of the Superintendent of the Ouray School in the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1900