I don’t think it was hard; it was kind of like an adventure.

Ms. Wilson talks about her experience at boarding school.

Audio Chapters

LW: I went to boarding school in Pipestone first, and then I went to Flandreau, and then I went to – No, first I went to Mobridge Wakpala Indian mission school. And then I went to Flandreau, and then I came here to Morton for my last two years of high school.

DL: So you were in boarding school pretty much all the way through?

LW: Yes.

DL: Was it hard to leave? Were you forced to go, or did your parents say it was okay?

LW: We were forced to go when my mother died. We all had to leave because my dad couldn’t take care of all of us, it was hard for him. So then a couple of my brothers went in the service, then the rest of us got shipped away to school. I don’t think it was hard; it was kind of like an adventure. And I suppose if our mother was here, we probably would have hated to leave, but she wasn’t here and he always worked, so it was kinda nice. I liked it. We got to meet a lot of kids and it was fun. It’s kind of fun when you’re with a whole bunch of kids like that. It’s like a big family. I liked it.

DL: And you were treated well, then. You must have had a good experience that way.

LW: Oh, we were treated good with the kids, but the matrons were mean at Pipestone. The matrons were mean, and some of the teachers were really mean. But it was nice to be with all those little kids; it’s just like playing every day with your friends. I thought it was pretty nice. We got to do duties and stuff; they taught us things like that. As soon as you do your duty you can go play, so we used to try and do ours right away and then go play. It was a good life; it taught me a lot of things, things I never would have learned, probably, at home, that I remember now.

Oral History- Interview | Narrator Lillian Wilson Interviewer Deborah Locke made in Morton, Lower Sioux Community, MN | Thursday, February 17, 2011

Citation: Minnesota Historical Society. U.S. - Dakota War of 1862. I don’t think it was hard; it was kind of like an adventure. June 22, 2024. http://www.usdakotawar.org/node/1147

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