Genoa Indian Industrial School

The Indian Industrial School at Genoa, Nebraska, United States was the fourth non-reservation boarding institution established by the Office of Indian Affairs. The facility was completed in 1884 and operated until 1934. Now restored, it is owned and operated by a foundation as the Genoa U.S. Indian School Museum. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

U.S. Indian Industrial School
Genoa Indian Industrial School shop bldg museum 1.JPG
Shop building, now operated as a museum
Genoa Indian Industrial School is located in Nebraska
Genoa Indian Industrial School
Genoa Indian Industrial School is located in the United States
Genoa Indian Industrial School
Nearest cityGenoa, Nebraska
Coordinates41°26′58″N 97°43′27″W / 41.44955°N 97.72413°W / 41.44955; -97.72413Coordinates: 41°26′58″N 97°43′27″W / 41.44955°N 97.72413°W / 41.44955; -97.72413
Area470 acres (190 ha)
NRHP reference No.78001706[1]
Added to NRHPMay 22, 1978


The facility opened on February 20, 1884, and, like other such schools, its mission was to educate and teach Christianity and European-American culture to Native American children for assimilation. The village of Genoa, Nebraska was selected because the Federal Government already owned the former Pawnee Reservation property there; however, existing buildings at the site were unsuitable and in poor repair. The Pawnee had been removed to Indian Territory in 1879.

Like many buildings designed for Indian school campuses, the main building was a simple three-story structure with a hipped roof and a small triangular pediment above the center entrance. The pairs of tall windows and the strong horizontal lines across the front created a balanced composition. The building extended at length from its front facade. This was a popular design during the late 1880s.[2][3]

The school expanded, eventually enrolling Native American children from ten states and over 20 tribes. In time the school grew from the original 74 students to an enrollment of 599. It encompassed more than 30 buildings on 640 acres. The US government closed the school in 1934, during the Great Depression.

At least 102 children died at the school, as a result of abuse and neglect, though the true death toll is likely higher.[4] Common causes of death were influenza, tuberculosis, pneumonia, and heart failure. Accidental shootings, paralysis, and a freight car accident also occurred, though some may not have been accidents but suicides.[5]

Genoa U.S. Indian School MuseumEdit

The Genoa US Indian School Foundation purchased the Manual Training building of the school from the town of Genoa, restored it and now operates the facility as the Genoa U.S. Indian School Museum.[6]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  2. ^ "Nebraska Trailblazer #1: American Indians Background Information"[Usurped!], Nebraska State Historical Society. Retrieved 1/28/08.
  3. ^ "Indian Industrial Schools", Designs for Democracy: Grand Plans for a Growing Nation exhibit, National Archives and Records Administration.
  4. ^ Chung, Christine (2021-11-17). "Researchers Identify Dozens of Native Students Who Died at Nebraska School". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-11-18.
  5. ^ "Researchers identify 102 children who died at Nebraska residential school". CBC Radio. 17 Nov 2021. Retrieved 18 Nov 2021.
  6. ^ Genoa Museums

External linksEdit