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Edyth May Forney Collection

 Unprocessed Material — Multiple Containers
Identifier: H2020-042

Content Description

The collection consists of various items concerning the life of Edith May Forney while teaching at various Native American boarding schools in the mid-1890s. The collection features two cabinet cards of Edith from the 1890s, a historical writeup on Edith provided by the donor and photocopied correspondence concerning Edith’s teaching at various Native American boarding schools from 1893 to 1896. The photocopied correspondence from the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, from the National Archives, highlights Edith’s movements and requests at various Native American boarding schools. Also included, is a needlework of a flower created by a student named Joseph Greece (eight years old) at the Crow Creek Indian School. Edith was born February 12, 1869 at Shippensburg (PA) to Peter J. and Mary Forney. The Forney family moved to Dakota Territory in 1876, on a claim northwest of Sioux Falls. Edith took classes at the University of Sioux Falls (Sioux Falls, S.D.) in the fall of 1886 and graduated in 1890 with a degree that allowed her to teach in either common or grade school. Edith’s uncle, Rolla Burkholder, was chief clerk at the Crow Creek Agency (Fort Thompson, S.D.) and he secured Edith a teaching position at the boarding school which she held from 1891 to 1893. She taught at the Flandreau Agency from 1893 to 1894 and for a short time at the Pierre Indian Learning School in 1895. She married George Wiltse in Sioux Falls on October 7, 1896, they eventually moved to Randolph (NE) and had a daughter, Irma. After George’s death in 1915, Edyth lived in Omaha (NE) for a time and was living in San Francisco by 1930. She died in August 1935 and was buried next to her husband at the Randolph Cemetery (Randolph, NE).

Acquisition Type


Restrictions Apply



  • ca. 1890s



0.1 Cubic Feet