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Archive for Friday, February 1, 2002

Andrew Cuellar was last-known surviving grad of Carlisle Indian school

February 1, 2002

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— Andrew Cuellar, a Haskell Institute alumnus and the last-known surviving graduate of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, has died. He was 103.

Cuellar died Monday at his home in Maryland, according to Barbara Landis, who studies the school for the Cumberland County Historical Society.

An Oklahoma native, Cuellar had attended the Shawnee Indian Mission School at Tecumseh before enrolling in Carlisle, which was the model for a nationwide system of government-run boarding schools for American Indians. The schools taught Indian children farming and trades while squelching their language and traditions.

Cuellar, a member of the Absentee Shawnee tribe, was the treasurer and valedictorian of Carlisle's last graduating class in 1918.

After graduating from Carlisle, Cuellar went to the Haskell Institute in Lawrence, Kan., then moved to Detroit and worked for the Ford Motor Co.

After leaving Detroit in 1934, Cuellar joined the Bureau of Indian Affairs. He and his family lived on the Menominee Indian Reservation during his first BIA assignment.

Cuellar then transferred to Aberdeen, S.D., to work in the BIA area field office, and later transferred to Albuquerque, N.M., where he retired in 1970.

Cuellar is survived by a daughter, Ory Cuellar.

A memorial service is being planned for the spring.

He is to be buried at the Tecumseh Mission Cemetery in Tecumseh, Okla.

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