Indian Mission Aided by Recent Campaign
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MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 1922.
INDIAN MISSION AIDED BY RECENT CAMPAIGN
Enthusiastic Congregational Meeting of Ascension Episcopal Church Is Held.
[Special to The Times-Dispatch]
AMHERST, VA., Nov. 25.—An enthusiastic congregational meeting in connection with the nation-wide campaign and the church’s program for the next three years was held in the parish house of Ascension Episcopal Church.
Indian Mission, in Amherst County, is one point that has been helped by this campaign. This church is located about five miles southwest of Amherst, in a section inhabited by people locally known as “issues.” Many of them claim descent from the Pamunkey tribe of Indians and are said to have been at the foothills of the mountains when the first white settlers came. On account of peculiar social conditions existing among them, for many years it was difficult to secure adequate religious or educational advantages. From time to time, various denominations attempted to do missionary work among them and the school authorities provided as best they could for their needs.
Little was accomplished until 1908, when Rev. Arthur P. Gray, Jr., who was just entering the Episcopal ministry, went to work among them. One fourth of an acre of land was deeded from the Nicholas estate to J. J. Ambler and others as trustees, and upon this lot a substantial and attractive church building was erected. This is now known as “Indian Mission,” and belongs to Lexington parish, Dr. T. D. Lewis being the rector. Many of these men and women are extremely religious and take great pride in their church.
About the time the church was established, Miss Packard took charge of the public school in that neighborhood. She was succeeded by Miss Vera Tignor, of Portsmouth, now Mrs. Edward Sandidge, and Miss Isabel Wagner, who had had experience in teaching the Indians in South Dakota. Miss Jane Neely now has charge of the school. All of these teachers lived in the neighborhood of the school and the younger generation, particularly, is showing evidence of the influence exerted over them.
While some of these Indians are prosperous and own small farms, the majority of them earn a living as day laborers for the white people of the vicinity.
There has been some suggestion of establishing in this section an industrial school as it is thought that such an institution would be the means of accomplishing great good towards training and developing the young people.