Thomas Indian School

Location: Gowanda, NY
Years of Operation: 1855-1957
Brief History: The Thomas Asylum for Orphan and Destitute Indian Children was a private facility receiving state aid. It was located within the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation but accepted students from throughout the state of New York. In 1875, control of the school was turned over to the state. The name was changed to Thomas Indian School in 1905 and offered classes for students in grades one through eight. In 1930, the school was classified as a junior high and it extended to the ninth grade. After that, the school's primary enrollment consisted of children who had parents or guardians unable to care for them, children placed by county welfare agencies, and children referred by the courts. A social worker was assigned to the school in 1942.
Primary Sources: New York State Archives

Site Coordinator:

Sunday John


Contact number:



Event Date and Time:

June 19, 2009

9 a.m. - 3 p.m.


Event Location:

Seneca Nation Community

Health & Wellness Center

36 Thomas Indian School Drive

Irving, NY 14081


Event Flyer:

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