June 23, 1942 letter Wade Head

Poston, Arizona
June 23, 1942

My dear Carl:
I was very happy to receive your letter and to learn that Danielson had followed through with his agreement in regard to your appointment here.

Our school problem here is going to quite serious, as you have probably already imagined.  We will have about 1,700 junior school youngsters which in itself is quite a problem.  We don't have a damned book, building, desk, or a teacher as yet, which means we have quite a long way to go.  We have employed Miles Carey from Honolulu as Director of Education; I have heard of him for the past several years.  If he is as good as they say he is, he should be able to organize a good school program, something we have been wanting for a long time.  We have been delayed in getting Miles a priority on the clipper from Honolulu.

I interviewed a Dr. Haydis in San Francisco, whom we also expect to employ and bring into the program.  He has worked for a number of years in the Oakland school system and is very highly recommended.

I might tell you a little about the camp.  At present we are building and occupying three camps, the first of 10,000, the others of 5,000 each.  We moved in early in April and started the whole damned thing.  Some days I wonder if it is coming or going, but the people whom we have here so far, some 8,000, seem to be very cooperative and are doing everything to help us.  There will be two high schools and junior high schools, three or four elementary schools and there is a possibility of camps three, four and five being constructed.  The whole thing is quite a task.

The housing situation at the present looks very, very dark.  However, we hope to have before very long, quarters for families, but this is a problem that is yet to be solved.  We have had so many things to think about we have not gotten down to working on the vitally important problems, but must soon.  We will  have some kind of accommodations but I don't know what they will be.

Beulah and the children are remaining at Sells; I have no intention of bringing them here.  I can explain that more fully to you when I see you.  I have been fired as superintendent of the Sells Agency and Beulah has been appointed in my place. Inasmuch as Beulah has a position now and the children are independent of financial help from me, you can guess what I am planning to do at an early date.  As you know, there are still many trails and mountain province which I know better than any one else and nothing would suit me better than to be back over there before too long.  I ran around over them for two years with the Healds and now I hope the time spent with them will pay dividends.  This will be some weeks yet in materializing but I have definitely made up my mind.

You have probably heard that the Army is opening a school to train men to take over as military governors of the provinces in the Philippines as we take them back.  I had a very interesting talk with General DeWitt in San Francisco on Thursday and he seems quite enthused about the thing and so am I.  One of these days we will stop "dillydallying" and settle down to business and when we do, the whole nation of about ninety million people had better look out.

I want to say I am very happy you are coming down and we can be close together as we have big job to do; I am sure you will want to do your share.  Tell Dorothy and the kids hello for me and I will be looking for all of you.


                                    Wade Head


W. Wade Head

W.Wade Head
W. Wade Head was born circa 1908 in Eldorado, Arkansas. 
He was an area director for the Bureau of Indian Affairs for many years.     
     During World War II, he served as director of the Colorado River War Relocation Center (also known as Poston) from 1942 to 1944. 
     Head resigned from the role of director in 1943. 
     There were many internee dedications given to  Director Wade Head on his resignation. 
     Internees from almost 70 block units of the center signed their names, contributed artwork, and expressed their gratitude for Head’s role as a leader of the community. 
     He died at the age of 89 on January 25, 1997.

Source: http://www.ahfweb.org/download/Head_MSS_118.pdf
Colorado River War Relocation Project

Poston, Arizona

                                               May 8, 1942
Lt. Col. E.F. Cress
Deputy Director
War Relocation authority
Whitcomb Hotel Building
San Francisco, Calif.

Dear Col. Cress;

     Mr. Henry Smith has mentioned to me your conversation regarding the possibility of evacuees being permitted to bring their pets to Poston.  I, personally, feel that they should be allowed to bring them, providing the number they wish to bring is within reason. No doubt, if they are permitted to keep a few of their pets, it will give them a better attitude towards the resettlement program.
     The evacuees should understand the full responsibility for the care of these pets rests upon them; also, that all dogs and cats should be vaccinated for rabies.
     We are extremely anxious to being receiving evacuees for several reasons, but, mainly, due to the hot weather coming on; they should be arriving in order to become acclimated before the heat becomes too severe.
     We are looking forward to that promised visit from you; advise us in advance so we can meet you and take care of you while you are here.
Sincerely yours,
Wade Head,
Project Director.

5/23/1942 Letter from John Collier

                                                         Santa Fe Indian School
                                                         Santa Fe, New Mexico

                                                         May 23, 1942

Adjutant General Russell G. Charlton
Selective Service
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Dear General Charlton:

I was particularly sorry to miss you when I called the other day for reasons both general and particular.  Among the particular reasons was one about which I am writing you now.

The Indian Office as an agency of the War Department and War Relocation Authority is responsible for the disposal of thirty thousand of the Japanese evacuees for the duration of the war and probably some time thereafter.  We are resetting these thirty thousand Japanese evacuees (men, women and children) on the 100,000 acre tract of desert land which is owned by the Colorado River tribe.  The Japanese will work to develop a huge irrigation system; they will farm under the system producing food for themselves and crops needed by the war; they will be organized for various industrial activities (production of war goods); they will be helped and required to organize their own school system, health system, et cetera, and their own municipal government. Altogether, we shall have five separate communities of them ranging from 5,000 to 10,000 in population.

At present the Japanese are arriving as fast as a thousand a day at Parker.

The most baffling problems of civil, criminal, and municipal law, etc., are confronting us at Parker.  The situation is not unlike that which had confronted Indian Service in areas like, for instance, the Navajo Reservation although the job is incomparably more difficult and had to be carried out at high speed.  I have discussed the needs of the situation with William A. Brophy, now our United States Attorney for the Pueblo tribe.  I should like to detail him to the Parker job as solicitor for the project at the earliest moment and for the duration of the war, or at least for the formative period of the first year.  However, there is no use in detailing him if he is going to be drafted at an early date. I find also that he is on the verge of entering late into a very interesting arrangement with the Army which would take him out of this section of the country altogether.  He admits, however, that the challenge of the Parker job is very great, because of the things we will find out there and forge out there may have an important bearing on the post war management of the Japanese people which, very likely, our country is going to have to take upon itself.

I should be extremely appreciative of your attention to this matter and having some indication at an early date because if it is not feasible to have Mr. Brophy's services, I must commence a search for some  other man, and there are not many with his specific equipment for the peculiar job.

Cordially and sincerely yours,

John Collier
Commissioner of Indian Affairs

cc- Mr. McCaskill
      Mr. Brophy
      Mr. Margold