Mesa County Genealogical Society

Teller Institute Burial Ground

1886 - 1911

There has been ongoing research over the years to attempt to establish the location and burials.

Journal of the Western Slope, Volume 8, No. 3, Summer 1993: pg 19; "The number of persons laid to rest in the school cemetery would be one indication of health conditions at the institute. Unfortunately there is no record of burials and, today, the location of the school's cemetery cannot be ascertained..." **footnote: "The Mesa County Genealogical Society, which has cataloged all known cemeteries in Mesa County, confirms that the Indian School Cemetery has not been located. However , there is documentation that a small number of remains from the Indian School were removed to the Orchard Mesa Cemetery. Conversation with Phyllis George, January 25, 1993."**

The 'Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs' (RCIA) for each year can be found on-line. They are searchable *.pdf files at 'The History Collection of the University of Wisconsin - Madison Libraries'. An example can be found here. They are fascinating.

There has been renewed interest in the Teller Institutes burial ground with archaeologists considering the use of ground penetrating radar to locate the old burial ground. A presentation was recently given at the Mesa County Public Library by John D. Seebach, PhD about this project.

In May 2022, the U.S. Department of the Interior released Volume 1 of an investigative report which begins to address the history of Federal Indian Boarding School Policies. It can be found here.

Information regarding the Colorado Department of Human Services 'Teller Institute Task Force' can be found here

Although the exact location of the Teller Institute burial ground is unknown images of the institutes maps are included here. These maps are held by the Museum of the West - Loyd Files Research Library. [Note: clicking image will open a larger view.]

Teller Institute Map Teller Institute Map Overlay

There is a 'Find A Grave' list for 16 of the Teller Indian School burials. There is no source information given.

The obituary for one teacher was also located. Miss Lois or Lue H Childs died in August 1900 of typhoid fever. One obituary stated her body was not "shipped home", and was buried in Orchard Mesa Cemetery, however another stated that her brother "accompanied her remains to Columbus, Ohio". Her grave is not listed on Find-a-Grave or Billion Graves in either location.

  • Miss Childs, Grand Junction News, 04 Aug 1900
  • Miss Childs, The Daily Sentinel, 01 Aug 1900.

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