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the baby strapped on her back while Ada was inside the store spending her day's earnings, and as the Indians never hurry Inkabah had been standing outside for sometime. It was a cold night and the child was shivering. I took her inside, and asked Ada if she would not allow her to become a permanent resident of our school in words something like these, "You let her live in the school?" "No, no me need her, I work, she look after papoose." "You not work much in winter, you let her come?" "No, me get plenty work I think." It was no use that night or for some weeks after. But presently Ada decided to make a trip to Dakota and had no dress to wear. Then we approached her from another angle and offered her a dress and some other things if she would give up Inkabah to us. For a while she held out but the bait was too tempting and she gave in. Inkabah was our first conquest. She was not pretty or clever, sometimes she seemed incorrigibly stupid, but she was our first very own child of the mission and no one could take her from us, One day Mrs. MacLeod and I were going to the school and when in sight of it we looked up and saw her as we said, hanging out of an upstair window. Her face looked so like a negro and her body was in such a peculiar posture, that we both uttered the word "Topsy!" On entering we told Miss Wight where she was and how the name of "Topsy" sprang to our lips. From that day she was known as "Topsy" and the name Inkabah was all but forgotten.
The next spring, other children decided to try living in the school and gradually became accustomed to the new way of life, though order and cleanliness and obedience jarred fearfully upon them for a long time to come and a lengthened residence in the school was very irksome to them. It seemed that once in a while, their wild nature asserted itself and they just had to break away for a day."
A second school was erected, which did not prove equal for the needs of the Indians for more than a few years and the present stately structure on the western au tskirts of the town replaced it. (By the way - next time you drive by this school, look at the lovely tall trees that were planted there by two Portagers - Walter Crabb and his son, John. Many will remember Arthur Crabb, another son, who worked at the MacDonald Airfield for 16 years.)
Pioneer teachers in the first schools included Miss Bessie Walker, Miss Annie Fraser (a sister-in-law of Rev. Farquhar Mac Rae), Miss Huston (who later became Mrs. Edward Brown), Miss Laidlaw (who later became Mrs. Marshall, of Toronto.)
Children in the school were taught reading, writing, simple ari thmetic, how to mend their clothing, some cooking, keeping rooms tidy and clean, games and singing."