Friend . Miss Marguerite Grove & the Thomas Indian School . 1906

Friend . Miss Marguerite Grove & the Thomas Indian School . 1906

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A Simple Postcard from the Wicks Albright . Parkside . Delaware Park Collection circa 1905-1908 with just a name in delicate script:

Miss Marguerite Grove

Miss Grove was probably a friend of Ruth’s, William S. Wicks, daughter  and I wondered who she might be. Somehow their paths crossed, or they traveled in the same social circles. Ruth was a Unitarian, so I do not expect they met in church as Miss Grove was a Presbyterian.

Recently I found a reference for the Grove family in the “Buffalo Address Book and Family Directory 1901”, Dr. & Mrs. B.H. Grove were neighbors to the Wicks family who also lived on Jewett Avenue. By 1905 the book now lists the girls of both families: Miss Ruth & Miss Grace Wicks, and Miss Marie Grove, which must be Marguerite. That is all I could find, the girls came to know each other as friends and neighbors, and eventually went their own way, as we all do.

Miss Marguerite Grove is mentioned in:

“The Fiftieth Annual Report of the Board of Managers of the Thomas Indian School

Located on the Cattaragus Indian Reservation at Iroquois, New York

For the fiscal year ending September 30, 1905

Here is one entry ” … the following organizations sent many Christmas presents for our pupils, Miss Marguerite Grove, Director of Young People’s work of the Buffalo Presbyterian Church was also instrumental in securing presents from ….. which helped to make the Christmas Season joyous ….”

thomas indian

Photo courtesy of the website

Depending on various perspectives found on internet sources, the Thomas Indian School may be interpreted as a historical agency dedicated to the well-being, stability and happiness of little children, or something darker. I believe that Miss Marguerite Grove had nothing but good intention and an altruistic spirit in her interaction with the children of the Thomas Indian Thomas school which is still in operation today.


Nineteen years later, Miss Marguerite Grove is still involved with the school …. “Buffalo Courier”, February 1, 1924 … Social Record:

“…Following the dinner, a play ‘One Hundred Years’ will be presented under the direction of Miss Marguerite Grove, by about thirty Seneca reservation Indians.”

Interconnectedness, friendship and the human condition when we were new unravels because of a name on a family postcard. Here is information on the history of the school from the New York State Archives website:


The Thomas Asylum for Orphan and Destitute Indian Children was incorporated   in 1855 as a private institution receiving State aid. The asylum was located   within the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation in Erie County and was charged to   receive destitute and orphaned children from all Indian reservations in the   State. It was named for Philip E. Thomas, a benefactor of New York’s Native Americans and early financial backer of the asylum.

In 1875 ownership of the asylum was transferred to the State and it was made subject to the supervision and control of the State Board of Charities. As a   State institution, its purpose was to furnish resident Native American children with “care, moral training and education, and instruction in husbandry   and the arts of civilization.” To reflect its emphasis on education the   asylum’s name was changed in 1905 to Thomas Indian School. The school first   offered Regents Examinations through grade 6 in 1898, and by 1905 eight grades   were available. In 1930, with the addition of one more grade, the school was   classified a junior high school. The school was placed under the supervision   of Department of Charities in 1927. The Department of Charities was renamed   Department of Social Welfare in 1929. Orphaned, destitute, or neglected Native   American children were usually referred to the school from one of these sources:   a parent or guardian unable to care for the child; a county welfare agency seeking   to place a child under foster care; or the Children’s Court. Final determinations   on admissions were made by the superintendent. In 1942, a social worker was   assigned to the school to counsel the residents and to advise the superintendent.   The State closed the Thomas Indian School in 1957. …”

(All rights of original material reserved.)


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