Native American Heritage Month Spotlight Richard Barrington

This month, in celebration of Native American Heritage Month, we will be highlighting some of the many remarkable contributors to Indian country. In no way is this list comprehensive or extensive. Down to our last two and wow, are they impressive!

Richard Barrington (1880-1967), first student of Stewart Indian School, first Great Basin Native to own an off-the-reservation business.

Richard Barrington, a.ka. Humudik, of the Washoe tribe, has the sad honor of being the first “enrolled” student of what would become known as the Stewart Indian School. “Dicky Jack” (the name he was enrolled under) was captured at the age of 10 by the acting school superintendent. Richard would later be transferred to the Carlisle Institute in Pennsylvania and then brought back to Stewart a year before graduating.

While at Carlisle, Richard played on the same football team as legendary player, Jim Thorpe. Along with playing football, Richard learned to play several musical instruments. Sometime in 1998 he returned to Stewart and was among the first in its graduating class.

Richard and his band, The Forty-Niner Camp Band, performed during the 1915 San Francisco World’s Fair. After this Richard went back to Stewart, this time in the paid position as Band Master.

From Stewart, Richard went to California and worked for a lumber mill. Later Richard founded the Plumas Lumber Company, making him the earliest if not first, Great Basin Native American to own a business.

In 1963 he testified at the Washoe Indian land-claims hearing in Washington D.C. His testimony would prove instrumental in the successful recovery of a financial tribal judgment from the federal government.

In 1964, Richard won the University of Nevada’s Distinguished Nevadan Award.

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