William H. Dietz, aka Lone Star  //

 

Although no student records exist for Dietz in the UArts Registrar's office , it is nevertheless certain that William Henry Dietz (1884-1964), also known as Lone Star, was a student at the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art (PMSIA) through a program established by Francis E. Leupp, U.S. Commissioner of Indian Affairs from 1904-1909.

"Lone Star, who studied in the School last year [1907-08] and again this season [1908-09], was appointed one of the instructors in the Art Department at Carlisle and in addition to his general work there, is preparing to train the native silversmiths, of whom there are eight in the Institution, from the Southwest tribes." Source: Bulletin of the Pennsylvania Museum, July 1909, number 27, p. 58. Note the mention of other Native American students R. Charles (Sundown), T. Saul (Speeding Arrow), who received scholarships, and Nellie Patterson, who graduated in 1909.

Philadelphia Record, Friday, Dec. 20, 1907, p. 8. Column:

A clipping from the Friday, December 20, 1907 Philadelphia Record, page 8 (left), gives an account of a performance by Lone Star in the auditorium of the School.

It has been mistakenly written by various researchers that Dietz was a teacher at PMSIA, but he never was. Beginning with the 1897-98 edition and ending with the 1921-22, the old PMSIA catalogs used to have a section in the back, "A Partial List of Former Students with their Occupations". Dietz first appears as an alumnus in the 1911-12 catalog (p. 64) under the listing "Teachers (Design)", which some researchers took to mean he taught at PMSIA; Dietz was teaching at the Carlisle Indian School in Carlisle, PA, which has been well-documented elsewhere.

For other mentions of Native Americans at PMSIA see:

Bulletin of the Pennsylvania Museum, July 1908, number 23, p. 49-50.

Bulletin of the Pennsylvania Museum, January 1909, number 25, p. 17.

Bulletin of the Pennsylvania Museum, April 1909, number 26, p. 38. Notes the "enrollment of several Indian pupils in the School..."

Author Tom Benjey has written a book on Dietz called Keep A-Goin': The Life of Lone Star Dietz.

Dietz is better known as a football player and college coach (his Washington State College team won the 1916 Rose Bowl, defeating Brown University 14-0), and was inducted into the Divisional College Football Hall of Fame in May 2012. Read more here and here.

 

 

Last updated: 22 August 2013 sjm




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