A School Without a Town
 

 

 

VANOSS: A SCHOOL WITHOUT A TOWN
 A History of Consolidation

By Vanoss High School Gifted and Talented Classes

Printed by
Vocational Office Education Classes
1984-85
Vanoss Public School
4665 CR 1555
Ada, OK 74820
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Help us record Vanoss history.
Do you have vintage photos of these schools?   Bring them to us at Vanoss School.  We can make a digital copy for our public files and return your photo to you.

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION
FOREWARD
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
MIDLAND
BELLVIEW
LANHAM (IRON POST)
PICKETT
ROUND TOP
SHADY GROVE
WALNUT GROVE
WILSON
HART
LIGHTNING RIDGE
PARISH CHAPEL
YEAGER
WORSTELL
MAXWELL
BEBEE
EGYPT
SUMMERS CHAPEL
GALEY
UNION HILL
CENTER
VANOSS
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INTRODUCTION

     From the turn of the century through the 1960’s was a period of development and refinement of public education in the Vanoss area.  In the early years, because of transportation difficulties and economic conditions, schools were few and far between.  The very first were a simple arrangement between a single teacher and a few parents who were willing and able to pay their share of the teacher’s salary.  This system existed until 1890 when the Organic Act set aside $50,000 for the temporary support of public schools.  The Territorial Legislature established a Public School System on Christmas day of that year.  This allowed for every community to have a government- founded public school.
     Having their own school was a matter of pride for each community.  The school was also used as a multiple purpose community center.  Church, social gatherings, political meetings, singings, and revivals were just a few of the many functions of the local school house.
     Most of these small communities held on to their schools beyond the time that they were economically feasible.  To a large extent this was a matter of pride.  When enough people became convinced that it would be better to have a larger, consolidated school, the smaller schools began to close.  This was possible because of improved roads and busing capabilities.  Thus we have reached the situation which now exists.

(The next page of the original publication is a gridded map of all the schools that consolidated with Vanoss.)

 

 

FORWARD

     A School Without A Town; A History of Vanoss is a book that was complied by the Vanoss Gifted and Talented classes of the past three years.
     This book is about the survival and growth of a school, even though the town parished.  As you read the pages of this book you will also notice how many schools of different backgrounds consolidated into one.  The Gifted and Talented classes of Mrs. Laura Disbrow started this project in the spring of 1982, and the classes of Mrs. Kay Harrod finished it in the spring of 1985.  This book was written because of much interest in the heritage of Vanoss School by both students and faculty, past and present.

                                                           

 

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
   We would like to give acknowledgement to the following people for their generous contributions in helping us make this book:

  • Mrs. Laura Disbrow
  • Mrs. Kaye Harrod
  • Mrs. Janet Tidwell
  • Mr. Charles Clark
  • All High School ST Classes
  • And to all the people who shared their special memories.

 

 

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MIDLAND
     We have early documentation that Midland School was in operation in 1896.  Since we have found no district number for the school, we assume that Midland was closed before statehood.  The town was later moved to what now is known as Vanoss because of the coming of the railroad.

 

 

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BELLVIEW
     Bellview was given the district number 58.  It’s location is as follows:  Beginning at the northwest corner of section 31, and extending south 3 ½ miles, thence east 2 ½ miles, thence north 3 ½ , thence west 2 ½ miles to point of beginning.
     We have no explanation of the name.  Records have been found that Mamie Boatright and Flora Summers taught in the years 1918-19, their salaries were from 65 to 85 dollars.

 

 

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LANHAM
     Pug Garrett’s mother’s maiden name was Lanham.  The school was named after her parents.  It began in 1915.
     There was a mix up in names, some call it Lanham, others Iron Post.
     Lanham, District 9, began in the northwest corner of section 9 and extending 1 mile south, thence 1 mile west, thence 2 miles south, thence 4 ½ miles east, thence 3 miles north, thence 1 ½ miles west, thence 1 mile north, thence 1 mile west to point of beginning.  It was located in Township 4 range 4.
     The building was frame with 2 rooms and was heated by wood stoves.  The restroom was an outhouse behind the building.

 

 

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PICKETT
     Pickett was first known locally as Center Switch.  It took its name from the Pickett store, so named because of the well-cared-for pickett fence which surrounded it.  (Pickett had a post office from Jan. 27, 1913 to Jan. 15, 1916lm)  The post office closed, but the school was still flourishing in 1917.
     In 1931 Pickett’s location was as follows:  Beginning at the middle of the north line of section 28 and extending ½ mile west, thence 3 miles south, thence east ½ mile, to Sandy Creek.  Then following the creek to the southwest corner of section 2, thence east 2 miles, then north about 1 ¼ miles to the junction of Sandy and Springbrook Creek, then following Springbrook back to the starting point.
     The school was a two room brick building (that was heated with a wood stove) with white framed doors (that opened to the south) and a small stage at the last end of the lower grade room.  The doors that separated the two rooms could be opened so that there was one big room for community programs.
     In the Pickett District, there were two schools.  One was for black students and one was for white students.  The school for white students was taught by Miss Lucy Ayres in 1917.  In 1920 Pickett consolidated with Latta and Vanoss.
     The kids carried lunches to school each day in tin buckets, which consisted of home cured meats, home made bread, and fried dried fruit pies or cookies.
     They attended school from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. nine months a year--two months in the summer, then a recess of six to eight weeks, then back to school for the other seven months.  Most of the kids completed the 8th grade, which was the highest grade taught.  The grading system then was as it is now – A, B, C, D, and F.  The kids received a report card every six weeks.
     They had to walk to school every day, except in bad weather; then the buses would pick them up.
     Pickett had a baseball team and a softball team.  But they didn’t have a formal field.
     Christmas and graduation were the biggest times.  At Christmas, they put up a tree, traded presents, and put on a program for the parents.  In order to graduate, the kids had to take a test covering math, English, geography, health, science, and reading.  The test scores were put onto the diploma.

 

 

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 ROUND TOP
     In about 1919 the school was located 2 miles west of Garr Corner on the south side of the highway.  The desks were for two people.  All eight grades were in one room.  Older students helped the younger students in little groups.  It was a one teacher school.
   The school was consolidated in the early twenties.

 

 

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SHADY GROVE
     The school was about ½ mile east of Vanoss and about 1 ½ miles south on Robert Neff’s property.  It lasted for only about seven years.  Mrs. Alpha Tilley was a teacher at Shady Grove.
     The building was a long wooden structure facing west.  It was not only used for school but for church and Christmas programs also.  It later burned down.
     Shady Grove was later consolidated in the early twenties.

 

 

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WALNUT GROVE
     The legal location of Walnut Grove, District 63 was as follows:  Beginning at the Canadian River about the northwest corner of section 26 and extending west about ¾ of a mile, thence south 1 mile, thence west ½ mile, thence south 2 ½ miles, thence east 2 miles, thence north ½ mile, thence east ½ mile, thence north to Canadian River.  Township 4 & 5, Range 5.  It consolidated July 16, 1947.
     The school started in 1913.  The building was one large room made of concrete blocks which later became two rooms.  It had a concrete floor and high ceilings.  There was a large bell in front of the building.  It was heated by large wood stoves made from 55 gallon barrels.  The building was hard to heat.
     The children brought their own sack lunches because lunch was not offered.  Common meals included fruit, baked sweet potatoes, sausage sandwiches and fried pies.
     The term lasted seven months in the winter and fall which started about November 15th, and two months in the summers.   The highest grade taught was the 8th grade.
     A percentage grading system was used with any average below 65% failing.  Subjects were reading, geography, math, history, English, health, science, and penmanship.
     Most of the students walked, rode horses, or drove wagons to school.
     Sports activities included baseball, “redman-blackman”, and tag.  The last day of school was often a time for competing with Egypt school in baseball.
     Occasionally the teachers would take the students on a hike north of school to Old Red Hill where they would all “slide” down the hill to Gracen Creek.  “Remember the goatheads!”  Other special events included Mother’s Day programs, pie suppers, community Christmas tree and programs by all the students.
     Etta Waldy Garrett taught for about three months at Walnut Grove in 1919.  She was not quite eighteen years old.  She had to walk 2 ½ miles to school and was only paid $75.00 a month.

(Included in the original publication is a picture of Etta Waldly Garrett’s Class of 1919 and a class picture from 1930-31 that included the following names: Marion Brown,   Odell Poddy,   Emma Agee,   Numan Page,   Opal Benion,  Ola Mae Agee,   Daisy Burdue,   Vernon Page,   Iona Tilley,   Cathryn Rose,   Lavona Tilley,   Fred Graham,   Karl Tilley,   Edna Agee,   Bud Jones,   Helen Rose,   Elsie Ball,   Johnnie Jones,   Kenneth Goodson,  Wynona Jones,   Faye Graham,   Johnny Kirby,   Juanita Agee,   Evylan Agee,   Winnie Tilley,   Olen Tilley,   Warren Rose,   Earnest Agee,   Buster Burnett,   Winfred Burnett,   Judson Kirby,  Thomas Brown,   Thelma Brown,   Marie Brown,   Geneva Agee,   Lorene Roddy,   Ruby Agee,   Myrtle Graham,   Jack Jones,   Allan Crawley,   ___ Page,   William Agee,   Edward Ball,  Jack Purdue,  ___,   Devolt Brown.  Teachers were   Mr. James Crockett,   Lela Crockett.)

 

 

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 WILSON
     Wilson, also know as Lightning Ridge #2, developed early in the 1900’s and came in its own right during President Wilson’s administration, for whom it is named.  The legal description is as follows:  Beginning near the northwest corner of section 1 at Sandy Creek and extending south 3 miles, thence east 1 ½ miles, thence west 1 mile, thence north to Sandy Creek, thence the meandering of the creek bank to the point of beginning.
     The school was a white frame building with two rooms.  The first through fourth grades were taught in one room.  The fifth through eighth grades were taught in the other room, which had a stage at one end.  The school was entered through a large cloak room, where coats, hats, and lunches were kept.
     The building was heated with wood, which was carried in by the students.  Around 1945 a butane heater was installed.
     The restrooms were quite a distance from the school.  According to Clem Stone the older boys would go there to teach the younger boys how to roll and smoke cigarettes.  Most boys played marbles, but the teacher would not let them play for keeps.
     Church services were held in the school building until the present Wilson Church was built in 1941.
     Lunches were carried to school in a brown paper sack or wrapped in newspaper.  Students brought things such as cold sausage, biscuits, homemade bread, or canned beef, and frequently fried pies or fruit for dessert.
     Softball was played with other schools and the parents provided transportation.
      The students went to school for two months, then had one month out.  They returned to school for seven months, and then had a two month summer vacation.
     Students walked to school, playing along the way.  Fights frequently broke out on the road home in the afternoon.  Dogwood switches were used for correction.
     On December 8th, 1941, the students all went to the teacher’s house (located on the school grounds) to listen to President Roosevelt’s declaration of war address following the Japanese attach on Pearl Harbor.  Eighth grade diplomas were issued with a large “V” printed on them representing Victory in World War II.
      Some of the well known students are Calvin Agee, Superintendent of Sulphur Schools and Cleamon H. Stone, Former Superintendent of Vanoss Schools.  Some teachers were Annie S. Dunn,   W.A. Oliphart,   Harold Smith,   Jean Gregory,   Fletcher   and Velma Watson.

 

 

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HART
      (Hart was located about 3 miles southwest of Vanoss. lm)  Beginning at the center of section 15 and extending west 3 ½ miles, thence south 4 ½ miles, thence east 2 miles, thence north 1 mile, thence east 1 mile, thence north 2 ½ miles, thence east ½ mile, thence north 1 ½ miles to point of beginning.  It was in Township 2 and 3, range 4.
     Hart was named after John A. Hart, the first postmaster of Hart.  (The post office was in service from June 28, 1894 to Sept. 30, 1920  lm).  Given the district number 35, Hart’s school district boundary was described as above.
     Hart #2 was started in 1912.  It was a three room wooden structure with a coat room in the front entrance.  The windows were barred and there were no lights, recalls G.C. Wright.
     Later Hart #1 and #2 were combined in a new school called Hart located in the middle of the district.  The new building had two rooms on the south and a large auditorium on the north.  There were six long concrete steps leading into the building with a coat room on the south side of the entryway and the lunch room to the north of the entryway.  The building was white, with a double door at the front and the back. The building was heated with wood, which had to be carried in for the stoves.  The outhouse was a long way from the school.
     The students took their lunches in sacks from home in the 20’s and 30’s, but later a hot lunch was cooked by Cora Mercer.  It was great, according to Juanita McConnell Tiner.
     There was a 36 week term split by a six week break in the fall.  The children could then help gather crops during the harvest.
     The grades taught were first through eighth.  The subjects included were:  English, history, spelling, math, geography, and health.  The grading system was letter grades, A though F.  There were spelling and cipher contests on Friday afternoons.  At the end of the school year, final exams were given by the County Superintendent, Ray Stegal.  There was also a grade for conduct during the thirties.
     Organized sports included softball, baseball and basketball.  They played basketball on an outside court.  After each game the students would pick pebbles out of their knees, elbows, and palms.  Games played at school were marbles, spin the top, and jacks.
     Maudie Mae Johnson recalled on April Fool’s day almost all the students played hooky.  The students had to write a long theme and stay in every noon hour or take a whipping.
     Some of the teachers in the early years were Lloyd Watson,   Geo. Hawking,   B.A. Howard,   Author Verna,   Addie Frizzell,   Edna Dickson,   Ben Walters,   Mary Nichole, and Jessie Southerland.  In the thirties some teachers were Ollie Walker,   Buel Smith,   and Cleo Huffins.
     Hart was annexed in 1949.  In the early 1950’s the building was sold and moved 5 ½ miles north of Garr Corner where it later burned.

(Included in the original publication are two class pictures of Hart school (1919 and 1923); a 1933 3rd grade report card for student, Juanita McConnell & teacher, Ollie Walker; and two snapshots of Cora Merler,   Maudie May Johnson,   and Rose Thompson, August of 1949.)

 

 

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LIGHTENING RIDGE
     We do not know where the name originated, but we do know the legal description of the location.  Beginning at the northwest corner of section 19 and extending west 1 mile, thence north 1 mile, thence west ¼ mile, thence south ½ mile, thence west 1 ¼ miles, thence south 1 ½ miles, thence west ½ mile, thence south 7 miles, thence east 2 ½ miles, thence north 1 mile, thence east 1 mile, thence north 1 ½ miles, thence west ½ mile, thence north ½ mile to point of beginning.  It was in Township 3, Range 4 and 5, District 34.
     The building was made of block with concrete steps in front and a large bell on a steel tower by the back door.  It had two large rooms divided by wooden partitions and two cloak rooms with coat hooks and shelves for lunches.  The school building was heated with a wood burning stove.
     The students were mostly children of farmers.  They were dismissed during the fall for gathering crops.  Most of the families were members of the local Baptist church.  Sometimes the school was used as a church.
     The students brought their lunches from home.  It was usually sowbelly in a biscuit with butter and jelly.  The water pump under an arbor had a long pipe with holes drilled in it so several could drink at once.
     The children played marbles, horse shoes, and mumbly peg.  They also rubbed the waxed paper on the slide to make it slick.  Organized sports included softball and girls’ basketball.
     The school term lasted from August thru May.  The hours were 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  First grade to eighth grade were taught.  The grades were rated with the A, B, C, D and F system.  Sitting in the corner was common discipline according to Wiley Webster.
     The children walked in all sorts of weather, across creeks, and even 150 yards to the outdoor toilet.
     The teachers changed fairly often.  The names of the teachers we have are: Oma Lairden,   Paul Hewatt,   Dallye Cleo Ables,   Mrs. Brown,   Bertha Howers,   Merle Dears,   Mae Neal,   Guy Griffith,   Mr. Rice,   Mantooth, and Parker.
     Ed and Patsy Coffey remembered the biggest thing of the year was the Christmas program at night.  There was a cedar tree that “seemed” to reach the ceiling and Christmas sacks filled with nuts, candy, and fruit.  The treats were paid for by the profits of an earlier pie supper.

(This following is information from a document one the OKGenWeb page)
Lightning Ridge School #2, District No. 34, Township 3,
Pontotoc County, Oklahoma, 1913-14.

TEACHER: Garnett Griffith
PUPILS: Roy Backus, Dock Coffey, Arthur Coffey, Cecil McCorn, Alva McCorn, Edgar Morrison, Reuben Vandegriff, Leonard Morrison, Orville Renshaw, Marion Renshaw, H. Hudson, Garret Beller, Gettie Roundtree, Frank Renshaw, Bertha Stewart, Minnie Bossa, Lucile Backus, Grace Reynolds, Virgie Backus, Gladys Stewart, Dollie Morrow, Viva Renshaw, Maudie Hilliard, Hannah McCullar, Mary Berryman, Ora Vandegriff, Fannie Barker, Julia McCorn, Johnie Barker, Roy Wax, Clarence Dentis, Clara Pendleton, Sredna Anders
SCHOOL OFFICERS: W.L. Stewart, Dir., W.B. S(???)ge, Clerk, H.G. Coffey, Treas.

 

 

 

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PARISH CHAPEL
     According to the record book in the Pontotoc County Superintendent’s office, Parish Chapel Community is located: Beginning in the northwest corner of section 3 and extending 2 miles south, thence east 1 ½ miles, thence south ½ mile, thence east 2 miles, thence north 2 ½ miles, thence west 3 ½ miles, back to the point of beginning.  All the district resides in township 4, range 4 and 5.  Parish Chapel came into existence about the year 1918 and annexed to Vanoss on July 9, 1954.
     The school was built about the year of 1918, by Benjamin Franklin Parish, and is named after him.  It is believed there have been four Parish Chapel Schools built through the years, the last of which still stands, but has not been used as a school since the late 1930’s.
     The first Parish Chapel school, reported by some who still live in the community, was located 12 miles northwest, 4 miles southeast, 1 mile east and ½ mile north of what is now Ada, Oklahoma; and was built at new locations two or three times, but always keeping its original name.  The first move was about 1910, when a new log school building was built about ½ mile south of the original Parish Chapel School, then in about 1911, the school was rebuilt again; this time at its present site, which is ¼ mile west of the former location.  Later the brick building was built.
     On a snowy day the attendance was around 23 and on a regular day approximately 40.  At one time there were as many as 90 students enrolled in the school.  When it was disbanded as a school, there were only 15 students enrolled.
     The only building that has ever been at Parish Chapel was the school, which also served as a church.  The community had good farming land with lots of water from springs.  When the school was moved to its present location, a water well was dug, but failed to supply enough water, so the water had to be hauled from springs.
     One of the early-day school board members was Ernest Cavener.  He served 7 years on the school board.  Some of the first school teachers were: Bertha Gaar, Erba McCullah, Jim Walby, Hattie Dial.  Some later teachers were: Myrtle Horton, who received a salary of $75, Bill Peck,   Owen Nowell,   Naomi Eddings,   Will Standridge,   Louse Ellicot,   Claude Pennington,   Mrs. Erin Haskins,   Mrs. Light, and Mrs. Tilley.
     The Parish Chapel school had a tradition in which on April 1st the students would pull off their shoes and run away from school.  Also, during watermelon season the students would bring melons and at recess or noon they would eat them in the shade of the building.

 

 

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YEAGER
     Yeager was given the district number 58, its district boundary was described as: Beginning at the northwest corner of section 6 and extending south 3 miles, thence east 1 mile, thence north 1 mile, thence east 1 mile, thence north 1 mile, thence west 3 miles to the point of beginning.  All of the district resides in Township 4, Range 4.
     The school started in 1912 and was annexed to Vanoss on December 31, 1955.  The election to annex Yeager was held on December 27, 1955.  The vote was unanimous to annex.  The superintendent of Vanoss was H.L. Kinsey, and the county superintendent of Pontotoc County was Norman C. Mitchell.  The Yeager school land was reverted back to Mr. and Mrs. E.F. Wood.
     The building was one large room heated by a big wood heater.  The students brought their lunches in a bucket.  The school term was nine months.  The subjects taught were reading, writing math, and spelling.  Most students only went to third or fourth grade.  The passing grade was a sixty.  The students walked to school. The organized sports were playing marbles, spinning tops, and tobacco tops.
     J.C. James remembers most “a huge bell you could hear for two miles on a still day.  It was rung about one hour before school.  All the children wanted to ring it.  We took turns.  The big bell set on top of the school building.”
     It was printed in the Ada Evening News, January 17, 1918, in an article by A. Floyd, Superintendent, that the attendance at Yeager was 45 and the teacher, Miss Pearl Walls, was very rushed with her work.  The pupils appeared to be doing the best they could, but the school needs more co-operative work by the patrons.
     Hattye McCord was a teacher at Yeager in 1918-1919.   Her salary was $100 a month.

 

 

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WORSTELL

4     5
           Worstell School 1930’s                         Mrs. Simpson’s Class 1943       

     According to the record book in the Pontotoc County Superintendent’s office, this school was sometimes spelled Woorstelle.  Given the district number of 48, Worstell’s school district boundary was described as:  Beginning at the northeast corner of section 19 and extending south ½ mile, thence west 1 mile, thence south ½ mile, thence west ½ mile, thence south 1 ½ miles, thence east 3 ½ miles, thence north ½ mile, thence east ½ mile, thence north 1 mile, thence east to the Canadian River, thence (following) the meandering of the river back to the point of the beginning.  All of the district resides in Township 5, Range 5.
     Worstell came into existence in 1913 and annexed to the Maxwell district on February 28, 1957.  Ben Starrit donated the land for the school and then sold back the land to Tom Starrit, after the consolidation, for $1250.  Cristine (Bailes) Gillum said the school yard was about a ten acre area.  The grass would be mowed real nice.  The fence along the section line in front was steel posts with three strands of cable running through the holes.  The little kids would sit on the cables and swing gently while watching the “big kids” play games in which they themselves were not included.  The fence was built by Elmer Duncan.
     The Worstell school was a three room red brick building.  The doors opened to make a large area for the pie suppers and Christmas parties.  It was heated by wood at first and then changed over to coal.  The teacherage was located on the school grounds and it was heated with “wet gas” inside a wood stove.
     The patrons of Worstell included the oil field workers in the Oil Center area.  The road from Ada to Oil Center was the dividing line between the Summers Chapel School and the Worstell School, the east side going to Worstell and the west to Summers Chapel.
     The W.P.A. was responsible for building the kitchen, used for serving hot lunches, around 1942.  Before this time, the students brought their own lunches.  The farm children usually brought ham or sausage, biscuits, fruit, and/or fried pies in a paper bag or a gallon syrup bucket.  The oil field children had white bread and bologna sandwiches and cookies.
     The school term was a split nine month session because the farm children were needed to help with the crops.  Poor crops led to the children going straight through and later farming changed over to cattle raising.
     The school had no transportation.  The children walked to school or, if their parents had a car, they were brought to school.  Veda Duncan recalls that Frank Cunningham, whose son Warren also attended Worstell, always “looked after us.  Ten or twelve would walk across the field to school.  He put bridge walkers over the big ditches and either put steps over the fences or wrapped the wires so we wouldn’t tear our clothes.”
     The school board in 1935 consisted of Marian Burk,   Lawerence Corbin,   and Charley Gordon.  Teachers at Worstell included Madeline Goddard Cantwell,   Virginia Boyd Evans,   Reba Smith Connally,   Mabel Jones,   Willie Simpson,   Fletcher Watson,   Mrs. Valma (Flether) Watson,   Mrs. Smallwood,   Alpha Tilley, Ted Walker,   and Mr. and Mrs. Virgil Sorrells.
     Mrs. Fletcher Watson recalls the girls basketball teams of 1936 and 1937, when Worstell won the Pontotoc County Tournament.  The school team practiced on the outside court at school without any of today’s uniforms or fancy score clocks.  In 1936, Worstell defeated Byng at the tournament, which was played on the court at the East Central Normal School.  In 1937, Worstell defended their championship, again by defeating Byng.  This time is was at the new gymnasium at Byng SchoolMrs. Watson was the coach both years.
     Each morning school started with a prayer, pledge to the Flag, and the singing of songs.  Christine Bailes Gillum summed it up with, “The teachers were such lovely people with the highest morals and good manners.  Their authority was absolute, and it gave us a ‘knowing where we stood’ foundation not experienced by later generations.”

Included in the original publication are: (1) a 1936 group basketball ball photo that includes: Rhea Jean Boyd,   Annabel Kemp-Lane,   Marie Northam,   Virginia Lee Burk-Tilley,   Falita Higby,   Pauline Golightly,   Cleta Burk-Bowerman,   Fletcher Watson (Principal of Worstell)
                 (2)a large group picture(Intermediate Room 3-4-5-grades) in 1940-41, in front of Worstell School.  The only name given is the teacher, Mabel Jones.
                (3) a full view of the Worstell School in 1931.
                (4) a girls; basketball team with the following names: Mrs. Velma Watson (Coach),   Virginia Lee Buck-Tilley,   Ruby Jones,   Rhea Jean Boyd,   Thelma McDuffer,   Lillian Choate,   Cleta Burk-Bowerman,   Joyce Bailes,   Irene Lane.
               (5) a group picture outside the school that is labeled: Worstell School.  Mr. Watson Prin., 1941-42.

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MAXWELL
     We cannot find the explanation of the name, Maxwell.  (There was a post office in Maxwell from March 14, 1896, to Oct. 15, 1929.  It is located about 7 miles southeast of Asher. lm)  We have the legal location:  Beginning in the northwest corner of the district at the Canadian River at the mouth of Board Creek, and following the meandering of this creek south to the northwest corner of section 28, thence east 4 miles, thence north ½ mile, thence east 1 mile, thence ¼ mile north to Canadian River, then following the Canadian River back to the point of beginning.  It was annexed to Vanoss in 1956.
     In 1911 and 1912 a two story building was erected on the north side of the village.  It consisted of large front hall, cloak rooms, and two classrooms on the first floor.  A lodge hall and a large auditorium were upstairs, the latter being used for church and Sunday school on Sundays.  It was also convenient for school programs, assemblies, and community gatherings on special occasions.  This building was identical to the one at Center, a few miles southeast, having been built by the same contractor, Sam Winn of Ada.  New “double desks” awaited the students inside the building, something they had never seen before.
     The average school lunch was a sandwich and cookies or the lunch students brought from home.   The students went to school on foot since no transportation was provided.
     The school term lasted nine months.  The school hours were 9:00 to 4:00.  Ten grades were taught.  The number system was used for grading.
     Basketball and baseball were the organized sports.  Verlin “Light” Wright remembered in the 1920’s that they had a good girls’ basketball team, called the Maxwell Blue Birds.  They played on an open court except in 1927 and 1928 at the district meet at East Central.  Verlin said, “We were so scared to play on an indoor court and under lights.  About all we got done was fall and slide.  It was an experience I never forgot.  Our ball suits were made by our mothers and they were blue bloomers, just below our knees.  Vaughn Beavers was our coach.”
     One event that former students remember the most was when the storm blew down the old two-story building.  It was replaced in 1922-23 by a one-story brick building.  It had three classrooms and a combination auditorium.  This building has long since been removed and the children have been bussed to Vanoss consolidated school some twelve miles sough for several years.  A school for blacks was maintained and a goodly number attended for several years.
     A list of teachers over a span of several years are as follows:  Hettie Dial,   O.C. White,   A.H. White,   A.L. O’Neal,   Lillian Hassenfratz,   Mr. Walker,   Mable Adams,   J.H. Hodges,   Irba McCulloh,   Gertrude Thompson,   Edna Rayburn,    A.T. Watson,   BenWhittington,   William O. Huffines,   Bertha Huffines,   Jessie Belle DeMoss,   Mr. and Mrs. George Overturf,   J.R. Hughes,   Enid Holloway,   Janilou Norman,   Arthur Graham,   Mercedes Fleming,   Mr. and Mrs. Roberts,     Flossie Summers,   Ginevra Norman,   Mr. and Mrs. Abbott,   Myrtle Roberts,   Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Mullinax,   Fawn Bevers,   Mrs. Flora Summers Carter.

 

 

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BEBEE
     We have little information about Bebee but we do know from legal documents the year the school was established, it was started in 1912.  ( The town, named for Frank Bebee, a U.S. Postal official, is located 7 miles northwest of Ada.  The town had a post office from Sept. 15, 1896, to Feb. 15, 1928. lm)   The legal description is as follows:  Beginning at the northwest corner of district number 5 in center section 36, extending south ½ mile, thence east 1 mile, thence south 2 miles, thence east 2 ½ miles, thence north 2 ½ miles, thence west 3 ½ miles to point of beginning.  It was in township 4, 5 range 5.
     We know that J.W. Stewart and Sasie Parker were two of the teachers that taught at Bebee in 1916-1917.  In 1918 Mary Rushing and Josie Rains taught school at Bebee.  Their salaries were $90 and $60 respectively.
     We also know that Bebee had a basketball team in 1933.
     All of district 5 was annexed to Vanoss by the State Board of Education on July 5, 1957.

(Included in the original publication is an untitled group photo in from of a white frame school with a bell tower and a 1933 photo of Bebee ball team with Haskell Nite (?),   Junior Northam,   Luman Roberts,   Kennenth Nite(?),   Joy Roberts,   Hampton Garrett(?),   Hayes,   Orville Scott,   Coach Mr. R.S. Duke)  The print on my copy is unclear.

 

 

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EGYPT
     Egypt was located in District No. 11.  The description is as follows:  Beginning at the northwest corner at the Canadian River in the middle of section1 and extending south 1 mile, thence west ½ mile, thence south ½ mile, thence west 1 mile, thence south ½ mile, thence east ½ mile, thence south 2 miles, thence east 2 miles to Sandy Creek, then following the meandering of the creek north to the Canadian River, thence up the Canadian River, to the point of beginning.  The district is in township 4 range 5.
     Egypt was started in 1913 and annexed to Latta in 1934.  A small piece was then annexed to Vanoss in 1958.  Egypt had a one-room building that was framed.  Later they added another room to the building.  In 1938 they built a two room brick school.  The rooms were heated with wood.  For night programs the school had kerosene lamps.
     The students would bring their own lunches, which was usually food raised at home that would not spoil.
     The school term lasted 9 months.  The summer term lasted 2 months.  There was a break for 6 to 8 weeks, and then the students went back in the winter for 7 months.  The school day lasted for 8 hours, from 9 to 4.  School went up to the 8th grade; then most of the students went on to Vanoss by bus to high school.  Students received grades of A, B, C, D, and F.  On their 8th grade diploma, however, grades were listed by numbers.  For example Math would be an 82 instead of a “B”.
     Egypt played softball and baseball but they didn’t have any formal fields.  The students would bring their balls and bats from home.  Anyone big enough could play.
       During Christmas the students would decorate a tree and put their gifts under it.  Throughout the year they would have pie suppers to raise money for Christmas treats, according to Opal Jones Graham.

 

 

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SUMMERS CHAPEL
     Summers Chapel was a small two, and later, three room school that taught the first through the eight grade, students attended high school at Vanoss.  The school was annexed to Vanoss on March 25, 1960.  The legal description is an follows:  District 60, Township 5, Range 4, beginning at the northwest corner of section 28 and extending south 2 miles, thence east 3 ½ miles, thence north 2 miles, thence west 3 ½ miles, to point of beginning.
     The school’s two rooms were heated by wood until sometime after 1920, when a third room and gas heaters were added.
     Students brought their lunch from home.  Most of them brought sandwiches and biscuits with usually a piece of fruit or a fried pie for dessert.
     The school term started in July and continued until September.  It then turned out for two months for students to help harvest crops.
     Most students picked cotton in the fall to provide money for their winter clothes.  The school house was also used for community activities, such as Sunday school, weekly singings, and yearly revivals.
     Some of the teachers were Leonard Whittington and Minnie Wall from 1918 to 1919F. Bolivar Haskins and Lela Haskins from 1931 to 1932.  The most famous teacher was Robert S. Kerr.  He taught for two years.

Included in the original publication are:
(1) a 1934 group photo(about 70 children) in front of a frame building.
(2) a 1939-40 Summers Chapel boys basketball team.
(3) a 1939-40 Summers Chapel girls basketball team.

 

 

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GALEY
     Galey was named after its founder, Thomas M. Galey in about 1908.  Its legal location is as follows:  Begin at the northwest corner of section 7, and follow the county line south 5 miles, thence east 2 miles, thence north 2 miles to where it intersects at Board Creek, thence follow said creek north to Canadian River, thence follow the meandering of the river west until it hits the middle of the north boundary of section 8, thence west to point of beginning.
     Sgt. Thomas M. Galey of Indiana founded Galey originally ½ mile east of where it is now located.  The only building, there was a one-room log school house.  In 1918 the county superintendent, Ray Stegall, gave achievement tests in the spring.  In 1908 the enrollment for school was 91 with 1 teacher.  In 1926 the enrollment was 117 with 3 teachers.
     Later the school house was a tall white frame building with two classrooms.  It also had an auditorium with a stage and a lunch room.  The bathroom facilities were outdoors.  The water system wasn’t dependable and Mr. Tucker had to haul water in twenty-gallon milk cans.  This building is now part of Vanoss School.
     The building was propane heated.  They had a hot lunch program.  The cook was Mrs. Rachel Hinkle.
     The traditional pie supper was one school activity held each year before Christmas to help raise money for Christmas treats and improvements to the building.  A picnic and skating party at Sulphur was another event that climaxed each school term.
     The Galey basketball team played their games on an outside court.  The ground served as the gym floor.  They had winning teams coached by non other than M.R. Tucker.
     A few of the teachers that taught at Galey were Orpha Muskholts,  Roxie Slean,   Mary Nell Groves,   Myrtle Evans,   Margaret Ord,   Alta Ross Wright,    and Mr. Tucker.

(Included in the original publication is a group photo marked 1959.)

(The Stratford Star, May 13,1976, Page 10, published an old undated photo of Galey School’s 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students and teacher with the following caption:  GAILEY SCHOOL – The third, fourth, fifth grades and their teacher, one of the numerous one and two teacher schools once scattered over this part of the country.  Built about 1900, Gailey, like most of her sister schools, was consolidated with a larger school.  Now a relic of the past, but a bit of nostalgia for those who attended them not so long ago.  (Students included are: Betty Walters,   Leola Fae Bray,   Birdie Wortman,   Paula Willoughby,   Frances Davis,   Dorothy Huges,   Claudine Cole,   Geraldine Cole,   Johnnie Lee Looney,   Ethel Bailey,   Ellen Wood,   Arno Hendrix,   Roy Peterson,   Norene Deathridge,   Juanita Bittle,   Teacher,   Ruby Wyatt,   Bobbie Mosley,   David Fowler,   Carl Davis,   Robert Wortman,   Theodore Bittle,   Bill Walters,   Towana Looney,   Wynona Rycroft,   Oleta McCuestion,   James McManess,   J.C. Ingram   and Roland McCuestion. lm)

 

 

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 UNION HILL
     Union Hill school site was acquired by condemnation suit, court case #6304 on record with Pontotoc County court clerk.  The legal description is:  Beginning at the middle of the north boundary of section 14 and extending west ½ mile, thence north ½ mile, thence west 1 mile, thence south ½ mile, thence west 1 mile, thence north 2 miles, thence east 2 ½ miles, thence north 2 miles to the point of beginning.
     At first the school was heated with a wood stove then it was converted to gas.  Outside of the building they had electricity for lighting and water pumps with drinking fountains.  The teachers did all the janitorial work in 1944 according to Oma Enloe who taught there.
     For dinner they had hot meals.  The lunchroom menu included these foods:  soup, beans, mashed potatoes, green beans, and hot rolls.
     There was a 274 day school term.  The school day was from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Grades taught were 1 thru 8.  A letter (A, B, C…) grading system was used.
     For transportation some drove or rode with others and some walked.  The sports were basketball, baseball, softball.
     On Easter, the mothers would bring basket dinners and spread them out on the stage.  They would eat dinner and then have a big egg hunt. 
     They had pie suppers with contests in which they could win prizes.  Robanette (Teel) Horton won the pretty girl contest one year and a box of chocolates.
     At Christmas they would have a Christmas program.  Christmas socks would be bought from the money raised at the pie supper.  People would bring gifts to put under the tree.
     The school was started in 1912.  Union Hill was consolidated with New Bethal in 1924Part of Union Hill was annexed to Vanoss in 1966.

 

 

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CENTER
     Center, which was once the county seat, was the largest town in the county when fire burned the court house and all of the south side in 1903.  (Center received its name because of its location near the center of Indian Territory.  It is located about 6 miles northwest of Ada.  It had a post office from June 9, 1890, to Feb. 15, 1928.  lm)
     Center’s legal description is al follows:  Beginning in the center of section 14 extending south 2 ½ miles, thence south one mile to Sandy Creek.  Following the creek to the east side of section 5, thence north about 4 miles, (northeast corner of 17), thence west 1 ½ mile, thence south ½ mile, thence west to point of beginning.  It was located in Township 4, range 4-5.  The entire district was annexed to Pickett June 14, 1965.
     At one time Center had 3 subscription schools.  In 1913 there were 214 students enrolled.  In the 1920’s the Center School was a two story block building.  It was heated by wood stove.  Center did not have a gym but did have an outdoor court.
     The subjects were the usual basics.  The school term was 9 months long.
     The first year of free lunches were prepared by the teachers, but after that cook were hired.  The students could also bring a sack lunch or go home.
    The grades taught were through the 12th grade until 1927 or 1928.  The grading system is very much like that of today’s.  Before 8th graders could go to high school they had to pass a state examination.
     Most students had to walk to school.  The extra curricular activities were baseball and basketball.  The basketball coach in 1920-21 was Etta Waldby.  She was the only woman coach for a boy’s high school team at that time.  The team went to a lot of games in a friend’s ¾ ton pickup, or on horseback.  They won many of the games.
     Some teachers who taught at Center were Etta Waldby,   Mrs. Amos Olds,   Emma Rose,   Reeby Goodnight,   Violet Parker,   Frank Hurd,   Mayme Peck,   Rose Austell,   Efie Burns,   William Morgan,   Bess Dume.

(Included in the original publicatio  is an undated  photo of a school house (maybe brick or concrete blocks) with a swing set in front.  There are no people in the photo.)

 

 

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 VANOSS
     The name Vanoss is taken from Mr. Salomon Frederick van Oss (1868-1948).  He came to Oklahoma as a young man where he developed a passion for financing and building railroads.  He wrote a book in 1893 entitled, “American Railroads as an Investment”.
     Mr. Van Oss was a famous journalists, financial expert and author in Holland.  He founded in 1914 the still existing weekly, “Hauge Post”.  A street in Holland was named in his honor.
     (Vanoss is located about 10 miles west of Ada.  Its post office opened Jan.2, 1908, only days after Oklahoma became a state.  lm)  The Vanoss School district extends from the northwest corner of section 36 and extending west 2 ½ miles, thence south 3 ½ miles, thence east 2 ¼ miles, thence north ½ mile, thence ¼ mile east, then north 3 miles to the point of beginning.
      After the town was established, one of the first orders of business was to build a school.  In July of 1908, a town meeting was held and a bond was made for $2500.  In February of 1909, the contract was made for the building of the school house.  It was to be a four room building that was heated by wood stoves.  When the school first opened its doors, on August 30, 1909, there was one teacher, Professer W.L. Baker, and 110 pupils.  The construction had cost $500.  (CHECK THE VALIDITY OF THIS AMOUNT.  IT MAY HAVE BEEN THE SECOND STORY LODGE THAT COST AN ADDITIONAL $500.  lm )
     In later years the main building was made of brick.  The Home Economics building and the Vocational Agriculture building were made of concrete blocks.  The well house was made of rock. (The well house was a WPA project.)  The buildings were heated by wood stoves.
     Although most of the patrons were farmers, some were the children of merchants.  From 1908 to 1913, there were four churches.  These were: Methodist; Missionary Baptists; Methodist Episcopal; and the Baptist Church.
     Up until about 1948, the students had to take their own lunch.  The average lunch consisted of home-made-bread sandwiches, meat, and in season fruits and vegetables.  The school lunch program started in about 1948.  The school lunches were basically the same as they are today, milk, bread, meat, and fruits and vegetables.
     The fall-spring term was the same as it is today, August-May.  Up until about 1949, there was also a summer term.  The fall-spring term was divided into two semesters, each consisting of three periods.  When Vanoss first opened, only grades 1-8 were taught.  Later, this was expanded to include kindergarten and grades 9-12.
     In addition to organized sports (baseball, softball, and basketball), the kids also played games like “black man”, “red rover”, “tag”, “marbles”, “tops”, and football.
     Some of the superintendents from the beginning are as follows:  White,   S.G. Heflin,   Dewey Hodges,   Jess Hodges,   F.B. Haskins,   J.H. Baird,   and F.A. Murphy,   A.B. Vernon,   J.N. McKeel,   H.L. Parsons,   Robert Brashiers,   H.L. Kinsey,   James Barnes,   and Clem Stone.  The current superintendent, as of 1984, is Kenneth Smith.  (Cheryl Melton followed Kenneth Smith as superintendent in 2001-02. lm)

Included in the original publication are:
            (1) a photo of S.F. van Oss with a brief note from Jacob van Oss.
            (2) a 1922 photo of Vanoss First and Second Grade students and teacher.
            (3) 1926 Vanoss Graduation Announcements.
            (4)a photo of Clem Stone and a cow named “Friend”.
            (5) a photo of FFA Club laying blocks on Home Economics Building (undated)
            (6) a 1933 photo of Vanoss Vocational Agriculture students laying blocks.
            (7) a 1934 photo of Vanoss Senior Class.
            (8) an undated photo of a girls’ ball team that includes: Dorothy Summers,   Wenona Mency,   Verlin Light,   Dorothy Mullins,   Lorene Myers,   Estaline Little-Water,   Ann Owens,   Oleta Collins,   Mildred Bennet,  Lula Collin.

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This manuscript was keyed in and the photos were inserted by L. Marks in 2003. The original publication contains photo-copied pictures that are not included because of their poor visual quality.  Additional information and photos were added as they became available.