Consolidated 8

Con 8 was one of the fastest growing, most progressive rural school districts anywhere in Oklahoma. This was due to the public spirited men and women who settled here and who worked so untiringly for the betterment of the community.

Con. 8, Kiowa County, really sought consolidation as Con. 2, Swanson County. By the time the contracts were let for the building and heating in 1911, the area proposed was back in Kiowa County and was approved as Con. 8.
The first school was a 'subscription' school taught by Mrs. George Penn. Later, a one room school was built on land donated by George Penn, and Mrs. Penn was again prevailed upon to hold a summer school here in the new building, after which, the first fall term began in 1903.

The school was originally named Olive Branch and operated as such till 1912 when it was consolidated with Lone Star, Shiloh and Mackey, which had formed
in adjacent localities. The new school caught fire and burned one night. It was immediately rebuilt into a handsome, big, white two story with a belfry
and 2 front porch accesses. All the elementary grades and two years of high school was taught here.

For the first 15 years the school employed only 4 or 5 teachers, offering limited high school work. In later years the school offered 20 or 21 units of accredited work, including vocational agriculture, home economics, commercial, industrial arts, and driver education along with the regular academic courses.

Now that the school area was enlarged, drivers were hired and 8 or 9 school wagons (somewhat resembling the old covered wagons) were used to bring the students to school. A seat n each side ran the length of the wagon and the wagons were usually crowded. The children carried their lunches in “lunch buckets” and always saved some choice bit to eat in the school wagon on the way home at 4:00.

In the spring the canvas sides were rolled up in order for all to enjoy the sights of spring and the balmy air. Some of the children (with permission) would run ahead of the school wagon to pick the little blue and white daisies.

Con 8 school was also the community center, church, Sunday school, meetings, plays, programs were all held there. The school was most fortunate in obtaining some unusually good teachers. About 1929 the big building was torn down and a smaller stone building was built.

Dwindling enrollment caused the district to dissolve in 1957 and the area was divided between Mountain Park and Roosevelt, with some students transferred to Warren School in Jackson County.

Jack Culvahouse, a graduate of Con. 8 has developed a web page about Con 8 School district and the memorial the graduates are working on.

Copyright, 1998-2003
Return To Early Schools
Updated October 25, 2003
Background Courtesy Pat Calton

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