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1902 Official Report of Guthrie Schools
1902 Official Report of Guthrie Schools
by J. R. Campbell, Superintendent
to Governor T. B. Ferguson

Submitted by: Jennifer Ammons and transcribed by: Tammie Chada

Guthrie Public Schools

J. R. Campbell, Superintendent

Under the Provisional Government for Oklahoma no taxes could be levied for public schools. Notwithstanding this the citizens of Guthrie organized a school district and elected a Board of Education. The Hon. J. W. McNeal was made President and Frank Guthrie secretary. Other members were J. P. Barton, George Taylor, George Fisher, L. J. Kalkosch, S. W. Peel and Messrs Babcock, Cannon and Malone.
The schools were organized and began work on the 14th day of October, 1889. There were no school buildings, but the board furnished ample facilities in rented rooms located in various parts of the city.
The act establishing the public school system of Oklahoma was not passed until November 26, 1892, so that for three years, without law, but not lawlessly, the people of Guthrie maintained a system of graded public schools, during which time through the untiring efforts of the Board of Education and the earnest work of the teachers the schools were organized and made to vie with those of much older eastern cities.
The first Board of Education after this act establishing public schools consisted of the following named gentlemen. Dr. F. E. Marion, President, C. W. Taylor Secretary, J. S. Lyon, J. L. Brown, Geo. E. Gray, Thos. H. Cuppage, Veder B. Paine, O. P. Cooper, F. E. Houghton, H. Friedlander and W. H. Davis.
Seventeen teachers and a superintendent were employed.
E. L. Hallock, S. V. Mallory, L. W. Baxter and J. R. Campbell have served as Superintendents.
Twenty-nine teachers were employed for the year 1898.
Thirty-three for the year 1899-00; Thirty seven for the year 1900-1; forty-one for the year 1901-2. For the year 1902-3 forty-six teachers have been employed, but at the present rate of increase of the number of pupils the employment of several more teachers will be necessary before the close of the school year.


Four brick buildings each containing eleven rooms, and one frame building of two rooms constitute our present school buildings. A new four room brick building is in course of erection. The four large buildings are heated with steam. The Board has rented two rooms in the M. E. church South for school purposes.


The enrollment for the present year is over 2,200 out of a total school population of near 3,000. The average daily attendance is greater than it has ever been in the history of the school.


But little punishment is necessary, and such as is administered is a logical sequence of the offense committed.

Teachers' Meetings

A regular meeting at the end of each month is held. Other meetings are held at such times as the Superintendent or Principals may elect. Grade meeting may be held as often as the necessities require.

Author Days

Every grade has two author days. Selections from the authors studied are prepared and recited. Biographies and life incidents are made a part of this work. In this the children are much interested.

Business Course

A business or commercial course including stenography and typewriting has been established in the Lincoln High School and about twenty of the students are taking this course. It is proving a very valuable addition to the work previously done.

High School

The Central High School, with an enrollment of over one hundred and seventy-five, is in charge of Prof. Joseph A. McKelvey, University of Indiana. In the High School there are four full four-year courses of Study. A Latin course; a Latin-German course; a German course; and an English course.

Course of Study and Grades

We have eight grades below the High School. A new course of Study based on the new text books is ow in use, covering both High School and grades. All old out-of-date text books were discarded and new up-to-date ones put in their places.


A room in the basement of the Central High School is used for laboratory. The Board of Education has lately purchased nearly $200 worth of chemical and Physical apparatus for this department, and very excellent work is being done. Prof. Horner V. Speidel, University of Iowa, is in charge.


No more capable, earnest, loyal, painstaking corps of teachers can be found in any school. Many of them are University, College or Normal trained, and some of them have had many years of successful experience.


The patrons take a deep interest in their schools and loyally support them.

The Board of Education

They are all business men and look after the schools in a business like manner. nothing that they can do is left undone to secure proper facilities and efficiency.
Guthrie is proud of her schools and has great reasons for being so.

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Updated: Thursday, 07-Aug-2008 05:51:00 CDT

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