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HISTORY of
CRESCENT HIGH SCHOOL

Crescent, Oklahoma


Most of the historical facts presented are taken from the brochure "A History of the Crescent Schools 1889-1989", compiled by Margaret Acton McConnel with the aid of Elmer Carmichael, Phyllis Ross, Wilda Armour, John McConnel, Betty Pickens and Katherine Quinn. If you have any historical facts, pictures or stories, please let us know at edrich@pldi.net. "Sports" history is documented on the SPORTS page.
In the 1890's, immediately following the Land Run of'89, schools were a luxury. However, the new citizens of Crescent City had tremendous foresight and were very interested in education. The first district school meeting in Crescent was held in a log house of Mr. and Mrs. I.W. Culp on January 20, 1890. When the blacksmith loaned his shop for a classroom, Crescent had its first school. It was organized as a subscription school, costing 50 cents a month. The term lasted two months in the late winter months of 1890 and 1891. The ten students enrolled that first term, sat on sawed off blocks of wood with a sawdust floor at their feet. The first teacher was Mr. J.T. Pfrimmer, the grandfather of Chester, Glen and Gene Gale. By 1892, the school had expanded to two terms, with Mr.Pfrimmer teaching the winter term and Mr. E.M. Hoag, teaching the spring. The school building belonged to the newly established district and was built on the east side of the block. Unfortunately, the building burned but was replaced by a new building which in later years was moved to the west side of town and served as a church. Other early day teachers included: Mrs. Fannie Cress, Arthur and Lottie Holliday, Maud Martin and Mrs. L. Martin, O.C. Reynolds, Mona Wilke, Ida Good and Mary Sloan (Watkins), all serving in the 1890's.

In 1901 a bond issue was passed which funded the building of a new two room school. It was built on the north side of the block, facing north, and was used until 1909. It was then moved to the west part of town and used for the black students. During that time, when three teachers were required for the primary grades, classes were held in a frame house located on the corner where the Sam Kuver house is today.

Picture of School Building 1922

A two story building was built on the south side of the block in 1905. It was used for both elementary and high school grades until the high school moved into it's own building in 1924.

The first Crescent High School graduate was Glenn J. Homan (pictured left) in 1912. The school did not have a four year course, but Mr. A.L. Langston, the superintendent, obtained special permission to teach the required subjects. Glenn's credits were accepted when he entered Phillips University the next fall. Graduating classes, beginning with Mr. Homan, can be seen on the Class Years section of the web site.Class Years

The two main organizations during 1916-17, were "The Progress Literary Society" and the "Arena Literary Society", which were both orgaized in 1915. The purpose was to train students in debate, oratory and general forms of entertainment. On April 30th, 1917, two teams debated the question, "Resolved that the railroads of the U.S. should be operated and owned by the Government". On the affirmative side were Otto Hopkins and Alva Harman, on the negative were Helen Harned and Orville Coffin. The same year there was a Junior and Senior banquet plus a private Senior banquet in the home of Superintendent Borgman. Victrola music was played all evening as toasts were given by various members of the Senior class. It was hailed as the most auspicious event of the school year. The Junior play in 1917 was "The Dutch Detective".

In 1921, Crescent had a State Debate Team composed of George Goodnight, Ocie Cowling and Lester Waller. Organizations ranged from the Triumvirate Literary Society, Glee Clubs and Agriculture and Drama. Continuing a tradition that still lives today, the Crescent High School "Pepper Club" was organized in 1924 for all the girls at C.H.S. The boys had a similiar organization called "The Owls" and later named "The Tornadoes". The Tornadoes wore white pants, yellow shirts and black sashes. Other clubs organized during the 1920's included a Health and Beauty Club which was similiar to physical education class.

The first band director at Crescent High School was Mr. Charles North, who came to Crescent in 1937. He also organized the first band parents club.

What would school be without a hot lunch? Crescent began it's hot lunch program in 1944. Meals were served in the old gymnasium by the ladies of the P.T.A. Each morning one of the ladies would prepare soup and cornbread. They were furnished butter and other commodities. Each child brought his cup, plate and silverware and left it there for use each day.

The Future Farmers of America has always been a staple at Crescent High School. The first F.F.A. stock show was held at the farm of Margaret and John McConnel at the south edge of Crescent in 1945. The first F.F.A. instructor at Crescent was Mr. Edgar Strickland.

There was a gap between 1926 and 1946 in which there was no school annual. The 1945-46 edition was dedicated to Mr. K.R. McKinney who was the superintendent on leave of absence, serving in the U.S. Navy. During World War II, there was a shortage of teachers nationwide. Crescent was no exception. However, teachers doubled and tripled their duties to make it through those times and of course, Cresent High School gladly accepted volunteers such as Otto Hopkins who coached the football team during that time. He also was generous enough to donate the lights for the football field.

The present high school building was built in 1949. Crescent Schools now encompassed two city blocks, a world away from the saw dust ladden blacksmith shop before the turn of the century. In 1962, the new grade school, junior high and cafetorium were built with new vocational agriculture buildings being added. Fire destroyed the grade school in 1963 but school continued, holding elementary classes in the old high school. The old high school building burned in 1978.

From humble beginnings after the Land Run of 1889, through wars, depressions and fires, our school has survived and flourished. These are only a few of the historical highlights of Crescent High School. There have been many. However, the real history of Crescent High School doesn't lie with dates, facts, organizations, championships and records. The real history of Crescent High School is the students, faculty and supportive parents who have made this school one of the best in the state. From its halls have come doctors and teachers and young adults who have learned, not only academia, but true life values from the teachers who have served there...and Crescent High School continues to this day to make history. ~~Go to Page 2~~


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