Building of the New Cheyenne School 1977-1997
By Dale Tracy It is a coincidence that the period of construction of the new school facility at Cheyenne closely parallels the period of time encompassed by this book. Actual construction was in several phases that spanned the years of 1978-1997. Much discussion of the need of and planning for this project began several years earlier. Fortunately for the Cheyenne School District, much of the construction cost was born by increased tax revenue from the sale of natural gas that had been recently discovered in huge quantities in Roger Mills County. The story is one of rags to riches for not only the Cheyenne Schools but for all other schools in the county as well as any Western Oklahoma school district that was positioned over the Anadarko Basin natural gas reservoir.
During the 1950s and 1960s, Oklahoma school financing was mainly left to the local districts to raise money for their own needs. Due to low property evaluations in Roger Mills County, the tax revenues raised were barely adequate to keep the school operating. Western Oklahoma schools felt like stepchildren when it came to financial aid from the State of Oklahoma. As a result, the local school became an eyesore with much needed maintenance left undone. Even though the board of education was aware of this condition, there was little that could be done about it. The money for repairs simply was not available. Remodeling was not feasible because of the costs involved. Jim Jones was Cheyenne School Superintendent during the years 1967-1976. Jim was a good administrator, especially in the area of finance, but was handicapped by shortage of money.
In 1975, the Cheyenne Star ran a series of articles on the condition of the local school. This was done in hopes of generating public support for additional financing for the schools. Jim Jones and the school board were looking for a satisfactory solution to the dilemma. One problem was to find enough land available to allow building an adequate size facility to take care of the future needs of the local district while allowing for the possibility of future consolidations. At that time Cheyenne was one of the few Western Oklahoma schools that were increasing their enrollment. As early as 1970, the Cheyenne School System had made a request to the Forest Service to purchase one of two parcels of land adjacent to Cheyenne and negotiations were begun. One location that was considered was just to the east of the home of the Forest Service Director. Today this land lies just east of the Washita Battlefield Visitors Center. Other sites were considered as well but were ruled out for various reasons.
Another problem was to find enough money to finance a building of any size. In 1977, because of low property valuations, the most money that the school could raise for new building construction was around $300,000. This money would need to be generated by the sale of bonds. It was clear from the beginning that this amount of money would not build a complete new school plant. However. a Master Plan was developed whereby the construction would take place in stages as the money became available with each stage being a planned part of the finished complex. The first stage would be the construction of a new grade school since that was the most critical area of need.
Jim Jones, Superintendent since 1967, had resigned his position to take a similar job at a larger school in Eastern Oklahoma, effective at the end of June of 1976. Mike Dwyer was chosen to fill the vacancy. Finally, in 1977, following seven years of governmental red tape and delay, a 60-acre tract of land was secured just east of the new Cheyenne City Park. As soon as this property was obtained, the school board proposed a bond issue vote for the purpose of building a new grade school. A vote was called for on December 13, 1977 for the expressed purpose of voting on a $365,000 bond issue, with the money raised being used to finance construction of a new grade school. The proposition was for the building to contain 12 classrooms with 5 of these excavated into the side of a hill for use as a storm shelter, all these with adequate rest room facilities. The plan also called for a media center, a principal’s office with adjoining secretary’s office, a kitchen and cafeteria, and of course plenty of teacher and janitor storage. The building would be completely heated and air-conditioned. One feature for the entire project was an overhead water sprinkler system for fire control. The people of the school district overwhelmingly passed the proposition by a vote of 375 for and 27 against. The architecture firm of Miner & Gerardy were contracted to draw up preliminary plans for the entire project with detailed plans for the grade school being given top priority. This firm was retained as the architect until the final phase of the project was completed in 1997.
Bids for construction were let in the spring of 1978 and construction began in August of that year with expected completion time to run about one year. However it was the first part of November of 1979 before the classrooms were ready for students. McBride and Dehmer Construction Company of Oklahoma City submitted the low bid for construction of the new grade school. School Board members during this year were J. D. Wesner, Dale Tracy, Linda Maddux, Bill Olson and Melvin Summers.
Members of the Cheyenne Masonic Lodge laid the corner stone of the new grade school in December of 1978, placing several items of significance in a time capsule.
During these latter years of the 70’s decade, changes were taking place in the financial conditions of the local school district that would forever impact the finances of Cheyenne Schools. The first of these was a property re-evaluation demanded by the State Legislature that boosted the property valuations of the school district. The second was that Roger Mills County found itself in the center of one of the greatest natural gas drilling booms ever. This resulted in the addition of oil field equipment to the tax rolls but better by far was the results of their drilling activities. Natural gas was being found in large quantities.
When sold, this gas generated revenue for the county and its school districts in the form of a little understood tax called gross production tax. The State of Oklahoma taxes the sales of natural gas at a rate of around 7%. The State then returns approximately 14% of the total collected to the county of origin, with one half going to county government for roads and one half going to county schools distributed on a per pupil basis. These were the funds that really helped to finance the building of the new school at Cheyenne.
The cement was hardly dry on the Phase I grade school before the school board decided to proceed with Phase II. This consisted of building a high school to complement the grade school in both size and quality of construction. With revenue from gross production tax coming in nearly as fast as payments were going out for construction, the district was able to finish Phase II without a bond issue. It was practically unheard of for a school district the size of Cheyenne to build a project of this magnitude without a bond issue.
This sudden increase in the financial status of small western Oklahoma schools did not go unnoticed in the State Legislature. Like flies drawn to honey, state legislators from the big cities to the east made an attempt to pool all public utility ad valorem tax revenue into a common fund. This was then to be distributed across the entire state on a per pupil basis, with the big eastern schools taking the majority of this money. Practically all of the small schools across the state would have had their revenue reduced. Fortunately, legislators from rural districts across the state were able to defeat this legislation. Another piece of legislation that they were able to put in place was one that impacted all those schools that were receiving gross production money. This legislation made any gross production money received by state schools chargeable dollar for dollar against any state aid to those schools.
Later, another effort by the eastern big city state legislators was a move to freeze the amount of gross revenue tax the counties were receiving [hold-harmless] and take any increase to the State Capitol to be distributed across the state through a common education “reform” bill. Once again this “Robin Hood” bill was defeated by rural legislators as several eastern Oklahoma Counties, with newly found petroleum income, joined their western counterparts in voting down this bill. Eventually however, the Legislature was finally able to impose restrictions on how the gross production money could be spent by the recipient districts. The gross production tax revenue could no longer be used to build capitol projects, but must be spent through the general fund for school maintenance and teacher salaries. This took effect shortly following the completion of the phase III building project.
At the end of July 1980, D&S Construction Company of Bethany, Oklahoma was contracted to build the new high school. Phase II was to include the building of 14 classrooms with office space for administration and secretaries, a board conference room, a teachers work room and all new equipment in the Home Economic and Science classrooms. The high school was completed just in time for school to begin at the end of August 1981. Don Muse became the new Superintendent at the beginning of July of 1981. School Board members during 1980-81 were the same as during Phase I. The old grade school was razed in October of 1981.
School enrollment in the fall of 1981 was 404 students. This increase in attendance of 76 students over the previous year was due to the rapid influx of people because of the gas-drilling boom. Even though the district had just built a new grade school followed with a new high school, some classes were already over-crowded.
With the two new school buildings being paid for, with the exception of payments to the sinking fund to retire the bonds, the school board decided to proceed with Phase III on a pay as you build plan using monies generated by the gross production tax to bear the brunt of the costs. Phase III of construction was begun in the late fall of 1981 and consisted of a combination Ag Shop and Classroom, seven additional high school classrooms, an Elementary PE building, library and student center. S & T Construction of Altus was the contractor on Phase III. This phase was expected to take two years to complete. Students occupied the new buildings shortly following the beginning of school in August of 1983 with finishing work continuing until the end of the year. At the completion of Phase III the school district had spent a total of $1,400,000 on construction and another $90,000 in new equipment. Early in 1984, the school also purchased a metal building for the Ag Farm. School Board members at this time were J. D. Wesner, Dale Tracy, Linda Maddux, W. C. Olson, Gary Kirk, Clyde Bottom Jr., and Gerry Fults.
As the school district was building these new facilities the enrollment was growing to an all-time high of over 450 students during the school year 1982-83. The district endeavored to stay ahead of this increase in enrollment with an expanded faculty of over forty teachers and an enhanced curriculum that made Cheyenne Schools one of the finest educational institutions in Western Oklahoma.
At the School Board’s final meeting of the 1983-84 fiscal year, instructions were given to the architects to proceed with drawings for a new auditorium. This Phase IV of the overall building project, would be built with the intention of adding a gymnasium at some future date. The auditorium would be the most expensive of the local school projects built up to that time, with the costs estimated to run over $1.8 million. Plans were that the building would be built in two phases with the first phase being the shell [built in 1984-85] and the second phase being the completion work[1985-86] This needed to be done because the school district did not have the full costs in hand that were required to complete the project but had the expectation that funds to complete would be available the following year. However, because of the downturn in the economy of western Oklahoma and the fact that by legislative decision, gross production tax could no longer be spent on capital improvements, this building project had to be delayed indefinitely. Don Muse was succeeded by Galeard Roper as Superintendent of Schools on the 1st of July, 1985.
As with any boom there comes a bust and this happened to the gas boom of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. This “bust” affected all schools in Western Oklahoma, Cheyenne being no exception. With the decrease in drilling activity, families began an outward migration that was just as rapid as was the inward migration when the “boom” was on. By 1987 enrollment had dropped to 347, a loss of over 100 students from just four years previous. Projected income for the Cheyenne School District for the years 1986-87 was down 33% from two years previous.
The root cause of this loss of residents was due to the lack of gas drilling taking place. With the loss of drilling came a downward spiral of most local economic factors. The housing market was glutted as was the market for industrial buildings. Property values declined and ad valorem tax revenue declined. Lack of drilling meant a decrease of gas sales that equated to a drop in gross production tax and thus an additional decrease in tax revenue to the school district. With tax revenue down and enrollment down, the Cheyenne School found it necessary to reduce its staff of teachers to a size that was affordable.
In March of 1988, patrons of the school district were called on to approve a $980,000 bond issue to build a new auditorium that was scheduled to cost $1,800,000. Included in the plan were a band room, choral room, individual practice rooms and office space for instructors. A concession stand, dressing rooms, projection and sound room as well as upstairs and downstairs rest rooms would also be built. The building would be able to serve the community for civic gatherings. The auditorium, seating over 800 people, would be a state of the art facility that would be one of the finest in the state. One feature would be a fly loft that would allow for scenes to be changed quickly. The patrons of the district approved the bond issue by 237 yes to 101 no.
Construction on the auditorium began in September of 1988 with a targeted completion date of around the first of 1990. G. W. Hastings of Lawton was hired as construction manager for the building since the school board, under the able leadership of Galeard Roper,decided to be its own contractor for the project as a money saving aspect. School Board members during the construction of the auditorium were Dale Tracy, Linda Maddux, Gerry Fults, John Fisher and John Smith.
While construction of the auditorium was proceeding, the earlier mentioned economic events were taking place. Although enough money had been set aside for the construction on the auditorium to be finished, the economy of Western Oklahoma was clearly on a decline. The planned construction of a new gymnasium had to be postponed until the school district could build up its building fund and retire some outstanding bonds.
By the spring of 1995 the local board was calling for a vote on sale of $500,000 of building bonds to be added to what money was available in the building fund to build the final Phase V of the school, the new gymnasium. The May election showed 271 for and 125 against approving bonds for the project. The bonds were sold in June of 1995 to Security State Bank of Cheyenne for an interest rate of 4.4355%.
In the spring of 1995, Superintendent Galeard Roper resigned to take the same position at Elk City and was replaced by Don Harris. Construction of the gym began in the fall of 1995 and was due to be completed by December of the following year. Work during the summer of 1996 was hampered by a large amount of rain. The new estimated date of completion was February of 1997. The gym floor of Northern Maple wood was laid in December. In addition to several dressing rooms, the new gym also houses office space for the coaches, a weight workout room and rest room facilities. Seating capacity is around 900 people. An official ribbon cutting was held preceding a scheduled basketball game on Feb. 4, 1997. School Board members at the ribbon cutting were Dale Tracy, John McDaniel, Jim Orgain, Ray Haven and Dennis Sadler. The following year Roy Baker was hired as School Superintendent.
Following the completion of the new high school and auditorium, the old high school building was used at various times as a day care facility, a senior citizens center, a community clothes closet and school storage. Finally the cost of maintaining the building became unbearable and the old high school was torn down in late July of 2000. The gymnasium that was built in 1955-1956 is still used as a practice gym and community fitness center. The school bus barn also is located on the old school property and is very much used. Today the location of the old grade school is used as a fenced school bus lot. The old high school site was given to the City of Cheyenne where a new fire station has been erected.
Summary: Over a period of 19 years the new school at Cheyenne was built with construction taking place during all or parts of 12 of those years. The result is a facility as good as any in the state and one of which we can be proud. The buildings are easy to maintain and promise to be serviceable for many years. The buildings are of adequate size to accommodate up to 500 students if the need arises.
CHEYENNE – District #61
Cheyenne consolidated with three other small schools (Washita, Sergeant Major or Anderson and Mammoth) to form C7Cheyenne in the spring of 1920.
TEACHERS –1916-W.T. Fisher, Margurette Falconer, Orion Standifer, Laura Rogers, Ethel Douglas; 1917 Mrs. Mary Jones, Herbert Hyer, Laura Rogers, Mrs. L.E. Rathburn, Laura Fisher, Bird Kendall; 1918 Mrs. M.M. Jones, Sarah Fisher, Mrs. A.D. Jordan, Julia Tracy, Bird Kendall, Laura Rogers; 1919 J.D. Clay, Margurette Falconer, Alvin Moore, Miss Thompson, Lola Tracy, Mrs. A.T. Jordon; 1920 Charles Forbes, Katherine Falconer, William C. Rogers, Bonnie Vincent, Pearle Bellamy, Mrs. W.C. Rogers; 1921 W.C. Rogers, Mrs. W.C. Rogers, Ives Finch, Clara Lozer, Bonnie Vincent, V. Gordon, Bertha Banner, Lucille Kendall, Mrs. Guy Davis; 1922 M.A. Mansur, Ives Finch, Lucille Kendall, Essie Douglas, Jennie Wells, Grace Southern, Mrs. M.A. Mansur; 1923 W.Frank Brewer, Margurette Falconer, Lucille Kendall, Alvin Moore, Willa White, Mrs. Noel Dodson, Jennie Wells, Pearl C. Bellamy; 1924 W.F. Brewer, Margurette Falconer, D.H. Seaver, Ellis Kendall, Mrs. Welton Moore, Mrs. Guy Davis, Reba Cooper, Pearl C. Bellamy; 1925 I.J. Myers, D.H. Seaver, Mrs. Welton Moore, Pearl Bellamy, Mrs. Guy Davis, Ellis Kendall, Reba Cooper, Margurette Falconer, Wade Donley, Virginia Perkinson; 1926 Ewing James, R.B. Nuckles, Mrs. R.B. Nuckles, Margurette Guess, Mrs. Weldon Moore, Pearl Bellamy, Mrs. Guy Davis, Reba Cooper, Mrs. Ewing S. James; 1927 Delmar A. Dobkins, R.B. Nuckles, Margurette Guess, Mrs. G.A. Briggs, Mrs. Weldon Moore, Elizabeth Fleming, Birdie Lee Morrow, Mrs. Guy Davis, Pearl Bellamy; 1928 Delmar Dobkins, R.B. Nuckles, Lattie Boyd, Elizabeth Fleming, Mrs. Weldon Moore, Gleola Wycoff, Ina Mae Wells, Mrs. Guy Davis, Mrs. H.H. Collier; 1929 D.A. Dobkins, J.A. Lemon, Mrs. Guy Davis, Vesta Pyeatt, Mrs. Weldon Moore, Agnes Fiala, Elizabeth Fleming, Alice Kirksey, Bertie Morris, Ina Mae Wells, Ariel Crane, E. Forrest Nelson; 1930 M.B. Welch, J.A. Lemon, James Carter, Vesta Pyeatt, Mrs. Guy Davis, Forrest Nelson, Elizabeth Fleming, Mrs. Weldon Moore, Alleda Miller, Elizabeth Ray, Gussie White, Ruth Evans, Lucille Evans, Agnes Fiala; 1931 H.G. Creekmore, Mrs. Guy Davis, Vesta Pyeatt, Francis Young, Dorothy Ward, Milton Keen, Mrs. Weldon Moore, Lucille Evans, Mrs. Marion Robbins, Elizabeth Fleming, Ariel Crane, Hazel Dodson; 1932 H.G. Creekmore, Vesta Pyeatt, Mrs. Guy Davis, Gladys Bellamy, J.R. Naylor, J.L. Spense, Vera Moore, Hazel Dodson, Lucille Evans, Marion Colegrove, Ariel Crane, Elma Stovall, Virginia McCauley; 1933 L.W. Kitchens, Vesta Pyeatt, Mrs. L.W. Kitchens, Mrs. Guy Davis, Gladys Bellamy, J.C. Watkins, Elma Stovall, Marion Colegrove, Virginia McCauley, Hazel Dodson, Ariel Crane; 1934L.W. Kitchens, Vesta Pyeatt, Mrs. L.W. Kitchens, Mrs. Guy Davis, Gladys Bellamy, Ephriam Dickason, Elma Stovall, Marion Colegrove, Bess Pyeatt, Elizabeth Brown, Hazel Dodson, Clairabel Woods; 1935 L.W. Kitchens, Vesta Pyeatt, Mrs. L.W. Kitchens, Onis Cox, Labron Harris, Mrs. Guy Davis, Mrs. Lorena Males, Elma Stovall, Bess Pyeatt, Elizabeth Brown, Geraldine Bradshaw, Clairabel Woods; 1936 L.W. Kitchens, Vesta Pyeatt, Mrs. L.W. Kitchens, Glen Carmichael, Mrs. Guy Davis, Onis Cox, Elma Stovall, Lorena Males, Bess Pyeatt, Latane Tracy, Geraldine Dearing, Calirabel Woods; 1937 L.W. Kitchens, Vesta Vessels, Mrs. L. Kitchens, Onis Cox, Carl Craig, Iris Albin, Mrs. Guy Davis, Charles Wycoff, Bonnie Berry, Elma Stovall, Lorena Males, Beulah Mae Martz, Latone Tracy, Hettie Lou Crane, Mrs. Bonnie Berry, Geraldine Dearing; 1938 L.W. Kitchens, Vesta Vessels, Mrs. L.W. Kitchens, Mrs. Guy Davis, Bonnie Berry, Onis Cox, Elma Stovall, Lorena Males, Latane Tracy, Hettie Lou Crane, Mrs. Bonnie Berry, Geraldine Dearing, Harry Dugger, Raymond Harrison, mrs. Harry (Toyah) Dugger; 1939 Onis Cox, Vesta Vessels, Mrs. Guy Davis, Maude Kitchens, B.H. Berry, Henry A. Carl, Harry Dugger, Geraldine Dearing, Elma Stovall Bierschmidt, Lorena Males, Martha Dugger, Latane Tracy, Hettie Lou Crane, Louise Berry, Mary Ellen Reeves; 1940 Onis Cox, Vesta Vessels, B.H. Berry, Maude Kitchens, Lois Moore Hall, Henry Carl, Elma Bierschmidt Geraldine Dearing, Mary Ellen Reeves, Martha Dugger, Latane Tracy, Hettie Lou Crane, Louise Berry; 1941 Onis Cox, Vesta Vessels, B.H. Berry, Ralph Kelting, Carl Rizley, Carl Craig, Dorothy Ewing, Geraldine Dearing, Pauline Guernsey, Pearl Wadsworth, Latane, Tracy, Iris Albin Montgomery, Hettie Lou Crane, Louise Berry; 1942 Lee Little, Myra Finch, Vesta Vessels, Florence Casady, Iris Montgomery, Lula Twitty, Dorothy Ewing, Edna Morton, Geraldine Dearing, Alice Heriford, Francis Brown, Lloyd Taylor, Mary Ann Hanson, Lorena Males; 1943 Lee Little, Iris Montgomery, H.W. Quattlebaum, Florence Casady, Dorothy Ewing, Geraldine Dearing, Lorena Males, Jessie Quattlebaum, Francis Brown, Alice Heriford, Myra Finch, Vesta Vessels; 1944 Wayland Adams, Vesta Vessels, Stanley Harrison, Florence Casady, Dorothy Ewing, Irma Miller, Edith King, Geraldine Dearing, Marie Austin Miller, Loura Chalfant, Myra Finch, Alice Burns, Alice Heriford; 1945 Wayland Adams, Stanley Harrison, Florence Casady, Vesta Vessels, Dorothy Ewing, Geraldine Dearing, Lorena Males, Iris Montgomery, Anna Mae Moad, Irma Waldrop, Loura Chalfant, Josephene Adams, Myra Finch; 1946 Wayland Adams, Stanley Harrison, Vesta Vessels, Dorothy Ewing, Geraldine Dearing, Elsie Chapman, John W. Blackley, Iris Montgomery, Irma Waldrop, Floy Purvis, D.M. Rymer, Ives Finch; 1947 Wayland Adams, Raymond Macklin, Dorothy Ewing, Morine Champlin, D.M.[Devert] Rymer, Geraldine Dearing, Lorena Males, Elsie Chapman, Iris Montgomery, Jane Ely, Thelma Turner, Wilma Carson, June Kendall; 1948 Wayland Adams, Raymond Macklin, Geraldine Dearing, Dorothy Ewing, Morine Champlin, Lorena Males, Elsie Chapman, Iris Montgomery, Jane Ely, Wilma Oree Carson, June Kendall, Adam Hess, GlenaBelle Crane; Records are lost from 1949 – 1954; 1949 Wayland Adams, Raymond Macklin, Dorothy Ewing, Morrine Champlin, Geraldine Dearing, Adam Hess, Lorena Males, Elsie Chapman, Iris Montgomery, Jane Ely, June Kendall, Glenna Belle Crane. 1950 Wayland Adams, Raymond Macklin, Dorothy Ewing, John Lain, Morrine Champlin, Geraldine Dearing, Lorena Males, Elsie Chapman, Adam Hess, Jane Ely, Glenna Belle Crane, Iris Montgomery, Ruth Lain 1951 Wayland Adams, John Lain, Dorothy Ewing, Morrine Champlin, Geraldine Dearing, Adam Hess, Guy Friend, W R [Wattie] Pickens, Mrs. Guy Friend, Glenna Belle Crane, June Ely, Ruth Lain, Thelma Turner. 1952 Wayland Adams, John Lain, Morrine Champlin, Dorothy Ewing, Geraldine Dearing, Jim Haught, Adam Hess, Elsie Chapman, Jack Jones, Iris Montgomery, Theta Benton, Glenna Belle Crane, Thelma Turner, Lorena Males 1953 Wayland Adams, O H Ellis, Morrine Champlin, Dorothy Ewing, Geraldine Dearing, Jack Jones, Elsie Chapman, Adam Hess, Mary Ellis, Flossie Gum, Lura Mae Mogg, Theta Benton, Iris Montgomery, Thelma Turner 1954 [too many names, from two different sources]Wayland Adams, O.H. Ellis, J.C. Rogers, Morine Champlin, Dorothy Ewing, Geraldine Dearing, Elsie Chapman, Jack Jones, George Sprayberry, Finis Stafford, Lorena Males, Mary Ellis, Flossie Gum, Mrs. Murl Lester, Thelma Turner, Aileen Brown, Iris Pennington, R.E. Rhodes, C.H. Blosch; 1955 Wayland Adams, O.H. Ellis, J.C. Rogers, Morine Champlin, Dorothy Ewing, Geraldine Dearing, Wesley B. Hunt, Jack Jones, Mary Ellis, Thelma Turner, Katherine T. Summers, Glen Crane, Iris Pennington, Nellie Millar, John Mitchell; Fall of 1956 Wayland Adams, O.H. Ellis, J.C. Rogers, Dorothy Ewing, Roberta Guenzel, Jack Jones, Mary Ellis, Ava Burkhalter, Thelma Turner, Geraldine Dearing, George Sprayberry, Wesley Hunt; Fall of 1957 John Lain, O.H. Ellis, Dorothy Ewing, Roberta Guenzel, J.C. Rogers, Geraldine Dearing, Lawrence Wise, Jack Jones, Audie Caddel, Ruth Lain, Thelma Turner; Fall of 1958 John Lain, O.H. Ellis, Dorothy Ewing, Dale Cockrell, J.C. Rogers, Geraldine Dearing, Jack Jones, Mary Ellis, Audie Caddell, Ruth Lain, Thelma Turner; Fall of 1959 John Lain, O.H. Ellis, Dale Cockrell, Dorothy Ewing, Elbert Patton, Geraldine Dearing, Jack Jones, Mary Ellis, Ruth Lain, Lura Mae Mogg, Thelma Turner, Lawrence A. Wise; 1960 John Lain, O.H. Ellis, dale Cockrell, Dorothy Ewing, Elbert Patton, Geraldine Dearing, Jack Jones, Harlan Thomas, Mary Ellis, Ruth Lain, Lura Mae Mogg, Thelma Turner, Lawrence Wise; 1961 John Lain, O.H. Ellis, Dale Cockrell, Lorene Parks, J.C. Rogers, Geraldine Dearing, Jack Jones, Harlan Thomas, Larry Bradshaw, Mary Ellis, Lura Mae Mogg, Thelma Turner, Lawrence A. Wise; 1962 John Lain, O.H. Ellis, Dale Cockrell, June Kendall, J.C. Rogers, Geraldine Dearing, Jack Jones, Harlan Thomas, Larry Bradshaw, Mary Ellis, Ruth Lain, Lura Mae Mogg, Thelma Turner, Nell Mann; 1963 John Lain, O.H. Ellis, Dale Cockrell, June Kendall, Jack Tarver, J.C. Rogers, Geraldine Dearing, Alice Thomas, Harlan Thomas, Larry Bradshaw, Mary Ellis, Ruth Lain, Lura Mae Mogg, Thelma Turner; 1964 Van Wright, O.H. Ellis, Dale Cockrell, June Kendall, Jack Tarver, J.C. Rogers, Maxine Ledford, Geraldine Dearing, Jerry Yates, Harlan Thomas, Larry Bradshaw, Mary Ellis, Norma Cranfill, Lura Mae Mogg, Roberta Guenzel; 1965 Van Wright, O.H. Ellis, Dale Cockrell, June Kendall, Jack Tarver, J.C. Rogers, Maude Butler, Geraldine Dearing, Elaine Rogers, Norma Cranfill, Larry Bradshaw, Mary Ellis, Ann Wells, Lura Mae Mogg, Roberta Guenzel; 1966 Van Wright, O.H. Ellis, Dale Cockrell, June Kendall, Maude Butler, Forest Woods, J.C. Rogers, Geraldine Dearing, Woweita Calvert, Norma Cranfill, Larry Bradshaw, Mary Ellis, Ann Wells, Lucille Nabors, Roberta Guenzel, Elaine Rogers; 1967 Jim Jones, O.H. Ellis, Dale Cockrell, June Kendall, Maude Butler, Johnny McClellan, J.C. Rogers, Geraldine Dearing, Oweita Calvert, Larry Bradshaw; Betty Miller, Mary Ellis, Anna Damron, Lucille Nabors, Roberta Guenzel, Elaine Rogers.
SCHOOL BOARD: 1916 G.B. Lovett, S.A. Wallace; 1917 G.B. Lovett, Sylvester Grimm; 1918 T.L. Miller, G.B. Lovett, S. Grimm, Mrs. W.P. Madden, W.W. Peterson; 1919 W.W. Peterson, T.L. Miller; 1920-1921 W.W. Peterson, G.H. Dodgion, G.B. Lovett; 1922 G.B. Lovett, G.H. Dodgion, Weldon Moore; 1923 Fred Brann, William Ballard, J.C. Meeks; 1924 W.M. Ballard, Fred Brann, Cleve Smith; 1925-1931 C.V. Rice, William Ballard, Cleve Smith; 1932-1933 E.R. Hills, William Ballard, Cleve Smith; 1934-1936 T.H. Steere, William Ballard, U.M. Prestridge; 1937 T.H. Steere, E.G. DeMundrum, U.M. Prestridge; 1938 G.W. Parker, E.G. DeMundrum, U.M. Prestridge; 1939-1940 G.W. Parker, K.A. Greever, U.M. Prestridge; 1941-1943 G.W. Parker, Royal Ballard, U.M. Prestridge; 1944 John Wesner, Ross Conrad, U.M. Prestridge; 1945-1948 John Wesner, C.E. Vincent, U.M. Prestridge; Records missing until 1954-1959 John Wesner, E.W. Calvert, Orville Tate, U.M. Prestridge, Glen Kendall; 1960 U.M. Prestridge, Glen Kendall, E.W. Calvert, Orville Tate, Charles Bowers; 1961 Orville Tate, Glen Kendall, Lloyd Martin, Charles Bowers, E.W. Calvert; 1962 E.W. Calvert, Charles Bowers, Lloyd Martin, Billie Burns, Bill Davis; 1963 Charles Bowers, Billy J. Davis, Billie Burns, E.W. Calvert, Lloyd L. Martin; 1964 Charles Bowers, Robert Sprowls, Don Moorman, Billy Burns, B.J. Davis; 1965 Robert N. Sprowls, Billie Burns, Don Moorman, J.D. Wesner, Connie Fults; 1966 Robert Sprowls, Billie Burns, Don Moorman, Connie Fults, J.D. Wesner; 1967 Robert Sprowls, Billie Burns, Don Moorman, Connie Fults, J.D. Wesner.
By Klina Potter Casady
The town of Cheyenne, Roger Mills County, OK was plotted and surveyed by the United States Government as the County Seat of “F” County with one block specified for a school when the Cheyenne and Arapaho Country was opened with a land run for settlement by whites on April 19, 1892.
In that first year, a three month subscription school was taught by a Miss Maggie Townsend, John B. Harrison, who later became a state officer, also taught a subscription school that year. Both of these schools were held in a residence.
In 1896, a two story building with one room in each story was built. In September of that year, school started with a Professor Hutton in charge.
By 1900, Professor Stovall, Miss Ruth Fields and Della Cann Young were teachers and the enrollment was 163. Professor Jones taught band and elocution. Other teachers in this period were Miss Jo Redden, Mrs. Converse and Miss Myrtle Stephens. Another two new rooms had been added for the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grades with Miss Ora Black and Mrs. D.K. Hayes, teachers.
A new music room was constructed on the southwest corner of the block and the old music room was used as a domestic science room with Miss Ora Black, teacher. Mrs. G.B. Lovett was music teacher and Professor G.D. Moss was superintendent and high school teacher.
In 1909, Cheyenne approved a $10,000 bond issue for the construction of an entirely new school building made of stone blocks. It provided four classrooms on the first floor. On the second floor there was a large room for high school and a stage, which afforded the town its first auditorium. A basement provided space for a coal furnace, which heated the building with a system of steam pipes and radiators.
Four hundred persons attended the 1910 graduation in the new auditorium. Graduates were Alvin Moore, Henry Tracy, Lasca Moore and Cleda Moore. The old music room and the domestic science room were moved to opposite corners of the school yard to serve as toilets.
The 1915 graduating class organized the Cheyenne Alumni Association. In the class were Margaret Falconer, Katherine Falconer, Jessie Turnnard, Isabelle Fields, Sue Thornton, Blanche Wallace and Lorene Osborne. E.B. Baucum was Superintendent and Maud Reichman was Principal.
During this era, Cheyenne School won awards in music and athletics at Southwestern Interscholastic District Meet. Marjorie Falconer won first in piano. Dean Cross was first in broad jump. Cheyenne ranked fourth in individual schools.
Schools of Roger Mills County were combining to form consolidated schools, and build new buildings each of which provided a gymnasium for indoor basketball playing. To keep abreast, Cheyenne had to have a gym. In 1924, directed by superintendent W.F. Brewer, and the assistance of donated material and labor from adults, Cheyenne High School boys built a gymnasium that in addition to providing a place for basketball, served the public as a Town Hall.
Cheyenne attained Class A rating that year and was accredited for 19 ½ units.
In 1929, Cheyenne School voted unanimously in favor of a $29,500 bond issue to build a new high school. This building which provided a stage and auditorium is in use today (1981).
In 1936 a new grade school was dedicated in the presence of 600 persons. The building which cost $26,000 was made possible by a $19,329 allocation by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and a 5-mill building levy voted by the district.
So helpful was the new auditorium that an idea advanced that the auditorium serve the dual purpose of gymnasium and auditorium. A tier of seats across one side provided seats for onlookers. Beneath these were the rest rooms and showers. This gym was the scene of many breath-taking basketball games when players included Williams, Lester, Ivy and Simmons.
The organization of a band generated great interest in music. Uniforms and large instruments were made possible by support of patrons. In 1950, a $40,000 bond issue was voted for the purpose of building a music room and additional class rooms for grade school.
To meet the demands of the public and continually growing interest in basketball, Cheyenne voted $25,000 in 1955 for construction of a gymnasium which was completed the same year. On March 7, 1956, the new gym was dedicated. On this occasion, the Oklahoma City Chiefs, with Larry Bradshaw of Cheyenne as one of its tem, played an exhibition game. Lanita Maddux of Cheyenne, a voice student at O.C.U., gave a vocal solo. Prominent players Bobbie Fagan, Duane Hunt and Dale Tracy each received scholarships from O.C.U.
In 1961, the high school building was improved by making a new auditorium and stage out of part of the old gymnasium. Tile floors and a new dining area and kitchen were added on the rear of the auditorium. An all-weather breeze-way between the school buildings was added for convenience.
In 1979, Cheyenne Grade School was housed in an entirely new building with air conditioned and storm shelter rooms. A $365,000 bond issue by the district supplemented existing funds to provide this more than a half-million dollar facility.
The high school hopes to have available an equally as large new building in 1982-1983. The school baseball field is sufficient in every detail for any game or tournament. The town has a modern swimming pool which is available for school use. The school has a track field.
The financial investment in the Cheyenne School denotes the high value people of Cheyenne School District place upon education.
The Cheyenne School curriculum includes both Future Farmers and Future Homemakers of America. There are 4-H Clubs, C.V.E. Program, Student Council, baseball, basketball, track, music, drama, Key Club, library, Athletes for Christ and other youth activities.
The Board of Education for Cheyenne School District keep open minds to the changing needs in education, believing “the school must be kept on the upswing so the graduates will be prepared to make useful productive citizens” – a quote from one of them.
Members of the Board of Education in 1981 were J.D. Wesner, Dale Tracy, W.C. Olson, Linda Maddux, and Gary Kirk.