College Mound School district #19

College Mound school
College Mound school cellar
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College Mound School district #19 in Old Comanche County O.T. was organized at a meeting held in the home of Mr. Tunsley, March 18, 1902. At this meeting the following School Board was elected: J. C. Wynn, Director, W. C. Delouer, Clerk, and W. D. Shackelford, Treasurer.

I was born in Kansas, educated in the school and high school at Emporia and the teachers college at the same place. I was given a teachers' certificate from Emporia Teachers College. After coming to Oklahoma I used this to secure the position of teacher at College Mound School in the fall of 1902.

The first teacher at this school was Aurelia Hubbard, of Rush Springs, I.T. She taught the first term which opened May 19, 1902 and ended July 11, 1902. (According to school records in the Comanche County Courthouse, in Lawton).

I was living on a farm five miles northwest of College Mound and rode a bicycle to and from school, while teaching there. Mr. B. F. Brad-field taught this school after I left. I was paid $30 per month for teaching at College Mound. When I applied for the teaching job one of the school board members, Mr. H. K. May, told me that I could never succeed as a teacher there, as I was too small and looked like a kid. However, the board decided to give me a trial. There was a Negro family in the community and they asked if their children might come to the school. I told them I thought it would cause trouble, but I went with the Negro man to talk to the board members about the matter. It was finally decided that Negroes would not be permitted to attend school with the other children. I believe this matter was settled by the Negro family sending their children to stay with relatives at Perry O.T. and attend a separate school there.

Mrs. Leura (O'Dell) Smith, now of Lawton, Oklahoma attended College Mound School beginning in 1903. The O'Dell family was living in the school district and she recalls some of her early day school mates there as: her brother, John and sisters, Rosie, and Nan O'Dell, Pearl, May, Maude and Mattie Shackelford. She cannot recall the names of other schoolmates.

The O'Dell family consisted of the father, B. H. O'Dell, mother, Martha Jane (Alexander) O'Dell, six boys, John, Jesse, Claude, Albert, Gord and Ace. Four girls Leura, Rosie, Nan, and Ruby. After three years the O'Dell family left the College Mound community and moved to Texas.

Today (1966) the old school site is over-grown with black locust trees, undergrowth, and weeds. A large, well preserved, storm cellar marks the location.

By A. J. James*

* A. J. James, now (1966) past 90 years of age, is small of stature and known locally as "Shorty James." He is a widower and makes his home on his farm, 9 miles west of Rush Springs, Oklahoma.   Relatives live with the pioneer, who is in poor health. Ed.

copied from: Prairie Lore, July 1966, vol 3 number 1