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I have a leather postcard that was sent in 1905 to my grandparents congratulating them on the birth of their twins Orange H [more]...
 ~Marita Bolson regarding Okie's story from Vol. 9 Iss. 8 titled UNTITLED

The grocery store west of Snyders was the L.A. Wagner Cash Grocery. If you look closely you can still make out the name at the top of the building. Also, I remember getting shoes at Warricks in the early 50's. They sold Red Goose children's shoes.
 ~Edward Lyon regarding Okie's story from Vol. 10 Iss. 8 titled UNTITLED


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Nowhere Oklahoma

Vol 7, Iss 15 This week our journey takes us to Nowhere, Oklahoma (north of Fort Cobb) in Caddo County. AND ALSO... back to the era of 1937-38 in Northwestern Oklahoma where the Castle On The Hill towered over the prairies of Woods County, Oklahoma before it burned March, 1935.

Back to Nowhere, though! If you are looking for a particular spot to vacation this Spring & Summer, why not try SOMEWHERE like Nowhere, Oklahoma USA. The elevation is 1343. It is located at the Southeast end of Fort Cobb Reservoir, 8.9 km (5.5 mi) SSW of Albert and 22 km (14 mi) NW of Anadarko, Oklahoma, Caddo County. We understand the population of Nowhere is 3.

Nowhere, OK Hey, Charlie! Remember last Fall when you sent me a photo of a group posing in front of a water tower in Nowhere, Oklahoma? - Vol. 6, Iss 44, The OkieLegacy - and asked where it was located? Well! Here is what we know so far about Nowhere, Oklahoma... In the early 1970s, a couple moved from California to what is now known as Nowhere, Oklahoma. The couple bought and operated Ben's Boathouse. The lady of Nowhere coined the name Nowhere, simply because that is exactly where she felt she was! Her husband had a sense of humor because painted on the water tower beside the store reads Nowhere, Okla. in bold red letters. After spending several years in Oklahoma, the couple resolved to make their way back to California. It was in 1979 when they sold the store to current owner, Jerry Howell and his family (Jerry, his wife and daughter). Jerry decided to keep the original name of Nowhere. As the lake area developed and visitors began coming from all across the state and country, the name caught on and soon became a hit. There is no postoffice in Nowhere, Oklahoma, BUT... is there a newspaper called "The Nothing?" View/Write Comments (count 2)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


NW Okie's Journey

Vol 18, Iss 24 Oklahoma - Remember the stories your folks, grandparents might have told about "Black Sunday," 14 April 1935, when the sun was blacked out during the black dust storm during the Spring of 1935?



This PBS video on "The Dust Bowl Episode" was published on Nov 13, 2012. Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan discuss making "The Dust Bowl" and the myriad hardships facing those in the Panhandle during the 1930s. The Dust Bowl aired November 18 and 19, 2012.

It seems about a month before the dust bowl era hit in April 1935, that 1st of March 1935 brought a devastation to northwestern Oklahoma, Alva particularly when the "Castle on the Hill" (Northwestern Normal School) burned to the ground.

It was in The Iola Register, Iola, Kansas, 1 March 1935, Friday, page 1, that we found this headline: "Fire Guts School Building At Alva." Oklahoma's largest educational structure was mass of ruins.

Found on Newspapers.com

Alva, Okla., March 1 (1935) -- Fire destroyed the main administration building at Northwestern state teachers college here early today (1 March 1935), causing damage estimated at more than 1/2 million dollars.

Origin of the fire was not determined. The building, built i 1898, was constructed in the form of a Spanish castle and was the largest educational structure in the state of Oklahoma.

Three students, sleeping on the top floor of the three-story building, were trapped when the flames started and were rescued by firemen.

They were Floyd Anthis, and Clyde Friend, both of Cushing , and Tom Anderson, Picher.

To Petition Legislature
A mass meeting was called for 10 o'clock that morning to prepare a petition to the legislature requesting an emergency appropriation to replace the razed building.

Students, instructors and townspeople were asked to attend the gathering.

The huge, rambling administration building housed 40 large classrooms, in addition to the college library, the music department, the museum and the fine arts and industrial arts departments.

The library contained 60,000 volumes, valued by L. S. Ward, librarian, at $180,000. All were destroyed. br />br /> Instruments valued in excess of $10,000, soared int he music department, were a total loss. Value of the museum contents could not be determined.
In Good Condition
Present value of the building, built of heavy stone at a cost of $110,000, was estimated at $200,000 by contractors. It was in excellent repair, they said.

The walls were still standing, but everything inside them was destroyed. The fire started at 3 a.m.

Bill Noah, who operates a restaurant (Noah's Ark) across from the building, turned in the alarm.br />
The Alva fire department was summoned to aid the college fire fighting organization and hundreds of volunteers quickly gathered.

The flames, fanned by a strong wind, had gained considerable headway when the three boys sleeping on the third floor were spied on the roof of the building, where they had climbed. Ladders were hastily thrown against the side of the building and firemen climbed to the roof and led the smoke-blinded youths to safety.

The fire was brought under control only after it had spread to nearby buildings, destroying a tneroom home and damaging two smaller houses. View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


NW Okie's Journey

Vol 18, Iss 22 This week we are bringing you the 1917 Ranger Album for Northwestern State Normal School (NSN). You can view and download pages from the album at our Picasa web album - "NWOSU Ranger Albums". Did your ancestors, grandparents, great grandparents pass through Northwestern Normal School (NWOSU, NSTC, NSN)?



This weeks OkieLegacy Ezine/Tabloid gives us a look into the legacy of the 1917 students in the Ranger Album 1917, NSN (Northwestern State Normal).

The "Old Albums of Northwestern State Normal Campus gives us another look of the "Castle On the Hill," which began in 1893 and burned in 1935 and will be remembered with this poem found in one of the Ranger albums:

The Castle On the Hill
A Silent message thru the ages
Is delivered to the races passing by,
And the wisdom of the sages
Flashes futily from the sturdy eye,
Watching Life's laughter, song and tears
Thru the eager march of onward years;
With quiet, unperturbed, mobile face
Inspires us to live with equal grace.
[taken from The Ranger 1926 yearbook]

Remember ... If you are looking for our paristimes.com and our okielegacy.org websites, we have incorporated them into our okielegacy.net website at the following URLs: The ParisPioneers & The OkieLegacy

Good Night! Good Luck!
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NW Okie's Journey

Vol 18, Iss 21 We are in the process of consolidating some of our websites into one website, while doing some spring cleaning on each page along the way. Thanks for your patience as we continue along in the process of consolidating and merging some pages into The OkieLegacy Ezine/Tabloid.

This week we are incorporating the 1920 Powwow yearbook for Alva High, located in Alva, Oklahoma, into the OkieLegacy Ezine/Tabloid. We have thousands of webpages to go through, but hopefully we can make it through the consolidation period. Meanwhile, let us leave you here with a glimpse of the "Castle On The Hill" 1926 NSTC Ranger Annual and the poem we found inside the front cover.

Castle On The Hill
1926 NSTC (Northwestern State Teachers' College) Ranger Yearbook:
From the Castle to the Science Hall is all that remains of that architecture

Delivering a message each day,
In a manner that no teacher can.
"Life is Service," it seems to say,
"And building Life, the purpose of man."

If you are looking for our paristimes.com and our okielegacy.org websites, we have incorporated them into our okielegacy.net website at the following URLs: The ParisPioneers -- The OkieLegacy

Next week we will be merging the 1917 NSTC Ranger yearbook into our OkieLegacy Ezine/Tabloid.

Good Night! Good Luck!
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NW Okie's Journey

goldbug dancers

Vol 17, Iss 16 Alva, OK - This NW Okie was one of those "baby boomers" of the class of '66, coming back to Alva, Oklahoma this last weekend for the Goldbug 50th Reunion (classes '64, '65, '66), 22 thru 24 May 2015. There was a great turnout of graduates from each of the three graduating classes. I stand and applaud the reunion committee t spending long, hard hours organizing, putting together a fantastic weekend of events for the returning Goldbugs. Thanks to all of you!



One of the main hits of Friday night was the entertainment of the "Goldbug Dancers" (class of '65: Highfill, Painton, Smith & Richey). You can also watch it on our Youtube, Okielegacy, scrolling down the the "uploads" section.

To change the subject, though, have you been keeping up with all the rain Oklahoma City, Norman and rest of the State has been getting over the last few days? WOW! Last I heard the month of May total was coming close to being over 18-inches, with state highways flooded around Kingfisher, Purcell, just to name a few. And ... the flooding continues with the state's lakes running over their spillways. I guess we might need to reverse (or slow down) those rain dances, huh?

I will be watching the weather, highways, etc. around the mid-week when I head towards Houston, Texas. Trying to find the best, safest route.

I leave you with this poem, "The Castle On the Hill," which burned to a shell of itself in March, 1935. The poem was found in an old 1926 Northwestern Normal College yearbook on my Old Albums - Okielegacy.net.

Attending my 50th Alva High Goldbug reunion this weekend made me think about this poem.

The Castle On the Hill
A Silent message thru the ages
Is delivered to the races passing by,
And the wisdom of the sages
Flashes futilely from the sturdy eye,
Watching Life's laughter, song and tears
Thru the eager march of onward years;
With quiet, unperturbed, mobile face
Inspires us to live with equal grace.

'66 Goldbug Graduate, Symbol of Excellence
Good Night! Good Luck!
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Duchess of Weaselskin

Vol 14, Iss 31 Bayfield, CO - Dah Bear! That is him on the left. The youngster bear came cruising through our yard the other evening around 6:45p.m., on 25 July 2012, but did not find anything to their liking to munch on so the "dah bear" ventured across the street to the neighbors before disappearing back north near Vallecito River.

Sadie and this Duchess Pug made such a racket inside the house that it rang "dah bear" alarm. Do you suppose it scared the young bear away? I am glad NW Okie would not let us outside to chase it. We would have been "dah bear's" dessert for sure!

Let us leave you with this poem by the "Pilgrim Bard," Scott Cummins, entitled "Castle On the Hill:"

"A Silent message thru the ages
Is delivered to the races passing by,
And the wisdom of the sages
Flashes futily from the sturdy eye,
Watching Life's laughter, song and tears
Thru the eager march of onward years;
With quiet, unperturbed, mobile face
Inspires us to live with equal grace."

Enjoy the 2012 Olympics in London!
"Stop the Obstructionism!"

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Duchess Mountain Domain

Vol 12, Iss 37 Bayfield, Colorado - A Silent message thru the ages
Is delivered to the races passing by,
And the wisdom of the sages
Flashes futily from the sturdy eye,
Watching Life's laughter, song and tears
Thru the eager march of onward years;
With quiet, unperturbed, mobile face
Inspires us to live with equal grace.

We wanted to start out with this Castle On The Hill poem that we found in a 1926 Ranger yearbook, from the Northwest Oklahoma area around Woods County.

NW Okie says, "I just love this bit of wisdom found in the 1926 Ranger Album! It should still ring true today! Don't you think so?"

Do you Northwestern and Northwest Oklahomans have your calendars marked for the week of September 23 through 25, 2010, when Northwestern OSU has its 2010 Homecoming, Cinderella pageant and football? Check out another article in this weeks Ezine for the schedule of events taking place in less than two weeks.

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Oakie & Duchess' SW Corner

Vol 6, Iss 52 HAPPY NEW YEAR 2005!

Since this is the last day of December, 2004, we thought perhaps we could catch many of you tonight before, after and/or at midnight to ring in the New Year for 2005. I guess you could say that this is a No frill or "vanilla" version of the OkieLegacy in Summary.

The Pilgrim Bard (Scott Cummins) says it best in his 1926 poem about New Years Eve & New Years:

"Another year its shuttle threads
The twelve month spool we all unwind;
Fate's calendar hangs o'er our heads,
Time's scythe is mowing close behind;
Yet enter we the glad New Year,
Filled with fond hope devoid of fear"
-- by The Pilgrim Bard (Scott Cummins)

We saw where last year at this time that our OkieLegacy visitor counter clocked a total of 200,000 visitors. I believe our counter today was something like 325,000 plus.

January 2004 -- Remember Fort Reno, Oklahoma? Fort Reno - fortreno.org - a military camp in 1874 -- was established as a military post in 1875 with construction of permanent buildings began in 1876. The Fort and Darlington Agency served the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians across the Canadian River. Together they preserved the peace and directed the orderly transition of that part of Indian Territory from reservation to individual farms and ranches. Troops from Fort Reno supervised the first Great Land Run of 1889 that opened the Unassigned lands for settlement. Buffalo Soldiers of Fort Reno (Companies of the 9th & 10th U.S. Cavalry) were made up of Six black regiments, two of cavalry and four of infantry, and were authorized by congress in 1866 and stationed at Fort Reno. The name was given by the Indians to the black regiments for the color and texture of hair between the horns of the buffalo. The Buffalo Soldiers had the reputation for effective, consistent fighting against the lawless whites, Mexicans and Indians.

Then later in mid January we experienced the Red Hat Ladies (Okie Dokies) in Alva (Oklahoma). It was their monthly group gathering for dinner at the Alva Bowl Cafe. The ladies included in this "Red Hat Club" are: Barbara Case, Liz Stanaway, Ginny Hubbert, Eleanor Ring, Rose Elmore, Verla Vogts, Viola Marquette, Betty Cushenbery, Joan Nelson, Agnes Pemberton, Doris Marcus, Phyllis Devery, Leona Corbin, Dottie Gatz, Emily Rathgeber, Jane Gaskell, Jean Rose.

Also, in January we learned of another NW Oklahoma mystery of an abandoned boy in Waynoka between 1939 or 1940. Nancy Eddy was wondering, "If anyone had ever heard any stories about a small boy being abandoned in Waynoka, Oklahoma? I now live in Topeka, Kansas and just started doing some Genealogy work. My step-father, Jack Beaman, is from Waynoka. He was adopted about 1939 or 1940. He was abandoned by his father with last name Ray when Jack was about 3-years-old. We know they came from California and stayed at an apartment in Waynoka for about 2-months. One morning little Jack Ray woke-up and his dad was gone. He never heard or saw his father again. The people who owned the apartment had the last name of Beaman which they gave to Jack at age 13 or 16 when they adopted him, thus he became Jack Ray Beaman. Maybe there might be old registers around somewhere? I know at some point Jack went into the airforce, his social security number comes from Kansas. Even his own children don't remember anything. To them that was in the past. I don't know if I told you he was a twin. He also remembered that they (he and his dad) came from California and his mother was a concert piano player. Now... how hard would it be to find a concert piano player who gave birth to twin boys." -- Nancy Eddy -- Email: neddy1115@hotmail.com

January brought us a new connection via a descendant of Harry Short. Harry had played on the Austin Senators (South Texas League) baseball team at the same time as our grandfather (Wm J. "Bill" McGill) in 1906. The great-grandson of Harry Short was Andrew Short that had contacted us. This is what Andrew had written, "My name is Andrew Short. I believe my great-grandfather, Harry Short, was a teammate of Will McGill's on the 1906 Austin Senators. I wanted to send you a note to thank you for the wonderful website you have put up - oakielegacy.org - honoring among other things your grandfather, his life, and his baseball career. In trying to do some research on my family history, I found your website and with it a great deal of history about my great-grandfather as well. I was wondering if it would be okay for me to download a copy of the 1906 team photo (backside of photo with names of players) so that I might be able to add it to the documents I am collecting about our family history? There is a story in my family that, like Will, my great-grandfather at one time was called up to play with St. Louis in the Major Leagues. Although, for which St. Louis team I'm not sure. When he told his wife, she refused to move to St. Louis, thus ending Harry's Major League baseball career. He became a player/manager in the Texas leagues instead, in addition to other careers. I have at home some newspaper clippings and stories from various Texas newspapers in the early 1900s about Harry's baseball career. I will go back and review them to see if any of them mention Will McGill as well. If they do, I would be happy to copy them and send them along to you. In addition to playing baseball in Texas, I know that my great-grandfather and other relatives also lived for awhile in Oklahoma. Again, I simply wanted to thank you for all the hard work and effort you've put into your website. In doing so, you have allowed me to reclaim a piece of my family history. Best regards." -- Andrew H. Short

February 2004 -- We thought we had found the whereabouts of the old Woods County fountain that once graced the downtown courthouse square, but it was not the three-tiered big fountain after all. It turned out to be only the Dragon Head fountain that now resides in a prominent Albuquerque, New Mexico private courtyard. We found out from one of our readers, "It (Dragonhead fountain) was a drinking fountain that stood on the walk outside the west steps of the courthouse and adjacent to the goldfish pond. The fountain, pond and dragonhead drinking fountain were located on the westside of the old Woods County courthouse square in downtown Alva, Oklahoma. We do NOT know where the towering, three-tiered fountain that once graced our courthouse park is located today? Jim Barker sent us a picture of his brother and sister (Bill & Ruby) posing on the railing of the courthouse fountain.

The 75th Anniversary of the Great Race/Run of 1893 in Oklahoma Territory brought back memories when we shared tidbits from a local newspaper printed in Alva, September, 1968, commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the "Great Race of 1893. -- okielegacy.net/75thanniversary-1968.html

Remember when one of our readers sent us a doc-file of his father's memories during WWII when he was stationed at the prisoner-of-war camp in Alva, Oklahoma from September 28, 1944 to September 17, 1945. Memories of Cpt. Miles W. Kelly's Year in Alva... "After service in North Africa and Italy during World War II, my father, Dr. Miles William Kelly, was stationed at the prisoner-of-war camp in Alva, Oklahoma from September 28, 1944 to September 17, 1945. He was one of the medical officers at the facility. For the most part, this account is based on the letters that he wrote home to my mother. At least one local history, newspaper articles, and a small amount of government documents also added much to this narrative. Before relating his story, however, a few words must be said on the history of the prison camp itself. The following paragraphs are largely a paraphrase of a section of the camp in Alva, Oklahoma: The First 100 Years, 1886-1986 (1987) by Seekers of Oklahoma Heritage Association augmented by some of the government documents mentioned above. -- Bruce - Email: brucekelly@hotmail.com -- okielegacy.org/WWIIpowcamps/Alva Year.doc

Towards the end of February we learned from a 1939 news article in the Waynoka News, dated Thursday, June 15, 1939 about the biggest privately owned man-made lake in the state that was in the Dust Bowl of area of Oklahoma's Panhandle, on the 3200 acre farm of O. W. Tucker, in Cimarron County. It's dam was 45 feet high and would hold 900 acre feet of water and would irrigate 300 acres of alfalfa (started in 1937) through ditches running from both sides of the dam. The 1939 news article mentioned that C. T. Sturdevant was extension service engineer of Oklahoma A & M College back in 1939 and was assisted by someone called "Uncle Bill" Baker (Cimarron County agent) and Tucker's two sons when they made the original survey for the lake, dam.

Remember the link to the 1930's Dust Bowl Stories with excerpts from The Dust Bowl, Men, Dirt and Depression by Paul Bonnifield. The 1930's Dust Bowl was a term born in the hard times from the people who lived in the drought-stricken region during the great depression. The term was first used in a dispatch from Robert Geiger, an AP correspondent in Guymon, and within a few short hours the term was used all over the nation. The Dust Bowl Days, also known as the Dirty Thirties, took its toll on Cimarron County. The decade was full of extremes: blizzards, tornadoes, floods, droughts, and dirt storms. Early Thirties Economy -- In 1930 and 1931, the decade opened with unparalleled prosperity and growth. NATION'S BUSINESS magazine labeled the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas as the most prosperous region. The Panhandle was a marked contrast to the long soup lines of the Eastern United States. -- www.ptsi.net/user/museum/dustbowl.html

April 2004 -- Alva was in the process of beginning another mural (Castle on the Hill) at 5th & Oklahoma Blvd. with local artists, Jim Richey, Warren Little and Rod Dunkin. They began by outlining the design for the Castle on the Hill mural at the corner of Fifth Street and Oklahoma Boulevard.

It was in April 2004 when K101 Radio Early Morning Show, 20 April 2004, talked about the OkieLegacy and the Ann Reynolds Story mysterious fiery death in 1956. -- okielegacy.org/mystery/annreynolds/index.html

May 2004 -- The artist, Don Gray, and the Alva Mural Society finished the Charles Morton Share Mural on the Professional building in downtown Alva, OK.

July 2004, Waynoka, Oklahoma celebrated seventy-five years (July 8, 1929) when transportation history was changed for travelers from the east and west coasts when a 2-day air and rail trip was established that would take them across America in 48 hours. Charles Lindbergh was an officer in Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT). TAT was the company that developed the service and selected Waynoka as the western terminus of the eastern division. It was a place where passengers would switch between trains and planes, morning and evening -- eating breakfast, dinner at the Harvey House. It began in June and continued into July when we made our move from Oklahoma to SW Colorado. This was one of those months that found us on the move between Oklahoma andColorado. Duchess' favorite spot outside was sitting, waiting by the pickup door for hints of our next journey.

September 2004, We received 1926, 1937 and 1938 Northwestern State Teachers College yearbooks that we began transcribing shortly afterwards (beginning with the 1926 yearbook). We are still transcribing on the '38 yearbook from Northwestern's College, in Alva. Check out our Old Albums -- OkieLegacy.net -- http://community.webshots.com/album/187403166kaVbcy

We did finish scanning the 1926 NSTC Ranger Album. We learned that 1926 was the first year of the Junior High School (7th, 8th, 9th grades) on the campus of Northwestern with Miss Ann K. Wilke as Director & Principal. The large room on the second floor of the Science Hall was formerly occupied by the library and had been assigned as a study hall for this department. October 2004 -- We started transcribing the 1937-38 Student Directory of Northwestern State Teachers' College and found our mother's name, address where she was living in '37 & '38 while going to College. We also recognize lots of other names listed in the student directory. We had started transcribing the 1937 Ranger album. By mid-October we were still transcribing the 1937 Ranger annual. -- okielegacy.net/NSTCRanger1937/index.html -- okielegacy.org/DOC files/StudentDirectory37-38.doc

We finished the transcribing of the 1937 Ranger yearbook, learning that the Northwestern Alumni Association was established in the spring of 1934? A banquet was held at the Presbyterian Church to organize an alumni organization to include the alumni back to 1921. In the spring of 1935 the alumni association enlarged the group to include the classes receiving degrees, diplomas each year from 1900 to 1937. In 1936 the alumni held its annual banquet in the Bell Hotel dining room, and included all the graduating classes from 1900 to the present day in the mid-1930s. They held their alumni banquets each spring and sponsored the biggest event of the year for Alva and Northwestern -- the annual Homecoming event.

Remember When Thelma DeGeer Lippincott celebrated her 100th year in June, 2004 and past away Oct. 28, 2004 as her family and friends gave celebration to her 100+ years.

November 2004 -- The latter part of November we were trying to find the descendants/families of the 1930s NSTC Students so we could return the original photos taken at Ellis Studio in Alva and Saunders Studio in Woodward, in NW Oklahoma during the 1930s. Most of them have a firstname signed on the photo while others might have a first and lastname. BUT there are two photos that had NO names on them - unknown male and unknown female. We hope someone out there can help us locate their descendants. We did find a couple of homes for a few of the photos. -- www.okielegacy.net/slideshow.htm

December 2004 -- We did have some success in finding a home for the Roberta Edwards and Reo McVicker 1930s photos with descendants of the Edwards and McVicker families.

Also, in December we found out that the 1st graduating class of Northwestern High School (NWHS) was 1937? It was located in the NEW Horace Mann building on Northwestern's College Campus. We found this little tidbit in the 1937 Ranger Album when she was reading about the Training School they had on the Northwestern State Teachers' College campus to train future teachers. You can read more about the Demonstration School & Class History of NWHS over at our NW OkieLegacy website - 1937 Ranger Album.

We didn't get started transcribing the 1938 Ranger yearbook until around mid-December. We also put the 1926, 1937 & 1938 Ranger yearbooks into a pdf file for your Christmas present to share with you all. You can now view them over at pbpartnersllc.org by clicking on the "Old Albums" link. We are still in the process of scanning the 1938 Ranger yearbook. -- pbpartnersllc.org/OldAlbums.html -- pbpartnersllc.org/pdf-files/Ranger-1926.pdf -- pbpartnersllc.org/pdf-files/Ranger-1937.pdf -- pbpartnersllc.org/pdf-files/Ranger-1938.pdf

Duchess and The OkieLegacy family would like to wish you all a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year 2005. We thank you for sharing your Okie Legacies throughout the past year and hope to hear from you in 2005. See you next weekend and next year with our regular HTML format. View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


Oakie & Duchess' SW Corner

Vol 6, Iss 50

St. Nick Came Early This Week!... A week or so before Christmas and all through the land, especially in NW Oklahoma, St. Nick made his appearance early Friday morning, December 17th, 2004 -- bringing first time motherhood to a three-year-old mare named Cassie.

Yep! Last week we mentioned that our 3-year-old mare (Cassie) was expecting her first offspring sometime around the first weeks of December. Well! The glorious moment happened early Friday morning in Clark's wheat field in NW Oklahoma. AND... here we are 700 miles or so and can't lay our hands on St. Nick or Cassie. We understand that Cassie's mother, Grandma Cindy was nearby helping stand guard to kept strangers away while Cassie gave birth to our new little horse colt St. Nick.

BUT... the horse expert, Bud Clark (a.k.a. Oakie's horse whisperer), was allowed to stroke the newborn colt. We haven't seen it for ourselves yet, but we are told it has the coloring of a bay. We were thinking back to when Cassie was born. Her coloring was that of a bay or chestnut coloring... as she grew older her coloring changed to the blue roan she is now.

Next week, hopefully, we shall have some photos to share with Y'all! We have found it fascinating how the related horse family members stick together and watch each others backs, protecting each other. As you can tell... this new little horse colt already has a name... St. Nick -- Nikki! His daddy goes by the "barn" name of Hustler.

1938 - Ranger Album & Noah's Ark #2... Noah's Ark #2 - 1938, Alva, OKRemember back a couple of issues when we were asking about Noah's Ark #1? After reading through the 1938 Ranger yearbook, we found a photo showing the inside view of the Ark -- an article written by Ross Strader:

Noah Built The First One.

So... our reader in last weeks newsletter was correct in suggesting who/what was the first Noah's Ark.

As to Noah's Ark #2, this is just a few paragraphs that describes this Northwestern College hangout in 1938 ... "to the masses, that upper ninety some per cent, the Ark is a place where you go to see who's there, and where whoever's there is there to see who's there, who's there to --- It's a place with a swell manager and operated by a swell bunch of students. A place that will always remain in the memory of every Northwestern student. A place of color, and of friends. So clinking your coke glass with mine, Here's to the Ark."

Speaking of College hangouts, do you remember where you and your college buddies gathered for relaxing -- to see who's there and where whoever's there is there to see who's there, who's there too -- to get away from the studies, books and be with friends?

1938 Ranger Album... As you can probably tell we have started scanning the 1938 Ranger Album that Fronia sent us. We have all the faculty, student classes scanned and placed into a pdf file for viewing. We have yet to scan the Activities, Organizations, NW High School, etc... to add to it. Give us at least a couple of weeks to completely finish scanning the 1938 Ranger album and merging it into the pdf file. There are some great pictures of Northwestern State Teachers College in the 1938 yearbook, such as... Old Castle on the Hill - Burned Castle Shell - NSTC Entrance Gate - Herod Hall - Horacemann - Jesse Dunn Hall (that replaced the Old Castle on the Hill after the fire in 1935) - Jesse Dunn North Entrance - Jesse Dunn Hall & Lincoln statue - Science Hall. We believe the original owner of this particular year (1938) Ranger yearbook belonged to Veda Berry Eggleston (senior class - 1938), because of the handwritten inscriptions written on the inside pages.

Besides the 1938 Ranger - pdf file... we have also combined the 1926 Ranger & 1937 Ranger into pdf files for viewing over at our Prairie Pioneer News - Old Albums. They are large files. So... If you do NOT have a high-speed connection and/or are having trouble downloading them, send Linda an at Email at - paristimes@earthlink.net - include your snail-mail address -- we will burn you a CD for each of the Ranger albums you desire. It is our Gift to Y'all for letting us come into your email box and share some of our Okie Legacies over the past six years.

The Old Cave in NW Oklahoma?... Is this Alabaster Cave at Freedom, OKlahoma?When you get down to the Mailbag Corner, checkout the photo of the cave. We think it is Alabaster Cave near Freedom, Oklahoma. We understand that in the old days the pioneers that visited the cave would write their names on the wall. Is this the opening of the cave at Alabaster Caverns? Click the small image to view the larger picture.

Charlie in Louisiana sent us a photo copy of some treasures he found in a humpback chest that was handed down from his gg-grandparents Barnett that lived near Waynoka. The treasures he found are a 4-inch round metal plate & Fairy Soap Advertisement card. Have you browsed through your old chest, trunks, attics, basements to see what treasures there are in your home? We would love to share them in our Okie Legacy Ezine from time to time!

Next weekend is Christmas, December 25th, Saturday. So that we don't interrupt your Christmas holidays and ours... we may send out next weeks newsletter on Friday or Sunday of next weekend instead of on Christmas day. It will more likely be Sunday evening. Before we head out of here this weekend, we would like to share a few lines from a poem entitled - The Castle On the Hill - written by Thelma Meyers for the 1938 Ranger Album (pg. 2, 1938 Ranger yearbook). Does anyone out there have any information of who this Thelma Meyers was/is? Thanks! We donate & honor our troops abroad with these few lines of the poem and for Peace On Earth..

So -- then stand ye sons and daughters of Old Northwestern!
Take off your hats to the men upon the field!
They will fight tonight for Old Northwestern
And for the honor of the Castle on the Hill!
So -- then stand all ye sons of Old Northwestern!
Paying tribute to the men who never yield.
They will win tonight for Old Northwestern.
And for the glory of the Castle on the Hill!"
--- Thelma Meyers ---

MERRY CHRISTMAS -- SEASONS GREETINGS ... To ALL! See Y'all next Sunday evening with more Okie Legacies! ~~ Linda "oaKie" & Duchess ~~ View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


Duchess & Oakie's NW Corner

Vol 6, Iss 42 Bayfield, Colorado -

We have been busy transcribing, scanning the 1937 Ranger Annual of Northwestern State Teachers' College (NSTC), Alva, NW Oklahoma. Also... We want to share some of the history of the Pine River Valley, in Southwest Colorado. BUT... before we get to Bayfield & Pine River Valley, let us mention a little something about Alva's NSTC 1937 Annual.

Reading through this 1937 yearbook we learn that it was published under the direction of the Student Council in the Commerce Department by the students of the Commerce Department. The dream of a student council for Northwestern began in the spring of 1936 with the student classes of NSTC electing two members (a boy and a girl) to help draw up the constitution for the Student Council. It was with the help of the elected representatives: Nellie Burchfiel, Justin Bradshaw, Jamie Carol White, Dean Simon, Juanita MCClaflin, Ralph Clifford, Hallie Morgan and John B. Doolin -- the teachers: Dr. Morris, Dr. Wadley, Mr. Bush, Mr. Cameron and Miss Holland.

We also learned that after the fire and destruction of the Castle on the Hill, March, 1935 a total of $545,000 was obtained for the erection of Horace Mann Hall and Jesse Dunn Hall (named in honor of one of northwestern Oklahoma's earlier settlers) which was dedicated in a celebration during 1937 in front of the new Jesse Dunn Hall. The distinguished guest on that day was Mrs. Eleanor Delano Roosevelt (the first lady of the land). Jesse Dunn Hall now stands where the Old Castle on the Hill once proudly stood.

We finally finished transcribing the 1937-38 Student Directory for NSTC. You can view the RTF file at OkieLegacy.net - Student Directory 1937-38. We have over half of the the 1937 Ranger Annual scanned [see NW OkieLegacy Webshots]. Bookmark this link - OkieLegacy.net - NSTCRanger1937 - for future updates. After we finish the 1937 Ranger Annual, we will be working on the 1938 Ranger Annual. We hope this 1937-38 NSTC Student Directory helps some of you searching names, wheerabouts of your ancestors in 1937-38.

Now... Sheep Trailing in the Pine River Valley, SW Colorado... Pine River Valley HeritageThis is just one of many scenes that we saw in last Saturday's parade in downtown Bayfield, Colorado. Did you know that the Pine River Valley was known to some as the first valley of any consequence west of the Continental Divide. The Continental Divide was later renamed Wolf Creek Pass.

Another fact about this unique valley is that the average elevation is 6500 feet. In the 1890s many lumber mills sprang up because most of the forests had not been touched and with the coming of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, lumber was shipped to distant markets.

When the settlers moved into the Pine River Valley and Bayfield, they settled in the valley proper and also along small tributaries such as Wallace Gulch, North and South Texas Creek, Beaver Creek, Dry Creek, and Bear Creek saving the best logs for their cabins. Most of the days are sunny and dry, but heavy snows come in the winter. Spring can happen as early as February, although the valley has been known to get its heaviest snowfalls in March and April. In the spring the land is usually ready for cultivation, and alfalfa hay remains the major crop.

South of Bayfield, COYou can view the irrigation ditches that flow from Vallecito Lake through this valley as in this photograph that I took south of Bayfield on the a rural county road to our place here. You are viewing the mountains towards the northwest (I believe beyond Durango and towards Silverton). Lots of horses can be seen grazing in this little valley. It makes me homesick for my horses back in NW Oklahoma.

As to Vallecito Dam... The Newlands Reclamation Act of 1904 was advocated by an explorer, John Wesley Powell, and signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt. It created the Bureau of Reclamation to build dams to harness rivers and conserve western water. The act promoted conservation for the benefit of settlers and small farmers.

After the tremendous flood of 1927, the government stepped in and built the Pine River Dam which was later changed to Vallecito Dam, which impounds the Pine River and created the magnificent Vallecito Lake, which lies east to west between the high ridges of the San Juan Mountains. In 1957 the rains filled the lake -- the flood gates opened -- the Bureau of Reclamation staff went to close the gates -- the gates were filled with debris and could not be shut. That year the valley flooded again.

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Duchess & Oakie's NW Corner

The Crowd on the square after the parade

Vol 6, Iss 41 Alva, Oklahoma - The crowds from surrounding communities flocked to Alva last weekend for football and homecoming. The sidewalks of the downtown square in Alva was somewhat packed, but not like it was in the early days.

We did get to rediscover Northwestern's Treasures last Saturday morning. Oakie and I found our spot in the middle of the block, on the west side of the square. Oakie snapped away with her digital camera while I sat snuggly beside her while the Northwestern's Homecoming parade proceeded from the old armory and around the square.

Oakie decked this Political Pug out in my favorite T-shirt with my NWOSU homecoming button attached. A couple of people even stopped to ask to take my picture. We forgot to ask for a copy. And... we didn't even get the individuals name. Darn it! There's a link to the NW OkieLegacy Webshots where you can view some of the bands, cars, etc... that made up the homecoming parade.

Speaking of the Rangers and Northwestern, Oakie has been busy transcribing the 1937 Ranger Album and getting an outline of some of the makeup of the album. We haven't got the photos scanned yet, but will try to get that done next weekend. Here is the link to the 1937 Ranger Album. We have tried to list here some of the organizations, students, that you might have run across back in 1937. Oakie's mother, Vada Paris, was a freshman back in 1937. This was also two (2) years after the fire destroyed the famous Castle on the Hill. Check out the 1937-38 Student Directory that we are in the process of transcribing, also. We still have some work to be done on it but we have advanced to the "D's."

Oakie says that this 1937 album stated, "In the spring of last year (1936) a group of people began thinking of a Student Council at Northwestern. But these people did more than just think about it, they began making investigations of other schools. Finally, it was decided that a Student Council on our campus would be a good thing."

The representatives elected were Nellie Burchfiel, Justin Bradshaw, Jamie Carol White, Dean Simon, Juanita McClaflin, Ralph Clifford, Hallie Morgan, and John B. Doolin. The teachers that helped were Dr. Morris, Dr. Wadley, Mr. bush, Mr. Cameron, and Miss Holland.

On to Other Things of the Past... One of our readers is looking for a list of Photography Studios that were in Alva, Oklahoma in the early 1900s. If you can help us, we would love to hear from anyone out there. Thanks!

We have put the unidentified photos of the waynoka IOOF, Freedom picnic and WWI veterans on our okielegacy.blogspot.com. If you know of someone or run across anything that can help us identify the individuals in the these photos, we would love to hear from you. Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge and helping.

Oakie is shaking her finger at me and says it is way past our bedtime! So... Y'all take it easy and have a beautiful golden Fall weekend. We got to get up early Saturday morning to watch the sheepherders move their flock south through the streets of Bayfield, Colorado. Take care now! See Y'all next weekend with more Okie Legacies and hopefully we will have the 1937 Ranger Album scanned and put up on our website and webshots.

~~ Linda "oaKie" & Duchess ~~ View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


Duchess & Oakie's NW Corner

1926 Rangers - Our Gang - pep demonstration marching to town enmasse

Vol 6, Iss 39 Alva, Oklahoma - Finally! We have the pages of the Ranger 1926 - Castle on the Hill yearbook scanned and uploaded to our NW OkieLegacy Webshots & Old Albums on okielegacy.net.

We have also made a list of the faculty, college students and high school, junior high school and training school students in three rtf-files - Book I-Faculty - Book II-Students & Organizations - Book III-High School, Junior High and Training School .

The "Gang on the Warpath" viewed in the above photo is a "pep" demonstration at Northwestern with the entire student body getting ready to march to town enmasse. This was the first assembly of the group in the Fall of 1925 on the occasion of the marking of the three State roads and a National Highway that intersected in front of the college.

Speaking of marching enmasse to town, Northwestern Rangers will once again be marching enmasse, celebrating their annual Homecoming Festivities beginning Thursday, September 30th thru Saturday, October 2nd -- ending with a parade during the morning and a home football game that afternoon. Hope to see some of you there lining the downtown square of Alva, Oklahoma on Saturday, October 2, 2004.

As to the 1926 Ranger Yearbook, We have learned lots of interesting things from this 1926 Ranger yearbook and have come across familiar names from the past. For instance, did you know that Northwestern High School in 1926 was still in its infancy with over 200 students in the secondary section. All instruction was under the direction of Miss Minnie Shockley and Dr. J. V. L. Morris. The teaching corps was selected from the Junior and Senior college candidates for degrees with Seniors getting preferences.

The Northwestern High School on campus was used to train teachers and was primarily for the country kids. At some point later it became known as Horace Mann High School. Just when... we are not sure. If someone out there can help shed some light on Northwestern High and Horace Mann High, Horace Mann Junior High and Horace Mann Elementary, we would love to hear from you.

Junior High School pupils - 1926AND -- 1926 was the first year of the Junior High School (7th, 8th, 9th grades) on the campus of Northwestern with Miss Ann K. Wilke as Director & Principal. The large room on the second floor of the Science Hall was formerly occupied by the library and had been assigned as a study hall for this department. Also, four classrooms continguous to this center was made available for the Junior High School. The Science Hall still stands today, but we believe it is known as the Fine Arts building now. It still faces, looks down 7th Street from Oklahoma Blvd. (Hwy 64).

The Superior Model Trainig School... Training School Pupils - 1926 The "Superior Model Training School" on the Northwestern campus was headed by W. H. Wood, professor of Elementary Education. Mr. Wood succeeded in getting the Training School rated at 1663 points (more than 400 points in excess) of the requirements for a Superior Model School. The Training School contained the Primary Department (1st & 2nd grades) with Clare Bocquin as teacher; Intermediate Department (3rd & 4th grades) with Kate Bilyeu as teacher; and Grammar grades with Hettie Brown as teacher.

One of those familiar names from the past was our father (Merle "Gene" McGill) listed with the Grammar grades -- and our Uncle Bob McGill listed with the 3rd & 4th graders (Intermediate Department). You can read the entire list in the rtf file - Book III.

What was really interesting, seeing the community ads, businesses towards the back of the yearbook. Just to name a few.

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Duchess & Oakie's NW Corner

Vol 6, Iss 38 Bayfield, Colorado -

Northwestern -- Rediscover the Treasure -- Duchess Rose - The Boss & Editor That is what we have been doing all this week. Rediscovering and discovering the treasures of some old Northwestern yearbooks.

It all began when Okie and I made our daily trip to the post office the beginning of this week. What was waiting for us was a book box of treasures. Three old Northwestern Yearbooks from 1926, 1937 and 1938. Can't wait until Oakie gets finished scanning, transcribing them for you all.

< ahref="http://okielegacy.org/image/castleview.jpg">Castle on the Hill View - 1926, Alva, OKYep! This Precious Pug watches the birds, eagles and other mountain creatures while Oakie has been busy cranking up the old scanner -- starting the scanning, transcribing The Ranger 1926 "Castle On The Hill" Yearbook.

Okie has been consumed and transported back in time to the 1926's in NW Oklahoma. Finding, learning more about the Castle on the Hill each day. We are updating our okielegacy.net with the following pages:
NSTC -
The Ranger 1926.

We have put the full-scanned pages of The Ranger 1926 Yearbook on our NW OkieLegacy Webshots.

Browse through both places and see what ancestors, friends and memories you might remember. Bookmark for future updates. This should keep Oakie busy for awhile, huh?

As to Rediscover the Treasure & Northwestern, You need to mark your calendars for September 30th thru October 2nd, 2004, Alva, Oklahoma. Join us and help rediscover the Treasure as the Community and the Rangers band together for another Cinderella Coronation and Homecoming celebrations at Northwestern's 2004 Homecoming. Hope to see most of you there! Yep! Okie and I will be crowding the downtown square the morning of Saturday, October 2, 2004, for the Ranger's Homecoming parade. We are looking forward to seeing Y'all there!

Liberty School - 1904-05There has been more Interesting Emails concerning the Photo of Liberty School District. We received an interesting email from Earl Fugit this week concerning the Liberty School photo with my grandmother, Constance Warwick (McGill) as the teacher.

Earl says, "The school was Liberty School located approximately 6-miles South and 1-East of Alva, about 5-miles North and one 1-East of Hopeton. This school was about 5-miles from the Warwick homestead."

Green Valley School

We found an answer to the question of the Hendrickson and Runnymede Hotels in Alva. Jim Richey enlightened us on the subject of the Hendrickson, Rhodes, Gunn and Runnymede Hotel. Thanks, Jim!

Remember the Burma Shave signs that kept you busy on long trips? Well! We have added a few of them in this Issue below. If you remembering any more that we don't have listed, send us some more of those sayings.

Okie says it times to wind this down and set the type-setter and punch the key to send this week's newsletter out for the weekend. So this precious political pug says, "See Y'all next weekend with more Okie Legacies!"

The Campus
A Silent message thru the ages
Is delivered to the races passing by,
And the wisdom of the sages
Flashes futily from the sturdy eye,
Watching Life's laughter, song and tears
Thru the eager march of onward years;
With quiet, unperturbed, mobile face
Inspires us to live with equal grace.
[taken from The Ranger 1926 yearbook]

~~ Linda "oaKie" & Duchess ~~

Here's to making America Stronger at Home - Respected in the World! Believe In America! We can do better!
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Millennium Edition

Vol 3, Iss 1 Slapout, Oklahoma - Here it is a week into the New 21st Century! Thanks for all the memories you have sent in the past Volumes of "Oakie's HTH." I am working on some Slapout, Oklahoma 2001 photos I took this week and hope to have them ready for you next week. Send me some history and memories of Slapout... If you get a chance.

We ate our good luck black-eyed peas in Buck's Hoppin John Recipe on New Years Eve for good luck to follow us into the New Millennium. I have stuck the recipe link below just in case someone wants to check it out.BucksHoppinJohn.doc

New Years Day found this Oakie on the road again back to Oklahoma, January 1, 2001. As to New Years traditions & black-eyed peas... Scott says, "My family always ate black-eyed peas on New Year's Day. Why? I haven't a clue."
< br /> My family also ate black-eyed peas on New Years for good luck. I don't know why or when the black-eyed peas tradition started. Does anyone out there have any clues to this mystery?

Some of you NW Oklahomans and Paris family relations out there might remember my Uncle Alvin. On our way back through Colorado to Oklahoma, we stopped and visited with my mother's older brother, Alvin Paris. Alvin worked with the McClure Loans & Insurance Company, in Alva back in the 1930s. Alvin & Naomi married in 1935 and lived in the Monfort Apartments before moving to 718 4th Street. I'm not quite sure where the Monfort apartments were located, but Alvin and Naomi moved from those apartments to the 718 4th Street home sometime shortly after the Castle on the Hill burned down. Does anyone have any clues to where the Monfort Apartments were located? Alvin and Naomi also lived in the two-story, framed, white house on the southeast corner of Choctaw & Third Street, across the street south from the Old Armory. Alvin Paris was born 1 Nov. 1912; married Naomi Warren (b. 1910), 3 February 1935. They will be celebrating their 66th anniversary, Feb. 3, 2001. Alvin is the next to the oldest of nine siblings of Ernest Claude Paris and Mary Barbara Hurt. Of the nine siblings (Leslie, Alvin, Vernon, Vada, Zella, Kenneth, Sam, Geneva and EJ)... the three remaining are Alvin (88, in Colorado Springs, CO), Sam (76, in Sand Pointe, ID) and Geneva (72, in Chester, OK).
OkieLegacy/image/alvin-naomijan01-01.jpg

Everyone knows about Pikes Peak and Colorado Springs, but what about the Cave of the Winds. These caverns are located near the small community of Manitou west of Colorado Springs, Colorado. You use a steep, winding, corkscrew mountain road to reach the entrance of the Cave of the Winds. The caverns have been around for over one hundred years.

They were temporarily lighted with electric lights 11 October 1904. On 4 July 1907 a new electric light system with arc lights were installed in the larger rooms of the cave for the first time. The entrance building was built in the spring of 1906 with a veranda for views of Williams Canyon and Manitou.
caveofthewinds.com/cave2000/timeset.htm

We stopped to take the tour so I could walk in the footsteps of my grandmother Constance Warwick who took the same tour in the early 1900s (1907-1909) before she married my grandfather, Bill McGill. I found this great old photo of the "Cave of the Winds" taken sometime during the early 1900s. There were NO names or dates written on the photo. The only clues to the dated items in photo are the long skirt and white blouse worn by the lady; the two horse drawn carriages in the sloping foreground; and the sign on the front of the building over the steps that reads, "Brilliantly Electrically Lighted." OkieLegacy/image/cavewinds.jpg
< br />You can view a January, 2001 view of the "Cave of the Winds" for comparison. OkieLegacy/image/cavewinds-jan01a.jpg OkieLegacy/image/cavewinds-jan01b.jpg OkieLegacy/image/cavewinds-jan01c.jpg OkieLegacy/image/cavewinds-jan01d.jpg

Nearby is a free public park called "Garden of the Gods." It has towering sandstone rock formations against a backdrop of snow-capped Pikes Peak and blue skies. In 1909, Charles Elliott Perkins' children conveyed his 480 acres to the City of Colorado Springs. It was/is known as the 'Garden of the Gods' and free to the public and maintained as a public park.
gardenofgods.com/history.htm
< br /> I did get a few shots of the 'Garden of the Gods' when we traveled through there January, 2001. If you look really hard, you might spot this Oakie leaning on a rock wall with the sandstone formations in the background at one of the overlooks.
OkieLegacy/image/gardengods1.jpg OkieLegacy/image/gardengods2.jpg

For the week of January 1 thru January 5... from SW Colorado to Oklahoma, the gas pump prices ranged from $1.55 (Durango, CO) all the way down to $1.19 at a Texaco, in central Oklahoma. The first of the week in Colorado Springs gas prices were $1.39. Boise City, out on the very tip of the Oklahoma panhandle, saw a $1.39 gas as did Guymon, OK. The gas prices in Alva during the mid-week came in at $1.35. Ames, OK which is southeast of Ringwood and norhtwest of Hennessey, Kingfisher and Okarche all sported a $1.34 price tag. A Texaco gas station in NW Oklahoma City showed a price of gas on Friday, January 5, 2001, at $1.19. What are the gas pump prices doing in your neck of the woods?
< br />Next week I will try to get the pictures of Slapout, Oklahoma ready for you to see what it looks like today. If anyone out there has any old photos, history or memories of Slapout to share, just attach them to an email and send along to Linda at mcwagner.lk@gmail.com. View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


Duchess Domain: Melting Into Spring

Vol 12, Iss 12 While some of you in Oklahoma were getting snowed upon the last few days, it has been chilly, but sunny here in southwest Colorado. Our snow accumulations continue to melt with the coming of Spring. This Duchess Pug can now sit out in her driveway and on her patio in the sunshine without sitting in the cold snow. What a relief!

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, this Spring/Winter weather refused to yield during the first weekend of spring in Tulsa as another round of snowfall pushed the total to more than 20 inches since the start of winter.

Max, the neighbor Pug, came over this last week for a visit with Sadie and myself, Duchess. That is him, the darker fawn, male Pug, in the video below:


As to inquiries ? Monet Lion asks, "Linda, did you know Tom Vincent? I've just learned he may have retired to St. George, UT and I'd like to get in touch with him --I'm going to move to that area myself. How about a query in the ezine?"

Another inquiry we received was from a PARIS descendant concerning James F. Paris. Mary says, "James married my 3rd great grandmother, Caroline Niederer-Dickinson. If you have any info on his first wife Almeda, I would appreciate it. Thank you!"

Rod asks us on Facebook if we had some pics of the Castle on the Hill that we could share digitally. So ? If you go to NW Okie's Facebook photos you can view a few of those Castle on the Hill pictures showing it in 1901 and in 1935 when it was only a burned shell of itself.

Happy Spring To All ? after some of you Eastern Oklahoman's shovel through your Spring snow! -- Good Night and Good Luck!
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March 2008 Ending & April Beginning

Vol 10, Iss 13 With the end of March 2008 upon us and going out like a lamb, we see the signs of Spring blooming all around us and Northwest Oklahoma is finishing up its Annual Rattle snake Hunt in Waynoka, Oklahoma. Did you make it to Waynoka's Annual Rattlesnake Hunt this year?

My son sent me some pictures of the fruitless pear trees growing in my yard on the corner of 12th & Maple Street, in Alva, Oklahoma. Wild turkeys are strutting their stuff in Colorado and other parts of the USA. AND... the green grasses are getting thicker and taller in the pasture.

Suzanne in Arizona bought a Castle on the Hill Plate that was allegedly painted by on E. Hollen. Who was E. Hollen? Is the image on the plate painted or just transferred off of a 1910 postcard of the "Castle on the Hill?"

If anyone has any information concerning this Castle On the Hill Plate and E. Hollen, please share your information with us. Thanks!

As to the Alva Bullfight of July 4, 1948... that occurred about 6 months after I was born. The Barker Brothers, Jim & Bill, have submitted some memories of that bullfight below in the "Mailbag" section. If you have a story concerning that 1948 bullfight in Alva, Oklahoma or any other bullfights that may have occurred or any old pictures of the bullfight, we would love to hear from you and include them in our OkieLegacy Ezine.

Have a Happy April Fool's Day and a Happy Birthday to Bud Clark of Alva, Oklahoma. We shall be there on April 6th. Maybe even Duchess, Sadie and Nugget (Alias, Trigger).
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Coming Home Again

Vol 8, Iss 44 This week's newsletter will be going out late Saturday night so NW Okie and this Pug writer, Duchess Rose, can take in NWOSU's Homecoming activities this weekend and get some photo shots for those of you who couldn't make it back home to northwest Oklahoma! See Y'all later this evening!

Meanwhile... This lap I'm settled onto belongs to my Bud (Clark). I'm sure glad NW Okie brought me home again to see my friend, Bud!

Last Sunday, NW Okie and myself (Duchess) loaded our covered-wagon (so to speak) and headed eastward along highway 160 out of Bayfield, Colorado -- making Dodge City, Kansas by nightfall. The next morning, we continued our journey eastward towards Spearville, Lindsey and Lewis, Kansas. We found some beautiful murals along the way in western Kansas. Especially, at a gas stop somewhere between Spearville and Lindsey, Kansas, along highway 50. It is great to see the small rural communities painting bits of history, murals on their businesses, buildings in remembrances of their pioneers.

When we arrived in Alva, Oklahoma, one of the first places we stopped was at Bud & Lovina Clark's homeplace so this Duchess could lay her eyes and paws on Bud Clark. We also made our way to Eva Welch's "Rustic Weaver's Coffee Shop" for a cup of coffee. Have you stopped by "Rustic Weaver's Coffee Shop" yet? Great coffee and atmosphere! Stop by and say, "Hello!"

We did manage to find a NEW mural on the main highway running east and west through Alva, Oklahoma. It is a quail hunting mural on the northeast corner of 5th & Oklahoma Blvd, where a dry cleaners used to be located. There is a Real Estate office there now. It is just across the street to West of the "Castle on the Hill" mural.
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Duchess Corner

Vol 8, Iss 30 Everyone needs a Rainbow shining in their lives now and then! So -- let us share this southwest Colorado rainbow that we captured the other evening after a light thundershower. We don't know if the picture does it justice, but hope we captured the beautiful full colors that we saw with the naked eye.

This week we have come across some information concerning the 1910 Woods county attorney, Claud McCrory, that resigned from that possession around January, 1911. It seems McCrory's health and the stress of prosecuting the "Old Opera House Murder Trial" had taken its toll on McCrory -- that being one of the reasons that he resigned in 1911 (according to the McCrory family legacy).

Another thing we are in search of is Northwestern's song that was titled "Old Northwestern" or "Castle On the Hill." We found a "Castle On the Hill" poem written by Thelma Meyers that appeared in the 1938 Ranger Yearbook. Could this be the lyrics to the "Old Northwestern" song?

Happy 37th Anniversary to David & Linda (McGill) Wagner, July 30, 2006!
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Vol 8, Iss 9 Opening of the northwest corner of the Old Castle on the Hill campus. In other words... only the rubble remains of the women's dorm (Oklahoma Hall) on the norhtwest corner of NWOSU's campus, in Alva, Oklahoma. What a sight! This photograph was taken last week by R.L. Wagner. Thanks, Robb!

As to our progress of inputting back issues of "The OkieLegacy Ezine" into our database, we are up (or back) to Vol. 6, Iss. 33 so far. We still have some mailbag features for those issues to fill in yet. We thank you for your patience and understanding while we slowly tredge along.

Seems to this writer that we jogged a few memories again last week. You can review last week's comments through the links in our Mailbag corner - "The Rest of the Story."

We learned of one of the professors (John Cameron) that taught the air cadet pilots at NSTC, in 1944. AND... several have stated that, "Yes!" Shirley Temple's husband was stationed as a training pilot at Northwestern in Alva, Oklahoma around that time.

AND... The 92nd College Training Detachment was the last group to be trained at NSTC in 1944. It was July, 1944 that they were shipped out to Fredrick, Oklahoma before going to San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center. This information came from Tom McCarrick of California. McCarrick also mentioned that he played trumpet and led the dance band at the "Cadet Club" for the St. Patricks Dance, March 14, 1944.

That bit of information reminded me of my Uncle Bob McGill that played the trumpet in a dance band back around the time of 1938 when he was going to school at Kemper Military, in Booneville, Missouri. AND... a group of that same band played on a voyage to Europe aboard the ship Europa, during the Summer of '38.

Enough of memories for now! As February passes to March this last week -- Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday were ushered in like a lamb around the valley area of SW Colorado. What have you given up for Lent for the next 40-some days?

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Okie's NW Corner

Vol 6, Iss 23

Woof! Woof!... This has been a busy week for us here in the NW Corner. Living with Oakie is hectic sometimes, BUT... I think I'll keep her around for awhile, anyways. She did let me get my Pug Paws on her 'puter keyboard this weekend. AND... Yes! We are running late... on Mountain Time as a matter of fact.

The combines and harvesters were finally swarming the wheat fields in our NW Corner of the state last Memorial weekend. You could even see a thick layer of wheat dust being distribute across the horizon-line and on anything that was nearby as 2, 3 and sometimes 4 combines worked in the same wheat field until the late night hours.

Thursday, 3 June 2004, this pug-nacious pug got roused from an early morning (5:45 a.m.) sleepy dream of all the Liver Biscotti Woolf Products treats that I could eat. You see... that is the same morning Oakie and some of us headed up towards our place in Ignacio, Colorado for a few weeks. Here is a log that Oakie kept of the gas prices from Alva, Oklahoma to Ignacio, Colorado: Alva - 1.99; Guymon - 1.96; Boise City - 1.93; Clayton NM - 1.96; Walsenberg CO - 1.99-2.02; Fort Garland CO - 2.05; Alamosa CO - 1.99; Pagosa Springs CO - 2.05 and Ignacio CO - 2.10.

Bud Clark & favorite petMy human friend, Bud Clark told me that if I get homesick for NW Oklahoma that Oakie could always put me on an airplane and send me back to him. Speaking of Bud Clark, here is a snapshot of of Bud with one of his great looking yearling horses at his West Ranch, on hwy 14.

Castle on the Hill Mural - Alva, OKTake a look at the finished "Castle on the Hill Mural" located at 5th & Oklahoma blvd. Thanks to the local artists and the Alva Mural Society... Alva is looking great while sporting it's NW Oklahoma legacies.

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Happy Father's Day!

Vol 10, Iss 24 We hear NW Oklahoma got some much needed rain this week ... around 2.5 to 3 inches. AND... lots if wind! What would Oklahoma be without wind, hail, thunderstorms and threats of tornadoes around harvest time, though?

I would say our temps here in the valley of SW Colorado have been hanging around the 70's and low 80's and dropping to 40's and 50's in the evenings. There are still mountain tops with snow in the distance. AND... I hear Aspen on the Eastern slopes of the Rockies opened their ski resorts with the fresh snow they received this week.

I was sifting through a box of old letters and other old items that we gathered from my grandmother's and father's stuff that was stored in the garage and found a partially mouse eaten, 1935, Eleventh Annual Junior-Senior Banquet program of Northwestern State Teachers' College. Stored along with it was a cut-out of the "Castle On the Hill" nameplate with my Dad's name (Merle McGill) printed in white ink along the base of the nameplate. Did my Dad go to that banquet? AND... When it came to the group singing of "The Castle on the Hill," all I could make out of the name was of the leader was "W. P. M.....! What was his last name? It wasn't McGill, because great-grandpa W. P. McGill died in 1918!

Someone in Oregon wrote me and ask if the Wrought Iron Co., Home Comfort Range Model CB was approved for coal burning. Does anyone out there know if this is true... or NOT? If you run onto any information or knowledge of these ranges being approved for coal burning, we would like to know. Thanks!

Marvin Wiebener sent us a very interesting and true "Skunk Story" that will tickle your funny bone. Thanks, Marvin, for the story and the mugshot of the writer speeding along at 4-mph.

Amongst the other items that we found in grandma's box of treasures was an old news clipping and photo of Woods County's triplets that were born to Mr. and Mrs. Guy Lanman. Guy Lanman was manager of Southwestern Telephone Company at the time of the birth of the Lanman triplets. BUT... there was no date on the yellowed news clipping. Is there anyone out there reading this that might help us furnish a date of the NW Oklahoma and Woods County birth?

Attention 1958 Neuman's Boys Choir: check out the Mailbag section for an old clipping taken by Fred Neuman in February 1958 as the boys choir had an overnight outing at the Salt Plains lake lodge of their director. I recognized a few in the picture, but not all!

Did one of your ancestor's graduate from Northwestern State Teachers' College in 1936-37? In the Mailbag section is a list of graduates. Maybe you might recognize someone and jog some memory cells loose for next week's newsletter.

This week being "Father's Day" weekend, we have memories of fathers and grandfathers and Ken Updike's memory of his father. Thanks to Ken for another one of his pricelss gems of growing up in Oklahoma and sharing his mugshot with us!

Hope all you fathers out there are taking it easy and relaxing, playing and enjoying your families attention. Happy Father's Day!
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NW Okie's Corner

Vol 7, Iss 40 With just one week into October, 2005, we find ourselves packing the pugs into the pickup -- filling up with gas at $2.95 per gallon at the Conoco in Bayfield, Colorado -- heading east towards Wolf Creek Pass. What we had in mind was to capture a few of Autumns color changes here in SW Colorado

Last Sunday we ventured against a herd of sheep and sheep herders to Vallecito to spend the day in the mountains with friends and view those Vallecito Fall changes taking place. We need to take an adventure on the "million dollar highway" towards Molas Pass and Silverton, also. Don't you just love this time of year with the Gold in the Rockies popping up everywhere!

We heard from some Oklahomans that things cooled off considerably this week, dropping the temps some 20 degrees. AND... just around the corner (Oct. 13 thru 15, 2005) is the Castle on the Hill (NWOSU) & Rangers Annual Homecoming with a parade, football game and Cinderella pageant. This NW Okie will not be in NW Oklahoma this year, but hoping someone out there will take some digital photos to share with us in the next few issues. Go Rangers & Class of '71! View/Write Comments (count 1)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


1937 Dedication - Jesse Dunn & Horace Mann Hall...

Vol 7, Iss 15 It was two years after the burning of the Castle on the Hill that the small, rural community in Northwest Oklahoma gathered, organized for the Dedication of Jesse Dunn Hall that replaced the old Castle on the Hill, at Northwestern State Teachers' College, in Alva, Oklahoma. That was not the only building they were dedicating on Northwestern's campus. Across campus to the west was Horace Mann Hall

Reading through the program you could see the important citizens in the community that had a hand in setting up this two-day dedication, Thursday, March 11 & Friday, March 12, 1937. Even the First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, made an appearance on this special dedication ceremony, 12 March 1937.

It began Thursday evening, March 11, 8:00p.m., in Herod Hall Auditorium with Professor A. G. Vinson presiding. There was old time singing led by Mr. J. P. Battenberg -- Short Reminiscences of the Forty years of Northwestern by President Ernest E. Brown, Prof. Guy M. Lisk, Mrs. Maude Drake Bingham, Merritt C. Mason, Prof. T. C. Carter, J. B. Doolin, Miss Minnie Shockley, Dean Sabin C. Percefull, Alumni President Phil Noah -- Judge A. G. C. Bierer talked on "Memories of Jesse Dunn" for whom the new building was named -- There was a vocal solo by Mr. J. P. Battenberg -- A report on the "Early Days in Northwest Oklahoma" by Mrs. Walter Ferguson -- The Male Quartet of former students sang a few selections.

In connection with the program, moving pictures of the burning of the Castle on the Hill building was shown in room 7, of Herod Hall, at 7 p.m. and again immediately after the program in the auditorium under the supervision of Brette Tanner and Marion Monfort.

On Friday morning, March 12 (1937) an "Open Air Concert" was performed at 9:30 a.m. at the entrance to Wyatt Gymnasium by the Alva High School Band. A College Assembly in the Wyatt Gymnasium continued at 9:55 a.m., with Student President Ralph Clifford presiding. There were college announcements by President Ralph Clifford -- Announcements, Dedication by General Chairman Phil Noah with an Address, entitled "Problems of Youth" by the First Lady, Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt.

At 11:30 a.m., everyone moved over to the entrance of Jesse Dunn Hall for another open air concert by the Enid High School Band. At the luncheon meeting at 12:00 p.m., in Jesse Dunn Library, Senator Chas. Albright presided with Eleanor Roosevelt giving the Greetings and an Introduction of guests.

Friday afternoon, March 12 found the citizens gathering for a 32 minute band concert by the Northwestern College Band, at 1:00 p.m., at the entrance of Jesse Dunn Hall. Following the concert president Ernest E. Brown presided over the Dedication program at 1:30 p.m., at the entrance of Jesse Dunn Hall. There was an assembly of guests of honor; introduction of guests; dedication address (The New Northwestern by A. L. Crable); three to five-minute talks by representatives of groups and individuals responsible for providing funds, planning and building Jesse Dunn Hall and Horace Mann Hall; a pageant (Creation of Northwestern - re-enactment of signing the law creating the school).

Then came the introduction of Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt by Lt. Gov. James C. Berry and the Greetings by the First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt. At 3:15 p.m., in Herod hall, Dean Sabin C. Percefull presided in a High School Assembly with a concert by the Northwestern College Band and Address by Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, "A Typical Day at the White House."

At 3:30 p.m. there was an Open House and Tours of Inspection of Campus and Buildings. Immediately at the conclusion of the formal dedication program guests made themselves at home on the campus by looking over the plant in detail. The ladies of the Northwestern College Faculty and ladies of the Clubs in Alva and neighboring cities were hostesses in the library, where tea was served to groups of visitors on the inspection tours.

It ended Friday night, March 12 (1937), 8:00 p.m., in Herod Hall with the Hon. John B. Doolin presiding. There was another vocal solo by Mrs. E. B. L. Hardy; a piano solo by Miss Margery Smith; a violin solo by Mr. Wm F. Deusinger; Acknowledgments by Phill Noah and Address (Peace) by Eleanor Roosevelt.

You can view the Dedication Program of Jesse Dunn & Horace Mann Hall in the PDF file in the Mailbag Corner below. View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


Walking With Sweet Silly Sadie

Vol 18, Iss 23 Alva, OK - Did you know or have any ancestors, grandparents that attended Northwestern State Teacher's College, in Alva, Oklahoma in 1926? This is from the 1926 Castle on the Hill Yearbook, concerning the Department of Biology.

Some of you might remember Thomas C. Carter, A.M. – In point of service “Tommy” Carter is one of the oldest members of the faculty. In point of esteem of the student body he is one of the most beloved. Mr. Carter himself a graduate of Northwestern, holds for her the true affection of Alma Mater.

For three summers in the under-graduate school of the University of Chicago he completed his Masters degree at the Colorado State Teachers College.

He is a member of Phi Beta Sigma and Pi Gamma Mu and holds a Fellowship from the Oklahoma Academy of Science.

The Department of Biology located on the third floor of the Science Hall occupies five rooms, a lecture room, an office and private laboratory, a general laboratory, a stock room and museum.

The museum consists of several hundred mounted specimens of birds, mammals, reptiles and insects used for display and class work. There is also an herbarium of 2,300 species of Oklahoma plants.

Good Night! Good Luck!
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1937-38 Catching the Train - Woodward To Alva

19337-38, Vada Paris & Ylova Jean Jaquith

Vol 12, Iss 22 Woodward, Oklahoma - We received a fabulous photo of our mother, Vada Eileen (PARIS) McGill this week from a family that Vada stayed with back in the 1930s. Ylova Jean Jaquith Mayes daughter and son-in-law sent us this following message with the photo attached, "Here is a photo of Vada and Ylova Jaquith taken in Woodward, Oklahoma. Ylova sent us this photo. She lives in Arizona and is 78 years old. She said they had taken Vada to the train station in Woodward to catch a train to Alva to go to College. Hope you like the photo. The photo was not dated, but Ylova was born in 1932. She looks like she is maybe 4-5 in the photo? So, 1937-1938 time frame would be about right. Her name now is Ylova Jean (Jaquith) Mayes."

The photo shows a young Vada Paris (left) in her flowery, Spring dress, hat and white sandal heels holding the hand of a young girl (Ylova Jean Jaquith) while standing in front of passenger train in Woodward, Oklahoma. The Jaquith had brought Vada to Woodward from Seiling to catch the train to Alva, Oklahoma, where Vada was attending NSTC (Northwestern State Teachers College). We know that Vada was a sophomore at NSTC in Alva. We believe she attended in 1937 as a freshman.

Let us take you back to April 18, 1932 (as written down in Vada's 1938 diary as an anniversary) when a sixteen year-old-girl named Vada Eileen Paris came to live with the Ray and Eithel Jaquith family who lived in Seiling, Oklahoma. Also, it was during the Depression, Dust Bowl era. Besides the anniversary of when Vada went to live with Jaquith's in Seiling, Vada had made a notation in her diary May 25th for Ray and Eithel Jaquith anniversary, May 25, 1926.

While living with the Jaquith family, Vada graduated from Seiling High School with the Class of 1936 Seniors whose motto was "Hitch Your Wagon to a Star." For reasons unknown to this writer, Vada laid out a year or so before graduating high school during the Depression, Dust Bowl days. She should have graduated in 1934, but graduated in 1936, instead.

We know that Black Sunday was April 14, 1935 when day was turned into night during the Dust Bowl era. About a month and a few weeks before that day, Northwest State Normal school's Castle on the Hill had burned down, March 1, 1935, in Alva, Oklahoma.

We are trying to piece together bits and pieces of Vada's life between 1932 thru 1937 before she attended college in Alva. We have been told that Vada's mother did not think Vada needed education after the eighth grade and should stay home and help take care of her younger siblings. We have also been told that Eithel Jaquith influenced Vada to graduate Seiling High School and continue her education at NSTC in Alva, Oklahoma.

Reading through Vada's diary, we know in 1938 she received a government grant to attend Northwestern State Teacher College (NSTC) where she was noted as a sophomore in the 1938 Ranger Yearbook. Vada also worked at Warrick's Shoe Store; did heavy housekeeping to make ends meet while attending NSTC. We believe Vada was a Freshman at NSTC (1937 Ranger Yearbook) in 1937.

Vada's older brother (Alvin Riley Paris) and his wife, Naomi (Warren) Paris, were living in Alva while Vada was attending Northwestern. Besides staying with her older brother, Vada did housekeeping for Naomi and Alvin while Naomi was expecting their first Child (Stan born February 25, 1938).

There were lots of entries in Vada's 1938 diary where she mentioned with enthusiasm of getting to go home to Seiling and seeing the Jaquith family (Ray & Eithel and their children: Kenneth and Ylova).

On one entry dated February 13, 1938, Sunday, Vada writes, "Saw Mrs. Jaquith. I'll tough it out where I am before borrowing money. Grand of her to offer to help." Times in the 1930s were tough on everyone back then.

Vada wrote about enjoying receiving letters from Eithel Jaquith. The Jaquith family was like a second family for this young woman, Vada Eileen Paris. Eithel being the one that encouraged Vada to continue her education and go to College at Alva, Oklahoma. We wonder sometimes what would Vada's life been like IF Vada had not been influenced by the Jaquith family? View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


1937-38 Student Directory NSTC

Vol 12, Iss 3 1937-38 NSTC Student & Faculty Directory -- Have you ever wondered what businesses were around the square, on College Avenue and along the street (Normal Street) that ran in front of the Castle on the Hill, in the small, rural community of Alva, Oklahoma back in the mid-1930s?

According to the 1937-38 Student directory of NSTC, published by the Delta Sigma Epsilon Sorority, we have found a few businesses that advertised in this 1937-38 Northwestern State Teachers College directory that the Delta Sigma Epsilon, Delta Chapter compile of the students and faculty during those mid-thirty years.

In compiling the roster of college students and faculty members the Delta Chapter tried to give the information most sought after by both those affiliated with the college and the townspeople. They published their 1937-38 Directory with the hope that it would be of service to all. The names of all the students whose schedule cards were checked to the Dean's office on Friday, September 17, 1938 were included in the directory.

Delta Sigma Epsilon, Delta chapter, active members:
Alice Eckel, faculty sponsor,
Lois Miller, president
Mildred Simon, recording secretary
Helen Pierce, corresponding secretary
Louise Parker, treasurer
Ruth Hadwiger, sergeant
Vona Boucher, reporter
Pledges: Lois White, Ruby Wright, Edith Conrad, Ruth Yeoman, Louie Litton

Church Directory

The churches of that period showed the following churches at their locations in the Church Directory at the end of the booklet.

Christian church, Church and Fifth
First Baptist church, College & Church
Methodist church, Church and College
Presbyterian church, Church and Seventh
Catholic church, Church and Twelfth
United Brethren, Fourth and Center
Lutheran church, Third and Maple
Episcopal church, Fifth and Church
Seventh Day Adventist, Church and Tenth
Church of Nazrene, College and Locust
Church of God, first street
Latter Day Saints, Noble and Center
Pentacostal church, Twelfth and Barnes
Christian Science Society, City Hall

1937 Ranger Schedule

The Ranger football schedule showed the following games from October to November of that 1937-38 school year.

Sept. 25 at Hays, KS
Oct 1 at Wichita, KS
Oct. 8 Central at Alva collegiate conference, night
Oct. 15 at northeastern, collegiate conference, night
Oct. 22 at West Texas, canyon
Oct. 29 east central at alva, collegiate conference
Nov 5 at southwestern, collegiate conference
Nov. 12 southeastern at Alva, collegiate conference
Nov. 19 OBU at Alva, collegiate conference night

Businesses Directory:

The following at the businesses listed with the description of their ads and their locations and telephone numbers. Remember back in the old days when you picked up the telephone and waited for an operator's sweet voice so you could give the operator the short two, three or four digit phone number you were trying to call?

Rialto - Ritz - Ranger, the three r's of amusement, matinee each afternoon, operated by Jones amusement company.

Farmers' Co-Operative Oil Company, Eason dictator gasoline, firestone tires - quaker state lubrication, southeast corner square, 14th and Normal, phone 521, Alva, Okla., Phone 586.

Ranger Taxi, three good cars, C. M. Capps, Owner, phone 363, 6 blocks, for a dime, 10 blocks, 100 cents.

W. R. Maxwell, Florist, flowers for all occasions, special attention given, sorority and fraternity orders, member FTD, PO Box 213, Alva, Okla. phone 28.

Bell's selected milk, makes healthy days. Start serving Bell's today in your home, and equip your boy or girl adequately as "they" traverse the cities of wisdom. Call 149, and a salesman will call and explain the many advantages in serving Bell's safe dairy foods in your home. Milk, butter,cream, buttermilk, green spot orange drink, cottage cheese, dari-rich chocolate milk. Bell's Ice cream, a dairy store at your door every morning before breakfast.

Dr. A. L. Ball, Dentist, office: Monfort bldg., room 12, office phone 152, res. phone 1054.

21 years of service to the students of Northwestern. Give photographs for any occasion. Enlargements, Kodak finishing, oil coloring, Ellis Studio, phone 107, Over Monfort's.

Alva Review-Courier, sorority printing, school programs, announcements and name cards, the latest in social stationery, phones 200-201, Alva, Okla.

Western Auto Associate Store, home owned by Wenninger Motor Supply Co., accessories, auto and tractor replacement parts. phone 250, Alva, Okla.

IGA, Tyree Grocery & Mkt., groceries, fresh vegetables, meats, free delivery, south side square, phones 407 and 406.

Burr's Department Store, welcomes you, 411 College Ave., phone 12.

Tanner Bros. Clothing Company, outfitters from lad to dad, phone 175, West Side.

The Amsden Lumber Co., a pleased customer is our best advertisement, 516 College Ave., phone 134, Alva, Okla.

Alva Electric Supply Co., electrical and radio service, phone 282.

Nifty Meat Inn, across from campus, Ranger headquarters, short orders, cold drinks, sandwiches, malts, 24 hour service, Ray and Ross, props.

Monfort-Smith, Jewelers, at Monfort's Drug store, We are authorized dealers for Bluebird diamonds, green, Hamilton and elgin watches.

Doctor's Service Sta., sixth and Normal, phone 208, Ralph Doctor, mgr.

Monfort, The druggist, cut prices on drugs, toilet articles, books, over quarter of a million prescriptions filled here. School books, school supplies, The college store for Northwestern.

Railway Ice Co., modern meat locker storage system 621 Choctaw.

Rice-Huff Clothiers, griffon clothes, arrow shirts, nunn-bush oxfords, hole-proof hosiery, west side square, Alva, Okla.

Magnolia, on the hill, Mobil oil and gas, D. W. Grimwood, phone 800.

Breford Super Service, across the street, city service products, koolmotor gasoline and motor oil, the best in oils, pennsylania, pennzoil, penaline, quaker state, US tires, 24 hour service, phone 801.

Kavanaugh & Sheer, phone 101, hardware and plumbing, allis chalmers implements, Alva, Oklahoma.

Geo. Putuznik, "Let George rebuild them" since 1909, polishes and laces, phone 494, shoes dyed any color.

Deep Rock Oil Corp., wholesalers and retailers, "sudden service" fifth and mormal sts., phone 242, O. L. Crutchfield, mgr.

Jett's - always on display - beautiful handkerchiefs 25 cents 35 cents 50 cents to 1.50, phone 96, for sheerness, for beauty for value Berkshire silk hosiery 59 cents, 79 cents, 1.00 1.35.

Dr. C. L. Ritchey, Dentist, Monfort building, office phone 54, res. phone 1133.

E. W. Tanner Company style and service, distributors for Marshall field, wholesale, redfern, betty rose, coats and suits, Hats by toaster, phoenix hose.

Palace Cleaners, 511 College Avenue, "no better than the best but better than the rest", phone 360, cleaning, pressing, dyeing, hat blocking, alterations, repairing, Loren C. Van Sickle, Mgr.

Nall's Cafe, air conditioned, home of good foods and courteous service.

Bob Green, Mgr. Phone 320, Texaco 64 Service Sta., Normal and Fourth, Alva

McGill Brothers, everything in furniture and floor coverings gas stoves and used coal stoves, goods sold on installment if you like, see us before buying. phone 112, SW Corner Sq.
The Ranger Cafe, 2 doors west of Hotel Bell, meals, lunches, steaks our specialty, a good place to eat, Ranger Cafe.

Powder Puff Beauty shop, all work guaranteed, phone 11, 503 college, See yourself as you want others to see you.

Bynum's Sandwich Shop, all kinds of sandwiches, candy, cigarettes, beer.

Drink Coca-Cola, delicious in bottles.

Kavanaugh & Sheer Service Station, sibling air-cooled guaranteed 35,000 mile, tires. phone 236, 7th and fly.

McCormick Jewelry Store, at Rexall drug store, diamonds and elgin watches, we make a specialty of repairing swiss watches such as green, bulova, and all cheaper grades. Call on our repair dept.

Maxwell Printing Co., wedding announcements personal stationery, name cards, woods co. Bank bldg. phone 316.

Sears' Bootery, we fit feet, fortune and bostonian shoes for men $4.00 to $7.00, north side square, alva, okla., Fashionable footwear, for young women $2.49 to 46.50.

Collier Studio, portraits, commercial work, kodak finishing and picture framing, open sundays and evenings by appointment, phone 291, north side square.

Beegles' Drug Store, try our fountain, phone 124, north side square.

Ellison's Women's Wear, exclusive dress and hat shoppe, quality and style at reasonable cost, 603 barnes, phone 336, south side.

A former Northwestern student welcomes you to our city, J. C. Hess, Insurance.

Dr. J. A. Townsend, dentist, Beegle building, phone 166.

Welcome! Drop in and get acquainted with Ruby Herrick, Myra Thomas, Lou Ella Provost, Virginia Miner, Lois Hutton, experienced in all lines of beauty work, Herrick Beauty Salon, phone 68, air conditioned, 507 College.

Hub Dry Cleaners, cleaning, pressing, dyeing, hats cleaned and blocked. the factory way, phone 15, alva, Okla., we call for and deliver, suits made to order.

The Alva Daily Record, job printing, publishing, we print the Northwestern News, courteous service, phone 157.

Sullivan's Grocery, 416 Normal Street, for meats, vegetables, groceries.

Minton Creamery, the most of the best for the least, butter and ice cream, ice cream service at your door, Cecil Pierce, Prop. phone 469, Alva, Okla.

Warrick's, the one stop shoe store, exclusive admiration hose, for entire family, style and quality, south side square, phone 884, expert fitting.

Vivian Pinegar Beauty Shop, phone 333, north side square, over people's store, where beauty is made more beautiful permanents, finger waving our specialty all lines of beauty work.

Kent W. Johnson agent for the Travelers Insurance Company at phone 60. He will provide your accident ticket on 5 minutes notice. Woods County Bank bldg., Alva.

Winter's Shoe Shop, for better shoe repairing, 607 Barnes, phone 665.
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March 1, 1935 - Castle On the Hill Burn

Vol 11, Iss 6 If you would have read the headlines on March 2, 1935, in The Oklahoman, on the front page, the headlines might have read, "Teachers College building at Alva Goes Up in Flames."

The photo on the left shows the fire at its peak. The administration building of the Northwestern State Teachers college at Alva was a mass of smoking ruins on the Friday after flames, supposed to have started from defective wiring raced through the structure in the early morning hours.

This picture shows the blaze at its height. Plans already were under way to obtain funds to rebuild the structure. meanwhile, classwork was going on as usual.

Action Starts Quickly
U. S. May furnish half of the funds and Governor Marland parley set for Monday.

Plans were underway to obtain $450,000 for the rebuilding of the administration building of Northwestern State Teachers College, in Alva.

Following a survey, J. M. McCollom, State Rerpresentative from Medford, and Charles Albright, Capron Senator, drew a bill to authorize the rebuilding.
Abandonment Fought
Before it was submitted the legislators held a conference with Governor Marland. McCollom said he had information about 50% of the money might be obtained from the federal government.

Both legislators said any action upon a reported move to abandon the school would meet with opposition. McCollom pointed out that attendance at the school had been gaining as an argument for its continuance.
Budget Officer Visits Alva
Louis H. Ritzhaupt, chairman of the senate committee on education, said such a move was not practical insomuch as the school was the only one of the type in the wide territory. A similar view was held by Carl Twidwell, head of the house education committee, who reported that he had heard of no such move.

In anticipation of the legislative action, R. R. Owens state budget officer went to Alva, Friday to get firsthand information.
Classwork Resumes In Churches
Alva, March 1, 1935 -- Northwestern State Teachers college, its administration building destroyed early Friday by fire, made plans Friday night to resume class work work Monday and open a campaign to have the state replace the burned building.

At a mass meeting of 1,500 students and citizens a petition urging the replacement was pasted and was sent to the board of affairs and members of the legislature.
Work Not Interrupted
W. P. Marsh, registrar reported that classes were held Monday in churches and other buildings which had been turned over to the college. The new schedules had been prepared and there would be no interruption in the work. citizens had donated the use of typewriters, pianos and other equippment so that they classes could go ahead.

The huge administration building, the largest educational structure in the state, was damaged beyond use is what R. R. Owens, state budget officer, told Marsh.
Loss is $500,000
Mr Owens looked over the building and said that the walls, the only part of the building left standing, could not be used. Owens said he would confer with the board of affairs and the legislators and see what could be done about replacing the building.

The fire loss was estimated at $500,000. The structure, which was built in 1898, housed the college library, music department, the museum of fine arts and industrial arts departments.

The library of 60,000 volumes, valued by L. A. Ward, librarian, at $150,000, was destroyed as were music instruments, valued at $10,000. The building itself was listed as worth $200,000.
Three Students Rescued
Three student employees who were sleeping in the building when the fire broke out at 3 a.m. were rescued, partially overcome by smoke, by firemen. The three boys were: Floyd Anthis; Clyde Friend, Cashing; and Tony Anderson, Pitcher, were on the top floor and made their way to the roof, from where they were taken by firemen.

A nearby ten-room house was set afire by sparks from the school blaze and burned. Several other nearby houses also were damaged. The origin of the fire had not yet been determined.
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Castle On the Hill - Alva OK

Vol 11, Iss 5 "The school's original primary function was to train teachers by providing two years of college-level classes. Early settlers in the area established numerous one-room schools, and the demand for teachers and better teacher training became critical.

Therefore, in 1919 Northwestern evolved into a four-year, degree-granting institution known as Northwestern State Teachers College." -- Oklahoma Historical Society's encyclopedia of Oklahoma History & culture, Northwestern Oklahoma State University, vol. pg. - Digital Library of OSU

In 1939 the facility became Northwestern State College. The institution continued to broaden and revise its programs, and its named changed to Northwestern Oklahoma State University in 1974. Branch campuses were established in Enid and in Woodward in 1996.

The annual enrollment hovered around two thousand, with the largest enrollment occurring in 1968 with 2,641 students.
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Castle On The Hill & Science Hall

Vol 9, Iss 2 This old photo came from a friend of mine back in Alva, OK. We think it was taken sometime between 1909-1917, because the only buildings showing in this stretched out old photograph on the right, are the Science Hall, Castle on the Hill and an old smokestack of some sort.

We know that Northwestern Normal School's Castle on the Hill was built before statehood (1907) in 1897. The next building to built at the normal school was the Science Hall, which was finished by 1909.

In 1918 the President's House had been built. The Wyatt Gymnasium was added onto the Normal School campus in 1919. The Herold hall which stood between the Science building and the Castle on the Hill was constructed in 1923.

Thanks to Lovina Clark for sharing this old Northwestern Normal School photo with us. You can read more about the history of Alva's Normal School at Northwestern Normal School.
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The Prairies' Castle On the Hill...

Vol 8, Iss 10

The first committee selected to start the work of trying to get the Normal located at Alva, was chosen at a little meeting of citizens in Mead's Hall (lot 4, block 38, over the post office then; and over Greenlee's drug store). Following are the names: S. L. Johnson, chairman; H. L. Ross, secretary; W. F. Hatfield, editor Alva Pioneer; James Kelley, editor Alva Republican; C. C. Hudson, editor Alva Review; A. H. Andrews, then city attorney, and Jesse J. Todd, a photographer.

This committee forthwith advertised for offers of land near town for a college site. Several places were offered, but the most desirable was the due south on the hill half a mile from the center of the public square on H. C. McGrath's farm, (about two blocks east of where the Normal building stood.) The next move was a standing "PUSH" committee to go to Guthrie and assist Councilman J. P. Gandy, and Representative G. W. Vickers, S. L. Johnson, James Kelley and C. C. Hudson were the first; others went occasionally, to relieve the three first named a day or two at a time.

The old files say, "The Alva Normal bill carried by four majority in the council (Senate) and was hurried to house, but being the last day of the session required a two-thirds vote to take it up out of its regular order to reach it before the close of the session. BUT, not having a two-thirds vote the measure died under the rule."

"Johnson, Kelley and Hudson did valliant service in helping Messrs. Gandy and Vickers to carry it through."

Thus ended the 1895 fight for the college; they were licked, but not conquered.

The attention of Alva people was given to other matters until April 1, 1896, when, S. L. Johnson, J. D. Share, W. F. Hatfield, G. W. Snyder, Geo. W. Crowell, E. Rall, C. W. Hobbie, H. S. Emmerson and J. W. Maxey, had a little meeting in Mead's Hall, and talked over the matter of forming a "Commercial Club." It was agreed that everyone present solicit the attendance of the business men at a meeting to be held in Mead's Hall on the evening of April 2, to perfect the organization.

There was a good turnout April 2, and they named it the Alva Commercial Club, and decided to elect 11 directors, -- the president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer to be four of the number; then the following were chosen: J. A. Stine, president; J. D. Share, vice-president; W. F. Hatfield, secretary; Geo. W. Crowell, treasurer; C. W. Bickel, H. E. Noble, Joseph Miller, C. W. Hobbie, J. G. Bittner, E. Rall, and F. E. Hatch. S. L. Johnson, on account of being postmaster, refused to accept any office in the club. The club gave its attention to general affairs until after the election in November, then plans were started for the legislature to convene in January, 1897. Geo. W. Vickers was re-elected representative of this district, and D. S. Randolph of Blaine county (then attached to this council district) was elected councilman. (Senator in the states.) It was necessary to confer with all the members-elect in the Strip and south counties.

It had been demonstrated that Old Oklahoma, because of having three years the advantage in organization, would attempt to rule everything; but only three Republicans were elected, and that somewhat demoralized the old time combine.

After January 1, 1897, the Commercial Club met nearly every night; the legislature was to meet on the 12th. The "stavers" were soon selected on account of their prompt attendance every meeting. Another "push" committee was to be sent to Guthrie to assist out members. The club chose S. L. Johnson as leader, with power to choose his own assistants, and then he selected W. F. Hatfield as his "right-hand bower."

A finance committee was put to work to secure funds to pay the expenses of the committee at Guthrie, and it was very "slim picking" those days. But enough was secured to start with in proper order and the committee went to Guthrie with our legislators.

The first thing was to get a majority (right for us) on the educational committee of both branches of the legislature, and that was done mighty quietly, for we soon discovered that the president of each body was against us. Capt. Stine, J. D. Share, G. W. Crowell, H. E. Noble, H. A. Noah, J. W. Monfort, Dr. J. D. Karr, C. W. Hobbie, E. Rall, S. B. Share, Jos Miller, Jesse J. Dunn, H. C. McGrath, F. M. Cowgill, W. C. Douglas, and a few others, were the home-guard and nearly everyone spent more or less time at Guthrie.

Johnson and Hatfield stayed there seven weeks; the legislature was composed of populists and a few democrats, and the populists were elected on a radical reform platform; their campaign cry had been "equal rights to all, and special privileges to none," and our main task was to make the " special privileges" that the east side of the territory enjoyed, with their colleges at Norman, Edmond and Stillwater, supported with our money, over-balance the great desire of the populist members for economy. Well, we managed also to have our republican friends to speak loud at the proper time and in the proper place and assert that the populists and democrats were against education, progress, etc.

A record of all the manuvers, the fight against us by Edmond, Norman, and Stillwater, etc., would make a big book; but our bill passed the council on Feb 26th, by a vote of eight to five. Senators D. P. Marum of Woodward and Wm. Garrison of Grant County being the leaders in carrying it through. Then the Edmond fellows re-doubled their efforts to prevent the bill passing the house, introducing the bill for the Negro Normal at Langston, saying that would be enough schools in Oklahoma. Our boys lined up for it and then lambasted them for being against a school for white children 200 miles from Edmond and where it would not interfere with their school. Persistent and careful work, with unanswerable argument, won out and at 8 o'clock on the evening of March 10, 1897, the bill passed the house. Then our enemies tried to get Gov. W. C. Renfrow to not sign the bill, but our friends stood "pat" and refused to pass an appropriation bill until he did sign it, and it was signed about midnight, close of the session, March 12.

Then came the election to vote $5000 bonds of Alva Township in aid of the college, as the bill provided for. It was held on May 18, 1897, and there were 251 votes for and 20 against it. There were then as now a few old soreheads and kickers against every progressive move of the "pushers."

The matter of letting the contract for the construction of the building was the next thing. Gov. Cassius M. Barnes had by this time succeeded Gov. Renfrow, and the governor and board of education for Normal schools were to let the contract, and the date set was July 22, but they postponed the matter for the reason that they could not determine how large a building was needed, and our Commercial Club was contending that our large school population demanded a large building, while Edmond and her cohorts were threatening an injunction against the erection of any building. However, our commercial club offered to furnish a building, free of rent, in which to start the school, and the board accepted the propostiton, and at a meeting held on August 28th, elected Prof. James E. Ament, of Rock Island, Illinois, as president; Miss Sarah Bosworth, formerly superintendent of Logan county schools, and Mrs. Mary DeLisle, formerly principal of the Alva public schools, as instructors. And the board promised more teachers if the attendance demanded it. The Congregational church was rented to $150.00 for the school year, and the board furnished desks.

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Progess Continues of Castle on the Hill Mural...

Vol 6, Iss 16

Last week we mentioned that the Alva Mural Society and three local artists ( Warren Little, Jim Richey and Rod Duncan) had begun painting on the Castle on the Hill Mural. They are still continuing the painting and this photo is what they had done by Thursday, April 15, 2004. If you are in Woods County, Alva, Oklahoma, at the corner of 5th Street and Oklahoma Blvd. on Monday afternoon, April 19, 2004... you can watch these local artists at work on this mural. I understand that this is the first Alva mural painted by local artists. Way to go, guys! Keep up the great work! A BIG Thanks to our local artists, their time and talents! There will also be a hamburger fry for all those making donations while they gaze on the local artists painting the mural. Come Out! Help Support the Alva Mural Society! Stop By! If you are in OUR Neck of the Woods county!

What else is happening in NW Oklahoma? Oh, Yeah! The Alfalfa County Museum is having an Open House, Sunday, April 18, from 2 - 4 p.m. with refreshments - tours - Cherokee Early Years Centennial Bookwill be on sale for $5.00. AND... for you procrastinators -- The deadline has been extended for at least 60 days to submit stories and order copies of Our Alfalfa County Heritage family history book. You can read more about that in the Mailbag Corner.

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New Mural Skeletons Poppin' up in Alva...

Vol 6, Iss 15

Alva is in the process of beginning another mural (Castle on the Hill) at 5th & Oklahoma Blvd. with local artists, Jim Richey, Warren Little and Rod Dunkin. They began by outlining the design for the Castle on the Hill mural at the corner of Fifth Street and Oklahoma Boulevard. Notice the flagpole on one of the east towers. Other murals are in the making for Alva. You can read Alva Review Courier article - Mural Skeletin Drawn, 5 April 2004, by Helen Barrett for more information about this mural and others waiting to be painted in this neck of the Woods county. The Alva Mural Society is also looking for new members and funding for more murals in the process. More photos to come as progress advances on the murals.

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Another Alva Mural On the Drawing Board...

Vol 6, Iss 8 Some of you northwestern Okies might remember this corner on Oklahoma Blvd. and 5th Street that was made famous back in the sixties as the Toot-n-Tell. This building once housed one of Alva's first (if not the first) quickstops.... the Toot-n-Tell. You could just pull-up to the door on the south side of the building - toot your auto horn - and purchase just about any quickstop items. I remember it from my college days in the late '60s. The reason I mentioned this building is because the Alva Mural Society has earmarked the eastside of this building as the next site for another mural to grace the area buildings around Alva. It is in the planning stages to find an artist to paint a mural of the original "Castle on the Hill." If you travel over to the Alva Review Courier , 17 February 2004, Article, you can read, see a computerized rendition of what the Castle on the Hill mural would look like. View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


NWOSU's Old Science Hall

Vol 9, Iss 6 1917 - Science Hall "Look ye! towering o'er yon slope
Stands a monument of knowledge;
Thing of beauty, massive, grand,
builded by skilled workman's hand --
Alva's Western Normal college,
Nucleus of our country's hope."

These are the last few lines of a poem written by the Pilgrim Bard (Scott Cummins). It is entitled "Western Normal College" for Northwestern State Normal school, in Alva, Oklahoma.

We are hoping we can jog some memories out there this week concerning the old Science Hall on Northwestern Oklahoma State University (NWOSU) campus. NWOSU will be celebrating the 100th birthday of the oldest building on campus sometime in the near future. Some of you might know it as the "Fine Arts" building. Others might remember it as the "Science Hall." Whichever you remember it as, NWOSU is looking for old photos, stories of professors, classes that were held in the old Science Hall.

Also... When, How did the Rangers acquire the their name, mascot of the Ranger? Was there some sort of contest in the early years of "Northwestern Normal" when the idea of "Rangers" was first suggested?

AND... NWOSU is looking for any official college songs in the years before the current "Ride Rangers, Ride" and "Northwestern Alma Mater" were composed. If anyone has copies of the music or the words to any of these songs, NWOSU would very much like to have copies of them for their archives.

If you can help, CONTACT: Rodney C. Murrow, Ph.D., Ranger Class of 1971, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Alva ~ Enid ~ Woodward - EMAIL: RCMurrow@nwosu.edu. Thanks!

We have accumulated a lot of information about Northwestern's Castle On the Hill since its creation. You may view the old Ranger Albums over at our NW OkieLegacy Webshots and NW OkieLegacy - Old Albums. So far we have accumulated the Ranger albums for 1917, 1926, 1937, 1938 and a student directory dating back to 1937-38. We have scanned, placed the above mentioned items into PDF files located at the URLs below:

  • '37-'38 Student directory
  • 1926 Ranger Album
  • 1937 Ranger Album
  • 1938 Ranger Album


  • In the 1926 Ranger Album, there is a photo entitled, "The Gang On the Warpath." It shows a "pep" demonstration at Northwestern when they conform into "one essential, entire student body marching to town enmasse." It goes on to say, "Here we see the first assembly of the group last fall (1925). The occasion was the marking of the Highways. Just in front of the college is the intersection of three State Roads and a National Highway. When the whole aggregation gets organized and tuned upon, On Northwestern all small boys or other obstruction had best take for tall timber. Ranger spirit reigns unbridled and defeat is impossible."

    It mentioned the song "On Northwestern." It seems we have talked about this before, but could you all help this middle-aged NW Okie jog her memory? Do you know the words to "On Northwestern?" Do you know any other school songs, Alma Maters that Northwestern might have used? Thanks for all your memories!
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    Castle On the Hill Poem...

    Vol 8, Iss 30 We would like to share a poem entitled - Castle On the Hill. Is this the "Old Northwestern" song that NWOSU & Valarie Case are in search of? See if this poem jogs any memories out there.

    The Castle On the Hill
    "You have written your name in history.
    Oh! Northwestern!
    You've engraved it deep upon the scrolls of fame.
    We have linked our lives with yours --
    Oh! Norhtwestern!
    Our achievements add a luster to your name.

    We'll write your name upon the archives of distinction.
    Ambition and achievement e'er will be our aim.
    We will write your name with reverence,
    Oh! Northwestern!
    Our achievements will but glorify the same.

    So -- then stand ye sons and daughters of Old Northwestern!
    Take off your hats to the men upon the field!
    They will fight tonight for Old Northwestern
    And for the honor of the Castle on the Hill!
    So -- then stand all ye sons of Old Northwestern!
    Paying tribute to the men who never yield.
    They will win tonight for Old Northwestern.
    And for the glory of the Castle on the Hill!"
    --- Thelma Meyers --- View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


    NW Okie's Corner

    NW Okie in New Hampshire 1999

    Vol 14, Iss 1 Bayfield, CO - Happy New Year 2012! It is a New Year, a New beginning of only great things to come our way as we all speak out in the Todays; remembering the friends of Yesterdays as we soar into the Tomorrows. Bringing with us the high hopes as we stand proudly with the 99% of OWS! Thanks to those of OWS for All they have done in 2011 to show we still have a strong voice when we stand united, together! Hope this finds you with a good start to the New Year. GO POKES of OSU!

    We are still updating our websites over at Paris Times Pioneers, Prairie Pioneer News, SW Colorado Weather Cam, The OkieLegacy, NW OkieLegacy and McGill Sisters US, which will be merged into the "SW Colorado Weather Cam" web site.

    If you can not find something that was on the okielegacy.org website, it probably got moved to the Prairie Pioneer News or "NW OkieLegacy" website. If you find a broken link in the OkieLegacy Ezine or Tabloid pages, send us the URL (LINK) to the page you found it on and help us update our links. We are halfway through our Volume 7 and moving forward so far this 2nd day of January 2012.

    Here are some legacies we are moving over to the "Prairie Pioneer News" web site:

    1. NWOKmarriages
    2. PoliticalLegacy
    3. Woods
    4. Woodward county
    5. Fair Valley
    6. Normal school (Castle on the Hill)
    Those legacies that will remain on The OkieLegacy web site are: OkieLegacy Ezine, Vada's 1938 Diary, Gene's Legacy, UncleBob's Legacy, Grandma's Legacy, Grandpa's Legacy, WWII POW Camp Legacy, Okie Mysteries of 1910 & 1954 (Mabel Oakes and Ann Reynolds).

    I leave you with these lines, "And there's a hand my trusty friend / And give us a hand o' thine / And we'll take a right good-will draught, / for auld lang syne." . . . Long, Long Since!

    GO POKES (OSU vs. Stanford)!

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    1926 Castle on the Hill Yearbook – Captain Frank S. Wyatt

    Vol 18, Iss 23 Alva, OK - Captain Frank S. Wyatt – Twenty years of faithful service to his school and his country was the contribution of Frank S. Wyatt. His ambition for Alva and Northwestern had been ever uppermost. During the World War he won National recognition as a Director of Physical Training for convalescent Veterans. It was his privilege to conduct the Olympic Games in 1918.

    Through the untiring efforts of Capt. Wyatt a unit of the Oklahoma National Guard was stationed at Alva.

    This was an asset to the student who wished to work his way thru school for by enlisting he was provided living quarters and received from a dollar per drill to four dollars according to rank. In credit in Physical Training for every twenty-seven drills is granted by the college.

    The unit located here was a divisional signal company a radio and telegraph unit. The study of wireless telegraphy and telephone operation was offered. A broadcasting station had been built and was operated by the company.

    The officers of the local unit were: Commanding Officer, Capt. F. S. Wyatt; 1st. Lieut. Marcus H. Webster, Fred P. Drake, Franc T. Wyatt; 2nd Lieut. John J. France.
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    A Prairie of Dreams

    Vol 1, Iss 9 NW Okie wrote this back in September 2, 1999, "A Prairie of Dreams (Castles of NW Oklahoma)."

    "If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it." - William Arthur Ward. Another saying I like is, "If you build your prairie of dreams (your Castle on the Hill), they will come!"

    We all have dreams! All we need is the determination and support to carry out some of those dreams. What if our ancestors had not followed their prairie of dreams to the new world? What would life have been like back in January, 1895 if the pioneers of the growing city of Alva and the county of "M" (Woods, Alfalfa and Major) in this northwest Oklahoma territory had not had their dream of a Northwestern State Normal School and the determination of a community to accomplish that dream?

    There would have been NO unique and splendid "Castle on the Hill" March 12, 1897 that stood until March 1, 1935 when it was ravished completely by fire. One of those dreamers was James E. Ament who helped structure the architectural outline of the Norhtwestern Normal school building after the outlines of the Norman Castles of France that he loved so much. Ament was the first President of Northwestern State Normal College when he came to Alva in September 20, 1897.

    It took the support and organization of the Commercial Club of businessmen and citizens of the community to unite and "Push" for the lobby of the bill through the State Legislature from January, 1895 to March 12, 1897. After much maneuvering on both sides, Governor Renfrew reluctantly signed the bill granting a Normal School for this determined community of Alva, Oklahoma.

    While the committee was faced with several long, maneuvering and bitter fights lobbying the legislature, the citizens back home were gathering land and finances. They were beginning to build on their dream. That is how determined they were to fulfill their dreams of higher education in this growing farming town and county of "M" in Oklahoma territory. They had a dream and as a community they came together to build it.

    The early morning hours of March 1, 1935, Friday, will live in infamy for many of the Old Timers of this NW Oklahoma community. That is when their beloved "Castle on the Hill" burned down. The cause of the fire has been largely a matter of speculation ranging from faulty electrical wiring -- To spontaneous combustion in a janitor's closet -- To a carelessly tossed cigarette.

    From a journal that my Grandpa McGill kept this is what he wrote March 1, 1935, "The old Administration building burned down -- Boy! Was everybody sick! March 14, 1935 - $300,000 passed by both houses to rebuild. Only 4 opposition - Parade by everybody at noon, March 14, 1935."

    The pioneers of the growing city of Alva and county of "M" (Woods, Alfalfa and Major) in Oklahoma territory had their prairie of dreams. One of those dreams was to see their children educated. They set their goal to build their "Castle on the Hill" for themselves, their children and their children's children. It began with 166 students in September, 1897 and grew to 2,000 students in 1999. They accomplished their prairie of dreams with the pioneer spirit and determination that drove so many to this new land of opportunities - And they came in droves from the eastern and western seaboards and across the oceans for a new beginning.

    Don't give up on your dreams. Where would we be if our pioneers had given up on their dreams. There may be times that you take a step back, but there will always be times when you take two steps forward to seeing your dreams fulfilled. What we need is more dreamers and people with determination to ease and move us progessively forward in the evolution of our life.
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    NW Okie's Corner

    Vol 14, Iss 53 Bayfield, Colorado - On this last day of 2012 December 31st, here in Southwest Colorado, we are experiencing a fresh coat of snow that seems to be getting heavier and heavier as the day progresses. You can barely see the mountain tops across the way here at the north end of the Vallecito Reservoir, North of Bayfield, Colorado. When we have our UStream - Okielegacy up and broadcasting, you can view a piece of Southwest Colorado weather.

    We always love hearing how our website has helped others searching for their genealogy legacies. We heard from Desiree Kirby Rahman, who stumbled onto our Prairie Pioneer News website, when she was looking for some information on Alva's "Castle on the Hill." Her interest in Alva and northwest Oklahoma extends several generation.

    Desiree's great grandmother, Olive Ruth Littlefield Whitehead, attended when NWOSU was a Normal School. Her family legend says she was in the first class. Desiree's grandmother, Sarah Ann Whitehead Ackley, attended the Teachers' College and later graduated from the State College along with Desiree's father, Robert Kirby, in 1959. Her mother Ruth Ann Ackley Kirby graduated in 1966 or 1967 and later got a Master's degree from the State University.

    Another interesting tidbit I found while reading through Oren F. Morton's, "History of Rockbridge County, Virginia," the mention that a William Warwick, who had married Elizabeth Dunlap, had four children (Jean, Martha, John and Jacob). Jean and Martha were killed by the Indians about 1759. John settled in Kentucky in 1784. Jacob was an extensive owner of realty and livestock in Pocahontas. The widow of William Warwick married Andrew Sitlington of Bath.

    I was glancing, searching through the old newspaper at Chronicling America, and found an interesting little news tidbit that I have never heard before about my grandpa William J. McGill. The article on page four of The Mathews Journal, dated 14 November 1907, mentioned in the first paragraph under the heading "The Field of Sport: "McGill, the new pitcher of the St. Louis Browns, is studying for the ministry and won't play baseball on Sunday."

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    NW Okie's Corner

    Vol 14, Iss 30 Bayfield, Colorado - Does anyone out there know when most of the trees were planted on the grounds of the "Castle On the Hill" (also known as Northwestern Normal School), in Alva, Woods county, Oklahoma Territory?

    The photo on the left is a photograph that my grandmother, Constance Estella Warwick McGill had saved in her photo collections. It was taken 22 January 1901. I left it as a large image file so that others with high broadband connections might zoom in and see what relatives they could find among the Northwestern Normal School group of January 1901.

    I believe that both grandma Constance Estella (Warwick) McGill and grandpa Wm. Jacob McGill and a few other McGill's are in this photo. Behind the group posed in front of "Castle on the Hill," I counted at least eight young trees. See if you count any more.

    We know that the history of the Castle on the Hill (Northwestern Normal School), in Alva, Woods County, Oklahoma Territory, was dedicated on March 9, 1900 by the president of the school, James Ament. The cost of the structure was about $100,000. It began as a vision in 1895 when a bill was introduced in 1895 for the purpose of establishing a Normal School in the growing rural city of Alva and the county of "M" (Woods) county, in the Northwest corner of Oklahoma Territory.

    The committee appointed to to sell the idea of this normal school were: S. L. Johnson, chairman; H. L. Ross, secretary; W. F. Hatfield, editor of the Alva Pioneer; James Kelley, editor of the Alva Republica; C. C. Hudson, editor of the Alva Review; A. H. Andrews, city attorney, and Jesse J. Todd.

    We also know that the "Castle on the Hill" burned to a shell of itself March, 1935, and was rebuilt. The Castle stood where the Jesse Dunn building stands today, looking North down College Avenue (6th Street) on Oklahoma Blvd. To read more information and view old "Ranger" albums of Northwestern State Normal School CLICK this LINK.

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    NW Okie's Corner

    Vol 13, Iss 34 Bayfield, Colorado - The photo on the left is a view probably taken from the roof of the Monfort building on the downtown square. As you look South up College Avenue (6th Street) you can see the Stipp's Department Store, Congregational church and the Castle on the Hill after a rain storm. Also in the background you catch a glimpse of Alva's first water tower to the left and slightly behind the Castle.

    Where you see the Alva Lumber Company is where the Alva State Bank is today (NE corner of College Ave. and Center St.). by the way, does anyone know anything about the Charles D. Stipp family that settled around Northwest Oklahoma Territory?

    Do you have a Facebook account? If so and you are from Northwest Oklahoma (particularly Alva) you need to connect to the following group site, You Know You're From Alva If. . .. Vicki Cunningham shared some of those old Alva photos that the Cherokee Strip Museum - Alva has accumulated onto a CD that the museum sells to raise funds for the museum.

    The Cherokee Strip Museum - Alva also has other items to sell of historic value concerning Northwest Oklahoma pioneers. AND . . . the museum in the old Alva General Hospital located in the West part of town on 14th Street has a superb collection of the pioneers histories through Oklahoma Territory. For more information check out their Facebook page above and click on "Info" for their address, phone, website and hours that they are open to the public (Tuesday thru Sunday, 2pm thru 5pm).

    While you are visiting the Cherokee Strip Museum in Alva, Oklahoma, there is another item (history book) that you might want to purchase. Early Woods County (ISBN 9780738583105) by author Beverly Kinzie, published by Arcadia Publishing, has been on sale since May 30, 2011.

    It contains a history of Woods County, Oklahoma and showcases images dating from 1894 to statehood in 1907. It covers the period of early settlement and the hardships of pioneers in a new territory. It includes the growth from a wide open prairie to the beginnings of small towns and school districts, from mostly one-room schoolhouses to the Normal School for higher education.

    People from all walks of life came to the Cherokee Outlet before the land run of 1893 and after. Those frontier inhabitants suddenly found themselves nearly alone on the wide expanse of prairie unbroken by a single building and with almost no trees. Early settlers came from across the country and even from across the ocean, many with nothing but the clothes on their backs and hope. These new residents carved out a living and made Woods County what it is today.

    The Author's Bio reads as follows: Beverly S. Kinzie came to Alva, Woods County, Oklahoma, as a bride 50 years ago. She and her husband, Wayne, built an international aviation business which they owned and operated for over 45 years while raising a family of four children. Beverly has been involved with numerous church and community activities, all of which help preserve the history of Woods County.

    It was in 1975 that the Cherokee Strip Museum Association acquired the former Alva City Hospital building with its 40 rooms to house one of Oklahoma's best collections of pioneer exhibits was set up to display northwestern Oklahoma artifacts. Check out Cherokee Strip Museum website.

    While you are over at the You know you're from Alva if. . . Facebook page, scroll down to where Mark Bellah posted about still looking for early pictures of the Nickel/McClure mansion and any information on the Nickel family. If you have any information or photos, get in contact with him. Thanks!

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    NW Okie's Ramblings

    Vol 12, Iss 37 Alva, Oklahoma - Where has the month of September gone. I know it is only reaching mid-way, but why do the days past so quickly?

    Only a little over a week plus a few days until Northwestern OSU has their Fall Homecoming 2010. How many homecoming does this make for NWOSU (a.k.a NTN, NSTC, NSC)? 1899? I have lost track, but know that I have run across the first homecoming somewhere in my notes and research. Maybe someone out there reading this could enlighten all us Northwest Oklahomans.

    In less than two weeks we will be stomp, clapping to the school bands marching around the Alva downtown square. The YouTube video was taken 1 November 2008 of the marching bands.



    According to our research on Northwestern, in Volume II, Issue 81, dated 21 October 2000, titled "A Homecoming Mystery Bands, Floats & Celebrations," a celebration with floats in a great parade was being planned as far back as 1 July 1899. Was this the first homecoming? July 1, 1899 -- The work on the building of the famous Castle on the Hill had so advanced that a committee began the preparations for laying the corner stone under the main tower in front. The program consisted of the usual ceremonies, led by the Masons. Governor Barnes and several other territorial officers, and Grand Master E. M. Bamford were present. President Ament introduced Governor Barnes as the first speaker. He was followed by Judge McAtee, S. L. Johnson and Hon. Temple Houston.

    The following is a list of articles that were placed within the corner stone -- Roll of officers and members of the grand lodge and local lodge A. F. & A. M.; same of the Alva Commercial Club; same of the legislature 1897; copies of the Alva Pioneer, Courier, Review and Cleo Cheiftain; copy of program of the day's exercises and names of President Ament, Miss Bosworth and Mrs. DeLisle.

    The day was one of general celebration, the businesses of the town being represented by floats in a great parade. The crowd present was guessed at 4000 to 6000. Some More Normal History can be found on our website at this link Northwestern Normal School, 1895-1935 - beginning & conception

    Barry Kelsey remembers, "We used to call it Northwestern State Teachers College. When my Grandfather went there it was called something like Northwestern Normal School."

    Monet Monfort Lion says, "Yes, I believe it started out as Northwestern Normal School. I have many photos of The Castle on the Hill and a painted plate depiction made for Monfort Drug Store's China department! Rod reminds us that, "The original title of the institution was Northwestern Territorial Normal School, founded in 1897, 10 years before Oklahoma's statehood."

    Marvin Henry says, "There are probably others who remember attending NSC while still in elementary school and jr high school. During the time Washington School was being rebuilt, about 1945, my 3rd grade class was held in the upstairs, first room on the left in what was known as Horace Mann building, now the education building. Junior High, 7th & 8th grade was on the second floor of the Horace Mann building. Industrial Arts (Shop for the boys) ground floor and Home Ec (girls) second floor of the Fine Arts building."

    Off the subject of NWOSU and onto our family genealogy that I have at MyHeritage.com - Wagner genealogy, the subscription runs out around October 10, 2010, and I have decided not to renew that genealogy site. BUT it will not be a loss, because I have that information over at my Ancestry.com family genealogy for the Warwick, McGill, Paris, Conover, Hurt and Wagner families.

    Until November 21, 2010 our Paris-McGill-Warwick family genealogy will still be up for awhile at MyHeritage for the Paris-Conover-Hurt-Warwick-Gwin-McGill-Wagner Family. I may or may not renew this site in November, 2010, because a more updated version is over at my Ancestry.com genealogy site. We shall see!

    David, the two Pugs and myself are going to try to make it back for Northwestern's Homecoming. While there we need to check out our new little 2010 filly, black and white paint horse that grazes with her momma paint horse at Clark's East Farm, in Alfalfa County, Oklahoma. I hear it is a beauty!

    Happy and Best Wishes to your September and Northwestern Homecoming 2010! View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


    Northwestern Prairie Folk Mourn - March 10, 1935

    Vol 11, Iss 6 We did some searching online at The Oklahoman archives for "Castle On the Hill" in the year 1935 and found a couple of articles. One of those articles was dated March 10, 1935, page 59, with the following headlines: "Northwestern Prairie Folk Mourn Loss of Pioneer College Structure at Alva," written by Jone Sartin.

    There was an Editor's Note written before the article -- it was so light that I could only make out bits and pieces of it. It read something like this: "Mrs. Jone Sartin, who wrote this story, has lived 37 years. She obtained her life certificate at the teacher's college at the Alva. She graduated with higher honors. The story herewith represent the sentiment of the people of the northwest.

    -- "Calamity stalked northwest Oklahoma faces disaster with confidence both of worthy achievement has latest disaster is shared by the whole southwest. On March 1, the administration building of Northwestern Teachers college yielded to fire. A surly wind fanned a fire that lighted the country side for miles.

    "Years have wrought little change in the valiant spirit of Oklahoma's prairie folk. It took courage to come to the plains. It takes courage to stay. Memories and yesterdays ghosts are quickly dismissed by demands.......

    "In 1898 Alva, that had begun as a tent town, saw completed a building soon known as the most beautiful building west of the Mississippi river. Dictated by foresight; and dedicated to education it represented the ultimate of pioneer purpose. Half-measures or relinquished hopes were not tolerated.

    "Plans submitted by territorial architects for the building were rejected. Among Alva's pioneers was one widely traveled, James E. Ament, now president of National Park Seminary, Washington, D.C. During his travels he was impressed by the rare beauty of a Normandy castle. He was ambitious that a reproduction of this castle should be erected as northwest Oklahoma's contribution to the territory's educational buildings.

    Alva was only a village, but the earnestness of Doctor Ament's desire inspired 80 of the pioneer business and professional men to pledge $1,000 each, on private notes, for the erection of the building. Among these were the late Jesse J. Dunn and S. L. Johnson. Five of the signers still live in Alva. They are: J. W. Monfort, W. F. Hatfield, Anton Shafer, Geroge Crowell, "Cap" Carrico.

    "Their courage drew only condemnation from the territorial press. it protested that they had underwritten the project for the purpose of defrauding the territory. The building was called a castle from Spain, the prairie prince's plight and the enterprise was generously sneered at. Thus the territorial legislators were dubious when a request for $68,000 was checked to them.

    "Alva had been named in honor of Alva Adams, Colorado governor, who was attorney for the Santa Fe railroad. Through Mr. Adams' interest a special train was provided and the legislators were brought to Alva. A banquet in their honor was served in the upper corridor of the much discussed building. Sneerers became cheerers. The distinctive architectural design, the richness of detail, and the perfect completeness of the building impressed the law-makers. They returned to Guthrie and passed the requested appropriation increasing it to $110,000.

    "This was the beginning of a dream of a great temple of learning. Doctor Ament envisioned a building of which the structure now destroyed was to be but one wing. The blueprints were prepared by Joseph Foucart, French-born architect. A copy of the original plans will be found if workmen pierce the cornerstone in restoring the venerable ruins.

    "Ament was first president of the institution. His faculty consisted of two teachers, Sarah Bosworth and Mrs. Mary DeLisle. The school opened with an enrollment of 63. Today Northwestern has a faculty of 45, an enrollment of 1,184, and is expanded to five buildings. In its 37 years of service 3,483 students have graduated from its courses. Since 1919 the school has operated as a fully accredited college conferring bachelor degrees. The 1934 degree class numbered 92 graduates.

    "Alva stands as the gateway to the panhandle. Northwestern college is the gateway through which the youth of this vast territory enters American enterprises. Hugh Johnson of NRA fame, graduated from Northwestern. Oklahoma's State university has six N. S. T. C. graduates on her faculty -- Maurice Wardell, Ralph Records, Dean Ray Johnson, Floyd Bingham, Ralph Beagle and Della Brunstetter. Among her writers are Edna Brockway-Muldrow, who does book reviews for the Oklahoman; Dorothy Calloway, whose poems appear in Good Housekeeping; and Pearl Johnson, writer of philosophy.

    "There is not a state in the union that does not hold some person formerly of Northwestern. Harvey H. Niminger, curator of the Museum of Meteorites of the Colorado museum of National History, Denver, graduated from Northwestern. Frank Ingles, sculptor, formerly associated with Lorado Taft, has a studio on the west coast. Dr. Wyman Green is head of the zoological department of Drew university, New York. Misses Edna Perry and Ruth Waring are missionaries to India and Bulgaria. Lemira Whent is directoress of a girls' school in India. Delbert Mann heads the American Boys' School at Istanbul, Turkey.

    "Northwestern is pre-emiently a poor-man's college. Ten classes had graduated from Northwestern before statehood. Only one other teacher's college is older. In 1897 the territorial legislature appropriated $3,000 for the operating expenses of a school at Alva but it made no provisions for a building. For the first two years the school was held in the Congregational church. It is wrong to think of it as just another teachers' college. This school is northwestern Oklahoma's university. Students who attend Northwestern would be denied educational advantages beyond the high school except for the nearness of this great institution to their homes.

    "The majority of her students elect to come to school at Alva because it is less expensive than attendance at other state schools. Yet the courses and equipment are often superior. From farms and small towns students bring produce, canned fruits and vegetables in exchange for board and room, and often as some portion of a small tuition.

    "Moving today in the shadow of crumbling ruins they are not possessed by loss but are proudly aware of what they still have.

    "The mother-building watched the growth of additional buildings on her 40-acre domain -- the Science Hall, Wyatt Gymnasium. Herod Hall (designed after Oklahoma City University), the stadium on Newby Field, and the picturesque building that houses the central heating plant. Six magnificent structures but not one vieing in beauty with the old Castle on the Hill.

    "But institutions are more than buildings. They are the spirit interwoven in the background of a community. Boys and girls of the short-grass country are entitled to opportunities afforded youth in other parts of the state. This conviction is uppermost in the minds and hearts of builders of Oklahoma's commonwealth. Justice to these youths will not be forgotten. Their record, free from stain, is their greatest assurance."
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    Sept., 1946 News - Northwestern Normal School

    Vol 10, Iss 22 In the September, 1946 Issue of the Alva Review Courier this following headline showed up on the front page with other headlines: "Alva's Early Settlers Wanted College Here Quickly." It went on to state that work started on the Northwestern Normal School project in 1895 and was finished in 1897.

    It all began when, "Those hardy citizens who founded the struggling village that came to be Alva were anxious to get an institution of higher learning for this section, and so the first efforts that led to Northwestern State college were made in the year 1895."

    It goes on to state that the first attempts to get a school established by the legislature were unsuccessful, but the struggle continued and the bill passed the senate on February 26, 1897. It was signed by Gov. W. C. Renfrow about midnight on March 12 and the problems began immediately for the state's second oldest normal school.

    First Leader
    The new board of regents for normal schools elected James E. Ament of Illinois as president at a meeting August 28, 1897. His first faculty consisted of two teachers and the Congregational church, rented for $150 a year, was the college building. The Alva Commercial club paid the rent.

    School opened on September 20, with 68 students on hand. Before the end of the year there were 166 seeking knowledge.

    Plans for a building were underway and finally those of Joseph Foucart, Guthrie, were accepted. Joseph Folk, Illinois, got the contract and with 6,000 cheering spectators present the cornerstone of the building was laid July 1, 1898.

    Nice Building
    It was not just a cornerstone laying. There had been no appropriation for the enterprise, a huge one considering the times and conditions, and it was underwritten by private citizens of Alva.

    The building proved to be an honor to all who were responsible for its erection. The September, 1946 news clipping goes on to state, "Its architectural grace and quality of workmanship it was war in advance of any other school building in the southwest."

    After the first year an additional teacher was added to the faculty and the Baptist church was also obtained because of the increasing enrollment.

    Steady Growth
    In July, 1899 there was a faculty of 11 instructors and in 1900 the school was transferred to its permanent quarters and the enrollment moved up to 413.

    The growth was steady. In 1901 the faculty numbered 15 with the attendance 551. In 1902 the faculty was 18 and the enrollment an even 600.

    President Ament resigned in 1902 and T. W. Conway, superintendent of public schools in Sterling, Kansas, was elected.

    One of his first acts was to add five new members tot he faculty, making a total of 23. Under president Conway the move was begun to obtain a second building for the Normal.

    Got Money
    Through his efforts, and others, the legislature in May, 1905 appropriated $50,000 for the construction of a new library and science hall. The bill became a law when signed by President Roosevelt in June, 1906 and the building was completed in the fall of 1907.

    A home for the president of the institution was erected in 1918.

    An appropriation of $50,000 was secured for a gymnasium seating 1,500, built in 1918.

    The next building boost came from the legislature of 1923, which voted $100,000 for building and repairs at Northwestern. The major portion of the money was used for the erection of Herod Hall, which housed the auditorium, the registry office, the music department and the nine classrooms.

    Sad Day
    March 1, 1935 was a sad day for the school and Alva. The "Castle on the Hill" was destroyed by fire.

    The legislature appropriated $300,000 for the replacement of the building. From the federal government $245,000 was obtained, making a nice sum for new buildings and euipment, all of which were opened to students during the school year 1936-37.

    The new buildings included: Horace Mann, adequate for elementary and high school; a new classroom and library building, Jesse Dunn Hall, providing adequate reading room for the school, stock room for over 100,000 volumes and air conditioned library reading room, classrooms; and a science annex housing the chemistry; physics, biology departments and the biology departments and the biological museum.

    Good Buildings
    The buildings were constructed of reinforced concrete, brick and kasota stone. Heating lighting and ventilation had been arranged to serve their purpose efficiently and they were well equipped as any school in the southwest.

    The sixteenth legislature of Oklahoma allowed the sale of bonds for the purpose of construction of Dormitories on the campus. Bonds totaling $121,000 were matched with a PWA grant of $100,000.

    The two dormitories were completed and ready for occupancy at the opening of the fall semester in 1939. The women's dorm accommodated 130 woemn and 118 men stayed in the men's dorm.

    Much of the social life of the college centers in the dormitories where attracive parlors provided settings for receptions and parties.

    According to the September, 1946 news article, "Funds had recently been allotted for repairs and rebuilding of the old "Science building" to give additional space for the expanded post-war college program."

    One of the first things noticed when the tree-covered campus of Northwestern State college comes into view is the tower of Herod Hall. The tower was a mark of beauty symbolizing the knowledge to be obtained at the college.
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    Odds & Ends

    Vol 10, Iss 15 One of our readers is quoted as saying, "Hum... Interesting deveopment here. First horses, what is next to be moved to Oklahoma? You?"

    In response to that statement, "Just wait and see what develops!"

    David is in the process of moving some fencing pipe from Colorado to Fairvalley, Oklahoma the next few days. The Pugs and I are hanging back in SW Colorado during this trip.

    Mid-week, Wednesday during the rain, I received my E. Hollen Castle on the Hill plate.

    NOW... I need to collect some more of Elizabeth Hollen's painted china. Like the Woods County Courthouse plate.

    What other plates did E. Hollen paint? Let us know if you know. Thanks!

    Well! SW Colorado gas prices have risen to $3.45.9 this week for regular unleaded. What is it doing in your neck of the woods?
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    Wayne Lane's Centennial History Book

    Vol 9, Iss 7 We are searching for a copy of Wayne Lane's Centennial History book? In it you can find the Castle on the Hill song which is referred to as Oh, Northwestern.

    We understand that it says the following: "On a local basis, a new college song, Oh, Northwestern, was dedicated to President O. E. Hatcher when it was first sung at a chapel assembly in December 1933. Its words were by Thelma Myers, secretary to the president, and the music by Mrs. E. B. L. Hardy. The composition was used as the college song for several years afterward."

    We would also like to find a copy of the printed melody of "Oh Northwestern." Does anyone know where we can find a printed copy of the melody of "Oh Northwestern?" Thanks again for any help from anyone out there!
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    Town Fathers of Woods County, Oklahoma...

    Vol 8, Iss 15 These are just a few of Woods County, Oklahoma's town fathers of that helped shape and build this northwest part of the State. In the coming weeks in "The OkieLegacy Ezine" we will be featuring more of our "Pioneer Town Fathers" from northwest Oklahoma Territory.

    J. A. Stine -- Native of Pennsylvania; came to Missouri when a young man and lived there several years; thence to Harper, Kansas, where he was engaged in the drug business, and in the latter eighties moved to Amarillo, Texas. In the fall of 1894 he came to Alva and started the organization of the Exchange Bank, which was perfected Feb. 15, 1895, by the election of J. A. Stine, president; Geo. W. Crowell, vice-president, and Percy R. Smith, cashier; a few months afterward bought the old Alva State Bank and consolidated them, making the Exchange the oldest bank in the county, which was made a National bank, Oct. 1, 1899. Mr. Stine and family owned four banks and he was president of all of them. (First National of Alva, First National of Woodward, Bank of Ingersoll, and Waynoka State Bank.) He was also the first president of the Alva Commercial Club, which was organized in the fall of 1896, which position he ably filled for three or four years; and to the old "Push" club, as it was called. Capt. Stine, in the presence of several members of the club and other citizens, March 19, 1898, drove the locating stake of the Normal college. That stake still stands where the main tower of the Castle on the Hill once stood. He was also elected mayor of the city when it was organized as a city of the first class in May, 1901, and his name will always remain prominently in the history of Alva. On the southwest corner of Alva's government square, southwest corner of 6th Street & Barnes Avenue, stands the Stine building today.

    Jesse James Dunn -- Dunn was a native of Illinois. He came with his parents to western Kansas in the eighties. He was a graduate of the law department of Kansas University. He came to Alva, Sept. 16, 1893, and opened a law office. He was always ready to give a liberal share of his time and assistance in city and county affairs of public interest. He was elected county attorney in 1896 and re-elected 1898, served four years and made a creditable record. Mr. Dunn is one of the best known lawyers of Oklahoma and was president of the Oklahoma Bar Association 1903. He was one of the ablest and most entertaining public speakers in the west. Cowgill & Dunn, lawyers, hade a large acquaintance and lucrative practice back in 1904.

    H. Clay McGrath -- Clay McGrath - Alva Pioneer was a native of Illinois, came to Barber County, Kansas, in the early eighties.One among the first to reach Alva, Sept. 16, 1893, secured the farm that is now the southeast quarter of the city, was the first elected sheriff of the county all of 1894, re-elected 1896; first to offer 40 acres of land for the Normal college and campus, but on account of delay in receiving his patent from the government, J. T. Fryer gave 40 acres of his land for the college and Mr. McGrath paid him for half of it. Mr. McGrath was a splendid officer and citizen. He sold all his property here and in 1909 was living at Larned, KS.
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    Weather In Oklahoma...

    Vol 6, Iss 17

    We are sure that you have heard that, "If you don't like the weather in Oklahoma, wait three days. It will change." AND... It's that time of year that Tornado & Storm watchers can be seen driving our roads chasing storm clouds. We didn't get the hail stones that dumped over 6 inches of hail in the OKC area, but did get some thunder, lightning, high winds, and rain... of course. By Thursday the temps had dropped to the mid-50s and more rain came in Friday all day... dumping over 2 inches of rain in some places. Some of you former Alva, NW Oklahomans might remember how the rain drains down from the Castle on the Hill towards the corner of fourth street & Flynn Avenue... with streaming aftermaths reaching almost to the curb of the downtown streets. I don't believe they got that deep, but their was lots of it this Friday. The Iris, trees, grass, weeds and farmers thank-you, Mother Nature! BUT... don't forget the sunshine, too!

    What about those dusts storms in Milan, New Mexico? So... Where is Milan, New Mexico? How about that 1-2 feet of snow that fell in the eastern parts of Colorado leaving blizzard conditions from Denver to LaJunta all the way down to I25 and Raton, New Mexico? I hear they closed Interstate 25 near Raton, New Mexico at the Colorado border because of the snow. The Panhandle of Oklahoma (No Mans Land) even got some of that snow. Is there anyone out there besides me and Duchess that think this is a very strange, cool, warm, wet Spring? We need the moisture, though! So I "ain't complainin' much!" Just grateful for what we have around here! Anyway... Wait three days. The weather will change!

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    Looking Back At 2005...

    Vol 7, Iss 52 January 2005 -- Tsunamis in Thailand -- ice storms in Oklahoma -- Christmas snow in Galveston TX -- snow storms in Colorado! snow started to fall Friday evening (7th of January)

    Strickland/Horner Airport & Flying School... Catch up on the Strickland/Horner Airport & Flying School that was located about 7-miles East of Alva, southside of the highway, in the mid-1930's. Leo and Roscoe Horner's airport (on the Strickland homestead) which celebrated the airports 3rd. birthday. It was started January 2, 1938 by Leo (Strickland) and Roscoe (Horner) with 2 brand new 40 Horsepower Piper Cubs.

    By Mid-January There were reports that the approximate total snowfall accumulated over the first couple of weeks of January was 67-inches up at Vallecito, Colorado. The newspapers reported that they had to close Wolf Creek Pass SW (Colorado) due to 10-feet of snowfall.

    One of our readers sent us some items that appeared in Renfrews Record, dateline - Dec. 12, 1913, Alva, Oklahoma. 2 stories written by I. T. Strickland which were published in one or more of the early day newspapers of Alva. Dateline is Alva, Woods County, Oklahoma, Friday December 12, 1913. The contents are about hunting and Indian encounters on the trip's. Also copied were several other articles in the paper on the front page. These are news items of Alva. One concerns a hearing in court of a man named Charlie Bower being held for murder in Cherokee (Oklahoma). He was being charged with murdering a man named Jay French near Ashley on the night of November.

    Towards the last of January, 2005 we were searching for whatever happened to Kenneth Root. Here's the rest of the story: Kenneth Root (17 years of age in 1941). Kenneth shot a Donald Benson (22 or 23 years of age in 1941). I am assuming that this Benson worked at the Alva Flour Mill and had a sister that Kenneth was dating back then. There was this dinner at the Rose Hill School that Kenneth and Benson were at when the shooting occured. Kenneth Root was arrested by Sheriff Ken Greer and charges were filed against Root by County Attorney Bill Gruber. The presiding judge was JJ Gaiser and the defense attorney was CH Mauntel. We are told that after the trial Kenneth went free.

    Ernest Martin's Fathers Legacy website and paintings touched, left impact on others... "Thank you. It has been a wonderful journey through your life and paintings. I started on the internet to find a picture of a dirt road to go in my church bulletin with the writing 'Dirt Roads' and with God's help, I found your site. Your work is wonderful and your writing made me homesick for my home town of Tarboro, North Carolina and I wanted to see my Grandmother even though she has passed away (15 yrs ago). I wish you had sketches or paintings to go with your writings. I can picture my growing up places with your words and I just want to go home! Your painting of the 'Farm' is the type of place that I would love for my 7-year-old grandson to grow up. Thank you for touching my heart and soul today. Your work has meant a lot to me."

    February 2005 - Ashley Baseball Team... Beginning of February we were asking,"Whether it be derogatory or the term 'Okie' carried proudly amongst though of us who want to share, preserve our memories of this great Okie heritage that has been passed down from one generation to another."

    We were searching for information on a fire in Woods County, perhaps in Cedar Twp, about 1918. Three children were believed killed in that fire (maybe others). The known names are: Melvin, Alice and Galen OSBURN. Have seen the surname as OSBORN, also. These children, along with their father George (spelled Gorge on his headstone) Harvey OSBURN, siblings Dollie, Oscar and Dazie are buried in White Horse Cemetery.

    Dacoma, OK was losing a business icon with the closing of Dacoma's Cowboy Grill, in the rural community of Dacoma (Dakoma), Oklahoma. Billy and Floy Whittet are finally retiring and closing down the Cowboy Grill after 80 some years in their lives.

    Dacoma (Dakoma) & Jot-em-Down Store� "Murrow's Jot-em-Down Store, Dacoma, Oklahoma "I received three photos of the old Jot-em-down Store (the original Murrow's Grocery in Dacoma, Oklahoma) from Patti Kilbourne. She 'retrieved' them with her digital camera from an album of photos owned by Billy and Floy Whittet in Dacoma - who are in the process of closing down the Whittet's Store & Cowboy Grill.

    The majority of OkieLegacy readers were proud to be called "Okie"

    We learned about history of the Faulkner's was taken from the "Pioneer Footprints Across Woods County", pgs 213-215, as told by Greta Faith and Opal French. Charles Fredrick Faulkner was born 7 Aug. 1864, Springville, Virginia; died 5 Apr. 1910, Alva, Oklahoma. Mattie A. Greear was born 7 July 1869, Grant, Virginia; died 23 Oct. 1944, Alva, Oklahoma. Charles and Mattie married at the GREEAR home, 18 July 1888, Grant, Virginia. Charles was a farmer and blacksmith for 5 years in Virginia. About 1893 they loaded their family of six children, father and mother into a wagon & team -- headed westward for greater opportunities and adventures. They sold their Virginia home and headed west to Taneyville, Missouri (first stop on their westward adventure).

    We learned Hugh T. Donnan that had a photography studio in the Alva, Oklahoma and Kiowa, Kansas area in the late 1800s and early 1900s. We also know that Hugh Donnan married Lilla Wilhite, April 18,1899, in the home of Fanny and Frank Hatfield in Alva, Oklahoma.

    We were remembering the Air Tour, June 1, 1946, in Waynoka, Oklahoma? AND... Remember the Green Cars of NYC? The Green Cars Tours started from Hotel Bartholdi, Broadway & Twenty-third Street in NYC."

    March 2005 -- The OkieLegacy was reborne and merged into its interactive database with the help of our son, Michael. Enabling readers, viewers to leave comments after each feature.

    This was also the year that We heard from a lady in California whose family has had two framed Sketches of John Jacob WARWICK and Mary Jane VANCE WARWICK that her husband's father had picked up at an auction. It has been hanging on their wall for 40 years or so and they are looking for some WARWICK family to sell it to.

    We also learned about the Man who invented the 'Okie' term dies in California -- Named an 'honorary Okie' in 1968 - By S.E. Ruckman, Staff Writer - Posted October 27, 1997 TEMPLETON, Calif. -- Newspaper publisher Ben Reddick, credited with coining the term 'Okies' when he was a freelance writer during the Depression, died Thursday. He was 82." - SEE Ardmoreite News dated 10/27/97: The Daily Ardmoreite - dated 10/27/1997 - Headlines -- Named an 'honorary Okie' in 1968.

    Alva, Oklahoma had another NEW mural in the 600 block of Barnes Avenue, in downtown Alva. It depicts the Hot Rod Days of Alva, Oklahoma. behind that building is about where McGill Bros. Swimming pool once resided. We believe now it has been filled in and no longer exist.

    1938-39 Lookout (Oklahoma) Sunday School Students were identified. Thanks to Rod... we have identified all the Sunday School Students in the old Lookout, Oklahoma photo. They are: 1 - Frank Neukirch; 2. Mathesia (Knabe) Myers; 3. Mrs. Roy Carlson; 4. Kenneth Bliss; 5. Marjorie Bliss; 6 - Alfred Beagley; 7 - Earl Hackney; 8 - Ray Neukirch (brother of Frank); 9. Mary Ellen Hackney; 10. DeWayne Hodgson; 11. Beagley; 12 - Joy Neukirch (cousin of Frank and Ray); 13 - Colleen Hackney (sister of Earl); 14 - Shirley Neukirch (Joy's sister, also cousin of Colleen Hackney Nixon). Scroll down to the Mailbag Corner to click on the photo.

    We saw where 2 years ago (2003) at this time that our OkieLegacy visitor counter clocked a total of 200,000 visitors. We believe our counter for December 2004 clocked in with 325,000+. As for December, 2005, we took a look at our OkieLegacy counter to find it over the 400,000 mark (436,697).

    We were wondering if... this Alpha Updegraff of the Freedom and NW Oklahoma is the same "Al Updegraff" who was injured in a Bat Masterson's last shootout, April 17, 1881, Dodge City, Kansas?

    April 2005 -- March went out like a "lion." Bellowing it's last few breathes of Winter Wednesday and Thursday with April on the horizon -- making it's debut on a sunny, calm Friday morning here in the valley of SW Colorado.

    We learned that in 1937 (two years after the burning of the Castle on the Hill) that the small, rural community in Northwest Oklahoma gathered, organized for the Dedication of Jesse Dunn Hall that replaced the old Castle on the Hill, at Northwestern State Teachers' College, in Alva, Oklahoma. That was not the only building they were dedicating on Northwestern's campus. Across campus to the west was Horace Mann Hall. two-day dedication, Thursday, March 11 & Friday, March 12, 1937. Even the First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, made an appearance on this special dedication ceremony, 12 March 1937.

    We traveled back to 1947 to take a gander at Alva's Senior Class of '47. According to The Alva Review-Courier, dated Wednesday, May 21, 1947, the frontpage headlines of the Annual Graduate Edition 1947.

    Jim filled us in about the present high school (14th & Flynn Avenue) that sits on the land once occupied by the Alva Golf and Country Club. The Country Club purchased the land north of Alva for the new course sometime in the mid 1950's. The northeast corner of the old course was the corner of 13th and Flynn. The old course was sold to the Alva School District and the new building was ready for classes in the fall of 1956 (Jim said he was in the first class that graduated from that building in the Spring of 1957). Jim couldn't remember how far south the course ran, but thinks it must have been fairly close to the old hospital. The old country club building was used as the high school industrial arts building for several years.

    May 2005 -- We shared some of our Uncle Bob McGill's "Old Kemper Military School Pics" that were among Uncle Bob's treasure chest AND... Kemper military days in Booneville, Missouri back in the years 1936 thru 1938.

    We passed the 60th Anniversary of VE-Day (May 8, 1945) in May, 2005.

    1947 - Wrecks Kill Two Collegians... Taken from The Alva Review-Courier, dated 21 May 1947 - Oklahoma City, May (UP) -- "Two college students returning home for the weekend were killed in automobile accidents last night and early today to raise Oklahoma's May traffic total above the month's record last year. ack Lyon, 20, Wichita, was killed last night when a car driven by Gilbert Valdes, 21, also of Wichita, left U.S. Highway 77 north of Perry in a driving rain and overturned. Sheriff Merl Harmon, who investigated the accident, said both men were war veterans and students at Oklahoma A. and M. college. Valdes was not injured in the accident. Albert Jackson Harris, whose wife was a local newspaper reporter until recently, was found dead in the wreckage of his automobile at 5 a.m. today. The machine had crashed into a bridge abutment on a county road norhteast of here.

    Around the last week or so, we were also transcribing an old July, 1937, Alva Review Courier newspaper.

    We were searching for information on a fire in Woods County, perhaps in Cedar Twp, about 1918. Three children were believed killed in that fire (maybe others). The known names are: Melvin, Alice and Galen OSBURN. Have seen the surname as OSBORN, also. These children, along with their father George (spelled Gorge on his headstone) Harvey OSBURN, siblings Dollie, Oscar and Dazie are buried in White Horse Cemetery.

    Dacoma, OK was losing a business icon with the closing of Dacoma's Cowboy Grill, in the rural community of Dacoma (Dakoma), Oklahoma. Billy and Floy Whittet are finally retiring and closing down the Cowboy Grill after 80 some years in their lives.

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    Remembering some NW Okie Legacies...

    Vol 6, Iss 12

    A few of our readers (including this writer) have sent us memories of the April, 1938 snowstorm that blocked the streets of Alva and the Northwest corner of the state. After re-reading Vada's 1938 Diary, we found where this writer's mother wrote... "April 7, 1938, Thursday - Snowed all day, cold and the wind is strong.   April 8, 1938,  Friday - Gosh, but is terrible outside.  A real blizzard.  Roads and streets are blocked.  Cut all my morning classes. Didn't go to work.   April 9, 1938,  Saturday - Went to work early today.  Sun is shining.  Snow is melting almost.  Need a boat to get downtown.  Roads are still blocked."

    In the Mailbag Corner you can read some other memories of the 1930's Blizzard and Dust storm stories. Alfalfa County Museum, in Cherokee, Oklahoma has stories, memories about the dust bowl days on file at the Museum for the public to read. Next time your in Cherokee, Oklahoma stop by and check them over.

    It is that time to head out of here and get ready for another weekend of exploring in NW Oklahoma. We shall see you all next weekend with hopefully some undiscovered memories, legacies. Also... Congratulations goes out to Northwestern Oklahoma State University marching band... The 13th of March 2004, they traveled to Washington, DC to march in the St. Patrick's Day parade and won a large trophy for "Best Visiting Band." "A Ride Rangers Ride" and "Way to Go, Rangers" ... goes out to the Ranger Band of the Castle on the Hill (now NWOSU). See Y'all next weekend.

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    September Celebrations In Northwest Oklahoma

    Vol 9, Iss 37 The Campus... "A Silent message thru the ages - Is delivered to the races passing by, - And the wisdom of the sages - Flashes futily from the sturdy eye, - Watching Life's laughter, song and tears - Thru the eager march of onward years; - With quiet, unperturbed, mobile face - Inspires us to live with equal grace.' -- [Taken from The Ranger 1926 yearbook.]

    We read in the local paper that Northwestern Oklahoma State University (Northwestern Normal School; NWOSU) will be celebrating 110 years (Sept. 20, 1897 - 2007) as the second Oklahoma Territorial Normal School to open its doors -- began teaching its first classes in the Congregational Church. Edmond had the first territorial normal school.

    It was September 20, 1897 when the Congregational church was rented for $150 for the school year. There were 48 applicants for the office of president that year when a school administrator from Illinois, James E. Ament, was finally chosen.

    From reading the newspaper article it sounds like they started with an initial enrollment of approximately 58 students and the number grew to 70 by the end of September. By early November, it had expanded to 100. AND... by the end of the first year the enrollment was 166. AND... it sounds as though Northwestern had the biggest enrollment of all the territorial schools, agricultural school at Stillwater and the school at Norman at that time.

    We all know that the first building (Castle on the Hill) was erected on the 40 acre tract of land donated by J. T. Fryer and was first occupied by 413 students and 10 faculty on September 11, 1899.

    BUT... Did you know that back in 1907 there was a copper time capsule buried behind the 1907 cornerstone dedication at the northeast corner of the Fine Arts (formerly Science Hall) building?

    What all will they find when they pull out the capsule and re-dedicate the cornerstone that was originally dedicated by the Oklahoma Masonic Grand Lodge, March 1907? Will it be preserved? OR... will it contain dusty remnants of the past?

    The local newspaper stated, "According to newspaper accounts of the day, those items include a list of officers of the masonic Lodge; names of students in a choir assisting in the program; the roster of the Alva post of the Grand Army of the Republic; a document from the Odd Fellows Lodge; military letters of S. T. Carrico; a jewel from the Cherokee Lodge; Northwestern bulletins; copies of Alva newspapers; photographs of state and university officials, a bogus dollar, and a Master's Journal from the Ingersoll Masonic Lodge."

    We understand that Dr. Aaron Mason, assistant professor of political science, is collecting items for the new capsule to take the place of the old capsule. They are/were taking suggestions from the public, but this Friday was the deadline to submit business cards, photos, etc...

    For those of you interested in this re-dedication celebration, ceremony, it will begin at 1:00 p.m., Thursday, September 20, 2007, at the northeast corner of the Fine Arts building. If the weather doesn't cooperate, the ceremony will be held in Piercefull fieldhouse. If I am correct, the old Fine Arts building (Old Science Hall) is the red brick, castle looking structure that faces North towards Seventh Street -- just east of the President's home.

    Also happening on September 20, 2007, at Northwestern Oklahoma State University for their 110/100 celebration, "First Day of Class celebration," is the ringing of the bell on the north Herod Hall lawn at 10:45 a.m. Starting at 11 a.m. to noon -- again at 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. there will be short tours of the one-room schoolhouse located north of the education center. We understand that there will be a short re-enacment of a 1937 campus visit from Eleanor Roosevelt at 11:30 a.m. in Herod Hall Auditorium.

    If you are a student or employee of Northwestern and feeling on the hungry side around noon, September 20, 2007, lunch will be served to Northwestern students and employees in the NEW Greenspace parking lot, northwest corner of the campus.

    If you would like additional information, you may contact the 110/100 Northwestern-Oklahoma Centennial committee co-chairmen, Dr. Mike Knedler (580-327-8590) or Kathy Earnest (580-327-8472.

    Click here for more history of Northwestern Normal School on our OkieLegacy website.

    Congratulations to Northwestern on its 110/100 and first day of class celebration.
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    (1935) Burning of Castle On the Hill...

    Vol 8, Iss 12 Burning of the Castle on the Hill, Alva, Okla. 1895-1935 -- After browsing through old yearbooks, family journals, and old newspaper clippings from the archives of the newspaper department at the Oklahoma Historical Society, this is what we compiled about Alva, Oklahoma's "Castle on the Hill." The following article is taken from The Alva Daily Record, Volume 33, Number 53, pg. 1 & 2, Friday, March 1, 1935. It concerns the burning of "The Castle on the Hill" (Northwestern State Normal School) that burned completely down Friday, March 1, 1935, in the early morning hours around 2:30a.

    The Alva Daily Record was a local newspaper that began in Alva around 1903 and served Alva and Alva's territory for 32 years before the burning of the castle on the hill, March 1, 1935. It was Alva's morning paper that went out every morning except on Monday. The following is the front page article stretched across the page with one-inch double headlines: ADMINISTRATION BUILDING OF TEACHERS COLLEGE DESTROYED BY $200,000 BLAZE -- FLAMES RAZE HISTORIC PART OF NORTHWESTERN AS ALVA'S FIREMEN SAVE THREE LIVES

    These sub-headlines stated: Sleeping Students Trapped In Room, Take To Roof, And Are Brought To Safety With Use Of Long Ladder After Cries For Help Heard By Engineer.

    BULLETIN: Every citizen in Alva interested in the Northwestern State Teachers college is called to meet this morning at 10 o'clock at Herod hall to discuss plans for rebuilding the college administration building. The announcement of the call was issued this morning at 5 o'clock by Charles Lamphere, president of the chamber of commerce. The call is urgent and every person in Alva is asked to be present.

    BULLETIN: The residence belonging to Harry Williams, Fifth and Normal, was in flames this morning at 5:15, and probably will be almost a total lose.

    BULLETIN: Arrangements will be made to carry on college class work Monday in spite of the destruction of the administration building. "There positively will be school Monday," Dean Sabin C. Percefull declared this morning. "Efforts will be made to obtain the use of local churches for class rooms," he said.

    "Old Main," the adminisrtation building of Northwestern college, was completely destroyed by flames of unknown origin that broke out early Friday morning. A high wind accelerated the spreading of the flames, and the entire fire department with an army of volunteers worked far into the morning, but the flames continued to spread.

    Three college students, who had their sleeping quarters in the building, were trapped on the roof. Their frantic cries for help roused G. R. Bradley, college engineer, from his quarters in the engine room on the campus. Bradley cut ropes from the stage settings in Herold hall and came to the rescue. The fire department arrived in time to save the boys with ladders.

    The alarm was turned in by Bob Deal and Herman Hammerstead of the Magnolia Service Station across from the campus. When the trucks arrived, the three boys, Floyd Antis, Tony Anderson and Clyde Friend, were trapped on the southwest corner of the roof with the flames lapping around them. The ladders were erected just in time to prevent them from being burned.

    No Insurance: There is no insurance covering the approximately $100,000 building, and there was little hope of saving the library with its 30,000 volumes worth about 50 or 75 thousand dollars as the high wind from the south fanned the flames beyond control. The water pressure in the hose was not sufficient to reach all parts of the roof where the worst flames were raging.

    The fire war reported to have started in the attic of the huge building, but before the alarm was turned in, the first floor was in flames, too. Bradley suggested that the obsolete wiring in the building as a possible cause of the fire.

    Volunteers Help: The fire department's entire force was supported in its valient efforts to check the flames by a host of volunteer college students and citizens who rushed to the scene when the siren spread the alarm. The leaping flames could be seen from all parts of town.

    The oiled floors in the building burned like tinder, and the wind aided in spreading the fire to all parts of the great edifice. Black smoke poured out of every vent in the red brick structure as the "Castle On the Hill" became a seething furnace.

    Immediately after rescuing the three students from their precarious position on the blazing roof, the fire fighters turned to the east door and battered it down. The lower floor was flooded with water, and every effort was made to cut the fire off from the library on that floor, but those efforts failed.

    Army in Fight: The army of men were fighting the flames from the time the first truck reached the scene at about 2:30 in the morning on, but it was impossible to gain control of the flames.

    The oldest building on the campus, affectionately called "Old Main" was being completely destroyed with records and books, invaluable to the college. The loss will be a tremendous blow to the state, the administration and the students.

    The students of the college had just finished a special schedule that made up the three weeks of class work missed during the "scarlet fever epidemic," and another great shake-up in their class work and schedule is evident now that the main building on the campus has been destroyed.

    Alva School Built After Long Battle: Historical Sketch of City Institution Gives Many Interesting Angles. The administration building of Northwestern State Teachers college, destroyed by fire, Friday morning at 3 o'clock, was erected in 1898 at a cost of approximately $100,000, and was the result of untiring efforts of many of the best known pioneer residents of northwestern Oklahoma.

    These are notes from Grandpa William J. "Bill" McGill's journal, dated March 1, 1935, where he wrote, "The old Administration building burned down -- Boy! Was everybody sick. March 14, 1935 - $300,000 passed by both houses to rebuild. Only 4 opposition -- parade by everybody at noon, March 14, 1935."

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    1926 Castle on the Hill Yearbook – The Chemistry Department

    Vol 18, Iss 23 Alva, OK - Guy M. Lisk, A. M. – Professor Lisk (photo to the left) was a graduate of George Peabody College and had devoted his life to the interest of Alva Schools and was voted to be one of the best school men in the State.

    Guilford Louthan, A.B. -- Assistant to Mr. Lisk was Mr. Louthan (photo to the right), a Northwestern graduate of the class of 1924. He graduated with honors, was preparing to become a master scientist in 1926.

    The Chemistry Department
    Combined with the department of Chemistry was the Physics Laboratories. Together these occupied five rooms a work shop and lecture room. The department was equipped with radio and the theory of radio communication was a popular course.
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    Jesse J. Dunn - Oklahoma Territory

    Vol 13, Iss 28 Oklahoma Territ - Jesse J. Dunn, a Justice of Supreme Court, was born in Illinois into an atmosphere reverberating the debates of Lincoln and Douglas. Jesse's boyhood was spent in Mississippi, near the home of Jefferson Davis. Jesse was educated in Kansas, and shortly after his graduation from the Law Department of the University of Kansas, in 1893, he located in the town of Alva, Oklahoma.

    Jesse Dunn shared the trials of the pioneers, and prosperity of those who persisted. Jesse J. dun had a public career as Justice Dunn began as county attorney in Woods county. In 1903, he was elected president of the Oklahoma Bar Association. He was chosen chairman of the Democratic Territorial committee in 1904. The campaign of 1906 for the selection of delegates to the Constitutional Convention was made under Jesse Dunn's management. Jesse J. Dunn was also a Justice of the Supreme Court.

    Northwestern Oklahoma State University has one of its buildings named for him. The Jesse Dunn building sets where the "Castle on the Hill" once stood before it burned down in March of 1935, facing North down College Avenue towards downtown Alva, Oklahoma, in Woods county. View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


    The Castle On The Hill & Northwestern

    Vol 12, Iss 37 Alva, Oklahoma - The old photo to the left appeared in The Ranger (1926) album as the "Gang on the Warpath." It was a pep demonstration at Northwestern with the entire student body getting ready to march to town enmasse. This was the first assembly of the group in the Fall of 1925 on the occasion of the marking of the three State roads and a National highway that intersected in front of the college.

    I have been searching back through all the research that I have collected on the Castle on the Hill and northwestern, looking for the first homecoming at Northwestern. Could this enmasse march from the college down sixth street (College Avenue) be the beginnings of Northwestern's parade? I know I have that information somewhere around here, but not handy at the moment I need it. So I shall keep looking!

    The Castle On The Hill burned to a shell of itself 1 March 1935. I love the following poem that I found in the 1926 The Ranger yearbook.

    A Silent message thru the ages
    Is delivered to the races passing by,
    And the wisdom of the sages
    Flashes futily from the sturdy eye,
    Watching Life's laughter, song and tears
    Thru the eager march of onward years;
    With quiet, unperturbed, mobile face
    Inspires us to live with equal grace.
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    1926 Castle On The Hill - The Ranger Yearbook

    Vol 6, Iss 38 Alva, Oklahoma - Fronia sent me three Northwestern State Teachers' College yearbooks dated 1926, 1937 & 1938 to scan and share with you all. I have begun scanning the 1926 Castle on the Hill Yearbook and have so far gotten some of the Activities, Sports, etc... scanned onto my NW OkieLegacy Webshots. Bookmark this page for further updates and the other yearbooks (1937 & 1938) and a 1937-38 Student Directory. Thanks! Also... Check-out our NW OkieLegacy website - The Ranger 1926 Yearbook & Ranger 1926 Slideshow. View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


    Architectural Blueprints & Photos

    Vol 3, Iss 4 Alva, Oklahoma - Dr. Sheila Barnes, assistant professor of education at Northwestern Oklahoma State University , is hoping to find architectural blueprints & photographs of Northwestern's Castle on the Hill building to assist her in a grant project.  Any persons with treasures, blueprints, or photos of the Castle are asked to call Barnes at (580)327-8444.

    For those of you who do NOT know,... the Castle on the Hill was the first structure built on the Norhtwestern Normal campus and modeled after a Normal Castle.  Construction of the 3-story building was completed in 1899.  On March 1, 1935, the castle was destroyed by fire. View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


    January 1901 Castle On the Hill

    Vol 11, Iss 44 It has been awhile since I brought out this old photograph taken 22 January 1901, of the Castle On the Hill, or otherwise known as Northwestern State Normal School, in Alva, Oklahoma Territory.

    I left it as a large file so if you click on the image you might click again in your browser and zoom in on the Students and Faculty down front and help identify some of your relatives in the picture.

    I believe that Bill McGill and Constance Warwick and other relatives of the two are somewhere in the 1901 photo. See if you can find your ancestor's face.
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    OkieLegacy Crossword Puzzles

    Vol 11, Iss 6 We have added a couple more Crosswords linked in the right column. The crossword dated 2-5-2009 concerns information about the "Castle on the Hill." For more clues and information for 2-5-2009 puzzle this week, this weeks newsletter answers some of those clues. You can also use the following links as possible clues to answers of this week's puzzle. -- Northwestern Normal School & NTN 1897

    Th other puzzles are not OkieLegacy data related, but just regular crossword puzzles. Look for more OkieLegacy puzzles in the future issues.
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    1935 - 11th Annual Junior-Senior Banquet of NSTC

    Vol 10, Iss 24 It was Monday, May 13, 1935, 6:30 p.m., at the American Legion Hall, in Alva, Oklahoma, that the 11th annual Junior-Senior Banquet of the Northwestern State Teacher's College was held. March of that year the "Castle on the Hill" had burned.

    The image to the left was a cut-out with my dad's name (Merle McGill) printed on it that I found with the partially mouse eaten program from that banquet.

    On the menu was fruit cocktail, meat pie, riced potatoes, creamed peas, glazed carrots, olives, parker house rolls, waldorf salad, ice cream, wafers and mints.

    The Toastmaster was Earnest Read; Invocation was given my Miss Shockley; the welcome was given by Louise Ewalt; and the Response by Verlin Easterling.

    The Floor Show consisted of Director, Mr. Turner; Vocal Solo, Justin Bradshaw; Accompanist, Helen Sherrill; Reading, Dorothe Douglas; "New Buildings for Northwestern," President Hatcher; "Castle Airs," John Day; Accompanist, Jack Archer; "New Buildings for Seniors" Dean Percefull; "new Buildings for Juniors," Miss Holland; "The Castle Falls," Marion Monfort; Group Singing, "The Castle On the Hill," Leader, W. P. M..... (because of the mouse eaten portion, we couldn't make out W. P. M's last name); Dancing and Bridge.

    On the back of the program were printed the words to Oh! Northwestern!.

    Oh! Northwestern!
    You have written your name in history
    Oh! Northwestern!
    You've engraved it deep up on the scrolls of fame
    We have linked our lives with yours
    Oh! Northwestern!
    Our achievements add a luster to your fame --
    Chorus
    So then stand ye sons and daughters of old Northwestern
    Take off your hats to the men upon the fields
    They will fight tonight for old Northwestern
    And for the honor of the Castle on the Hill
    So then stand ye sons of old Northwestern
    Pay your tribute to the men who never yield
    They will fight tonight for old Northwestern
    And for the glory of the Castle on the Hill.
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    About S. L. Johnson...

    Vol 6, Iss 6

    S. L. Johnson was one of our founding fathers, businessmen and chairman of the steering committee that worked with H. L. Ross, secretary; W. F. Hatfield, editor of the Alva Pioneer; James Kelley, editor of the Alva Republican; C. C. Hudson, editor of the Alva Review; A. H. Andrews, city attorney, and Jesse J. Todd, met and advertised for offers of land near town for a college site for the Northwestern Normal school (Castle on the Hill). This aggressive body of town fathers never gave up -- formulated other plans -- applied pressure on the legislature to secure a location of the Normal school in Alva, Oklahoma.

    I have been hearing on the news that this is the 40th anniversary (February, 1964) of the Beatles touring the U.S. Back in February of '64 I would have turned or was turning 16 years of age. They did have some great songs, didn't they. What Beatle mania do you recall... besides "I Wanna Hold Your Hand?"

    I see by the old clock on the wall that it is again time to STOP - Proofread - and get ready to send out this latest issue of the OkieLegacy Ezine. But... before we head out of here let me remind some of you Lovers out there that Valentines Days is just around the corner. What do you have planned for that special person in your life? Besides Valentine Days coming around the corner next weekend, Duchess will be blowing out her 1st Birthday candle (February 14). See Y'all next week. Keep warm and keep those memories flowing this way.

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    Castle On the Hill of the Prairies...

    Vol 8, Iss 9 Northwestern State Normal School was also known as the famous "Castle on the Hill" by many. It was also scorned as the "Prairie Prince's Plight."

    This photo was taken January 22, 1901. This additional information along with the date, was printed on the front in white, faded ink: Alva, O. T. (Oklahoma Territory). On the back there are pencil notations of "BFS Elkton O.T. 2221 50 Guinn Warrick." My Grandmother, Constance E. Warwick, would have been around 18 years going on 19 and may be in the student body assembled in the foreground.

    This photo was taken sometime after the March 1, 1935 fire. The Shell of Castle is shown from the southside (backside) looking North down Sixth St. (College Ave.)

    What we know so far is that Northwestern State Normal School was at one time scorned by thousands as Prairie Prince's Plight. A Bill was introduced in 1895 to establish the Normal School in Alva, M County, O.T. It was the second Normal School -- Central State in Edmond was the first.

    The building was started in the Fall of 1897. By March 10, 1898 a contract was given to John Volk and Co. to build it. On April 1, 1898 they began actually work. By July 1, 1898 they laid the cornerstone. The Alva Congregational Church was used as the school until the Normal School was finished. On March 9, 1900 it was dedicated by President James Ament.

    This poem, "The Campus," was found in the 1926 Ranger album:

    A Silent message thru the ages
    Is delivered to the races passing by,
    And the wisdom of the sages
    Flashes futily from the sturdy eye,
    Watching Life's laughter, song and tears
    Thru the eager march of onward years;
    With quiet, unperturbed, mobile face
    Inspires us to live with equal grace.

    Look for more "Castle on the Hill" history in the following week's of our OkieLegacy newsletter/ezine. Meanwhile, keep those memories flowing this way.
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    Oklahoma, The Next Star on the Flag

    Vol 12, Iss 51 Oklahoma - The Oklahoma Book - Oklahoma The Next Star on the Flag, feature from OkieLegacy, Vol. 6, Iss. 43, brought the following comment from Anrew, "Do you know the copyright date on this book???"

    NW Okie's answer to that is, "I do not know for sure!" It had this following photos in it of Northwestern State Normal School (Castle on the Hill). View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


    Memories Of Castles At Alva OK - April 1935

    Vol 11, Iss 6 The picture on the left shows Dr. James E. Ament, father of the normal school at Alva; the building at the far right was the administration building (Castle on the Hill -- or -- Old Main) of the Alva normal school which burned, March, 1935; and the big picture behind Dr. Ament shows Ament's dream building for a school he hoped to head and the castle idea for the original Alva building.

    On April 7, 1935, Sunday, on page 59, this photo and article took up the whole page 59 of The Daily Oklahoma, that started with a letter that the Daily Oklahoman, Walter M. Harrison, managing Editor, wrote to Dr. James E. Ament, President, National Park Seminary, Forest Glen, Maryland, March 9, 1935. The headlines read: "Father of the Alva Normal Speaks."

    "Dear Dr. Ament: Destruction of the grand old Normandy castle in Alva by fire last week reminds me of the important part you played in the development of the Northwestern State Normal School.

    "It has been a long time since your old friends in Oklahoma have had any direct contact with you. I wonder whether you might not be willing to make the passing of this famous structure the occasion for writing in reminiscent vein of the trials and tribulations undergone by yourself in making this great achievement possible. I should be happy to have a manuscript from you, small, -- short or long -- and assure you that anything you might care to write would be received with a great deal of interest by the people of Oklahoma. With best wishes, I am Yours Sincerely, Walter M. Harrison, Managing Editor."

    What follows is an article written by Dr. James E. Ament, first president of the Normal School at Alva and in 1935 was president of the National Park Seminary at Forest Glen, Md.

    Dr. Ament wrote, "If it will be of any interest to the people of Oklahoma, I am very willing to tell of my part in founding and building the Normal School at Alva. It will be, however, but a brief tale and the difficulties that I underwent will, I think, disappear with the telling of them. Here I must reproduce what Prof. John Davis, the Central State Teachers college at Ada wrote you, and which you published in your paper, March 7 (1935) that it may be before your readers' eyes, and be further expose for my writing:

    "Your editorial on the passing of the administration building at the teachers college in Alva is most timely, as those of us who were on the spot in those early days can attest. I was a member of the faculty at Alva when this building was first began in September, 1899 (sic), and for six years thereafter.

    "While giving credit to those to whom credit is due, there is one man who should not be overlooked, the first president of the college, Dr. James E. Ament, the president of National Park Seminary, Forest Glen, Md. It was through his vision and energy and will that Northwestern came into being. He planned the building and personally supervised the laying of every brick.

    "With a niggardly appropriation of $5,000 he built this magnificent structure costing more than $100,000 and furnished it like the palace of a king while everybody knew it could never be. During the first year of operation he filled this plant to overflow with prospective students, who came flocking from -- nobody knew where. After about a conservative estimate will rank it as the greatest school man who ever moved into Oklahoma."

    Dr. Ament's Memories of Normal School
    "In telling about my part in relation to the Normal school, I shall have to be personal and I hope that a seeming ..... (could not make out the next few words) will be pardoned, for I'll have to tell some things of myself to show why it was easy for me to bring about the building of the Alva Normal. I have an interested quality that enables me often to ..... (unable to read a couple of words) make everlasting friends but I deserve no credit for this than for the fact that I was born with brown hair.

    "I want to say that it would have been difficult to fail with such men back of me as those of Alva. I had never seen a group of men like them, nor have I ever with one since. There was Sam Johnson, my right-hand man, and there was Hatfield, Captain Stein, Monfort, Noble, Crowell, Shafer, and I suspect a hundred others. There was no dissension among them. They were simply united to accomplish one end and I ask you, how could they have failed?

    "As to the success of the school itself, I wish to say that I gathered about me a faculty such as few schools have ever had. There was Lisk, who is still with the school, and, in my judgment, the finest teacher of physics and chemistry in this county. Then take Captain De Blumenthal of the Imperial University of Russia, his father was the chief counsellor of the state to the czar and Mr. De Blumenthal had been brought up in the court. His gracious manners were so natural that the young people did not take offense at him, but admired them and the man. Most teachers of modern languages cannot speak the language they teach. Not so with De Blumenthal.

    "Captian De Blumenthal now does translating work here in Washington, but does not like it. He told me, not so long ago, that he would infinitely prefer to teach. He liked Oklahoma, and it is a pity that Alva or some other school in the state does not secure him. He would take any school popular.

    "Then among the faculty were such men as Henry Fel...., John Davis, Charles Locke, Robert Clark, Frederick Abbot, and many others. A school would simply have to succeed with teachers like these, the most devoted group that I ever knew to the cause of education.

    "As to the way in which I got the money for erecting the building, I have said enough to show that my personal contacts helped me out. I conceived the idea of writing a sort of bond and having my friends in Alva sign it. I think something like a hundred of us appended our signatures and I took this bond with me to Illinois to ask a friend that I felt would never refuse me anything to come out and build the school. That friend was John Volk, of Rock Island, Illinois. Mr. Volk's lawyer said the bond was of no legal value, since Mr. Volk would be putting up a building for Oklahoma, instead of for this local group of men. I begged Mr. Volk to put up the building, and trust me to get his money. This he consented to do.

    "I left the bond in his hands but he never had occasion to press the matter for let me say also that the legislatures Oklahoma in those days were composed of far-seeing men, and then I had the support of the governor, Cassius M. Barnes, a man who always had the courage of his convictions. He believed that the Alva people should have the school they wanted and he went his length to secure it for them. So, you will see that my difficulties really amounted to little. Circumstances and marvelous friends were back of all that I did.

    "As to the building, I have been asked why I made a castle of it. I think it is due to the fact that, in my youth, I lived in a castle. I hope that the present legislature and board, will not make the mistake of thinking that a building composed of four walls and a roof that keep out the wet and the cold will afford just as food a place for a school as a building of a castle; that is, the merions and crenels, do not add greatly to the cost of the building. Any one looking at the plans of the old castle will find that I did not use machicolations where I could avoid it. I simply corbelled out instead of using the regular castle forms, excepting on some towers were machicolations looked best.

    "You will be interested to know how I became the architect of that building. The board had employed Mr. Joseph Foucart as their architect. Mr. Foucart was a very good architect but he had no sort of idea of the functioning of an American normal school. He could no more have drawn the plans for such an institution than I could have drawn the plans for a brewery. I was a trained architect and I suggested to Mr. Foucart, that if he would let me make the plans, he could have his fee and the honor of being the architect, for I cared nothing for either of these things. Consequently, I was the sole architect of the building at Alva.

    "I should be glad to know that the building will go up on exactly the foundation that I made, making any desired changes in the interior, and may I say, in this connection, that had I remained president of the school at Alva and needed more room, I had a plan for enlarging the old castle practically to any extent, and adding thereby to its actual beauty.

    "Separate buildings scattered over the campus look smart but they are not good. Such versity where there are different schools, such as a school of medicine, a school of law, etc., but not for a normal school. It is well to have the entire institution under one roof, if possible.

    "I want to say that, owing to the enthusiasm of the people, Mr. Volk and I were able to secure our help at such wages as helped us greatly. Infact, that building at the time it was turned over to Oklahoma was actually worth about twice what it cost the territory. Our men worked from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.,br />
    "Professor Davis speaks of my furnishing the building fit for the palace of a king. That is true; but, unfortunately, I have forgotten just how I managed it. I think the furnishings cost something like $35,000.

    "I am getting innumerable letters from all over the country from my old boys and girls expressing their sorrow at the burning of the old castle.

    "I do not know whether you saw the reference made to me by General Johnson in his article, entitled My Early Days and published in the April, 1935, number of the Redbook. The reference is on page 105, and for fear you did not see it, I am reproducing it here:

    "That president of the northwest normal school was a godsend to me. I was 14 when he came and opened his college in the second-hand church, awaiting the new building on the hill. The haphazard and fragmentary education on which I have touched was wholly disorganized. He was a scientific educator, and took a very special interest. He built where it was weak, and guided where it was not so weak, and enabled me to get through West Point four years later. His name is James E. Ament, and he presides now at the National Park Seminary in Washington. I have never known a teacher to compare with him. I proudly hold the diploma of that little college, although by an unorthodox route -- two years credit for my four years at West Point. Later I got credit for three years at West Point to add to one on a B.A. degree at California -- which made pretty good use of four years at the military academy."

    "Of course, it is a great pleasure for me to have Hugh say, After he had gone through West Point and the University of California. 'I have never known a teacher to compare with him.'

    "I received a very interesting letter from Mrs. Maud A Drake-Bingham, of Norman, Oklahoma. In this letter Mrs. Bingham said, 'If we could, we would call you back from that world of your choosing and say to you, Build it back for us. All the future youth of that more or less submarginal land need that inspiring structure as we needed it in the past.'

    "Of course, it is idle to talk of my returning to Oklahoma, much as I should like to do it. There would be too many ties to break here at the national capital where I have lived for 18 years. Still, if I can help in any way to replace the old castle, I should be pleased to do it; for in my judgment the castle, down to the day of its destruction, was, perhaps, the most beautiful school building in the world.

    "In closing her letter, Mrs. Bingham said, 'You may not remember me, but you once called me a brick.'

    "Here is one of the morals that I wish to speak of. Of course, I do not remember calling Maud a brick, but the thing that I want to drive home is that a teacher, if he has influence with his students, is always teaching, whether he knows it or not, and he has got to be absolutely and always careful.

    "W. C. Hall, writing from out in Idaho, said in his letter, 'I feel like general Johnson, that you were not only a godsend to me but to so many other young people.'

    "In another paragraph he says, 'A few years ago I was visiting our mutual friend, T. Dudley Nash, who was our neighbor at that particular time, and I asked him this question: Was President Ament as big a man as I thought him to be, or was that just my immature judgment? To which he replied, 'I have never met his equal.'

    "Nash had a good joke on me. For some reason I thought his parents were German, while in fact they were Irish. Meeting him on the street one day and stopping for a little chat, I asked 'Strechen Sie Deutsch?' I saw from his blank look that he did not understand and I went on to berate his parents for not teaching him German. I called it a shame that they should let him grow up without teaching him German. The poor fellow had not the remotest idea of why I took this stand, and for more than a year he pondered over it, when by a chance remark of another person he learned that I thought his people were German.

    "Leslie Salter, one of the lawyers in the Insull case, wrote, 'One of the earliest recollections of my childhood was to watch the building of the castle from an upstairs window of our farm house.' How far flung was the influence of that old building! It is really beyond one's imagination.

    "In an intensely interesting and amusing letter, Mrs. Anna Brown Moore, of Chicago, a relative of former President Hoover, wrote, 'You may have forgotten me but I could never forget you and Mrs. Ament. To my mind as a girl she was a goddess, and you had the power to frighten me speechless.'

    "Of course, those were my salad days in the management of great institution. In fact, I was but little more than a youth myself, and I suspect I assumed a dignity to which I had no natural right.

    "But how gratifying it is to receive all these letters from men and women now from 50 to 60 years of age, assuring me that my influence over them was not ephemeral, for it has been with them for good throughout their lives. Again, what a tremendous responsibility it argues!

    "I remember Dennis Flynn visited the normal, and made a fine talk touching upon a very similar point His talk to the student body was helpful in several ways.

    "Now I want to refer to just one more of the many letters, all practically in the same vein. The letter is from Mrs. W. G. Baer of Enid. Her letter covers a little more than three pages. In it she says, 'I believe my greatest success is in my home. I remember some advice you used to give us to the effect that if we wanted to know if a woman was a good housekeeper, go to her back door.'

    "Now I do not remember ever making this statement but please note how it sticks through more than a third of a century, and again I say we teachers are always teaching, consciously or unconsciously, and should ever bear that fact in mind, though we should not let it make us stilted or unnatural.

    "I do not know whether my friends would be interested in the things I have done since I left Oklahoma, or not. In the first place, I should like to say that Mrs. Ament and I spent a year at the University of Michigan, I, not matriculating as all as a student but simply living there in order to study the ways of the institution's great president, Dr. James B. Angell. I was privileged by Doctor Angell to be in his office on any occasion that I desired, or wherever I pleased to be in the institution. I had earlier made a briefer study of the work of William Rainey Harper, president of Chicago University, who was then spending the Rockefeller millions in building up that institution. So far as I know, no other man in the history of education ever did this kind of thing. It was my desire to know how other men worked and not be be simply a copyist of the president of the institution from which I had graduated.

    "I spent a few years as president of the Missouri State Teachers college at Warrensburg and then answered a call to go to Pennsylvania where I became the head of the state normal school at the town of Indiana. Here, I think, I did my greatest work as an educator. The school became known as one of the most beautiful of its kind and achieved a national reputation. It was distinguished for having more men students in it than any other normal school in the United States had.

    "I have had a few honors of marked distinction conferred upon me in these latter years of my life. I was made a Knight of the Holy Sepulcher, the oldest knighthood order in the world. Each knight receives a gold cross about three inches long, which opens and inside, preserved in wax, is a small splinter of what is supposed to be Christ's cross.

    "In 1926 I received the diploma of the Academy International at Naples. At that time, i understood that but three other Americans held this diploma: They were Nicholas Murray Butler, president of Columbia University; Chief Justice Taft and Woodrow Wilson.

    "I am also a Corresponding member of the Academie Latine, of Paris.

    "I believe I am in every type of Who's Who that has ever been published in America, such as Who's Who Among Educators, in Finance, in the East, in the National's Capital, etc., etc., etc., as well as in Matthews's Blue Book of England. Sometimes doubts creep into my mind as to whether I really deserve such honors, but let us hope that I do.

    "About 20 years ago I became imbued with the idea that I wished to become the head of a private school. After visiting quite a number of such schools, I felt that I would like to found a school de novo, and proceeded to make plans for such a school. I am a born dreamer and when I get started on anything of that kind, I am very apt to go a little too far.

    "The building was made in the form of a great castle. There are 27 towers, I think, upon this building, and may I say that I went abroad several times, studying the crenelations on castle towers that I might not have any two on my castle exactly alike.

    "Had my building been constructed, it would have been the largest building ever made by mankind. For instance, Windsor castle, one of the largest buildings in the world, covers about 13 acres. My castle would have covered 27 acres. It had many unique features, such as intra-mural passage-ways, etc., but which I cannot ask for space to describe. For instance, the cloister walk going around three sides of the inner of great court, affords a covered walk for inclement weather, more than a mile in length.

    "I made this building so large so beautiful, and so perfect that the cost of its construction would have been about $12,000,000, so my millionaire friend who was back of me persuaded me to buy a going concern, and, consequently, I became the president 18 years ago of National Park Seminary. I never hated to give up anything so much in my life as the building of my great castle. It was the greatest dream of my life, and, of course, I was sorry not to realize it as I ever had done in other cases; but it may yet be built by some one. I would, in a way, be a joy for the whole world.

    "I have found the work at National Park Seminary delightful and much easier on me with the passing years than the work of running a great state institution. Mrs. Ament is my right-hand man here in everything. Her abiding faith in me and her never-failing support have been the foundation of every worthwhile accomplishment of my life.

    "I am sending you a photograph of myself taken but a few years ago, which you may want to use, since, excepting a very few, my Oklahoma friends have not seen me for more than a third of a century."
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    Suggestion for Alva's Next Mural...

    Vol 6, Iss 10 Another NW Oklahoman has a vintage postcard of the Castle on the Hill that shows a 1898 flag flying overhead. He was trying to get hold of someone from the Alva Mural Society to suggest that they might think about painting a 1898 vintage flag flying from the top of the Castle on the Hill mural, but their "Contact Us" page was "Under Construction." This vintage flag thing sounds like a great idea to this Pug Writer. What do you think about having a vintage 1898 flag painted atop of the Castle on the Hill mural?

    Before we overload you, your mailbox this week... we are getting out of here for the supposedly sunny weekend. The weathermen say the sun is coming back for a few days. AND... everyone knows that they can find us somewhere in the country with our horses -- even though we have to squish through some muddy spots now and then. Y'all have a great March weekend. We'll see you next weekend with more memories and Okie Legacies to share with you.

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    1926 Castle on the Hill Yearbook – Department of Domestic Science

    Vol 18, Iss 23 Alva, OK - llie Shattuck, B.S. (photo on the right) and Eleanor Wycoff, B.S. (photo on the left) – During the past four years (1922 – 1926) the Home Economics Department has made rapid growth.

    The school gives a B.S. degree and a Smith-Hughes and Life Certificate to students completing four years I the department. Other certificates are also granted. While careful training is given in preparing the teacher the chief goal is the preparing of efficient home makers.

    Special stress is placed upon community work; child welfare; infant feeding; home nursing; and correct dress.
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    Castle On the Hill - OK Moments

    Vol 12, Iss 41 Oklahoma - Do you subscribe to OK Moments brought to you by COX On Demand, an Oklahoma Magazine and the Oklahoma History Center? It gives you a daily insight into the Oklahoma spirit and a glimpse into the past.

    On OK Moments, October 5, 2010 Issue, they had a slide show and history of the "Castle On the Hill." I recognized the last image of the burnt out shell of the Castle on the Hill and a few more photos that they used of mine. I am thrilled that they could use them and do not mind them using them. On their site they gave me "photographs courtesy of. . ."

    The two or three pictures that I recognized as mine were: 1901 photo of the castle on the hill with the large group seated, standing in front; and the burned shell of the castle. I'm not sure where, who submitted the photos. Not all photos they used were mine. Just 2 or maybe 3 photos were from my collection.

    I noticed on this week's OK Moments, Tuesday, October 12, 2010, they talk about US Representative and Governor William H. "Alfalfa Bill" Murray. I did not know that Alfala Bill" ran away from home at the age of twelve and worked as an agricultural laborer while attending public schools sporadically. AND -- Alfalfa Bill Murray was an activist in the Farmers' Alliance and the Democratic Party.

    Thanks, OK Moments, for another insight into one of our Past Governor's of Oklahoma, "Alfalfa Bill" Murray! View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


    1935 Burning - Castle On The Hill

    Vol 12, Iss 37 Alva, Oklahoma - This photo on the left was printed a few years ago from an old, worn negative that we found in our grandmothers treasures.

    In the Volume 11, Issue 6, of The OkieLegacy, dated 2009-02-08, we found a news article written by Mrs. Jone Sartin, that appeared in The Oklahoman, on page 59, March 10, 1935, entitled Northwestern Prairie Folk Mourn.

    The article talked about the calamity that stalked northwest Oklahoma when it faced a disastrous fire with confidence, March 1, 1935, when the Castle on the Hill building standing on the hill south edge of Alva yielded a fire that was fanned by the surly depression-type winds that lighted the country side for miles as the Castle on the Hill burned to a shell of itself.

    Sartin's article also mentioned, "Alva was only a village, but the earnestness of Doctor Ament's desire inspired 80 of the pioneer business and professional men to pledge $1,000 each, on private notes, for the erection of the building (Castle on the Hill, 1897). Among these were the late Jesse J. Dunn and S. L. Johnson. Five of the signers still live in Alva. They are: J. W. Monfort, W. F. Hatfield, Anton Shafer, George Crowell, Cap Carrico."

    The courage of these pioneers drew condemnation from the territorial and press. While the town and building committee were pushing for its funding and beginnings, the "Castle on the Hill" became known as a "castle from Spain" and the "prairie prince's plight." The Pioneers enterprise to build this Normal School in northwest Oklahoma was generously sneered at, but sneerers soon became cheerers. The distinctive architectural design, the richness of detail, and the perfect completeness of the building impressed the law-makers. They returned to Guthrie and passed the requested appropriation increasing it from $68,000 to $110,000.

    It was a beginning of a dream of a great temple of learning. Sartin's article also mentioned, "Northwestern is pre-emiently a poor-man's college. Ten classes had graduated from Northwestern before statehood. Only one other teacher's college is older. In 1897 the territorial legislature appropriated $3,000 for the operating expenses of a school at Alva but it made no provisions for a building. For the first two years the school was held in the Congregational church. It is wrong to think of it as just another teachers' college. This school is northwestern Oklahoma's university. Students who attend Northwestern would be denied educational advantages beyond the high school except for the nearness of this great institution to their homes."

    Sartin finishes with, "Institutions are more than buildings. They are the spirit interwoven in the background of a community. Boys and girls of the short-grass country are entitled to opportunities afforded youth in other parts of the state. This conviction is uppermost in the minds and hearts of builders of Oklahoma's commonwealth. Justice to these youths will not be forgotten. Their record, free from stain, is their greatest assurance." View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


    The Castle on the Hill

    Vol 5, Iss 9 Alva, Oklahoma - NW Normal School, 1901, Jan.

    The Western Normal College

    by Pilgrim Bard (Scott Cummins)

    Pg. 39 - Musings of the Pilgrim Bard

    ".....Look ye! towering o'er yon slope
    Stands a monument of knowledge;
    Thing of beauty, massive, grand,
    builded by skilled workman's hand --
    Alva's Western Normal college,
    Nucleus of our country's hope."
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    Alva Mural Society has been busy...

    Vol 6, Iss 17

    We missed the hamburger fry last Monday evening (19 April 2004) while they gathered to watched our local artists paint on the "Castle on the Hill Mural" at 5th & Oklahoma Blvd. We were out in the country doing chores and taking care of horses -- we didn't get back in to town until late. BUT... I did manage to get an update of it's progress for Y'all.

    Charles Morton Share & Share Bros. MuralThe Mural Society has another mural going up on the Professional building on Fourth Street in downtown Alva, on the East side of the downtown square, between Flynn & Barnes Avenue. The Old Runnymede Hotel sets on the southeast corner of Flynn Avenue & Fourth Street while the Farmers Co-op graces the Northeast corner of Fourth Street & Barnes Avenue. Some of you might remember the location of the Professional building as a motor garage (what was the name of that garage?) -- a Bowling Alley -- the Golden Krust Bakery. Hey! Even I remember stepping into the downtown bowling alley when I was just a young thing and the smell of fresh baked bread filling the air of downtown Alva when the Golden Krust Bakery graced that location. BUT... don't ask me the year!

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    1926 Castle on the Hill Yearbook – Department of English

    Vol 18, Iss 23 Alva, OK - U. J. Griffith, A.B., A.M. – A man more versatile than professor Griffith would be hard to find. He held his A.B. and A.M. from the University of Indiana and was an instructor in the N.S.N. in the early years, returning to his present position in 1919.

    Mariam Bowman, Ph. B. – Miss Bowman headed the Expression Department. She held a Ph. B. from the University of Chicago and had special training in coaching at Harvard. She was a member of Beta Iota, honorary dramatics and Delta Sigma, University of Chicago.

    The English Department
    Three fold was the aim of the English Department. Perhaps first was the purpose to foster an appreciation of the principles of truth fundamental to true literature, this in turn equipted the student with thoughts and aids him in acquiring the ability to express himself clearly, effectively and correctly. Finally the teaching of specific ideas and skills which would enable the English Teacher to be of real practical value and appreciated as such.
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    NWOSU's Old Science Hall

    Vol 12, Iss 30 Alva, Oklahoma - Northwestern's old Science Hall has seen many changes in its lifetime. It started out as the second building after the Castle on the Hill as built. The only building with any remnants of the towers and crenellations in the design of a castle.

    By 1905, the Normal School (Castle on the Hill) had outgrown its quarters and the legislature appropriated $50,000 for the erection of the new Science Hall. The Science Hall, the second building to be built on campus, was completed in 1907.

    The architect incorporated the "Castle on the Hill's" towers and crenellations into the design of this structure which was built of red brick with algonite trim. It housed the departments of Biology, Physical Science, Manual Training, and Pedagogy, as well as the Training School, Library, and the Natural History Museum.

    When Carter Hall was built in 1936, this building became the Fine Arts Building, housing the music department. What is it today? View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


    Castles in Oklahoma

    Vol 12, Iss 26 Davis, Oklahoma - Besides Northwest Oklahoma's Castle on the Hill, in Alva, Oklahoma Territory, there are and were other castles of Oklahoma. For instance, there is the Collings Castle at Turner Falls in Davis, Oklahoma.

    The Collings Castle is deep in the ARbuckle mountains and surrounded by cascading waterfalls and crystal clear springs. It is the closest thing to a true medieval castle in Oklahoma.

    How and who built it? It was built by the former Dean of Education at the University of Oklahoma, Dr. Ellsworth Collings. Collings lived an early 20th century educator's version of the American Dream. Collings rose from humble beginnings in Missouri and became one of the most important men in education.

    Ellsworth Collings was born in McDonald county, Missouri, October 23, 1887, earning both his Bachelor's of Science degree in Education and his Associate of Science in Educational Psychology degrees fro the University of Missouri. He began his teaching career in a one-room school during 1908-1909. He proceed in 1919 to the pinnacle of the education profession i n the United States, the Teachers College.

    Collings began his 36 year career in higher education at the University of Oklahoma, on June 17, 1922. He wrote at least six books during that time and published a many articles on education. In 1926, the Board of Regents appointed him to the position of Dean of the School of Education. He held that post until his resignation in October, 1945. He retired from OU at the conclusion of the spring semester of 1958. Collings resided at his ranch near Davis until his death, June 18, 1970.

    Although the Collings Castle was never a permanent home of the Collings, on special occasions, friends were entertained at the Castle. Very little is known of the Collings Castle and Collings left very little reasons for building it. The Castle is located witin Park of Turner Falls, where two small creeks form from natural springs to merge into a small river. Near the castle, this small river plunges 77 feet off a cliff to form a wide, clear basin of water.

    They say the castle complex is actually formed from two castles; a great castle and amuck smaller one off to the side. Above the great castle is a path that leads to the top of the hill to what must have been a small stable area, presumably leading towards Ellsworth's ranch and permanent home. The castle is three stories tall, nearly recreates the realistic feel of Europe's ancient medieval castles. the second castle is only one story tall and is not as commanding, but is still important part of the complex.

    They say the Collings Castle is available to tour, but it's all self-paced with little to no information about the castle. It was built in the 1930's and was the summer home for the doctor who built it. It was also the headquarters of the Bar-C Ranch. See Collings Castle on dadzilla165's Flickr photostream.
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    Castle On the Hill Fire Memories

    Vol 11, Iss 44 Natalie says, "My grandmother and great aunt attended college at Northwestern State Normal School. When the Castle on the Hill caught fire, they were renting a room from a lady who lived on Church Street. Granny and Aunt Luella ran to the campus in their nightgowns and robes. Granny said she remembered the art teacher was frantic to get inside. She had done a painting of her deceased daughter and left it in her classroom. She was just beside herself because she wasn't allowed to go in & get it."
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    1935 Rebuilding of Castle On the Hill

    Vol 11, Iss 6 According to The Oklahoman, dated September 16, 1935, Front page, the headlines stated, "State;s Work Plan Speeded" - "Alva College Buildings To Be Replaced at Once."

    "Sufficient funds to put more than 10,000 men to work at once on Oklahoma works progress administration (WPA) projects was assured Sunday when notification was received by W. S. Key, state administrator, that $5,271,707 was on the way.

    "With this augmenting the original $5,307,878, key showed much optimism for the program and held the funds would roll in fast enough now to increase the number of men at work daily until the entire 112,000 persons on the relief rolls are employed.

    "At the same time Key was notified of approval of the $265,000 building fund for the Northwestern State Teachers college, Alva. The fund will be used to replace the buildings destroyed by the fire during the early summer.

    "Tabulation of Oklahoma projects approved by the state office showed the projects would cost nearly $112,500,000."

    Alva Before Washington Board
    On August 21, 1935 there was an article in The Oklahoman, Front page with the headlines: "Alva Plea Before Washington Board."

    "Washington, Aug. 20 (1935) -- (AP) -- The works progress administration said Tuesday an application by the Northwestern (Oklahoma) Teachers college at Alva for a grant of $244,995 for new buildings had gone to the allotment board.

    "Harry Hopkins, works progress administrator, disapproved the project tentatively because the per-man-year cost exceeded his limitation of $1,140 but the application was not discarded because the rest of the $500,000 project will be in the form of a loan and that fact, WPA officials said, would counteract Hopkins's objections."
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    Alva's Murals Gracing Alva Buildings...

    Vol 6, Iss 19

    Don Gray, the artist, and the Alva Mural Society have finished the Charles Morton Share Mural on the Professional building sometime last week. I have added this final photo to the NW OkieLegacy Slideshow - Share Bros. Mural.

    Alva's local artists, Richey, Warren and Dunkin, are still working, painting on the Castle on the Hill Mural (5th & Oklahoma Blvd). It is a work in progress. We have many talented citizens in this neck of the Woods.

    Things seem to be working smoothly this week (knock on wood). Lots of you emailed and mentioned that you had received last week's newsletter right on schedule. Some did not. Some got multiple copies. Some mentioned that... "I'd rather get multiples than nothing at all!" Other's mentioned that they had, "Received my copy right on schedule, and as usual enjoy it very much.... thanks for all your effort." Thanks to Y'all for the many responses and encouragement. We couldn't do it without you!

    Before Duchess and I get out of here for the weekend and "Mother's Day" this Sunday , we have a Southern Oklahoma friend that celebrated his 83rd birthday on April 13th. I know this is a few weeks late, but we would still like to wish the Honorable Ernest D. Martin a Happy Belated Birthday. I have never met Ernest, but feel like I have known him forever. You see... I was honored a few years back to have been chosen to help him put his "Father's Legacy" on the web for his family. It is truely amazing, fascinating how those who cross our path one way or another -- How our lives are impacted. Thanks, Ernest, for letting me share, help bring your Legacy to the web -- helping you get reaquainted, connected with old friends along the way. It was my pleasure. Happy Birthday, Ernest!

    We shall see the rest of you next weekend with more Okie Legacies, photos, memories and perhaps some answer to our "old" photos above. That is ... If we don't melt in these Mid-90s, May temperatures. Happy Mother's Day to ALL you Mothers out there!

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    1926 Castle on the Hill Yearbook – Faculty

    Vol 18, Iss 23 Alva, OK - A. G. Vinson, B.S. – Since 1905 the Department of Agriculture had been under the direction of Prof. Vinson. This fact in itself was sufficient evidence of his remarkable personality and ability. Mr. Vinson had completed courses in addition to his A.B. at the Universities of Kansas, Missouri and Chicago.

    Hal L. Hall, A.B. - “Hoosier by birth and education.” Mr. Hall’s interest and encouragement and cooperation in student enterprises had made him a favorite with the student body. He early began his career as a teacher of mathematic. As Principal of the High School at Shawnee, Oklahoma, he organized and was the first President of the State Athletic Association.

    Kathryn L. Rose, A.B. – Miss Rose came to Northwestern in the Fall of 1926 from Lombardy College at Gainsville, Illinois. Her ability as a director of physical education had been tested and proven. The courses ranged from practical exercises and folk dancing to interpretative dance. In vision and Coaching courses attention is given to corrective gymnastics and personal hygiene

    Otalllie Terrill, A.B., M.A. - French & Spanish - Miss Terrill received her degree from the State University and completed a course in the University of Mexico last summer studying with native Spanish teachers.


    A.L. Ward, Student Asst. Latin,

    Naoma Capshaw-Keller, A.B. – Department of History – By means of history we are linked to the life of past humanity of which we are the most recent product. Constant endeavor to discover the truth results in an increased respect for the truth, thus History is made one of the most vital forces in the lives of the American students today. This Department at Northwestern was one that affords a serious study of the subject and aids in developing a comprehensive and clearsighted view of the past in terms of the present keeping in mind that this is but a stage in man’s transition to yet bigger and better civilization.
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    Grandpa's Model T Torpedo Roadster of 1912

    Vol 14, Iss 18 Woods County, Oklahoma - [Click images to view larger images of Grandpa Bill McGill and his 1912 Model T Torpedo Roadster.]

    Whoever was taking the picture may have been looking towards the southeast to catch the "Castle on the Hill" in the background. If someone else has a better description of the composition, I would love to hear from you via comment or email. What about the image in the shiny gas tank? I can see grandpa's image, but what is the white image? Is it a lady in white with umbrella? Flowers? Can not quite make the white image out.

    In the image on the left you can see in the background on the right the west side angle of the "Castle on the Hill" known as Northwestern Normal School back then. I believe this photo was taken in the middle of the 800 block of Maple Street in Alva, Woods County, Oklahoma where Grandma and Grandpa were living.

    In The Hickman Courier, dated 13 June 1912, out of Hickman, Kentucky, we found this ad for a Model K-20, Torpedo Roadster, fully equipped, $685.00. Mohair top, side sustains, top boot, Troy windshield, Prest-O-Light tank, two gas head lights, oil tail light, horn, jack, pump and repairer kit. 32x3 tires with clincher rims, 96 inch wheel base, and enameled trimmings throughout.

    The ad mentioned that they were going to give away this two passenger Marathon automobile to the person holding the lucky corresponding number drawn from their ballot box. They began giving tickets away on Saturday, June 22, 1912. They had 36,000 duplicate tickets and were giving you with each cash dollar spent three chances on this automobile. all you needed to do was write your name and address on one end of the ticket, drop it in the ballot box, holding the duplicate of same. When they had given away all 36,000 tickets they held a drawing, and the person who was lucky enough to have the corresponding number would get this $685.00 automobile FREE.

    I do not believe that is how my grandpa came to get is Model T Torpedo Roadster of 1912, though. Grandpa Bill McGill and Grandma Constance Warwick McGill had been married for a couple years (24 March 1910) before this photo was taken and did not have any children until December 1914, when my Dad, Gene (Merle Eugene) McGill was born. Robert Lee came two years later (1916). View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


    Bricks - Castle on the Hill

    Vol 5, Iss 5 Alva, Oklahoma - Larry says, "A gentleman in Reydon, OK and I were recently in a ham radio conversation as I was on my way from Elk City to Alva to see my mother. He began telling me that his mother had attended college in Alva and that she had two square bricks that had come from a building that burned at the college. I told him that about the castle and that was probably where the bricks were from. As soon as he locates them, I am going to take some photos of them. I'll send them to you."
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    1936 - Alva Pioneer Dies In East

    Vol 11, Iss 6 According to The Oklahoman, dated July 23, 1936, page 5, there was the headlines that read: "Alva Pioneer Dies In East" - "Doctor Ament Was First Head of State School."

    This was over a year since he wrote an article for the Daily Oklahoman that appeared in the April, 1935 Issue concerning the burning of the Castle on the Hill, in Alva, Oklahoma.

    This July 23, 1936 article mentions, "Dr. James E. Ament, 68 years old pioneer Oklahoma educator and first president of the Northwestern State Teachers college at Alva, died Wednesday in a New York hospital.

    "At the time of his death, Dr. Ament was president of National Park Seminary at Forest Glen, Md. He had served there 15 years, having been appointed to the presidency of the school for life.

    "Dr. Ament was one of Oklahoma's outstanding educators during territorial days 37 years ago. he designed the castle-like structure, which housed the Alva school and completed plans for a building which would have surpassed Windsor castle in size. The structure he designed was destroyed by fie in March, 1935.

    "Many of Dr. Ament's student distinguished themselves nationally among those who studied under him was Gen. Hugh johnson, former Chief of the NRA.

    "After leaving Oklahoma, Dr. Ament headed normal schools in Missouri and pennsylvania. he studied school administration at some of the largest universities in the United States and Europe."
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    1926 NSTC Yearbook - Northwestern High School

    Vol 18, Iss 23 Alva, OK - Director of Secondary Education - Dr. J. V. L. Morris - Equipped as he is, with the ability to get results, and with progressive determination to have the best, Dr. Morris stands the department of Secondary Education in position to bid fair for recognition of strongest High School in the Northwest District.

    Foreword - In presenting this glimpse of our High School we are stimulated by a degree of pride in our department and our accomplishments. It is our constant ambition to be a deserving part of the great Northwestern State Teachers College. We believe that our position has made itself felt in the past and we are determined to exert even greater efforts in the future. Fostered as we are by Alma Mater we do not meet all of the vicissitudes of High School life. Neither do we suffer all the calamities of the venture which so violently and surely assail, we feel ourselves particularly fortunate in that we are in attendance at a high school which affords a college environment. We are one hundred per cent for Northwestern, her victories and her glorious defeats are as sure of our support as the spring is of the flowers. On Northwestern!

    Appreciation - It is said of youth that we do not appreciate true friendship until in after years. Perhaps this is right philosophy (sic), but we cannot will see how it is going to be possible for us to have greater appreciation, then than now for our esteemed friend and benefactor, Dean Minnie Shockley, upon whose wisdom and sincere interest in our welfare we so confidently rely. Her gracious and persuasive stimulus to higher, ever higher endeavor and scholarship creates for us an atmosphere which we cover for Northwestern.

    Knights of Rangers & Knights of Castles - Knights of old in oft spun story - Craved events and deeds of glory, - That they might in greater measure - Show their courage, -- thereby treasure - For an age then fast declining - Valor -- their true souls pining. - So today our theme of story - Full recounts the deeds of glory - Done by knights, not of the castle - With the drawbridge and the wassail, - Plumed, draped, gold spur and tassel, - But of modern knights besieging - Evasive Education, - In her "castle on the hill."

    Mixed Chorus - Zona Hufford, Accompanist.

    High School Queen & King - Helen Lockhart, Senior & Halbert Brown, Senior Campus Photos:



    Director & Prinicipal of Junior High School - Miss Ann K. Wilke, A.B. -- At the establishment of a Junior High School in conjunction with the courses offered at Northwestern for furnishing means of actual experience for potential teachers, a more capable person than Miss Wilke could not be found. In spite of the fact that this is the first year of the Junior High School marked advancement has been realized and Miss Wilke has great plans for its future.



    Junior High School - The 7th, 8th and 9th grades have been reorganized as a Junior High School. Some of the advantages accruing are an increase in the flexibility of the curriculum to better meet individual needs large room and an opportunity to commence secondary instruction somewhat earlier where the pupils capacity permit.

    Superior Model Training School - W. H. Wood, A.B., A.M., Professor of Elementary Education. -- It was in 1910 that Mr. W. H. Wood came to Northwestern as director of elementary education. His sixteen years of service have only served to endear him to the thousands who have worked in his department.

    Hundreds go out each year with the two-year State Certificate. These go into the rural and village schools. To train these more effectively, Mr. Wood after many projects had been worked out, succeeded in getting the Training School rated at 1663 points -- more that 400 points in excess of the requirements for a Superior Model School. This high rating which was near the maximum capacity of the score card has added greatly to the capacity of the Training School to train effectively for the grades and for the Junior High School.

    Training School - Primary Education - Primary Department, 1st & 2nd grades; Intermediate Department, 3rd & 4th grades; Grammar Grades.



    Appreciation - Students: The merchants who have patronized the Commercial section have made your 1926 Ranger possible. These are the firms who have shown that they appreciate your presence in Alva and at Northwestern. These are the men who are willing to admit that Northwestern is an asset and not a liability to this community. These are the best merchants, with the most honest goods and the biggest hearts. These people have proved to be true friends to the students at Northwestern. There may be others but we have no way of directing your attention to them. These are the dealers who deliver satisfaction or your money back. Let us give them the same deal. Make a list of these and hang it on the foot of your bed or prop it up against the molasses pitcher and memorize it. Then let your conscience be your guide.

    Community Ads - Chamber of Commerce, Northwestern State Teachers' College, Lane's Confectionery, Mountain Oil Co., Woods County Officials, Crouch Studio, J. C. Hess Ins., R. I. DeGeer Groceries, Monfort-Smith Jewelers, Marcum & Branson Goodyear Tires, Schnitzner Market, Alva Laundry & Dry Cleaners, The Band Box Millinery, The City Bakery, Hurd Motor Co., Fettke & McHugh Real Estate & Ins., Alva State Bank, Ford Sales & Service, Tyree Brothers Clothiers, Tanner Bros. Clothing Co., E. W. Tanner Co., The Tea Store, Crowell Bros Lumber & Coal, W. B. Fowitz Funeral Home, Palace Barber Shop, Dr. A. W. Clark Dentist, R. J. McCormick Jeweler, Pood;s Shining Parlor, Farmer's Independent Oil Co., Rexall Drug Store, Bynum's Hamburger Stand, Schaefer-Doolin Mtg. Co., Alva Building & Loan Assoc., South Side Barber & Beauty Parlor, The Bobbing Shoppe, W. E. Eutsler Grocery & Meat Market, Cochran Drug Co., L. A. Wagner Cash Grocery, Pullman Cafe, The Ranger Shop, Majestic Theatre, Hughey & Kennon Ins, Real EState & Loans, J. A. Renfrew & Co. Furniture, New Racket Store, The Alva Record, Bell's Ice Cream Co., Unique Confectionery, W. W. Starr, W. C. Wilkinson, Bradbury's College Book Store, Alva Motor Co., City Tailors, Oklahoma Cigar Store, pribble Hotel, Amsden Lumber Co., McHenry Cafe, Winter Brothers, J. D. Umber, Alva Storage Battery Co., W. B. Johnson, Elk Barber Shop, E. I. Sams Monuments, Maxwell printing Co., Hub Tailor Co., Carrell Music Co., First National Bank, Joe Edwards Motor Co., Alva Roller Mills, J. C. Penney Co., Central National Bank, McGill Bros. Furniture & Swimming Pool, Monfort Drug & Bookstore, Ellis Studio, Kavanaugh & Shea, Weinrich Clothing Co., Southwest Power Co.,High Grade Oil Co., Sears' Bootery, Illinois Cigar Store, Alva Motorcycle & Bicycle Shop.

    Published by - Northwestern State Teachers' College, Alva, Oklahoma; Printing by - Thompson Brothers, El Dorado, Kansas; Engraving by - Mid-Continent Engraving Co., Wichita, Kansas
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    Wanderings Thru OkieLegacy

    Vol 6, Iss 39 Oklahoma - "I have enjoyed reading where they are from so far. You have touched so many lives and brought so much information to so many. I love just wandering around looking at the old Castle on the Hill and reading about the Murders. The POW camp really intrigues me too. I am positive we had an escapee from there pass though our farm back in the mid-40's. He was an older man (to me then) maybe 60 or so.

    Our farm was a half mile off the road and never did we have any beggars stop before. He wore a denim jacket in the heat of the summer and spoke broken English. When he asked how far Wakita was away, we told him 12 miles. He said "do you mean 12 meters?"

    Mama was very suspicious and said when we two girls got close to the coat he took off and laid down when he drank his milk and ate a roll mama gave him, he became agitated. Many years later, we heard about a former escaped prisoner that wrote a book about his escape and trip across the US. We wondered if he was the author." -- Lois View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


    Early Day Baseball Team

    Vol 15, Iss 6 Kansas - What university baseball team is this? This picture shows six baseball players seated down front. [Click Here to see larger view].

    My grandfather, William J. "Will" McGill, is the third from the left. Some other players, fans, ladies and gents are standing behind the seated players. I do not believe it is the "Castle on the Hill," located in Alva, Oklahoma. BUT it may be the Friends University, where my grandpa went to school in the early 1900's. Could this be Friends? If the building looks familiar to anyone out there? View/Write Comments (count 2)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


    History of McKeever School

    Vol 12, Iss 21 McKeever School, Oklahoma - The History of McKeever School, written and researched by Milt Lehr, Professor Emeritus, NWOSU. The Cherokee Outlet of the territory of Oklahoma was opened to settlement by the Land Run of 1893. After securing a homestead, the pioneers' immediate concern was the education of their children. The first schools were often a soddie or log building and later schools were built using clapboard, stucco, of wood and plaster construction.

    The one-room school played an important role in educating the children of this state. In 1900 there were 200,000 one-room schools in the United States. In 1897 the Oklahoma Territory had 1,909 organized school districts of which 224 of these school districts with schools meeting an average of 70 days a year. It was not unusual for 40 pupils to attend these schools since farm families were large and each quarter section of land had a family living on it.

    Eastside view of McKeever School, 1894Records located in the Woods County Courthouse show that the McKeever school was organized in August 30, 1894, and that its district numbers were both 191 and 23.

    School was first held in the dugout home of Mr. and Mrs. Hulet, which was located about one-third of a mile south of the present McKeever school, which is located on the southwest corner of section 24 six miles west of Alva. The dugout home was 12 feet by 18 feet with a dirt floor and was four feet deep into the ground. Sod was laid above the ground two feet deep. The roof was composed of dirt laid over branches and poles.

    Click the John McKeever family as written by Dorothy McKeever in 1986 for the Pioneer Footprints Across Woods County history book, pg. 454.

    During the 1894-1895 school year, Dick McKeever purchased the Hulet claims and donated the southwest corner of section 24 for a school building.

    Maggie Shiel was the first teacher of this school and 23 students were enrolled. Teacher salaries at this time were $20 to $25 per month. By 1902, the salary paid to Nettie Courtner had increased to $35 per month and school was being held for 100 days. The total budget for that year was #311.67, according to Woods County Courthouse records. The value of the school was $600 and other property was valued at $100.

    According to a newspaper clipping dated January 29, 1895, and preserved by Harvard and Sue Litton, lifetime residents of a farm home located a short distance north of McKeever school, the first 23 students included Harry Benton, Johnie Benton, Myrtle Cocohm, Glevie Kinney, Mary Kinney, Tomie Kinney, Amon McKeever, Phoebe McKeever, Cora Messmore, Evert Litton, Jim Litton, Thomas Litton, Orwell Shirley, Bertha Smith, Clair Smith, Earl Smith, Melvin Smith, Cora Turner, Bessie Vincent, Dora Wiggins, Della Wiggins, and Gracie Wiggins.

    The members of the first school board were Frank Spurgeon, Dale Smith, and Jim Benton. The second term of school was held in a frame box house that was moved to its present site from four or five miles northwest of Alva. This building was a wooden structure 14 feet wide and 28 feet long with a wooden floor made of 1x12 planks. Desks were fashioned from this same kind of wooden boards.

    The original building that is standing today was constructed at a cost of $300, which was financed by bonds. All labor was donated by residents of the district except the plastering, which was done by Nick Edwards who was hired to do this work. A. B. Messmore was overseer of the carpentry work. The school bonds were paid off in five years. The American elm trees that encircle the school ground were planted about 1915. The members of the school board at that time were Nate Litton, John Parsons and Clayton Hyde.

    The teacher salaries were sometimes paid in cash obtained from donations and some salaries were paid in warrants, which could be cashed at banks for 60 cents on the dollar. Sometimes teachers were paid in sod breaking since most of them owned nearby land or had a claim.

    1938 WPA remodelingThe original building underwent extensive remodeling in 1938 when WPA funds were provided by the federal government to modernize school buildings. A basement was constructed a few feet west of the building and it was then moved overonto the completed basement after the anterooms at the front and a coal bin at the back were removed. A few years later, a highline was constructed nearby along Highway 64 and electric lights were added to complete the modernization.

    The teachers of McKeever School were as follows:

    Maggie Shiel 1894-1895; May Park 1895-1896; A. C. Parsons 1896-1897; Grace McKitrick 1897-1898; Cora Murray 1898-1900; Birdie Vorhies 1900-1901; Nettie Courtner 1901-1902; W. P. Bosserman 1902-1903; W. J. McGill 1903-1904; Phoebe McKeever 1904-1906; Pete Exell 1906-1908; Agnes Murray 1908-1910; Dena Salesman 1910-1911; Hattie Jarred 1911-1912; Frankie Callison 1912-1914; Lester Maddox 1914-1916; Jess Sears 1916-1917; Homer Bloyd 1917-1918; Margie Callison 1918-1920; Myrtle Martin 1920-1921; Lillie Callison 1921-1922; Pearl Martin 1922-1925; Fay Faulkner 1925-1927; Dolores Fuller 1927-1930; Clara Brown 1930-1931; Helen Tallman 1931-1932; Ada Taylor 1932-1933; Josephine Fisher 1933-1937; Hulda Groesbeck 1937-1939; Hazel Smith 1939-1941; Ruth Frazier 1941-1943; Fay McAlpin 1943-1948.

    After the opening of the Cherokee Strip, the rapidly expanding rural school system created a demand for trained teachers. By 1897 there were 1,792 organized school districts in the Oklahoma Territory of which 726 districts with 25,858 pupils were interested in seeing the establishment of a normal school in Alva to meet the demand for qualified teachers.

    In 1897, after a two-year struggle the
    Northwestern Territorial Normal School was authorized by the Oklahoma legislature. Classes were first held in the Congregational Church in Alva until a building later called the Castle on the Hill was constructed.

    When Oklahoma became a state in 1907, the school was renamed Northwestern State Normal School (NSN). In 1919 its name was changed to Northwestern State Teachers College (NSTC) and in 1939 it was given the name of Northwestern State College (NSC). Finally, in 1974 it was renamed Northwester Oklahoma State University (NWOSU).

    It should be remembered that for most of its history the primary purpose of Northwestern has been the preparation of teachers for schools in this section of Oklahoma.

    McKeever school remained in use until 1948 and then served as a community building for several years. In 2000 the school was given to NWOSU by Dean and Patty Nusser, farmer-ranchers, who own the land on which the school stands. Restoration efforts were soon started and the school was moved to its site on the NWOSU campus in the summer of 2001 where it will assume an important role in the preparation of teachers at Northwestern and the education of the public in general to the importance the one-room school played in the education of farm children in early Oklahoma.

    [Note by webmaster: There was restoration efforts and repainting going on this summer of 2001, As of this writing, the building is no longer standing on the NE corner of Hwy 64, 6 miles west of Alva. It has been moved to the campus of Northwestern Oklahoma State University, in Alva, OKlahoma. The only reminder that the building existed 6 miles west of Alva on hwy. 64 is the basement left behind. -- LK Wagner] View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


    Castles of NW Oklahoma

    Vol 11, Iss 26 A Pioneer Prairie of Dreams is what pioneers were filled with as they made their way westward into Oklahoma & Indian Territory ... "If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it." -- William Arthur Ward. Another saying I like is, "If you build your prairie of dreams (your Castle on the Hill), they will come!"

    We all have dreams! All we need is the determination and support to carry out some of those dreams. What if our ancestors had not followed their prairie of dreams to the new world? What would life have been like back in January, 1895 if the pioneers of the growing city of Alva and the county of "M" (Woods, Alfalfa and Major) in this northwest Oklahoma territory had not had their dream of a Northwestern State Normal School and the determination of a community to accomplish that dream?

    There would have been no unique and splendid "Castle On the Hill" March 12, 1897 that stood until March 1, 1935 when it was ravished completely by fire.

    One of those dreamers was James E. Ament who helped structure the architectural outline of the Norhtwestern Normal school building after the outlines of the Norman Castles of France that he loved so much. Ament was the first President of Northwestern State Normal College when he came to Alva in September 20, 1897.

    It took the support and organization of the Commercial Club of businessmen and citizens of the community to unite and "Push" for the lobby of the bill through the State Legislature from January, 1895 to March 12, 1897. After much maneuvering on both sides, Governor Renfrew reluctantly signed the bill granting a Normal School for this determined community of Alva, Oklahoma.

    While the committee was faced with several long, maneuvering and bitter fights lobbying the legislature, the citizens back home were gathering land and finances. They were beginning to build on their dream. That is how determined they were to fulfill their dreams of higher education in this growing farming town and county of "M" in Oklahoma territory. They had a dream and as a community they came together to build it.

    For more details concerning the "Castle on the Hill" you may go to my OkieLegacy web site at Building of the Northwestern Normal School and read more about it.

    The early morning hours of March 1, 1935, Friday, will live in infamy for many of the Old Timers of this NW Oklahoma community. They could probably tell you exactly what they were doing on that date when their beloved "Castle on the Hill" burned down. The cause of the fire has been largely a matter of speculation ranging from faulty electrical wiring -- To spontaneous combustion in a janitor's closet -- To a carelessly tossed cigarette. You can read more detailed information about the destruction of Alva and Woods County's "Castle on the Hill" at Burning Destruction of "Castle on the Hill".

    From a journal that my Grandpa Bill McGill kept this is what he wrote March 1, 1935, "The old Administration building burned down. Boy! Was everybody sick! March 14, 1935, $300,000 passed by both houses to rebuild. Only 4 opposition. Parade by everybody at noon, March 14, 1935."

    The pioneers of the growing city of Alva and county of "M" (Woods, Alfalfa and Major) in Oklahoma territory had their prairie of dreams. One of those dreams was to see their children educated. They set their goal to build their "Castle On the Hill" for themselves, their children and their children's children. It began with 166 students in September, 1897 and grew to 2,000 students Today. They accomplished their prairie of dreams with the pioneer spirit and determination that drove so many to this new land of opportunities -- And they came in droves from the eastern and western seaboards and across the oceans for a new beginning.

    Don't give up on your dreams. Where would we be if our pioneers had given up on their dreams. There may be times that you take a step back, but there will always be times when you take two steps forward to seeing your dreams fulfilled. What we need is more dreamers and people with determination to ease and move us "progressively" forward in the evolution of our life and times.
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    Looking for Ione Hada's Father

    Vol 5, Iss 17 Alva, Oklahoma - "My husband is always interested in old Alva history. He collects old advertising from Alva Businesses and all the old Northwestern Castle on the Hill items he can find. Your archives have been a great source of information to us. We now live in the house across from your parents old home on Skyline. Have great week.

    Do you have any ideas to help our family search? My grandma Ione Hada's father disappeared without word leaving the family (wife and 7 children). Nothing was ever heard of him after they picked up his car in Hardtner, Kansas. Info I have: Name: Oren Hinman LITTLE; Sex: M; Birth: 18 MAY 1888 in Chapin, Franklin County, IA; Note: Has also been found as born in Hampton, IA. Father: Linter Alvin LITTLE b: 11 JAN 1855 in Cherry Valley, Ashtabula County, OH; Mother: Rosetta Elther HINMAN b: 29 SEP 1860 in Cottage Grove, Ramsey County, WI; Marriage: 1 Leona MERKLIN b: 1891 in Cass County, MI, Married: 18 AUG 1912 in Kiowa, Barber County, KS.

    Grandma said he left home (near yellowstone) in 1933 when she was 13. Uncle Dwight Little (his son) drove to Hardtner to pick up his car at the railroad station. Later someone got word to them that the car was there. Oren is listed in the 1920 census in Yellowstone. I don't find him on the 1930 census, but not all states are on line yet. I would think it would be worthwhile to check to see if he is on the 1940 census somewhere.

    Grandma Ione said they could never find that he got a social security number. But it wasn't required until 1935 or after he left. He is not listed on the SS Death list to date. I wondered if we could find a marriage certificate for another marriage at a later date. How about a drivers license archives search?

    I forgot to add that someone thought he was running a feedstore in Red Cloud, Nebraska. My dad said that Walter Adams of northwest woods county onece started to tell him something about Oren but his wife elma Adams walked by at the time and he stopped mid-sentence and never would say anything about it again. Is there some National Graves Registration we could research? Thanks for any ideas!" -- Dixie - Email: nursedix2@yahoo.com View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


    Castle On The Hill & Noah's Ark No. 2

    Vol 18, Iss 22 You can click on the image for larger view of this image to see the Northwestern State Teachers College students at their favorite hangout in 1937 through 1938, in Alva, Woods county, Oklahoma.

    Noah may have built the first Ark, but Noah's Ark No. 2 was established in a small college town of Alva, Oklahoma.

    Naoh Built The First One, written in 1938 by Ross Strader:
    "Meetha 'tha Ark?" He ventured.
    "Oke, 'bout nine," she murmured demurely as they parted for an evening meal or for countless reasons why people should part and then meet one another at the old campus hangout 'bout nine in the evening.

    Don't look for Ripley's by-line but actually, there are a few students who've never been inside the Ark. No sir! Their mothers won't let them go inside -- but then, there are some men students who live there. True, they leave to take their girls home, but if they linger on the front steps awhile they can come back for an early breakfast.

    To a pretty little freshman co-ed from Podunk, the Ark is a symbol of the college bright-lights, and it lures her away from her readin' and writin' -- they don't teach arithmetic to first year co-eds -- and it's a place where those gay college fellows loaf, who might -- well, they might notice her.To seasoned collegiate imbiber of the pint, the Ark is just a place to stagger in and out of. A place where there is music, a friendly spirit, and a jovial atmosphere. A place where he is unmolested and can sober up with -- well, with what ver people use to sober up.

    But to the masses, that upper ninety some per cent, the Ark is a place where you go to see who's there, and where whoever's there is there to see who's there, who's there to --It's a place with a swell manager and operated by a swell bunch of students. A place that will always remain in teh memory of every Northwestern student. A place of color, and of friends.So clinking your coke glass with mine, "Here's to the Ark."
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    1926 NSTC Yearbook - Sophomore Class

    Vol 18, Iss 23 Alva, OK - 1926 Castle On The Hill Yearbook – Sophomore Class Officers: Jas. Lisk, Pres.; Raymond Westfall, V.Pres.; Mary Salyer, Sec.-Rep’t; Nell Sheddy, Treas. Sponsor: Mr. Hall.

    Sophomore Class


    Hamilton-Wright.

    The Sagacious Sophomore
    September 1925! The ‘28ers return. No longer green freshies; no longer bold nor bad, but well poised, serene, confident, -- in short Sophomores!

    Flaming youth in large and undeniable quantities having put in a first appearance on the campus, it automatically befell our lot to instill in them the appropriate spirit of meekness and submission befitting such a motley collection of unadulterated innocence. Under the lately acquired, auspicious title of Sophomore we set forth to bring about the desired results in Frosh Education. This we did with neatness and dispatch and we claim the excellent spirit these people have shown throughout the year as a feather in our caps.

    We are represented in every activity of the college and we almost put over the Student Senate for Northwestern – which must eventually come.

    More than eighty Life Certificates will be awarded to our classmen this year. This is a hard blow to our class as it destroys our organization for these people to yield to the temptation of teaching school. However, we hope to be re-enforced at the opening of school this Fall and whether or not, we’ll do our best at holding our own.

    Jest settin’ in a school ‘room
    In a great big easy chair,
    And keepin’ things a movin’
    With a lordly sort of air.
    Not a thing to do but askin’
    Lots of questions from a book,
    Spectin’ kids to know the answers,
    Tho they’re not allowed to look --
    That’s teachin’.
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    21 1926 NSTC Yearbook - Sports

    Vol 18, Iss 23 Alva, OK - Pictured are the "Coach & Yell Leaders:" John W. McCormick, coach of The World’s Champion Basketball Team in 1924. Wiley White, head yell leader & Doris Carmen, Assistant. All-State Fullback – Alvin "Mickey" Middleton, Carmen, Oklahoma.

    When they make better all'round good fellows the "Rangers" will take down their sign. When the final score of the season was checked up, fifty-four of the total of ninety-six points went to Mickie's credit. Not only as an all-state man but originator of "A solution for educated toes," will Middleton go down in football lore. With another year to devote to the team there should be remarkable things happen in Northwestern football circles next year.

    Seasons Summary
    Rangers 0 - Arkansas City 3
    Rangers 22 - St. Johns 0
    Rangers 0 - Central 11
    Rangers 6 - McPherson 12
    Rangers 16 - East Central 0
    Rangers 13 - Okla. City University 0
    Rangers 39 - Bacone Indians 0
    Rangers 0 - Northeastern 20
    Total - Rangers 96 & Other Team 46

    Left to right -- Alvin Middleton, Wayne Ballard, Joe Dollins, Henry Hort, Wiley White, Earnest Hamburg.


    Left to right -- Jess Faulkner, Max Lott, Captain Anglin, Raymond Westfall, A.M. Roberts, John Buckles.


    Left to right -- John Clothier, Alfred Wimberly, Lance Ewbanks, Bill Baker, Cahs. Tucker, Bill Owens.

    Marion Anglin, Halfback – Jenks OK, age 22, weight 142, played 2 yrs., Sophomore. Captain Anglin’s forward passes were his standbys and his feature play of the season was that of an eighty yard run for a touchdown. The third chapter of his career will begin this fall.

    Raymond Westfall, Center – Carmen OK, age 21, weight 205, played 2 yrs., Sophomore. “Fat” played a good game all the season thru. He knew how to fight, a quite essential quality when you are in the middle of the mix-up. Coolness and well calculated plays make his style of football appear to have a system.

    Lance Ewbanks, L. Guard – Cherokee OK, age 28, weight 190, played 3 yrs., Senior. Lance was one of three men playing his last year on the squad and he made his final season one of the best of his career. As a veteran on the field Lance will be missed by the team when they lope on to the field in training togs this Fall. He was always able to see the right thing to do at the right time.

    Chas. Tucker, R. Guard – Woodward OK, age 19, weight 190, played 2 yrs., Sophomore. Superb interference and fast end runs made “Tuck” a formidable foe in his quarter of the field. This is Tucks second year of football at Northwestern and we are expecting even greater things next year.

    Bill Baker, L. Guard – Shattuck OK, age 19, weight 182, played 1 yr., Freshmen. Bake played a good brand of football throughout the season. Considering that this was his first year of grid work with the Rangers and that he has three more to devote to our victories and glorious defeats, strengthens our hopes for next year.

    Wiley White, R. Guard – Covington OK, age 20, weight 200, played 1 yr., Freshmen. Wiley was just a first year man and had already proved his scientific knowledge of the grand old game, for the same psychology that makes people yell will make them fight. When opponents bump into Wiley in next year they will think they struck a stone wall.

    Wayne Ballard, L. Tackle – Gage OK, age 21, weight 215, played 3 yrs., Junior. 3 yrs. Of fighting for the Red and Black endeared this Alma Mater to Wayne. He played a heady, consistent game and was one of the most valuable linesmen in the state. Next year will be a crowning glory for Ballard, “Hero of the gridiron.”

    Bill Owens, R. Tackle – Aline OK, age 22, weight 195, played 1 yr., Freshmen. When a freshman dishes out the brand of football that Bill played this year on our squad opposing teams for next year had better beware. Bill is good for four more years on the varsity and we really are depending on him for great things next season.

    Jess Faulkner, L. End – Alva OK, age 19, weight 170, played 1 yr., Freshmen. Here the Rangers had another first year man who made his efforts realize recognition. He snagged several brilliant passes during the season and the same style of football from Jess in 1927 will bring victories for Alma Mater.

    Henry Hort, R. End – Alva OK, age 19, weight 165, played 1 yr., Sophomore. Henry’s ability was best seen when he snagged passes. He was also a good defensive man and it was seldom that the opposing backs got around him. To Henry goes the honor of making the first touchdown last season for the Rangers.

    John Clothier, E & H.B. – Freedom OK, age 20, weight 175, played 1 yr., Freshmen. When a man can hold down two positions on one team in one season we believe he is getting pretty good. That’s what John did, so versatile is he. This means more to us than all The Tulsa World said about John and the fact that he’s a Senator’s son, because we know that he’s a real football star and next year we are going to see him shine.

    Alfred Beach, E. & H.B. – Warner OK, age 20, weight 175, played 1 yr. Freshmen.

    Max Lott, End – Covington OK, age 20, weight 145, played 1 yr., Freshmen. Max didn’t get to show much of his stuff this year, but he had it. Those under punts had better beware of Max next year for Max will be a leader from this season’s reserve quarter.

    Earnest Hamburg, Q.B. – Lamont OK, age 23, weight 172, played 1 yr., Junior. For 3 yrs. “Ham’s” weight on the Ranger line had been reaping results. The fashion of football Ham was capable of, was varied and would suit almost any style required. His spirals were good; his forward passes were better but his broken field running was best of all. The Rangers were due another year of Hams excellent griding.

    Joe Dollins, H.B. – Covington OK, age 21, weight 147, played 1 yr., Freshmen. “Dolly” too, hove from Covington, they seem to have a system of making real athletes over there. “Dolly” was the kind who was always ready to grit his teeth and get ‘em, and he usually gets just where he started. We’ll appreciate some more of your good work next season.

    A.M. Roberts, H.B. – Carmen OK, age 23, weight 140, played 2 yr., Sophomore. When “Pap” gets his fighting clothes on, opponents had best give him a clear track. Altho one of the lightest men on the squad when there was a tough line “Pap” could be found smashing it thru. “Pap’s” favorite pastime was scalping Indians.

    Alfred Wimberly, F.B. – Marshall OK, age 23, weight 175, played 1 yr., Freshmen. 3 yrs. off the gridiron is a big drawback but his sportsmanship is the right brand. Another year we expect him to be a stellar performer, he showed he had the ability.

    Alvin Middleton, F.B. – Carmen OK, age 23, weight 193, played 3 yrs., Junior.

    Reed Coldiron, Q.B. – Pond Creek OK, age 27, weight 150, played 2 yrs., Senior.

    John Buckles, Center – Cherokee OK, age 23, weight 158, played 2 yrs., Senior. This was John’s last year and his best. Buckles was fast and light and made up for his lack in weight by darting under at the least expected moment and getting away with a play before his opponent realized he was there. The Rangers will miss him when the gang goes out in the Fall.

    Basketball
    Merle “Chink” G. Campbell, All State Center – Merle "Chink" CampbellIn “Chink” we had the most feared member of Basketeer circle in the section of the country. Working the rebound and his accuracy at goals made him doubly valuable to the team. During the season “Chink” netted 348 points. He led the conference in scoring. When it came time to select an All-State Center the honor fell to “Chink” without parley. We have three more years for “Chink” and then hope to penalize him a year or two just to keep him hanging around.

    Basketball Summary – This year’s season had been most successful despite, the fact that the Rangers lost the championship by a very small margin. Out of twenty-nine games played we won twenty-five. The Rangers were the only conference team to defeat Phillips, winner of the Conference Championship, when they won two out of three games with the famous Phillipians. At the close of the season the Rangers ranked second in final standing, scoring more points than any other two conference schools.

    Left to right -- John Brand, Bonnie Niles, Mortimer Welsh, Paul Grinder.

    John Brand, Forward, Alva, OK – “Johnnie” is one of the fastest men the conference saw this year. His floor work is remarkable and made him one of the most valuable men on the team. Our only regret is that John is a Junior and will fight the good fight for the Red and Black but one more year. In spite of the fact that he is the shortest and lightest man on the squad, his five feet six inches and 150 pounds accomplish a lot.

    Bonnie Niles, Center, Cherokee, OK – As Captain of the team Bonnie fought with vim and joy for Alma Mater and his team and it was a winning fight. Bonnie played with the coolness of experience that was the envy of the conference. Cherokee produced Bonnie. He is a Junior – much to our sorrow. This was his third year with the Rangers and his best. Bonnie is six feet three inches and weighs 175.

    Mortimer Welsh, Guard, Alva, OK – Mort is a “Gibraltar” in the path of opposition. His fighting spirit and defensive work made him one of the best stationary guards in the conference. Mort is fast and clever and led his opponents a merry chase. He is six feet tall and weighs 172. Classified as a Sophomore we are assured to two more years of his services on the Ranger squad.

    Paul Grinder, Forward, Aline, OK – The strongest man on the reserve forces. Next year’s successes will be largely accountable to Paul’s efforts. He will land a regular berth on next year’s squad. Paul is five feet eleven inches and weighs 151.


    Left to right -- Edwin Marteney, Roy Irwin, Fred Irion, Merle G. Campbell.

    Edwin Marteney, Guard – “Pug” hails from Lambert. We are proud of “Pugs” ability as an offensive guard which landed him a place on the All-State Second Team. He scored 250 points and is master of uncanny long shots which always hit the mark. This is his second year with the Rangers. He is classified as a Sophomore. Weighs 165 and is 5ft. 9 inches tall. Dependable in a pinch.

    Roy Irvin, Guard. Gage. OK – Until appendicitis hit “Buck” he was giving promise of capturing a place on the All State. However, this isn’t going to interfere greatly for Buck is a first year man and next year will realize great things from Buck’s quarter of the court. Buck is five feet eleven inches and weighs 170. Next year will see Buck making a run for the conference-team.

    Fred Irion, Forward, Hitchcock, OK – Irion ranks next to “Chink” in scoring for the season. His mature judgment and straight thinking assure the right play at the right time. Fred mounts seventy-two inches into the air and weighs 185. They don’t make them any scrappier. If you have any more over there, Hitchcock, trot ‘em over we’d like to have five hundred of the same brand.

    Merle G. Campbell, Center, Alva, OK – “Chink” formidable 6ft. and 8 inches supported by his 188 pounds make of him an almost unsurmountable obstacle on the Ranger quintet. It is often amusing to see his lesser opponent devise schemes whereby he can neutralize “Chinks” advantage. Just a Freshman and All State Center. He will probably have attained his full size next year and then watch out.

    THE RANGER CL
    Wearers of the “N” are eligible to membership in The Ranger Club, organized in 1924. The purpose of this organization is to promote and maintain high standards in sportsmanship, stimulate loyalty and encourage participation in athletes. Rules and regulating the wearing and awarding of letters to deserving athletics are formulated and enacted by the club. The project of the present year was the dedication of the memorial on Wyatt Gymnasium. Inspired by the slogan of Northwestern’s “grand Old man of Athletics” “The Team That Won’t Be Beaten Can’t be Beaten." there is much for the good of future supporters of the Red and Black.

    The Tuff Nutts
    This is the bunch that makes things hum at “the old castle on the hill.” You’d better watch your step, if you’ve lost your pep, for they’ll make you hep, or they’d lose their rep as Tuff Nutts, Tuff Nuts, Tuff Nuts Tough.

    Realizing the need of appreciative and sympathetic support for those who fight the game on the field or in the court, the Tuff Nutts were organized for the purpose of appraising inattentive students of the fact, and it goes without saying that they do it effectively and with the desired results.

    When they get their belts in action
    You’d better join their faction
    For they ‘re seeking satisfaction
    That’s what they want from you.

    TRACK GROUP
    Because the track team is picked at so late a date it is impossible to have the pictures of the present team in the Ranger. Accordingly a compromise is made and the pictures of this year’s tricksters will appear in next year’s book.

    Chas. Tucker, Shot Put – Winner of first place at the State meet last spring, “Tuck” came out this year determined to break the record this season. Smash ‘em all Tuckie boy.

    Raymond Westfall, Discus – “Fat” won second on the discus throw at last year’s meet. We are expecting great things from him in this year’s meet.

    Ted Monroe, Mile & Two Mile – Won third in the mile and third in the two mile last year. Going great this season.

    Mickey Middleton, Hurdles – Great things are expected of Mickey this year at high hurdles. He was never in better trim to win events.

    Marion Anglin, Low hurdle, Sprint – Hard work and fight make Anglin one of the most valuable men on the squad. He runs the low hurdles in great style and also the 220 and 440 dash.

    Grant Roberson, Sprinter – Capable of great variance in speeds he runs the 100-220-440 dashes. He is especially strong in the 440.

    Paul Skidmore, Distance – There was never a time when Skids work was better. He willenter for the 10-220-440.

    Harold Kieth, Distance – One of the best track men Northwestern ever had. Running for OU this year.

    Buck Strome, Javelin, Pole Vault – One of the most dependable men on the team. He is being counted as a point gainer for Northwestern this year.

    Raymond Shroyer, Sprinter – Raymond is good for a place and points in his events this spring - One of the most faithful trainers on the squad.

    Lance Eubanks, Discus – A consistent performer last year and one of the hardest competitors to be met in this years meet. He will probably rate a place on the State team.

    Glenn Stoner, Two mile – Endurance and judgment are the desirable qualities of a runner. Glenn has both of these and more, he has speed. We know he will place.

    Reinforcements came to the track squad this year in two valuable new men, John Richardson, the coming state man in the 100-200-440 and high jump, and Kramp in the 880. These are two of the strongest men on the team and we are sure they will take their share of honors this year and prove valuable assets to the next year squad.
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    The Rest of the Story

    Vol 9, Iss 7 NWOSU's Old Science Hall... "Castle On the Hill Poem -- "You have written your name in history.
    Oh! Northwestern!
    You've engraved it deep upon the scrolls of fame.
    We have linked our lives with yours --
    Oh! Norhtwestern!
    Our achievements add a luster to your name.

    We'll write your name upon the archives of distinction.
    Ambition and achievement e'er will be our aim.
    We will write your name with reverence,
    Oh! Northwestern!
    Our achievements will but glorify the same.

    So -- then stand ye sons and daughters of Old Northwestern!
    Take off your hats to the men upon the field!
    They will fight tonight for Old Northwestern
    And for the honor of the Castle on the Hill!
    So -- then stand all ye sons of Old Northwestern!
    Paying tribute to the men who never yield.
    They will win tonight for Old Northwestern.
    And for the glory of the Castle on the Hill!"
    ---written by Thelma Meyers ---

    SEE ALSO: 1938 Ranger Yearbook (scroll to pg. 17 of 1938 Ranger Yearbook PDF file for the lyrics of the poem). NWOSU has permission to use any of the pdf files I have scanned of the old Ranger albums that I have." -- NW Okie

    NWOSU's Old Science Hall... "That's it... I'd not referred to Lane's history book (I know I have it SOMEWHERE). I know bits of the melody, but not the whole thing. The printed music does exist somewhere... but who knows where?" -- Rod M.

    Floppy Top Bop... "Unfortunately, Floppy Top Bop has been hanging on the edge of my consciousness since you jogged my memory. As I was going to sleep last night, I remembered the following: Pack your boob in a tube, then begin to hop, you'll be doin' the floppy top bop."

    The Martin's of Major County, OK... "Hi, My name is Jeanine Baringer and I have also been trying to reach Betty and Paul (Martin) by phone but have been unable to get through. I live in Pine Island, MN. Did you ever hear from them. Jeanine - Email: larrybar@worldnet.att.net
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    Luse Family Legacy - Woods County, OK

    Vol 10, Iss 16 The following is from Footprints Across Woods County, page 421 and compiled by Octava Luse Freno.

    John Luse and Alice Jane Reynolds were both born in Missouri. John was born February 21, 1864 and Alice was born September 2, 1871. They were married in Girard, Kansas in 1888. To their union were born nine children: Ora, Maude, Harry, Elsie, Clyde (all born in Pittsburg, Kansas). A baby girl died during infancy. Cora, Charley and Frank were born in or near Alva.

    At the turn of the century John and Alice with five children came to Alva in a covered wagon. John was a brick mason so found employment in the construction business in Alva.

    John helped Conctruct the Woods county court House and the Castle on the Hill. Ora, as a small boy, worked with his father as hod carrier. With their large family, John and Alice decided a farm would be a better place for them so with a small savings they purchased a farm 20 miles NW of Alva. (SE/4 of Section 1-Twp18-Range 16) from W. J. Pope for $1200. They first lived in a frame house but later built a large three story red brick home which is still in use.

    John, as a brick mason worked away from home leaving all the farm work for Alice and the children. In addition to farming Alice was quite proficient as a horse and mule trader. Ora went to school in a little rock school located on the Greenleaf. In 1911 john sold the farm. ora worked for various ranchers including Scott and Dewey Cummins.

    Ora married Halie E. Barnes at Winfield, Kansas. They first lived near Winchester where their first daughter was born. They named her Octava Fostena. They soon purchased the Allen place and later more land in S34-29-16. In 1919 they moved to their new land where another daughter was born. She was named Geneva Olivene. When Octava and Olivene were small they enjoyed young lambs as pets and fed them by bottle. octava and Olivene went to grade school at yellowstone and Faulkner schools. They rode horses about three miles and had to open five gates on their way to school. Olivene was ill for many years and passed away March 6, 1939, at the age of 17.

    While living on the Haven place some of the land was farmed and the balance was grass pasture where a herd of herford cattle ranged. There were also hogs, sheep, chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese.

    During the dry dust bowl years the cattle had to be rounded up and driven to the Greenleaf for watering. The first brand used by ora was the "mug" (P).

    During the depression of the thirties the cattle were sold in Kansas City with the money placed in the Alva Bank for payment to the Federal land Bank. At that time banks were clsoing across the country and so did the Alva Bank, keeping all the deposited money. ora was now unable to make the Federal Land Bank payment.

    The F.L.B. proceeded to take all the remaining cattle except those which belonged to Halie, Octava and Olivene (approximately 30 head). These cattle had individual brands. later to build up another herd, ora used the brand he called the "pigpen" (#). In the fall the cattle were rounded up and ora and Octava would drive them across the country for many mies to wheat pasture, crossing rivers and creeks. Sometimes it would take several days.

    Several memorable vacations were made driving a model A touring car to colorado to visit relatives. The first time Ora drove in the mountains near Denver, the brake linings wore out and they had a frightening ride down the mountains without brakes.

    Although Ora and Halie moved to Alva in 1948, ora never retired, but continued in the cattle business, which he knew so well and loved, until his death January 10, 1965, at the age of 76.

    The only surviving daughter of Ora and Halie Luse, Octava, was married to Sam samuelson in the Cedar Grove Church, with Rev. McGraw officiating. They first lived on a farm about five miles east of Alva, and later bought a small farm SW of Hrdtner, Kansas. To this union was born two children, Janice Marie and Karl Ejner, both born in Alva. Janice and Karl attended school for many years in Albuquerque, NM. Janice married Charles T. Grimsley in El Paso, Texas, and they had three children, Bryan Luse, Kristal Rae, and Randall Gene." -- written in 1986 by Octava Luse Freno
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    The Rest of the Story

    Vol 9, Iss 3 "Howdy. Here in NE KS we have had two days of cold and messy under foot. Temperatures are in the mid-teens. The forecast is for 4-7" of snow; however, it needs to get serious if we are to get that much. It was messy enough that a 90th birthday party for a retired District Judge was cancelled because of the travel problems. Frankly, I don''t need snow or any of the mess. I just do not enjoy it-maybe should find a new location to live. Gas prices here are in the $2.119 range, some lower and some above. In the area I''ve seen $1.999 and heard of $1.919 in Topeka." -- Vol. 9, Iss. 2 Intro

    Castle On The Hill & Science Hall... "I found where a Frank Ingels, sculpture and graduate of Northwestern Normal School in 1915, donated the Lincoln monument to Northwestern. Did this occur the year he graduated in 1915? Did he scupture it himself? Does anyone have any more information on Frank Ingels? Thanks for helping us preserve a piece of this northwest Oklahoma past!"

    Cedar Canyon Fire... "The owner, Anita Rennebohm, was in the process of selling the property, but it was not finalized. Word at the time was that she planned to start rebuilding immediately, was going to use a temporary building to begin selling noon meals (burgers, fries, etc.) within weeks, and would have a fancier, bigger place ready to open by July 1st. All that happened was that they cleaned the clutter up and walked away. No rebuilding. I have no idea who is running the motel at this point, or if it is even open (I assume it is, but have not asked that question specifically)."

    Alva Teacher Listed - Centenarian... "Wow, ....my hats off to Salt of the Red Earth by M.J. Alexander !!! I cried all the way thru it !!! Breath-taking, and truely a spiritual gift to hold !!! My grandmother too, born in Marshall Oklahoma 1914, still living....now in Quartzsite Arizona.... where I wished I could see her more. I give hugs and kisses to all the "Centenarian''s" with love. You all have touched my heart over and over again. God Bless and God be with ! & THANK YOU !!!"
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    Castle on the Hill...

    Vol 8, Iss 9 I have to tell you that The Castle On The Hill is fascinating. That was quite an accomplishment. So distinctive and a grand building. View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


    Castle on the Hill Mural...

    Vol 6, Iss 10 "I enjoy reading your weekly e-zine. I am hoping that the new mural scheduled for the old Toot and Tell building, which will feature the popular postcard picture of the Old Castle on the Hill, can be altered slightly to add a US flag atop the mast of the flag pole (which sits atop one of the many towers on the castle). I have in my collection an old postcard that shows a large flag flying - and it is MUCH more impressive to see the castle with the flag flowing in the breeze than to see the naked flag pole. Surely an artist could include a 1898-vintage flag in the painting. I would certainly be willing to loan my old postcard if it is needed to assist in making such a change become reality. I tried to log onto the Contact Us link on the Alva Mural page that you included in your newsletter - but got the standard Under Construction message on the page. Thanks again, Linda, for a super job on the Okie Legacy." -- Rod Murrow - Email: rod@murrow.com View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


    Requesting NWOSU Info...

    Vol 8, Iss 30 "I was visiting your web site today and just wondered if you knew of words to a song titled "Old Northwestern." We have a committee here working a celebration for Northwestern's 110th anniversary, which coincides with the State of Oklahoma's 100th anniversary. We're seeking info, memorabilia and old photos that we can place into an archive to keep here, as well as many other events being planned.

    Someone just mentioned to me that the song "Old Northwestern" might also have been called "Castle on the Hill" just in case anything like that pops up.

    If you'd like, you could also make a mention that if anyone has any old photos from the Northwestern campus that they would like to donate to the university, they could send them to me and/or the alumni association. They would need to know that once they have been donated, they become the property of Northwestern. We're going to possibly draw up some type of plan/guidelines for photos and memorabilia donations so that we can put them in an archive. We'll also probably provide a permission document that gives us the permission needed to digitize their photo. That might allow us to have a copy of their photo and they keep one, too. I guess with technology today they could send us a high quality scanned photo or have it copied at a photo processing location like Walmart, etc. Thanks for your help." -- Valarie Case, Public Relations Specialist, Northwestern Oklahoma State University, 709 Oklahoma Blvd., Alva, OK 73717. EMAIL: vcase@nwosu.edu - Phone: Office -- 580-327-8486; FAX-- 580-327-8660; Website: www.nwosu.edu/pubrel/
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    Widow of Gerold Lanman

    Vol 9, Iss 31 "I am the widow of Gerold Lanman. This little bit of his history is so appreciated. He went on to graduate from Texas Christian University in 1950 with a degree in Geology. Employed with the Department of Agriculture. His last ten years of service were spent in the Washington, D.C. office. He died in 1989 in Cleburne, Tx." -- Arleta Lanman - Email: klm@hyperusa.com

    [Editor's Note: See Castle On the Hill - 1937 Ranger Annual, Nothwestern State Teachers' College. 1937 - Ranger Annual -- [See NW OkieLegacy Webshots for the entire scanned 1937 Ranger yearbook] - This Annual has been published under the direction of the Student Council. It is entirely a product of student labor and student supervision. All printing except photographs was done in the Commerce Department by students in the Department. The printed pages were reproduced on the Mimeograph and the colored sketches were made on the Ditto. -- NW OkieLgacy webshots - 1937 ranger annual.]
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    Old Castle on the Hill...

    Vol 8, Iss 9 We are native Kansans and still have family there so last year on a trip through there we drove over to the Alva Public Library. Joyce A. Beagley is the one who correlated the family book and told me on the phone that I could make copies of it. It has 128 pages, including the index. It looks like she did that back in the 1980's. There was a picture (not clear with the Xerox) of the Castle and it said Old Castle on the Hill, Northwestern Oklahoma State College back in the 1930's and 1940's, Alva, Oklahoma. It was such an interesting structure that it got my curiosity and found your web pages. You have done an excellent job of answering the questions that come to mind: What it looked like, what caused the fire, the students trapped in room, brought to safety and what happened after the fire. Oh, yes, the original cost and the 1935 price. Really different from today. By the way, I was 2 months old when the castle burnt. I am trying to get in contact with Joyce Beagley about her history book. Can anyone help me? Naturally we have more information of their descendants, the ship they came on from England, etc. (My mother-in-law was a Beagley and we lived in Hutchinson, Kansas). Now that I have given you much more than you wanted to know I will close. Thanks again for compilation you have brought together on the okielegacy website. This will be of interest to the members of our family. Lois Wilson Murphy View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


    Enjoyed OkieLegacy Website & Castle on the Hill...

    Vol 7, Iss 3 "Linda, I enjoyed your website. It is nice to read stories about the things my father has told me about Alva. I especially enjoyed seeing the pictures of the Castle on the Hill. My father is Bud CATTIN and he grew up in Alva. My mother's family (HARDING) is also from Alva." -- Diane Cattin - Email: dianelc@infionline.net View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


    Architect of Castle on the Hill...

    Vol 8, Iss 11 "Feucart was said to be a Belgian of French descent who designed at least 4 commercial buildings and one residence in Oklahoma Territory before he went west to California.

    The City Hall (pictured on the left) and a residence (now a "Bed 'n Breakfast") in Guthrie were designed by him, plus the first building for Oklahoma A. & M. College (OSU) at Stillwater, the First National Bank building at Perry, OK (pictured on the right), and the Castle on the Hill" building for the Normal School at Alva.

    He was noted especially for including a horseshoe-shaped window, a distinctively arched entrance door, arches over some upper-story windows, and some peaks or spires decorating the roof edges. There are also two other (published) spellings of his name and I do not know which is correct. The book The Architecture of America, by John Burchard and Albert Bush-Brown, Copyright 1961 and published by Little, Brown & Co. shows his name to be J. Feucart as the designer of the Guthrie City Hall in 1902.

    Perry, Pride of the Prairie by Robert E. Cunningham (published by Frontier Printers, Inc. of Stillwater, Ok. spells his name (in one place) Joseph Foucert and says that he was a Belgian who came to America a few months before the opening of Old Oklahoma in 1889 and that he had previously designed some 'imposing structures in Europe.' And then elsewhere the book refers to him as Joseph P. Foucart, internationally famous architect. I hope I haven't confused you too much.

    We haven't gotten any of the severe weather and STILL need rain. The rural fire trucks made runs both last Saturday and Sunday." -- Roy View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


    Old Ranger Albums

    Vol 9, Iss 23 If there are some newcomers out there looking for old Ranger yearbooks concerning Northwestern State Normal School, in Alva, Oklahoma, the "OkieLegacy" has a collection of "Old Ranger Albums" from 1917, 1926, 1937 and 1938 - Old Ranger Albums. The albums have been scanned to PDF files, which are on the large size and may take some time to download.

    The Northwestern Oklahoma Castle On The Hill was built in the late nineteenth century and burned to a shell of itself March, 1935. It was rebuilt, but not in the castle form it once was.

    We love this poem we found in the 1926 Ranger album that reads, "A silent message thru the ages - Is delivered to the races passing by, - And the wisdom of the sages - Flashes futily from the sturdy eye, - Watching Life's laughter, song and tears - Thru the eager march of onward years; - With quiet, unperturbed, mobile face - Inspires us to live with equal grace." -- NW Okie
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    Alva's Healthful Spring Water...

    Vol 8, Iss 12 "I had read the material regarding Mr. Foucart (however you spell it) before, but I had never given much thought to the paragraph regarding Alva's water supply at the time, which was as follows: 'The sanitary history of the school and city has demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that no more healthful place can be found than Alva and its immediate surroundings. The purest of spring water is furnished the school and city, which largely assists in maintaining a high degree of healthfulness.'

    In several old photos of the Castle on the Hill and the Northwestern Normal campus, one can see a water tower that appears to be immediately behind the 'Castle.' I don't know if this supplied just the campus or the campus and the city (I strongly suspect that it did both), but I do know where the spring was ..., or more appropriately 'is'.

    Alva's first water supply was from springs located north of the Salt Fork River and about three miles north of the center of town. It was on a farm owned by a man named Grimes (for whom the old wooden Grimes Bridge was named), and the site was purchased in the early 1930's by Floyd and Irene Wilcox. Floyd and Irene had two daughters, Catherine and Carolyn, and Carolyn's son still lives on the place.

    What is interesting is that the spring is still there, it's still owned by the city, and the city still maintains the spring and the water line that runs from there to Alva. Though the land is owned by the current occupant, the city still maintains the mineral rights. Any owner of that land that lives on the place gets their water and maintenance of the pump and lines free of charge 'in perpetuity' with all costs borne by the city. In return, the city can draw on that water if they so choose. It's still considered an emergency back-up.

    When I was in high school, Jim Maxwell (one of the Maxwell brothers that ran Maxwell Florists at the time), told me that the springs were at one time the sole provider of water for the city. It performed well until Alva outgrew it, filling the water tank up during the nightime hours and draining most of it back out as the people drew on it by day.

    As Alva's population grew, more people had indoor plumbing, more lawns were watered, and things like diswashers, car washes, and swimming pools (McGill Brothers?) came into being, the demand outgrew the supply, the well could not keep up, and that's when the city began drawing water from the Cimarron aquifer to the south of town.

    The springs were also well known by the cattlemen of the Cherokee Outlet and were used many times to water cattle prior to the run. If you drive north a half mile or so from the current 'Grimes bridge' and keep looking to the east, you'll see a small square building with a hip roof out in the middle of a field. That's one of the pump houses on the old line.

    I just thought your readers might be interested and that this might go along with our 'cisterns' articles." -- Jim View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


    Castle On the Hill Story...

    Vol 8, Iss 11 "In your article entitled The Prairies' Castle on the Hill", there is an error in the third from the last paragraph. The Negro Normal School was not to be located at Lansing (which was a tiny community located in eastern Beaver County), but was to be located in (and still is) Langston, Logan County, O. T., which had a population of 100 as of the census of 1890." -- Roy View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


    Castle On the Hill Plate

    Vol 10, Iss 14 "I have had one of the "Castle on the Hill" plates, dated 1966, in my kitchen for many years, along with a companion plate of the old Woods County Courthouse. Elizabeth Hollen was an Alva artist/painter, but these don't look painted. Perhaps she was able to do some kind of color transfer of a picture to the plates. My parents were Glenn and Doris Downs, now deceased, who both knew Elizabeth." -- Shalah Smothers - Okie Legacy Comment
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    1947 news - Golden Jubilee Homecoming Parade Draws 20,000

    Vol 10, Iss 22 This following news article appeared as the big headlines in The Alva Review-Courier, Alva, OK, Thursday, October 23, 1947, frontpage headlines: "Golden Jubilee Homecoming Parade to Draw 20,000 Visitors To City Festival."

    Also... other headlines read: "1,000 Teachers May Attend Convention Here This Weekend;" "State Bands to March Saturday In Jubilee Fete;" "Beautiful Floats," "22 Bands Highlights Sparkling Pageant;" and "Old Timers use $1,000, Know How To Land College."

    There was also a picture of the NSC's first building, the venerable "Castle on the Hill." The caption under the picture of Northwestern State College's first building, "Castle on the Hill," said it was constructed at the cost of $87,000 which was appropriated by the territorial legislature after the contractors had been guaranteed payment by eight Alva businessmen who signed a bond guaranteeing the money. The building was designed by the school's first President James Ament after a French castle. It housed all the classrooms, administration offices and activity rooms, including a gymnasium on the third floor. It burned to the ground in 1935.
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    Beagley Family History...

    Vol 8, Iss 8 "Presently I am writing a family history of the Beagley family, taking information from a family book written back in the 1980's. In that book they frequently mentioned The Castle On The Hill. So I went to the internet and found your web site. May I have permission to place in my Beagley family history book the two pictures of the Castle before and after the fire that were on your web site? Also the paragraph beginning with It concerns the burning of 'The Castle on the Hill'...... Also, the paragraph: ,i>[The following information is from the book Alva, Oklahoma First 100-years.... and Sleeping Students Trapped in Room..... Thank you." -- Lois Murphy Email: loismurph@aol.com View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


    NWOSU's Castle On the Hill Song

    Vol 8, Iss 31 "I just looked in Wayne Lane's Centennial History book and found that the "Castle on the Hill" song is referred to as "Oh, Northwestern" in his book. It says the following: "On a local basis, a new college song, 'Oh, Northwestern,' was dedicated to (President O.E.) Hatcher when it was first sung at a chapel assembly in December 1933. Its words were by Thelma Myers, secretary to the president, and the music by Mrs. E.B. L. Hardy. The composition was used as the college song for several years afterward."

    The "Old Northwestern" song I was referring to an earlier email is mentioned in the 1921 yearbook in some information about the Rooters Club, so I'm wondering if there is another song out there. Anyway, some people on campus think there may be the words and music around somewhere to the "Castle on the Hill" / "Oh Northwestern" song, but will still try to see if anyone knows anything about "Old Northwestern" mentioned in earlier yearbooks. Thanks for all your help on this." -- Valarie Case
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    The Rest of the Story...

    Vol 8, Iss 11 Memories From NW Oklahoma ...Remember those Saturday night previews -- A good way to see both the movies for the week and to remove the temptation to go to the movie mid-week. Like it was said, "if you could stay awake!" But, one movie for the price of two was a real draw.

    ...Remember the little grocery store near Longfellow School. That wasn't far from 224 Center, where my grandparents lived. I would have visited that store in the 1960's, probably.

    ...I had just assumed that is WAS part of the touring Chautauqua system...but was hoping that some of the "Legacy" readers might have a link to some of the folks in the photograph.

    Architect of Castle on the Hill ...Feucart was said to be a Belgian of French descent who designed at least 4 commercial buildings and one residence in Oklahoma Territory before he went west to California. The City Hall and a residence (now a "Bed ''n Breakfast") in Guthrie were designed by him, plus the first building for Oklahoma A. & M. College (OSU) at Stillwater, the "First National Bank" building at Perry, and the "Castle on the Hill" building for the Normal School at Alva. He was noted especially for including a horseshoe-shaped window, a distinctively arched entrance door, arches over some upper-story windows, and some peaks or spires decorating the roof edges.

    Orion Stories & photos ...It's been some years ago at the Orion Cemetery we poured the concrete slab and steps on the north side of the road and built the out houses for the use of people who came on Memorial Day. People used to come on this day and visit all day long. It was the only time they saw some of these people. View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


    Joseph Foucart (Feucart) - The Architect of the Castle on the Hill...

    Vol 8, Iss 10 Joseph Foucart was the architect of the "Castle on the Hill of the Prairies of NW Oklahoma Territory. Foucart was a native of France, but has lived in this country many years, and at Guthrie at that time, and still lived there. He came here with the contractor and watched the construction of the building from start to finish. He is an expert in his line, and a clever gentleman in every way.

    The citizens of Alva had a general jollification on the night of Thursday, March 10th. The site was selected on Saturday afternoon, March 19th; the foundation was measured off and the stakes set on Monday, March 29th, and on Friday afternoon, April 1st, R. M. Davis started six teams removing the dirt from the basement, and more teams were added Monday. By April 20th, twenty cars of stone had arrive from Augusta, Kansas, a well had been drilled in the basement to furnish water for mixing mortar, and thirty men were employed in various ways.

    By the last of May, the foundation was well started on every side of the great building, and about this time a fellow named Asher, of El Reno, was visiting east side towns and soliciting donations from politicians to pay the expenses of filing an injunction to restrain the contractor from continuing the work. The commercial club had a consultation with Mr. Volk, and over hundreds of citizens of Alva and vicinity signed a bond to Mr. Volk for $86,018.00, and he doubled his force of workmen and pushed the contruction as rapidly as possible.

    Asher filed his injunction in the supreme court at Guthrie and it stayed filed until after the building was completed. On July 1st, the work had so far advanced that committee begun the preparations for laying the corner stone (under the main tower in front). The program consisted of the usual ceremonies, led by the Masons. Gov. Barnes and several other territorial officers, and Grand Master E. M. Bamford were present. Pres. Ament introduced Gov. Barnes as the first speaker, and he was followed by Judge McAtee. S. L. Johnson and Hon. Temple Houston. Following is a list of articles placed within the corner stone:

    Roll of officers and members of the grand lodge and local lodge A. F. & A. M.; same of the Alva Commercial Club, same of the legislature 1897, copies of the Alva Pioneer, Courier, Review and Cleo Cheiftain, copy of program of the day's exercises and names of President Ament, Miss Bosworth and Mrs. DeLisle.

    The day was one of general celebration, the business of the town being represented by float's in a great parade; and the crowd present was guessed at 4000 to 6000.

    The erection of the building went steadily on and there was no more trouble excepting the howl of "steal" and fraud from the east-side people and papers, until Gov. Ferguson needed in his political scheme Pres. Ament's place for a friend, and he got it.

    After Mr. Ament came to Alva, no one man did as much as he to further the interests of the school, and it was conceded by all that the school had the most rapid growth of any other ever opened west of the Mississippi river. Mr. Ament, besides being one of the leading educators aof the United States, was an attracive man physically, and a general favorite with his students.

    The school's attendance continued to grow, and its influence widened, and another building was needed before another year, to accommodate the young people who desire to higher education.

    And our former enemies have at last conceded that the school is needed in this part of the world, and is a success.

    [Source: The Alva Pioneer 1904 Souvenir Edition - Friday, Jan. 1, 1904, Vol. 11, No. 16, by W. F. Hatfield, Alva, Woods Co., Oklahoma. W. F. Hatfield, Publisher Daily and Weekly Pioneer editor, sold the "Souvenir Edition" in 1904 for 50-Cents. It was printed to celebrate Alva's tenth anniversary since the opening of 1893.]]

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    Knob Institution Passed 46th Anniversary In March (1943)...

    Vol 8, Iss 13 Knob Institution Passed 46th Anniversary In March (1943), 50th Anniversary Edition, dated September 12, 1943, The Alva Review-Courier, Section B.

    Opening of the Cherokee Strip in 1893 brought hardy group of pioneers to Alva -- a group who soon conceived the idea of locating a Normal school in the bustling little city and a group that devoted every energy to the fight.

    Alva and the surrounding territory developed so rapidly after the opening rush that the pioneers began clamoring for a Normal school and a bill was introduced to the territorial legislature in 1895 for that purpose.

    A committee composed of S. L. Johnson, chairman; H. L. Ross, secretary; W. F. Hatfield, editor of the Alva Pioneer; James Kelley, editor of the Alva Republican; C. C. Hudson, editor of the Alva Review; A. H. Andrews, city attorney, and Jesse J. Todd, met and advertised for offers of land near town for a college site. They formulated other plans and applied pressure on the legislature to secure location of school in Alva.

    Several responses were made to the advertisement for land, but the most desirable was the hill, one-half mile south of the town, and about two blocks east of where the old Administration building stood.

    Their next move was a standing "push" committee to go to the territorial capital at Guthrie and lobby for the school. The committee was instructed to assist Councilman J. P. Gandy and Representative G. W. Vickers. , S. L. Johnson, James Kelley and C. C. Hudson were the first named and others on the committee went to Guthrie occasionally to relieve these for a day or two at a time. They were unsuccessful in this first fight, but they were only temporarily beaten.

    On April 1, 1896, a group of businessmen met and formed the Alva Commercial Club. The club gave its attention to general matters until the November election, and then set about getting in touch with the newly elected representatives and councilmen who would make up the legislature to convene January 12, 1897.

    S. L. Johnson was again chosen to head the "push" committee and among those who spent more or less time in Guthrie helping in the cause were: Captain Stine, J. D. Share, G. W. Crowell, H. E. Noble, H. A. Noah, J. W. Monfort, Dr. J. D. Karr, C. W. Hobbie, E. Rall, S. B. Share, Jos. Miller, Jesse J. Dunn, H. C. McGrath, F. M. Cowgill and W. C. Douglas.

    A record of all the maneuvers in the fight would fill a good sized volume, but the bill passed the council by a vote of eight to five on February 26, 1897. Senators D. P. Marcum of Woodward and William Garrison of Grant county were staunch workers in the cause.

    After another bitter fight the bill passed the house of representatives on March 10, 1897. After this those opposed still tried to keep Governor W. C. Renfrow from signing the bill before the close of the session. The men friendly to the bill refused to sign the appropriations bill until the governor signed the college bill. It was either sign the bill or to try to run state affairs without funds for the following year.

    The bill was signed about midnight, just before the session closed, March 12.

    According to the late Hugh S. Johnson, fiery former head of the NRA, work was actually started on the building and it was in process of construction before the bill passed. So intent and confident were the pioneers that education would reign in northwest Oklahoma.

    The contract for a building was to have been let on July 22 but the governor and board of education would not let it go through until they could decide what size building would be necessary.

    Therefore the Commercial club offered to furnish a building in which school could start in the fall of 1897 and the Alva Congregational church was rented for $150 and classwork started there.

    President James E. Ament came here shortly before school opened and on September 20, with two teachers, Mrs. Sarah Bosworth and Mrs. Mary DeLisle, and fifty right students, Northwestern college started operating. By the first of November the enrollment had grown to a hundred and President Ament and the Commercial club started a campaign to convince the governor and board of education that a large building was needed.

    On December 1 the board met again, but again put off the letting of the contract. Then for some unexplained reason, the secretary of the board received hundreds of letters from young people all over Woods and adjoining counties. Bids were finally advertised for and on March 10 the contract was let to John Volk and Company. No appropriations had as yet been made for the building., with all the available funds being $5,000 -- in bonds that were voted by the city in order to get the school building here.

    Mr. Volk held a consultation with the Commercial club and a number of citizens in this vicinity. They signed a bond to Mr. Volk for $86,018, the amount of the contract. Four of the original signers of the bond still live in Alva. They are J. W. Monfort, W. F. Hatfield, Anton Shafer and George Crowell.

    Dr. Ament widely traveled educator, furnished the inspiration for the building, assisting the architect, Joseph Foucart, a native Frenchman, in drawing up plans for the edifice. Dr. Ament had visited one of the old Norman Castles in France and used the general outline for the college buidling.

    The structure, first condemned as a folly because of the appearance was later hailed as a masterpiece of architectural beauty.

    Actual work on the building started on April 1, 1896, and from then on the work progressed rapidly. The laying of the cornerstone on July 1st brought a large crowd to Alva, a huge parade was staged and many notable people were here.

    The structure was of native red brick. It was Dr. Ament's plan to reproduce the gigantic castle he had seen in France, and the huge three-story building here with its towers, turrets and battlements, was to be only one wing of the structure. Dr. Ament's vision was never realized, although he carried it with him long after he left Alva. He died in New York City, July 21, 1936.

    According to initial plans the cost was to have been $86,018, but the building was ultimately completed at a cost of $110,000. The dedication speech was written by one of the greatest and most colorful figures in Oklahoma history -- Temple Houston, son of Texas' Sam Houston.

    The magnificient structure, booed by many as the "Prairie Prince's Plight," was hailed by thousands. Alva Adams, Colorado governor, who was attorney for the Santa Fe railroad and for whom the city of Alva was named, arranged for a special train to provide transportation for the territorial legislators to come to Alva for the dedication.

    The erection of the building was steady and the college grew with no more interruptions until Governor Ferguson needed president Ament's place for a friend and he was replaced with T. W. Conway, coming here in the summer of 1902.

    After Mr. Ament came to Alva, the school and city had no stauncher worker than he, and it was conceded by all that the school had the most rapid growth of any ever opened west of the Mississippi river.

    The building served the college students as a hall of learning and a meeting place for many school and social activities for many years. Here were held all gatherings of the towns that were too large for other meeting places. Here were welcomed speakers and entertainers of national repute. And here was gathered an immense crowd to attend burial services for one of the best loved of the college instructors and legislators -- Professor E. A. Herod, for whom Herod hall is named.

    Science Hall -- In May, 1905, the demand for another building was so great that the state legislature appropriated $50,000 for a Science building. The action was validated by the federal government in June, 1906, and President Theodore Roosevelt signed the bill a few days later. The Science hall was completed in the fall of 1907 and the rapidly growing college had added another mark in its progression to one of the leading institutions of the state.

    That same year, 1907, the central heating plant was completed at a cost of $50,000. No other buldings were added until 1919 when Wyatt gymnasium was constructed.

    In 1919 the Normal school was no more -- it became a four-year college with power to confer bachelor degrees. Success of the transfer was greeted with delight by boosters for the college, who then sensed an additional growth.

    Herod Hall -- It was necessary to bring the school up to a par with other state institutions then and in 1923, after several years of effort, the state legislature appropriated $100,000 for building Herod hall and making other improvements. Herod hall was designed after the main building at Oklahoma City University.

    The institution, known after 1919 as Northwestern State Teachers' college, prospered until 1935, when the Administration building burned. Herod Hall, in the center of the campus, housed the auditorium and music classrooms in 1943.

    The "old castle on the hill" had woven itself strongly into the hearts of everyone -- it was a landmark, not only to those who had been students in the college, but to every one who had occasion to pass this way.

    It was with grief in their hearts that townspeople watched the building burn March 1, 1935. They realized that it could never be replaced in fact or in sentiment.

    Action for a new building was begun immediately, a meeting on March 2, resulting in immediate action in the state legislature.

    The two new buildings at Northwestern college, although of entirely different design than the administration building, are regarded as monuments to the fearlessness of those early day pioneers.

    Northwestern college today stands as one of the best equipped and most modern of schools in the state and a continued advancement is forecast for the center of northwest Oklahoma activities.

    The presidents who have served at Northwestern college (as of september 12, 1943 article):

    President Ament from 1897 until 1902, then Thomas W. Conway from 1902 until 1908.

    He was succeeded by Walter Ross, who served from 1908 to 1910, when Grant B. Grumbine, superintendent of schools at Geary, came to Northwestern.

    Mr. Grumbine ws moved to Central State Teachers' college at Edmond, in 1916, and J. W. Graves had previously been president of the School of Mines at Wilburton and served here one year.

    A. S. Faulkner, professor of education at Southeastern Teachers' college, was then sent her.

    In 1919, James P. Battenberg, superintendent of schools at Atoka, was elected president here. His was the longest administration in the history of the institution, serving until 1928. He was mainly instrumental in securing the appropriation for Herod hall.

    Walter W. Parker, dean of faculty at Warrensburg Teachers' in Missouri, became president in 1928 and served until July 1933, when he became president of the Cape Giradeau Teachers in Missouri.

    He was followed by O. E. Hatcher, an instructor in history at Oklahoma A.& M. College. It was during his administration that the building was destroyed by fire.

    In May, 1935, President Hatcher was succeeded by Dean Sabin C. Percefull, during whose administration $245,000 was obtained from the federal government to match the $300,000 appropriated by the state to construct Jesse Dunn hall and the new Demonstration building.

    In February, 1936, Ernest E. Brown, former president of the Teachers' college at Weatherford, became president.

    President Brown was succeeded in 1939 by Dr. C. O. Newlin, former professor of education at the University of Oklahoma. Newlin's resignation on December 31, 1942, brought about the return of Sabin C. Percefull, then president of Northeastern Oklahoma Junior college at Miami, as head of the school he served as professor and dean of many years.

    Jesse Dunn Hall (1943 View) -- Jesse Dunn Hall replaced the "Old Castle on the Hill." after the March, 1935 fire. It has one of the best equipped Physics laboratories in the state. All the recent Northwestern students will remember the many hours spent in NSC's wellstocked library located in Jesse Dunne Hall.

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    Okielegacy Guestbook

    Vol 10, Iss 12 3/19/2008 - Castle on the Hill... "Among items purchased at an Estate Sale, there was a Castle on the Hill 1897-1935 Plate. If this is of value to someone, please let me know, and I will be glad to sell and ship it to you. (I am from Omaha, Nebraska, originally, and own a home furnishings, antiques and collectibles store in the Phoenix, AZ area). Thank you." -- Suzanne Davis - Email: suzannet3@cox.net

    3/18/2008 Foraker, OK Cemetery... "I have read all the guest book and enjoyed it. I am still looking for some one who knows of A burial plat of the Foraker, OK. cemetery. please, please, please." -- Ben Fowler

    3/17/2008 - Pryor POW Camp... "I live on the same property, My Apartment Owner owns 108 acres of the same property. It has bunkers, towers, and foundations still on the property. Would Like to know more about this camp." -- Terry Tate - Email: terrygtate@yahoo.com

    3/12/2008 - Kids Home (Carmen, OK Orphanage)... "My two brothers and sisters were in the home from in 1953 to around 1955 when it close we then moved into town and lived with Goldie Stebens." -- RICK MENEFEE - Email: rrrr_outdoorrick@yahoo.com
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    A Prairie of Dreams (Castles of NW Oklahoma)...

    Vol 8, Iss 13 by - LK Wagner

    "If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it." -- William Arthur Ward. Another saying I like is, "If you build your prairie of dreams (your Castle on the Hill), they will come!"

    We all have dreams! All we need is the determination and support to carry out some of those dreams. What if our ancestors had not followed their prairie of dreams to the new world? What would life have been like back in January, 1895 if the pioneers of the growing city of Alva and the county of "M" (Woods, Alfalfa and Major) in this northwest Oklahoma territory had not had their dream of a Northwestern State Normal School and the determination of a community to accomplish that dream?

    There would have been NO unique and splendid "Castle on the Hill" March 12, 1897 that stood until March 1, 1935 when it was ravished completely by fire. One of those dreamers was James E. Ament who helped structure the architectural outline of the Norhtwestern Normal school building after the outlines of the Norman Castles of France that he loved so much. Ament was the first President of Northwestern State Normal College when he came to Alva in September 20, 1897.

    It took the support and organization of the Commercial Club of businessmen and citizens of the community to unite and "Push" for the lobby of the bill through the State Legislature from January, 1895 to March 12, 1897. After much maneuvering on both sides, Governor Renfrew reluctantly signed the bill granting a Normal School for this determined community of Alva, Oklahoma.

    While the committee was faced with several long, maneuvering and bitter fights lobbying the legislature, the citizens back home were gathering land and finances. They were beginning to build on their dream. That is how determined they were to fulfill their dreams of higher education in this growing farming town and county of "M" in Oklahoma territory. They had a dream and as a community they came together to build it.

    For more details concerning the "Castle on the Hill", you may go to my Okie Legacy web site at Building of the Northwestern Normal School and read more about it.

    The early morning hours of March 1, 1935, Friday, will live in infamy for many of the Old Timers of this NW Oklahoma community. That is when their beloved "Castle on the Hill" burned down. The cause of the fire has been largely a matter of speculation ranging from faulty electrical wiring -- To spontaneous combustion in a janitor's closet -- To a carelessly tossed cigarette.

    From a journal that my Grandpa McGill kept this is what he wrote March 1, 1935 -- "The old Administration building burned down -- Boy! Was everybody sick! March 14, 1935 -- $300,000 passed by both houses to rebuild. Only 4 opposition -- Parade by everybody at noon, March 14, 1935."

    The pioneers of the growing city of Alva and county of "M" (Woods, Alfalfa and Major) in Oklahoma territory had their prairie of dreams. One of those dreams was to see their children educated. They set their goal to build their "Castle on the Hill" for themselves, their children and their children's children. It began with 166 students in September, 1897 and grew to 2,000 students in 1999. They accomplished their prairie of dreams with the pioneer spirit and determination that drove so many to this new land of opportunities -- And they came in droves from the eastern and western seaboards and across the oceans for a new beginning.

    Don't give up on your dreams. Where would we be if our pioneers had given up on their dreams. There may be times that you take a step back, but there will always be times when you take two steps forward to seeing your dreams fulfilled. What we need is more dreamers and people with determination to ease and move us progessively forward in the evolution of our life.
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    Science Hall, Northwestern Campus, ca. 1908...

    Vol 8, Iss 12

    NEside of Science hall, 1917Another view of the Science Hall taken from the 1916-1917 Yearbook. By 1905, the Normal School had outgrown its quarters and the legislature appropriated $50,000 for the erection of the new Science Hall. The Science Hall, the second building to be built on campus, was completed in 1907. The architect incorporated the "Castle on the Hill's" towers and crenellations into the design of this structure which was built of red brick with algonite trim. It housed the departments of Biology, Physical Science, Manual Training, and Pedagogy, as well as the Training School,Library, and the Natural History Museum. When Carter Hall was built in 1936, this building became the Fine Arts Building.

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    Northwestern Normal School...

    Vol 8, Iss 11 [written back when Northwestern Normal School had it's beginnings as the infamous "Castle On the Hill" of the Prairies.] -- Northwestern Normal School, of Alva, was the second normal to be established in Oklahoma. The Law establishing it was enacted by the legislative assembly of 1897, and the purpose of its founding was for the instruction of persons in the art of teaching and in all the various branches pertaining to the public schools of Oklahoma Territory.

    The faculty was at first composed of a president and two teachers, and it has grown from year to year until now the faculty is composed of a president and 23 teachers. The enrollment has increased from year to year until it reached 610 for the past school year.

    The Northwestern Normal School is located in the beautiful city of Alva , the county seat of Woods county, the most populous county in Oklahoma. The site of this school is one of the finest in the West, being situated on an eminence one-half mile south of the center of town.

    The sanitary history of the school and the city has demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that no more healthful place can be found than Alva and its immediate surroundings. The purest of spring water is furnished the school and city, which largely assists in maintaining a high degree of healthfulness.

    The city has a population of about 3,500 people, made up of people from all parts of the Union. Many fine homes have been built during the past year, and there is an effort on the part of all residents to make Alva a beautiful and refined town, one that by its outward appearance would indicate culture and refinement to the most casual observer upon first visitation. The school is the pride of all citizens, and to it they give most loyal support.

    During the past year many permanent improvements have been made which add largely to the better equipment of the building. The cost of these improvements amount to $8,515.51. Besides these improvements, $2,800 of past indebtedness has been cancelled. The seventh legislative assembly appropriated $2,200 and the literary societies paid the balance. The commercial department that was organized one year ago, and thoroughly equipped with all modern conveniences, has proven to be one of the popular departments, having enrolled between 40 and 50 pupils during the past year. A biological workshop with all modern tools and museum of more than 100 specimens, in a fine cabinet, have been a part of the improvements along scientific lines. New steel cases for the library and about $1,200 worth of books have been added to this part of the institution. The interior of the building has been much improved by the addition of an electric light system throughout.

    The seventh legislative assembly made it mandatory upon the normal schools of Oklahoma Territory to establish kindergarten departments within one year after the passage of the bill. The Northwestern Normal School has established such a department to carry out the provisions of the act.

    The course of study has been much extended and improved and is now equal to the best normal school in the West.

    One of the contemplated improvements for the coming year is to enlarge the seating capacity of the assembly hall. The hall is now seated with desks, and it is the purpose to have the hall seated with 600 opera chairs, thus improving the seating accommodations.

    There are now six courses maintained in the institution - English-scientific, Latin, modern language, commercial, kindergarten, and music, Graduates of the first three courses receive diplomas, which are equal to five-year certificates, and may be renewed at the end of each five years by the Territorial superintendent.

    Teachers of Oklahoma holding first grade certificates are admitted to the freshman year of the normal department without examination. Students from accredited high schools, other normal schools, university, agriculture college, and the preparatory university are admitted to the normal department without examination and are given credits commensurate with the progress made in the other schools. Owing to the very satisfactory work done in all the departments during the past year, but little change was made in the membership of the faculty for the coming year.

    The Northwestern Normal School is taking a very creditable rank with the very best institutions in the Territory. With its magnificent building, thoroughly equipped, and with a faculty of 23 able and experienced teachers, and a student body of six or seven hundred pupils, this institution is bound to have a very excellent influence on Oklahoma and her institutions.

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    Castle On the Hill Plate

    Vol 10, Iss 13 "I've seen these on eBay before, but never bought one. I have no idea who E. Hollen is. The plates do not look old to me, but look like a fairly modern plate with an old postcard photo added. If it was old, I think that the font would be much more decorative and that it wouldn't be such a pure white color. I honestly don't think they are hand-painted at all; the photo is identical to the same view (same trees, etc.) of an old 1910-vintage postcard that is readily available on eBay as well. Without being able to inspect it "live and in person," it's difficult to determine much about it." -- Rod
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    Castle On the Hill Plate - E. Hollen

    Vol 10, Iss 13 "I purchased this Castle on the Hill plate from a gentleman by the last name of Bielski in Mesa, Arizona who used to live in New York. Here is the front and backside of the plate. It does appear that "E. Hollen" painted the plate. Would that be a correct assumption? I haven't ever seen a plate such as this, nor did I even know this place existed. I did research it and found it very interesting. Hope the plate is of interest to you or that it might be meaningful to someone." -- Suzanne Davis - Email: suzannet3@cox.net - Suzanne's album of Castle on the Hill Plate
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