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Arnett School

Location Class:
Built: 1935 | Abandoned: ~1964-1970
Status: AbandonedBurned Down
Photojournalist: Jeff Hodge

Most people know Arnett, OK as being located in Ellis County but many don’t know there is another one in Harmon County. Now, this Arnett is the one we will be talking about but only consists of the abandoned school buildings and one farm structure left. The first Arnett school was constructed in 1928 as the sign reads above the entrance to the property. By 1934 the school was large enough to warrant the construction of a gymnasium. F.M. Pease Principal took care of the dedication on December 28th of that year. Just a year later more additions were added to the campus of the country school and construction of two additional classrooms, a native stone teacherage, and a truck shed were underway.

Being one of the largest rural schools it offered the popular sports of track, basketball, baseball, and a 4-H club. They received roughly $1,651 in state aid as opposed to the $150 that other schools in th district received. All grades were taught here having a total enrollment of ninety-five and eleven teachers in the 1940s. But like all of the other schools in Harmon County one by one they dropped like flies failing to support dwindling towns. Arnett was consolidated with Hollis at some point between 1964-1970 and the campus was left abandoned.

Article by AOK Photojournalist Emily Cowan.

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Emily Cowan

Emily was brought into the Abandoned OK Team in December of 2019. “I’m not gonna lie I fangirled a bit. My first published post I was ecstatic, I felt like I finally had the right audience for my work. The opportunities that came with it made me love the website even more. I remember my first interview with a couple at Waukomis Christian Church. They had bought and restored the 1897 church and insisted on keeping the original sanctuary despite being advised on moving it. We talked with them for at least a good 40 minutes about the church, the abandoned Waukomis Middle School beside it, and the towns other disappearing buildings. They even rang the bell for us that has sat in the bell-tower for the last 120 something years ago. We could tell they were just as passionate about preserving Oklahoma’s dwindling history as we were. When interviewing people and hearing the first-hand stories and recollections of a place and seeing how a person connects to a building, it forms a connection between not only you and that person but yourself and that building.”

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Sheri Mulkey
Sheri Mulkey
1 month ago

Arnett school didn’t close until 1989. My mother was a teacher there from 1970 until it’s closing. My brother graduated in 1978 and I graduated in 1981. It stayed open longer than a lot of the other schools because boys from Westview Boys Home were enrolled there.

Elbert L Patton
Elbert L Patton
3 days ago

We moved to Arnett in 1942 0r 43, My dad, Elbert Patton Sr. was hired as the Supt. of school and coach. We lived there until 1948. My mom Alda Patton taught 1st & 2nd grade at that time, I remember the names of a lot of students, I know Dad had the best Girls Basketball teams around with the 3 Scott girls, & Wineth Wilson to name a few, not many boys in High School because of the War, but remember Jackie Rowe and a DeFor boy and Kenneth Scively. Lindy McDanials was in a class below me .… Read more »

Sheryl Frank (Chitwood)
Sheryl Frank (Chitwood)
5 days ago

My dad graduated from Arnett in 1985! So did his best friends, Tim Frank and Chad Powers. Tim & my dad also grew up in Westview Boys Home.

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