Colony Public School

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City/Town: Colony
Location Class: School
Year Built: Early 1950's
Year Abandoned: Late 1960's
Status: Abandoned
Photojournalist: Jennifer BurtonLeslie Flaming

Colony Public School in northeastern Washita County is the town of Colony,OK.  The community took its name from the Seger Colony founded by John Seger.  The remains of the Colony Public School occupies the former grounds of the Seger Indian School .

John H. Seger was born in Geauga County, Ohio, February 23, 1846, and died February 6, 1928, at Seger Colony, Washita County, Oklahoma. He was buried at Fairview cemetery at Colony.

In 1911, the population of Colony was estimated to be around 300.  In the early 2000’s, the population droped to 147.
The Colony Public School Building and Gymnasium were built in the mid 1950’s after a tornado destroyed the original Colony school and gymnasium on the north side of town in 1951.  The last known graduating class was in the late 1960’s.  In the 1970’s, the school system consolidated with the town of Corn to form the Washita Heights School District.  It is unknown for certain how long the school has been abandoned.  There are no known future plans for the buildings.

Located on the same property is Seger Indian School that operated in Colony from 1892 through 1932.  On August 15 1932, the school closed permanently.

In 1886 Seger arrived in the area in company with many Arapahos. Later, Cheyennes joined the colony. By 1887 the number of Indians had increased to over five hundred. In 1892 the first brick buildings in Washita County were constructed for an Indian industrial school. Under Seger’s supervision, the Indians made the brick and cut the stone for many of the school structures. Prior to the land run to open the Cheyenne and Arapaho lands to non-Indian settlement, many participants started their race at Colony. Seger was in charge of the more than two thousand prospective settlers whom the U.S. government allowed to begin inside the boundaries because of the dangers of crossing Cobb Creek en masse. In 1895 the Dutch Reformed Church founded a mission at the colony.

William De Lestinier, under government permission, operated a store near the Indian school. Following the 1892 land opening, Zack King and several others established a townsite west of the Indian school and obtained a post office designation as Seger. De Lestinier moved his store to the new townsite. The post office and most of the residents moved four miles west of the school. In 1896 the U.S. Post Office Department approved another post office at the original Seger site, with the name of Colony. Colony School District 109, the last to be established in Washita County, organized in July 1912, due to the closing of the Dutch Reformed Church Mission School, which had been in operation in Colony since 1897.

It was one of eight Indian School that were closing but the only one in Oklahoma.  The students were transferred to the Concho Indian School.  Although the school shut it doors in 1932, some of the buildings were used as a Cheyenne and Arapaho day school from 1936 to the mid 40’s.

The Colony community had early growth. A bank, blacksmith shop, several general merchandise stores, along with three churches, a newspaper, a hardware and funeral supply enterprise, a small hotel, restaurants, and other businesses soon were established. In 1911 the estimated population was three hundred. In 1932 the Seger Indian School closed. In 1970 the population stood at 201, slowly declining to 163 in 1990. In the 1970s the school system consolidated with Corn to form the Washita Heights School District. At the beginning of the twenty-first century the town had a fire department, a strong city government, active churches, and several small businesses. The 2000 population was 147.

Buildings were also used by Colony Public School from 1951 to the 1960’s. Most of the original buildings have been destroyed by several fires over the years.  All that remains today is a smoke stack, the foundation of the original school building and a boarded up house.

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jgwilliams1023
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jgwilliams1023

I went from 1st grade to 9th at Colony, and the first year to go to Washita Heights my 10th grade. My years in Colony and Washita Heights were the very best years of my life. Colony is a very special place in my heart. My father was born in Colony and lived most of his life in Colony. His mother was raised in Colony. The Presbyterian Church was one of the prettiest old church I have ever seen. The new church is very special to my family. Colony is always my home.

Brad Epperly
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Brad Epperly

There was a murder in 1960 and the coach killed his life with a baseball bat and they found the body while the coach had a basket ball game in the pictures you posted. My grandparents, great grandparents, mom and aunt were there that night.

CBG
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CBG

Yes, my father has told me this story several times. He was there that night, playing basketball for Arapaho.

star williams
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star williams

My parents still live in Colony. I grew up there. Love the small town. Colony has a native American low-cost every year during the Labor day weekend. When the coach murdered his wife they found the bat he used across the street from my grandmother's home. Colony was a great place to grow up in. Everyone knew everybody. I love the article. Right by the old school there is a old cemetery. You can't see it from the road. You have to walk back into the trees to see it. That would be a neat article to read about. Thanks… Read more »

Alan jones
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Alan jones

I remember when Tyler Stam got put in a classroom size metal trashcan, in the third grade I think, and couldn't get out. Lol, anyone else remember that?? Star, I know u remember that.

Alan jones
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Alan jones

3rd row of pictures from the top, the far right picture has the image of a man wearing a hat in the top left area of the picture!!!

whitney
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whitney

i live there and the scool is way worse then those pics

Jason
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Jason

Lived in Colony in 82 and 83. Spent a lot of time at that schoolyard on weekends. At that time you could still explore the old Native school.

Dennis Shamblin
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Dennis Shamblin

Colony is a horrible town. Most the town is drug addicts and cattle rustlers. They still lynch native americans there.

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