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Wheatley Elementary School

Wheatley Elementary School

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Location Class:
Built: 1929 | Abandoned: N/A
Historic Designation: African American Heritage Site
Status: Abandoned
Photojournalist: David Linde

The start and many beginning years of the Wheatley Elementary School are mostly a mystery. But thankfully the date it was built is engraved in the name stone above the door, 1929. In the 1950s the Wheatley School saw lots of improvements, starting with the construction of an auditorium that was about 36×66 feet long. The architect for the project was Horstman and it was completed in August 1957. Other improvements were new window sills installed by the Midwest Marble and Tile Company with a winning bid of $81 and new windows installed by Muskogee Glass Company with a winning bid of $201.90. Following the completion of those projects were the additions of two more classrooms to the school the same year.

Wheatley Elementary School
Wheatley Elementary School 6th Grade Class ca. 1959

Wheatley Elementary School produced many amazing students over the years. Many that went on to become great assets to society and remember their roots. Ones that wore the green and gold colors proudly and chanted the school song with joy.

This is the Wheatley School
assembled here today
we always try to do our best
When at our work or play…

Our school days are ever pleasant
We love our teachers true
We always try to please them
And never break their tules so…

Perseverance is our motto
In union, we shall stand
If one of us should falter
We all will lend a hand, so…

Chorus:
Rah!  Rah!  Rah!  The green and gold.
The name of Wheatley will never grow old.

The school closed in 1970 as a result of integration after the Brown v. Board ruling with the last principal being Alonzo Marshall. Fortunately, this was not the end of the road for this building as it was converted into a head start program run by Jamie Banks Robertson. It had a few other uses after that before ultimately becoming abandoned even displaying “Manual Training School Community Cultural Center” above the door at one point. It is assumed it closed in the early 200s.




Bibliography

https://www.newspapers.com/image/590739887/?terms=wheatley%20school&match=1

https://www.newspapers.com/image/590780982/?terms=wheatley%20school&match=1

https://www.newspapers.com/image/590685550/?terms=wheatley%20school&match=1

https://www.newspapers.com/image/590645199/?terms=wheatley%20school&match=1

 

https://mths1965.com/3/prep_sportswear.htm

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Emily Cowan

Emily is a two-time published author of "Abandoned Oklahoma: Vanishing History of the Sooner State" and "Abandoned Topeka: Psychiatric Capital of the World". With over two hundred published articles on our websites. Exploring since 2018 every aspect of this has become a passion for her. From educating, fighting to preserve, writing, and learning about history there is nothing she would rather do.

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Brooke Hamilton
Brooke Hamilton
26 days ago

I went here when it was headstart. Seeing all these photos brought back lots of memories!

cjohnsonsimpson
cjohnsonsimpson
3 years ago

I am looking for individuals/Families that went to this school or if anyone knows of any picture books. Cindy Cjohnsonsimpson@yahoo.com
Family Names: Wilson, Pete, Thomas, Redeau, Hoffman, McFerrin. Most of the families lived in Okmulgee County and/or Beggs Oklahoma. This information is for my Family Research.

justwondering13
justwondering13
7 years ago

I was wondering if anyone knew where exactly this is located? I am having a hard time finding it…

christina
christina
Reply to  justwondering13
6 years ago

i do i live in muskogee. that school played a big roll in educating the freemen here in town it's a shame it's ended up like that. it's our history.

M Artist
M Artist
7 years ago

This place Matters! It is now in the Y Historical District. The second African American Historical District in Muskogee, OK. Efforts are being made to restore this area.

Johnny B.
Johnny B.
11 years ago

Correct; this was an African-American school. My grandmother (and I assume my great aunt and uncle) attended Wheatley during elementary school. She later went on to attend Langston. I've never seen pictures of Wheatley, just saw the name on her old school photos. It's nice to see the place and imagine her there in her youth. I'll be showing these pics to my aunt!

Dan
Dan
12 years ago

Is it accessible? Does one need to get permission to enter?

Fiend
Fiend
Reply to  Dan
12 years ago

Its not a question of "needing" permission but rather "should" you get permission. If you want details, join the forum and contact me.

Jessica
Jessica
Reply to  Dan
12 years ago

How do I go about getting permission to go look?

Billy
Billy
12 years ago

Pretty cool spot. I am a little jealous.

psychosaw13
psychosaw13
12 years ago

This is a wild guess but I’m betting this wan an african american school ?

Fiend
Fiend
Reply to  psychosaw13
12 years ago

Yeah, I got that impression from things I found around the school.

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