|City/Town: • Wolf|
|Location Class: • School|
|Built: • 1928 | Abandoned: • N/A|
|Status: • Abandoned|
|Photojournalist: • Jeff Hodge • Eric Price|
Previously the growing community of oil workers’ children attended Wolf School in a small swayback building. With the oil town starting to boom throughout the 1920s it was evident that a modern building with bigger capacities would need to be constructed. In the summer months of 1928 work on a brand new school buildings would begin. Costing around $25,000 the consolidated district would be able to boast an accredited high school. Being four rooms, a single-story brick building the project gave even more jobs to those in the area not already in the oil field.
During its first year open it catered to just 13 high school students, by 1935 the total enrollment of high schoolers was 119 with continued steady growth. It quickly grew to be one of the largest independent school districts in the state. The high school followed standard course instruction with quite the involved PTA. The school was very involved and connected to the community, even sponsoring a local Boy Scout troop.
After a reorganization of the school district in 1935, the following years brought great opportunities to the district. New courses were added to the curriculum including domestic science, business arithmetic, botany and five new teachers for the district. A new $1,100 gas heating plant was built for the school as well, Superintendent Henry Brown said “We have had so much trouble keeping the building sufficiently warm for the students and teachers during the chilly winter months, that nothing less than a uniform heating system for the entire building will remedy the former lack of heat.” Other improvements and repairs were made including new paint to the classrooms and books added to the library. Principal A.C. Lay also made sure that two new porcelain foundations were installed to keep students hydrated during the hottest of days.
The late ’50s brought a rollercoaster of events both good and bad. In 1957 T.L. McJunkins a former Seminole teacher began his first term as Superintendent of Wolf Public Schools. This was also the year that the highschool program would consolidate with other districts, most going to Bowlegs. The former high school building was then repurposed as the grade school with about 75 students enrolled that year. But as a win for the school district that just lost its highschool it also received federal aid for the district, around $3,000.
But some of the unfortunate situations to come in the following months would include several burglaries of the school. In November burglars entered the building and took about $8 from vending machines throughout the building. Presumably students or former students they also vandalized the principal’s office and a few other places throughout the building. The thieves gained entry by prying off the front door lock. The break-in was discovered the next morning by a custodian who then notified the principal, all three vending machines were pried open as well.
It was just three months later that another break-in occurred, this time more serious. After the weekend burglary police tracked down the suspect named Burl Cooley. He was caught after he attempted to sell a typewriter stone from the school to a dealer in Kansas who called the OCB and gave the typewriter’s serial number and license plate. A lot of the loot stolen from the Wolf School was identified and returned through serial numbers but there was a lengthy list of items stolen that were not owned by Wolf Public Schools.
It is unknown at this time by AOK when the Wolf School was ultimately abandoned. Newspaper records after 1965 are scarce and there is little readily available information online about the district. It now sits lonely and abandoned being reclaimed by the elements.
Gallery Below of Wolf School
https://www.newspapers.com/image/589590040/?terms=wolf%20school&match=1 https://www.newspapers.com/image/747458567/?terms=wolf%20school&match=1 https://www.newspapers.com/image/589762111/?terms=wolf%20school&match=1
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