History of Muskogee High School
The modern history of high school education for students in Muskogee, Oklahoma started with the birth of Muskogee High School in 1970, but the roots for the education of the young adults of this community can be traced back to before statehood.
Muskogee High School came into existence on August 19, 1970, when Central High and Manual Training High were integrated by the Muskogee Board of Education. The two previous high schools were established several years before statehood. When the first Board of Education was established in 1898, one of its initial duties was to create public schools for students of different races to replace the church schools that had missionaries as teachers. Thus creating Central High School and Manual Training High School.
Central High School’s first graduating class was in 1908. In 1909, Central High became the first school in the state to be accredited by the North Central Association.
The legend of Manual Training High School goes back 61 years prior to integration. The construction of Manual Training High started in 1909. The first class occupied the building at the corner of Altamont and Girard Streets before its completion in 1910. The first graduating class was in 1912.
The last graduating classes from both Central and Manual were in May 1970. The following fall, all high school students integrated to what we now know today as Muskogee High School. This integration in 1970 marked the end of two historical institutions but also spawned a single school to carry on the best of both traditions.
In 1925 the Central football team won another state championship and the squad was tagged with the nickname “Roughers” because many of the players performed without helmets, due to lack of funding, and for their rough play. The current Rougher mascot is a roughneck with a bulldog face symbolizing the Oklahoma oil days and the Manual High bulldog mascot. This mascot we see today was created by MHS students in the mid 1970's. Both the mascot and the term “Roughers” are copyrighted and can never be used by any other institution.
Because of the rich history and tradition, the Muskogee High School Roughers have become an icon to the Muskogee community.