History of Muskogee Public Schools
Muskogee Public Schools were established in 1898, soon after the Curtis Act of Congress of June 28, 1898.
The first school board members were Captain W.C. Trent, president; Thomas A. Samson Jr., secretary; W.N. Martin; W.T. Hutchings; J.B. Torrans and O.F. Beebe.
But the first-year's record of the Board of Education's proceedings were destroyed in the Feb. 23, 1899 fire.
It is said the first public school was located in a two-story house on South Second Street with four teachers and 200 students.
By the 1899-1900 school year, there were 10 teachers and 350 students.
The first superintendent was H.M. Butler, and was paid $100 a month for the 1898-1899 school year.
However, the position was done away with by the Board of Education the following year and Butler became a school principal instead.
The second superintendent was hired in May 1901, Dr. W.F. Wilson of Fayettville, Arkansas. He earned $1,000 annually in his position.
Soon the Board opened a second school, in the old W.C.T.U. building on Cherokee Street. It had 646 students and eight teachers. A school for African-American students was opened in the north part of the city with four teachers in 1901.
The first "bond issue" of the district was in July 1902, when the Board authorized issuance of warrants in the sum of $40,000, payable in $5,000 each year with an 8 percent interest rate.
These funds were used to build school houses, including two 10-room buildings and an 8-room building for African-American students.
Before the buildings were even complete, Muskogee's population had soared so much, the Board had to begin planning to expand even more.
The city's first two schools were Jefferson and Washington. The first high school was 16 students in one room of the Jefferson School building in 1905. The first high school principal D. Frank Redd.
The Central High School building was built in 1910, soon followed by Manual Training High School for the African-American students during that time of segregation.
By 1935, the following schools were all completed and in use:
Manual Training High