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Highland Park

Built in 1909; Original Building Replaced in 1920s; Last Classes in 1984; Sold and Demolished in the 1990s

This elementary school was near the intersection of Tuxedo and Washington Boulevard (Highway 75), and was independent of the Bartlesville school district until it was absorbed in 1930. The Tuxedo area was the high ground between Bartlesville and Dewey, used back when the Caney River flooded regularly before Hulah and Copan Lakes brought improved flood control. 

The original 1909 building with its prominent bell tower was demolished and replaced in the 1920s with a $17,200 one-story building. The Bartlesville district added a $14,420 expansion in 1938.

A series of additions were made in the late 1940s and early 1950s to accommodate the explosive growth on Bartlesville's east side. There was a $53,411 addition in 1948, an $89,242 addition in 1951, and a $48,500 addition in 1953. Two lots were added to the property in 1974 for $4,500. The school closed in 1984, with its students going to Woodrow Wilson elementary. The building was used for storage until it was demolished and the property sold in the 1990s.

The Highland Park school and playground area engulfed the entire city block between Tuxedo Boulevard on the north and Kentucky Street on the south and from Washington Boulevard on the west to Avondale Avenue on the east. That area in 2018 was occupied by a Quik Trip, a Hampton Inn, and various other businesses.

From the December 17, 1922 edition of The Morning Examiner newspaper, referring to the 1909 building:

Climb to the top of Bartlesville's highest buildings for a look at the surrounding country and possibly the first object which strikes the eye is the tall brick school building rising from the top of the valley wall two miles east at Tuxedo.

This school building which overlooks both the valleys of the Caney River and Coon Creek serves in every way as a community center.

The school itself is only a small portion of the activities of Tuxedo which center there. Every organization in the community uses the building and considers the school house, which is probably the best in this section of the state considering the size of the neighborhood, as its headquarters.

The school district is known as "Highland Park," but the community itself if better known in Bartlesville as "Tuxedo."

Highland Park School

The school building is modern in every respect and the playground itself contains a basket ball court, volley ball court, swings, teters, giant stride, slide, and horizontal bars.

The students have not overlooked the fact that a flag should stand in the yard and "Old Glory" floats from the top of a high flag pole seven hours of the 24 on each school day.

The building is said to have an ideal heating system, either gas or coal being used. The south room of the basement continas the manual training equipment which consists of a work bench, vices, rip saws, key hole saws, cut off saws, drawing knife, set of braces and bits, square, chisel, planes, hammers, hatchet, screw drivers and wrenches.

On the second floor is the auditorium equipped with a large stage and curtain. The auditorium is also used as a class room and boasts of a pino and victrola.

The attendance record for the school has been unusually high this fall, it is said. With an enrollment of 135 students the percentage of attendance has been 97.

The district also boasts of the fact that the Highland Park school was the first three room model school in the state and has a banner for being a model school. The banner has remained in the school room since 1914. The teachers at Highland Park are W.C. Rogers, principal; Mrs. W.O. Rogers, intermediate, and Dayyle Jackson, primary.

Domestic Science and Art

One of the big accomplishments of the district is the providing for domestic science and art in the school circulation. This was made possible, not by an excess wealth within the district, but because of the wonderful community spirit that exists among the people and their desire for a better school.

The basement room where science and art are taught is large and pleasant with plenty of light. It is an ideal place to serve community dinners and hot lunches to the school children on cold winter days. It is also the meeting place of the ladies club which has done a great deal of good work since its organization.

The room is well equipped with cook tables, cupboards, a gas range and utensils necessary for the teaching of cooking. There are long tables and sewing machines for the cutting and sewing of the domestic art class, however, as this is grade work, most of it is done by hand such as patchwork, darning and the various kinds of stitches and seams.

The classroom recitation heretofore has been daily with the actual work going on at least once of twice each week. It is hoped that Highland Park school can send out at least as good cooks and seamstresses as there are anywhere in Washington County.

A.H.T.A. Lodge

The Tuxedo lodge of the Anti-Horse Thief Association has a membership of 24. The lodge meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at the school building.

"We are trying to make this a better community for our boys and girls to grow up in by maintaining a higher standard of morality," was the way a member explained the purposes of the organization.

Weekly Prayer Meetings

On an average, 75 to 100 persons attend the prayer meetings held each Wednesday night at 7 o'clock at the school building. The prayer services are for one hour. The leaders plan some big meetings this winter.

Tuxedo Sunday School

The Tuxedo Baptist Sunday School was organized by the First Baptist Church of Bartlesville, November 1, 1920, with an enrollmnet of 41 students. This school has steadily grown until the enrollment has reached 148 with a good average attendance. More than 130 persons were present at the last Sabbath school.

A revival meeting is held annually, conducted by Rev. F.W. Carnett of Bartlesville. There have been 75 conversions during the two years since the organization of the Sunday school.

Parent-Teachers Organization

The parent-teachers association was organized last November 10 with a membership of 48, which has since grown to more than 75. The following are the officers: H.E. Shappell, president; Mrs. Charles Skinner, first vice president; Frank Squire, second vice president; Samuel A. Bennett, secretary; Oran Henderson, treasurer.

Community Club

So far the work of the community club has been to work for others and help the needy. The mmebers have quilted about 30 quilts.

The demonstration work as outlined by the government and under the supervision of Miss Iva Burch, county demonstrator, was taken up by the club a few months ago. There are 25 active members in the organization.

Camp Fire Girls

The girls of the community are as well organized as the boys and the Camp Fire girls chapter, which has 17 members, holds a ceremonial meeting each month. The sponsors are: Mrs. E.H. Hatton, Mrs. C.M. Dyson and Mrs. S.A. Bennet. The guardians are Ms. W.C. Rogers and Mrs. F. Squires.



Click images to enlarge them.

Highland's 1909 Building

1909 Building

Highland's 1920 Building

1920s Building

Principal Bill Brewer with Memories of Highland Park

Principal Bill Brewer with Memories of Highland Park

Highland Park in the 1980s

Highland Park in the early 1980s