From the start the settlers of Oklahoma made provisions for eduction. The proceeds form sections six and thirty-six of each township were reserved for schools. There were country schools every three miles with names like Pleasant Valley, Good Hope, or in this case Gant.
Gant School was named for Edgar B. Gant on whose homestead four miles north and four west of Kingfisher the school was located.
Construction of the original school building Cost $100. The furniture consisted of a wood heating stove and homemade benches and tables which served as desks and chairs. The school did not have a uniform set of books. Each pupil used what they had at home so class was taught from a variety of books from several different states.
School patrons hauled wood for heating fuel from the north side of the Cimarron River. The older boys cut the wood into suitable lengths. The first teacher was Miss Nannie March, niece of Territorial Governor A.J. Seay. She earned $25 per month and out of this she paid someone five cents to make fires in the school stove each morning.
The first term began on the first Monday in 1894 and lasted for three months. In 1899 the term was extended to four months. In 1902, voters passed an $800 bond issue to build the second school house which opened on December 24, 1902. This is the building now on display on the museum grounds.
The school had a yard fence of a single strand of heavy wire drawn through holes in the posts. A stile was added later. A cinder walk outlined with bricks kept people out of the mud. The coal house holding corn cobs and coal for morning fires sat in back of the school.
Oklahoma was being settled just as the United States was beginning the shift from a rural to an urban nation. School consolidation did not occur here as quickly as it did on the east coast. The last school term at the Gant School was 1939-1940.
Admission: $2 per person / Donations also accepted
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday -- 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed Sunday & Monday (and legal holidays)
Address: 605 Zellers Ave.
Museum Complex - Directions: From U.S. Hwy. 81 in Kingfisher, five blocks west on Seay Ave., one block north to Zellers Avenue
Come visit us in Kingfisher, Oklahoma