Garfield School. According to a lengthy article by C.K. Reiff, Oklahoma City Superintendent of Schools, appearing in the April 23, 1939, Oklahoman, in which he presented a history of Oklahoma City schools to that date, Garfield School was constructed in 1905 at the northeast corner of Robinson and Pottawatomie (Texas in 1906), later SW 5th Street. The school's demise is so far rather sketchy, but it ceased operations as a school before the December 27, 1927, Oklahoman article, below, was written.

1906 Sanborn Map

The March 5, 1907, Oklahoman article below did not bode well for the future of the school. So far, I've not found a similar article about another school's condition written only shortly after its construction.

Was it defective? I couldn't find anything definitive, but the rumors, if that's all they were, persisted, evidenced by this July 29, 1916, article written nine years after the above.

Of this much, though, we can be certain: The school's lifespan was relatively brief, as schools go. Opening in 1905 and closing as early as 1923-24 or as late as 1926, the school lived only 18-22 years or so.

My guess? Defective. A conservative and poorly funded school board just doesn't walk away from a property without a very good reason. One wouldn't expect to see the last sentence in the article at the right for a building only eleven years old.

The image below from Lucyl Shirk's book presents a rather handsome building, so maybe the reason for the school's demise was something other than defective condition. Then again, looks aren't everything.
July 29, 1916


Lucyl Shirk's Oklahoma City - Capital of Soonerland (Oklahoma City Board of Education 1957) contains the photograph below at page 88. Below the photo is the caption, "Garfield School, Pottawatomie and South Robinson, 1906-1926." So, the school may have closed in 1926; however that doesn't match what is said in the 1927 Oklahoman article, above.


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