CHS 1963

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end of September 2018
Its 10th Anniversary!

Cushing, Oklahoma Historical Photos - VIDEO

Our Town - Our School

To Us and Those Who Went Before Us
by Peggy Randall-Martin CHS 1963
August 19, 2009

Mid Century Vivacity (1949/1950): The covered wagon caravan, the flow of oil, the smoke-stacks of refineries, the offices and business institutions all have contributed their part to the Cushing of today. Cushing while still young had for its chief industry, that of farming; cotton being the outstanding product, along with cattle raising.

Cushing’s most colorful activities have been those connected with oil. The Shaffer No. 1 on the old Aaron Drumright farm, where the city of Drumright now stands, struck oil in the early 1900’s. When the news traveled to Tulsa that a gusher had been struck at Cushing, the oil men began to rush into town.

This was destined to be the world’s first great oil field and to mark Cushing ever after as an oil and industrial as well as agricultural center. [1] 

Have you heard?
  1. Who was the town of Cushing named after and in what year?
    Our town as we know it today received its name from Marshall Cushing in the year 1891. [1]  Mr. Cushing was the private secretary of John Wanamaker (then U.S. postmaster general). [2]  It received the name shortly after the time that the post office was granted to this town. [1]

  2. What year did Cushing’s historical role in the oil industry begin?
    In the year 1912 the first oil was discovered near Drumright – at that time there was no Drumright – only Cushing. [1]

  3. When did Cushing become a city?
    It became a city in 1913 after discovery of the rich Cushing Oil Field. In 1915, the height of the oil boom, Cushing oil wells daily produced 300,000 barrels of crude.

  4. Do you know the history of Cushing’s Post Office?
    Cushing’s first post office was a crudely constructed, one-story building. It was not inside the generally adopted limits of the town, pioneers relate, although it was located only a short distance from the entire business district. Before the old post office finally came to a rest in south Cushing in 1902, it was moved time and time again. The crowning incident connected with the early history of Cushing's post office was the overnight moving of the little building from north to south Cushing where the city began moving when the M.K. & T. railroad moved in and crossed the original town site. Jacob Puckett was the postmaster at that time. [1]

  5. When was Cushing’s first Municipal swimming pool built? Summer of 1949 [1]

  6. What is the name of Cushing’s first school teacher?Miss Jennie Robertson, who later became Mrs. Jennie Brown, was Cushing's first school teacher. The books of this time were varied and of many types because they came from other states and as yet Oklahoma was not a state and there were no standard books. She built one of the first homes in Cushing. [1]
     Mrs. Brown is the Grandmother of John Crook, CHS 1952.

    “At the time of the first school teacher in Cushing, there was no school board. By the time Cushing formed a school system my grandmother had married John H. Brown and had become a full time wife and mother.”
    John Crook

  7. Where was our first school building located?
    It was the upstairs of a general store. It opened with 67 students, ranging from the first grade to the eighth. The roof of the store was slanted and because of this the tall boys had to sit in the middle of the room and the small children sat at the side of the room. The teacher taught her students manners and courtesy but the people of the town did not approve of this. [1]

  8. Where was the first Sunday School in Cushing?
    This first school was also the first Sunday school.

  9. Do you know the history of Cushing’s high school buildings?
    School opened in this first school house October 14, 1895. It was just a frame building, plastered and painted, of course and most wonderful of all, it had a nice-sounding bell, the one that was previously in front of the big red high school ** (built in 1924 with a new addition added in the fall of 1937). The students came from miles around. Most of them rode horseback. A few rode in buggies or a buckboard drawn by a single horse. From here the school was moved to Old Central, then to the building which was then Harding grade school. [1]
    The present day Cushing High School building was completed and dedicated along with its location in 1976. CHS: HISTORY IN PICTURES

  10. Do you know what part T. B. Slick played in Cushing’s oil history?
    At the break of dawn on St. Patrick's Day in 1912, T. B. Slick, driller, drove his buggy and team of horses into Cushing at break-neck speed. There was no time to be lost! The Shaffer No. 1 on the old Aaron Drumright farm where the city of Drumright now stands had struck oil. There was no Drumright then, only Cushing. [1]

  11. When did the first bank open in Cushing?
    Farmer and Merchants Bank opened in the year 1899, now Bank of Cushing. The officers were: Jacob Puckett, first president; John Foster, first cashier; and C. W. Carpenter, first vice-president. [1]

  12. What constituted a high school flying an At War Flag and what type of flag was it?
    The Minuteman Flag – blue minuteman figure with 13 blue stars. Cushing High School met its quota February 3, 1945 3: “The Schools’ At War Flag program was introduced in September 1942 for schools where 90% or more of the students were regularly buying War Stamps and Bonds," Dave Martucci ( *

  13. In what school year did the Vivacity have its first King and what was his name?
    John Edward King ws the first Vivacity King and the school year was 1944-1945. [3]

  14. What school year was in session when President Roosevelt was elected for a 4th term?
    The date was Nov. 7, 1944 and that would’ve been the 1944-1945 school year. [3]

  15. Why was Cushing High School’s Drama Department invited to broadcast over the University of Oklahoma’s radio station WNAD in 1945?
    Because Cushing High School was eligible to fly the At War Flag, the Drama Department was invited to present a program over the University Of Oklahoma radio station WNAD.  The drama department sponsored a contest among the students to select a script written by one of the student body. Alyce Rae Clark's play entitled "Some Number" was chosen. The group of students accompanied by Mrs. Hobbs went
    to Norman on November 19 to present this drama. [4]

  16. What CHS graduating class went on the first senior trip?
    1950-1951 graduating class [5]

  17. Tigerette pep club was founded in 1925 and membership was open to all high school girls. ~ 1964 Vivacity ~

Many thanks to the CHS Alumni who participated in preserving the history of Our Town and Our School!

Much of the information included in this article is due to the staff of the Mid-Century Vivacity. Without the wealth of information between this yearbook’s covers and the historical photos, some of this history may have been lost or at least very difficult to find.

We owe a big thanks to the 1949/1950 Vivacity Sponsors and Staff:  Sponsors: Betty Stewart, Mildred Blud, Orville D. Pote; Editor: Gwen Myers; Assistant Editor: Margie James; Awards Editor: Claire Escott; Sports Editor: Norma Cleveland; Organizations Editor: Dorothy Pound; Feature Editors: Carl Baker, Bill Etchison, Phyllis Robertson; Treva Brandle; Assembling: Gerry Horton, Margie Green, Paula Ginn; Typists: Nelma Hilyard, Everonie Sager; Artists: Jeraldine Appler, Betty Coy, Donald Haymes, David Cooke; Snapshots: Betty Griffeth, Mary Ruth Ellis; Advertising:  Mary Vertreese, Kay Carver, Bob Booth, Jane Bryant, Joyce Fleshman, Ardith Leavell; Eddie Kitchen.

Visit The Official Class of 1963 Website’s home page & site directory for more links, history and a closer look at our school, our town and a wealth of CHS Alumni stories and photos from all years: HOME PAGE - SITE DIRECTORY

Scroll down this page and check out the 1952 Cushing “When We Were Sixty” pictures and 1953 Cushing “Petroleum Festival” pictures - $5 million parade!

References and More:

1.  1950 Mid-Century Vivacity
2.  Encyclopedia Britannica: The area now known as Cushing, was opened to homesteaders in 1891 and settled as a farming community
3.  1944-1945 Vivacity
4. 1945-1946 Vivacity
5. April 13, 1951 Oiler

More Information:
* "The U.S. Treasury "Minuteman" flag was developed in 1942 to recognize companies that achieved 90% or more participation of employees in the War Bond Drive. It is still awarded and is the only World War II award flag that still exists, although today the threshold for winning the flag has been lowered to 50% or more participation. US Military regulations specify that it is one of only a very few flags that can be attached to the same halyard as the US Flag, provided it is in the subordinate position. Also, the current flags add a white star for each year of qualification up to five and then a gold star for each five years of meeting the requirements." Issue ID, "NAVA NEWS # 189, Jan-March 2006, Copyright NAVA 2008 -- Used with Permission". NAVA News ( is the official quarterly newsletter of the North American Vexillological Association (NAVA). The first issue was published in October of 1967.

** The Mid Century Vivacity: The school was just a frame building, plastered and painted, of course and most wonderful of all, it had a nice-sounding bell, the one which is now in front of our present--day high school. School opened in this first school house October 14, 1895. Our Cushing High School as we know it now was built in 1924. The new addition was added in the fall of 1937.


Click on each photo for larger view

IN OCTOBER, 1951, CUSHING celebrated her sixtieth birthday with a big parade, rodeo, the governor, 'n everything. As usual, CHS plays an important role. Our superintendent rides with Governor Murray* at head of parade. (Note, it's a Cadillac.)

Our Mr. Carr, always an important personage in community affairs, introduces the Governor*.

The CHS Band provides music, color, and gaiety under the able direction of Mr. Schilde (who accidentally was cut out of picture, - but you can bet he was there!)

WIKIPEDIA: * William Henry Davis "Alfalfa Bill" Murray (November 21, 1869 – October 15, 1956) was an American teacher, lawyer, and politician from Oklahoma. He was the first
Speaker of the Oklahoma House
of Representatives
, U.S.
, and Governor.

This beautiful float was made by the Junior and Senior Future Homemakers Clubs. Mrs. Woods, sponsor of Junior Future Homemakers, chauffeurs senior president, Betty Holdderead and Mildred Deffenbaugh. Over four hundred red roses, the club flower, were used in spelling out the name of the organization.

The Mixed Chorus float, made by members of mixed chorus under direction of Mr. Austin. The lyre, a symbol of music, is missing - the wind blew
it from top of float.

* Governor Murray poses
with the pioneers.

Cushing Tigers ride their float in charming company of two "live" tigers. (This is not an ad for Cushing CO-OP.
Their ad is elsewhere.)

Petroleum Festival . . . 40 Years of Oil

Click on each photo for larger view

ON SEPTEMBER 8, 9, 10, 1952, THE PETROLEUM FESTIVAL, the greatest celebration in the city's history, was held in Cushing, Oklahoma. A giant $5 million parade, street dances, 3-night historical pageant, carnival, and many important visitors paid tribute to
40 years of Oil progress.

The September 8 ribbon
cutting started the festival.

In attendance were Mr. Wm. D. Carr, Superintendent of Cushing Schools; Oklahoma Governor Murray; and Tom Slick Jr. (San Antonio, TX),
son of the late founder of the Cushing field. These three were speakers at the Old Timers' Luncheon.

The Cushing High School Tigerettes had a decorative stand at the carnival.

Coach Melvin Skelton (CHS Football Coach) was dunked by the festival officials to the delight o
the football boys.

Mary O. Simon (Senior Class Vice-President) was crowned Oil Queen by Mr. Herb Lantz, Festival Chairman.

While his 6th hour history class looked on, Mr. Jack Yancey (CHS History Teacher) was put in the 'stocks' by Judge Will Drake.

Jo Howerton, Tigerette, decorated the Oil Workers International Union float.



"Oklahoma Waltz" by Byron Berline now playing
"Jumpin The Strings" CD
Byron Berline
Released: 1990
Total Tracks: 22
Label: Sugar Hill Records

Song and CD can be purchased:


David Frizzell & Shelly West, "You're The Reason God Made Oklahoma"

Watch the video and listen to this beautiful old country song:

Official CHS Class of 1963 Website Welcomes CHS Alumni from ALL years! Music Control at bottom of each page.


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