This history was found with the Alumni Minutes. Unknown Author
The town of Elk City was started in 1869 when a saw mill and a grist mill were built on the east side of Elk River.
School was held in different buildings including a church and a billiard hall. When the Indians came to town they would peek in the windows and watch the students. In the fall of 1873 the school enrollment was 42 and one teacher received $40.00 per month.
In January 1882 a more permanent brick school building was completed. It was two stories containing four rooms and measured 33 x 63 feet. It was the first part of the old grade school building. That year there are 218 pupils enrolled in grades 1-8.
In 1886 the population of the town was about 1,200 and a three year high school course was started.
In 1889 a class of eight students was the first class to graduate from Elk City High School.
In 1895 a two story addition was built on the west side of the building. Now all the classes 1-12 could be held in the same building. Two more rooms were added in 1918.
In 1919 a four year high school course was started. Some of the students who had graduated the year before from the three year course returned to school for another year.
In 1921 the high school played in their first organized football game. The football field was located just east of the cemetery. The players took showers at the barber shop for 50 cents a month. During a ten year period, they lost every few games and played bigger towns including Independence and Coffeyville.
The new high school building located four blocks south of the grade school was dedicated in November of 1929. Now the students, both boys and girls could participate in basketball games played in the new gym and auditorium. The players would ride the train to neighboring towns for their games.
In 1922 the Elk City High School Alumni Association was organized.
In 1946 several rural schools were closed and five buses were used to transport the students to school in town. This same year the hot lunch program was started.
In 1954 a shop and music building was built, just across the street north of the high school building.
In 1970 a class of 15 was the last class to graduate from Elk City High School. That fall the high school students started attending classes in Independence. Several years later the grade school which had been held in the former music and shop building was closed. A few years ago the old grade building was torn down.
In 1988 due to the deteriorating condition of the high school the Alumni Banquet was held in Riverside Park in Independence. The class pictures were moved and are now hanging on the walls of the Community Room in Elk City. A committee is trying to find a permanent place for the sports trophies to be displayed.
Almost 1200 students have graduated from the Elk City High School
Note update: The sports trophies are on display in two cabinets in the Community Building. The High School caught fire in January 2011 and was completely destroyed. Only the shell of the building is visible.
This page was featured in the 4th quarter 2016 Elk City Newsletter.