Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Weaver School, 1962

Weaver's fifth and sixth grade classes. Pictured standing in back were teacher Norma Hutcheson, SWRE manager J.M. Maddox, and Weaver Supt. M.E. Friels.
All photos from the files of Southwest Rural Electric Cooperative

 Click on photos to see in clearer resolution.
Weaver School Profiled by SWRE in 1962

     In its November 1962 newsletter, Southwest Rural Electric Cooperative did an extensive profile of Weaver School.

     Weaver, located six miles west and one mile south of Frederick, had gone "all-electric" and was served by SWRE.

     I was in the fourth grade at Weaver in 1962-63, and I clearly remember the new electric heaters that had been installed in each classroom during the previous summer. Getting modern electric heat was a big deal!

     I also vaguely remember the day in October 1962 when some folks from the electric cooperative came to take pictures and do interviews. Those were simpler times, with few distractions for country school kids.

     Weaver was a great school, with great traditions. It was built as a consolidated school (Cons. #13) in 1930, with the first graduating class in 1931.

     For more than 50 years Weaver served students who lived on farms west of Frederick. In many families (including mine), several generations attended school at Weaver.

     The high school's final graduating class was in 1968 (the end of my 9th grade year). The high school was done in by tightened state requirements for student enrollment numbers.

     Weaver's elementary grades (1-8) remained in place until the late 1980s.

     Today, the wonderful old Weaver building has a second life as the Oklahoma Department of Corrections' Frederick Work Release Center.

     SWRE's article from the November 1962 newsletter follows:

From Southwest Rural Electric News, November 1962

The Miracle of Electricity Comes to Weaver School

Weaver, a consolidated school in southwest Tillman County, has taken a great step forward recently in that they “have come up to progress.” A progress which means it is a leader in progressiveness of southwest Oklahoma and perhaps in this entire area.

Northeast corner of the Weaver gymnasium

Weaver is an ALL-ELECTRIC School, which means heating, cooling, and all the electrical equipment to make the school as modern and efficient as the school of tomorrow.

This spacious and certainly well equipped plant of learning is a far cry from the little red school house that once graced the prairie, and readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmetic are now such a pleasure with all-electric facilities that many child wants to attend school. They are eager to get to school and try their hand out on that beautiful new equipment that seems almost magic.

Each Room Heated Electrically

All inside classrooms are equipped with three heating units and the outside rooms have four. These are controlled by individual thermostats so that at all times the atmosphere is pleasant. Electricity cools the clean air in warm weather as well.

Billy Hunt talks with J.M. Maddox in the typing room.
Before installing the electric system, the school was equipped with a Stoker steam heat system. It was dirty, maintained an uneven heat and certainly caused smoke-stained walls and windows besides the unpleasant fumes from the coal burner. A janitor was required to start the boiler at 4 a.m. in order to have the school warm enough for nine o’clock classes. The coal had to be shipped to Frederick and then hauled to Weaver. Superintendent Meridith Friels says that the savings in man hours and the special electric heating rate which Southwest Rural Electric offers, makes the cost about the same.

Weaver's seventh and eight grades
Electrically Equipped Shop

A trip to the school’s shop was a revelation in real progress and what power tools can do for this department. Billy Cox, who holds a B.S. from Southwestern and had a Math Fellowship at O.B.U. last summer, is the shop and math teacher at Weaver.

The shop, in its own separate building, has all the appearance of a small factory. The boys are busily engaged in creating their own designs in end tables, what-not-shelves, lamps, bookcases, cedar chests, etc.

Math Lab is Outstanding

Mr. Cox also presides over the math lab, and this is perhaps the most outstanding room in the school as far as equipment is concerned. On entering the well-lighted room, the first thing that greets the eye is an eight-foot slide rule. This is a demonstration instrument, Mr. Cox explained, big enough that any student in the class may see from any angle. Each desk in this room is equipped with a built-in rectangular and polar coordinate system where a student may copy work on the same example that the teacher is working at the all-steel chalkboards at the front of the room.

View from south back of Weaver includes the lunch room.
A drafting machine occupies a prominent place. This machine can be set at different angles and can be slid up and down or back and forth. This is used in Trigonometry. The rectangle coordinate is used in Algebra I and 2, preliminary and quadratic equations.

Mr. Cox explained that several of his boys were most interested in being draftsmen and that a well-qualified man in this line is always in demand in the business world.

Mrs. Mary Lee Friels teaches English and Home Economics and holds a B.S. from OSU and a life certificate in English and Vocational Economics. She heads the 4-H groups at Weaver, also, and has had many students to bring honors to Weaver.

Science room at southeast corner of the school building
In the Home-Ec department, naturally electricity plays a big part. Electric sewing machines, good lighting, heating, cooling and every electrical appliance to make the work easier, faster and more attractive have been added. There are even electric scissors. Electric stoves are being installed so that young Home-Ec students may learn the timesaving freedoms of electric cooking.

The Lunch Room is in its own cottage. Mr. Friels explained that this had been an old barracks which they purchased, had knocked down and moved from Enid to Weaver. With a little planning and much hard work it has transformed into the present attractive dining room which, by removing the folding tables, an attractive party room is provided. This room is also provided with electric equipment making for clean, healthful food. Mrs. Turrie Blalock heads the lunch room with Mrs. D.B. Wynn as assistant.

The overall picture of Weaver school is a busy, progressive educational plant drawing students from an area of 76 square miles in school district No. 13. Five buses transport the 165 students to Weaver.

The school has new furniture throughout. This is particularly fine in the typewriting classes. Adjustable, steel desks and chairs, electric typewriters, correctly placed lighting fixtures and an overhead projector, makes this room very modern and a room in which it is pleasantly easy to learn to type.

High school students in the English/study hall classroom
 The lighting of the entire school was designed by General Electric and the fixtures are the best made, Mr. Friels said. Suspended ceilings of fiberglass make the acoustics almost perfect

Well Equipped With Visual Aids

The school is well equipped with visual aids which are so important in the present-day modern school system. A Bell and Howell 16 mm projector, an RCA projector, three tape recorders, a film strip machine and a controlled reader are a few of the items used in this department.

Outstanding Faculty Listed

A well trained and qualified faculty besides those already listed are as follows:

William McKee, Science, holds a degree in Science from Midwestern at Wichita Falls, Texas, and had a fellowship at Colorado State last summer at Greely, Colorado. He has been at Weaver for three years;

Mrs. Billy Hunt, Commerce, holds a B.S. from Central State and has been at Weaver for five years;

Mrs. Norma Hutcheson, fifth and sixth grades, holds a B.S. from O.U. and has been at Weaver for eight years;

Mrs. Bill Hubbard, third and fourth grades, holds a B.S. from Southwestern and has been at Weaver for ten years;

Mrs. Irma Latimer, first and second grades, holds a B.S. from Southwestern and has been at Weaver for 14 years.

Mr. McKee is a girls’ coach and Mr. Friels is the boys’ coach. In athletics, they participate in basketball and baseball. In 1958 the Weaver girls went to the state tournament in basketball.

Mrs. Friels, in sponsoring the 4-H, is very proud of some of the records made by her students. Jim Richards, Elwanna and LaVelle Gottschall, and Rita McCormack are among many who have won signal honors for their school in safety, speech, agronomy and beef judging, so that each field seems well represented.

Every well-qualified member of the faculty seems to be on his toes pushing ahead for Weaver. No Siree, Weaver is not one of those country schools that had to shut down to make way for progress… Weaver stepped out ahead and has kept abreast of progress, and today is considered one of the outstanding school systems in southwest Oklahoma.

1 comment:

  1. I am one of the students in the 5th grade picture. The one with the pixie haircut in the middle of the second row close to the teacher. I had just moved to my grandparents farm from Texas City,Texas because of a hurricane there. I loved this school. Paula Brannon.