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 The Beginning of Tulsa
By J. M. Hall (1927)

(c) Karolyn Kay Garland (1997)

Nothing here is free for the taking. This book is reproduced here with the permission of the copyright holder - see copyright statement.

 Page 30

Dividing Line

Mission School Grounds (con't)

saw their intention as one to win the name of carrying on the school while the home mission Board of the church supported it, and protested. The Board members stood pat, notifying the Indians they had no objections to them opening a second school in Tulsa but that the mission school would not be turned over to them since it had been operated successfully by the Mission Board for nearly 15 years. The Indians gave up their attempt to get the school or to start another and affairs went their way until incorporation of the town of Tulsa in 1898 and the first moves for a public school.
       The necessity of creating a public school system was given emphasis in 1897 when the author received the following letter from the mission board in New York:

'New York, Dec. 30, 1897,

'Mr. J. M. Hall,
Tulsa Indian Territory

"My Dear Mr. Hall:

       ''Your letter of the 21st inst. has been in the hands of the women's board and their recommendation in the case is confirmed by the board. The action of the women's board was to the effect that they could not consent to an increase of expense in connection with the school at Tulsa, They will recommend to the board next May the continuance of the salary of one teacher and trust to the generosity of the board to make the grant, but make no pledge that it will be done. That the people of Tulsa, if they so desire, can have the privilege of making whatever repairs and improvements upon the building they may elect at their own expense and of providing the school with a gentleman principal if they wish to do so.
       "The reasons for reaching these conclusions are many, but prominent among them is the fact that Tulsa is now largely an American town. Very few Indians have the privileges of our school. Our work is intended, as you know, to be exclusively for the Indians, and yet, have stretched our authority and are conducting some schools in which the large majority of the pupils are white. The people at Tulsa are more than ordinarily able to meet the necessary expense connected with the maintenance of the school. I think the time is not very far distant when the Territory will be in a position to organize a public school system and, that being the case, it would be necessary for us to withdraw.
       "We hope in the future to be able to dispose of our property (school building and grounds) to the town authorities for public school purposes.

"Very sincerely yours,
"GEORGE F. M'AFEE,
"Supt of School Work."

       As soon as the town was incorporated 1898 the mission board wrote, wanting to dispose of its property. Then and there came about another of those developments that have had important bearings on the Tulsa of today. Private parties tried hard to buy the school land and hold it for speculation, The town was growing. But four men had something different in mind and they borrowed $1,050 from the Tulsa Banking Co., and took over the property from the Mission Board. They saw that Tulsa would need the land for school purposes and they held it in their names only until the new town had collected enough in taxes to refund their $1,050. Then the land and building was transferred to become the first piece of the big public school system of today.
       These four men were Jay Forsythe, R. N Bynum, Joe Price and the writer. The deed given them by the Mission Board read as follows:
       'This indenture, made the eleventh day of May in the year eighteen hundred and ninety-nine Between - The Board of Home Missions of the Presbyterian church in the United States of America, a corporation organized under the laws of the State of New York, the party of the first part, and J .M Hall, R N Bynumn. Jay Forsythe and Joe Price, all of the Town of Tulsa, Indian Territory, parties of the second part
       "Witnesseth, that the said parties of first part, in consideration of Ten Hundred and Fifty dollars, lawful money of the United States, paid by the parties of the second part, does hereby grant and release unto the said parties of the second part, and to their heirs and assigns forever.
       "All the right, title, estate and interest of the said party of the first part in and to that certain piece or parcel of land situated in the Town of Tulsa, in the Indian Territory, known and described as follows:
       One block of land three hundred feet (300) by three hundred (300) feet, Bounded on the north, across the street by Dr. Kennedy's property; on the east across the street by Ed Crowell's property; on the south of W. J. Barber's and Fred Scott's property across the street; on the west across the street by the Presbyterian church lots. Together will all the improvements

Dividing Line

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