|Early Learning in the Choctaw and
|Wheelock Academy, now a National Historic Site, was the first
school established in the Choctaw Nation. Pictured above is the
administration building, which dates to the 1880s.
|Goodland Academy, established in the 1850s by Presbyterian missionaries as an orphanage for Indian boys, is still a boarding school for children
of any background. The WPA entry gate, built in 1932, is interesting because of the two sun symbols that flank the school's name. While the
National Socialists of Germany made this symbol synonymous with evil, they actually co-opted this ancient, positive depiction of the sun from
many different cultures, including Native Americans.
|Not much is left of Armstrong Academy,which for 20 years served as the seat of the Choctaw Nation. After destruction in a fire, the old building
was razed. A cemetery sits on private property and cannot be accessed. (Photo from Durant Daily Democrat)
|Above: This photo of Wapanucka Academy in Johnston County was taken in the 1930s by researchers for the National Historic Register. Today,
the academy consists of nothing more than a few pieces of rubble in a remote farmer's field.
|Wheelock Academy's old buildings make for some interesting photos.
What's also cool is that the wooden buildings survived for so long - most
of the other academies, including those made of stone, fell victims to fire.
|Wheelock Academy was founded in part by Presbyterian missionaries, who helped to build the earliest stone church in Oklahoma. The church
sits at the entrance to Wheelock.
|Spencer Academy was built in 1824 for Choctaw boys and led by Reverend Alexander Reid (Presbyterian). After the Civil War, the school
re-opened, and Reid opened nearby Oak Hill Industrial Academy to educate Choctaw freedmen. The famous and well-known gospel, "Swing Lo,
Sweet Chariot," was first sung and heard at the Spencer Academy by freed people "Uncle Wallace and Aunt Minerva." (OHS)
|I have a lot of opinions on schools.... if you want to read more about them, come view my blog!
|Questions or comments? E-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Bloomfield Academy was built in the 1850s near Colbert, Bryan County, Oklahoma. In its latter years, citizens of Ardmore enticed the
college-level academy to move to its city, but the experiment didn't last. (OHS)
|The map above is NOT comrehensive of all the Indian boarding schools along the Red River. Burney Institute is being restored by the