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Campus History



The Early Days…

   The first school in Oklahoma to give instruction to deaf children was at Fort Gibson. This school was started by Mrs. Lowery for the education of the blind Indian children of the Five Civilized Tribes. Later Mrs. Lowery admitted deaf children, and in the early eighteen-nineties, white children were admitted.  In 1898 Mr. and Mrs.  Ellsworth Long started a school for deaf children at Guthrie. The school at Fort Gibson was glad to send all of its deaf to this school as Mrs. Lowery’s school was originally for the blind. This territory paid the superintendent of the school a certain sum for each child in school. Mr. H. C. Beamer followed Mr. Long as head of the school and R. N. Dunham followed Mr. Beamer.  Mr. Dunham was head of the school at the time Oklahoma became a state. November 1 of 1907, at the time of statehood, school was already in progress and continued under the territorial arrangements for the remaining part of that school year.  In the fall of 1908, the School for the Deaf was opened in Sulphur and has continued here since that time. At first, school was held in rented buildings that were in the business section of town. It was not until the fall of 1913 that the first building on our present site was completed and the deaf had a permanent school home.  The Oklahoma State School for the Deaf, at Sulphur, has an uninterrupted record of service to the deaf and hard of hearing children of Oklahoma since territorial days.  Any child unable to make normal progress in the Public Schools, due to a hearing impairment, and otherwise adjustable to life in a residential school will be admitted to OSD upon application.