TULSA CENTRAL HIGH ….Charles Clock and Ellen Collins (1931)

My parents (Charles & Ellen Clock) graduated from Central High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1931. I assume that all the rest of my grandparents’ (Wilkie & Margaret Clock) kids also attended it as well, at least for some of their years of schooling. In order: George, Paul, Mary, Ruth, Charles, Virgil and Quentin Clock. They moved often when they were young, because of the Methodist Church’s practice of moving pastors around every couple of years. But about 1918, the family stopped for good in Tulsa).

If I’m not mistaken, I believe that my Grandpa Collins taught at Central High, when my parents attended. Seems like I heard that my mom (Ellen) even took a class or perhaps two from her dad. How she caught NO breaks in his class, in fact, just the opposite! And how it was difficult to raise her hand and say “Mr. Collins” and not “Dad”. I never heard how her brothers, my Uncle Art and Uncle James, fared in his classes. Her mother, Lula Mae Collins, taught in one of the Tulsa grade schools.

“Home of the Braves” ….sounds good to me! The way I heard it from my folks was that Central was the only high school for all of Tulsa and that it was huge, taking up a city block. And that it had one of the best industrial arts programs in the USA. I have no idea when the photo below was taken, maybe the building had been added on to by the late 1920’s, when they attended. But that sure doesn’t look like a city block to me! (See: “History Central High”, below, for an explanation.) The old high school was shuttered forever in the 1970’s. My parents went back for their 50th class reunion, in 1981, anyway.

The main thing I recall hearing about Mom and Dad’s high school years was that they sat next to each other in one or more classes, during their senior year. I gather that Dad wasn’t too hot of a student, at least in English class …often asking Mom for help on the assignments. At least that was my mother’s version. Maybe he just wanted to get her attention! If so …it worked, didn’t it?





(I have no idea why my dad has multiple grad photos)







EVERETT HEGWOOD, Dad’s high school buddy & friend throughout life. Out West being a cowboy, after high school.




It’s October of 1929 and my father is attending school in Sloam Springs, Arkansas. This letter was addressed to “Mrs W.C. Clock, Box 257, W. Tulsa, Ok”. Sent to his mother, Margaret M. Clock (Wilkie’s wife, my grandmother). Dad was 16 years old at the time. It appears he is working on machinery and that his younger brother, Virgil, is also there. Vocational school?
The whole thing raises lots of questions. Is Virg there too? For the whole school year or just visiting? Why? Why are they there, and not going to school back home in Oklahoma? And what about the window measurements at the end of his letter?

The Roaring ’20’s were ending and the Great Depression was just beginning, but it probably wasn’t called that yet. Note the comment in the letter by my dad, “Say, tell Mrs. Burhams that pie sure was good.” I must have heard him say something like that about pie, a THOUSAND times!! Easily!

The photo that was posted by my brother, Pat …called “John Brown College”, is at the bottom. My dad is kneeling at the lower left in the photo. I am guessing this picture was taken during the same time that my dad wrote this letter home. By the way, John Brown College is still in operation today …emphasizing a Christian education and training in a line of work.



The picture was taken at John Brown College in approximately 1928. Charles Clock was a student there for most of a year.  (Dad is on the far left, bottom row.)  The day was broken down into academic and vocational parts. The vocational involved helping maintain the college as well. Dad recalled it freezing hard so that some of the water pipes froze. They broke the pipes down at the joints and lit a fire under the middle of the pipes to thaw the water. The problem was that the ice at one end would melt sufficiently so that the steam build up in the pipe would push the ice out of one end of the pipe and the pipe would take off like a rocket. –Patrick Clock



Central High School (Tulsa, Oklahoma)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Central High School
3101 West Edison Street
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74127
Type Public fine arts and performing artsmagnet school
Established 1906
Principal Dr. Oliver Wallace
Grades 9-12
Number of students 701 (as of October 1, 2007)[1]
745 (per 2009-2010 OSSAAclassification)[2]
Color(s) Crimson and cream
Mascot Braves
Website http://central.tulsaschools.org

Central High School is the oldest high school in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was founded in 1906 as Tulsa High School, and located in downtown Tulsa until 1976. The school now has a 47-acre (19 ha) campus in northwest Tulsa. Tulsa Central is part of the Tulsa Public Schools, Oklahoma’s largest school district, and is a public school for students from grades 9 through 12. Since 1997 it has served as a fine and performing arts magnet school.[3]



Alt textTulsa High School preceded the original Central High School

The original Tulsa High School was erected in 1906 at Fourth and Boston in downtown Tulsa. In 1913 it became the third school in the state to win accreditation. A new building opened in 1917 at the corner of Sixth and Cincinnati, and was enlarged in 1922. The Manual Arts building at Ninth and Cincinnati was added in 1925.[4]Tulsa Central was at one time said to be the second largest high school in the country, and included indoor Olympic-size and lap pools, an indoor track, an extensive art collection, and a large pipe organ.[5][6]

Central was Tulsa’s only public high school for white students, and by 1938 it had grown to its peak enrollment of more than 5,000 students in grades 10-12.[4] Finally, Tulsa opened two new high schools: Webster High School in West Tulsa (in 1938), and Will Rogers High School east of downtown (in 1939).[7]Booker T. Washington High School was established for African American students in 1913. Tulsa’s schools were legallyracially segregated by race until 1955, and remained segregated de facto at least into the 1970s, due to population patterns and school policies.[8]

Alt textOriginal Central High School at Sixth and Cincinnati now serves as headquarters of Public Service Company of Oklahoma

The construction of Tulsa’s Inner Dispersal Loop freeway impaired the school’s access to the outdoor physical education facilities at Central Park and Tracy Park. The cost of downtown parking was also a problem. These factors led to the decision to move the school out of downtown. The new 47-acre (190,000 m2) campus was opened in 1976, at 31st West Avenue and Edison Street,[4] in the portion of northwest Tulsa that is located inOsage County.

The old Central High School building at Sixth and Cincinnati was acquired by Public Service Company of Oklahoma (“PSO”). After a complete renovation and extensive interior modifications, it now serves as PSO’s headquarters. The renovated and adapted building has been named a Tulsa landmark by the Tulsa Foundation for Architecture.[5][9][10] The former Manual Arts Building at Ninth and Cincinnati is now part of the downtown campus of Tulsa Community College.[4]

Notable faculty

Adah Robinson

Adah Robinson, an art teacher at Tulsa Central for several years in the late 1910s, is credited with the design of the Boston Avenue Methodist Church, an outstanding example of religious Art Deco architecture that is now designated as a National Historic Landmark.[11][12] Robinson’s collaborator in the design was Bruce Goff, her former student at Tulsa Central, and an architectural prodigy who designed 61 Tulsa buildings between 1927 and 1931.[13]The precise extent of Goff’s and Robinson’s respective contributions to the church remains controversial.[14]

Goff and Robinson also collaborated on the design of Robinson’s own house, built 1927-1929, and now listed as an Art Deco landmark in Tulsa’s Tracy Park Historic District. The house was finished by another Robinson student, Joseph Koberling, who also became an important Tulsa architect and later worked on another city landmark, Will Rogers High School.[13][15][16]

In 1928, Robinson established and headed the art department at the University of Tulsa. She redesigned the interiors of several other notable Tulsa churches. She received an honorary doctorate from the University of Tulsa in 1936. From 1945 to 1959 she chaired the art department at Trinity University (Texas), in San Antonio, Texas. She died in Tulsa in 1962.[17]

Isabelle Ronan

Isabelle Ronan, who taught at Tulsa Central from 1922 to 1955, became a well-known mentor for students interested in performing arts and broadcasting. In the words of a 1997 Tulsa World article,

The Central High School of that era was known for its superior theater and drama department, a different discipline from “speech” connected with debate or oratory. The reason: A gifted and inspired teacher named Isabelle Ronan, who had a knack for recognizing students with theatrical talent and desire to perform. She was the MISS Ronan to students, other teachers and administrative staff as well.[18]

Teacher of Paul Harvey

One of Ronan’s most famous students was radio legend Paul Harvey, then named Paul Harvey Aurandt. Harvey credited Ronan with getting his career started at the age of 14. Harvey said that Ronan was “impressed by his voice”.[19]

She took me by the hand and marched me down to KVOO, and said this young man ought to be on the radio. She just wouldn’t accept no. So I did my school chores in the daytime and hung around the radio station so many hours at night that they finally put me on the payroll to limit those hours.[20]

Harvey told this story in repeated interviews.[19][20][21] He also paid tribute to Ronan in a nostalgic 1994 radio broadcast delivered after he had returned to Tulsa for a fundraising banquet.[22]

Other notable Ronan students

In addition to Paul Harvey, other Ronan students at Tulsa Central who went on to professional success in broadcasting or the performing arts included:

Notable coaches

Eddie Sutton began his head coaching career at Tulsa Central, where he coached 1959-1966 before going on to become one of only seven major men’scollege basketball coaches to have over 800 career wins.[31]

Tommy Hudspeth coached football at Tulsa Central in 1956 before moving on to the college and professional ranks, most notably for eight years as the head coach at Brigham Young University.

Art Griffith was the wrestling coach at Tulsa Central for 15 years, winning ten state and two national wrestling tournaments. He moved on to Oklahoma State University in 1941, where he led the Cowboys to 8 national championships and was elected to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.[32] Griffith’s successor at Tulsa Central was Rex Peery, who later became the Pittsburgh Panthers wrestling coach, and was also elected to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.[33][34]

Notable alumni

In addition to the Adah Robinson and Isabelle Ronan students mentioned above, other notable persons who attended Tulsa Central include:



About clockbear13

Enough about me. More importantly, this blog is intended to be a gathering spot for all available materials relating to the Clock family, past, present & future ....an interest of mine for many years.
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