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AMBER

Amber is located in Grady County, Oklahoma, on Highway 92 eight miles south of Tuttle, and is situated along the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway eight miles north of Chickasha. The completion of the Frisco line and the establishment of the Amber post office occurred in 1903. Railroad workers named the town Amber after the goldenrods that landscaped the countryside in autumn.

Lena Chastain, a mixed-blood Choctaw, sold the abstract of title for the town of Amber in 1906. She conveyed a parcel of land east of the Amber train station to W. T. Cloud, who dug the town water well and established a store, school, and livery barn on the site. The subscription school mainly educated railroad workers' children. Cloud sold his land and store in May 1907 and moved the school and livery barn two blocks east of their original location.

By 1909 a population increase had created a need for the construction of a five-room school. The new building also served Baptist, Methodist, and Holiness churches on alternating Sundays. Amber School became the first consolidated school in Oklahoma when it joined with the Askew and Drennan districts in 1912. Three hundred forty-eight students attended Amber School in 1919. The largest enrollment was in the 1929 30 school year with 499 students. In 1965 the Amber and Pocasset consolidated schools joined and brought nineteen small schools together. Amber had over two hundred residents in 1908. Its population increased from 416 in 1980 to 490 in 2000.

Amber's early business district thrived on agriculture as local farmers produced cotton, corn, wheat, oats, and alfalfa. Along with grain elevators and a cotton gin, other businesses circa 1908 included the Amber Hotel, the Amber State Bank, a blacksmith shop, general merchandise stores, lumberyards, and a drug store. The Amber Press was the community newspaper.

SEE ALSO: SETTLEMENT PATTERNS.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Mary Hewett Bailey, "A History of Grady County, Oklahoma" (M.A. t hesis, University of Oklahoma, 1937). Gwen Jackson, Trails, Rails, and School Tales: A History of 125 Schools and Communities of Grady County (N.p., 1995). Hunter James, "Amber, A New Agricultural Center," Sturm's Oklahoma Magazine 7 (September 1908).

Gwen Jackson

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