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Located in Stephens County, Central High lies on County Road N2750, one mile north of State Highway 7, and approximately 8.5 miles west of Marlow. Throughout the twentieth century the rural area was known for its ranching and farming. By 1921 regional students had only eighth-grade facilities. This led to four smaller school districts, Wolf Creek, Nellie, Prairie Center, and Pleasant Hill, to consolidate, creating Central High School (union-graded district 34). The name stemmed from the school's location near the center of the large district. In 1923 the first student graduated from the institution. Until the late 1930s the central site consisted of a junior high and high school, while the elementary students attended ward schools in the center of the old districts. In 1952 fire destroyed the original four-room high school. In the 1960s and 1970s an influx of population prevented the school from being annexed into nearby districts. In 1995 the residents of this fifty-three-square-mile area voted to incorporate as a town. Proponents urged incorporation so that Central High could apply for municipal grants and obstruct nearby towns, such as Marlow, Lawton, or Duncan, from annexing its land. In 2000 the population stood at 954, and the town had a volunteer fire department.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 13 December 1995. History of Stephens County (Duncan, Okla.: Stephens County Historical Society, 1982).

Larry O'Dell

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