Limestone Gap

1907 - 1961

Limestone Gap School was established in 1907 by wealthy Oklahomans, Captain Charles LeFlore and J. L. Ward.  The two story brick structure above was first known as Pushmataha.

By 1921, Pushmataha had merged with the small districts of Bethel and Chockie (named after one of LeFlore's daughters), and became the first consolidated school district in Atoka County.  The next year the school became known as Limestone Gap.

Through the years more small, rural schools became part of Limestone Gap.  In August, 1938 the W.P.A. started tearing down the original brick building to replace it with a larger stone structure to accommodate a larger student body.  During the construction an eight room temporary building, which was 120 feet long and 36 feet wide was used to continue with classes.  Its open ceilings and wood burning stoves made it very rustic in appearance.  In spite of its many cracks and openings for ventilation, it got the students through the cold winter.  Some rains and one hail storm showed them how really near to nature they were.  After a while the noise from adjoining rooms were ignored and study went on without any serious interruptions. Every 1939 senior brought a stone to be placed in the wall of the new building.  Senior, Dorothy Kyle, brought a stone shaped like a star.  It was placed in the east wall near the door of the high school entrance.  Finally, three weeks before school was out in 1939 all students helped move furniture and fixtures into the rooms that were completed in the new building.  The 1940 annual reads "The WPA workmen were busy hammering and sawing as they worked on the building the first of the term.  It was impossible to buy a heating plant so stoves were installed in each room.  The rooms proved to be easily heated although we had a record long, cold winter.  Gene and Millie and Helen Youngblood carried many ricks of wood to the different rooms this winter.  The lockers built into the halls were a great improvement over the old fashioned cloak rooms.  The big hallway about 180 feet long was cold when the doors were left open.  The study hall and gymnasium were too cold for real effective use. . . . Mrs. Wilson (We all called her Millie) and Helen Youngblood who stayed with her, found out how large the new school house really is by sweeping it every day."  

They were known as the Gap Lions.  School colors were black and orange.  The Limestone annual (yearbook) was founded and named the Redbud by the Seniors of 1939.  The name was chosen during the time of the year when the redbuds were blooming on the Limestone hills.  In 1946 the first school newspaper, Gap Hi-Times, was printed.  The smallest class was a class of two in 1928. 

Declining enrollment caught up with Limestone Gap, too.  The school was forced to close its doors in 1961 and merged with neighboring Kiowa.

Limestone Gap alumni and students who attended Gap still get together and relive days gone by but not forgotten.  Since 1990 there has been a school reunion held every three years at the Kiowa School. 

After reading comments made by past students at the reunions, one can see why they consider themselves one big family.  Undoubtedly, there was a great respect for former teachers and administration who encouraged and helped mold many lives.  The atmosphere at Gap can be expressed best by quoting some of the  graduates.  "All my teachers set a responsible, respectful, moral example.  I have always been grateful for graduating there."   "Best years other than being a grandmother."  "I enjoyed the times we got to stay over at school before going off to basketball games."  "Limestone Gap was the first school that I began to meet with success.  Mrs. Toaz loved me and helped me to feel like I was special."  One can understand why the school and people were loved so much.


FAMILIAR FACES

      

                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                 E. H. Higginbotham                            H. A. Toaz                                   J. R. Toney

                                                                                  

                                                                      Mrs. Toaz               Mrs. McEntire              Mrs. Kelly                    Mrs. Self                       Mr. Brown

                                                                                                                                  

                                                                                                                                 Gene and Millie Wilson

Limestone Gap Creek Bridge

Pushmataha School

Temporary school while new Limestone Gap
was being built by WPA

Home of Captain LaFlore

Teacherage

Gene and Millie Wilson

Limestone Gap's 1926 school bus

 

The FFA building was formerly the Shady Grove school house.  The Home Economics cottage was formerly the cookhouse at Reynolds.  The teacherage was formerly the schoolhouse at Chockie.

Thanks  to Alwin Kiedaisch for his research in producing  the Limestone Gap 2002 Reunion calendar from which many of the above photographs were taken.

Limestone Gap's 1939 Senior Class
FR: Vonciel Couch, Esta Springer, Thelma McClendon & Gormalean Kelly
Middle Row: Meka Reinking, Dorothy Jean Kyle, Waudean Farris
Back row: Fred Van Hooser, Bill Overstreet, Herman Long

1939 Seniors at the Colorado State Capitol
Left to right: Meka Reinking, Edith Reinking,(dark hat), Beth Farris (dark hat), Bill Overstreet, whom Meka later married,
Thelma McClendon, Esta Springer, Waudean Farris, Dorothy Jean Kyle, Vonciel Couch, Eugene Roberts (history teacher)

1939 Seniors at the Colorado State Line
Waudean Farris, Esta Springer, Meka Reinking, Beth Farris, Herman Long,
W.D. Stiewig- School Superintendent.

1939 Senior Class Trip
Esta Springer, Bill Overstreet, Vonciel Couch, Waudean Farris, Fred Van Hooser, Dorothy Jean Kyle, Jene Wilson, Meka Reinking

1939 Senior Class Trip
taken at the Garden of the Gods

**Special thanks to Nancy Martin, daughter of Waudean Farris, for providing the 1939 senior class pictures.

THE CLASS OF 1953

Betty Ruth Bowen, Charlie Edge, Arlie Edge, Jackie Youngblood, Yvonne Sexton, Ray Haworth,
Warren Wheeler, Donald Ray Bowen, & Delbert Amason.


If anyone has any additional pictures or history about Limestone Gap School, I would appreciate
your e-mailing me at beforis@kiowa.k12.ok.us.