About Grandfield Schools

History of Grandfield

Opening the Big Pasture, approximately 480,000 acres bounded on the south by the Red River and presently located in parts of Comanche, Cotton, and Tillman counties, was the last settled territory in Oklahoma. Native control of the land traces to the Quapaw, who ceded it to the United States in 1818. The Choctaw and Chickasaw accepted the area in the 1820s and 1830s but lost it as a result of the Reconstruction Treaty of 1866. By the terms of the Medicine Lodge Treaty of 1867 a reservation that included the Big Pasture was set-aside for the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache. The land became part of Oklahoma Territory in December 1906. Opening bids to quarter-sections of the Big Pasture to prospective homesteader began on December 3 and ended on December 15, 1909. There were over 100,000 bids for the available 1,830 quarter-sections. Bids varied from $5,800.00 to $7,376.00. Prior to the opening of the area, the United States platted five official townships: Randlett, Ahpeatone, Isadore, Quanah and Eschiti. The only town remaining today is Randlett. Eschiti was the official town nearest the present site of Grandfield.

The Founding began when the Wichita Falls and Northwestern Railroad missed Eschiti by two miles and Kell City (named for the railroad promoter Frank Kell of Wichita Falls) sprang up along the railroad's route. By 1907, Eschiti had an official United States Post Office and Kell City had the railroad. Citizens from both towns were in heated competition for new settlers and businesses moving to the area. To try to settle the differences, Reverend Andrew J. Tant, a Baptist Minister and homesteader, went into partnership with Frank Kell and offered free lots to businesses if they would relocate to the Tant farm, which would eventually become Grandfield. Since the Tant farm was only about a mile from Kell City, people willingly moved. Free lots were also promised to all churches and schools. Observers at that time wrote they could look through their windows and see lines of houses being moved. According to Mrs. Lawrence Hooks, an early settler, she once cooked breakfast in Eschiti and dinner in Grandfield, without leaving her house. A committee appealed to the United States Post Office to establish a post office. Assistant Postmaster General Charles P. Grandfield was helpful in granting the request. Consequently, the town was named in his honor. On January 16, 1909, Grandfield citizens voted, almost unanimously, for incorporation, and the post office opened January 21, 1909. In 1910 the population stood at 830. The town's founders and early residents came from a variety of locations, backgrounds, cultures and religions; the States of Kentucky, Tennessee, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Texas were well represented, and a substantial number of newly arrived European immigrants also made their homes in Grandfield.

The Oil Boom

There were two oil fields discovered in the Grandfield area: the Northwest Oil Field;[9] and the Red River Oil Field. The influence of the oil industry on Grandfield cannot be overstated. The closing of the Bell Oil and Refinery Company refinery in the 1960s arguably started the population decline.

Sports

Grandfield High School won the Oklahoma High School Football Class C Championship in 1948 and 1958. Switching from 11-man to 8-man football, they captured two Class C state football championships in 1992 and 1993. They also won the Girls Basketball Championship in 1968. Despite the influence of All State forward Kenneth Johnson, the Boys Basketball team came up short in the 1978 Class B title game, losing to New Lima, the defending Class B champions. During an era without a three-point scoring line, Johnson scored an Oklahoma state record 105 points on January 6, 1979 against Terral (OK) High School. He also set state records for most points in a season (1,280 in 1978-79), and most points in a career (3,191).

Historic Places

Grandfield's historic places included the Grandfield Downtown Historic District, the William and Mabel Donahoo Hubbard House, the Humphreys Drugstore Building, the Rock Island Depot Building, and the Tillman County Bank of Grandfield.


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