Felt School History
Felt began as a town in 1925 when the Santa Fe Railroad came through here connecting Kansas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. In August, 1925, the area was platted and named Felt after a railroad surveyor, Mr. Felt. In a very short time, the town sprang up with some 20 businesses and services including the post office and a school. Over time, small schools nearby, including Bertrand School, consolidated with Felt. In 1928, a two year high school was established, and the town began construction of a four year high school in 1929.
Felt Public School was built in 1930. However no one ever had the chance to attend classes in the new school because the new school burned to the ground. It was thought to be a case of arson but the culprit or culprits were never found. The class which was to be the first graduating class had to finish at Bertrand School District.
The first hot lunches were served in September of 1942. Hattie Coriee (Miller) Hall started the program under superintendent Burton Ikard. The next year she had a new superintendent and a helper. The superintendent was Ted Kelly and Clara Funk was the helper. Because it was war time and food was scarce, local families donated ration coupons to buy the food. Red coupons were for dairy, meat and dry beans. Blue coupons were for fruit and vegetables. Marcia (Foreman) Rice helped to plan the menus. The stove was a four-burner oil stove and they put a wash boiler with a rack in it on two of the burners to heat water to sterilize the dishes. All of the dishes were donated by members of the community. There was no refrigeration, so the food was stored outside in the winter and the corner room was used for storage of other items.
Back then, heating and plumbing were quite different than they are today. Hattie's father, Harold Miller, hauled the coal used to heat the school and got the community Christmas tree. He also furnished the milk and cream used in the kitchen. The first indoor plumbing was added in 1948.
Felt’s history is held in the school annuals first published in 1954. Felt had five sets of twins in school at one time; the Arnett, Burton, Houchin, McDaniel and Walker families each had a set of twins attending Felt School. There were four classes of all boys and only one class of all girls. We now have another class of all girls graduating in 2006 and an upcoming class of all boys. The only time in the history of the school there were no seniors to graduate was the year 1994. The junior class that year had the fortune or misfortune, depending on one’s point of view, of being the oldest class for two years. Talk about a case of "senioritis"!
The Old Gym, called the "crackerbox," is believed to be the first indoor gym in Cimarron County. It is now used as the school’s auditorium but was used for winter recesses until the school year of 1970-71. The stage was at the north end of the gym and bleachers were on the east and west sides. The school built a new gymnasium and it was used for the first time in the 1961-1962 school year. Felt’s Bulldogs play proudly there today.
The students who graduated from eighth grade at Wheeless joined the Felt School District in the fall of 1963. Prior to that year, Wheeless high school students had to travel to Boise City to finish their education. Then in the fall of 1965, the rest of the Wheeless School District consolidated with Felt.
At that time the Wheeless round top metal building was moved to Felt for an Industrial Arts Building. It had been used as an Auditorium/Gymnasium combination at Wheeless. It had a cement floor and anyone who remembers playing on it knows what real "floor burn" was.
The 1960’s saw many changes in Felt, including a new brick house built for the superintendent in 1967. That year saw a new building with a gym, swimming pool, and home economics department. Superintendent Roy Sanders, who served seniors from 1960-1962 supervised that project, and his son, John Walker, who graduated in 1961, reported that he worked on the new building the summer of 1961. Happily, he reported that information in October, 2006, to inform us of some of the history of Felt. Throughout the 1960’s, new teacherages were moved in, including a three-bedroom house from the helium plant at Keyes.
Since its beginnings, the Felt Schools have been the center of the community. At one time, one could go to school for box suppers, dances, roller skating, kangaroo courts, spelling and ciphering matches, as well as school sports competition. The traditions have changed, but the community spirit has not. The people of Felt come to school for drama productions, suppers, sports competitions, Christmas concerts, and many of other events, all of which celebrate great education and great neighbors.