According to legend, Eufaula received its mascot nickname from coach Harry "Ironhead" Hansard, who coached at the school at various times during the 1920s and '30s. A sportswriter referred to the team as Hansard's Ironheads in a story. Before that, the team was referred to as the Soxless Swedes after head coach Swede Jamerson. Paul Bell, Eufaula's head football coach from 1962-1980, said the mascot name changed from the Soxless Swedes to the Eufaula Ironheads sometime in the mid '20s.
Eufaula began to develop into a town soon after the arrival of the railroad in 1872, although for forty years before that time it was a well-known Indian center, a favorite meeting place for the Creeks. Many of the pow-wows or Indian conferences were held in that vicinity during the early days. The old Indian settlement of that name was several miles from the present site of the town. Through the influence of G. W. Grayson, his brother Samuel, George Stidham and others, the Railroad Company was persuaded to locate one of its stations at the present site of Eufaula and the old Indian village was moved to the station.
D. B. Whitlow and Joseph Coody established the first store on the west side of the railroad and the Graysons and G. E. Seales opened a store on the east side at about the same time. Dr. W. H. Bailey was the first physician and druggist to locate in the new town. Rev. R. C. McGee, a Presbyterian missionary, established one of the first churches in Eufaula and remained in charge of it for many years. The old Asbury Mission School, located two miles northeast of Eufaula was, for many years previous to the Civil war, the leading educational institution of that vicinity. It served the Creek people faithfully but was finally destroyed by fire.
For more than a hundred years, the taxpayers of Eufaula have understood the importance of education. Our history is rich with academic and athletic achievement and the genuine pride that accompanies success. Even a century ago, patrons of this community understood the need for quality schools. The settlers of Eufaula demonstrated their interest in education by erecting a school on the east side of the railroad, and establishing a free school by voluntary taxation before there was any law authorizing the levy of taxes for school purposes. As soon as the Curtis Act was passed by Congress, Eufaula took advantage of it by levying taxes and starting to build a first-class public school system and to make other needed public improvements. The following photographs give only a glimpse of the past, but they help us to understand that educational standards and high expectations were, and continue to be, a fundamental priority for this school district.
Dixie Elementary - 1899 - 2002
Years before Oklahoma became a state, the original Dixie elementary building was built. Since 1899, the structure has undergone a number of renovations. The building was located at 110 south 4th street in Eufaula, and served students in grades 1-6. The building served all elementary students until 1910, when another new building, Jefferson Davis Elementary, was built. At that time, students living on the west side of the school district attended Dixie Elementary and students living on the east side of the school district attended Jefferson Davis Elementary. The building had deteriorated over the years, and being too costly to repair, Dixie Elementary was sold and torn down after the construction and dedication of the new Eufaula Elementary in 2002.
Jackson-Lee High School - 1908
This photograph of the Jackson-Lee building shows the district's first new high school. The building was dedicated in 1908. Eufaula's original, unpaved Main Street was routed around the school building at the south end of town at 111 Forest. Later, the building was unfortunately demolished for state highway 69 expansion.
Jefferson Davis Elementary - 1910 - Vacated and Sold in 2002 - Destroyed by Fire in 2009
Jefferson Davis was constructed in 1910. The building had a second floor from 1916 until 1942 when it was renovated and the 2nd story removed. Jefferson Davis was home for Eufaula's third and fourth-grade students until the district's new elementary building was completed in 2002. Not long after the new school was opened, the district sold the Jefferson Davis elementary built-in In 2009 the old Jefferson Davis Elementary building with its high ceilings and tall narrow windows and one hundred years of memories was destroyed by fire.
Houston Homan High School - 1923
The Houston Homan High School was dedicated in 1923. This four-story structure was the second high school building located on the south end of the main street at 111 Forest Street. Houston Homan was located west of and adjacent to Jackson Lee High School. Highway expansion required the demolition of the beautiful 3 1/2 story Jackson Lee Building.
Houston Homan served the high school students of our district until the current high school was completed in 1967. The Houston Homan building then became Eufaula's Middle School. In 2007, the middle school students began attending Eufaula's new middle school building located west of town. The Houston Homan building is currently empty.
Cooper-McClain - 1937
In 1937, a third new elementary building was constructed.
A WPA building project that was located at 210 High Street.
The old "Dixie" elementary was closed and the new WPA building took the "Dixie" name. The abandoned Dixie elementary building became the McIntosh Health Department but remained the property of Eufaula School District. When the student population demanded additional classroom space, the original Dixie elementary building located on south 4th street was opened once again. The Dixie name, along with K-4 elementary students, moved back across town to the old Dixie 1899 construction. The new rock building was re-named "Cooper-McClain" to recognize two teachers, Ethel Cooper, 1st-grade teacher, and Effie McClain, 2nd-grade teacher, who were sisters and long-time educators for Eufaula Public Schools. After the construction and dedication of the new elementary in 2002, Cooper McClain was sold and has since been destroyed. Fifth-grade students moved to the new elementary school that serves Pre-K through the fifth grade. Our 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade students moved to the Houston Homan building until the new Middle School building was completed in 2007.
Eufaula High School - 1967
It wasn't until 1967, and the completion of Eufaula's new high school that all Kindergarten through 2nd-grade elementary students attended Dixie Elementary, all third and fourth-grade students attended Jefferson Davis Elementary, and all fifth and sixth-grade students attended Cooper-McClain Elementary. 1967 was also the first year Eufaula schools offered kindergarten classes.
Eufaula's New Elementary - Opened in the fall of 2002
Grand Opening of Eufaula Elementary
The elementary building is located at 1705 West J.M. Bailey Highway west of Eufaula. The school is home to Eufaula's Pre-K-5 students. A bittersweet end of an era for the 1899 Dixie Elementary building, the 1920 Jefferson Davis building, and the 1937 WPA Cooper-McClain building. The buildings served our district well. Progress Continues: High School Annex
Progress continues with the completion of additional classrooms for Eufaula High School and was ready for classes in the fall of 2002-2003. With this additional space, all students in grades 9-12 attend Eufaula High School. After the completion of the High School Annex in 2002, allowing freshmen students to attend classes at the high school site, Houston Homan Junior High was re-named once again. It became Houston Homan Middle School and served students in grades 6, 7, and 8 until 2007, when a bond election provided funding to construct a new middle school. Eufaula Middle School is located adjacent to the Eufaula Elementary School at 1705 West J.M. Bailey Highway, west of the city of Eufaula.
Elementary & Middle School
This drawing shows Eufaula Elementary and Eufaula Middle School. The cafeteria divides the two school sites. Located on the left-hand side of this illustration, Eufaula Elementary was dedicated in 2002. The new school building provided Eufaula's First All-Day Kindergarten program. On September 19, 2005, dozers began the dirt work for construction of the Middle School. The new middle school opened in August for the 2007-2008 school term. The middle school gymnasium, located on the right-hand side of this illustration, opened in the spring of 2008. A new elementary classroom addition was completed in the summer of 2008. ready for the 2008-2009 fall term.