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The Logan County Genealogical Society, Inc.

Established In 1981

Myra McClellan

submitted by Nelda Brown Alkadimi
January 2002
It struck me one day not long ago that I knew so little about many of my teachers. There was an aura of mysterious wonderment surrounding them. I felt in awe of their status as "teacher." I thought of Miss McClellan. As a high school
student, it seemed as if she came with the building and its fixtures. She was part of the scene, an important part of the goings-on of the Guthrie High School. She was a caring and loving teacher.

I guess we all knew Miss McClellan's first name was Myra and that she loved to teach, that she was well respected
by students and other teachers, and that she took her teaching responsibilities seriously. She was unmarried, as were
some of the others: Miss Stewart, Miss Oliver.

Here is what I now know about Miss McClellan. Born in Mount Pleasant, Iowa in 1898, Myra was the eldest child
of Allen and Effie McClellan. They came to Oklahoma in 1904. Myra's brother John was born in Iowa in 1902, and
the baby boy Albert was born in Oklahoma in 1907. The family purchased a farm north of Guthrie and lived there 40
years. Myra's father died in 1943 and her mother lived to be 98 years old.

In the Logan County History, Volume I, pages 450 & 451, it is written that Miss McClellan and her brothers attended
a rural school known as North Riverside. This school district was just north of Guthrie at Lawrie. When Myra attended Guthrie High School, she rode a pony to school for the first two years. She walked the third year, and the fourth year
she roomed and boarded with the Best family, graduating in 1918.

Upon graduation, Myra borrowed money from her father to attend Central State at Edmond for summer school,
driving to Guthrie with horse and buggy to take the 5:45 a.m. Inter Urban to be in class at 7 a.m. She hitched her
horse in a lot on North First Street (across the street east of City Hall).

Miss McClellan taught her first school at Banner near Pleasant Valley, between Crescent and Lovell. She roomed and boarded with the Stearnes family for $4.00 per week and her salary was $45 per month. Her next school was at Fair
Valley, just east and north of Guthrie. Both of these schools were typical one-room rural schools with all eight grades
taught simultaneously. She was responsible for keeping the building clean as well as stoking the coals to get the fire
going in the winter.

Myra attended summer school every year to earn her A.B. degree in 1927 from Central State and later earned her
masters degree from Minnesota University. In 1931 Myra McClellan began teaching in Guthrie - sophomore English!

Among Miss McClellan's achievements are little known facts. She helped organize the first FFA class, and along with
Clifford Wright, organized the first National Honor Society Chapter in Guthrie High School. This team of Wright and McClellan also organized the first American Field Service chapter. The first foreign student was Teresa Kalula
Westermeyer from Peru.

During World War II, Myra was principal of Cotteral School, taking Clifford Wright's place while he served in the
U.S. Navy. She was chosen Logan County Teacher of the Year in the late 1950's (anyone know what year?).

Miss McClellan served her community in so many ways. She was Worthy Matron, Guthrie Eastern Star Chapter #12, volunteer at the Logan County Hospital, director of Teen Town, Mobile Meals, and a Docent at the Oklahoma
Territorial Museum, and an active member of the Christian Church.

Myra McClellan believed that teaching a country school gave her good experience since she bore all the responsibility.
She taught school 46 years, retiring in 1963. She truly was one of Guthrie's outstanding and well-loved teachers.
She lived at 519 East Oklahoma Avenue.

At age 93, Miss McClellan died in late October 1991, and is buried in the lot with her parents at Guthrie's Summit
View Cemetery.

After her death, there was an estate sale whereupon my sister purchased Miss McClellan's rolling pin for my collection.
It is something tangible that Miss McClellan left behind, but the most wonderful thing I cherish is the memory of a
teacher who loved her work and her students more than anything.

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