Home |  PublicationsEncyclopedia |  Central High

The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture


Located in Stephens County, Central High lies on County Road N2750, one mile north of State Highway 7, and approximately 8.5 miles west of Marlow. Throughout the twentieth century the rural area was known for its ranching and farming. By 1921 regional students had only eighth-grade facilities. This led to four smaller school districts, Wolf Creek, Nellie, Prairie Center, and Pleasant Hill, to consolidate, creating Central High School (union-graded district 34). The name stemmed from the school's location near the center of the large district. In 1923 the first student graduated from the institution. Until the late 1930s the central site consisted of a junior high and high school, and the elementary students attended ward schools in the center of the old districts. In 1952 fire destroyed the original four-room high school. In the 1960s and 1970s an influx of population in the area prevented the school from being annexed into nearby districts. In 1995 the residents of this fifty-three-square-mile area voted to incorporate as a town. Proponents urged incorporation so that Central High could apply for municipal grants and obstruct nearby towns, such as Marlow, Lawton, or Duncan, from annexing its land. In 2000 the population stood at 954, and the town had a volunteer fire department. The 2010 census recorded 1,199 living there.

Larry O'Dell


Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 13 December 1995. History of Stephens County (Duncan, Okla.: Stephens County Historical Society, 1982).

Browse By Topic

Urban Development




The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Larry O'Dell, “Central High,” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry?entry=CE010.

Copyright and Terms of Use

No part of this site may be construed as in the public domain.

Copyright to all articles and other content in the online and print versions of The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History is held by the Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS). This includes individual articles (copyright to OHS by author assignment) and corporately (as a complete body of work), including web design, graphics, searching functions, and listing/browsing methods. Copyright to all of these materials is protected under United States and International law.

Users agree not to download, copy, modify, sell, lease, rent, reprint, or otherwise distribute these materials, or to link to these materials on another web site, without authorization of the Oklahoma Historical Society. Individual users must determine if their use of the Materials falls under United States copyright law's "Fair Use" guidelines and does not infringe on the proprietary rights of the Oklahoma Historical Society as the legal copyright holder of The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and part or in whole.