History of the Nelson Carr School

The Nelson Carr School recognizes one of the area’s earliest pioneers, Nelson Franklin Carr. In addition to establishing one of the first industries in what is now Bartlesville, OK, Carr also established one of the first schools in what is now Washington County in 1877. He built the school beside his home and hired Mellie Smith of Kansas to teach the three Carr children as well as about 15 other neighborhood children. Miss Smith resided with the Carr family until her marriage in 1880.

Step inside Nelson Carr School and experience a typical education and lifestyle of the early 1900s. Students are seated in desks according to size, with girls on one side of the room and boys on the other. No one is allowed to speak unless called upon by the teacher. The schoolmarm leads scholars through the rigorous reading, writing, and arithmetic exercises, which are written on small slate boards. Penmanship lessons are conducted with quill pens.