Those are your choices for an online public vote to name an unnamed road in Luther. The three choices are the result of another vote on the Town of Luther’s website where nearly 100 suggestions were collected to name the short stretch east of Town that will take you to the new Luther BancFirst under construction. The Board of Trustees narrowed the choices to the top three with voting continuing through July 9. The road is just to the east of the Dollar General and takes you to Wildhorse Park and the “Second School Land” addition, originally platted in 1948.
According to Luther Historian Sharon MacAllister who consulted The Luther Register, June 5, 1948:
The E/2 of the NW/4 of Section 27-14N-1E was originally State Land. It was put up for Public Sale and purchased on behalf of the town of Luther August 2, 1946. The sale price was $1600 and that money was advanced to the town by several local businessmen: E. J. Canada, W. B. Eldridge, and Roy Hayes. (Roy Hayes was also Luther’s Mayor at the time.)
In that same era when Luther’s residential area was growing, Mr. EE Cox was superintendent and was a key part of Luther Public Schools for decades, according to MacAllister. “When they came to Luther in 1927, his wife, Mae taught the third grade but soon switched to the first grade. He taught math and coached basketball (including the team that won the state championship in 1943). The 1941 yearbook lists him as superintendent, but I don’t know whether he came to Luther for that job or moved into it. He gave up coaching in the late 1950s but continued teaching high school math into the 1960s,” said MacAllister.
The name of Cox was suggested several times on the Town’s online name request. In addition to Mr. Cox leading Luther Public Schools, the former little league football was named for him. However, that field was dismantled when the Town sold the property to WalMart. Most remember after the construction of the building and the opening of the new store to much fanfare, WalMart announced in January 2016 that it would close the store. The Dollar General now occupies the space.
MacAllister shares one more story about Mr. Cox for nostalgia.
Once an oft-told tale, this has probably faded with the mists of time. Names have been withheld to protect the “guilty” and their descendants.
To set the stage, a 2018 photo has been marked to show the approximate location of the old two-story school (red “S”) and the town barn (red “B”). Following the streets, that’s a walk of less than three blocks. Nothing to teenagers indulging in some Halloween mischief.
In those days, Luther’s grapevine was as effective as today’s internet in spreading news. Everyone knew that Superintendent E. E. Cox kept his cow in the town pasture. One Halloween, apparently thinking the town boys would be blamed for the prank, some of the country boys took said cow for a walk. Destination: the schoolhouse. Up the steps to the first floor entrance. Across the hardwood on the first floor. Up more steps to superintendent’s office on the second floor….
By morning, of course, the whole town knew about the prank and who was responsible. Upon their arrival at school, the boys were escorted to the Superintendent’s office. Their first assignment was to remove the cow and return her to the barn. The descent of so many stairsteps was said to have been much more challenging than the original ascent. Then came the real punishment – cleaning up the office to Mr. Cox’s standards.
As for the Aldrich name suggestion, Mr. Luther Aldrich originally bought the land to establish Luther, according to records. “The town was named for Luther Jones, the son of Oklahoma County entrepreneur, promoter, and politician Charles G. Jones and the namesake of Luther F. Aldrich, Jones’s business partner and friend. Aldrich purchased the land on which the town is located from John A. Blizzard on February 4, 1898, because it was on the right-of-way for the St. Louis and Oklahoma City Railroad (later the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway, or Frisco),” from the Oklahoma Historical Society.
MacAllister’s research shows that Aldrich never lived in Luther with early deeds showing he was a resident of Cumberland County, Illinois.
The third name suggestion, Pecan Street, follows the pattern, although not the alphabetization, of streets nearby like Ash, Birch, Cedar and Dogwood, named for trees.
From suggestions on the Town naming survey:
“Follows the tree theme of the other streets and honors the Pecan Festival.”
“The pecan is such a representation of our town. A new beginning, strong roots, a fruitful community.”
The Luther Pecan Festival was established in 2017 as an art show on Main Street and to celebrate the pecan harvest at Couch Pecans. The festival date for this year is November 17, 2018.
Online voting to name the street continues through July 9. Click here to find the voting tool.