It all began in 1909, two years after Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory had been fused by an act of the United States Congress into America’s 46th state.
Because there were few public high schools in the two territories, Oklahoma had a need for state-supported preparatory schools, which offered two-year courses of study for students who wanted to continue their education at a four-year college or university.
Tonkawa, in the former Oklahoma Territory, already had a preparatory school. To balance things out, the state’s new legislators had to put another in what had been Indian Territory. And while Holdenville and Atoka were both serious candidates for the honor, Claremore ended up getting the new institution, Eastern University Preparatory School.
EUPS officially opened its doors on Sept. 5, 1909, offering classes ranging from railway accounting to ancient languages.
Beginning in a downtown building, the school moved the next year to what would become known as College Hill, where construction was ongoing on the campus’s first building, Preparatory Hall.
Students either came from the area or boarded with Claremore families.
Completed in 1912, Preparatory Hall still stands. EUPS, however, had a brief life, passing from the scene in 1917.