August 18, 2009
RSU Seeking Memories of Eastern University Preparatory School
A few weeks prior to the opening of the Eastern University Preparatory School in Claremore on Sept. 14, 1909, the school's first president, Mr. Edmund D. Murdaugh, dispatched one of his new teachers to recruit "hardy and well-behaved boys" for its program in telegraphy and railway accounting.
As a result, Mr. Sidney A. Roberts traveled to area communities searching for young men with the appropriate physical condition. Roberts was but a boy himself. Having just turned 21, he was reportedly good physical condition, and quite accomplished in the trades of telegraphy and railway accounting.
According to a news report in the Sept. 6, 1909 issue of the Claremore Progress, Roberts stated that "it is a waste of time to take boys into this department who have acquired bad habits of any kind and who are not physically sturdy and strong, as nerve is one of the first qualifications in turning out first class telegraphers and railway accountants."
A few days later, 14 students reported for the first day of classes at the new school. It is not known how many of them studied telegraphy or railway accounting. Classes were held in the old Claremont Building until a new building could be completed in 1910 on College Hill.
Rogers State University is currently collecting memories of the Eastern University Preparatory School (E.U.P.S.) as it prepares to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first day of classes at the school. The anniversary will be commemorated with the unveiling of a historic marker sign at 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 14, at the original site of the Claremont Building, 7th St. and Choctaw Ave., where Claremont Elementary School presently stands. The public is invited to attend.