|Location||Tidmore / 4 miles southwest of Seminole, Seminole Nation, OK|
Mekasukey Academy was built in 1891 for the education of Creek and Seminole boys, by the Seminole Indians as part of their tribal school system. "Mikasuki" was the name of an ancient "war" town whose people were known for their courage.
The Seminole Tribe spent $63,000 in the construction of the four-story, Victorian style building. The school was complete with wrap around porches, and was unlike most public buildings of the time. It had electricity, steam heat, and indoor plumbing, with water piped from a nearby spring. The red sandstone brick used in the construction of the buildings was hauled over 100 miles overland to the site by oxen from Atoka and Muskogee. Mr Jim Tidmore was the contractor hired for the project.
In the basement level was located the kitchen and dining room including long wooden tables. The first level contained the Superintendents office and living quarters, and the second and third floors contain student living quarters.
It was supervised by the Presbyterian Church until the Federal government took over all Indian schools in 1906.
The villiage of Tidmore slowly moved eastward toward the Seminole train depot, only having it's own post office from 1902-1907.
In 1911, Mekasukey Academy combined with the Emahaka Academy, (the girl's academy up until then), and the school become coeducational; enrolling boy Seminole and Creek boys and girls.
The school had a staff of 20, and though it could accommodate up to 100 students, enrollment was usually kept between 80-90. The school was almost self-sufficient. Students raised livestock, vegetables, and dairy products. Since it was a boarding school, all the teachers and employees lived on campus. Teachers spoke only in English, and children were not allowed to speak Seminole during the nine month school term.
Mrs. Ada Oliver Sullivan was a teacher at Mekasukey Academy from 1918 to 1927.
Mekasukey Academy's role was brief, as it was forcibly closed in 1930 since the forced integration required students to attend newly established public schools, and it was destroyed by fire in 1935. Today the site is home to the Seminole Nation Business and Corporate Regulatory Commission uses the only remaining building of the original structure, which is the former steam room, as its office. There is an historical marker at the spot where the main school building stood. The villiage of Tidmore no longer exists and the original site is located in what is now Seminole, OK.
National Register of Historic Places, NR 74001668
- The following video about the history of the Mekasukey Academy was created by LoyalTV.