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Elizabeth Hilton Threatt

Born on 7-4-1911. She was born in Luther, OK.
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Elizabeth Hilton Threatt was born on July 4, 1911, in Luther, Oklahoma. She is one of many Black pioneer women whose crucial role in the settlement and development of Oklahoma remains unrecognized. At ninety-three years of age, she lives independently, drives a car, remains an active church member, is in constant demand as a public speaker and is one of the most respected women in Central Oklahoma. Mrs. Threatt still has a crystal clear memory of the names, dates and events in her life

Mrs. Threattâ??s life has focused on being a good Christian, a dedicated teacher and valuable member of the community. She has been an active member of the First Baptist Church in Luther since 1920 and is currently Chairmen of the Deaconessâ?? Board, Chairman of the Trustee Board and Chairmen of the Pastorâ??s Appreciation Committee.

All of Mrs. Threattâ??s life has been in Luther, Oklahoma. Sheâ??s lived more than seventy years at her present home- a former gas station/ restaurant. From 1933-1974, she and her husband ran the facility. The gas station/restaurant is located on famous Route 66 highway and in 1996, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Mrs. Threatt clearly remembers the highway being constructed in the 1920â??s. She recalls teams of mules pulling the heavy equipment that prepared the ground and poured the individual pieces of concrete forming the road. It was a long and tedious process. Mrs. Threatt describes her early life in Luther as one of hard work and, â??being able to do every thing from saddle a mule to drive a combine.â?

Mrs. Threatt spent most of her life as a student and educator. In 1916, she began her education in a log cabin schoolhouse. In 1929, she graduated from Lutherâ??s Booker T. Washington High School and immediately entered Langston University. In 1932, Mrs. Threatt began teaching in the Luther Public School system, at her high school alma mater, Booker T. Washington. She completed her under graduate degree at Langston University in 1954, and Masters Degree at Central State University in 1959. This was all accomplished without interrupting her teaching responsibilities at Booker T. Washington. Also noteworthy, in 1959, she was among the first five Black students to graduate from Central State University (now called the University of Central Oklahoma).

In 1976, and after fifty-three years as a student and teacher at Booker T. Washington High School, Mrs. Threatt retired. She never taught a class with less than thirty-five students and estimates more than five thousand students passed through her classroom. She still remains in contact with many ex-students and is active in the schoolâ??s alumnae association.

Mrs. Threattâ??s contributions to her community and the state of Oklahoma are recognized. Her many awards include: Luther Pioneer Recognition Award for exemplary community participation; Governorâ??s Accommodation Award in recognition of service to Luther, Oklahoma; letter from President George Bush in recognition of community service; Life Time Service Award by Southwestern Bell. In Luther, Oklahoma, a street is renamed after her. The new Luther Public library also bears her name.

The permanent sparkle for life in Mrs. Threatt's eyes is hard to forget. It represents a lifetime of devotion to others. At the end of a conversation with this legendary Black pioneer teacher, the student is often presented with a gift, a small bag containing a bottle of juice, an apple and several pieces of candy. It is very difficult for ones eyes to remain dry.