Historic school bell returns to Milburn
MILBURN, Okla., (KTEN)--
Wednesday morning, the historic Milburn school bell passed down through 3 generations returned to its original home at Milburn schools.
"The bell would ring every morning, and you would have no trouble hearing it," Milburn class of 1956 graduate Maxine Converse Neely said.
Milburn's first schoolhouse burned down in a fire in the fall of 1956
“When the building burned, I could see it burning from Tishomingo, but we didn't have cell phones; we just barely had a phone,” Neely explained. “We didn't know what it was until the next day, and then we heard, and I cried."
After the fire, Mode Milburn found the bell, and it's been in the family ever since.
"He was one of the founders who laid the cornerstone in the original building, so it meant a lot to him,” Lynn Milburn Lansford, a relative of a founder of the town, said. “So he drove down from Bristow as soon as the ashes cooled, rummaged through, and found the bell."
The bell was passed on to Jud Milburn, an Oklahoma State University professor, in 1974. Jud brought the bell to Stillwater, painted it red, white, and blue, and used it ring in the bicentennial on July 4, 1976.
Jud passed the bell down to his daughter Lynn Milburn Lansford in the early 2000s.
Lansford and her daughter drove the bell back to Milburn from Colorado.
"It's home, and I couldn't be prouder that it's back and will ring for generations at the school,” Lansford said. “I know my great grandfather is smiling."
Neely is thrilled to see a piece of the original schoolhouse back in Milburn.
"It's awesome, so awesome, and I'm so thankful to those who brought it because it is where it needs to be, and they will take care of it, and generations will get to see this," Neely explained.