Muskogee Residents Preserving History Of 60-Year-Old Building Named After Former Teacher

Residents in Muskogee are committed to preserving a historical building that will be 60 years old in 2024. It's the Kate Frank Apartment building and she created a retirement home for teachers back in the 60s.

Wednesday, January 3rd 2024, 5:35 pm

By: News On 6, Ryan Gillin


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A senior apartment community in Muskogee will turn 60 this year.

The building is named after a woman who had a dream of creating a retirement home for teachers.

Those who live there are committed to preserving its history.

The Kate Frank Apartment building has stood in Muskogee for almost 60 years, but it is much more than just a place for people to live.

"I can actually remember coming when I was younger to garage sales that the residents would have here on the front patio, but I didn't know what Kate Frank was," said property manager Devonna Parson.

Parson has been the property manager for a decade and over that time she has learned a lot about the building's namesake.

"It's just so hard to come up with words because it's just so amazing to me," Parson said. "I wish so much, being here ten years, that I could have met her."

Frank was a teacher in Muskogee for 35 years before becoming an advocate for retired teachers' benefits.

She attended the White House Conference on Aging to talk about her idea of a teacher retirement home. She opened the home in 1964.

The building is no longer just for retired teachers, but its roots are well-known by residents like Betris Edwards.

"(Frank) going and getting one of our congressmen to go to Washington D.C. to get this started for retired teachers, many people were glad she did this, like I said there were a lot of teachers that lived here but things have changed," Edwards said.

Things have changed but as long as Parson is still the manager, she wants everyone to know about Kate Frank.

"If I can keep Kate Frank operating like it is and keep it continued like it is and take care of it like it is, that is honoring her and making this feel like it's a home for people. I think that is honoring her," Parson said.

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