Family doesn’t want to sell land for school addition

Jenks, Oklahoma (AP) 9-07

The family that owns 40 acres of land undergoing condemnation by Jenks Public Schools does not want to sell the property, which has been in the family for more than 100 years.

Descendants of Carrie E. Gregory, who was allotted the land from the Muscogee (Creek) Nation in 1903, say they are attached to the property the district wants for a future expansion of an elementary school campus.

“We do not want to sell the land. We have had numerous offers over the years from developers, but the land is not for sale,” Ree Greenwood, Gregory’s granddaughter, wrote in an e-mail.

School officials said it is unusual for the district to proceed with condemnation in order to acquire a property, but it was necessary in this case.

Greenwood said her family sold the land where the existing campus was built – nearly 70 acres. But it wants to hold on to the last part of the original homestead.

“We feel that our family has given up enough of our heritage to Jenks Public Schools. Our solace at the time of the sale of the intermediate parcel was that we would be able to keep the homestead 40 forever,” Greenwood wrote.

Roger Wright, the district’s executive administrator, said no court date has yet been scheduled for the condemnation suit.

Greenwood wrote that she believes in her family’s right to retain the land, but she does not know what can be done after a condemnation suit is filed.

“I guess this can only be resolved in court now,” she wrote.

Information from: Tulsa World,