North on MacArthur Blvd., past Deer Creek Schools, there is a small white house on the west side of the street. The yard is neat and the property is well kept. Its address is 21751 N MacArthur Blvd.
On the fence is this sign:
Cartmill Farm House — Circa 1895
This house is a rare surviving example of the house built by settlers on the prairie as they moved out of sod houses.
This house is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In 2006, an application was made to list the house on the National Register of Historic Places. These excerpts from the registration form describe the historical significance of the house:
“The Cartmill Farm House consists of an intact, late 19th century farm house that reflects the first period of settlement in the Unassigned Lands of Oklahoma Territory and a small collection of outbuildings that date from the early 20th century.
“The farm house is a 1 1/2 story, frame building that falls into the Hall and Parlor plan. It is typical of the first-generation housing that marks the settlement of the Territory. The house is located on 1.8 acres of ‘school land,’ land owned by the State of Oklahoma and leased for the benefit of local schools.”
“... it has remained virtually intact since 1895 due to its location on ‘school land.’ While privately owned farmsteads in the surrounding countryside have seen either improvements, enlargements or demolition in the intervening years since the first settlement in the area, the Cartmill Farm house has seen minimal modernization.”
The outbuildings include a chicken coop, milk house, granary and machine shed built in the 1920s and 1930s.
Attached to he back of the house is an enclosed porch and a building addition built to house a kitchen and indoor plumbing.
Thanks to interviews with surviving family members conducted by the current lessee, Stan Moorman, and included with the registration form, we know more about the Cartmill family. Online genealogy sites provided some of the information.
Charles E. Cartmill was the oldest son of James M. Cartmill who made the Land Run of 1889 and staked a claim in western Oklahoma County. He married Ada Florence Pritts in 1898. Her parents were also pioneer settlers in the area.
Charles died in 1921, Ada Cartmill leased the 160 acres that included the house and in 1922. She would live there for 50 years, raising her eight children on the land. She grew wheat, oats, corn, cotton and alfalfa. She also raised dairy and beef cattle, chickens and vegetables.
While Ada and her children were not the first tenants of the house, they were the longest. They were responsible for most of the improvements made to the house.
Because of the Cartmill family’s long association with the house, it was appropriate that it be named the Cartmill Farm House when it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
The Cartmill Farm House is an Oklahoma treasure that has endured for more than a century.