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A. D. Buck History Museum and Welcome Center


The A. D. Buck History Museum and Welcome Center, housed on the Tonkawa campus of Northern Oklahoma College, is one of the oldest college connected museums in the state. It was founded in 1913 by C. E. Johnson who was a biology instructor at the college. Johnson’s taxidermy course led to many of the early specimens in the museum. The museum was originally housed in Wilkin Hall before the building burnt down in 1914. The museum remained in North Hall (Harold Hall) until 1968 when it was given its own building.

Originally called the Yellow Bull Museum after a Nez Perce chief, the museum was renamed in 1966 to honor its long-time director, A. D. Buck, who served from the 1930s until 1966. During the museum’s history, there have been four directors – C. E. Johnson, A. D. Buck, Leo Rodriguez, and Rex Ackerson. The museum closed in 2010 for renovations and remodeling. Once known for housing C. E. Johnson’s taxidermy collection, collections of local history, mounted birds and displays detailing the mammals of north-central Oklahoma; the museum will reopen in 2012 housing the artifacts and memorabilia by decade representing the 110 year history of the institution.


The purpose of the A. D. Buck History Museum and Welcome Center is a repository for historical artifacts that reflect the history and legacy of Northern Oklahoma College, which began in 1901 when the sixth Territorial Legislature passed an appropriation bill for the establishment of the University Preparatory School in Tonkawa. The museum is dedicated to the preservation of materials and memorabilia related to the institution’s history. The museum seeks to provide factual information regarding the unique history of Northern Oklahoma College. Additionally, the museum will serve as a welcome center for the institution’s students, employees, alumni, donors and the general public which it serves.


  • To maintain an active program of collection and documentation for the institutional archives and museum
  • To acquire or identify and maintain records of long-term historical value to the institution
  • To provide information that promotes the mission of the museum internally and to the extended communities in which the College serves
  • To exhibit the Northern Oklahoma College collections and archives in such a way as to support the founding and history of the College
  • To serve as a welcome center for prospective and current students, alumni, donors, employees and the community


By Appointment Only

Contact person(s) to schedule visit by appointment:

Kayla Wooderson
Director of Alumni Community Relations
Northern Oklahoma College
PO Box 310
Tonkawa, OK 74653-0310

Sheri Snyder
V.P. for Development/Community Relations
Northern Oklahoma College
PO Box 310
Tonkawa, OK 74653-0310