Cecil K. Reiff, principal of the Central high school at Muskogee, was born in Wabash county, Indiana, October 23, 1888, and is a son of Jacob and Catherine (Baer) Reiff, the former a native of Wurtemberg, Germany, while the latter was born in Ohio. The father was but thirteen years of age when he was brought to America by his parents, the family home being established in Ohio, where he completed his education and afterward took up the occupation of tilling the soil. During the period of the Civil war he served on guard duty near Washington, D. C., and following the close of hostilities he went to Wabash county, Indiana, where he purchased and improved land that he cultivated to the time of his death, which occurred in March, 1895, when he was fifty-one years of age. His widow survives and is yet occupying the old home place.
Cecil K. Reiff was reared in Wabash county, Indiana, where he attended the rural schools and afterward the high school at North Manchester, that state. Later he spent, a year as a student in the North Manchester College and then attended the Indiana University, from which he received the Master of Arts degree. He has also attended the Chicago University and Columbia University of New York city, availing himself of every opportunity to promote his knowledge and thus advance his efficiency as an educator. In early manhood he took up the profession of teaching, which he followed for six years in Wabash county, Indiana, and in the fall of 1915 he came to Muskogee as head of the commercial department of the Central high school, while in 1919 he was advanced to the position of principal of this school and has since continued to serve in this capacity. He is now in his fourteenth year’s work as an educator and is recognized as a man of pronounced ability in his chosen field, imparting clearly and readily to others the knowledge that he has acquired and inspiring teachers and pupils under him with much of his own zeal and interest in his work. All that he does he attacks with a contagious enthusiasm.
In August, 1915, Mr. Reiff was united in marriage to Miss Dorothy McCloud, a daughter of William and Margaret (Martin) McCloud, who were pioneer residents of Indiana, where the father was superintendent of coal mines for a number of years. He passed away in June, 1918, while the mother survived until June, 1921. Mr. and Mrs. Reiff have become parents of two children William Henry, born July 24,1918; and John Cecil, October 5, 1921.
Fraternally Mr. Reiff is connected with the Knights of Pythias. He also belongs to the Lions Club, to the Chamber of Commerce and to the Young Men’s Christian Association, serving on the board of directors of the local organization of the last named. Politically he is a democrat and his religious faith is that of the Christian church, in the work of which he takes active and helpful part. He has served as deacon of the church and is superintendent of the Sunday school. Professor Reiff deserves great credit for what he has accomplished. He was one of a family of twelve children, and as the financial resources were not great, it devolved upon him to provide the money for his own education. In this large household he was the seventh son and nine of the family are still living. He was ambitious to advance along intellectual lines and his industry and careful plans enabled him to work his way through the various schools and universities which he attended. For two and a half years in early manhood he acted as assistant to the business manager of Indiana University. He was also the vice president of the Indiana Union of the Indiana University. Throughout his entire life he has eagerly improved ever opportunity for advancement and progress and his contribution to the cause of education has indeed been a valuable one. In 1917 and 1918 he was president of the Oklahoma Commercial Teachers Association. He is a member of the State and National Educational Associations and he was a member of The Eveners at the Indiana University, a society which was formed of those who were earning their way through this school.
Throughout the World war period Professor Reiff took an active part in promoting all the drives and Liberty Bond sales. His public spirit has been manifest in many tangible ways, so that his record measures up to the one hundred percent American standard.