“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Ardmore in Carter County, Oklahoma — The American South (West South Central)

Masonic Temple 1896

Masonic Temple 1896 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, October 21, 2019
1. Masonic Temple 1896 Marker
Inscription.  On April 19, 1895 a fire broke out in Harper’s Caddo Street Livery Stable. It quickly spread and consumed six blocks of East Main Street from the Santa Fe Railroad tracks to Washington (then known as Springer Street). Eighty-six businesses were destroyed. Among the losses was the newly built three story brick Masonic Temple. The “Herald Statesman” newspaper’s Special Fire Edition described it as being located in “…the square in which the beautiful Masonic Temple, the courthouse and the Corner Drug Store were located…” This would be on south side of Main Street between Mill Street and Washington where a now non existent “Court Street” was located.

Following the fire, Lodge meetings were held at the Odd Fellows Hall on Washington Avenue while a new building was under construction. The first published notice for Lodge meetings in the new Masonic Temple on Springer (now Washington) and Main Streets was on May 11, 1896. The First National Bank, whose building nearby was also destroyed in the fire, took the first two stories of the structure for its new location. The Masons held Lodge meetings on the top floor

Masonic Temple 1896 Marker is just to right of light pole. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, October 21, 2019
2. Masonic Temple 1896 Marker is just to right of light pole.
of the building.

This edifice was built on lands owned by the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations. Federal law at the time prohibited white ownership of land in Indian Territory except through tribal intermarriage. The creation of the Dawes Commission opened up private ownership of lands in the Indian Territory. Thus on January 15th, 1902 the First National Bank purchased the land under a Patent from the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations for $130.00, the Masonic Lodge owning the building and the bank owning the land.

In 1918 the First National Bank moved to a new building at Main and “A” Street NW and the land was sold to B.A. Simpson. C.L. Anderson purchased it the same year and transferred the property to his wife, Nettie. The Mason Lodge took over the entire building at this time, converting the top floor to a ballroom where various social events took place including dance classes.

In April of 1930 the Masonic Temple moved to what is now the Ardmoreite Building on Broadway. The old building was sold to Sara Green and Nettie Anderson. They shortly thereafter leased the property to Steele Drug which moved into the ground floor and was a landmark for many years.

During restoration of the building in the 1970’s, lightning struck the stone cap at the top of the building creating a large jagged gap in the crown. The building was purchased in April 2001

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Erected by Ardmore Main Street Authority.
Location. 34° 10.364′ N, 97° 7.711′ W. Marker is in Ardmore, Oklahoma, in Carter County. Marker is at the intersection of West Main Street (Oklahoma Route 199) and North Washington Street, on the right when traveling west on West Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1 West Main Street, Ardmore OK 73401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Hotel Wisnor/Carter-Booker Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Killing of US Marshal Dow Braziel (within shouting distance of this marker); Daubes’ Store (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Noble Brothers Hardware (about 600 feet away); Federal Courthouse (1898) (about 600 feet away); Ardmoreite Building (about 700 feet away); Luke’s Music Store (about 800 feet away); Randol Hotel (about 800 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ardmore.
Categories. DisastersNotable Buildings

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Credits. This page was last revised on November 11, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 11, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 42 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 11, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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