Beno Hall

Although this is not actually about the Race Riot or its immediate aftermath, the presence of the Klan in Tulsa after the riot and looting and burning makes it relevant.  There are two interesting articles on the headquarters of the Tulsa Benevolent Association, as the local Klavern styled itself.  These maybe found at http://thislandpress.com/09/03/2011/beno-hall-tulsas-den-of-terror/ and http://www.tulsagal.net/2010/09/beno-hall-another-dirty-little-secret.html.

To begin, it is unclear at this time when the Tulsa Klan, no. 2, Realm of Oklahoma, Invisible Empire, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan Inc. actually began operating in Tulsa. The Tulsa World declared on July 24, 1921 that there was proof that the Klan was operating in Oklahoma City, and a story on July 29 referred to the “Muskogee Klan, no. 3.” On August 10, there was a public meeting at Convention Hall with Caleb A. Ridley, pastor of the Central Baptist Church of Atlanta and a noted spokesman for the Klan. On October 31, the first open air initiation of the Tulsa Klan was held for either 30 or 300 people.

According to Steve Gerkin writing for This Land (September 1, 2011) The Tulsa Benevolent Association was formed as a holding company for the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan Inc. January 1922. Six months later the TBA spent $60,000 for the land that held the then defunct Tigert Memorial Methodist Church at 501 N. Main.

The article further goes on to say that the land was bought from Centenary Methodist Church, and that the Klavern was built on Tate Brady’s wife Rachael’s land.  Unfortunately, Rachel Brady didn’t have an allotment (although her children did) and they were Cherokee.  501-3 N. Main is on Creek Land, specifically land granted to D. A. Storm by the Creek Nation in 1902.

Location of 503 N. Main on a plat mat with the location of Cherokee allotments.

Location of 503 N. Main on a plat mat with the location of Cherokee allotments.

Tigert Memorial Methodist Church, c1906. Corner of Easton and Main. Image in Special Collections

Tigert Memorial Methodist Church, c1906. Corner of Easton and Main. Image in Special Collections

Tigert’s membership had left sometime in 1920 for the newly built Centenary Methodist Church, at 631 N. Denver, on the southern border of Ruth Brady’s Cherokee tribal allotment, and the northern border of the original “North Tulsa” annexation.

Soon outgrowing the facility, the former Tigert church was razed and what was informally called Beno Hall was built.

1919 Directory showing Tigert Memorial at 503 N. Main.

1919 Directory showing Tigert Memorial at 503 N. Main.

Looking at the Tulsa City Directory over time, we can see that 501 (and 503) N. Main went through these changes.

1907-1921 Tigert Memorial M E Church (in the later years pastor was Rev. J. E. McConnell)

As a note, in 1920, Tigert ceased to be listed in main church directory, but was still listed at the street address. In 1921 Centenary Methodist was listed at being 1160 N Denver and organized in 1907, in 1922 Centenary was at 631 N Denver with the pastor, H.G. Cooke residing at 1160.

1922 Nothing listed at 501 or 503 N. Main.

Tulsa Benevolent Association listing in the 1923 Tulsa Directory.

Tulsa Benevolent Association listing in the 1923 Tulsa Directory.

1923-25. Tulsa Benevolent Assn is listed.

1926-7. TBA/Women of the Ku Klux Klan.

1928-1929 Women of the Ku Klux Klan/Miller E E./Ku Klux Klan.

Please note that E.E. Miller is in the 1928-1932 Klan Register held by Special Collections, McFarlin Library, The University of Tulsa. He is only listed for 1929, and no address is given.

His residence in the directory is Miller, Elmer E. (Daisy) 503 N Main. In the 1930 directory his residence is at 437c N. Main.

1930-6. The directory shows the address as Temple Baptist Church. (E.E. Miller).

1937. Central Church of the Nazarene

1938. The address changed to 505 N Main. Central Church of the Nazarene

1939. The addresses are listed as vacant.

1940. 501 Dixon Wm Restr, 505 vacant
1941. 501. The Moana nightclub. Chas C Goltry, mgr
1942. 501. The Moana roller skating. Chas C Goltry, mgr
1943. 501. The Moana roller skating. Chas C Goltry, mgr. Barton, Benj.
1944. 501 The Moana Skating Rink.
1946. Vacant
1947-8. 501. American Hardwood co. Lumber

A detail from Construction of Building 600 N. Main showing the north side of the former hall. Beryl Ford #D7271.

A detail from Construction of Building 600 N. Main showing the north side of the former hall. Beryl Ford #D7271.

North up Main, the Eveangelistic Temple in the distance. Cropped from Beryl Ford #A1884

North up Main, the Eveangelistic Temple in the distance. Cropped from Beryl Ford #A1884

1949-76. Evangelistic Temple.
1977-78 listed as vacant.

Simple enough.

The Sanborn maps show the address as being Block 12, Lot 4.

Block 12, Tulsa. Showing the corner of Main and Easton.

Block 12, Tulsa. Showing the corner of Main and Easton.

Block 12, Tulsa. Showing the corner of Main and Easton.

Block 12, Tulsa. Showing the corner of Main and Easton.

Block 12, Tulsa. Showing the corner of Main and Easton.

Block 12, Tulsa. Showing the corner of Main and Easton.

Looking into the County Records, Block 12 Lot 4

We follow this trail.

Block 12 in the Tulsa County Clerks records for 1902-1907.

Block 12 in the Tulsa County Clerks records for 1902-1907.

Creek Nation – D. A. Storm par Lot 3,4. 11-03-02
D.A. Storm er ux – O. M. Ellis, et. al. wd Lot 3,4. 9-30-03
Ellis, Ora M. th – Ezzell, Frank L. E. wd Lot 3,4. 7-12-06

{this is approximately the period that Tigert Memorial Methodist Church was established }

Ezzell, Frank L. E. –Ellis, Ora, et al. mg Lot 3,4. 7-12-06
Duncan, Otto – Ellis, Ora M ½ Lot 3,4. 7-13-06
Ellis Dudley — Ezzell, Frank L. E. rel Lot 3,4. 3-13-07
Ezzell, Frank L.E. – Union Trust Co. mg Lot 3,4. 3-13-07
Union Trust Co. – Ezzell Frank L. E. rel Lot 3,4. 11-15-07

Block 12 in the Tulsa County Clerks records for 1909-1911.

Block 12 in the Tulsa County Clerks records for 1909-1911.

Ezzell, Frank R.E.—Ezzell Franklin M. wd Lot 3,4. [n.d.]
Do. –Ezzell W.B. and L.E. wd Lot 3,4. [n.d.]
Do.—Union Trust Co. mtg Lot 3,4. 2-19-09
Ezzell, F. L. – do mtg Lot 4. [n.d.]
Ezzell Frank – City of Tulsa [assian] Lot 4. 12-15-10
Ezzell, Frank L.E. – Denning Inv Co. mtg Lot 3,4. 2-15-11
Do. – Dunaway, W. E. mtg. Lot 3,4. 2-15-11
Union Trust Co. – Ezzell, Frank L. E. rel Lot 3,4. 2-21-11
Ezzell, Frank L. E. – Hammett A. Miller gwd Lot 3,4. 4-19-11
Hammett A. Miller – Simmons, G. C. gwd Lot 3,4. 9-29-11

Block 12 in the Tulsa County Clerks records for 1912-1918.

Block 12 in the Tulsa County Clerks records for 1912-1918.

Union Trust Co. – Ezzell Frank, L.E. et ux rel/mtg Lot 4. 1-21-13
Ezzell, Frank L.E. – DillingerTA mtg Lot 4. 2-3-13
Ezzell, Frank L.E. et ux – Bardon R.V. mtg Lot 3,4. 6-17-14
Dillinger, TA – Ezzell, Frank L.E. geo Lot 3,4. 6-18-14
Ezzell, Frank L.E. – Bailey Earl D. wd Lot 4. 6-19-14
Do. Et ux – Harrison, M.A. wd Lot 3,4. 8-14-14
Bailey, Earl D. – Short, Ellis. Wd Lot 4. 4-6-15
Denning Invest Co – Ezzell, Frank, L.E. et ux rel/mtg Lot 3,4. 1-31-16
Short, Ellis – Magee, Percival B. wd Lot 4. 1-31-16
Bardon RV – Ezzell, Frank L.E. rel, mtg Lot 3,4. 6-13-16
Harrison, M.A. – Daly , J. J. mtg. Lot 3,4. 6-13-16
Dritch, Abe etal. – Harrison, M.A mtg. Lot 3,4 . 12-1-17
Stekoll, A. et al. – Citizen’s State Bank. Mtg. Lot 4. 1-29-18
McGer, C.R.—Dritch , Abe. Actor Lot 3,4. 1-29-18
Harrison, M.A. – Dritch Abe et al. rel/mtg Lot 3,4. 12-18-18

Block 12 in the Tulsa County Clerks records for 1919-1924.

Block 12 in the Tulsa County Clerks records for 1919-1924.

Bailey, Earle D. et ux — do. GCO Lot 4. 1-30-19
Magee, P. B. et ux – do. GCO Lot 4. 1-30-19
Short Ellis, et ux. – do. GCO Lot 4. 1-30-19
Citizens State Bank – Stekoll, A. et al. rel, mtg Lot 4. 1-31-19
Stekoll, A et ux.—Morrison, Lee wd Lot 3,4. 6-10-19
Harrison, M. A. etux – Dritch, Abe wd Lot 3,4. 6-10-19
Daly, J.J. – Harrison, M.A. rel,mtg Lot 3,4. 6-15-19
Dritch, Abe—Security State Bank mtg Lot 4. 8-21-19
Morrison, Lee—Stekal, R. A. wd Lot 3,4. 10-25-19
Simmons, Jean C.—Standard Sav&Loan mtg. Lot 3,4. 2-9-20
Dunaway, W.E.—Ezzell, Frank L.E. rel, mtg Lot 3,4. 3-3-20
County Court—McLaughlin, H.B. Admin order Lot 3,4. 11-15-20
Security State Bank—Dritch, Abe & wf rel,mtg Lot 3,4. 8-27-21
Dritch, Abe & wf—Security State Bank mtg Lot 3,4. 8-27-21
Simmons, Jean C.—Tulsa Realty Inves & Co. wd Lot 3,4. 10-14-21
Georgia State Loan—Dritch, Abe w+A Stekoll rel,mtg Lot 4. 11-29-21
Dritch, Abe & wf—Security National Bank mtg. Lot 3,4. 3-31-22
Dritch, Abe—do. mtg Lot 3,4. 3-7-23
Do.—A.Freed [conh] Lot 3,4. 1-15-24
Security Natl Bank—Abe Dritch & w rel Lot 3,4. 11-15-24
Do.—do. rel Lot 3,4. 11-15-24
Do.—do. rel Lot 3,4. 11-15-24
Abe Dritch et al—[S.C.] Singer wd Lot 3,4. 11-15-24

Note that the page at this point is damaged. The demolition of the old Church and the construction of the Klavern began in by 1923.

This would suggest that the land at the time of construction was owned Abe Dritch.  An interesting detail, Abe Dritch (1883-1959) is buried in Rose Hill Memorial Park (Plot: Section Jewish (18) L-33 #17).

Block 12 in the Tulsa County Clerks records for 1925-1941.

Block 12 in the Tulsa County Clerks records for 1925-1941.

Standard Savings and Loan – Simmons, Jean W. rel,mtg Lot 3,4. 3-30-25
Tulsa Realty Inves & Co. –Exchange Trust Co. mtg Lot 3,4. 3-30-25
State of Okla. By Cty Treas—Tulsa County. Resale tax deed Lot 4. 3-28-38
State of Okla. By Cty Treas—Tulsa County. Resale tax deed Lot 4. 3-28-38
Tulsa County—Jones, M.K. [repart] sale Lot 4. 11-9-40
Tulsa County—Jones, M.K. county deed Lot 4. 11-9-40
State of Oklahoma—Tulsa County resale deed Lot 3,4. 8-28-40
Tulsa County—Radke, Valentine [repart] sale Lot 3,4. 8-28-40

Block 12 in the Tulsa County Clerks records for 1942-1967.

Block 12 in the Tulsa County Clerks records for 1942-1967.

Jones, M.K. & J.R.—Singer, S.J. gcd Lot 4. 3-5-42
County Com. Tulsa – Radke, Valentine resale deed Lot 3,4. 10-12-42
Groves, W.E. – Radke, Valentine gcd Lot 3,4. 9-23-43
Wilburn, G.G. single– Radke, Valentine mtg Lot 3,4. 7-29-44
Radke, Valentine single—Wilburn, G.G. single wg Lot 3,4. 7-29-44
Do.—McConnell, J.B. assur mtg Lot 3,4. 9-1-44
McConnell, J.B.—Wilburn, G.G. rel Lot 3,4. 2-7-45
County Court—First Natl Bank & L.G. Invests decree Lot 3,4. 2-12-45
Wilburn G. C. & Cassie—State of Okla. w.d. Lot 3,4. 2-8-66
County Court of Tulsa—Singer, Joseph B. decree Lot 3,4. 7-8-66
Singer S.J et al—State of Okla. wd Lot 3,4. 8-31-66
Singer S.J et al—State of Okla. wd Lot 4. 8-31-66
Singer S.J et al—State of Okla. wd Lot 3,4. 10-2-67

 

 

 

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