The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Featured Story

November 17, 2012

Enid’s ‘grand old lady’

ENID, Okla. — Enid’s historic Convention Hall has seen the greats of its day, fallen into disrepair and faced the prospect of demolition, before being given a rebirth through Enid Renaissance Project.

In 1918, America was enmeshed in World War I, and residents of Enid and Garfield County sought a way to honor those who gave their lives for their country. Mayor M.C. Garber and two city commissioners, G.W. Pancoast and James W. Butts, proposed a bond issue to erect a building as a memorial. The following year, bonds were issued to construct a convention hall.

The city subsequently constructed a four-story structure that cost about $465,000, according to a story in the Enid News & Eagle by the late Bill Edson. It took two bond issues to build it, but near the end of Garber’s administration, the convention center was built. It had a seating capacity of 5,000, locally said to be the largest in Oklahoma.

The building featured spacious meeting rooms on all floors, but the main attraction was the main auditorium, with a seating capacity of 2,800. The cornerstone was laid by the Enid Masonic Lodge and bore the inscription “Dedicated to the memory of those who offered their services in the defense of our country.”

Edmund Frantz spoke at the dedication, saying in 1921: “We are at last to have a Convention Hall, a great auditorium, a place of assembly, a memorial building, if you please, reared on the foundation and dedicated to the memory of all the soldiers dead, and to the uses of all the soldiers and living of all the wars in which our nation has been engaged, since its stormy and glorious beginning.”

In 1924, the Frisco Employees Magazine wrote that after Convention Hall was constructed, other buildings followed in Enid, including a new Masonic Hall costing nearly $1 million, a fortune in those days.

“In fact, since the decision to build the hall, building took on an unprecedented impetus. Fine residences and business buildings are constantly going up in keeping with the business growth,” the magazine said.

Copies of the Frisco Employees Magazine story and Edson’s “Window on the Past” were provided by Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center in Enid.

Text Only
Featured Story
  • film_W.jpg What's 2 Do in Enid, area

    Check out the interactive ENE Events Calendar to see what's happening in Enid and Northwest Oklahoma and add your own event for free. Click HERE to sign up for free entertainment, sports, weather and news alerts.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • HCL Acid Spill_1_BV.jpg Up to 20,000 gallons of hydrochloric acid spilled near Hennessey

    A fracking-related hydrochloric acid spill southwest of Hennessey is possibly the biggest of its kind in the state, according to an Oklahoma Corporation Commission spokesman.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • Oklahoma Bombing Vide_Hass.jpg Man claims tampering in case over bombing videos

    Trentadue says the agency is refusing to release videos that show a second person was with Timothy McVeigh when he parked a truck outside the Oklahoma City federal building and detonated a bomb that killed 168 people. The government says McVeigh was alone.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • flood watch.tiff UPDATED: Garfield County under flash flood watch

    Rainfall chances start in earnest tonight, with an 80 percent chance after 2 a.m. that increases to 90 percent Wednesday and Wednesday night. Flooding in streets, ditches and low-lying areas could be possible.

    July 29, 2014 7 Photos

  • storm_W.jpg Storm victims face dilemma: accept loans or reject them

    The tornadoes, flooding and hail that struck Oklahoma last year left hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage, causing many home and business owners to seek help in the form of low-interest federal loans.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • Quilts_4_BH_W.jpg History of an art form

    Woven amongst the fabric, patterns and stitches in the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center’s newest special exhibit are stories of past generations.

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

  • Academy.jpg State prisons expand their reach to train new officers

    On a recent day, a class in the McAlester program was filled with the sounds of bodies thudding onto thick, rainbow-colored pads held together by duct tape, along with heavy breathing and tapping as cadets indicated they’d successfully been subdued.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • FortStillFacility.jpg FBI: No arrests yet in scam targeting migrant kids

    Con artists use private information about the children to contact their family members and demand payment for bogus processing and travel expenses needed to reunite the kids with their relatives. Families with migrants in Texas and Oklahoma have been targeted.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo 4 Stories

  • Child Tax Credit_Hass.jpg House votes to boost child tax credit for some

    With nearly all Republicans voting in favor and most Democrats opposed, the bill cleared the House by a vote of 237-173. The White House threatened to veto the bill, though the Democratic-controlled Senate is unlikely to pass it.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Oil-Covered Owls_1_JN.jpg Caretaker: One of 2 oil-covered owls has died

    Jean Neal and her husband, Jim, of Fairview, have been caring for the owls since Tuesday, July 22, 2014, when they received them from Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, which is investigating the incident and the death of several other birds found at a neglected oil field tank site.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

Featured Ads
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
NDN Video
Under Armour Launches Biggest Women's Campaign with Inspiring Ad NYPD chokehold death of Eric Garner was homicide: medical examiner Christina Aguilera Pulls a Demi Moore! Man with no arms throws first pitch Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Is Justin Bieber Dating a Model? Guardians of the Galaxy (Trailer) 'Sharknado 2:' Hottest Memes Surfing The Net Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2"
House Ads
Facebook