The Franklin Hotel
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Mangum 99

Haslet, TX

#21 Jun 4, 2013
In 1927, while attending a convention in Alva, Oklahoma, a prominent Mangum resident, Ralph Helper, stayed in the “first class” Bell Hotel that had opened in January 1922. Thoroughly impressed by the convenience of the appointments and knowing Mangum’s need for a new modern hotel, upon returning home, Helper spoke with Chamber of Commerce president, Guy Brooks. The dream for the “finest hotel in Western Oklahoma” for Mangum was born! Brooks, a civic-minded, aggressive and forward-looking person, donated $10,000 of his own money and convinced sixty-six investors to form the Mangum Hotel Company. The stock company sold 1,500 shares at $100 each and secured financing from the Exchange National Bank of Tulsa, Oklahoma for $80,000 equaling an impressive $240,000! Layton Hicks and Forsyth, a noted architectural firm from Oklahoma City, was chosen to design a modern hotel for Mangum and Greer County.

McMillan and Shelton, contractors from Enid, Oklahoma, were hired to build the facility and construction started on November 13, 1928. The building was to feature a concrete frame, floor and roof system, the brick veneer walls covered hollow clay tile curtain walls and was classified as fire-proof. Robert E. Durkee, who managed the Bell Hotel in Alva, obtained the lease on the Franklin shortly after the Mangum Hotel Company started work on the venture. Descending from a long line of hotel operators, Durkee named the Franklin in honor of his recently deceased father. Building size was 51 by 112 feet, approximately 30,000 sq. ft., with five stories and a basement. Taking the place of a mezzanine floor which is necessary to a metropolitan hotel, a ladies lounge and writing room was located on the second floor. There were seventy guest rooms, ten rooms with full baths on the east with the exception of the ladies room on the second floor; eight rooms on the west had only a sink with a ladies and men’s toilet near the elevator and stairs. All of the room floors had a central hallway with single rooms on each side.
Mangum 99

Haslet, TX

#22 Jun 4, 2013
The ground floor was the most public space and decorative attention was lavished upon it. Stained birch wood trimmed the interior and bronze hardware elegantly decorated the woodwork. The focal point of the lobby was the check-in/porter’s area of the same dark wood which includes still today the original mail and key slots and switchboard. To the west of the check-in desk were two telephone booths next to the stairs and elevator, with the dining/ball room on the north end of the building. The coffee shop, on the west side, hosted fifty-eight people with gleaming marble of a pink-peach tint ornamenting the floors. A cigar stand joined the coffee shop with the foyer.

The 51 by 63 foot basement was the floor necessity containing the boiler room, which heated the entire hotel by steam. It also housed the tailor shop, laundry room and locker room for both male and female employees.

On August 15, 1929, the new Hotel Franklin opened. Fifty cars lined the Commerce Alley and Jefferson Streets which gave the Hotel a metropolitan atmosphere and the guests constituted the “Whose Who” of Mangum. Rooms with a bath cost $2.50 and without the bath,$1.75 per night. The formal opening was set for September 6 and 7 with a lavish banquet for the hotel stockholders. The town also had the honor of speaker, Sergeant Alvin C. York, Congressional Medal of Honor winner, dedicating the hotel and speaking to an audience of dignitaries, businessmen and hoteliers from across the state.

The Hotel Franklin stands out as an example of modern building construction and design from the late 1920’s. A citizen driven campaign to improve the prospect of the city resulted in the construction of a first class hotel designed by the state’s premier architectural firm. The modern design of the hotel, combining the newest engineering with the most fashionable style for a hotel building, sets it apart from the building stock of Mangum and surrounding communities. Its prominent location on the edge of downtown makes it a local landmark and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.

United States

#23 Jun 4, 2013
Thank you VERY much - hope all is well in the H-E-
B area!

Edmond, OK

#24 Jun 10, 2013
Little Johnny Propps


#25 Nov 6, 2013
I lived in Mangum from 1964 to 1971 and it was rumored to be haunted then as well as an old house about a half of mile east of the cemetary. as well as the house you might call the Johnson house. I'm not sure but I lived at I believe 212 North penn on the S W corner across the street from an old house across the street on the S E corner. The house we lived in was built in 1899 or 1900 I believe. I lived there when I was 4 till I was 11. I remember sneaking in that house when I might of been 8 or 9. It was all boarded up but i think there must of been a back door or window unlocked. It had a long center hallway that i atempted to go down but I was scared to death at such a young age. Halloween was always a scary time around that area back then. I've traveled all through OK. and have never ran across a town that can compare to the arcatectur of Mangums home and building The town square is very unique as well. One other dark secret about Mangum that I remember as a boy that they had 2 areas of town that Black Americans lived in and segregation and descrimination was at it hot times. If you want my opinion yes there is haunted places in Mangum.

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