Heritage Association preparing for volunteer drive, birthday bash
The name Mattie Beal is synonymous with Lawton’s history and heritage. In the land lottery of 1901, Mattie Beal’s name was the second one drawn. The determined young woman from Wichita, Kansas chose a 160-acre patch of land just south of the Lawton townsite—and the rest is history. And it is history that the Lawton Heritage Association was created to help preserve.
The non-profit association was formed in 1973 with the stated purpose of fostering a love for local history, revering the memories of Oklahoma’s pioneers, promoting historic preservation and providing outlets for civic and social activities.
It was a year later, in 1974, that the association, with the help of Lawton’s citizens, raised the fund to purchase the deteriorating home of Mattie Beal, now located at the corner of Summit and 5th. The following year the home was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
These days, the Mattie Beal Home is open for tours and event rentals, and its upkeep falls to the tireless work of the associations many volunteers. This Thursday, the association will be hosting a volunteer recruitment party in an effort to bring in new volunteers.
Elizabeth James, Executive Committee Member and Treasurer for the association, said that volunteering is a very rewarding experience in its own right.