Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Community News

February 10, 2014

Old hotel a special place for PV man — Imagine the surprise one longtime Pauls Valley resident got when he recently read about an honor of historic proportions for a place he fondly remembers from his childhood.

For many years Dr. Harry Millard served from the pulpit of a local church. Way before that he called Blackwell home in far northern Oklahoma near Ponca City.

What Millard learned by reading an article in the PV Democrat was the old Larkin Hotel in Blackwell, where his father once worked, was being added to the list of officially recognized historic places in Oklahoma.

“I thought wow,” Millard said with that eyebrow up look when asked about the honor for a hotel that still provides him with so many memories of his youth.

“I’m glad somebody recognized the value and uniqueness of the property.”

The news came from the Oklahoma State Historic Preservation office, which announced the Larkin Hotel is one of five new listings to the National Register of Historic Places.

The hotel, now in bad shape and in need of some tender loving care to survive as a building, is a place Millard knows all too well from his days of growing up in Blackwell.

Millard, now 79 years old, is retired after serving as the minister of the First Presbyterian Church in Pauls Valley from 1970 through 1999.

Graduating from high school in Blackwell back in 1953, he estimates Blackwell’s population was around 10,000 back in the 1940s and early ‘50s, as the hotel served as a kind of central hub, especially for weary travelers looking for a place to stop for the night.

The hotel has a special place in Millard’s heart because his father Frank worked there for 35 years.

“My father worked there as the night manager at the hotel,” Millard said. “He was the desk clerk, everything.”

He also remembers plenty of other things about the hotel where he and his family spent plenty of time.

“At one time it was a good looking hotel, especially in a town the size of Blackwell,” he said.

“It was a nice hotel with a restaurant right next door. It had a big ballroom with big chandeliers and nice leather chairs in the lobby. It was first class.

“It had a hand operated elevator and an old fashioned switchboard, the kind where you had to plug in the wires for the calls.

“My older sister took her first steps on the front desk of the hotel. I didn’t see that since it was before I came along.”

The Larkin Hotel was the first four-story building put up in Blackwell around 1923 or 1924. It also had the most modern convenience of hot and cold running water in each room, along with a telephone.

In recognition of the building’s significance and the precarious status due to it not being used, the Larkin Hotel was included on Oklahoma’s 2012 Most Endangered Properties list.

As for Millard, he also remembers how times were back then. Like many places of that era, hotels and even cities were completely segregated.

One thing common for him was to see rich, older women, traveling in very nice cars driven by African-American chauffeurs, stop for the night at the hotel.

“They would tell their chauffeur to sleep in the car,” Millard said.

“My father would later go out there and tell the chauffeur he had a place for them to sleep in the basement of the hotel without telling the woman or anyone else.”

Text Only
Community News
  • Financial fixes reversing errors of PVGH past

    One of the most challenging parts of Pauls Valley General Hospital’s turnaround has been not having proper protocols in place to ensure financial stability.

    July 28, 2014

  • Shuffle on for county offices

    A shuffling of office space for a trio of community service agencies could be on the way in a Garvin County building in Pauls Valley.

    July 25, 2014

  • Thumbs up for Maysville fire truck

    Revenues from a Garvin County tax will soon give Maysville’s fire department just what it needs to battle rural fires.

    July 22, 2014

  • Voter registration deadline coming up

    There’s still some time left for some Garvin County voters to get their registrations in order before a runoff election date next month.

    July 21, 2014

  • Getting ready for new school year

    It might be mid-July but activities are already starting to be scheduled in preparation for a new school term next month.

    July 15, 2014

  • Delta group has big birthday

    A community organization serving the Garvin County area is having a pretty big birthday, so it’s inviting the public to a get-together to celebrate.

    July 14, 2014

  • Deer bad for cycle

    A deer on the roadway proved to be a bad thing for a motorcycle and its two riders during an accident in far southwestern Garvin County.

    July 10, 2014

  • Storm aid could come back to PV

    Garvin County’s commissioners are hoping a governor’s declaration will come to help with costs from a severe storm ripping through the Pauls Valley area a month ago.

    July 9, 2014

  • Music trip has eye on cool cash

    The brainstorming for fundraising ideas has already begun as a Pauls Valley student hopes to raise enough money for the trip of a lifetime.

    July 8, 2014

  • Driver asleep at wheel, maybe

    Authorities believe a sleepy driver might have been the cause of a one-vehicle accident and an Elmore City woman’s injuries early Monday morning.

    July 2, 2014

Business Marquee

  • How You Want It When You Want It Today's Pauls Valley Democrat

    Now you can view and download the Democrat right to your desktop on the day the paper is published. Click here to get more information on the Democrat's e-Edition.





    e-mail request to

    April 20, 2011 1 Photo 1 Link

AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue