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     Historic Mattie Beal Home

Open Thursday - Sunday

12:00 to 3:00 p.m.

(Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and the month of January)


Historic Mattie Beal Home Celebrated Centennial Event 2009 - 2010




1923 Mattie Beal Home

Photograph by Jo Vickers

The Historic Mattie Beal Home

Built in 1907-1909

5th Street & Summit Avenue 

(1008 SW  5th Street)


The Mattie Beal
History Book
The Mattie Beal
Coloring Book
How to Schedule
weddings, receptions and  meetings

Once known as

"The Finest Home in Lawton."

    Your tour of the Mattie Beal Home will transport you back in time to the dynamic early years of the 20th century when both Oklahoma and the city of Lawton were born.  In 1901 a spunky, gregarious young Kansas woman, Mattie Beal, registered for the Oklahoma land lottery.  Mattie Beal was the second name drawn for the Lawton district from among over 164,000 registrants, and she won the right to claim a valuable 160-acre allotment, the land on which the home now sits.  She soon subdivided some of her land into affordable lots for new settlers and donated land for Beal Heights Presbyterian Church and a school, and seven acres of land for parks.  Mattie Beal became a beloved figure in Lawton for her philanthropy and civic spirit. 

    Due to her instantaneous fame and fortune, proposals of courtship and marriage poured in from across the country, but in 1902 Mattie married the owner of a local lumberyard, Charles Warren Payne.  In 1907 they started construction on Mattie’s dream home with Neoclassical Greek Revival style elements and Baroque ornamentation with a Mediterranean style roof.  Because of its size - 14 rooms, an attic and a basement - and its location on one of the highest spots in the city, the home reigned as the architectural highlight of early Lawton.

  Over the years the exterior terra cotta ornamentation began to deteriorate and tastes in architectural styles changed.  In 1923 the Paynes undertook a major remodeling of the home.  The exterior lines were simplified and design elements modified to reflect the popular architectural style now known as Art Deco. 

   For nearly 25 years the home was not only the residence of the Paynes and their three daughters, La Homa, Louisa and Martha Helen “Peggy”, but also a social center of Lawton where the Paynes often hosted parties in the ballroom and festivities on the grounds. 

   Many of the features of the home, especially in the interior, have remained unchanged.  The unique curved front entrance door, grand staircase, Italian marble mantel, and stained glass window depicting a scene from the Wichita Mountains still captivate visitors.

   Mattie died in 1931, and Charles Payne sold the home eight years later.  In response to housing shortages in the city during World War II and the Korean War, the home was divided into apartments.  By the 1970s the house had fallen victim to vandalism and neglect and faced the prospect of demolition.  In 1974 the Lawton Heritage Association purchased the home, began a series of efforts to restore it, and had it placed on the National Register of Historic Places.   Recently it has undergone an extensive refurbishing, and visitors can once again recapture the gaiety and optimism that filled the home over a hundred years ago.



Living History through Lawton’s Mattie Beal Home


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Students examine the vintage feather fan during tour.

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Polly Michener, LHA docent tells 4th graders about the beautiful window.


Living History through Lawton’s Mattie Beal Home

 A project co-sponsored


Lawton Heritage Association,

 Lawton Public Schools and Museum of the Great Plains

Funded in part by:

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A special thanks to:

 Cameron University Theater Department, LAHC  and Jackson's Laundry                                                

 Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program or publication do not necessarily represent those of OHC or NEH or other funders.  

Lawton Heritage Association’s latest project provides a unique experience for Lawton fourth graders.  Approximately 1,100 students learn about Lawton’s history in the classroom and then tour the Historic Mattie Beal Home.  The curriculum includes lesson plans, references, games and toys from the early 1900s, and an activity trunk with interesting objects.  When the students arrive at the historic home, they are greeted by Mattie Beal Payne who is portrayed by local actresses.  Mattie tells the young students about her experience in Lawton during those early years and participates in the tour. 

The program was developed by a partnership of the Lawton Heritage Association, Lawton Public Schools and the Museum of the Great Plains.  Additional funding was provided by grants from the Oklahoma Humanities Council and Lawton Arts and Humanities Council, City of Lawton, Oklahoma Arts Council, National Endowment for the Humanities, and National Endowment for the Arts.


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Emma Crowder, Margie Dees, Polly Michener and Norene Hamilton prepare for the arrival of 4th graders.

Margie Dees portrays her grandmother, Mattie Beal, during the tours.


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Eunice Porter, dressed in period costume, leads 4th grade tour group. 

Norene Hamilton at the right talks to several students.


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Heather Murr, Cameron University student, helps docents Norene Hamilton and Janey Scott prepare for tours.  Heather portrays Mattie Beal Payne during the tours telling about her experiences in early day Lawton. 


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Emma Crowder tells the story behind the painting in the ballroom.


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Minnette Page portrays Mattie’s friend.  She and docents are preparing for the arrival of the students.  Left to right: Emma Crowder, Betty Turner, Minnette Page, Polly Michener and Jana Brown.


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Students have a great time trying on the vintage hats

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What fun Mattie Beal must have had dressing up in these hats.


Oklahoma Centennial  1907-2007

The Historic Mattie Beal Home has been named an official 2007 Oklahoma Centennial Project for southwest Oklahoma.  After undergoing extensive rehabilitation in 2003-2005, the Home is again open for historical tours.  The exterior has been returned to its 1923 grandeur.  The interior is alive with colors of the art deco period and the grounds have been beautified with new period-appropriate landscaping.  In conjunction with Lawton's birthday in 2007 the date for the official Centennial celebration at the Mattie Beal Home was August 3 and 4. The living history performance, "Mattie's Place", was was co-sponsored by the City of Lawton and partial funding for the Centennial Tours throughout the year are funded by the City of Lawton, Lawton Arts and Humanities Council, Oklahoma Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts.   


Oklahoma Centennial '07


Mattie's Place

Dr. Lynn Musslewhite

            One hundred years ago Mattie Beal Payne and her husband, Charles Wilson Payne, stood on a height overlooking the booming new city of Lawton. The land around them belonged to Mattie who had won the right to claim it in the land lottery of 1901. The Paynes planned to build a beautiful mansion on this site, a showplace reflecting their dreams for this new society.  Now, a hundred years later, hundreds of visitors joined the Paynes and Mattie’s friend Florence Alling on the grounds of that mansion as they reminisced about the years gone by since the mansion was built.  Each of the three characters had a different point of view about those years, and although their stories intertwine, each gave the audience a fresh look at the frontier experience.

            “Mattie’s Place,” a dramatic production sponsored by the Lawton Heritage Association, was performed on the grounds of the Mattie Beal Home, 5th and Summit, on Friday, August 3rd at 6:30 and Saturday, August 4th at 2:00.  The reader’s theater costume drama, authored and directed by Dr. James Brock, was accompanied by music provided by Pro Musica.  Brock, who also wrote and directed the Lawton Centennial production, “Oklahoma Opening,” has become very fond of Mattie Beal.  “I want the audience to like Mattie Beal.  She was an intelligent, far-sighted, and civic-minded woman,” says Brock, “She was quite a gal.” 

            Brock, who spent time as an actor and dancer in New York, has encountered many gal and guy characters in his years as drama teacher, actor, dancer, choreographer, and author.  He taught for a number of years at Tomlinson Junior High School, and since his retirement has taught at Cameron University and continued to be active in the Lawton Community Theater.

            The Mattie Beal Home is open for tours at the times listed on this website.

Design Design

Centennial Celebration Photographs

by Charles Ellenbrook

Ralph Blodgett, former president of Lawton Heritage Association,   welcomes guests to "Mattie's Place", an Oklahoma Centennial Celebration.

Lawton Pro Musica provides music to "Mattie's Place", a dramatic production written and directed by Dr. James Brock.

"Mattie's Place" actors are Neil West as Charles, Teresa Jensen as Mattie and Melissa Horn as Mattie's friend Florence Alling.

The Lawton Pioneer Women assisted in tours after the production.  Here one pioneer descendant, Mary Lou Nance, is talking to Mattie Beal descendants, Granddaughter Marjorie C. Dees (center) and Great granddaughter Leah-Anne Janway on the right.

Marjorie Dees and Leah-Anne Janway during the tours after the performance.

Dr. James Brock, author and director of "Mattie's Place", discusses the successful performance with Dr. Ralph Blodgett, former president of Lawton Heritage Association.


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This page last updated on 03/14/09

Copyright © 2004-2007 ~ All Rights Reserved ~ Lawton Heritage Association
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