|City/Town: • Maud|
|Location Class: • Church • Commercial • Disappearing Town • Jail • Residential|
|Built: • April 16, 1896 | Abandoned: • N/A|
|Status: • Disappearing Town|
|Photojournalist: • Jennifer Burton • Leslie Flaming • Michael Schwarz • David Gaede • Eric Price|
Maud, OK is best known as the birthplace of Wanda Jackson, the queen of rockabilly. The town is located at the intersection of State Highways 59 and 9A, with its western half of the town located in Pottawatomie County and its eastern half in Seminole County. The town was established along the dividing line between Oklahoma and Indian territories and in 1890 a barbed-wire fence was built from the North Canadian River to the Canadian River through the middle of town to keep Indians out of Oklahoma Territory. However, the fence did not deter the illegal distribution of alcohol to the Indians.
On April 16, 1896, a post office was established and the town was named after Maud Sterns, a sister to the wives of the two owners of the first general store. Astronaut Leroy Gordon Cooper Jr. was the grandson of Philip Cooper and his wife Cora Sterns who were one of the owners of the store. A railroad depot built in 1903 serviced four passenger and eight freight trains daily on the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway (in 1923 the Oklahoma City, Ada and Atoka Railway). In a short time one general store, three dry good stores, two drug stores, one blacksmith, three cotton gins, and one funeral parlor were built. The first newspaper, the “Maud Monitor”, was published in February 1904. Maud was incorporated on July 21, 1905. By 1910 the population had reached 503.
In the early 1920’s, due to the discovery of oil, Maud became a boomtown with an estimated population of 10,000, and its business district doubled. However, by 1930 Maud’s population dwindled to 4,326. At the turn of the twenty-first century the Maud Historical Museum was located on East Main in the old Irby Drugstore, and the town had a population of 1,136.
Wanda Jean Jackson
In 1937 Wanda Jean Jackson was born in Maud. Her father Tom played piano in bar bands and worked whatever odd jobs he could find during the Depression. In 1941 he loaded up the family and headed for California and a better way of life. The family settled in Bakersfield. Wanda first learned to sing in a church gospel choir. Her father bought her her first guitar, gave her lessons, and encouraged her to play piano as well. In addition, he took her to see such acts as Tex Williams, Spade Cooley, and Bob Wills, which left a lasting impression on her young mind. Tom moved the family back to Oklahoma City when Wanda was 12 years old.
While attending high school in 1952, Wanda won a talent show at a local radio station. Her prize was a daily fifteen-minute radio program on KLPR. The program, soon upped to 30 minutes, lasted throughout Jackson’s high school years. Jackson began her professional career while still attending Capitol Hill High School in Oklahoma City after being discovered by Hank Thompson in 1954, who heard her singing on local station KLPR-AM and invited her to perform with his band, the Brazos Valley Boys. After graduating from high school, Jackson began to tour with her father as manager and chaperon. She often shared the bill with Elvis Presley, who encouraged Jackson to sing rockabilly. She was a cast member of ABC-TV’s Ozark Jubilee in Springfield, Missouri from 1955–1960, and in 1956 she signed with Capitol, recording a number of singles mixing country with rock and roll. “I Gotta Know” was released in 1956 & peaked at No. 15.
Maud Historical Museum (Irby Drug Store)
Built: 1928 Abandoned: Temporarily Closed
Maud Historical Museum is housed in the former Irby Drug Building. The drug store became a part of Main Street when it was constructed in 1928. It gets its name from the man who owned it, John Irby who was the Founder. One interesting story from 1947 regarding the Irby Building as reported in the Seminole Producer was, “An estimated $1,000 in jewelry was taken from the Irby Drug store in Maud today and O.L. Harvey’s filling station east of the city reported theft of money from a cigarette machine during the night.”
Around 1957 Robert Snelson became a partner with John Irby and they ran the store together. Irby Drug remained in business through 1972 when businesses in the small town struggled to stay afloat. The drug store’s original soda fountain and pharmacy are still intact, and most of the display cases are also from the original drug store. In more recent years the building was turned into the Maud Historical Museum which featured hundreds of artifacts relating to the history of the town. The many displays include surrounding communities, and consist of former school items, community organizations, former businesses and many clothing items from former Maud citizens. There is also a large display of Rock-a-Billy singer Wanda Jackson, who was born in Maud, along with separate displays of churches, schools, doctors and lawyers’ offices. All items in the museum have been donated or loaned by current and former Maud citizens.
First Baptist Church of Maud
Built: 1926 Abandoned: 2008
The First Baptist Church of Maud was closed and abandoned in 2008 after a leak in the roof. Having gone unnoticed it allowed black mold to spread throughout making the church toxic and uninhabitable. The option to clean and remove the mold plus replace the roof would have been far too expensive for the congregation. The inside was gutted and pews salvaged to gain back some money for the new church to be built. The new church is located at 801 N. Green St. and holds service for the Baptists of Maud.
Kib Warren (Knights) Funeral Home
Built: ~1933 Status: Under Renovation
Built around 1933 according to government insurance maps the Kib Warren Funeral Home became a part of the funeral competition in Maud. At the time Kib Warren had Ogee Funeral home to compete with and was arguably more favored as a funeral home. Nonetheless, it hosted services for numerous families over the next fifteen years.
In the 1940s a gentleman by the name of Alfred Leroy Knight had returned from serving in the U.S. Air Force. After his return he attended embalming school in Dallas Texas, he then returned to Oklahoma where he secured a job at Watts Funeral Home in Konowa. Al and his wife Betty along with their sons Tommy and Warren decided to move to Maud a year later and settle down.
In 1948 Al purchased the two-story Kib Warren Funeral Home using the second floor as their home and utilizing the first floor as Knight Funeral Home. Knight had big dreams for the funeral business in Maud and had already bought out one of his competitors. It was only a few years later that he bought out Ogee Bros. Funeral Home as well and consolidated the two making Knights the prime funeral home for Maud. They purchased the telephone building across the street and also utilized it for the funeral home often using it for storage. But by the mid-1950s it was necessary to build newer construction. Just across the street and completed in 1956 was the brand new Knights Funeral Home.
The building that formerly housed Knights and Kib Warren Funeral Homes was listed for sale shortly after. It was sold to Jim and Ola Roberts renovating it into what would be known as the Roberts Hotel and later Roberts Apartment House. It stayed apartments for the next few decades experiencing remodels in the 1980s and again in the 1990s to make the layout less hotel-like and more fit for apartments.
In 2021 locals were offered the property by the previous owner, “My husband knows the lady who previously owned it, and she just offered to sell it to us one day. I had no idea it used to be a funeral home, we just knew it was an apartment building.” They have taken on the massive project to renovate the two-story building, ” The process has been SLOW and expensive, it’s very outdated on the inside and vandalized from when it was broken into,” said one of the new owners. They have plans to make the second floor their home and the first floor into a mix of Airbnb suites and apartments with time.
Maud Masonic Lodge No. 106
Built: 1929 Abandoned: 1999
The Maud Masonic Lodge was constructed in 1929 as a massive and grand lodge. The building almost looks disproportionate to the rest of the town and one can only wonder what a building so big looked like back in the day. The cornerstone lists Rufus O Renfrew as the Grand Master and displays the Masons symbol.
Just a few years later the Maud Lodge was rewarded with an attendance banner with 58 members present. Whichever lodge with the best attendance records throughout the year would receive the reward, Konawa received the reward the year prior. Meetings were held in this building up until 1999 when the structural integrity of the building was found to not be in good standing. The old lodge was sold to a local citizen who used the building as storage and just a year or so later the back portion of the building collapsed.
Nothing could be found on the jail cell that sits on the corner of Main and Broadway Street. According to a former resident, the building is newer than 1954 because when they moved away from the town it did not stand. Some speculate it looks like it’s been removed from a different building. It is a small single cell jail made out of cement blocks and painted white. The heavy steel door looks to be almost new and ready for use to lock up any delinquents.
Sunset Estates of Maud
Built: Abandoned: 2006 Status: Restored
Sunset Estates was opened as a long term nursing facility in 1977 for medicaid and medicare patients only. There were 62 beds.
They provided many services to residents such as clinical laboratory services, dental services, dietary services, mental and social services and speech and language pathology. In 1997 a Pottawatomie county judge found Sunset Estates (medi-plex) not guilty in a case filed against the facility. The case concerned injuries a patient suffered when she fell from her bed in 1994. In 2002 they were cited with 4 deficiency violations by the state fire marshal concerning smoke alarms, sprinkler system, faulty electrical wiring in the attic and fire extinguisher certifications. By September of 2002 it had changed ownership four times. In 2006, the facility was unable to secure funding through the states medicaid program and was forced to close its doors. Maud Residential care 65 beds
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I’m not sure why you are calling Maud a ghost town, while we have quite a few abandoned properties and the town has declined in many ways it is by no means a ghost town or abandoned. We have open schools, post office and businesses; we have community events and a decent population considering all the other oil boom days communities in the area.
Definitely not a ghost town! 2 Kwik Stops, a weekly auction, a dollar general I worked at d.g for quiet awhile. (Lived out across from O Daniel’s Mud Disposal going toward Shawnee) and I heard a family dollar is going in also now. The nursing home now has mentally challenged people living there. Loved living there.
Wow a Dollar General. It’s practically Lower Manhattan!
Exactly not no ghost town. Maud is still alive.
Exactly is yes ghost town. Maud is bye bye.
The drug store that was in Maud, was originally operated by a Arthur William Tribbey. This was my Great Grandfather. Has the drugstore been converted into a museum? Also my Great Great Grandfather Alpheus Milton lived there off of Broadway. I have been able to find the obits on their deaths.
I lived in Maud from 1947 till 1955. Attended school from the 2nd grade until the end of the 8th grade when my father was transferred to West Texas. He worked for Mobil Oil Co. My mother was a beauty operator working for Mrs. Roberts at the beauty shop in the Roberts Hotel. I made many friends in Maud and am still friends with many of them today. Maud was a great place to live during that time. I will always have fond memories of living there.
Wow, Maud is full of memories for me, some good, some, well….. I am glad to see that some people are trying to keep it going! My grandparents (Gilbert "Sr." and Dorothy Crook lived there (ever since I can remember) after moving from Ray City. They sold beef to O-Daniel's grocery from their farm south of town. My father Gilbert "GM" Crook as well as my aunt Marvella Crook (Martin), uncle E.O. "Corkey" Martin and my brother Bruce Floyd graduated from Maud high. I went to high school in Maud 72 to 76. I graduated and couldn't wait to leave… Read more »
I work for a couple, Jim (91) and Sue (89). Jim has been gone most of his life from there but has a sister and step brother buried there
1925-1929 time frame
Baby Benny Smith <1924->1927,
Don't want to step on any toes, but who cares about the new bank? The old bank looks interesting, historic and very rare. New banks all look the same. There aren't very many left that look like Maud's original bank. Citizens of Maud, whatever you do, don't let the old bank disappear. If the structure fails, at least save the interior fixtures and furnishings and put it in a museum somewhere. Woodwork like that is almost priceless!
Maud Oklahoma has a Dollar General, and a new Family Dollar opening soon. Sure those old building s are no longer in use. But there isa brand new bank and schools still open. And people thriving there daily. Funny people call it a ghost town is not right by any means.
Jim (James) married Opal Sloan, Charles married Wilma Ledford, and William Married Opal Smyth. There was one Daughter Mary Lou who was not married.
Sorry for the double post but could not edit what I left out.
In your article you stated that there was one Blacksmith in Maude My Grandfather was a Blacksmith in Maude from 1923 until his Death in 1941. Does anyone know where the Blacksmith shop was located? His Name was Thomas Henry Freer. He had 3 boys that went to school there and they married people from there. Jim Charles, and William were their names. William’s Son Billy Jack is buried in Cummings as is Thomas Henry Freer .
My father, Maynard Wilbur McMeekin, drilled oil wells near Maud beginning in early 1927. He met my mother, Dolly Hamilton, at a watermelon stand in Wewoka. They married in 1928. Apparently there was no housing available in Maud and the newly weds lived on the edge of town in a tent with a board floor and board walls about five feet high. I was told the area of tents was referred to as "Rag Town." I was born in the Maud Hospital on the 28th of August, 1929. As a baby, I spent the first 18 months of my life… Read more »
I was told as a child growing up in st.Louis ok which is 5 miles west of Maud that where my home was had been an old tent city
would like to find some who is doinggeneology on the hathcock linr .green loyd is my great great uncle whose father is loyd green hathcock, green is buried in one of the cemetaries around maude. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org thanks ron hathcock
Hello friends, thank you for your work on the history and comments of a town That holds heart felt memories. My family and I moved to Maud by accident in 1954. Grew up there from the 1st grade through the 6th. My fathers family all grew up in Maud, Oklahoma. My grandparents were Carl and Ida Skeen. They had the plumbing company and also took care of the Cummings Cemetary. I remember all the families that owned the stores in downtown Maud. Seeing the pictures and reading some of the comments posted brings back so many memories. For me…. It… Read more »
Amen! Shirley Coward Bowder here. Was my home too. In fact my husband 's family the Crawfords are still there. We live in Ardmore. We come to see them. (overdue) But, Maud will always be our home.
Would your site be interested in a scan of the graduation class photos of class of 1947?
Yes would love to see pictures of the class that graduated from Hackleburg high I graduated in in 1947 and married Elvis Raper and moved to Mich, He has passed away and I am inOhio now with My daughter, email@example.com thanks
Does Maud still have records of Births and such from when it was incorporated? My grandfather, Elmer S. Graham was said to have been born in Maud, OK around 1905. Looking to see if there are any records of him or any other Graham's from that time. _
My father, uncle, grandfather and great-grandfather came to Maud from Denton, TX in 1928 to work on a "boarding house." My great-grandfather probably worked in the oil fields. Does anyone who lives in Maud know if there is a hotel or boarding house from 1928 still standing? I would love to see a photo.
No . my great grandmothers house was right by it. It is gone also
Do you know if it was the one that was where the police station is now?
Hello. I just found some old pictures and information that my mother had in a suitcase when she was doing some old family research. She was born in Maud in 1921 in a house on the NE corner of W Young and Hodges Streets. Her older brothers and sisters went to school just across the street. Her dad’s mother ran a boarding house/hotel located on Main Street where the police station is located now. I just talked to the chief of police there today and he said that it was interesting to know because they have strange things happen from… Read more »
I absolutely love old cities and this one brought tears to my eyes. I came to Oklahoma 7 years ago and I love everything about it but cities like Maud capture my heart. I see the pictures that you have taken and I see the reality but I also see what it once was. The hustle and bustle of full stores, people standing around talking amongst themselves, small city life where everyone knows each other and cares whether or not someone hurts. I do not know if the town was really that way or not but the beauty in those… Read more »
Patsy Hammett Bowen, My name, went to school in Maud………and attended the First Church of God all of my growing up years. I have often wondered about one of our high school teachers, Jean Pittsenbarger, her father was the pastor at the church. Anyone know please give shout out. Also Danny O'Daniel???????
Patsy, my name is Phyllis Loudermilk Hurst. My three brothers and I all attended Maud schools. You were dating David Hurst from Pleasant Grove, and when you broke up I started dating him. We married in 1958, and have been married 63 years now. We live in Huntsville, Texas and love it. I remember the Pitsenbarger’s, but do not know anything about them now. My brother, Amos Lee, still lives in Maud. My brother Billy Ray lives in Bartlesville and my youngest brother Tommy Joe lives in Mounds. Our parents, Herbert and Opal Loudermilk have been deceased about 13 years.
Patsy, my name is Phyllis Loudermilk Hurst. My three brothers and I all attended Maud schools. You were dating David Hurst from Pleasant Grove, and when you broke up I started dating him. We married in 1958, and have been married 63 years now. We live in Huntsville, Texas and love it. I remember the Pitsenbarger’s, but do not know anything about them now. My brother, Amos Lee, still lives in Maud. My brother Billy Ray lives in Bartlesville and my youngest brother Tommy Joe lives in Mounds. Our parents, Herbert and Opal Loudermilk have been deceased about 13 years.… Read more »
I was brought up in the country east of Maud. My brother Bill and I attended Maud High school. Happy to find this site. Is there any recent updates from the museum?
although I am only 15 I grew up in maud Oklahoma and some of my family members still live there or in the niehboring towns I am proud of were I grew up and will always that little town that I call home<3
It’s onerous to find educated individuals on this matter, but you sound like you already know what you’re speaking about! Thanks