Grand United Order of Odd Fellows Building
Social cooperation within the Frankfort African-American community was evident in the construction of the three-story, cut stone “Grand United Order of Odd Fellows Building” at the corner of Clinton and Washington Streets in the heart of “Craw.” Built and financed by African-Americans at the turn of the century, the building served as an important social, business, and recreational center for the black community. The building was razed along with houses, groceries, beer joints and the Mayo Underwood School during an urban renewal project in the late 1950s and 1960s.
The Bottom, or “Craw,” is remembered by African-Americans as a place where people looked out for each other, socialized and worshipped with one another and worked together to build a better life for their children. While the area had its share of gambling and vice it was also a place of love, neighborliness, friendships, hope and sorrow.
The Odd Fellows building, also remembered as the American Legion building, housed numerous black businesses and organizations such as the People’s Pharmacy, LaPalma Restaurant, Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance Company. It also served as a meeting place for several lodges including the Odd Fellows, the House of Ruth, Knights of Pythias, United Brothers of Friendship, and the military organization, Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) George W. Monroe Post, No 44. Black and gold were the school colors for the Mayo-Underwood School.