1916 – Late 1970s
The Leonard Hotel was built in 1916 by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Leitch. The two-story hotel was built to accommodate the oil field workers in and around Leonard, Oklahoma. MMr. Leith operated a drug and confectionary on the ground floor. Mrs. Leitch ran a family-style dining room on the ground floor, also.
Ada McCormick was cook and waitress. She began work in 1917. Gordon McCormick ran a barber shop across from the hotel. Mims Compton, who ran a casing crew, and Arch Allison, an oil field driller, were two of the first to board at the hotel.
Highway 64 was routed south of the railroad tracks in Leonard in 1923. The hotel was converted into rooms and apartments for rental at that time.
Mr. and Mrs. Leitch remained owners of the business until Mr. Leitch’s death in 1930. It was the custom of the day to sit with the dody of the deceased until burial. Roy Marshall and Ray Tinkel, who were teenagers, sat with the corpse of Mr. Leitch one night in the lobby of the hotel. It was a scary experience for two young boys.
Mrs. Leitch, then, married Arch Allison who sold the hotel to John Wilcox after Mrs. Leitch’s death. He lived in the hotel with his mother, Mrs. Wilcox.
They rented rooms to teachers at Leonard School including Vica Martin, who married Frank Ethridge, Gertrude Graves, who married Lee Randolph, and Mrs. Brazeal.
Other renters included Mr. and Mrs. Cheatham and son, Homer, Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Tinkel and family, Mr. and Mrs. Tillman Sanders and family, Ruie and Vada Walders, Mr. and Mrs. Mims and Janie Marshall Compton, and Robert, Roy and Charles Marshall.
John Wilcox sold the hotel to Vernon Booker who sold it to Dale Marshall. The hotel was destroyed by fire in the late 1970s.