During the 1920s, University Lodge No. 619 of the Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks of the World was active during the 1920s through the 1960s in Champaign-Urbana, as well as women’s Victory Temple No. 530. The last known address of the woman’s Lodge No. 530 was 39 Chester Street, east of the viaduct. The national organization began in 1898 in Cincinnati Ohio by two Pullman Porters. The search is still ongoing for the establishment in C-U, although there is some evidence that the Lodge sponsored the Colored Elks baseball team in the 1920s.
During the 1920s, Thomas Macklin, a World War I veteran of the 370th Infantry Regiment, owned a restaurant in the 100 block of First Street at Church and Park across from the old Beasley Hotel. He also owned several houses on the 100 block of Ells Avenue, and property “around town” that he rented to African American families.
During the 1920s, Arthur C. Merryfield opened a barbershop on University Avenue and moved to North First Street on the first floor of the African American Masonic building. As one of the longest running barbershops, it became a fixture on First Street.
Starting in the 1920s, Hattie Winfield, a trained opera singer, gave private voice lessons and had musical and cultural get-togethers through the 1950s.
During the 1920s, the first organized baseball teams in the Black community were commercial teams including the Colored Elks, the Colored Giants, and the Colored Reds.
October 29: Angeline Anderson McDermot (née Scott) died in the home of her daughter Clara Allen (née Anderson) at 811 West Clark Street in Urbana, IL. She was buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery. An obituary from the Champaign News-Gazette described her as, “Mrs. Angeline McDermott, Urbana’s oldest colored resident.”