Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. – Lincoln – Duncan -Holland -Rosewood & Spudder Park
Traditionally an African-American neighborhood, it has a rich history dating back to the 1880s. Unfortunately, much of the history is passed down through the generations with only oral history accounts. Numerous key leaders emerged from the Eastside and took their place in local and state history, including: Dr. Anne Roark, podiatrist, 1st black woman to operate a business downtown (1923); Dr. C.B. Fuller, 1st black physician with doctor-patient privileges to Wichita General Hospital (1948); and Charlye O. Farris, 1st black female attorney in Texas and Wichita Falls (1953)
Centrally Located within this neighborhood are Flood, Harding, and Tulsa Streets along with Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. (formerly Eastside Drive) and Spudder Field/Park. Spudder Field was established in 1919 and baseball mania came over Wichita Falls in 1920 with sold out crowds (8,635 people) cheering on the Spudders against Babe Ruth’s exhibition team. The franchise was later sold in 1932 and the City now utilizes the area for a community park.
In its heyday, Flood Street was the hub of activity on the Eastside with the Isis Theatre opening June 19th, 1947. Other key venues included the Roark Plaza Hotel and coffee shop, and the former Booker T. Washington high school, graduating its first class in 1924 (1st Colored School 1886). The school was a neighborhood focal point and under Principal A.E. Holland’s guidance (1922-1946) the school became Class A accredited. However, after school integration in 1969, the former Washington High School building was razed (1971) leaving only the former elementary school and cafeteria building used for alumni events through 2007. Desegregation forever changed the neighborhood bringing access to other venues throughout the city; many of these facilities closed and are only a memory today.