Russell L. Nichols
DAY 121 Russell L. Nichols photographed exclusively for the 100 Men Hall People Project (100MHPP).
I am the last man standing of the 100 Men. I joined the Hundred Members Debating Benevolent Association when I was 14 years old. I was inducted by my grandfather, Robert Holmes. I was young so the older people were doing dues and the chapter. In high school when I turned 17, I went to California, I went to stay with my uncle and then into the Marine Corp. I was here in ’82 because they gave me a check for $216 when it sold. I was surprised when they sold the business because I didn’t know why the children from the 100 Men weren’t in position to keep it. The older guys were dying out and there weren’t but a few when they sold it. I doubt if they had eight when it sold. No one had an interest like they did; they should have always kept the money in the savings to keep the taxes and all of it going on. I don’t know who was the president then. Coach Zeke Bradley and me were the only two that were left. Coach Bradley died a couple of years ago. After they paid the taxes and everything was squared away. There was little left to pay out. My grandmother, Eretta Benoit, promoted dances here. She brought people here that are listed on the wall, Etta James, Ernie K Doe, Joe Turner - she brought them here. I remember that and setting up for the functions. Then they’d have meeting in the kitchen and you pay your dues. I am the only one left. There was another Hall on Washington Street in the 400 block. It was the Odd Duck - it was a big hall.
(Photo by: Gus Bennett | The 100 Men Hall People Project)
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