H.C. Price and other business leaders started the Boys Club in a vacant church at 301 S. Seminole to provide “guidance and worthwhile activities” for members of Mildred Haupt’s “Candlelighter Club”. Mrs. Haupt had welcomed west Bartlesville boys into her Johnstone Avenue home for several years for Bible study and character building programs.
The Boys Club of Bartlesville was incorporated as the first Boys Club in Oklahoma in January 1954. It received its national charter in November 1954. Jo Allyn Lowe was the first Executive Director and served until his death in 1975.
The Price Foundation, Phillips Petroleum, Cities Service, Masonic Lodge #284, National Zinc, Reda Pump and the Tyler Foundation underwrote the first year’s budget.
Several years later the Price Foundation acquired the land at 401 S. Seminole and Phillips and Price Foundations each contributed $75,000 to build the Club. Boys Club National Director John M. Gleason dedicated the facility on May 7, 1961.
In 1968 Phillips Petroleum Company executive H.E. “Ted” Lyon and his wife Melody donated $100,000 to double the size of the club to 20,000 square feet. The Lyon Foundation granted funds to air condition the 50 year-old gym in 2010.