Looking back at the history of Oklahoma City’s Deep Deuce District and one man who helped build it

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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.- Oklahoma City's Deep Deuce District is home to some favorite stops and shops in the metro. A historical community that has been the central place for the jazz and blues scene in OKC. It has been home to many legendary musicians such as Charlie Christian, Dororthy Ellis and Jimmy Rushing to name a few. Deep Deuce was also one of the largest African-American neighborhoods in Oklahoma City.

"Deep Deuce was the Afro-American, black business district of OKC," said Mark Lyons.

Lyons is the great grandson of Daniel Lyons. Sydnes was a prominent entrepreneur in Oklahoma during the early twentieth century. Traveling from Texas during the Oklahoma Land Run, Sydney opened a grocery store in Guthrie while selling the hair product, 'Texas Wonder.' In 1909, he would discover there was a great economic opportunity in Oklahoma City.  "He moves to OKC and didn't open a grocery store. He sold nothing but East Indian Hair Growth which came from the product, Texas Wonder."

"To my recollection and from family stories, he was not affected by the depression. It did not affect him," Mark Lyons adds.

Sydney opened a shop on 310 Northeast Second Street selling hair care products, toiletries, and cosmetics. He also had investments in real estate and three oil well companies.

He led by such an example his children followed in his footsteps and opened Lyon's Cafe and Ruby's Bar and Grill.

Mark Lyons says "He pushed his kids to be entrepreneurs, own your own businesses; be your own boss. That was his motto? That was his own motto."Like all of the business of Deep Deuce during the forties and fifties, the Lyon's family sucess slowly

Like all of the business of Deep Deuce during the forties and fifties, the Lyon's family success slowly folded. Like the end of a vibrant night at Alridge Theater, all that remains is a distant memory of something that once was.

Sydney played a pivotal role in the creation of the Deep Deuce District. Although his house is the only thing remaining of his estate, Deep Duece will forever be a reminder of his legacy. His family no longer owns the homestead but it is a historical landmark.

 

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