Built in 1910 for the eight-year-old men's club, the Toltec Club building was once the address where El Paso’s business and political decisions and debates and glitzy socializing took place. The membership list of the club read like a “who’s who” of El Paso society. Some of the most prominent members included Joseph Magoffin, founder of the first bank in El Paso and civic leader; Henry C. Trost, the Southwest’s foremost architect; and W. W. Turney. Guests included President Roosevelt, Porfirio Diaz and General John J. Pershing.
The Toltec Club was founded in 1902 and originally occupied the second and third floors of a three-story red brick building on Texas Ave., opposite the Popular Dry Goods Co. On the first floor there was a saloon, which offered free lunches and all kinds of drinks, including nickel beers. The best whisky was 15 cents a glass and the customer poured his own. Annual dues were very expensive: $50 for residents and $25 for non-resident members. There were 14 rooms on the third floor that were rented to bachelor members. Social affairs at the Toltec Club were sparkling and brilliant, particularly the annual banquets. Food, most of it imported, along with champagne and fancy liqueurs, were popular items.
April 30th, 2016
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