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Pythian Temple Building pamphlet

Identifier: AC-095

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of one pamphlet regarding raising funds to cover the debt held against the Pythian Temple Building in Birmingham, Alabama. The initial plan was to raise funds by receiving $1.00 per year from each member. The updated plan was to expect each member to purchase more than one bond. The information was written and shared by R. A. Blount, Grand Chancellor of the Knights of Pythias Grand Lodge of Alabama, circa 1918.


  • circa 1918

Conditions Governing Access

The materials from Appalachian State University Libraries' Special Collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The nature of these collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. As a result, the user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Conditions Governing Use

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the Appalachian State University assumes no responsibility.

Historical Note

According to, The Pythian Temple building was originally constructed in 1913 as the Penny Savings Bank, the first black-owned bank in Alabama. The bank closed in 1915 and the building was purchased by the Grand Lodge of the Knights of Pythias and renamed the Pythian Temple. It was later sold again to A. G. Gaston. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

According to, "In Birmingham, Alabama these Pythians became the cornerstone of an African American business community that included the first black-owned and operated bank in the state. They provided burial, life, and disability insurance for members and became a source of civic pride and racial solidarity. When their right to exist was challenged, they took the case to the Supreme Court in 1912 and won. This strategy would be used decades later in Brown v. Board of Education."


0.01 Linear Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased in 2017

Processing Information

Processed by Kim Sims, June 2022

Pythian Temple Building pamphlet
Kim Sims
June 2022
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository