During the mid-1940’s, Mrs. Tookes saw the need for a Hotel within the African-American community. With this, and as an innovator, Mrs. Tookes, along with her husband, James in 1948, turned their home into Tookes Hotel, therefore distinguishing her business as the only hotel in Leon County that would allow lodging to African-Americans until the early 1970’s. She received such distinguished guests as Entertainer James Brown; Writer James Baldwin; Singer Lou Rawls; and Composer Duke Ellington. As a pioneer businesswoman, Mrs. Tookes was the owner and operator of The Hot Spot Restaurant, worked as a nurse for at the Florida A&M University Hospital and served as an Assistant Manager with the Atlanta Life Insurance Company. She also served as President of the Gadsden County chapter of the Florida A&M University National Alumni Association. She ran her hotel, at 412 West Virginia Street in Tallahassee until her death in 1988 and was a member Saint Mary’s Primitive Baptist Church under the tutelage of the late Reverend R.N. Gooden. She was the mother of the late James Tookes and Delores Tookes McCoy.
In 1992, Mrs. Tookes received a resolution, posthumously, from the City of Tallahassee recognizing her outstanding service to the Tallahassee community during and after the turbulent segregation era for nearly five decades. In 2000, the Tookes Hotel at 412 West Virginia Street in Tallahassee was added to the National Register of Historic Places.