PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402
I think everyone enjoys a mystery. The following story was told to me by a northeast childhood friend of mine and took place not very far at all from my stomping grounds at 3rd and H Street NE. True or not true, I don’t know… you be the judge.
“Butch, this story took place in the late 1940’s or early 1950’s…it has been told to me by my mother many, many times – never changes. We lived in the NE part of Ardmore and one day when my Mom was out watering her flowers a neighbor from down the street stopped by. He asked her if she believed in “ghosts”, or “haunted places”. She told him that she had been told “ghost stories” all her life and even though she couldn’t prove it, believed that there were places which were haunted.
He told her that the reason he asked is that on a recent evening just about twilight, he was walking back home from town. He was walking on the sidewalk which was across the street from our house. There was a fence line that separated the two houses directly across the street, with the fencing supported by large pipes. Mr. “W” told my mother that just before he got to the corner fence-pipe which was by the street, a glowing yellow ball-shaped object floated out of the pipe and drifted straight in front of him, crossed the street, and went over to the abandoned well which was in the west side of our yard. He said that when the object got to the well, it seemed to go down into it and disappeared. He told my Mom that he had never experienced anything like that before and wondered if she had seen anything like that herself. She told him that she had lived there for quite some time and had never seen anything like he had just described. He also told her that there used to be a small house that sat right over the top of that well. It apparently was a one-room structure, and had a trap door in the floor which could be lifted allowing the occupant(s) to get water.
The story went that the man who lived there liked to play cards and gamble. One night he and another man got into an argument while playing a card game. Mr. W. said that he had been told that one man killed the other and dumped his body in the well. My family had also heard that same story years before. During the drought in the 1950’s, when everyone in town was having water wells dug so that they could water their lawn and trees, our dad cleaned out that old well, and put a cover and pump on it so he could water our garden, etc. He cleaned it out real good and discovered that the well was actually being fed by an underground spring and that at one time, it appeared that the course of the spring had changed and the well itself was not very reliable.
The point I am making from this is that my dad did not find any human skeletal remains when he cleaned out the well, so the story may have been just that – “a story”. Nevertheless, as a child, I always steered clear of the well, especially when it got close to sundown – always afraid of what I might see. As a matter of fact, even as an adult, I got an eerie feeling if I came close to the well after dark. Power of suggestion? Too many ghost stories in my head lingering from my childhood? Who knows! All I know is this, I don’t think you could pay me to camp out by the well…call me a coward if you want, but that’s the way I feel about the “old well”. Chalk this up as another Oklahoma ghost story.”
Here are photos I took of the above mentioned old water well and pipe in northeast Ardmore.
A couple days ago in a 24 hour period most of Oklahoma received a much need rain. South of Lone Grove our rain gauge recorded a little over 1 1/2 inches. We need more.
Widening of the right away on US Highway 70 through the town of Lone Grove has been started by the State Highway Department. All buildings on the south side will be moved back 25 – 30 feet to accommodate a 100 foot road bed.
A grinding crash between a Healdton school bus and an automobile late Friday night, left two men dead, but 6 grade school youngsters miraculously escaped with only minor cuts and bruises. The children were being transported to their homes near Oilton, when the bus collided with an automobile at a rural intersection.
Construction is due to start this month on raising the Mountain Lake Dam. Cost of the project which will provide additional water storage, will be $243,500. The current dam will be raised 10 feet.
Fred Hagler’s torch flame of an unknown man in the Arbuckle Mountains recalls the five persons who were mysteriously killed within a few miles of the latest slaying. The deaths had been given rise to the term of “Murder Mountains” for the Arbuckles.
Oklahoma Place Names,” by George Shirk, says Cornish, Oklahoma in western Carter County was a post office from July 10, 1891 to March 15, 1918. It was named for John H. Cornish, rancher.
You can find current gas prices for a particular Oklahoma town by entering the name or zip code in the GasBuddy search box.
My regime of Coconut Oil in my hot tea and coffee along with my Probiotic I have been taking everyday is working great. My blood pressure is really down since taking a teaspoon a day in my hot tea. Plus it has been working a miracle on my skin blemishes, etc. the past month.
I checked on a friend who had me install the Okie Power Saver in his new home behind Walmart a couple months ago. Here is his reply to my email to him this week:
“Butch, I am glad you asked, I am amazed at the lower weekly OG&E reports on the amount of electric used. Like around the $40 to $50 bills per week. About this time 2 years ago, I had a monthly bill for $365. Then I purchased an oil reservoir heater to warm my back bedroom and bathroom. Since then I have made a few adjustments. Mainly lowering & watching the thermostat. One thing to keep in mind this is an unusual warm winter so far. I am so very pleased.”
The Okie Power Saver takes difference of the watts you are being billed for, and what you are actually using, and recycles those watts. Several friends are finding out my Okie Power Saver is a great way to reduce that electric bill and save money year round.
Q. In what Oklahoma town did a tornado once picked up a house with a man and his wife still in it and set it back down in one piece?
A. Supposedly at Ponca City, Oklahoma although I could never verify a date.
Q. Where is the most generous, charitable, giving county in Oklahoma?
A. (answer in next week’s T&T)
From This and That newsletter archives of February 23, 2002:
I traveled west from I-35 and the Lake Murray Lodge exit to Rock Crossing. Rock Crossing has been a famous swimming hole since before statehood. And in the early part of the 1900s many people had their picnics there and also during revivals many people were baptized in that creek.
Just west of I-35 and the Lake Murray Lodge exit is McAlester Baptist Church. I can remember in the 60s and 70s when as many as 1,000 people attended All Night Gospel singings at the church grounds. This was a yearly event. Even though the church was a few hundred feet south into Love county, Sheriff Robert Denney sent me down there to help with security at several all night singings. It was a lot of fun and a lot of talent with so many groups performing.
I was just about to drive away from the McAlester Baptist church when I looked over to the north a 100 feet next to the fence line, and there was an old outhouse, still standing, but barely. Some of the walls had fallen down, and I guess the partition between the Ladies side and the Men’s side was gone. This is truly a piece of bygone days and few outhouse still exist in this part of the country.
A Reader sent me email this week saying she saw a pic of a man with curly hair and a guitar. She said she recognized the face and remembered him when she lived here in Ardmore years ago and she even owned the same pic on a postcard. But she couldn’t put a name with the face. She asked me if I remember the pic and who he was. Well, that was my dad, R.V. “Battleship” Bridges back around 1938 when he had a weekly radio broadcast here in Ardmore, a local musician who sang and played country music on his 30 minute broadcast over KVSO Radio.
Last week Judge Lee Card received new carpet in his courtroom on the third floor at the courthouse. And on Monday Scott Manufacturing Company from Ada, Oklahoma installed nine Red Oak pews, replacing the old movie theater type seats that had been in the courtroom since before 1970. Judge Shilling bought those movie theater seats used sometime before 1970. Scott Manufacturing of Ada has been making high quality church pew since 1957 when Reese Scott started the business. Besides church pews they make alters, chairs, pulpits and lecterns. Here are some pics I snapped of Scott employees Curt and Jody doing the installation.
“Hi Butch, I seem to remember that the shi water cans you mentioned carried the brand name “Shimaid” with a picture of a young lady on the side of the can. Thanks for sending T&T each week.” -Roy Miller
“Mr. Shi had a slogan which simply stated “Shi Maid” with a picture of a young girl (the way I remember it). I went to school in Ardmore with a girl by the name of Barbra Shi & I think she lives in Sulphur.”
“Just an idle thought– David Boren’s wife’s maiden name was Shi.”
“Butch, you bring back memories of the hot Oklahoma summers in the ’50s and ’60s hauling hay. That ice cold well water from a metal can was the best there ever was! The insulated plastic water jugs we have now can’t compare. I don’t want to haul hay like that again, but sometimes long for a cold drink of water from one of those tin cans.”
“Hi Butch! Always enjoy your T&T Newsletter. Someone mentioned tamales in the Feb. 16th issue, and this may not even be ‘newsworthy’ or of interest to anyone else but, had to be about 60 years ago, when my grandmother, Mrs. H. J. Dixon lived at 126 E. N.W., and my folks and I lived behind them in a small house, just a block west, must have been in the one hundred block of ‘F’ Street, I recall there was about a 4 room frame house that someone opened up the two front rooms of, and sold tamales. They had 4 tables with red/white checked ‘oilcloth’ table cloths on them. (There were no plastic back then), and they would serve you tamales by the dozen and that’s all they served, along with crackers and catsup and cokes. I still remember the smell of those tamales! They smelled almost as good as they tasted. You could eat there, or take them home and enjoy them, for about a quarter a dozen! Those were the days!” -Bob Taylor, Rocky Top Ranch, Urbana, Missouri
“Hi Butch, People keep coming up with names of places that I had forgotten about. Another restaurant on Highway 77 south of Ardmore was Carlton’s and on farther South was a “honky tonk” called the Alamo. There were two buildings alike and the North and South ends of the buildings resembled the front of the Alamo. Someone else mentioned a roundhouse. There was also a roundhouse in SE Ardmore. I think along C St. and maybe 4th. Somewhere in that area. When I moved to Ardmore in 1942 it was still in use and there was also a cotton gin nearby and another on South Washington owned by a Mr. Jones. Wasn’t Mrs. Jones a secretary at the high school? I think at that time Ardmore had three cotton gins. I don’t know where the other one was located. The cotton compress was in the 3 and 4 hundred block on S. Washington and there was a cotton field on the West side of the street.”
Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..“Butch, when I was a kid growing up in Davis, one could travel south of Davis about three miles and buy Pick’s Hot Tamales. Picks was situated in an old travelers bus somewhere on the west side of Hwy 77. Many folks would purchase a dozen tamales wrapped in old newspapers, and with a six pack of their favorite brew, they would find a shade tree to sit under, probably on the hood of their car, and eat those tamales made famous by Picks. Remembering the ’50s.” -Scott Bumgarner, Sherman, TX
“Butch, In this week’s newsletter you mentioned that you thought that Dickson may be the only Oklahoma town, except Okemah with Hot and Cold water towers. Bartlesville also has Hot and Cold water towers but they also have one labeled Warm. Maybe these are technically towers, more like water tanks, but maybe they will qualify. I am attaching a photo. These water towers sit on the south side of Bartlesville on Highway 75.” -Gerald
“Hi Butch, Another comment for better or worse — UK, been there, done that. Ref latest T&T “Do you not have roundabouts over there to help you through busy junctions” -Judith in the UK.
Yes Judith, we do. Out here in the colonies we call them ‘traffic circles’ & could use more of them but they take up a lot more real estate than crossroads, making their installation nigh impossible in developed areas.Here in Ardmore we have one in the making in Merrick road, west of Walmart It eliminates stopping, turning left or crossing traffic, you just go right around the circle & make a right turn, going to the left of where you were headed.” -Bob McCrory
“Dear Butch, It is so hard to find the right words to describe what Mary (Jones) Wilson meant to so many. I had the pleasure of meeting her in the 1930’s when we attended grade school at Graham. As it happens so many times, after you graduate, everyone goes different directions and you lose touch. One day, while my sister and I were visiting the Graham Cemetery, a man walked up and said, “My name is Billy Wilson”, and asked if we needed help. He said his Mother had the names and locations of everyone buried there. Said she had gone to school at Graham and her name was Mary Jones. I told him my name and said she and I had been friends all those years ago. He immediately pulled out his cell phone, and before I knew it, I was talking to this long ago friend. What a joy that was. Later on in the year, I spent the night with her. We talked way into the wee hours, sharing memories we each had forgotten. We began exchanging letters where she always included copies of articles concerning my family she found at the Wilson Museum. She even found a marriage certificate for my parents that I thought couldn’t be found. She was a picture of kindness and we are all blessed to have known her.
If there is a need for a history searching person in Heaven, then God certainly called the right person home.” -Elisabeth (Grisham) Spain, Tulsa, Oklahoma
“I had to send this to you. We have Hot, Warm and Cold water tanks here in Bartlesville. I also have a true story. A young woman came in to the water department here and said there had been a mistake made. She said that the city turned on the cold water to her house but didn’t turn on the hot water. The clerk was very patient in explaining to her how hot water is obtained.” -Mike Murphy
“Butch, back in the late 50s or early 60s there was a flood in Healdton at the curve at the entrance going into Healdton. Do you have any info on that or know where I might get a copy! There was a young girl that almost drown by the name of Wanda? I remember hearing about it but never saw the article?” -Mike
The Walnut Cemetery you’re asking about was on the north side of U.S. 7 going west pretty close to where I-35 is located now where the Treasure Island Casino is located just east of I-35 where you access 35 from 7 to go north. Hope this helps, there were 20 to 25 grave markers.”
Cemetery notes and/or description on Walnut Cemetery in Murray County:
From Dennis Muncrief’s description online at:
Lat: 34? 26′ 34″N, Lon: 97? 05′ 07″W
T1S R2E, NW? SW? Sec 27
“The location is on the Healy Brothers Ranch between Dougherty and Davis laying along the west side of a creek bank and is just south of the old Rayford Quarry. This Cemetery has not yet been explored or even located exactly. The general area is well known.”
About a dozen souls are said to be resting there.
RE the above: “Dennis and I did this one together. We went out with a shovel and metal detector, scoping the area. There are old information from folks about seeing a small cemetery in this area. But the area has flooded and been logged, plus a dam improved nearby. Any remains of a cemetery are long gone, I fear. I think there was a small cemetery at this location but this isn’t Walnut according to the notes.” -Candice
“I don’t know if you remember my asking about Walnut Cemetery several years back. You also kindly reprinted it a while back. Well, I got a new clue today in a box of things from a relative’s estate. John PRATER visited her grave in 1935, took pictures, and I believe his daughter Priscilla took notes. Much of the notes on Mary Ann COURTNEY’s gravesite are in shorthand (attached), but I understand it says it was in a field about 1 mile west of Davis. Mary Ann’s obit in the Davis News says she was buried at Walnut Cemetery 1911. When John PRATER visited her grave in 1935, this very small cemetery consisting of a few burials was on private property. I am hoping someone might remember a small burial location fitting this newly discovered description of 1 mile west of Davis. I figure this would put it close to the Washita River, but not sure which side. My dad told me stories about the river flooding, so if it was real close to the river, maybe that is why it can’t be found. My fingers are crossed that someone might recall something!”
“Butch, Thanks for all you have done to remember those lost on April 22, 1966. I did run across the website a few years ago. I should have made contact at that time.
I have attached the picture of my platoon at Fort Ord from March 1966. Terry Mayers and I were in the same platoon. He was sitting next to me when the plane crashed in the Arbuckle Mountains. I saw him once at the hospital at Ft. Sill when we were receiving treatments for our burns. They moved me to Ft. Sam Houston. Terry told me I was awake and hollering for help with him after the crash. I don’t remember any of that. I also attached photo identifying Terry and me. Several other last names in the photo match names of those who died, but without the first names, I don’t know for sure which ones were on the plane.
The doctor from Ardmore who sewed up my head wounds came and saw me at Ft. Sill. He said I was talking a lot when they brought me in. I don’t remember any of that either. My first memory is in the hospital at Ft. Sill. I did hear a few stories about the crash from other survivors who were at Ft. Sam Houston on the burn ward and later on the orthopedic ward. I would like to know much more.
I look forward to meeting you April 22nd when I visit the Airpark Memorial.” -Dennis Heins
“Chickasaw Choctaw Cherokee Creek, Ardmore High School can’t be beat!” -Cover of the 1915 Ardmore High School Criterion.
See everyone next week!
Butch and Jill Bridges
PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443
Vicious Dog Attacks in Oklahoma
Bells of Oklahoma
Carter County Courthouse Paver Project
Ardmore High School Criterions Online
Oklahoma Bells: http://www.OklahomaHistory.net/bellpage.html
Bill Hamm’s Cemetery Database
American Flyers Memorial Fund – Administration Webpage
Official American Flyers Memorial Website
Ardmore Army Air Field/Ardmore Air Force Base Website
Mirror Site of the Ardmore Army Air Field/Ardmore Air Force Website
Carter County Government Website
All previous issues of This & That can be found on my Website.
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