PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: 580-490-6823
“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
A Glimpse Into The Past
In its first beginnings Ardmore streets had been laid out and given such unfamiliar names as Boone Street, Edwards Street, Minco Street, Springer Street, Court Street, Mill Street, Compress and Heming, Ledbetter and Chase and Jackson Street. A Street honoring Ardmore first mayor John Galt was misspelled on the 1890 map designating it as Gault Street. Apollo Street started at the railroad track and ran out of town on the west, paralleling Atkins, McNichols, Campbell & Noble. Flow and Chase Street hug the railroad tracks, with Daube Street crossing east Main just passed Fitch Street and Carter Avenue.
Generally speaking, names paid deference to merchants located on these streets though exceptions denoted location and types of business that flourished there. Court Street obviously was that address of the current Courthouse. Mill and Compress denoted activities of the cotton trade, Daube and Frensley Lee streets were named for early day merchants. Apollos Street honored Ardmore first mortician, J.S.B. Apollos. Deviating from the norm, Minco, which is now A Street Northwest, is a Choctaw word meaning chief.
Of those early designations, a few familiar names survive the change, Carter Avenue, Douglas Avenue, McLish, Frensley, Mill, Scott, Main and Broadway, and then, of course, there’s Caddo. Caddo having been rechristened “A Street NE” in an attempt to establish a degree of respectability for the notorious thoroughfare, Caddo it is and Caddo it will always be as long as there are Ardmore residents around to remember its checkered past.
-from the book Territory Town: The Ardmore Story by Sally M. Gray 2006
With the third biennial meeting of the Ku Klux Klan concluded, Dr. Hiram Evans, Emperor and Imperial Wizard, was given permission to maintain otherwise the living standard commensurate with the dignity of the klan. That includes his use of an expensive automobile and a small yacht owned by the organization which is now in Florida waters. “Boys, I’ve just been strutting my stuff,” said Dr. Evans, while explaining his extravagant lifestyle.
Howard Johnson, Sheriff of Carter County, resigned from that post and Jack Powledge, who was second in the last election, will succeed Johnson. Johnson resigned in order to assume new duties with the federal government. He attended a three-month leave of absence recently to attend the national Federal Bureau of Investigation school.
Notice of county commissioner meeting proceedings showed a $13,000 claim paid to Dover Hunter Hayes Elevator. The elevator was purchased early this year and Commissioners try to include its purchase in last year’s budget. State statues prevent spending from one year’s budget to pay for any purchase made the previous physical year. Commissioners had to rewrite the purchase order to reflect this year’s expenditure.
Ten women and two men were chosen to decide the guilt or innocent of Kenneth Wayne Denney, 48, in connection with an incident in which two people were shot. Injured on August 30, 1981, Cleo Voyles, 40, and Alton Pimberton, 42. The incident at Stiffie and Bill’s Hideaway club east of Wilson on Highway 70 was called a “barroom brawl” by defense attorney James Clark. Clark hinted that Denny will claim he acted in self-defense.
James Lindsey and I put in a lot of hours at the Carter County Courthouse over a 15 year period. He was Maintenance Supervisor and helped me whenever I called on him, like pulling 10s of thousands of feet of computer cables all over the courthouse. Anytime I needed some help James was always there, “Here, let me help you with that.” In 15 years I never heard a bad word uttered by him. We had lots of laughs and good times. I was honored to sandblast this paver with his name on it to go in the sidewalk in front of the courthouse with all the other employees who retired. He was loved by everyone, and will be missed. RIP.
Q. What did the Curtis Act do?
A. The Curtis Act of 1898 brought in changes to the Dawes Act of 1887 that intended to bring in the concept of individual land holdings. The Curtis Act amended the allotment process in the lands of the Five Civilized Tribes of Oklahoma: the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, Cherokee, and Seminole. This Act is named after Charles Curtis, principal author of the Act, and at that time a member of the House of Representatives. The Act is officially titled the “Act for the Protection of the People of Indian Territory”. This Act provides protection to the people of Indian territory. This Act helped to weaken and dissolve Indian Territory tribal governments by abolishing tribal courts and subjecting all persons in the territory to federal law. This Act also sanctioned the establishment of public schools.
Q. In what Oklahoma town can a person stand in 3 different states at once?
A. Answer in next week’s newsletter
Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..
Dear Butch, I don’t know whether you remember me or not, but I am Carole Gandy Pinches, who along with my husband, George, are the founders of the Wilson Historical Society and Museum. The Society was established in November 1998 and the Museum opened in November 2001. After spending some twenty-one years with the Society and Museum, we moved to Kansas City several months ago but we still are interested in preserving Wilson’s history.
A few weeks ago I noticed on Facebook that you had an article referring to Wilson’s history as it was written in a Carter County history book in 1957. Then I noticed the same article was included in The Wilson Post-Democrat of October 22, 2020.
It it not known specifically who researched or wrote the information on Wilson’s history in that book, but given the amount of time I have spent over the past fifteen years or so researching all of Wilson’s newspapers as well as papers in the surrounding area and other publications, it is apparent that some of the information included in that book is incorrect — specifically, that the town was incorporated in 1912 (the town was not founded until September 1913 and was actually incorporated in 1914 but the incorporation was not official until 1918 — due to a mistake by the Secretary of State’s office). Also, the town’s first officials elected immediately after the 1914 incorporation were Dr. D. E. Cantrell, Sr., J. R. Gauntt, W. H. Tennison and W. B. Troop as opposed to those listed. Lots were not sold until 1914 instead of 1912. Those are a few examples of incorrect information based on my in-depth research.
Consequently, I would suggest you might want to read the history of Wilson I wrote that was published last November entitled: Wilson, Oklahoma 1913 — 1939; Anatomy of an Oil Boom Town. This is a very comprehensive 640 page book that has had rave reviews from its readers. It includes some 500 enhanced pictures and is a professionally done book. The Museum has books for sale or they can be ordered on-line at http://wilsonhistoricalmuseum.org.
Personally, with your interest in history, I think you would enjoy spending some time with this book and also sharing with your readers some of the information included therein. If you wanted to promote the book on This And That, I’m sure the Museum would be happy for you to do so. The original price of the book was $90.00 but I have heard they may be running a special on it now through the holidays.
Thanks, Butch, for your interest in sharing Wilson’s history with the community; I would hope after you read my book you might want to share some of what you have read so that readers will have a more up-to-date story about the very early history of Wilson.
Carole Gandy Pinches
Below is from This and That newsletter archives of November 6, 2008
Across the street from the now Washington Theater next door to the old Ardmore High school was a filling station when we were kids. Bobby’s grandfather, owned the 3rd Ave NE and North Washington service station long before Bobby and I were born. Bobby sent me a couple of photos of the station he still has from his memories of Ardmore. In this first photo is Bob’s grandfather. J.C. Harris Sr (2nd from the right). Bob’s father, J.C. Harris Jr, owned and operated Harris Electric for many years here in Ardmore.
In this next photo taken in 1952 is Bill Harris beside Harris Gas Station.
I remember the gas station being torn down and a hamburger joint in its place years ago, then later a beauty salon, and today the building looks like an empty building. After the Harris’ sold the station it was operated by RT Tire Shop. Today RT’s Tire Shop is located at 11th and North Washington. More on RT’s Tire Shop later in this T&T.
And the next photo is Janet Schaffer as a child standing in front of the Harris Filling Station. In the background is a great picture of Ardmore High School.
This is a newspaper article from a 1948 issue of the Lawton newspaper. According to the writeup, outlaw Jessie James was found alive and living in Lawton long after the pubic thought he was dead. The newspaper is on public display at the Old Plantation Restaurant in Medicine Park, Oklahoma north of Lawton. I think the history experts have determined Jessie James was not the outlaw mentioned in the newspaper clipping, but his brother.
This photo is the first U.S. Federal Courthouse in Ardmore back before statehood, and before it was moved to B and West Main. It stood where the Hamburger Inn is located today. Next door (right side) on the north is the Wisnor Hotel. The Wisnor Hotel was a 50 room, 3 story, hotel named in honor of Benjamin Wisnor Carter, prominent Chickasaw Indian for whose family Carter County was named. Built in 1884, it was the first and finest establishment of its kind in Indian Territory. In 1903 the Carter-Booker Building was erected at this location and provided offices for the Cotton Exchange as well as independent cotton buyers. Extensive renovation adhered as closely as possible to the original appearance. Eight luxury apartments occupy the second floor with retail on street level. Ardmore’s city charter was granted by the federal court in accordance with the Curtis Act of 1898. The guidelines for incorporation were provided by the Manfields’ Digest of the Statutes of Arkansas. On August 8, 1911, the first apportionment of school funds from the state government was made. Carter County was sent $6,973.60 which amounted to about eighty cents per pupil. Ardmore public schools held their first high school graduation in 1903. Here is the first original US Federal Courthouse in Ardmore on the left and Wisnor Hotel on the right.
St Benedict’s Catholic Church in Shawnee is embarking on the task of re-vitalizing the old church bell. I will keep everyone posted here on the progress. What a magnificent bell.
A reader gave me an old framed picture with First National Bank of Marietta advertised on the photo. Its old, 1911, so its in pretty bad shape.
In the Mailbag below a Reader sent in some comments on the 1948 ambulance-truck accident mentioned last week in which Mrs Hale at Gene Autry was in the crash. Back in 2001 I interviewed Buck Hale and took pictures of his old saw mill at Gene Autry. Buck Hale has since passed on.
A Reader reminded me this week of the old smoke stack to the west of the Chickasaw Highrise Tower at G and West Broadway. Our discussion was about what purpose did this tall smoke stack serve? I thought it was part of the operation of Scotta’s Nursey but maybe the tower predates Scotta’s Flowers and Nursery?? I know before Scotta’s it was Woerz Florist as far back as the mid 1920s.
Just west of this tower a couple hundred yards is something you don’t see much of anymore. Its an old mechanics lift used to get under cars for repairs. You drove the car up the ramp and then the mechanic could get under it to work. I remember as a teen working at Kenneth Chandler’s gas station at East Main and D street. They had a lift. When cars needed an oil change, we drove it up on the ramp similar to this one, only smaller. I remember several times the person who drove their car up on it themselves, were not in the grooves, but instead on top of the grooved trough. You talk about a predicament. lol I was not allowed to drive the customer’s cars up on the ramp. Elmer “Goat” Elliot did that for me. The ramp in the pic below is much larger than the one I worked under in the 60s. I guess this one could be used for larger trucks. Probably the trucks used in Scotta’s Florist business.
Jill and I were in Davis last weekend and had to stop at Smoking Joe’s BBQ joint at the south edge of Davis. We chose the BBQ brisket and believe you me, it was so tender, moist and delicious. Cooked to perfection. They are closed on Sunday.
“I got your email address from the Oklahoma Carter County Genweb link for the Tom Cooper Farms on 12th NW. I cannot open the picture and was wondering if you have the picture and can email it to me. My father worked there in the 1940’s. Thank you very much for your help.” -C. Roland Earsomhttp://www.oklahomahistory.net/ttphotos8a/CooperFarms08.jpg
“Butch as I recall movie theaters in downtown Ardmore there was the Tivoli Main at B st; the Ritz, later the Park, between Kress and Duke & Ayers; the Paramount on the south side of main between Pedens and Strasmick Jewelers or thereabouts; the Globe on E. Main, the building next to the parking lot Main at Washington on N Side; and on east of that were two theaters one either the Navajo or Arapaho I remember an Indian Cutout on the Marquee and East of that was the Fox theater both in North side of Main between Caddo and Mill street. Then there was the Jewel Theater east of the Railroad Tracks on the N Side of Main street. As I recall someone in the family told me the theater in the Ardmoreite building, originally built by the Masonic Order; was called the Princess…not sure about that. Always enjoy you and your Readers rememberings about old Ardmore.”
“My mom has an old AHS 1913 Criterion. In a paragraph near the back it mentions someone named Ray Akers and that he “has given her (Oklahoma) the famous under-ground tunnels of the Criner Mountains.” I’m assuming this refers to what we now call the Criner Hills. Do you have an info on tunnels in the Criner Hills/Mountains? I did a quick internet search for Ray Akers and got nothing. My search for Criner Hills Tunnels turned up nothing but geological info about the area. I’m interested to see what anyone might know about this.”
33 G-Men and famous Oklahoma detectives http://historicalgmen.squarespace.com———————————————–
“I offer my opponents a bargain: if they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them.” –Adlai Stevenson, campaign speech, 1952
See everyone next week!
Butch and Jill Bridges
“Friends Make Life Worth Living”Lone Grove, Oklahoma
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