Home of the This and That Newsletters

Vol 25  Issue 1,295 November 18, 2021

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

Email: butchbridges@oklahomahistory.net, 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

The Daily Ardmoreite
August 13, 1918
Steam Fire Engine Put Ardmore On Map
Back in a corner at the central fire station there sits an old time, horse-drawn fire engine. When motor equipment was installed in Ardmore, and horses no longer used to transport the machines, a short tongue was fitted to the old steamer so that it may be hooked onto a motor truck and taken to a fire.
The steamer throws 500 gallons of water a minute and works just as well today as it did when it was purchased. This steamer was one of the first if not the very first brought into Indian Territory.

The man who sold the steamer to the city came here to see it installed after it had been tested and accepted. There were a number of wells in the business section from which water was drawn. The salesman told the Ardmore officials that they were all right now, if they just had some kind of fire alarm. One of the officials stepped into the street, pulled his six-shooter and opened fire. In a flash the horses with the engine came dashing down the street, almost running over the man who had sold the engine. On his way back east the salesman repeated the story until it found its way into the newspapers and traveled. It was the story of the frontier fire alarm system and for many years Ardmore held the credit for originating it and its novelty kept the story alive.

1910 Buck Garrett, Police Chief, r 319 E NE
1910 Daniel Butcher, policeman 1122 B NW
1910 James Akers, County Sheriff r 814 N Washington
1910 City Hall #17 S. Washington
1910 County Jail 107 1st Avenue SE
1910 Chickasaw Telephone H.C. Potterf, President #15 A NW
1910 Stephen A Douglas
Ardmore Auto & Garage Co
Postmaster 21 N Washington
1910 Ardmore Sanitarium 123-125 E Main
1910 Brown & Bridgman Funeral Directors #19 N Washington
1910 The Ardmoreite 1-7 Broadway NW
1910 Excelsior Laundry #12 S Mill
1910 Gilmer Hotel W.F. Gilmer, Proprietor 221-223 W Main
1910 Hill Sanitarium for the cure of Drug and Liquor Habits
J. Stanley Hill Proprietor 315 E SE
1910 La Pictorial Theater M.B. Foster, Mgr 110 W Main
1910 Majestic Theatre, Amelia Hunter Proprietor 119 W Main
1910 105-107 West Main Potterf Building
1910 Memphis Coffin Company #21 D SW
1913 J.H. Peterman, Physician 713 3rd NE
1913 C.B. Taliaferro Undertaker at #26 N Washington

Still finding people in Oklahoma with unclaimed money. We’re now over the $1.7 Million dollars. Sometimes progress is slow locating people or their kin with unclaimed insurance money at the State Treasurers office in OKC but we keep moving forward.

How long has it been since you checked your name or a family member’s name? Its easy to do a search at the Oklahoma State Treasurer link below. I think every state in the union has a unclaimed property website through the respective state treasures website.
https://apps.ok.gov/unclaimed/

If you have Facebook, I created a new Page called Southern Oklahoma Unclaimed Insurance Money. The only Post that will go on that page is names and towns of people we are looking for with unclaimed money;

https://www.facebook.com/South-Central-Oklahoma-Unclaimed-Insurance-Money-114246471027358

Q.  To whom did the Free Homes Bill grant free homesteads?
A.  The Native Americans
https://statesymbolsusa.org/symbol-official-item/oklahoma/state-plant/indian-grass

Q.  Who established the first trading post in Oklahoma?
A.  Answer in next week’s newsletter

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

The 1960 photo of the old Cornish water well is of my maternal grandparents, JC and Effie Blackwell. I have the original photo -Susan Goldsmith Mertens
http://www.oklahomahistory.net/ttphotos9a/CornishWell_1960.jpg
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Q. Hello, I have been doing some research about my great great grandfather Moses E Harris. I came across your newsletter and it looks as if you have access to two books he wrote, do you know where I might be able to get a copy of them? Were they published books? Aside from your post, I can’t find any other information on them. I’d love to find out more, I hope to hear from you soon! -Laura

A. Laura, I do not have any of his books. What you saw on my website about Moses Harris is a recording by Betty Carroll (now deceased) who made a number of 1 minute radio recordings for the purpose of advertising by First National Bank of Ardmore years ago. Below is a link to one of Betty’s recordings and in it Betty mentions Moses Harris.

http://www.oklahomahistory.net/bettycarroll/BettyCarrollVol_1.mp3

The link will take you to all of the recordings Betty Carroll produced in the 1980s.

http://www.oklahomahistory.net/bettycarroll.html
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Below is from This and That newsletter archives of November 19, 2009

Jill and I were at Sulphur last Saturday and walked to the top of what long ago was called Lovers Leap by the locals in the Chickasaw National Recreation Area.  Its now known as Bromide Hill on the map below of the area.  I think it is a 1/2 mile walk from the bottom of Bromide Hill up a zigzag rock trail to the top and back down. Going up is taxing on the body, but walking down is a breeze.  And if a body is not up the walk, you can drive around on the back side of Bromide Hill, and walk a few feet to the lookout point.
http://www.oklahomahistory.net/ttphotos9a/LoversLeap111409.jpg
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The Wilson Post, Wilson, Oklahoma. February 29, 1968

Flying Saucers Here!

Flying saucers, UFOs or whatever you may call them, are back in the news this week. This time it didn’t happen in New Mexico, or Texas, but in southwest Healdton, right in our own backyard. The saucer looking apparatus was spotted on two different occasions, once last Wednesday night and again in the same vicinity on last Friday night near the Bill Claxton home, southwest of town near the Wirt community.  On Wednesday night the UFO was first discovered in the pasture area about two blocks from the Claxton home.

Mrs. Claxton said she accidentally spotted the brilliant light and in a few minutes it took off.  The light grew smaller as it disappeared in the sky. She related how she told her husband, Bill, about the strange object but she said he apparently didn’t think much about the idea.  On Friday night Mrs. Claxton told how her dogs barked and barked.  She decided to get up and see what was going on and as she was looking through a window the saucer like object swished through the sky at a very low altitude. She said it to almost touch the Roy Withers home.  The Withers’ are neighbors living only a small distance the from Claxton home.

She said she is almost certain it landed near the same location where she first spotted it on the previous Wednesday night.  Trees prevented her from seeing it again.  The next day they visited the spot where the UFO was throught to have been when it was first seen, but there were no visible signs of any landing on the ground.  Mrs. Claxton said the UFO had the appearance of a white round squash and was “full of brilliant lights”. She said she thought of calling the police or sheriff and then decided it would probably be gone by the time they arrived.

The Wilson Post, Wilson, Oklahoma. March 7, 1968

Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) are still reported flitting around in the Healdton air space. The latest report comes from a Healdton woman, Mrs. Robert Finley and her daughter, Lawan, who were “escorted” for almost a distance of five miles last Friday night by the object.  The two were enroute home after visiting some folks in the Ardmore Hospital. Just before they reached the turnoff near the Healdton “Y” on U.S. 70 Mrs. Finley notice a saucer looking object over the highway near the drive-in theater. It was going south, but all of a sudden the object circled around and started following the Finley vehicle as they started on the five mile road to Healdton going north.  This was around 11pm.

The flying object flew barely above the tree tops, said Mrs. Finley, always staying on the west side of the road.  There was a brilliant light that blinked sometimes, she said, and she could see the object was round. Mrs. Finley was driving the car and her daughter, Lawan, had time to keep close watch on the object.  “It definitely was not an airplane,” agreed Mrs. Finley.  “I don’t know what it was but it looked like a saucer flying through the air. I was driving pretty fast about that time, but soon as we reached the city limits it disappeared somewhere.” Mrs. Finley said she was scared to death. She didn’t know what would happen next.

A Reader took the photo below of a deer caught in a barbed wire fence near Gene Autry, Oklahoma where it died.  So sad.  Jill and I are animal lovers, and were sadden to see this terrible death of such a beautiful animal.
http://www.oklahomahistory.net/ttphotos9a/DeerInFenceNov09.jpg
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“Butch: This link is from the television section of the Prelinger Archives. Fourteen (14) Gene Autry Westerns that are public domain. You can watch them on the website or download them.”

Gene Autry Movie Downloads:

http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=mediatype%3Amovies%20AND%20collection%3Aclassic_tv%20AND%20subject%3A%22Gene%20Autry%22
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Thanksgiving Day will be here next week. We hope everyone enjoys the holiday with friends and family, and pauses to give thanks for all the blessings received the past year. I know Jill and I have so much we can be thankful for, a good warm home and place to live, good health, and the all the good friends we’ve made through the years with this newsletter. I wish we could sit down with everyone of you to a platter of turkey and dressing and all the trimmings but I know that is not possible. Nonetheless, our thoughts will be with you all Thanksgiving Day.

In the early 1600s, Dutch settlers brought the Netherlands folk hymns to the “New World” and they became a favorite in the colonies and today are still traditional hymns of Thanksgiving to God.

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges“Friends Make Life Worth Living”Ardmore, Oklahoma

http://www.OklahomaHistory.net

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Vicious Dog Attacks in Oklahoma
http://www.oklahomahistory.net/viciousdogs.html
Oklahoma Bells: http://www.OklahomaHistory.net/bellpage.html
Bill Hamm’s Cemetery Database
http://www.usgwarchives.net/ok/carter/cartercm.htm
American Flyers Memorial Fund – Administration Webpage
http://www.OklahomaHistory.net/crash66.html
Ardmore Army Air Field/Ardmore Air Force Website
http://www.OklahomaHistory.net/airbase/
Carter County Government Website
http://cartercountyok.us

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