December 11, 1901
Oklahoma Sandstorms, by Edson Smith, Jr.
Remember the “sandstorms” from the early days of Oklahoma? There was one special storm that came into Wirt when I was a kid. It came in from the Northwest. The Dourghty boy who lived across the road north of the Dundee school had spent the night with us. About 11:00 o’clock in the morning the sand storm began coming in. You could see it a long way off. It was rolling in and just huge. Mom got the car out and we drove the Dougherty boy home. It was 1 1/2 miles from our house to the Dundee school. The sand storm hit about the time we got the boy home. Mom had a brief conversation with Mr. & Mrs. Dourghty and then we started home. By the time we got to downtown Wirt by the post office, we could only see maybe 25 or 30 feet in front of us.
When we turned south on the crossroad at the bottom of the hill, we could only see the road ahead of us by 10 feet or so. It was the same when we turned east for the last quarter of a mile to get to the house. We had the car lights on all the way back from Dundee school. I think we passed 3 or 4 cars going west between downtown Wirt and Dundee school. We didn’t see any cars going the same direction we were going. It was almost as dark as night by the time we got home. Mom hung blankets over the two windows on the west side of the house. Dust still filtered through the edge of the windows leaving little piles of sand one the sills & floor.
Dad had a 5 inch break switch on the wall between the outside aerial and the radio. Dad usually left the switch open when it was not in use. When we got home, sparks were jumping the gap on the switch. Dad got home from the power unit about the same time we got back from taking the Dourghty boy home. Dad took a broom handle and knocked the aerial loose from the outside of the house and the end of the aerial wire fell to the ground. This grounded the aerial and stopped the sparks. The sand blowing against the aerial wire created static electricity; potentially dangerous.
There were other sandstorms over the years but this was the worst. Thus ends the sand storm memories. Around this time, the Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co was putting in a new high voltage line between Ardmore and Ringling. They had hung the lines between the towers. A worker was connecting some wire to the highline. He was between the highline wire and the tower. It shorted out through his body and the static electricity killed him. Someone had failed to properly ground the tower. This happened on a clear day in good weather. They said it was just the wind blowing on the wires that did it.” -Letter written by Edson Smith, Jr. to his brother Donald Smith. Submitted by Donald Smith
I was doing some research this week and discovered a city park named after my nextdoor neighbors back in the 70s. George Selvidge Jr. (and his wife Fern) was president of Peoples Federal Savings and Loan on West Broadway, following in his dad’s footsteps. They were the best neighbors a person could want for. On the Selvidge Park block, south end, is one lone marker. It tells about the Hargrove College located there before 1900 before it was destroyed by fire and another one built on Chickasaw Boulevard. The one on Chickasaw Blvd also was destroyed by fire.
1895 Hargrove College, a Methodist elementary and secondary boarding school is established. In 1917, it is renamed Carter Seminary.
Below is Hargrove College built on property on Chickasaw Blvd which would later become Carter Seminary.
Ardmore Hardy Sanitarium at Caddo and East Main in 1904.
The link below will give an up-to-date accounting of the donations received and spent so far. Just scroll to the bottom of the webpage.
I had a good morning today, connected an elderly couple with $17,719 of unclaimed money at the state treasures office in OKC. Her dad passed away 5 years ago here in Ardmore and she didn’t even know about the unclaimed money. I tried finding her online, and in last resort went to the house listed by the OKC treasurers office on McCullough Street SW. Low and behold the man’s daughter still lives there. Needless to say she was so happy when I left, and will be calling OKC to get a claim started.
Linda Presley Lathum here in Lone Grove has connected $47,187 of unclaimed money to people the PAST WEEK. They didn’t know there was money waiting on them to claim either. We’ve connected over $1.9 Million dollars the past 2 years with their owners.
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.
If you have Facebook, I created a new Page called Southern Oklahoma Unclaimed Insurance Money. The only Post that will go on that page are names and towns of people we are looking for with unclaimed money;
Q. The cleanest and clearest water in Oklahoma can be found at Blue Hole. Where is Blue Hole?
A. Blue Hole is 7 miles east of Salina, Oklahoma
Q. What animal bones were found at the Domebo site?
A. Answer in next week’s newsletter
Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..
Last week the last Learjet rolled off the assembly line in Wichita and an era ended. The first Lear flew in 1964. -Monroe
When was the last Learjet made?
The 3,000th Learjet was delivered in June 2017. In February 2021, Bombardier announced the end of production for all new Learjet aircraft in 2021, with the continuation of support and maintenance for aircraft currently in service.
My name is Ray and I’m an Editor at Happy DIY Home in New Zealand. I was doing research on types of ladybugs and just finished reading your wonderful piece: http://www.oklahomahistory.net/newsletters/TT632.htm
In that article, I noticed that you cited a solid resource that I’ve come across in the past: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coccinellidae
We just published an updated, comprehensive guide on types of ladybugs. It is completely free and you can find it here: https://happydiyhome.com/Types-of-Ladybugs/
P.O. Box 135, Whitianga 3510, New Zealand
Below is from This and That newsletter archives of April 8, 2010
The Daily Ardmoreite August 31, 1944: ARMADILLO KILLED AT PRAIRIE VALLEY. Armadillos are common in south Texas but rare in Southern Oklahoma and Mr. and Mrs. Wilson, Prairie Valley, were somewhat astonished to find one of the armor plated creatures causing a disturbance in their hen house on Tuesday night. They mistakenly thought it to be an opossum, which in dim artificial light it did resemble. They killed the animal and discovered their visitor was a rarity in this area. Occasionally the armadillo is found this far north but usually when he is found, he can be traced to some traveling show or other medium as his cause for the visit.
“Hi Butch, I finally made it over to Stockyard City here in OKC and took these images. Feel free to print whatever you want of these pictures.” -Cecil Elliott, OKC
Antelope Springs, Sulphur, Oklahoma
History Lovers Calendar
“Butch, Lorenzo Boyd’s wife’s name was Leslie. She was a dressmaker. She made many dresses for my mother Elizabeth Small Douglas, and some things for me also. She was quite a dressmaker as I remember. You could just show her a picture, and she could recreate it. A very talented, good lady.” -Judy Douglas Schimmel
Lorenz’s wife is LaVelle Swinney Boyd. Lorenz passed away in 2006. His father was not Dr. Boyd, but Lorenz O. Boyd. His mother was Virginia Fraley Boyd. Lorenz and LaVelle had two daughters, Lisbeth and Lanette. He authored a couple of children’s books, and I have a copy of one titled “Follow the Butterfly Stream.”
“Hi Butch – in regard to Dr. Boyd, he did have a son named Lorenz, son Dexter went to high school with me. If I remember correctly, Dr. Boyd did teach either his daughter or daughter-in-law the holistic method he used although I don’t think she ever became a “doctor.” Don’t know what happened, whether she continued, etc. Do you remember that he never had air conditioning in his home?” -Jo
“Does anyone know of the train wreck that happened on May 20, 1902 about 12 miles east of Ardmore on the Oklahoma Choctaw and Gulf railroad that killed at least 11 people and injured many more? I was raised 5 miles east of Ardmore and about 7 more miles would be around Mannsville-Simpson area, I think. The article said that the train plunged through the trestle. Common sense tells you that there are at least 3 things trestles are used for. 1. go over rivers. 2. go over creeks. 3 go over roads/deep ravins. When I was a boy there was such a trestle over the road that went southeast of Dickson to Durwood to Simpson. I think this was even before the “Tiny Chapel”. Near the home of Jud/Judge Hoffman, I can remember a rather high trestle/bridge over the road. It woud be interesting to determine exactly where the wreck happened. I don’t know if you know that the railroad formed a “Y” near Simpson with the northeast line going to Mannsville, Russett, Ravia, Tish, and on to McAlester. The east line went on to Madill, Durant and points east.”
The Western Oklahoma Railway built the line from Ardmore to Pittsburg (east of McAlester) in 1902. That same year the line was sold to the Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf, which also the same year was leased by the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific (the Rock Island). In 1938 the line was abandoned from Frisco Jct. (13.9 miles east of Ardmore) and the line from Ardmore to Frisco Jct. was leased to the St. Louis-San Francisco (the Frisco), which bought it in 1940.
The “east line” referred to in the text was a Frisco line, not Rock Island, and extended east from Durant into Arkansas. -Wes Leatherock
“As mentioned in the last T&T the track through East Ardmore did form a Y around the area of the Tiny Chapel. The NE track was the Rock Island Line from Ardmore to McAlester. The line that went SE was the Frisco which went from Ardmore, Oklahoma to Hope, Arkansas.
Both lines used the same track from the Y to Ardmore. An older cousin of mine said she and her mother rode the Frisco from Bennington, Ok to Ardmore when she was a young girl. The train took them to the Ringling Station on N. Washington St. That building has been the American Legion building for many years now. The Rock Island went to the West side of the current depot on Main St. You can see the Rock Island logo near the top of the building on the West side.
I would like to know about the train wreck that was mentioned since I am a train fan, and I don’t recall hearing about this wreck.” -James
“There has been much tragedy in my life; at least half of it actually happened.” -Mark Twain
See everyone next week!
Butch and Jill Bridges
“Friends Make Life Worth Living”Ardmore, Oklahoma
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