Carter County Bells


Bells of Carter County, Oklahoma

updated 9/06/21

09/06/21 Ardmoreite Bryan Balfour received a new truck to drive for work. This was near the end of August, and a week later he mounted an air operated bell behind the cab.

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08/27/20 A picture of probably the most beautiful bronze bell in Carter County was sent to me last week. The bell was made by the Buckeye Bell Foundry in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1852 by G. W. Coffin.

George Coffin founded the Buckeye Bell Foundry in 1837 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The foundry created the most ornate bells ever made in the United States. During the Civil War, the foundry produced cannons to support the war effort.

Van Duzen was apprenticed to George Coffin and by 1865 he and his partner, Mr. Tift, bought the company from Mr. Coffin. Van Duzen changed the name from two words to one word, Vanduzen. The partners owned the company until 1894, when Vanduzen became the sole owner.

To improve the sound of the bell, Vanduzen changed the shape of the bell. Their bells had a unique mounting with a disc used to hold the bell to the yoke. The company had a warranty on bells weighing more than 120 pounds not to crack for 10 years from the date of sale.

This company has the distinction of having founded the largest bell ever cast in America and the largest bell mounted in a regular swinging church bell in the world. The exact weight of that bell was 27,390 pounds. With the mounting, the bell weighs about 35,000 pounds and hangs in the tower of St Francis de Salles Roman Catholic Church in Cincinnati, OH. I to think I was in Cincinnati last Fall and what I would have give to see that bell!

The bell factory closed its doors in the early 1950's.

Here are pictures of the recently acquired bell in Carter county. View 1  View 2

04/26/08  Nelda Keck of Woodford, Oklahoma (northern Carter county) stopped by last week to share a photo. Not just any old photo, but one she took a couple years ago of a bell in her yard. Nelda stepped out of her house at the foot of the Arbuckle Mountains her Glory B Ranch one evening back in December 2006 and looked west toward the setting sun, and there the bell, the U.S. flag, the pond, and the setting sun came together in the most beautiful display. She grabbed her camera, snapped a picture, and little did she know at the time, but the photograph taken that evening would received national recognition in 2007 by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in Washington DC. Keep in mind that this scene in her yard on Highway 53 West was not planned, or rehearsed, or waited for, it just happened that evening at that time. But just in a brief window of time, Nelda was fortunate enough to get a once-in-a-lifetime glimpse this beautiful scene, and she caught it on film.  It would soon be on a postcard and these 2 photos are the front and back of that postcard.   Photo  Front  Photo Back

These pictures were taken of the bell in July 2004 of the new Mt Pleasant Baptist Church southeast of Gene Autry, Oklahoma (eastern Carter county).
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This beautiful bell is located at the First Baptist Church in Dickson, Oklahoma.

The Bayou Bridge is between Lone Grove and Wilson on Highway 70, and this particular bell is back east from that bridge on the north side of the highway. The bell is on the Clifford and Connie King's property, and it sure looks nice with that flower bed around it!

I was over in my old stomping ground on 3rd NE in Ardmore, OK and just two blocks east of where I was raised up, I saw a surprise. At 1015 3rd NE they had a bell in their front yard! It's not an old bell but one of recent manufacture. I friend of mine bought one just like it brand new over at Durant along the highway a couple of years ago for about $30. But just because it's not an old bell, it's still a great bell to own, with a nice ring for cast iron.

South of Lone Grove, at Brock, Oklahoma is a nice little bell in front of the Brock Baptist Church.
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These bells are on top of the First Presbyterian Church in Ardmore.
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This bell is owned by George Featherston in Healdton, Oklahoma (south of town).
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Engine 1108 on display at the Hardy Murphy Coliseum and it has a bell!

North of Springer, Oklahoma is the Lasy S Ranch and there are two bells on that property. Photo number 1 and Photo number 2

I found this bell in Springer, Oklahoma. It's near the south end of Butler Street. They had another just like it in the back yard. You can see the bell behind that big black wash pot, one like my great grandmother, Ida Miller, made lye soap in when she lived across the street east from Washington Elementary school.

I've learned there is a bell in the belfry of the Springer, Oklahoma First Methodist Church too.... they ring it every Sunday morning! Got to see if I can get a pic of that one too!

For many years there has been a bell in the belfry of the Mary Niblack Baptist Church SE of Ardmore, but most church members had forgot the bell with the passage of time. About three years ago, a rope was attached to the bell, and its rung every Sunday morning since! Lee Evers let me get a pic of the grand old bell.... and it may be rusty but it is beautiful! The church bell was made in 1886!

Lee Evers lives out on Springdale Road and he has an old bell laying on the ground by his house. He hasn't had time to get it mounted yet, but he will. Its one of those bells made by C.S. Bell Company of Hillsboro, Ohio in the year 1889. The bell came from the old now non-existent Teller school located just over into Johnston county.

Just west of Harvey Road and McLain Road, SE of Ardmore, I found a house that has TWO bells! That's right, two bells. The house is located in an area of southeast Ardmore that used to be called Breezy Point 60 and more years ago. This of a pic of the bell in front of this house. and this is the bell on the west side of that house.

This bell is at a house located about 1/2 miles east of Highway 77 and Highway 53 north of Ardmore (going east toward the airpark).

Here is a pic of a bell out on Burns Road, SW of Ardmore. It's owner, Roscoe Campbell told me he obtained the bell in 1949 while working on an oil lease near Lindsey, Oklahoma. It's owner in 1949 was about 80 years old and told Mr. Campbell his mother called him with this bell when he was a kid. He said if Mr. Campbell would promise to keep the bell forever, he'd let him have the bell free! So to this day its in his front yard on Burns Road SW of Ardmore.

This bell is west of Lone Grove in the front yard of a house. The house is located west of Rabe Road and Highway 70 on the north side of the highway.

Here's a pic of a backyard bell at a house at 702 11th NW here in Ardmore.

At the south edge of Ardmore on Highway 77 is the old Jim Eskew Ranch. Eskew was a world renown trick roper and rider. This bell is at the guest house near the ranch home.

This bell is about one mile north of the Caddo Creek Bridge on Highway 77 north of Ardmore at the Rose Ranch.

A nice bell on 3rd NE in Ardmore just before you reach Mary Niblack Road.

This bell is just a little west of Myall and Brock Roads at Howard Rd and Myall. The bell is in Lone Grove city limits.

Here's another bell in the NW corner of Myall and Brock Roads in Lone Grove. Its way up the long drive.

This bell is about halfway between Highway 70 and Myall Road on Brock Road on the west side of the road. A nice bell in the Lone Grove city limits.

This bell is north of Lone Grove, Oklahoma on Newport Road almost 3/4 mile on the west side of the road.

I found this bell... right here in Ardmore, Oklahoma. It's in the front yard of 920 9th Southeast (just east of Lake Murray Drive). It's a beauty.

And here's a little bell on top of the Westgate Christian Center located between Ardmore and Lone Grove, Oklahoma. They ring that little bell every Sunday for services they told me.

Here's one of the Mt Zion Baptist Church bell here in Ardmore

Here's pic of the Gene Autry, OK 1st Methodist Church bell....

Here's the new Oak Hall School and its bell on Highway 142......

Course my fav is our 2,000 pound bell in the Carter County courthouse dome. It was installed around 1910 when the courthouse was being built.

Bell on the west side of City Hall in Wilson, Oklahoma

Bell in front of the 1st Methodist Church in Lone Grove, Oklahoma

Here's a pic of the bell at Reck, Oklahoma in western Carter county. Reck was an oil boom town 80 yrs ago, 5 miles south of Highways 70 and 76. One reader told me her mother went to school at Reck about 90 yrs ago, and the bell was there then. The only thing left of Reck, Oklahoma now is the cemetery, and this bell.

About six miles south of Wilson, Oklahoma on Highway 76.... in southwestern Carter county is the community of Post Oak. It no longer exist on the maps. There used to be a school there years ago. The Post Oak school house bell has been mounted there, at the Carter county, Love county line. Here is the memorial stone at Post Oak School.


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