This and That Newsletter
Vol 23  Issue 1,148     Circulation 5,000      January 24, 2019
Ardmore, Oklahoma
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Ardmore after the fire of 1895

April 19. 1895 the largest fire in history of Ardmore started in Harper's Livery Stable on North Caddo. Due to high winds, the fire spread rapidly to the back of the stores on Main Street.

The custom in those days was to fire several shots in the air to alarm the town. Soon after that, others also fired shots until all Ardmore was aware of the disastrous fire which caused damaged of approximately $700,000. The flames were so great and the heat so intense that most of the merchandise was destroyed. (Eighty-six buildings were destroyed on Main, A Street, Caddo Street, and Broadway).

No doubt more stores could have been saved had the three public wells on Main Street not going dry after an hour.

Fortunately there were no deaths and only two firefighters were seriously injured. Several merchants were uninsured, but most were able to collect their insurance, clear the debris, and start rebuilding. It took about a year to rebuild the numerous businesses. The oldest building on Main Street today dates back to 1895. As a result of the fire, the storefronts on both sides of Main Street between Caddo and North Washington, where recessed about 24 feet. Consequently, East Main Street is at this time wider than Main Street.

Several weeks after the fire, insurance companies demanded the City of Ardmore to provide adequate fire fighting equipment. This initiated the establishment of an organized fire department to serve Ardmore.
-Indian Territory and Carter County Pioneers book 1982

January 1935
To Carter County men, Harry Keen and Claudius Baker, charged in separate complaints with driving an automobile while under the influence were arraigned before the justice of the peace. The cases will likely be heard in District Court in February. Keen car is alleged to have run into one driven by Roy Zellner, who was injured, although not seriously. Baker is alleged to have been the driver of an automobile which crashed into another west of Lone Grove causing the death of Preston J. Rummel of Toledo, Ohio.

January 1935
Joe Kelly, long active in Indian Affairs, passed away in the sanitarium after a brief illness. The death of Kelly, 56, prominent Choctaw in this area for many years, was attributed to kidney trouble. Kelly lived on a farm 8 miles north of Lone Grove. He came to this area from Mississippi many years ago. He is survived by his wife and two children Lee Roy and Zella Mae Kelly.

Sam Alvis Clendenin, a veteran Carter County Courthouse employee, is resigning after serving 23 years, as maintenance engineer. He came to Carter County from Wayne County, Tennessee in 1897. On December 18, 1910 he married the former Ms. Myrtle Cypert, a native of Carter County. They had seven children. One daughter, Betty Burris, Ardmore High school graduate, passed away September 1, 2010.

Q.  This County In Oklahoma Was One Of The Most Dangerous Places In The Nation In The 1920s?
A.  In the early 1920s, Osage County, Oklahoma (Pawhuska) was a hotbed for murders and crime due to the valuable land that was producing oil. The Osage were the wealthiest people in the country, which in turn attracted opportunists trying to take over their wealth. It became so corrupt that it was known as the “Reign of Terror” and was considered one of the most dangerous places in the nation. The Osage Indian murders were written about in a best-selling book, “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI” and will be turned into a film next year.

The Bureau of Investigation (which later became the FBI) came to town and began investigating. They estimated that between 1921 and 1925, over 60 wealthy, full-blood Osage were killed. Most of these murders were never prosecuted, except for a few men who were convicted and sentenced to prison. CLICK HERE

Q.  In 1901 a little burger joint opened up to feed all the hungry miners, and although the town dwindled away over the years, the restaurant survived. Where is the Oklahoma restaurant that's unlike any other in the world?
A.  Answer in next week's newsletter

Below is from This and That newsletter archives of January 24, 2007

"As a child in Ardmore our ritual after church on Sunday was to dine at Priddy's restaurant which became Eden's later. It was there that I was "educated" about the educated hamburger. This was late 40's, early 50's. I was always torn between the educated burger and Priddy's chicken salad sandwich, both of which I thought were the best on earth. And they WERE good!!" -Penny Phipps Powhatan
"Maybe your Ardmore readers remember a Lewis C. Markley of Ardmore, who in 1953 won a first prize of an unrestored 1930 Lincoln LeBaron convertible (worth about $500 in 1953) for sending in the winning entry in a contest sponsored by MOTOR TREND MAGAZINE, defining what a "Classic Automobile" is. His four paragraph answer was really well written. Does anyone remember Mr. Markley and his 1930 Lincoln convertible, sounds like quite a distinctive prize to drive around the Arbuckles in to me." -John in Joliet, Illinois
"Butch, the structure that “Jeepshadow” referred to in Whittington Park is probably where the kiddie wading pool was. I am 78 years old and I can remember going there as a very young child. Later I took my children there to play in the pool. The pool deteriorated and was filled in with dirt. I don’t remember just when this happened but probably after they opened the new swimming pool on 3rd. N.E." -Frances Dunlap
"Butch: The book that your reader inquired about, Indian Territory and Carter County Pioneers, is available at the Greater SW History Museum in Ardmore unless they have sold out in the past few months."

Some mail from this week's MAILBAG.....

700 Ranch when it was located at the corner of G street SE and Lake Murray Drive just North of Hardy Murphy Coliseum.

Outrigger Club /Rio Rancho Restaurant at the Clayton House Motel on South Commerce Ardmore, Ok.

Central Park with the old fountain that when driving by it there was often overflowing soap bubbles where kids vandalized it. When the fountain was working properly It had lights in the water that changed the color of the water from red to green to blue. This was back in the late 1960's to early 1970's.

Old Hardy Sanitarium in the photo below was located at 212 1st SW between the now post office and the old Craddock Funeral home.

The postcards above should bring back memories to your readers as they did for me. -Robert Hensley
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Bridges. You mention in your last edition a comment about Ardmore's Mr. Peden and Peden Jewelry. Well Butch I can talk about Mr. & Mrs. Peden and what kind of people they were. During the season of baseball I think in 1951 they invited my friend Joaquin Nodar and me to stay in their house, they gave us the room of his son who was at the time in the Korean War he was in the Air Force and that room was as big as my house with a beautiful closet with a bathroom etc. Down stair they have a room that they called the China Room full of beautiful objects and another room that they called The Edison Room and I can tell you was incredible interesting, well when you go up stairs right in the middle of the stairway was a wonderful clock. I can tell you that the Peden's were the must nice people I ever knew in my life, that is one of the reason that I love Ardmore and Oklahoma so much, I had so many stories and all about all the wonderful people I met during my 3 years I spent there, Butch and Jill believe me this is not easy to tell you how much those people influenced in my life, one of my sons was a marine, my daughter served in the Air Force for 20 years and was a nurse, went to The Gulf War her husband also in The Air Force today and a Colonel went to Afghanistan. And that explain how proud I am to be here in America. Always your friend, -Ernesto in New Jersey

Note: William and Nettie Peden lived at 302 F Street SW in Ardmore, OK
Liked the article about the funnels and winds in 1958 in last week's newsletter. Ed Bridges, me, and Jimmy Morton were west of Davis watching for the storms (Civil Defense - remember those classes in school), when we saw a funnel heading SW to NE, we hurried back to Davis in Jimmy's '57 Ford and told the folks at City Hall that we saw the funnel and then we drove up U.S. 77 heading to Wynnewood and spotted a funnel heading almost in the same direction as we were; we turned around and went back to Davis. About 30 minutes later it was announced that a funnel had hit in the SE part of Wynnewood and they were assessing the damage. Thanks for another memory. -Ralph
The Grapette story. CLICK HERE

The nail that sticks up above the rest will get hammered down first.

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges

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