This and That Newsletter
Vol 23  Issue 1,152     Circulation 5,000      February 21, 2019
Ardmore, Oklahoma
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President Zachary Taylor

A future president of the United States lived in the Chickasaw Nation in 1842, while he established Fort Washita. This fort lay on the east bank of the Washita River, overlooking what will become Pickens County. No doubt the future president spent many hours exploring the land that would someday become Carter County, Oklahoma.

Zachary Taylor would be in Command of the Second Department of the Army, Western Division at Fort Smith, Arkansas in 1841. It was during this time he established Fort Washita in the Chickasaw Nation, overlooking Pickens County, for protection of the Chickasaws.

Zachary had never been aligned with a political party or a specific religious group. He never was interested in politics and never had held an office. However, President Polk was disturbed with Zachary's national praise over the Mexican War and tried to keep him in the background. This upset Zachary and caused him to consider the nomination for the presidency offered him by The Whigs. In December 1847 he went to his home "Spanish College" near the city of Baton Rouge and remained there 13 months.  On November 7, 1848 he was elected the 12th President of the United States. He laid the groundwork for California's admission to the Union, and sign the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty to provide a canal through Central America. After 16 months in office he died July 9, 1850 of gastroenteritis with high fever at age of 66. There is evidence suggesting that the Clovis Swanner family of Ardmore may be a direct descendant of President Taylor.
-Indian Territory and Carter County Pioneers book 1982

Photo of Zackary Taylor

This first photo is of A. W. Watson from Newport, I.T. which is 8 miles NW of Ardmore.

This next photo is Virgil Hunter, a porter at the Whittington Hotel, Ardmore, I.T.

-Above 2 photos Submitted by Robert Hensley

I like to give credit where credit is due. And Bill Main has done a fantastic job redoing the names on the Military Memorial granite on Ardmore's Main Street. I have a cousin and an uncle on that plaque (marked in RED), and whoever originally did the memorial must have used those $1 cans of white paint at Walmart. Faded out so badly, the names were barely readable. What a disgrace to those who gave all. I know it is a work in progress, but thank you Bill Main for what you've done so far.

I drove by Keith and Wilma Hickman's old home place on F SW today. Its been razed and now a thing of the past. I lived across from them for 46 years. Talked to them often, watched them take their evenings walks together many a time. Keith even sent me up in one of his helicopters several times when the sheriffs office needed an eye in the sky for a search/rescue operation. They were a good Christian couple. I miss them.

This informational photo shows the businesses along Ardmore's Main Street back in 1932 - the 200 block of West Main.

Q.  Where is it illegal to eat someone else's hamburger when they are not looking?
A.  Well, after much research by KGOU in Norman it seems no one knows how this rumor started. But that's not to say it was not an ordinace in some Oklahoma town years ago. The link below sheds a lot more detail on this supposed law, along with audio recording of KGOU's findings. CLICK HERE

Q.  Where in Oklahoma is the Redneck Capital of the World?
A.  Answer in next week's newsletter

A pet grave marker I sandblasted recently.

Here is a paver I sandblasted the other day for a couple that recently married. Sure turned out nice.

Below is from This and That newsletter archives of February 22, 2007

There are a number of bridge crossings into Texas at the Red River from the southeast end of Oklahoma to the southwest end of this state. Ardmoreite Steve Hamm sent in an interesting picture this week of one such river crossing. Below are a couple of photos he took at a crossing near Hollis, Oklahoma (Harmon County) in the far southwest end of Oklahoma. The location of this old wooden slat bridge is 7.5 miles south of Highway 62 just west of Hollis, OK. (If your on a dirt road, your probably on the wrong road, its all blacktop to the crossing.) Steve took these pictures in September 2005.

Map show the location of the old bridge
This is an old photo postcard of the Ardmore Depot in 1908.
After the sudden death of Dale Thogmartin in April 2006, and closure of Dale's Superette and 50's Cafe, and I been wondering when another hamburger joint would open in Marietta. Well, last week it happened. Its Donna's Cafe (580-276-3880) and its right on Highway 77 just a block north of Main Street in Marietta. I stopped in this week and bought their large burger and let me tell you, owners Donna and Roy Howell make a mean burger. And no ordinary run of the mill burger, but one made from ground chuck! With the first bite you can taste the meat. And you sure won't be asking "where's the beef" because these are thick meat patties. First, here's the outside view of Donna's Cafe.
"I just stumbled onto your site while I was searching for information on Jo-o-Kay and I saw your Oct 2004 messages on the subject. I grew up with Jo-o-Kay. My father, grandfather, and uncle were wholesale representatives and between them their territories covered most of the mid-west. My father traveled MT, ND, SD, NB through almost all of the 70?s; his father covered CO, WY, AZ, UT from the ?50?s to about 1980; and Dad?s brother spent a couple years covering KS, IO, MO, AR. I was young at the time, but everything in my world was about leather, Jo-o-Kay, Corral Sportwear, Tandy, and related companies. I cut my teeth on a leather key wallet, grew up carrying leather purses and wearing leather coats, and never really appreciated or understood it. Because of the information I found in your newsletter, I was able to learn much about my grandfather's career and figure out exactly what he did before I was born and while I was too young to really be aware. Thank you so much for the information that lead me to a greater understanding of my late grandfather."
From the 2004 T&T: "About Jo-o-Kay leather goods. My dad was owner of Western Supply Company here in Ardmore, home of Clifton's hand tooled leather goods, and he was instrumental in getting John and Katherine (Kay) Simpler to move to Ardmore......back in the 1950's I think. I always enjoyed playing with their three sons, John, Ronnie, and Steven almost every Saturday night when our parents "cooked out" together. Dad's plant manufactured the hand tooled purses, belts, billfolds, etc. and he helped John start the suede leather coats business. Because John and Katherine were the owners, they decided to name the company after them, Jo-Kay........HOWEVER, according to their son Steve who lives here in Ardmore, the Jockey (underwear) company thought the name was too close to theirs, and said if they would put the extra "o" in the middle and make it Jo-o-Kay, that THEY would even pay for their trademark. So John and Katherine agreed, and that solves your mystery. By the way, Katherine is still alive and lives with Steve and his wife on their ranch east of Ardmore." -Carol Jean Wood Thomason
"In last week's T&T I enjoyed John Gow's description of the Rock Island line into Ardmore that branched off the RI's east-west main line from Memphis to Amarillo. Mr. Gow stated it was Wilburton, but according to a January 1910 Official Guide of the Railways it was Haileyville, OK which was 17.6 rail miles west of Wilburton. The line came thru Tishomingo, and Mannsville and was 117.6 miles long. There was one scheduled passenger train, No. 651 down and No. 652 back to Haileyville. It departed Haileyville at 8:05 AM and arrived in Ardmore at 1:15 PM taking 5 hours and 10 minutes! Average speed was 23 MPH!!! No. 652's return trip back to Haileyville took slightly longer, 5 hours and 20 minutes at an average speed 22.6 MPH. South of McAlester it crossed Highway 69 on an overpass and I recall at this location two large stone piers on each side of the highway in the 1950s. I'll bet some of the T&T readers will also recall them." -H E Huber, Plano TX
"Butch, John Gow gave an excellent explanation about the railroad through Tishomingo. I have a few early day photos of the RR line in Tishomingo that were sent to me many years back by my good friend Russell Anoatubby that I have attached. I also have attached a photo that I shot of the last train to cross the old trestle system here in Ardmore. This trestle was the one used by the Rock Island and Frisco Railroads mentioned in the discussion to serve Ardmore from the East and at this particular point it crosses over the BNSF north-south main line (formerly Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe). This photo appeared along with a short article on the front page of The Daily Ardmoreite, Monday, August 14, 2000." -C. Dwane Stevens

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

The Young Cemetery (NE Carter County) is now working with the Oklahoma Historical Society to be registered as a historical Chickasaw Indian cemetery.  We need stories about families and individuals buried there.  They can be factual, humorous, just something that can be preserved for future generations.  This will all be available to the public as soon as it is accomplished. If this information is not archived, it will be lost forever.  Please send to  If you would like to help with this project, also let us know.  It is a time consuming, but satisfying project.
Hey Butch, Have followed your collection of bells and their locations off and on for years.
Here is a little update on one from Bennington OK. This one has been relocated to the Three Valley museum in Durant. It looks great there and has a good home there for many years to come.
The curator there is a nice lady who will let you ring it. It's LOUD! -David
I have a bit of follow up from the boot making article in your last newsletter! The bootmaker that worked for each of the names mentioned was my grandfather, Seaborn (Seab) Weldon! He was a deaf mute and made hand made boots for all the mentioned movie star cowboys mentioned when he lived in California and when he moved here he went to work here and made some for them at the businesses mentioned in your letter! He was well known as the Deaf Mute Boot Maker! -Betty


by Joh Gainey in Sulphur

Spring was great, if just for a day,
Between the shivers and ice,
And everyone was saying
"Isn't the weather nice?"
But when I stepped out
in this morning's dawn,
Thinking to greet the day,
My bones were chilled
By a blast of wind
From up the North Pole way.
Now, I don't mind the wintertime.
I understand the need
To allow a dormant bit of rest
For each little daisy seed.
But couldn't it be consistent
After the trees are bare,
So when you get up each morning
You will know what you need to wear?

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges

"Friends Make Life Worth Living"
PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443
Vicious Dog Attacks in Oklahoma
Oklahoma Bells:
Bill Hamm's Cemetery Database
American Flyers Memorial Fund - Administration Webpage
Official American Flyers Memorial Website
Ardmore Army Air Field/Ardmore Air Force Base Website
Mirror Site of the Ardmore Army Air Field/Ardmore Air Force Website
Carter County Government Website

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