This and That Newsletter
Vol 23  Issue 1,185     Circulation 5,000      October 10, 2019
Ardmore, Oklahoma
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Dr. James A. Bivens was born April 6, 1856 in Tennessee, the son of E. G. and Carolyn (Powers) Bivens. Dr. James initially worked as a pharmacist for 5 years at Montague, Texas. Then in 1888 he came to Ardmore, Pickens County, Indian Territory. He joined with Doctor Wolverton and O. G. Moore, starting a hardware store at #2 East Main and stayed in this field for many years. Dr Bivens study medicine at the Missouri Medical College, but he never practiced. He was one of the organizers of the City National Bank, which merged with the First National Bank in Ardmore. Dr Bivens was first married to Cora Hardy, and their children are: James A and Clarence S. His next wife was Laura Scott and their one child was Virginia, a piano player for many years in Ardmore. The Bivens home has been restored by the Jerry Howry family and is on D Street Northwest in Ardmore.
-Indian Territory and Carter County Pioneers book 1982

Photo of the old Bivens homeplace at 721 D NW in Ardmore taken in 1982.

This photo was taken 3 years ago. Looks like the fireplace was removed?

1923 - Black and Cardinal are the schools colors of Zaneis school.

September 1984
Despite protests, The Carter County Excise Board did not give elected officials the maximum salary permitted by law. They will receive $2,000 per month, $262 a month less than the state law allows.

September 1959
On Friday August 21st a group of volcanic and coral Islands 2,400 miles west of San Francisco, officially joined the Union as the nation's 50th state. Besides welcoming 585,000 Hawaiian citizens to statehood, President Eisenhower issued an order designating a new 50 star flag to become effective on July 4, 1959. Hawaiian citizens have tried for 56 years to join the Union.

September 1935
H. S. Horton of Prairie Valley says, we need more mules on the farms of Carter County. In fact mules are real assets and the sooner farmers begin raising them, as they used to, the better off they will be.

September 1935
The reported existence of an ouster move against Mrs. Kate Galt Zaneis as president of Southeastern State Teachers College was denied again by E. M. Evans, editor and publisher of the Durant News, who said he had made an extensive survey and failed to find any "responsible" person behind such a move.

Q.  What is the official State meal of Oklahoma?
A.  The official state meal of Oklahoma consists of fried okra, cornbread, barbecue pork, squash, biscuits, sausage and gravy, grits, corn, strawberries (state fruit), chicken fried steak, pecan pie, and black-eyed peas.

Q.  Where do all of the weather forecasts originate?
A.  Answer in next week's newsletter

A grave marker I made this week

Below is from This and That newsletter archives of October 11, 2007

A year or so ago a Reader told me about a rock SW of Lone Grove called Poker Rock. This is one piece of Carter county history I had never heard of until 2 years ago. The story goes that back before Oklahoma was a state this rock was used by groups of men to congregate around and play poker, and drink moonshine. I'm sure there was lots of illegal activities going on around this rock, since it was way out in the boonies, a long way from law enforcement officials. Last week we were traveling west on Timber Road (2 miles south of Lone Grove and Highway 70) and there right in front of me was this huge rock. What a unusual piece of history, just sitting there in the yard. Jill mentioned how she wish she had Poker Rock, she could do some landscaping and turn it into a water falls. That hole in the side sure looks spooky, not telling what is down there. lol

Poker Rock is located west of Cheek Road on Timber Road at 3135 Timber Road. 34.143689, -97.301824
"A guy and his wife that I work with made this website... check it out and register if you want to... he's trying to build viewers to their site... check out the "lowest gas prices" tab." -Jerry
"My dad worked at Murphy's Machine Shop for 30 years or more. The shop was 1 block east of the intersection of Stanley and South Washington. Most of the equipment in the original building was belt driven powered by a single electric motor. The speed of the lathes was set by moving the drive belt to different size pulleys. The center building was the welding shop and the 3rd and last building housed the lathe my dad operated. It was a 6 & 9/16 in. hollow spindle lathe primarily used for straightening and threading drill pipe." -Marion Patten in Lago Vista, TX

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

WELL Butch, I have some story here too, yes I was one of the Cuban baseball players who lived next to the old Ardmore High School and was a window from our room to the school and we salute and talked to the girls and boys there. I was 20 or 21 years old and was one of my best years of my life, now there is an story about the wonderful lady who owns the House, she was a very sweet woman and treat us like kings. My brother came from Cuba to see me playing baseball in Ardmore. He was an student to be a Dr. in medicine and ask the Hospital of Ardmore if he can stay for free in one of the hospital rooms and he will work there. They accepted him but one night about 1 o'clock and told me that he can't get in his room because inside his room was somebody that could be a thief, I told that to our lady Mrs. Garret and right away she took a shot gun and told me this words and I don't lie, I HAD THIS SHOTGUN BEFORE TO DEFEND MYSELF OF THE BAD INDIANS BUT NOT FROM THE GOOD ONES AND SAID LETS GO TO SEE YOUR BROTHER. Well the thing was that the guy who was inside also lives there and every body went home. (Now my brother graduate in Cuba but decided to come to US because he saw how nice were the people in Ardmore and went two years to the University until he can be a Dr. after that he went to the Army and got the grade of colonel and went voluntary to Vietnam to defend a Country that open the doors for him. And that was my story Mr, Bridges and that was one of the reason that I love this Country so much. -Ernesto Wallerstein in New Jersey
Q. Do you know what the school colors for Washington School were?

A. Orange/Black until '53 or '54, then Orange/White
As far as is known:

James T. Staples was born in Sangamon County, Illinois sometime before the Civil War. He is listed as being born in "Monroe, Ill" -- then rural Sangamon County. This is around Springfield, Illinois, where Abraham Lincoln had moved from Kentucky. Interestingly, James Staples father was William Henry Staples, and he had also moved from Kentucky, almost from the same area-- Barren County/Hart County. William enlisted in the 114th Illinois during the Civil War and fought in the riverine campaigns-- the Ohio and Mississippi, performing picket duties, guarding railheads, supplies lines, depots, etc. The 114th was on the field for the battle of Vicksburg under Generals Grant and Sherman, and at Jackson, Mississippi, and other campaigns. William was at the battle of Brices Crossing in June 1864 and the Union Army was overtaken by Confederate forces. The 114th was ordered to "rear-guard" and protect the Union retreat to the North. The Confederate forces under the command of General Nathan Bedford Forrest captured some of the men of the 114th and other units, about 200 men including William. They became a prisoners of war and were marched to Andersonville, Georgia, the most notorious prison of the Civil War. Some of them did not make it. William, luckily survived, probably because General Lee surrendered the following Spring, and he was incarcerated only about 10 months After returning to Illinois, William mustered out of the Union Army on August 12, 1865, and at some point moved farther west and south, first to Missouri, then eventually settling in Denton, Texas. William died in Denton around 1903. I found Williams photograph, wearing his Union uniform in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library archives. The 114th today remains active and performs "re-enactments" and has been termed "The Abraham Lincoln Brigade" or some such, because the men were from Abraham Lincoln's home town. James T. Staples lived in Denton with his parents but then moved to the Indian Territory, ostensibly to seek his fortune, and apparently found the Santa Fe Railway stop called "Ardmore" (after Ardmore, Pennsylvania) to his liking. Sally Gray stated that James Staples plowed the first road, and there is a road in Ardmore that is "angled" because James Staples apparently was drinking (drunk?). I don't know which road that is, but you or a reader might. James also had a meat market, and I have a photograph of him standing in front of his store in Ardmore, propping a carcass for butchering. I also have two photographs of James Staples on horseback. All photographs are stamped "Ardmore, I.T." James brother was Ulysess Staples, and he operated a grocery store advertising himself as "The Red-Headed Grocer". I know that I have a cousin in Chickasha whose name is Ronald Staples. He was looking for information about his family about 20-25 years ago and that's how I know of him. We are cousins. There are people in my family who knew about James T. Staples being a deputy US Marshal and that he had a badge and two .45 Colt Peacemaker pistols with ivory handles. I've never seen them myself. Those guns and the badge are lost and whereabouts unknown. I have not been able to validate that James T. Staples was a lawman, but and however, the photograph of the lawmen that I submitted -- the man standing 2nd from right, looks like a dead-ringer.

Robert W. Hunnicutt
Vail, AZ -- Living in Arizona but will always be an Oklahoman

"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future."
-Nils Bohr, Nobel laureate in Physics

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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