This and That Newsletter
Vol 24  Issue 1,209     Circulation 5,000      March 26, 2020
Ardmore, Oklahoma
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A Glimpse into the Past


Charles Baker was born February 22, 192L, in Chickasha, Oklahoma. His parents, Charles A. and Jettie Baker, moved with their family to Ardmore in 1932. The other Baker children are Dorothy, Tom (who is an independent oilman in Ardmore), and Mary Frances. The father, Charles A., died on April 23, 1981, and Jettie is still living in Ardmore.

Charles attended the University of Oklahoma for his undergraduate and also his medical training. After he received his medical degree, he practiced in Ardmore for a number of years. Since that time Charles has specialized in both Pathology and Psychiatry. He is presently in practice in Austin, Texas.

On July 7, 1946, Charles married Ruth Dixon. Ruth is the daughter of Henry and Cora (Oliphant) Dixon, early-day settlers in Ardmore. Ruth grew up in Ardmore, and she and Charles were married here. They are the Parents of two children- Rebecca Ruth and Jonathan Charles. They are frequent visitors to Ardmore and have many relatives and friends here. -Indian Territory and Carter County Pioneers book 1982

December 1935
Police officers throughout the state and southwest have intensified the search for the bodies of L. A. Simpson, and his son, who are believed to be the victims of the crazed killer, Chester Comer, and who have been missing since November 23rd. The latest plan to find the pair concerns a search from every school district in this area and with that end in view County Superintendent Charles L. Parker, has issued the following communication to every teacher in Carter County. "John Harrison, Sheriff of Canadian County, has asked that we conduct a search through the schools of Carter County for the bodies of L.A. Simpson and his son. That sheriff has reason to believe they are in your community and request that you ask the school board of your district to direct s search by the pupils and patrons of your entire district on December 23rd. We want the pupils of the district to search the entire district."

Murderer Chester L. Comer grave site.

The ecosystem during the Dust Bowl was disrupted so badly that it unleashed plagues of jackrabbits and grasshoppers. Jackrabbits and grasshoppers moved on the Plains and destroyed whatever crops could grow. Huge clouds of grasshoppers - as large as 23,000 insects per acre - according to some estimates—also swept over farms and consumed everything in their paths. The National Guard was summoned to crush grasshoppers with tractors and burn infested fields, while the Civilian Conservation Corps sprayed an insecticide of arsenic, molasses and bran.

During the dust storms in the 30s, so much static electricity built up between the ground and airborne dust, that blue flames leapt from barbed wire fences and greeters shaking hands could generate a spark so powerful it could knock them to the ground. Since static electricity could short out engines and car radios, motorists driving through dust storms dragged chains from the back of their automobiles to ground their cars.

Famous people who hail from Oklahoma include Ron Howard, Reba McEntire, Carrie Underwood, Garth Brooks, Blake Griffin, Brad Pitt, and Chuck Norris.

Q.  Where is the two-story thrift shop in Oklahoma that's almost too good to be true?
A.  Donate A Miracle Thrift Shop & Boutique in Norman, Oklahoma

Q.  The 9 Best Places To Hide In Oklahoma In The Event Of A Zombie Apocalypse?
A.  Answer in next week's newsletter

Below is from This and That newsletter archives of March 27, 2008

Last weekend Jill and I had the privilege of taking a tour of an old Indian burial ground south of Wilson, Oklahoma. The couple who took us to the area has known about the burial ground since the 1970s, but only a handful of people actually knows where this burial ground is located. So Jill and I were really honored when they invited us to go see this piece of history and take some pictures. About 5 years ago a seismograph crew was in that area and using a bulldozer, and plowed right though the cemetery. I don't think the crew really knew what was there, because only a trained eye would know what they were looking at.

Back in the 1970s they could identify about 12 graves, but because of pilfering and then the seismograph crew damage 5 years ago, only 2 or 3 graves are really recognizable today.

First, this is an overview picture I took of the burial ground when we first arrived.

This photo was taken in 1977 of the spot that probably belonged to a Indian chief. The indention in the ground was originally lined with rocks indicating a chief was buried there.

This is a view of a lesser important person's grave, you can see one stone at the top, and if you look close, you will see the other stone marking the foot of the grave.

When I stood there and looked at what's left of the grave site, and how the Indian graves have been vandalized, pilfered and damaged by others, it really made me sad.

A short review, at Butch’s request, of the newly-released Bud Ballew, Legendary Oklahoma Lawman  by Elmer D. McInnes and Lauretta Ritchie McInnes.

Much has been written about Ardmore’s famous deputy, Bud Ballew, but never before has a book delved so deeply into the personal and public life of this early day lawman.

Beginning with a short genealogical history, through his life as a peace officer and up to his tragic death, Bud Ballew is studied, scrutinized, analyzed, but never judged.

The book is rich in history of this area and nothing proved too sacred to print.  Tales of bootlegging, bribery, murder and mayhem, all part of Ardmore’s checkered past, are put on display. The oil field town of Ragtown (Wirt) plays a prominent part in the career of Bud Ballew as he shot, and was shot, in his attempts to keep the peace in that city of sin.

Bud’s eccentricities, his legendary temper and his fall from grace make for some fascinating reading. The author’s comment in chapter 20 where he dismisses the story offered by Sheriff Floyd Randolph regarding Bud’s death seems a little mean-spirited.  Randolph, who was on a first name basis with every performer on the rodeo circuit, and himself a veteran performer and judge, as well as an associate of both Ballew and Buck Garrett, made the statement that Ballew and  his friend had gone to Wichita Falls to meet “some old rodeo women.” Bud’s reputation would seem to make this story plausible, not something to be rejected as “absurd.”

The Daily Oklahoman of June 4, 1922, suggested that a disturbance call answered by the Wichita Falls, Texas, police which resulted in Bud’s death, might be too simple an explanation; that instead it may have been the result of a business deal in which Ballew and his killer McCormick had butted heads. Only two men knew the answer to that question and we have to fall back on the old cliche that “dead men tell no tales.”

The authors have done an excellent job of resurrecting Ardmore’s famous deputy in the pages of Bud Ballew, Legendary Oklahoma Lawman and it is well worth reading. The book may be purchased at The Book Seller, 614 West Main in Ardmore. -submitted by Sally Gray
Below is a picture I took of the old Wilson Fire Department watering trough located just west of the new Alexander Funeral Home in Wilson. It probably dates back to around statehood in 1907, maybe before.
I snapped this picture of an old panel wagon type auto sticking out of the ground on Highway 70 on the north side side of the highway just east of Texaco Road and Highway (between Lone Grove and Wilson).
"Butch, the Whataburger coffee cup that Jim Rozzell found in Caddo Creek was part of a promotion. They would refill it for a nickel. I remember seeing those cups, but I don't recall the time frame. When my father was transferred from the Samedan district #1 in Carter County to Odessa, Texas in 1962, I was 12 years old and didn't find much to like about Odessa until we went to the Whatabuger. I've probably eaten a couple of thousand of them since then. I guess now that there is one in Ardmore, I can move back."  -Chuck
"Dear Butch, before there was a Whataburger restaurant in Ardmore, there was a burger by that name. Back in the 1950's, Bill & Barb's Restaurant, originally located on US 70 East, had a burger on the menu called the Whataburger. In the 1960's when Gibson's Discount Store was built on North Washington, Bill & Barb's moved into the space at the north end of that strip center. My grandparents who moved from Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1963 ate Sunday lunch there every week after church. I believe the burger was about 7 inches in diameter. I don't remember who supplied the buns. It was a meal. Having lived in Houston for over 30 years, before moving to Montana, I ate at Whataburger a lot. Some of the employees in the store I most often went to had been there more than 25 years. They certainly must treat the employees well." -Monroe Cameron
"Butch, My Granddad Doc Young and My Uncle Albert Young helped to build Lake  Murray and I heard them speak of the CC camp that was there, the tower was a look out for the guards, to the east of rock tower back in the woods is an old mule camp, what they would do is fill the old trucks back then with sand in order to build the beaches and would back the truck as far out as possible til it died then would hook the mules up to it and pull it out of the water after the dirt had been hand shoveled out of it and dry out the distributor and start the truck back up and go for more sand."  -Allen Young
"Joe Walker owned and operated a sawmill on the south side of Gene Autry, Oklahoma. I don't know how long it was there but I can remember it very well. As you drive south across the railroad out of Gene Autry, you can bear to the west/southwest and on the south side of the road maybe 1/2 of a mile the sawmill sat on the side of the hill. The other sawmill was in the area of what I believe to be the location of old Umbria. My brother and dad went there many years ago and I recall my father pointing out where an old sawmill stood. It has been many years but I know the general location of it. Many years ago a road used to cross Caddo Creek going south from this place and it would eventually cross the extreme west edge of the old Walter Gant ranch (Oak Hill Farms). What I knew as the Homer Duke road would have gone straight north and become the road I just mentioned crossing Caddo Creek. The old Blue Hole store used to be just west of the Homer Duke road. The old store was west of the old Blackjack School building. I would like to see someone do some research on the Blue Hole store. One other thing concerning Umbria, if someone has time and patience, check the old issues of the Berwyn Light housed at the Chickasaw Library. They might contain some reference to Umbria."
Bill Melton of Davis, Oklahoma is the best shuffleboard player in the world.

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

We are looking for articles, photos, person experiences, anything related to the Young community north of Dickson, Oklahoma. Does anyone know if Mac McGalliard had anything about the community? Looking for any information, photos, stories, etc., about the Young community in NE Carter county, circa 1888-1950, thanks. -Bobby email:
This is in regard to Elisabeth Spain's question about mills during WWII (and the Great Depression). These were made because people didn't have much money and were for taxes etc that were less than 10¢. -Dale and Carol
In case you haven’t done the research- I think I still have one or two old mills in a drawer somewhere or another. I don’t remember a gold but I do remember a silver and either a copper or brass version. I’ll have to dig them out to see what the values were but one was a tenth of a cent and the other one onehundredth of a cent. They were made of paper and had the value stamped or printed on them. They, like many other things of that time, were part of the war effort. -Thal
Cabinet photo. Bess Cude's mother written on back of photo. -Robert Hensley

The Green Frog match book 511 W. Main Ardmore, Ok, matchbook. -Robert Hensley

The church website provides a history, but in summary, the church was founded in 1888, just a year after Ardmore itself, with twelve charter members led by a horseback riding circuit preacher, Rev. J.C. Scivally. Initially in temporary quarters, they built a sanctuary that same year, and called themselves "The Broadway Methodist Episcopal Church South." With growth, they built another sanctuary in 1902, and by 1913, the nearby oil boom brought about even more growth. By 1920, they were ready for a new sanctuary -- this one -- and work began with the congregation itself doing the labor. They met in the church basement as work progressed, and by this time, they were "The First Methodist Church". The first service was held in the sanctuary in 1925, but the Great Depression brought things to a crawl, impeding the completion of the church until 1937. Additional buildings have been added to the multi-block complex over the years, and the church is very much active.

Year of construction: 1937
First Methodist Church Construction Began Sept. 6, 1920 Cornerstone Laid Sept. 17, 1923 Dedicated Dec. 19, 1937 Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M.

"The Green Frog later became the Oasis Restaurant and was located where the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce is today." -Tom Meason, Tulsa, OK

1930 John Lynch Restaurant 511 West Main

1935 Raymond Monaghan Restaurant 511 West Main

1941 The Green Frog Restaurant 511 West Main
Charlie's Cafe 1952 next door to the Ardmore Hotel.

Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.   -Jacques Cousteau (1910-1997)

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
Ardmore Army Air Field/Ardmore Air Force Website
Carter County Government Website

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