This and That Newsletter
Vol 24  Issue 1,211     Circulation 5,000      April 9, 2020
Ardmore, Oklahoma
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A Glimpse Into The Past

Only scattered tribes of plains Indians roamed the country now known as Southern Oklahoma before 1920 when a treaty was entered into between the Choctaw tribe and the Federal government. The government ceded to the Indians a tract of country west of the Mississippi. In 1830 the famous treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek conveyed the land in fee simple to the Choctaw Nation, one of the Five Civilized Tribes.

The Choctaws had lived in the South, Georgia and Alabama and surrounding areas as far west as the Mississippi River, but they never had crossed over the river. They begin their march to their new home in 1832 and the "Trail of Tears" as it was called lasted for many years.

Privation, disease, heartbreak and disappointment were the rule as the primitive peoples wended their way across the wilderness. Some come across in wagons, others were transported by steamboat up the Mississippi and Arkansas Rivers and landed at Fort Coffee near Scullyville which served for a period as the national capital.

Unmarked graves studded the route from the original homeland and to the new region as the Indians fell victim to the elements and adversity. The survivors continued to struggle along in their attempt to comply with the government movement order.

Small groups of the Chickasaw band of the Choctaw Nation had come to Indian Territory before 1830 but most arrived between 1836 and 1840.

To understand the evolution of the land from the Indians to the white men it is necessary, at least in passing, to understand the thinking of the Indians.

Under their system, the land belonged to the tribe and it was not part of Indian philosophy of life that any man should lay measure upon the earth and claim any part of it for his own to the exclusion of others. Also, the Indian conception of ownership excluded lands. This was especially true of the Five Civilized Tribes who referred to land, when they referred to it all, as "ancestral lands', which had supported their ancestors as well as themselves, and which they believed had been placed in their control and right of occupancy to provide for their children and all coming generations. -Carter County History Book 1957

January 1983
One week after tendering his resignation from the Lone Grove Police Force, Bill Malone was appointed temporary chief by a 3 to 2 vote of Lone Grove Trustees in a move that stunned the approximate 50 people in the audience.

January 1983
In the meantime Dearl Cathey, the former police chief, filed a motion to ask the Carter County District Court to prevent the Board of Trustees from hiring a police chief until the "charges" against him are resolved in court.

January 1983
Everett Hart, the one remaining patrolman on Lone Grove Police force after last week's firing of Cathey, turned in his badge.

January 2004
Lone Grove has a new police chief, city city manager Harold Kennedy announced Tuesday, January 20, 2004, that Robert Oldham is the city's new police chief. Oldham has been serving as interim police chief since Randy Hinkle resigned that position effective Friday, November 28, 2003. Oldham is the eight police chief Lone Grove has had. He originally joined the local department October 1999, and was a member of the Ardmore police force for three years before coming to Lone Gove.

Q.  Where in Oklahoma is Elephant Rock Nature Park?
A.  Overlooking the beautiful waterways of the Illinois River lies a little oasis in the Ozark woodlands in Tahlequah – Elephant Rock Nature Park. This 210-acre park is the perfect place to go to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. CLICK HERE

Q.  Where in Oklahoma is the Pawnee Bill Ranch?
A.  Answer in next week's newsletter

Below is from This and That newsletter archives of April 10, 2008

This week a T&T reader sent me a CD in the mail, a audio recording about a CCC camp of the 30s.  J.C. Williams formally of Ardmore and now living in Tampa, Florida entered a Sulphur, Oklahoma CCC work program back in 1937 as a teen. His brother Doyle Williams in Ft Worth is quite an audio and video guru in his own right, decided to interview his brother about his experiences in the CCC camp.  When I first heard J.C.'s account of his time at the CCC camp, I was absolutely amazed.  I listened to the recording several times as Doyle interviewed J.C. and each time I learned more about life in the CCC camps.  Quite frequently I get emails from people who had an ancestor who worked in a CCC camp, and like me, knew very little about that time period (the Great Depression years) in the U.S.

The 5 links below are to the five audio tracks Doyle made of his telephone interview with his brother J.C. Williams in Florida. Doyle's effort will be a great contribution to future generations to learn from in the recordings he made of his brother.  Someday J.C. Williams will be gone from this earth, but his experience in the CCC work camps at Sulphur Oklahoma will live on in the recordings as long as this world turns.  Thank you Doyle for take the time and providing the technology, and a big thank you to J.C. in Florida for sharing his CCC experiences.

But first, I want to introduce you to the man, Mr. J.C. Williams.

Secondly, a 1938 photograph of J.C. and his CCC truck along with the other crew members.  J.C. is standing at the truck door.

The following files are in mp3 format and about 3 megs each.  If you have internet through slow modem, you may not be able to download, but give the files time, it should work even on dial up modem.
In my story telling about Ketchum's Bluff last week, I forgot to tell what one of the photos was and it would be hard to figure out just looking at it.  I was standing right at the edge of the Bluff at the Red River (not for the weak hearted) looking down, and it is waaaaay down there too, to the Red River. I was reminded of the old Lover's Leap at Sulphur when I starred down.  Below is the pic from the rocky edge at Ketchum's Bluff.

Speaking of Ketchum's Bluff, I received some great aerial photos of the Bluff this week.  You can even see the old roadway on the Texas side in a couple of them. Remnants of the old road on the Texas side are visible from the air.  It is just an overgrown trail near the river and then part of it is washed away farther south before it starts again as a dirt road.
Leland McDaniel, local Agent for the OSU Extension Office here in Ardmore has been out collecting morel mushrooms.  He wouldn't disclose exactly where he found these morsels growing but today (Thursday) he cooked about 200 of these mushrooms for anyone at the courthouse who wanted to eat some.  And there was plenty of takers who tried Chef Leland's delicacy.  Leland says you'll only find these growing in this area around the first 2 weeks of April, to look around sandy soil places near creeks, etc.   So you still have a few days left to maybe find morel mushrooms growing in the wild.  He slices his in half, batters them, and drops them in the deep fryer until they are golden brown.  Boy, you talk about delicious!!  Words can not describe it.
Last week a friend told me about a crew removing old railroad cross ties over at G Street and 10th NE area.  You will see the old trussle in the background. When a wee lad a couple of friends and I would find large pieces of cardboard, take to the trussle and slide down the dirt sides.  Anyway, I was needing the ties to use in our yard and driveway, the man was selling them for $6 each.
"Dear Butch, One of my old school buddies gave me your address and I have been receiving your Newsletter. I wanted to tell you how much I have enjoyed the History of this area in Southern Oklahoma that you have shared. My husband Bill Wolfe and I have been married over 60 years and have lived in or near Marietta all these years. I wanted to add something interesting to your story about the TOWN OF OSCAR bit. My husband, Bill is an old retired employee of Red River Valley REA in Marietta. Their work crews used to service several oil wells that were located near Oscar back in the l960's, or there-abouts. They changed out meters and transformers and made sure there was proper electrical current to keep the oil pumps going. I read him your story tonight and asked him if he still remembered going to Oscar. He then told me an interesting story about a man call "Scrap Metal Bill" who lived in that area. It seems he did a lot of walking up and down those old roads and apparently picked up bits and pieces of old scrap metal, odds and ends such as bolts, nuts, screws, tin cans, old tire wheels, horse shoes, just about anything that was metal and he then hung these relics on the bobbed-wire fence. The small ones were wired on. No one knew why he did this, but Bill said it made a very odd looking but interesting fence. In looking at the picture of the old, run-down building you posted, he immediately said "that is probably that old building where we used to eat lunch." I asked him what kind of food they served. He told me it was not a cafe, just a little ole' store where the guys could get a loaf of bread, bologna & cheese for the makings of really good sandwiches and a coke to top it off. Bill is now 87 years young, with a terrific memory of the old days. working at REA and going to the out of the way places to keep the electricity going. He said he could well remember those trips to Oscar as if it were yesterday. We used to pass that area a lot making trips to Amarillo, TX via Waurika and Grandfield. He never failed to mention something about that old town of Oscar. And yes, he did know the location of Ketchum Bluff. Thanks for some good memories."   -Betty Wolfe
"Hi Butch: I formerly lived for 2 years in Lone Grove, leaving in the 7th grade in 1954 for Texas.  I was born in Marlow, with my Mother being born in Pickens County, Chickasaw Nation in 1903. However, I  have Carter County relatives, since two of my Grandmother's sisters , born at Illinois Bend, Montague County, Texas, and settling near Wilson and Newport. Their married names were Wallace and Johnston.  I believe the happiest years of my life were while living in Lone Grove, then a village of 500 people.  Visiting Devils Den, Lake Murray, and  the Airbase during open house, as well as going to BSA Camp at Bromide are my fondest memories. We had moved from western Oklahoma (Washita County) during the drought, and I was amazed by the creeks with water, when it was not raining, , water in the tanks that was not red, and trees. Can you or someone comment on the history of Milo.  I visited one of my Mother's cousins about 10 years ago, a Chickasaw Allotee named Cutchie Johnston, who died in 2001 a few days short of 100. She told me that the town was named after her two older sisters, Millie and Lorraine.  Her father, last name Johnson, from Tennessee,  married a Chickasaw woman from Mill Creek.  According to Cutchie, he ran the post office and a store at Milo. Thanks  for the website and the work you do to keep it interesting."  -Larry Watkins at Mesquite, Texas
The Wilson News submitted by Mindy Taylor
Big Fire At Wirt Monday
Fire broke out last Saturday about 11:30 in the Oil Exchange Cafe and destroyed almost the entire business section of theat city, it was said by several of the men who were fighting the blaze that if they had have had one more fire extinguisher they would have controlled the fire. The damage was estimated to be between $250,000 and $3000,000.
Mettry & Adwon of this city was one of the many losers. They had just put in a large line of dry goods. Most of the goods were saved. The building was destroyed.
There was one killing during the excitement, but everything seems to be quiet now, and the people have started to build. The new buildings will be set about 10 feet further back from the street, so in case of another fire, one side of the street may be saved.
-Wilson Museum Hours: Tues., Thurs., Fri., Sat. 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.


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

Ardmore - Hotel Randol, also named Gilmer and Alexander, on the north side of Main St. between 'B' and 'C' St's. Many people in front of the hotel building in which the J. W. Banks Mer. Co., occupied the corner on the first floor. Ardmore, Okla. 1916. Proprietor Robert Randol.

Note: Robert L. Randol was at one time married to my aunt, Eva Carmon of Ardmore. -Butch Bridges
Oklahoma old age assistance token with a number one on left and right on token - Robert Hensley
I would really like the help of someone in Ardmore, OK or surrounding areas in Carter County in locating the descendants of one Alice (Labbait) Sutton.

We were taking photos of some artwork my mom did in high school in 1947, and we found in the frame behind the artwork a very large certificate of completion from the Grammar Department of Ardmore High School dated May 28, 1916 bearing the name of Alice Labbait.

This thing is very large, measuring 14"x17", is fragile, but is in really good shape for being 104 years old!

A quick search online tells me the following:

Alice was born 10/03/1898 at Brownwood, TX and died 04/05/1995 at Ardmore, OK.

She married Neville Ray Sutton in 1920 and had two children: Joyce Sutton and Gwendolyn Sutton, both deceased.

This is such a cool document that I thought I would try to find grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc who might like to have it. So, please share this like crazy. I would love to return it to the family if at all possible. Thank you! -Larry Schoonover
Photo of a group of townspeople in Bromide, Oklahoma.
Bromide Hill.
A couple of weeks ago, I asked if any of you remembered having mills back during World War 2, and several of you responded. I would like to take another "trip down memory lane" and ask what you remember about ration stamps during the war. Many items were rationed and you could only buy them once a month with a stamp. I remember tires were hard to come by, and women's silk stockings. If I remember right, you had a decal on your car windshield that determined how much gasoline you could have each month. About every month or two, our community would have a cake sale at the school, and the money would go toward buying war bonds. No one minded being rationed. We are proud and blessed to be Americans.
May all stay safe during this very critical time.

Elisabeth Grisham Spain
Back then, of Graham Ok
Now, El Dorado Kansas
Hi, Butch. I am looking for a school location. Wolf Creek school was about 2 miles west of Mannsville and barely in Johnston County, but apparently close to the Carter County line. Does anyone know EXACTLY where the school was located? And anyone have a photo of the school. Please contact Richard Craven at
Thank you for your newsletter!

Richard Craven
"Butch, Here are Haywood Vaughan and John Easley Riesen doing their radio show for KVSO Radio." -Don and Lisa Riesen Martin

"Butch, I’ve been seeing KXII TV ads showing the history of the channel. Thought your readers might like to see the picture of the first broadcast. Lisa R. Martin Lisa’s father, John Easley Riesen, third from right was the founder." -Don and Lisa Riesen Martin

Tumbling Tumbleweed sung by Ken Curtis
-composed by Bob Noland, member of the Sons of the Pioneers - 1935

See them tumbling down
Pledging their love to the ground
Lonely but free I'll be found
Drifting along with the tumbling tumble weeds
Cares of the past are behind
Nowhere to go but I'll find
Just were the trail will wind
Drifting along with the tumbling tumble weeds
I know when night has gone
That a new world's born at dawn
I'll keep rolling along
Deep in my heart is a song
Here on the range I belong
Drifting along with the tumbling tumble weeds
I know when night has gone
That a new world's born at dawn
I'll keep rolling along
Deep in my heart is a song
Here on the range I belong
Drifting along with the tumbling tumble weeds

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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