This and That Newsletter
Vol 24  Issue 1,247    Circulation 5,000      December 17, 2020
Ardmore, Oklahoma
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"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal."

Carter Seminary

The story of the present Carter Seminary at Ardmore goes back to 1852 when it was founded south of Durant as Bloomfield Academy for Indian girls. The school was jointly sponsored by the Methodist Indian Conference and the Chickasaw Nation. Reverend John Harpole Carr, the founder, selected the wilderness site and helped with the construction. He had been reared under primitive frontier conditions in a sparsely settled section of Arkansas Territory and was well prepared for the struggles of building a new school in a rugged country.

Reverend Carr was skilled with tools and did much to the school's maintenance work himself in order to stretch the meager budget. He supplied most of the coffins for the community. He cultivated a farm and orchard to help with his school's larder.

The Civil War brought education to a halt at Bloomfield and found the building being used as a hospital and commissary within the Confederate States and cut off from all federal aid.

At the opening of the war the educational work which had been in the hands have the missionary societies of the various churches came to an abrupt stop and was not resumed at the close of the war. The schools which had been erected and held jointly by the church and the Chickasaw Nation now became the property of the Nation, which took up the work of rehabilitating its educational system.

After the war, Confederate Capt. Frederick Young picked up what pieces were left and begin a neighborhood school at the site of Bloomfield. The old traditions had too strong a hold on the people to permit a Broomfield permanent abandonment. Among the boys who attended at this time was Douglas H. Johnston, who many years later was to serve as Bloomfield superintendent for 13 years and as governor of the Chickasaw Nation until Oklahoma became a state and served as the appointed Governor until his death in 1943.

An accidental fire had destroyed most of the old buildings, but they were replaced by better ones, some of brick construction. Rev. Carr had returned, but left in 1867 and was replaced by Dr. and Mrs H. F. Murray. The stayed two years and were followed by Robert Cole who stayed five years. During Cole's administration the school received an annuity of $5,700. High School grades were added and enrollment was raised to 45.

J. W. Horton became superintendent for the next 4 years, 1876 to 1880. The Chickasaw legislature enacted laws putting the academy back to their old, original status as boarding schools with wide latitude for their own government and management.

Wharton was followed by Robert L Boyd. Student Douglas H Johnston returned as superintendent in 1882 and served until 1895 when E. B. Henshaw became superintendent. The school was at its best during the Johnston-Henshaw era. The high standards, manners and poise of the students gave rise to their being called "Bloomfield Blossoms" and graduates wore a tiny gold blossom emblem on their graduation caps.

In 1906 the U. S. government assumed responsibility for all Indian schools. J. R. Hendrix who had also been in charge of the Ardmore schools, became superintendent. He was followed in 1910 by Annie Ream Addington who held the position until fire again destroyed the school plant. Bloomfield was never rebuilt on the old site.

The government purchased the old Hargrove College plant at Ardmore and Bloomfield had a new home. There have been many editions made.

Miss M. E. Allen became superintendent in 1916. The school was opened in October 1917 to Indian girls. Miss Allen resigned in 1921 and was replaced by Miss Minta R. Foreman. Miss Foreman was in turn replaced in 1923 by Miss Allen, who remained until her retirement in 1934. Subsequent superintendents have been Miss Eva Lowers, Joseph B. Vernor, William T. Johnson and L. E. Larson, the present superintendent.

This school has its own dairy, laundry and other facilities that make itself sufficient to a large degree and also provide vocational and homemaking training for the students.

In 1934 Bloomfield Academy was renamed Carter Seminary in honor of Charles B. Carter. Carter was instrumental in securing many needed improvements for the school. He was a Chickasaw and Cherokee descent.

In 1949 boys were again taken at students after a lapse of many years strictly a girls' school.

Carter Seminary is now operated by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Indian Affairs and pupils are enrolled from all the Five Civilized Tribes, as the five main tribes that lived south of Virginia after the American Revolution came to be known.
-Carter County History book 1957

Wyly Hall, Carter Seminary, Ardmore, Oklahoma

September 1982
A watermelon produced by a Bixby farmer has been certified as the world's largest by the Guinness Book of World Records. The massive fruit was one of three huge melons, whose total weight exceeded 600-lb.

September 1950
A 29 year old truck driver narrowly escaped death when the butane truck he was driving was struck by a Santa Fe train on the Ringling road crossing. J. W. Edwards, was treated for minor injuries. He failed to come to a halt at the crossing and pulled in the path of the train. Highway Patrol officers reported butane gas covered the entire highway for a considerable distance and put the entire area in a potentially explosive "powder keg". Traffic was rerouted and the entire area was cleared. The accident occurred where the tracks cross Highway 70 on the west outskirts of Lone Grove. Despite the cloudy white gas hovering over the highway, some cars disregarded the danger and kept driving. The slightest spark could have caused an explosion that would have rocked the countryside. "Those people were flirting with death."

Each day we make some progress on contacting people with unclaimed property in this area. That is unclaimed property (insurance, not real estate) being held in escrow at the Oklahoma State Treasurers Office in Oklahoma City. So far the dozens of connections with people has been in the $2,000 to $5,000 range but one was insurance money in the amount of $24,000. Its been rewarding to help people when we are living in financially hard times because of the pandemic. I don't get any money for my service, but the reward of helping others makes it all worth while.

As of today we have reached people about unclaimed property totaling over $435,971. And the search continues.

So with the above being said, how long has it been since you check your name or a family member's name? Its easy to do a search at the Oklahoma State Treasurer link below. I think every state in the union has a unclaimed property website through the state treasures website.

Q. What Oklahoma outlaw was once one of Quantrill's Raiders?
Jesse James (some historians refute this claim)

Q.  In what Oklahoma ghost town stands a statue 25 tall of a white auctioneer and an Indian shaking hands?
A.  Answer in next week's newsletter

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

1925 vintage postcard of downtown Ardmore at West Main and D Street, Hotel Ardmore. -Robert Hensley

Note: Isaac C. Barrett is proprietor of Barrett Motors in photo on the west side of Hotel Ardmore.
Latest issue of your newsletter mentions Tyler and Simpson.  My father, Richard Bagwell, worked there as a delivery driver in the early 1950's.  I have a picture of me and him in front of his truck.  Not sure if it was "take your kid to work day" or if he just brought the truck home but it was a thrill at that age to see a really big truck.
-John Bagwell
I have an older phone book too! Mine is a 1959. I love looking back at names, businesses etc! Lots of pictures along with the businesses phone numbers!
Liked the piece about the theaters in Ardmore and it brought back memories of the Kerr Theater that was on Main Street in Davis and every Saturday morning we'd get a quarter and it would pay for the ticket, a soda, popcorn, and a candy bar. We loved the weekly serials that brought us back to the Theater so we could see what the next episode would be; one of my favorites was Terry and the Pirates (which on Saturday mornings I can watch on CH 256, DirecTV; along with Bamba the Jungle Boy. Thanks for allowing me to relive some good memories as they keep me young at heart and mind and I do have a pretty good memory as far back to Dad's Funeral in April '45 and Pa Bridges taking us to Small's Bakery to get us a donut. -Ralph
Hey Butch, Dr K.P. Martin (my father) was a charter member of the golf course at Healdton! -Don

Below is from This and That newsletter archives of December 18, 2008

I don't know if anyone noticed in the Indian statue photos last week, but there were no cedar trees in the background in the Arbuckle mountains. The photos are from around 1930.  I wish the State could put together some program to rid Oklahoma of this scourge, before its too late.

But you can see where Cedar trees have been planted as part of the landscaping around the curio shop at Turner Falls.  Little did they know back then what would happen in 80 years. Terrible, just a terrible shame. On a brighter note, I like those gravity feed gas pumps!
1932 Helicron

In the late 1930s this one-of-a-kind Helicron was placed in a barn and forgotten. More than six decades later this odd lost little gem was rediscovered, rebuilt, and reintroduced to the world. Although the manufacturer is unknown, it's believed that this car was built in France 1932. Following the first World War it was not uncommon for recently displaced airplane engineers to look towards the automobile industry for employment.

As in this example, a few entrepreneurs developed propeller-powered cars with the notion that propeller power was an efficient means of moving a vehicle. On this car, when the wooden propeller is spinning at full speed and efficiently, this little 1,000-pound boat-tailed skiff can hit freeway speeds exceeding 75 mph. This is the one and only Helicron in existence, owned by Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, TN.
"J.T. tells me he grew up with Betty West whose Dad owned the West Wagon Yard and she had two brothers named Billy and Jerry.  It was on the block of E & 1st S.W. by Central Park"
Submitted by Bruce Hamm:

From Mac's book "Reporter's Notebook" published in 1973.  Here's a transcription of the article

FROM ARDMORE, PENNSYLVANIA----September 20, 1970

My Question has been answered.  What does the word "Ardmore" mean?

It is an Irish word meaning "high ground".
Kramer lives in Wynnewood, Pa., which they pronounce Wynne-wood instead of our "Winnewood".
On the naming of Ardmore, Okla., he wrote "Among the railroad construction crews who were employed on the Santa Fe job were foremen and workers who had been employed by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1882, and one of these men conceived the idea of naming the stations on the Santa Fe main line after stations on the main line of the Pennsy.  I had the whole story in my files, but we had a disastrous fire Jan. 9, 1966, which destroyed everything.  So I have to depend entirely on memory for the story.  But my memory is good despite my 74 years, of which 55 years were spent as a newsman. -Bernard Kramer
"You mentioned Dubiel Arms and I remember them swimming at Lake Ardmore in the 50's. They had a son, John, who graduated in 1964 from AHS. Their house was on Broadway at "Q" Street I believe. It was on the corner on the south side of the street. It seems like John's uncle was the local highway patrolman assigned to Ardmore in the early to mid 60's. Occasionally, there would be a poker game there and Hank Thompson, the singer, would participate.

It's getting close to Christmas and I was thinking back to my Christmases in Ardmore in the early 50's. Before there were frozen turkeys, you could buy locally grown birds in Ardmore. It seems like there were two turkey farms located on US 77 south of town. They were both on the west side of the road. My mother always insisted on a tom turkey. I remember my mother pulling the last remaining quills from the bird and singeing off the last remaining pin feathers before stuffing the bird the night before Christmas.

I recently saw a magazine article about the trucks out on the roads mapping streets. I think the main focus was for mobile GPS devices. There was a picture of one of the trucks and it had four camera mounted on the roof along with laser guns for measuring distances." -Monroe Cameron
"The 1917 year was the earliest records we found in regard to Plainview teachers, board members, census and budget.  There may be other records that we did not find.  In the earlier years we listed the first two teachers in the records as Superintendent and Principal.  The later years the first two listed are shown as Supt. and Prin.  The earliest records we found was 1914 by the Enumerator - listing students name, grade, age, sex, birth date and parents name.  It appears that each year when the Enumerator completed their task the information was provided to the County Superintendent to be forwarded to the State.  These Enumerator records should show when the first grade 9 students were recorded.  From my research it appears that high school started about 1919-1920!!!!  It is also interesting that the census dropped to 68 about 1930.  This must be when the school burned. The early records are very fragile and are deteriorating rapidly."  -Wes Hull, Ardmore

“Life imposes things on you that you can’t control, but you still have the choice of how you’re going to live through this.” — Celine Dion

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges

"Friends Make Life Worth Living"
Ardmore, Oklahoma


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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