This and That Newsletter
Vol 25  Issue 1,250    Circulation 5,000      December January 7, 2021
Ardmore, Oklahoma
My email address:

"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us
What we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal."

Berwyn School

The Berwyn School, Berwyn, Indian Territory, came into existence in 1894 when classes were held in a two-story frame building which stood on the lot now occupied by Hardy Telephone Exchange. The building belonged to the Masonic Lodge and was supported by subscriptions.

The town of Berwyn was incorporated in 1900 and in 1902 the school building was torn down and a part of it used in construction of a four-room frame structure on the hill overlooking the Washita River Valley.

This facility was adequate until consolidation with a number of outlying districts in 1915 when a red brick building consisting of six classrooms and an auditorium were built to replace the frame building.

Progress was such that in 1938 a more modern plant was needed and the present building was erected. It has a combination gymnasium and auditorium, six classrooms, study hall and office accommodations. Another building houses a modern lunch room. Under construction are an $84,000 combined gymnasium and auditorium and additional classrooms.

Some of the superintendent's who have served as the system down through the years are G.H. Chance, F.J. Reynolds, A.E. Dixon, R.E. Glider, R.V. Handey, 0.S. Jones, Tom McGiboney, W.P. Phillips and W.F. Mitchusson. The present administrator, William T James, has been with the system 23 years.
-from Carter County History book 1957

Berwyn school 1902

Berwyn (Gene Autry) school, 1914

Berwyn School 1955

Lone Grove schools group photo 1927

November 1968
Ardmore schools were ordered to desegregate by next Fall by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. The only school systems in Oklahoma still operating schools with all Negro enrollment are Oklahoma City, McAlester, Idabel, Tulsa and Ardmore.

November 1951
A sleet storm, reaching almost blizzard proportions, struck the area on February 14th. Local observers measured 1.75 inches of sleet on the ground, making travel almost impossible. An inch of snow followed the sleet and ice, to add to already slick and slippery streets. The temperature hovered under 20 degrees. Motorists are advised to use chains if they have to drive. Schools were shut down in all sections.

As of today we have reached people about unclaimed property totaling over $473,940. I had hoped to reach the half-million mark of uniting people by December 31st in this area with their unclaimed money, but it looks like we will not reach that goal. Oh well, the search continues.

So with the above being said, how long has it been since you checked 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 respective state treasures website.

Q. A Sahara type desert is located where in Oklahoma?
A.  Little Sahara State Park, also called Waynoka Dunes is a state park located in Woods County, Oklahoma, named for its resemblance to the Sahara Desert. The vast 1,600 acre dunes have formed over time from terrace deposits, remnants of prehistoric times when the Cimarron River flowed over the entire area.

Q.  What Oklahoma governor sometimes depended on astrology?
A.  Answer in next week's newsletter

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

Dear Butch:
The car wreck everybody is discussing that happened in I believe 1955 involving the highly modified 1955 Chevy and a truck south of Ardmore near the sale barn was the wreck in which Marvin McClendon and a female passenger whose last name was I believe Eades were killed. The wreck in the 50's some referred to was a 1957 Desoto 2 door hardtop driven by Joseph Farinetti in which he and three others were killed in the early morning hours of Saturday June 21, 1958. The Farinetti vehicle also crashed into a truck in front of Evelyn's Chicken in the Rough and the top sheared off. The three others who lost their life in the Farinetti wreck were brothers Donald Gene and John Wayne Cothran and a passenger named Claude Herman Pritchett. A fourth passenger, Bobby Ray Culley was the lone survivor though gravely injured. -Gary
Q. I have heard for years about a train or maybe trolley that ran from Ardmore to the Wirt Franklin estate at Dornick Hill so people could swim at a pool and maybe picnic on the grounds. I think I have seen what’s left of the cement pool years ago. It was located east of the big grey granite house but before you got to what we called Cassity's pond. This information was what I remember from the 60’s. Do you know anything about it and if so where can find out information and what is was called (if it had a name).
Thanks -Steve Girard

A. Steve, here is what I have:
Joe F. Robinson, the man, who was a partner, built the first federal building in Ardmore and who owned the Opera House at Main and C Street Southwest, had another brainstorm about 1907 - streetcars for Ardmore. He organized and was president of the Ardmore tractor Company which functioned until 1924 when it fell victim to the automobile age. Second hand trolleys were obtained from Fort Worth, Texas. The first conductor was J. W. “Bill” Moore, and the fare was 5 cents in town, 10 cents to the end of the line at Lorena Park. The trolley followed a route from the Santa Fe Depot west on Main Street to C Street, then north along C Street to 8th Avenue Northwest, west along 8th to Wolverton, north along Wolverton out of town to the car barn, 1 mile north of town, then on to Lorena Park, also Robinson’s conception, on the ridge near Dornick Hills Country Club. In time, the equipment increased from 2 cars to 6, which included 2 summer cars consisting of mounted benches shaded by canopies overhead. This transportation venture was popular but not lucrative, particularly after the advent of the automobile. In 1922, service was discontinued, and during the 1930s the tracks were removed as part of the WPA. -Sally Gray, Territory Town, The Ardmore Story published 2006

Here is a map of where the trolley traveled.

In 1973 I flew to Chicago to an EMT association meeting representing Oklahoma as I was president of the Oklahoma chapter. The main man and organizer of the national association of EMTs was Rocco Morando of Ohio. When he and I were talking, and I said I was from Oklahoma, he said he rode that trolley from Ardmore to Dornick Hills around 1944 during WWII and he was at the Ardmore airbase. Small world. Hope this helps, Steve. -Butch

Below is from This and That newsletter archives of January 8, 2009

"Hi Butch and Jill: Hope you've had a wonderful Christmas Day in my favorite state, OK! I was reading your newsletter and saw that you had fixed your squirrel problem. Here in California, around several redwood trees we have several families of squirrels. My husband bought me a beautiful bird feeder and we battled with the squirrels until we heard how to fix the problem. We got an old fashioned children's toy called a Slinky, the metal one that can walk down stairs if you start it just right.  We took two of the Slinkys and put them up the middle of the pipe that held the bird feeder. It worked like a charm and it sure has been fun watching the squirrels trying to get up the Squirrel proof Slinky. I know you've already fixed the problem, but if you ever put up another feeder, try the Slinky touch. It really works. Happy Holidays from San Jose, CA." -JoAnn Ricks
"Hello Butch.  As you know part of the old Sunset school was made into a museum and they really did a nice job of it.  I read in the Healdton paper recently that the rest of the old building including the old auditorium, the west classrooms and the galley are to be torn down.  When driving by afterwards I noticed the doors were open so I went in and took several pictures of the old place.  It is a mess as you can imagine, but I could still see myself there and the friends and teachers from 50 years ago.  It was actually a little spooky to walk through there all these years later."
"Butch, I talked with Ollie Taylor from Oklahoma City, this week and he said that pipes went to the boilers to heat the green house. He said they raised flowers and plants for florist across southern Oklahoma, He was a florist for Scott's back in the mid 50's and that boiler was there way before the Scotta's bought the company." -Terry

"The cotton Gin was located in the area where the Dollar General store is now located G and West Broadway) which is in the building that was once occupied by Humpty Dumpty grocery store. The cotton Gin predated all of the above. The stack you mentioned was a part of the complex that Mr. Woerz of the Woerz Nursery had built but much later became the Scotta's Nursery." -Ernest Martin

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. -Thomas Edison

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges

"Friends Make Life Worth Living"
Ardmore, Oklahoma

Oklahoma History Website #2 backup

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

All previous issues of This & That can be found on my Website's archives.
Feel free to forward this free newsletter. Mailouts: over 1,300.
To be removed from my T&T mailings, just send me an email.
I do not sell, trade or give my mailing list to anyone for any reason.