This and That Newsletter
Vol 25  Issue 1,255    Circulation 5,000      February 11, 2021
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."

A Glimpse Into The Past

Ryonis Club 1957

In May 1921 John Easley suggested the idea of a women's civic club in Ardmore and called a group of women together for luncheon at the Ardmore Pharmacy 10-12 West Main (Simpson Building) to discuss this possibility. The club that resulted from this meeting 36 years ago (1920) took the name Ryonis which is made up from the last two letters of Rotary, Lion and Kiwanis, although the membership of the club is not necessarily made up of the wives of families of members of Rotary, Lions, or Kiwanis.

Charter members of the new club include Mrs. John (Mary Gwyn) Whiteman, Mrs. John (Lucille) Easley, Mrs. Arthur (Lutie) Walcott, Mrs. Charles (Lucy) Von Weise, Mrs. Walter R. (Annie) Burnitt, Mrs. Julius (Rebecca) Kahn, Mrs. Foster, Mrs. Anderson, Miss Marjorie Williams and Miss Daisy Nichols.

Mrs. Whiteman was the first president and Mrs. George P. (Toy) Selvidge, one of the early members, was chairman of a committee to draw up the constitution and by-laws. Mrs. Walcott became the second president.

The secretary of the YWCA and the wives of local ministers were invited to become members without the payment of dues.

Sister clubs of Ryonis were established at Healdton and Wilson.

Ryonis was instrumental in the organization of Ardmore's "Clean-up Dress-up" campaign in the 30s and has been responsible for flowers and shrub beautification projects throughout the city.

Hundreds of deserving girls have gotten a better chance in life through Ryonis education loan fund. Girls receiving benefits from this loan fund have been of every religion. They have became teachers, nurses, secretaries, housewives and club women.

Money for the loan fund has come largely from fundraising projects by Ryonis instead of donations, for the women of Ryonis just naturally seem to like work.
-from Carter County History book 1957

December 1982
Carter County Clerk Florence Jones, submitted her resignation from that position after 18 years on the job. "I feel it's time for me to step down and give the job to a younger person", Mrs. Jones said, who recommended Royce Moser as her replacement.

December 1969
The nation held its first draft lottery in 27 years. The dates were posted on a big screen and shown over television. Change of draft eligible young men watch the screen with fingers crossed that their birthdate would fall far down the line. President Nixon revive the practice of random selection last week. The number one birthday as far as the birthday out-of-a-hat-method was September 14th. According to the new law Wisconsin's Richard Stolman will be one of the first taken in the draft. He was born that day September 14, 1950. His brother, Douglas Stolman, who's birthday is April 24th will be among the next to go. His birthday is second on the draft list. "There's not much anyone can say," said Richard Stolman, "it's difficult to grasp". In that first draft lottery, the birthday picked last, # 365 therefore the luckiest birthday of all was February 26.

December 1950
December figures just released by the United States Public Health Service at the rate of death from cancer in Carter County is higher than most parts of the nation. Oklahoma had a record of 105 deaths per 100,000 in 1949. The general national average was 135 per 100,000. Locally, the average was 137 per 100,000 population.

December 1950
About 7,213,700 U.S. families, almost one-in-five, own television sets. Most live in cities with 500,000 population or greater. The average is slightly lower in Oklahoma about, 18% of families watching television.

December 1926
Willie Lee Nelson, 26, a Milo farmer, was killed instantly yesterday when the car he was driving turned over near his home. Nelson was thrown clear of the car and his skull was fractured. The accident occurred when he was attempting to pass a truck in the road. He is survived by his parents, three Brothers, in five sisters.

December 1926
Astronomers plan to shoot a bomb to the moon for the purpose of setting off a huge chemical explosion that will be observed on earth. Members of a German astronomical society say shooting a man to the moon is impractical and a bit fantastic. Sending a bomb to the moon will have better chances for success.

As of today we have reached area people about unclaimed property totaling over $620,600.00. And 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. What member of the 45th Infantry Division drew cartoons in WWII?
Bill Mauldin

Q.  What county is the richest county in Oklahoma?
A.  Answer in next week's newsletter

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

I was wondering how many of you remember those old Mercantile stores of long ago, especially during the thirties. The one I remember the most was the Akers Mercantile in Graham. It seemed to have a little of everything, from bolts of material, needles, & thread to clothes and shoes, groceries, feed and seed and the list goes on and on. Back by the meat counter, they had a wooden cooler that kept the bottles of pop nice and cold and sometimes you found a coke all icy and extra cold. They had one of those old gas pumps that you worked a lever back and forth until you got the amount you wanted, and after you put it in, you went inside and told Mr Akers the amount you put in and he took your word for it.
Times were hard for everybody so he let people charge for a month at a time. When you paid the bill in full, he filled a small candy sack with bubble gum, suckers and candy bars for the kids. It was a great store that dealt fairly with everybody during some very hard times. I'm sure there were many such stores scattered across Oklahoma during those depression years. -Elisabeth
We've had over 2 feet of snow in the last 24 hours. It is supposed to snow the rest of the day but the accumulation should be just a couple of inches. -Monroe in Big Sky, Montana
Museum Memories
Tuesday, June 5, will be registration day for service in the Army and Navy. Joe W. Moore who is registrar for New Wilson will have charge of the work. His assistants are to be appointed by the government.
Because you claim exemption from draft, it by no means follows that you are exempt. For the information of the War Department you should make claim now, if you intend to prosecute it. Some persons will be exempt on account of their occupations or offices, some on account of the fact that they have relatives dependent upon them for support. Your answer touching these things will be important in supporting the claim you now intend to make in your answer to present questions (to be filled out on the registration form.)

June 8, 1917
Ten New Wilson boys have volunteered for service in the Untied States Army. All of them that pass the physical examination will join the Ardmore Corps of Engineers which is being formed for service at the front.
They are W. B. Thatcher, W. A. Galloway, Clyde Williams, C. G. Lawrence, A. F. Baker, John C. Payne, Reed K. McKim, Grover Dillard, Howard Harris and Arthur Hopkins.
Due to COVID19, the Wilson Historical Museum is still closed but we still do research for others and curbside pick-up for items purchased from the gift shop. or phone: 580-668-2505
The Daily Ardmoreite
Moss Patterson of the Lazy S Ranch at Springer has served as president of the Oklahoma aviation club and he has been active for a long time in the wing command of the air patrol. This activity has given him a wide acquaintance with men of the air. Some of these who have visited the Lazy S Ranch and have left their pictures are Jimmy Doolittle, Roscoe Turner, Roy Hunt and Wiley Post. One picture of Germany has a strip bearing the name of Post that went around the earth in eight days. Other prominent men of the air who have put their feet under the table at the Lazy S are Bill Kearney and Aubrey Keith and Billy Parker. Parker is pilot for Frank Phillips and makes his home in Bartlesville.
I have enjoyed your weekly newsletter very much. This past week got in to your old messages regarding caves. When I was a young boy and teenager I was raised on the Goddard Ranch. With regards to Oil Creek and one gentleman’s report, the reason it was called Oil Creek was because of greasing wagon wheels. Not so I would say. Prior to the completion of the dam which created the “beautiful lake”, just below the falls, there was an oil seep out of a crack in a big rock. That was why the name Oil Creek. The lake when full covered the oil seep and most of the falls.
My Dad, the ranch manager for years, one time took me to the North side of the ranch, there was a small artesian well, and old wagon tracks beside it. He said people would travel to Sulphur to “take the spring water” in Sulphur, including his parents, Walter and Fronie Hooper Broughton. So they may have well come across Oil Creek on the way. My Dad was Adrian “Heavy” Broughton.

I also when a teen, with another kid, Gary Drowns, once went to the cave east of Nero. Went in, water in the bottom, went down river to a wall, but did not go under the wall. Not very smart of us, no one knew we went to the cave.

Again enjoy your newsletter each week. Please don’t stop.
Dan Broughton
Norman, Okla.
I was glad to see how good the Wilson Methodist church looks in your newsletter. I was christened there as a baby in 1937. At the time my father, Charles Merrill, was the manager of the Hudson Houston Lumber Co. in Wilson. -R. Helms
Gene Autry fan club badge circa 1940 -Robert Hensley
Butch; A few months ago I wrote telling how much my wife an RN, enjoyed working with Betty Thomas back in early 1966. Your most recent newsletter mentioned a school teacher named Ms. Juanita Cox. I pointed that out to my wife whose maiden name was Juanita Cox. She thought that quite interesting because she and Betty helped deliver Ms. Cox the school teacher's first child. My wife who goes by Nita does not remember if it was a boy or girl but was very impressed with all the correct preparation Ms. Cox had done prior to the birth. Thank Heavens nothing quite that exciting happened at the Old American Flyers hangar. After a flock of pigeons returned to roost inside the hangar ruining a new still wet paint job on one of the Electra aircraft Mr. Pigman bought a .410 shotgun and several boxes of shells. I bet the shot patterns are still on the interior roof!! A shotgun blast inside the hangar was quite exciting. Long time ago. Thanks again and take care. -Bill Heaphy
Butch, I am digitalizing family albums for the kids and wanted to send this in case you do not already have it. Its President Truman with Clyde White of Springer and his horse -Dan
Q. Butch, where in Carter County, Oklahoma is Dripping Springs?
A: About halfway between Ardmore and Dickson, Oklahoma along Highway 199.

Below is from This and That newsletter archives of February 13, 2009

"Butch, We explored a cave the old timers at Gene Autry called Dead Man's Cave.  If I remember it was about two or three miles west of Buck Hale's house on Buck Hale Road (Lumbermans Road), turn north about 1 mile.  There is an old military shooting range you go by, there was a ranch road we walked to the top of the mountain, the cave is on the very top of the hill, it goes down about twenty feet to a small room." -Jerry Williams
"Butch, I remembered two more caves, one is on the mountain overlooking the railroad bridge where the river comes out of the mountains it is about 30 feet down the west side its hard to find there is a little outcrop of rocks that is really the only hint of the cave it goes almost straight down, I think Louis Hope and some others went down on ropes. I was by myself when I found it so I didn't even try to enter it. The other one is south of the river bridge west of Dougherty, there is an old scout camp about a half mile south of the bridge, the cave is just south of the camp, there is a large outcrop of rocks in front of it so it was pretty easy to find. It goes down a few feet and back into the hill there was water in it so we didn't go very far into it." -Jerry Williams
"Butch. I really enjoy your Oklahoma History web site. Back in 1940- 1942. I went to the old Mountain Home school which was about 10 miles north of Ringling. I have been trying to find some information and pictures of the old school which has seen been torn down. We lived in the community about 5 or 6 miles west of the school. If any one has any information. They can send it me on my e-mail site. Thanks, Ronnie."

"Oh, Lord, who lends me life, lend me a heart replete with thankfulness." -William Shakespeare

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges

"Friends Make Life Worth Living"
Ardmore, Oklahoma

Oklahoma History Website #2 (backup website)

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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