This and That Newsletter
Vol 25  Issue 1,277   Circulation 5,000      July 15, 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

In 1887 the only freight hauled into Ardmore was done by the railroads; The Rock Island, Frisco and the Santa Fe. Once the railroads deliver the goods to the siding the merchandise was handled by individuals with horse and wagons. Shortly there after an employee, Farley Richmond, bought the line and it became known as Richmond Dray Lines. In the course of the business, Richmond handled the first oil drilling rig to be used in the Ardmore area, a large task considering its size and the absence of good roads.

In 1898 Richmond Dray Lines handled another large transfer job, the unloading and transportation of a large brick press machine to Ardmore asphalt mine 3 miles from town. The operators of the brick farm believed they could make brick from asphalt but the project was a dismal and expensive failure when the bricks refused to hold together. After a year or two the brick press was dismantled and shipped out.

About 1904 Richmond handled his biggest single job, that of unloading all the pipe and material for the city standpipe north of town. Three years later Richmond sold the dray part of his business to J. L. Wilson and Richmond devoted his time to the dirt contracting business. Then, with only horse and manpower, he built Chickasaw Lake, City Lake, the North Lake and constructed the railroad bed for the Oklahoma, New Mexico and Pacific Railway later known as the Ringling Railroad.

Wilson was responsible for many improvements in the moving and transfer business. During his time the first trucks were put into operation in the first duel wheels and van bodies for trucks were built under his direction.

Today Ardmore is served by 6 motor freight Lines and is the base for four truck lines specializing in hauling of petroleum products. 7 companies are engaged in the moving & storage of household goods and connected with van lines to all points of the country.
-Carter County History Book 1957

June 1927
Newport has an inventive genius who has been at work there designing a cotton picker for 3 years. Jim Berger was in the Spanish-American war and has several scars inflicted by peevish boleman in the Philippines. Cotton Picking has always been one of his bugaboos, and he has invented a machine that will sell for $250 and can be operated by a team instead of tractors.

June 1951
Little Butch (eight-year-old Richard Haney) was playing with his pet kitten in the front yard of his Gene Autry home. He had just finished swinging on a chain swing that was strung from a hackberry tree. As he reached down to pick up his cat, lightning hit the swing. It's struck both the boy and the cat. The cat was killed instantly. The boy was knocked to the ground unconscious. His clothes were scorched and torn. When asked if he was hurt, he said, "Nah just burned a little but my cat is dead." His mother took down the chain from the tree. It will not be replaced.

June 1968
Dunbar will not be used as an elementary school in Ardmore this fall, and the Douglas High School will not be a separate school after the coming year in a two-step desegregation plan to be submitted to the Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. All students who attended Dunbar will be absorbed into the former all white elementary schools. Superintendent of schools J. B. Fox Jr., told the school board that free choice is no longer acceptable.

June 1983
Doris Berger and her husband Thurmond, are the new owners of the former Hicks Hick'ry Inn.

We've gone over the $934,000 mark, so we are making progress locating people or their kin with unclaimed property at the State Treasurers office in OKC. As of today we have reached area people about unclaimed property totaling over $910,357. 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 town in Oklahoma is nick named the quarter horse capital of the world?
Purcell is often called the "Quarterhorse Capital of the World" and its official motto is "Heart of Oklahoma"; the city has registered trademarks on both titles.

Q.  What town is known as the Crown Jewel of Oklahoma?
A.  Answer in next week's newsletter

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

Don't miss "The Greatest Show on Earth," living history at its best. Union Pacific's "Big Boy" Locomotive # 4014 the largest, heaviest, and most powerful ever built and now operational steam locomotive in the world. This resurrected living breathing behemoth of a machine is coming to Fort Worth, Texas Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021. It will also travel through Eastern Oklahoma on its way to Fort Worth, Texas via Russell, Pryor, Wagoner, Muskogee, Eufaula, McAlester, Atoka, Durant and Colbert, Oklahoma. I saw it in Marshal, Texas in November 2019 when it made its first tour and I can tell you it is well worth the pilgrimage. Union Pacific Railroad's Locomotive "Big Boy" No. 4014 will depart Cheyenne, Wyoming, Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021 traveling through Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, and Wyoming. They are still working out the details of overnight and whistle stops along the way, but they can tell us the Big Boy will be on display at the following locations: Saturday, Aug. 14: Fort Worth, Texas, Tuesday, Aug. 17: Houston, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 21: New Orleans, Louisiana, Sunday, Aug. 29: St. Louis, Missouri, Monday, Sept. 6: Denver, Colorado. The locomotive weighs in at 1,208,750 lbs. outweighing a Boeing 747, overall length: 132 ft. 9+1⁄4 inches. That's longer than two Gray Hound Buses. Following the Denver stop on Labor Day weekend, the Big Boy and its crew will return to Cheyenne, Wyoming. Join the Union Pacific Steam Club to be notified as they finalize all of the details. -Larry Paul

Parsons, Kan.
Clark Ave. & N. 20th St.
8:00 a.m. CT

Vinita, Okla.
E. Flint Ave. Crossing
Arrival 9:45 a.m. CT
Depart10:30 a.m. CT

Pryor, Okla.
S. Third St & Dog Pound Rd.
Arrival 11:45 a.m. CT
Depart Noon CT

Wagoner, Okla.
SW 5th St. & Jackson Ave.
Arrival 12:45 p.m. CT
Depart 1:00 p.m. CT

Muskogee, Okla.
5 Martin Luther King Street
1:30 p.m. CT
2:00 p.m. CT

McAlester, Okla.
Arrival Aug 12
1 E. Krebs Ave.
4:00 p.m. CT

Friday, August 13
McAlester, Okla.
1 E. Krebs Ave.
9:00 a.m. CT

Atoka, Okla.
E. Court St. & Main St.
Arrival 10:45 a.m. CT
Depart 11:15 a.m. CT

Durant, Okla.
W. Cedar St. Crossing
Arrival 12:30 p.m. CT
Depart 12:45 p.m. CT
Do you have any history on the Ardmore Veterans Home on South Commerce?
Old Shoppers Paradise building 123 N. Washington (1980s) store front fell July 9, 2021 Friday night after being hit by a car. Ardmore Ok -Robert Hensley
Uncovered store front Ardmore Ok. Never heard of store called Mode O' Day.

One of a kind—Aunt Effie
My aunt Effie Dobson and her husband were the managers for the SEA ranch owned by Noble at the north edge of Ardmore as you enter the city from the north. Now Effie wasn’t just any aunt ,she was a wholly terror. When I first moved to Ardmore I was shopping in the old Dicus store in the N.E. one day when an elderly woman rammed her cart into mine and muttered something like “get the hell out of the way”. I responded with I’m sorry. Well, after a few aisles later the same thing happened but with much more force. This time I decided to look under the wide brimmed hat and much to my surprise it was Aunt Effie. We both had belly laughs that rocked the carts before exchanging pleasantries about weather and family. Now, NOBODY could fish the Noble lakes unless they knew somebody. You see these beautiful lakes were stocked each with a different type fish Catfish, Crappie, Sand Bass etc. I saw this startlingly meeting as an opportunity. I told my aunt Effie the only way I would forgive her was for her to let me fish the lakes. She agreed if I would do two things. One I had to call ahead each time and if she so desired she would go fishing with me. Aunt Effie loved to fish although she never requested to go with me. She did provide me with a lot of information about where to fish and not once did she turn down a request by me to fish although I didn’t abuse the opportunity. R.I.P. Effie by Jim Hefley

Below is from This and That newsletter archives of July 16, 2009

This week I added Volume 8 of Betty Carroll's "Once Upon A Time" audios to the website.

I thought I'd share a pic of the old Ardmore High School that was located at Stanley and G Street SW (back then called Stanley and 2nd Street) before a high school was built on North Washington.
I been making storage shelves out of wood pallets.  Those pallets can be used for many things, and recycled instead of ending up in the dump.

"Butch, every time I go to southern Oklahoma, I make it a point to stop by Turner Falls. Although I live in OKC, my heart is still in the Arbuckles. I'm an old Dougherty river rat and spent many many days exploring the Arbuckles and surrounding area. I was on my motorcycle the other day and took the old road that ends behind the youth camp. Luckily, the gates were open so I was able to get a picture of Price's Falls. I used to swim in that hole of water. As you can see, its still a beautiful place. I also drove off the road to a hilltop and took the picture of the valley below. I wouldn't advise doing that as the terrain is very steep and rocky. It's also private property but there is no gate to prevent curious sightseers like me. If anyone does venture off the beaten path, please respect whoever the owner may be and leave it as pristine as you found it. We are so lucky to have this little piece of heaven in our state." -Lynn McCumber
"Butch, I'm sorry to hear your story about Mexico watermelons being sold in some Ardmore stores, unfortunately that story is told more and more these days. I'm also sorry to say that the local melons here in Rush Springs aren't quite ready yet (1 more month), however, let me give you a number to a grower here in Rush Springs and he'll definitely give you an answer that I hope you'll be happy with (for Black Diamonds). His name is Mark Williams."
The Wilson News
~ The Graham gin burned down Monday morning at about three o'clock. Mr. Welcher, the owner, was in Ardmore at the time. One bale of cotton that belonged to Douglas Davis burned. I think that was all the cotton that was in the gin.
~ 7-14-1915 R. H. Reed unloaded a car of new gin machinery here for his Oil City gin last week. Mr. Reed says he is anticipating a big run this coming season.
~ 8 - 4 - 1915 Cotton continues to come in to this place for ginning. The Reed gin makes a run or two every week. This is probably the only gin in the county that is running this late in the season. Several loads of cotton came to the Reed gin last week from the vicinity of Ringling.
~ 9 - 30 - 1915 Wilson has six cotton buyers now, which keeps bidding keen, each one trying to beat the other on the price.
The Daily Ardmoreite
January 21, 1898
Healdton, I. T., Jan. 20th
The school building at Graham nine miles north of Healdton, was burned last night. It was a two-story structure, the upper story being used by the A. F. and A. M. and I.O.O.F. fraternities. It was the best building of its kind in this country. The loss is estimated at $1500.
January 21, 1898
The Daily Ardmoreite
The Ardmoreite will be given you in exchange for cord wood.
The Daily Ardmoreite
February 21, 1918
Fort Smith, Ark., Feb. 21
A man alleged to be J. H. Huff of Ada, Okla, was shot and seriously wounded after he had robbed the Bank of Wister at Wister, Okla., of several hundred dollars today. Armed with a pistol, he forced President Harris to place the bank funds in a satchel and then locked bank officers and customers in the vault. The public had been aroused, and a posse opened fire on Huff as he emerged. Huff dropped wounded, and was carried into the bank building and a surgeon called.
The Daily Ardmoreite
February 13, 1898
Brock, I. T., Feb. 12th
Noticing in your paper an account of the burning of the school at Brock, I will make a statement of the burn. In the first place it is a mistake that the fire was incendiary. No such thought was entertained by anyone. I attended the box supper the night the house was burned, and think it caught fire from the stove. The stove was in a dilapidated condition and had been for some time. The house was worth about $150. The school numbered 53 pupils. Another house is being erected which greatly surpasses the former one. Thanks to the liberality of the citizens of the community, and to the good people of Ardmore for their liberal donations. Respectfully yours, J. H. Akers.


With all the talk about watermelons I have to tell this story:  Some kids were stealing watermelons out of this farmers patch at night.  The farmer got tired of it, so he put up a sign by the road that read:  "This watermelon patch has one poison watermelon."   The next morning when the farmer looked out, the kids had placed a second sign up,  "This watermelon patch now has 2 poison watermelons."

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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