This and That Newsletter
Vol 25  Issue 1,286   Circulation 5,000      September 16, 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

November 27, 1911

R.S. Francis, a former deputy sheriff of Sulphur, has confessed to County Attorney Fagan that he and about a half dozen others of West Sulphur attempted to blow up the Murray county courthouse last September. His confession is surrounded with deep mystery. Those implicated declare him crazy while others believe his story. He described how the guilty parties stood guard to warn those engaged in the dastardly work and gives the names of those directly concerned.

County Attorney Fagan declined to give out a copy of the confession, but admitted it was true that Francis spent several hours in his office Sunday and told the whole story. He is locked up as a safeguard against possible bodily harm. A prominent citizen of West Sulphur said Sunday that Francis recanted on Saturday to those implicated. He is said to have requested the officers to protect him against the irate mob.

Repeated questions asked over the telephone Sunday afternoon were met with evasion and the reply from the county attorney was only an admission that Francis had confessed and implicated a half dozen prominent business men. Detectives have been quietly working on the case several weeks and recently one of the conspirators wrote a letter that gave them a clue.

It is believed that Francis will be able to save himself a long term in prison by implicating his fellow conspirators. He stated at a public meeting in West Sulphur Sunday afternoon that he was paid $500 by two prominent East Sulphur business men to make confession implicating certain West Sulphur parties, and assured his auditors that he was only making the confession for the money there was in it. For fear of mob violence he is said to be anxious to remain in the county jail.

Darrell Vaughn sent me a great photo the other day. A picture of the Ardmoreite Band during Indian Territory days. The photo is actually from a 131 page book by Charlsie Foust Allen (1948 to 2019), Ardmore entitled Images of America- Ardmore. If you want a copy of her book I suggest you get your hands on one while the book (hardcover or softcover) can still be found, like at before they are all gone.

July 1968
The City of Ardmore grew 50% when City Commissioners annexed some 8,778 acres of land area on Thursday. The new boundaries are the west side of Gene Autry Road extending 3 miles north and of U.S. 70 East. The new area includes heavily populated areas along Springdale Road, along U.S. 70 East and the Chickasaw Lake Club. Officers of the Southern Oklahoma Water Corporation immediately announced plans to stop the annexation. The annexation raises a legal question as to whether persons living inside Ardmore City Limits can be served by a SOWC.

July 1951
In 1907 Robert Scivally was chairman of the first Carter County Board of Commissioners and served with O. K. Darden and Allen Speake. When they took over, there was no courthouse, no letterhead, no writing pens, no roads, no bridges and not a road in the county was built on a section line.

July 1951
The honeymoon of an Oklahoma City couple ended in tragedy at Lake Murray when the groom accidentally shot himself with a double barrel shotgun. Frank Bedord, 31, was fatally wounded in the chest from to blast of a 16 gauge shotgun when he was cleaning the weapon. The accident occurred as the couple was preparing to check out. Florence, his 28-year old wife, said she was in the bathroom combing her hair.

July 1927
The Blue Ribbon School District located 5 miles northwest of Lone Grove will award a contract Saturday afternoon for construction of a new school building. The old building will be torn down and the material used in construction of the new building- a one-story frame of two rooms.

Some Ardmore streets in 1918 that no longer exist

Indian Alley
Glover Street
London Street In 1924 where Glover SE intersected with Moore SE, was another street called London Street. London SE went off to the SE from Moore at an angle.
City Limits Road

Old Ardmore schools designations

First Ward School
Corner E and 6th NW

Second Ward School
G and 5th (now Martin Luther King Drive) NE

Third Ward School
Carter and 5th SE

Forth Ward School
Stanley and G Street SW

Still finding people in Oklahoma with unclaimed money. We're now over the $1,230,000.00 dollar mark. Sometimes progress is slow locating people or their kin with unclaimed insurance money at the State Treasurers office in OKC but we keep trying and we are making a difference in people's lives.

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.  Where is the clearest lake in Oklahoma located?
A.   Lake Tenkiller in the NE part of the state.

Q.  What city was Brad Pitt born in?
A.  Answer in next week's newsletter

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

I've never met the artist but this is a piece that hangs in our home. I bought it in Lyons, Colorado in 1995. I bought it because it reminded me of Rance Hood, another Oklahoma artist. Their styles are very similar. -Monroe Cameron

From last week's newsletter: Jill and I were through Mannsville about a week ago and stopped to take a pic of the wall mural located on the west side of the General Store.
Steve Douglas said:
Greetings to members of AHS Class of ’53: The ‘Gathering of the Fifties’ is well underway and so far near 100 members of AHS Classes 1950 thru 1960 have shared their intention to attend, as others send in their intentions daily.

What started with just a bull session of what such a gathering could be, grew and people like Charles Tate, Class of ’57, took a let’s do it attitude; along with Judy Douglas Schimmel, Vi Whitfield Freeman, Class of 1958; Steve Douglas, Bill Chapman Class of ’53; Jo Clair Singletary Hamilton, Ron Parker, Class of ’54; Adolphine Luton Holt, Class of ’56; David Dodd Class of 55; Ken and Betsy Yell Tackett, Madonna Estes Pumphrey, Class of ’59; Josephine Stewart, Marsha McGuire Class of ’60; all are working to notify classmates of what is coming and extending an invitation to attend.
Their will be a Class Mixer on Saturday, October 16th, beginning at 12:00 noon until 3:00 p.m. at the Parish Hall of St. Mary Catholic Church (Stanley at F St SW); Heavy Chefs-d’oeuvre’s, coffee, tea and sodas, will be served to those attending. Cost will be $20 per person (Cash only, pay at the door). Dress is casual. Please bring any mementos you may have of your school days to be displayed.

If attending, please respond to Judy Douglas Schimmel, email by October 1st, so a head count can be made.
Class members of Class of ’53 that have responded include, Peggy Burton Heller, Bill Chapman & wife, Steve Douglas, Ken Jones & wife, Jo Evelyn Michael Housler, and Wayne Vaughn are planning to attend.

Several classes are also scheduling mini reunions with their members at locations in Ardmore. There is a block of rooms available at the new Courtyard by the Marriott, 580-224-2764 with discount.

The Class of ’53 has scheduled a Saturday evening meal, 6:00 p.m. at Two Frogs, ordering from the menu. Let me know if you plan to attend.
On a personal note, back in July I had surgery to repair an unexpected stomach ulcer, followed by a total left hip replacement Aug 30th both of which have slowed me down a step or two. I plan on seeing all of you Oct 16th at the “Gathering of the Fifties” and at the Class of ’53 dinner @ 2Frogs that evening. Regards to all, Steve Douglas
The annual Pauls Valley Fly-In and Car Show is Saturday November 6th.

Below is from This and That newsletter archives of September 17, 2009

"Butch- look at attach photo I found made in summer 1958 - that was year of movie showing at Park Theater. The policeman walking across middle of street was my grand-dad Matt Alexander. Note all people on street walking and all business downtown. Also main street was two-way. My dad Burl Chadwell always said when a town the size of Ardmore makes main street one-way it dies, I believe there is some truth in that. Thought you would enjoy seeing this photo back in time." -Creigh Chadwell
The Daily Ardmoreite
October 22, 1913
Ardmore in Movies
Picture Man Here with his Camera - Scenes to be Made Friday.

O. A. "Otis" Tannehill arrived in the city today and is making preparations to make moving pictures of Ardmore on Friday, October 24, following the street parade. The Royal Company of Sherman, Texas, will make the films, and the pictures will be put on the canvas at the Majestic in this city for three days and after that they will be turned over to the show circuit and will be shown in all three cities of the United States. Mr. Tannehill wants ten bright Ardmore girls to assist him in the work and asks the young ladies to meet him promptly at 10 o'clock at the Majestic Theater tomorrow morning. The Commercial Club has endorsed this work, says Mr. Tannehill.
Al Young in Houston sent in a 1932 obit on his grandfather, James Oxford. Oxford was on the Ardmore police force when Ardmore was in its beginnings. When I read the obit I recognized so many of the names mentioned which were common place around our house when I was a kid. The Oxfords and the Carmons were friends long before I was born, and I remember my grandparents, Stanley and Addie Carmon, mentioning them numerous times. The Oxfords were a well established family in Ardmore. James Oxford had just attended his brother-in-law's funeral in 1932, was walking home, and stricken with a heart attack. He died at his home a few hours later.
"Butch, your photo of the small man in the black jacket is my uncle, Ilex Oxford, they mention in the article. This is priceless. Thanks so much." -Al Young, Houston
Note: The above picture are some of the dignitaries at the burial of Hardy Murphy's horse (in Ardmore). Left to right are: Floyd Randolph, Jim Askew Sr., Jim Askew Jr. Hardy Murphy, Mayor Iley Oxford, City Mgr. Emmet Brown, Ray Colvert, Unknown, Quintin Little, Carl Holden and Guy Harris."

Iley E. Oxford

Published in The Daily Ardmoreite [Ardmore, Okla.], June 22, 1999

Graveside rites for Iley Erwin Oxford, 91, will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Hillcrest Memorial Park with the Rev. Donny Custer officiating. Mr. Oxford died June 20, 1999, in Davis. Born Aug. 23, 1907, at Hewitt, Indian Territory, to James and Mollie Oxford, pioneer residents, he moved to Ardmore as an infant and lived here all his life. He married Mary Ethridge in Ardmore, Sept. 27, 1928. The couple had been married 70 years when Mary preceded him in death Dec. 13, 1998. He had been an Ardmore businessman for many years operating Oxford Service Station and Garage. After retiring from the station, he and his late son, James, established Val-Qua Manufacturing Co. He served as president until retiring in 1976. A former Ardmore City Commissioner, he served nine years on the council. He was a lifelong member of Emmanuel Baptist Church where he served on the Board of Trustees, the Building and Financial Committee and was a member of the Men's Bible Class. He was a charter member of AARP. An avid fisherman, he was a member of the Dirty Dozen fishing club and worked on several committees promoting better fishing conditions in Southern Oklahoma. A loving husband, father and grandfather, he was loved by all. Survivors include a son and daughter-in-law, Dr. Don and Sandra Oxford, Davis; two grandsons, Mike and Brent Oxford; five granddaughters, Tracy Drennan, Carol Edwards, Lyndi McCulloch, Donna Williams and Diane Long; eight great-grandchildren; two step-great-grandchildren; and a great-great-granddaughter. He was preceded in death by a son, James Oxford in 1964; and daughter, Nelda Long in 1997. Memorials may be made to the Building Fund at Emmanuel Baptist Church. Harvey-Douglas Funeral Home will direct services.

"I sent the above obit for Iley Oxford in an earlier email. In Uncle Iley Oxford's obituary was a statement about the "DIRTY DOZEN". Would anyone in Ardmore have memories of that group. They were bass fisherman. Every year they would meet at the Lake Murray, along with their wives. Back then, as you might recall, there were just a few "shelters" (I do not recall cabins with beds, kitchens) just screened shelters. And, the men pitched a big tent. They would play domino's, 42, the women just relaxed talking, etc----did not do a thing. The guys caught the fish, cleaned & cooked. I was really small the only time I went with my Aunt and Uncle to the annual "DIRTY DOZEN" weekend. There surely must be some of the Dirty Dozen kids that recall this group."

-Al Young, Houston TX

The little Priddy's diner in OKC was on the SE corner of NW 12 and Hudson; it's still there but is now a closed Mexican restaurant. I ate with Mr. Priddy almost every evening in 1957 and 1958, and at that time he was still in the little diner. He built the new place a block and a half south, on Hudson, in either late 1958 or early 1959. I only ate there a few times before moving to California in late 1959, and when I came back in February 1962 he was gone.

He had trademarked "The World's Best Hamburger" but what he really excelled at was chili. I've never had anything like it before or since. He would make a huge batch each fall and serve it all winter.

I have a copy of a promotional postcard for his supper club, which was located in NE OKC near the state capitol building. The Branding Iron was several miles away from that area, on N Portland between NW 50 and NW 63 (almost across Portland from Deaconess Hospital). During Joe Cannon's enforcement of the prohibition laws (that led to the repeal of prohibition in 1959) the Branding Iron was one of only two clubs in the state that was off-limits to Cannon's Raiders (since it was where Gov. Edmondson went to relax). The other was the Oklahoma City Press Club! However the Petroleum Club and the Beacon Club were both raided at least once.

The last I heard of Louis Priddy was in the early 1980s, when a disastrous fire destroyed a number of costly homes in the Lakehurst addition of NW OKC near N May Avenue and Britton Road. It happened on a day with a strong south wind and the addition's covenants required wooden shingle roofs. The blaze leapt from one roof to another and eventually covered portions of several blocks. His was one of the homes destroyed in the fire. That disaster led to the abolition of such covenants in our state." -Jim Kyle

"Hi Butch, I just saw an item in T&T about Priddy's restaurant in the '40s. Started me down memory lane about drive-in restaurants in the '30s. If you preferred, all these drive-ins had "car hops" who took your order and delivered your food to your car. There was a special window tray about 12x15" that hooked on the window with a prop that supported it against the outside of the door.

First one I recall was "Puny's" (Puny Sparger long in restaurants and later Justice of the Peace) located So. Commerce betweem Myall and the then Confederate Home about 1934. Disastrous fire ended it around 1936. My father owned the building. Some time later Puny's relocated half mile North across Commerce just South of the railroad track.

Around 1940 The place to meet and eat became "Priddy's" on Commerce just South of Broadway approx where Jack in the Box is now. As far as I ever heard it was operated by Louis Priddy only. We envied Louis Priddy for his spectacular 1941 Buick.

Those of us who were there then recall that South Commerce then was hiway 77 and was on what is now the East service lane. The part from Broadway to 12th Ave did not exist, with 77 going down E St NW, turning West on Main at Central Park. Hiway to also ran thru downtown then and by Priddy's.

During the 1930s there was also the "Green Frog" drive-in located on Main Street about where Chamber of Commerce is now. In the T&T reference to Eden's restaurant next the Tivoli (then Palace) theater, it was Earl's Cafe in the '30s. Been there - Done that! Best!" -Bob McCrory
"The Memorial Christian Church at 12th and A Street NW is the Chapel from the Ardmore Army Air Field, WWII at the Airpark. It was probably moved to its present location in 1946-47 or 48. It was the only building on the base that could not be sold or torn down but had to be used as a church either on the base or elsewhere."

 "Blowing in the Wind" by Peter, Paul and Mary Travers (1936-2009)

How many years can a mountain exist,
before it is washed to the sea?
How many years can some people exist,
before they're allowed to be free?
And how many times can a man turn his head,
and pretend that he just doesn't see?

The answer my friend is blowing in the wind,
the answer is blowing in the wind.

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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