This and That Newsletter
Vol 26  Issue 1,306   Circulation 5,000      February 3, 2022
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."

I hope everyone is staying safe in all this ice and snow and cold. I have some good news to report. Since I announced my GoFundMe account two weeks ago there has been tremendous progress made that will assure my Oklahoma History website continues for years to come. To date I have received double the goal I set, receiving over $2,100 in donations. (see link below)

So, here's the plan. First, we will moved my website from to with their 10 year hosting plan ($958.80). Plus my Domain name ( which I've had with for a number of years, will be paid up for the next 10 years (max allowed) ($190). Next my website will be changed from the old, outdated HTML format to a new, modern Wordpress format. The new format will completely make it more eye pleasing with better graphics and user friendly, and will also make it compatible with today's cell phone technology.

My website has been online continuously since 1996 (26 years), longer than any website in this county. It receives 1,000s of people everyday looking for historical info and pictures. I was worried if something happened to me, the website would be gone for non payment. Now thanks to those of you who donated it will be here for at least the next 10 years.

Below is graph for the last 12 months of statistics for my website. It gets lots of usage from all over the world.

So, what's the summary of all that technical mombo jumbo above? The bottom line is my history website will be online for another 10 years, whether I'm still here or not. What a relief.

A Glimpse Into The Past

Telephone Service

The original telephone exchange in Ardmore was built by A. J. Wolverton and Clarence A. Rose in 1898. During the same year they merged with the Interstate Telephone Company to form the Ardmore Electric Company.

Two years later the Chickasaw Telephone Company was formed but it was two years more before the telephone property segregated from the power and light department of this company. Actually, this firm was essentially a name change deal. On January 1, 1911 the firm was acquired by the Pioneer Telephone and Telegraph Company, the predecessor in Oklahoma to the Southwestern Bell Telephone Company.

The franchise under which the Chickasaw Telephone Company operated was for a 20-year period and serve both local and toll service. It provided that the city be furnished one free telephone placed in the city hall at such place as designated by the city council. Rates for to be a maximum of $3 for business and $2 for residency.

When the first exchange was open there were only two employees, Wolverton and Hugh Johnson. Wolverton has related that when he operated the switchboard spend as much time as possible exchanging name of operators in other towns.

William H. Berry Jr assumed duties of the Pioneer Telephone and Telegraph Company when it acquired the Chickasaw Telephone Company property and later became commercial superintendent of the Southwestern Bell Company in Oklahoma.

B. L. Razor, who installed the Sterling common battery switchboard in 1907 and was engaged by the Chickasaw Company as plant chief remain with the firm until it was passed to the Pioneer Telephone firm and then continued with that company. He later was transferred to the plant superintendent Department in Oklahoma City and he became transmission inspector.

The first office in Ardmore was located on the second floor of a building at the northeast corner of Main and Mill Street. It later occupied several different locations, mostly in buildings with other businesses.

When the Exchange open for business it had about 50 subscribers. By 1899 the number had reached 100 and by 1900 the total had doubled.

An unusual incident occurred in connection with the telephone development at Ardmore in 1894.

Wolverton, who later built the Ardmore exchange, organized the Interstate Telephone Company for the purpose of a line from Ardmore to Gainesville, Texas. That work had progressed to the point where the poles and wires were in place.

The Indian police, who has jurisdiction over the Chickasaw Nation, came in with axes and chopped down all the poles from Ardmore to the Red River. The wire also was hacked to pieces.

The unusual behavior resulted from the fact that the company had failed to get proper authority from the Chickasaw Indian government at Tishomingo. The firm secured the services of an Indian, Charles D. Carter, who later became a congressman, and he secured the proper permits and the line was rebuilt in 1899.
-from The History of Carter County book - 1957

Telephone office at Wilson, Oklahoma

Chickasaw Telephone Company photos 1902

Still finding people in Oklahoma with unclaimed money. We're now over the $1,788,568 dollars. Sometimes progress is slow locating people or their kin with unclaimed insurance money at the State Treasurers office in OKC but we keep trying.

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.

If you have Facebook, I created a new Page called Southern Oklahoma Unclaimed Insurance Money. The only Post that will go on that page are names and towns of people we are looking for with unclaimed money;

Q.  What ghost story tells about a lady who haunts an area near Weatherford, Oklahoma?
 Legend claims that Mrs. James haunts the road around Deer Creek in the small unincorporated community near Weatherford in Custer County. CLICK HERE

Q.  What town in Oklahoma is known as the most toxic town in America?
A.  Answer in next week's newsletter

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



Below is from This and That newsletter archives of February 4, 2010

Henry Berry was born in the year 1910 in Detroit, Texas, the son of Jasper and Rhoda Berry.  Rhoda lived until 1982 to the age of 102 years. His brothers and sisters are: Clemitta Jones, Clifton D., Velasca Agers, Theresa Rogan, O. V., Bernice, and Bridgett.

When Henry arrived in Ardmore, his first work was shining shoes and working in filling stations. Later he worked in the Ford and Mulkey Hotels. In 1941 he married Hollie (Simmons) Berry (1912-1986) here in Ardmore, and the service was performed by Reverend Hannah. Henry and Hollie had both been married previously: Henry had a son, H. B. Berry; and Hollie had a daughter, now Mrs. Willie Rose Lyons.

Hollie is the daughter of Alfred and Sadie (Hollis) Simmons, and was born January 18, 1913 in Canadian, Oklahoma. Hollie moved from Durant to Ardmore in 1937.  Four years after their marriage, Henry became blind, from illness affecting the optic nerves. Not content with the life of idleness, he opened in the late 1950s the concession stand in the Carter County Courthouse.  His wife has been by his side as an able and loving partner through these many years. Because of his failing health, it was necessary to close the concession stand in 1981.  -From the book 'Indian Territory and Carter County Pioneers'

Henry Berry 1910 - 1993
From the July 10, 2002 T&T:   "I'm sending you a picture of Kents Drive-In that was on Commerce St. in 1950. I thought some of your readers would remember it. It was sitting where you went in to the drive-In Theater (77 North Theater). In 1949 and 1950 it was a very important place for the young folks to hang out." -Dorotha Phillips

Museum Memories
Contributed by Melinda Taylor
The Wilson News September 28, 1916
Anyone that has been around here for the past week will agree that the streets of Wilson need paving. The loose sand has been flying something fierce and it has been disagreeable to all. Now that we have some leaders that want the streets paved, lets get behind them and boost them up so high that they can't fall down. Following is the list of blocks that will be paved:
Starting at the First National Bank, it will extend west two blocks, and east one block. On 5th St. it will extend north one half block, and south one block and a half toward school house. On 4th St. it will extend one block south to the supply houses.
This is a movement that should be backed by the strongest business men. It will mean lots to the city.
The Wilson News October 5, 1916
Paved streets in Wilson will soon be a reality. This will no doubt be the smallest and youngest town in Oklahoma to boast of permanent asphalt pavements. And this town is also destined to set the pace in other enterprises as well as street pavements.


“Snowflakes are one of nature‘s most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together.” -Vesta M. Kelly

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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