This and That Newsletter

Vol 11  Issue 519     Circulation 5,000     January 4, 2007

Ardmore, Oklahoma

Happy New Year everyone.... and I hope along with the new year comes health and happiness for us all.  This week I received a packet in the mail. I remember back when I was a wee tyke in the late 50s and early 60s what a great excitement it was to have the mailman bring me a package. I don't know about kids in other parts of town, but over on 3rd NE in the poor part of Ardmore, we kids might go a year and not receive a package in the mail. When we did, it was usually something we ordered weeks before from the back of a box of cereal (had to send in the box tops along with the order as proof of purchase) or out of a magazine.

Anyway, this week I received a package from Camarillo, California from native Ardmoreite Harold Pittman, who just published a book. This is no ordinary book, but one dedicated to one thing, banknotes printed and used in Carter county, Oklahoma, most of them by Ardmore banks!  Back before the creation of the National banking system in 1935, banks printed their own money. Carter county had 9 National banks at one time or another that were allowed to print money.  Below is a link to page 29 of the 50 page book titled 'History In Your Hand' where Harold Pittman tells about the First National Bank in Healdton, Oklahoma in 1917 along with two photos of banknotes issued by that bank.

The above is just a small sampling of the history packed between the first and last page of this beautiful full color book on heavy coated card stock paper meant to last generations. I must have counted nearly 100 photographs, so there is plenty to look at, as well as read. Harold tells a lot of history on the early day banks of Ardmore along with pictures of their founders and directors in most cases.  For example, C.C. Hemming of Gainesville, Texas came to Ardmore in 1889 and started the First National Bank. In a few months after the bank was up and running, he turned the reins over to L.P. Anderson who would be the bank president. and Hemming returned to Gainesville.

Below is Harold Pittman's bio page from his book. Many of you who knew Harold in high school will remember him by his 'other' name..... Sherrod.

The front cover of Mr. Pittman's brand new book.  Such beautiful colors front and back.

'History In Your Hands' is available from Harold for $20 which includes postage to your door (1 to 5 books). Six or more books are $18 each postage paid. Harold can be emailed at:

This week Mae Scott dropped by the Annex Building next door to the courthouse and left those of us who work out of that building one of her delicious Banana Bread loaves as she does from time to time. Her banana loaves has to be one of the best I've ever tasted and are really quite famous around the courthouse, so we really appreciate Mae when she stops by with one. I snapped this pic of the one this week.

Now don't all of you email Mae asking for a Banana Nut loaf, she may be retired but as chairman of the Carter county Democratic committee, I can hardly see how she finds time to bake even one loaf. So Mae gave me her recipe to share with anyone who wants to try their cooking skills:

Banana Nut Bread by Mae Scott, Ardmore, Oklahoma

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4   teaspoon salt
1     teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 sticks melted or softened margarine
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2     eggs beaten
1/4   cup buttermilk
1     teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts
1     cup well-mashed, overripe bananas

If you want a glaze on it mix the following:
1 cup confectioner sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two(2) 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 loaf pans. Combine flour, salt and baking soda. Cream together butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add beaten eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. (I beat eggs all together and then pour into other batter) Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately. Beat batter for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in vanilla, nuts and bananas. Spoon into loaf pans. Bake about 50 minutes or until a tootpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool before adding glaze. For the glaze,stir confectioners' sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Pour over cooled loaves.

This week Ardmore resident Dee Ann Burris bought by some wonderful old photos taken back in the 30s and 40s of some of Ardmore's history, mainly Caddo establishments. One of the photos is of a lady named Lee Wood. Lee was probably the first female barber in Ardmore. She operated her barbershop inside the Roundup Cafe on Caddo street.

Here are two photos taken inside the Roundup Cafe. The cafe was owned by Dimple and Bill Ford. In the second photo are 8 people, maybe someone will recognize a face.

We've talked about the Caddo Variety Store owned by Myrtle Mayhall in past issues. Dee Ann Burris has a wonderful photo taken inside the store with several others. Mrs Mayhall is standing in the center.

This is a closeup of the photo showing more detail of the items scattered around the store at #47 Caddo Street.  I see the tin ceiling just like was in so many stores around Ardmore, probably made at Berryhill's Tin Shop. I also see several leather harnesses hanging up in the background. Also on the walls are several fedoras and even some brooms leaning up on the left hand side. Who knows, the brooms might have been made by Mr E.D. Crites in his Ardmore Broom Company at 6th and I Street SW. He got his broomcorn in the 1920s from Pauls Valley and Lindsay, Oklahoma area, and using the most modern equipment, manufactured over 50 dozen brooms a day, which were sold by distributors in 7 states.

Its been since Dec 26th and there has still been nary a bird show a feather in my neighborhood of Ardmore. I watch every day all around the area, about a block or two in every direction, and its strange no birds are to be seen. Several of you wrote back and said you have plenty birds, some about to eat them out of house and home in bird seed, yet our new bird feeder has never served a meal since I hung it up Dec 26th.

I've received a lot of positive feedback from many of you on the new HTML format of my T&Ts starting with last week's issue. If anyone is having problems pulling up the pictures, just go to the link below to see the latest newsletter.


I am looking for relatives of my grandmother who was a Harris in the Ardmore general area. She said her name was Oma but the 1900 census lists her as Ray Ola. Her father was Charles Harris; I think her mother was Alice Bell Harris. Also sisters Addie, Edith, Maude and Wanita. She married Martin E. Brown and lived in Ardmore. If any of these names are in your Harris family please contact me." -Richard Brown

"Many people have recently written to you about Devils Den. Yesterday I watched a re-run on OETA of Oklahoma Gardening, which is produced by  OSU/Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service. The program was about South Central Oklahoma Gardening and it included Devils Den and it has a lot of pretty scenery even though they were there to explore the local flora and fauna; the water sculpted granite and the clear running water is a big part of the video. It also includes the Hardy Murphy Coliseum garden and a garden East of Ardmore. All were very interesting. It will air again on Sunday, Dec. 31, at 3:30 PM. I know you can't get this out to people fast enough to let everyone know, but the people who live far away could not get it anyway. But they can order a copy of the show. The original air date was 7/01/2006, and a tape or disc of the show can be ordered for $15.00 according to the trailer at the end of the program. This site has a written description of the show and includes a phone number. I hope this helps people to remember this beautiful and unique part of Oklahoma." -Anne W."

"I live in kingston, ok. and the birds and squrrels are eating me out of house and home, got woodpeckers, doves. will gladly send then your way lol. you and jill have a happy new year, really happy for you." -joann
"For a brief time in, I think 1943, ex-Oklahoma Governor "Alfalf" Bill Murray lived in the Mulkey Hotel on the corner of Washington & 2nd NW, just across the street from the High School.  On pretty days he would sit in an a rocking chair on the sidewalk and invite conversation from any and all passers-by.  It really wasn't conversation because ole Bill did all the talking.  He was usually on some tirade about the sorry state of affairs in Washington and how the War was being conducted.  He hated FDR and what he called "The Creeping Socialism" that was taking this country (this in spite of the fact the he, himself, had helped to establish a Socialistic commune in Bolivia, which failed). Cal Shipman's Cafe was next door to the Hotel and many of us High Schoolers ate lunch in there, which meant that we had to pass Gov. Murray's perch twice during the lunch hour.  To do so without getting caught and subjected to a lecture was difficult and you really had to watch out where you stepped because the old guy chewed that "twist" tobbacco and was totally indiscriminent as to where he spit.  You know, I really wish I had had enough sense then to stop and really pick that man's brain; so soon we're old and so late we're smart."  -Tom Meason, Tulsa, OK

"Love the new format!  However, Christmas not over until January 6.  January 6 is 12th night (i.e. the "Twelve Days of Christmas") and also called "Epiphany" on some liturgical calendars.   It is also celebrated in some "Orthodox" religions as the Christmas celebration. So remember, "Christmas" is through January 6..... The best to you both with hopes that we celebrate Christmas all year long."  -gretchen hart-vonKeller (great grand daughter of Frederick P. von Keller, founder of first hospital in Ardmore Indian Territory)

"Butch, I write this week cause I got my wife a greenhouse for Christmas ( after 20 years ) here in SW Montana...... What I need is for someone to go down to the store, and send me a couple 'o packages of Okra Seeds........ gotta grow some for me and my buddie Louie ( from Miami OK ) so's we can fry some up...... nobody around here ever heard of it and if they did, they say its some slimy stuff grandma made them eat........ Me and my buddie know how to fry us up our Okra.....just need some seeds.........any one help out a couple of old Okehs in Montana, and I'll re-imburse your kind heart."  -Kirk Holley Smith

With another year behind us, I look back at those 52 issues of T&Ts. There's been a ton of history and info shared week after week by so many people. I appreciate every one of you who has help make the newsletter a success. My newsletter says "circulation 5,000 each week", but I know in reality it is many more. In looking at my webpage Hits, many people read the T&T from my website instead of an email. Last year my primary website, received nearly 4 million Hits, I can hardly comprehend that number, but then I know how people love history. And this is not to mention my old Brightnet website and the Hits it receives each month. 2006 was a great year for history. Let us all look forward to 2007 and the yet unknown pieces of history that will be showing up here each week.

"We will open the book.  Its pages are blank.  We are going to put words on them ourselves.  The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day."  -Edith Lovejoy Pierce

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges

PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443

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Carter county schools, past and present
Carter County Government Website

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