This and That Newsletter

Vol 11  Issue 521     Circulation 5,000     January 18, 2007

Ardmore, Oklahoma

Last week there was mention of the only railroad tunnel in Oklahoma over in eastern Oklahoma by the  Arkansas line just SW of Wofford Lake. The tunnel is known as the Jensen Tunnel. Dwane Stevens sent in a pic showing a neat aerial view. Here is Dwane's email: "Butch, seems there was some confusion about the Railroad Tunnel after I posted the question earlier. After more research on my part and emails from railroad historians, it turns out the tunnel still has the distinction of being Oklahoma's only Railroad Tunnel. Although only barely, it is inside the state line of Oklahoma. Interested readers may go to the TerraServer Website ( ) home page and cut and paste in the following coordinates in the Longitude and Latitude boxes and hit go. Longitude -94.44370 Latitude 35.21641 Toggle between "Aerial Photo" and "Topo Map" and look for the RR line just SW of Wofford Lake. Zoom in on that area and you will see "Tunnel" marked on the Topo Map cutting through "Backbone Mountain" just inside the Oklahoma state line. Toggle to the "aerial photo" and "pan" to the south entrance of the tunnel. The RR line seems to just disappear into the rocks from up above. Be patient as you may have to toggle back and forth from map to photo to get yourself oriented on the aerial photos. I've attached a copy photo of what you should see after zooming in with the aerial photo. Lake Wofford is at the top and the tunnel is just south-west of the lake." -C. Dwane Stevens

Oklahoma had lots of ice and snow the past weekend, and many parts are still digging out from under it all. Here in Ardmore we had ice, but after two days most of it was gone. This first one was the icicles hanging from the eve of our house.

And one below is a bird house hanging amongst the trees and scrubs across the street behind the Ladies Ardmore Garden Center. I didn't see any birds taking refuge inside from the cold and ice.

Doug Williams sent in a photo this week of his pine tree bent at nearly a 90 degree angle.

James Singleterry in Davis, Oklahoma sent in a pix of his back yard with a squirrel scurrying across the frozen tree limbs.

Tracy Garner sent in some pictures she took of ice covered Sulphur.

Kerry Tully sent in this icy picture looking east down Stanley toward Stanley SW and Commerce.

I wish I could have put all the ice photos sent in by people of icy Oklahoma, but space is limited, so I tried to pic out a few and share with everyone.

Bye the way, a few birds did returned at the end of the ice storm on Sunday afternoon in my neighborhood. I saw 5 or 6 sparrows on our driveway late in the afternoon of Sunday January 14th, the day before the sunshine came back. Then on Monday the 15th the sun was bright but still no birds. Guess they knew another storm was on the way.

I received a box this week in the mail. The package was from Dallas and sent in by Jayson Pruitt originally from Pruittville, Oklahoma. Now don't look for Pruittville on the Oklahoma map, because you probably won't find it. But many years ago when the Pruitts first settled in Marshall county, they settled in an area about 7 miles east of Madill on Highway 199 that was known to the locals as Pruittville. Jayson is one of those Pruitts of Marshall county. Anyway, inside the box was the most unusual seeds I think I've ever seen.... something called Air Potatos. Even though they make a beautiful vine, I'm almost afraid to plant them since many areas of the U.S. label them a nuisance and hard to get rid of once they take over your plot of ground. The pic below is the air potatos sent in by Jayson. I have a quarter next to one to show size. Maybe instead of planting them in a ground, I'll plant them in a five gallon bucket.  Something to think about by next spring.

I had a typo on last week's T&T. The date Stuart Hamblen wrote This Old House was 1954, not 1964. I dont know who is playing the piano for Rosemary Clooney, but they sure can tickle those ivories!


"Thanks to everyone who replied to my Okra seed needin'.....Now , if anyone has the best way or secrect recipe on fryin Okra.......unload opun me ! !......My Mom ( From Tater Hill 3 mi so of Dickson ) used to slice 'em up and coat 'em with corn meal and a little dry mustard powder and fry in bacon grease in a cast iron skillet,... crisp... crisp... if I remember......... sounds good to me.....  Thanks again." -Kirk Holley Smith

"Butch, here are some pics I took while flying around south central Oklahoma last year."

"Thanks for the help that your T&T newsletter did in finding what I had lost via the computer changes and repair.  It is great to say that in less than 24 hrs the people I have been wondering about were found once again through this means. Yes, I do have their valid email addys now, and hope to keep them.  I have had some nice responses."
"I contacted you recently for a source for a book you had mentioned and, of course, couldn't remember the title but I found it.  It is Indian Territory and Carter County Pioneer's Book.  Does anyone know where can I get this book?  Thanks."
"Hello, from Moore, OK. Perhaps someone can answer a puzzling question. Back in 1968 we took a day trip to Anadarko from Moore.  We stopped at a tourist attraction (on the East side of town, I think). We saw a mass Indian burial site.  Many skeletons piled on top of each other in a circle.  When I look back on it, they appeared to have been excavated during an archeological dig.  The area were they were, was covered with a circular Indian type of structure supported by wood poles. From what I remember, it was open  and exposed to the weather elements.  After we left that particular site, we started for another, but were hit buy an old Indian in a pickup who tried to turn in front of us.  We spent the rest of the day getting estimates for the damage, and that was the end of our visit to Anadarko.  Does any of what I have described sound familiar? I have had acquaintances who have visited years later to Indian City, and when I described what I had seen, they didn't know of anything like that. I figured that in the later years of political correctness this mass burial site was closed. I think this may have been the Tonkawa Indian massacre.  Hope someone can shed some light on this."
"Dear Mr & Mrs Bridges, my wife and I wishing you a great New Year, I really enjoy T&T very much and every Thursday I transport myself to Ardmore and I remember all the good time I had and all the good people that I met when I was there, well, I can mention a lot of people that made me feel like one of them, now that you mention in your last T&T of the Walter C. Dean Jewelry Store on Main Street, remind me of the other Jewelry Store in Main St. also, I am talking about Mr. and Mrs. Peden, they had a really beautiful Store and at that time they said it was one of the best in Oklahoma, but I don't know about that, but what I know that they were one of the best people in Oklahoma, they were incredible people. I can talk about them and a lot of other people but I probably be all day in my computer and my wife will start to complain, Anyway Mr. and Mrs. Bridges this happen more than 50 years ago and I am very grateful to this beautiful town that made me knew the really American People, sorry I took to much time, but I just feel that way and I know you are a good man that like to listen, your friend." -Ernie in NJ

Added Note from April 14, 2005 T&T: "Butch, I think I've told you this story before. Being the last County Surveyor for Carter County, I came into the County Clerk's Office one morning in 1978. The clock that had hung on the clerk's office for a number of years had fallen and broken. The clock had been given by Mr. Peden of Peden's Jewelry Shop, but the glass had broken and couldn't be fixed so I told Florence Gregory Jones who had thrown the clock into the trash that I would fix the clock and hang it back up for her. So I went to the Light Gallery on North Washington and ordered the glass which is on the clock today. However I modified it to give me, Mike Carr, a little advertisement as County Surveyor. And that is the story of the clock. I have replaced the fluorescent bulb 3 or 4 times in the last 25 years, the 2nd hand was lost along the way which I replaced with a bent paper clip, but it still keeps good time, thanks to Mr. Peden." -Michael D. Carr

My Beautiful America

"you may be able to see a comet in the sky!  Comet McNaught is now approaching the sun and can be seen in the afternoon.  For a good article see"

"Hi, My name is April Riggs. I was raised in Thackerville my entire life and know all personally about the scary things that go on down there. It has calmed down quite a bit but there are some weird things that still go on down there. I remember back when we were kids the group of brothers and sisters and friends that would go down there and try to see who would be the first one to cave and want to go home. Needless to say. I was almost always the first one to give in. I still get chills when I go down there. I have friends now that live in that area and I always tell them how I wish they would move because I would come visit them more. I do believe in most of the stories that have been told coming out of Brown Springs. Some of them are quite dreadful. I just wanted to tell you how I thought it was interesting how you display so much more than alot of people know. Have a great week."
"Butch, I'm sending you a copy of a restored version I took the liberty of doing of her Woodmen of The World Uniform picture. Using Photoshop I removed all the scratches, dust specks and blemishes, increased the contrast and sharpened it slightly then cropped it just a bit to straighten the edges. I don't know how to reach Dee Ann Burris so if you can, please forward these to her. I just wanted to show what can be done to restore old pictures by modern photo techniques." -Bowden Miller
I contacted you recently for a source for a book you had mentioned and, of course, couldn't remember the title but I found it.  It is Indian Territory and Carter County Pioneer's Book.  Where can I get this?  Thanks.

"This week's "This and That" newsletter mentions a "Stateline" program on OETA, our educational network. I thought you might like to know that the program producer, Charles Newcomb is my step-nephew.  I first knew his dad (Webb Newcomb) and his grandfather (Dr. L. A Newcomb) when they came to see me at the first movie theatre that I owned (at Newburg, Missouri) back when I was barely 21 years old.  Later, I worked as a projectionist at the Newcomb's Lakeside Theatre in Oklahoma City while I was attending Oklahoma City University (majoring in Electronics Engineering), and it was while I was working there that I persuaded them to hire my mom as Dr. Newcomb's dental assistant.  She retired from that job after 30+ years, and a couple of years after my dad died, she married her former boss who was Charles Newcomb's grandfather."

"Does anyone have color pictures of the old fountain that was located in the park in Downtown Ardmore?  I used to love seeing that thing work as a kid.  The colors were really nice to see.  As I can recall, it had 4 or six different lamps in the water.  Also, in the park near the rodeo, there is a cement structure near the picnic areas.  Was this once a fountain as well?  It seems like a pool was built around it, but I never can recall any water coming from it?  Remember the Easter hunts in the park?  I always thought that was a really fun thing to see, and participate in as well.  And last of all, for now anyway.  Who remembers eating a good ol' burger from Hardees on West Broadway?  I loved that place as a kid, and always enjoyed getting a race car (hot wheel) when we would eat there."

"Henry House and Hickory creeks are two separate  parallel creeks running south from the mountain, about 5 miles apart.  Hickory Creek crosses State Highway 53 just over the hill west of Woodford, and is the one on which Mountain Lake (aka Woodford Lake, an Ardmore water supply) is built.  The most significant falls on Hickory is quite sizeable (probably 15-20 feet tall on about a 45 degree angle, and maybe 35 yards long across the creek), and I'm surprised you haven't found it (when I get this sent and get to your next issue, I'll probably read where someone else is giving this same information).  Anyway, it is located just about 100 yards east of the Mountain Lake road, about a mile south of the dam.  For years, and possibly still, there was a house on the west side of the road there, and a tremendously big tree right against the road so that the road had to take a slight zag-zig to miss it.  When you get up to Mountain Lake again (in better weather than this!), it would be worth the short hike out there to see it.  You can't miss it, since Hickory Creek runs parallel to the road.

Henry House Creek crosses State Highway 53 at the bottom of a L_O_N_G hill 4 or 5 miles east of Woodford  (some nut "told me" that a '56 Ford with a 202 Thunderbird engine and overdrive would register 140 mph going down that hill---can you believe what some people will say?!) .  I have never been up House Creek to see the falls.

By the way, there is another sizeable falls and a small deep water hole on Hickory Creek that everyone in the 40's and 50's used to call the "Blue Hole", and the locals used it extensively then to swim in.  If it still looks like it used to, you would not believe there is such a nice place anywhere near there.  It is located just about a half-mile north of State Highway53 just north of where the short-lived black school was just west of the Hickory bridge.  The land is now owned or controlled by Creede Speake, but you might persuade him to let you in to photograph it." -Keith Ward, Oklahoma City

Wilson News 4-8-1915
The youth, Curry, who shot Henry Starr and to whom no doubt belongs the credit for capture of that notorious bandit is likely to be spoiled by the prominence and notoriety that he will get. Unless he has careful guidance he will probably think he is a sure enough "gun man", and will contract the habit of "toting" one or two guns with him at all times; and that is what will probably do the damage. A "gun toter" is usually good for nothing in a business or social way. That's what young Curry may come to unless he is carefully watched by his parents. Contributor's note: Henry Starr was shot by Curry after having committed a double bank robbery in Stroud, OK in March 1915. He was shot and killed in February 1921 while robbing a bank in Harrison, AR. Paul Curry later became a school teacher, farmer and family man. -submitted by Mindy Taylor

Thanks to Bill Hamm's database and great volunteers I have finally found the death dates as well as the burial sites for two family members. I am still looking for any info on the following:
1.  Jacob Mayfield        born: Feb. 1845              died:  18  January 1918
                          burial:  Carter County, Oklahoma  Provence Cemetery
2.  Sarah J. Mayfield     born:  November 6, 1860         died:  26 Oct.  1923
note:  Jacob (Jake) Mayfield   was a Civil War Veteran  Union Army 13th Infantry Co. K.
also How would I go about finding obituary statements from an Ardmore, Ok. paper? Know any volunteers that might do some research?



by Joh Gainey in Sulphur, OK


Where are all those resolutions

That would offer sure solutions

To the problems in my life?

I composed with great endeavor,

Feeling I was wise and clever,

Solving all that gave me strife.


Starting with determination,

Sure to end in celebration

When the year had flown away.

But despite the new beginnin?,

Life?s more fun when filled with sinnin?,

So I threw the list away.


Now I eat in fullest measure

All the things that give me pleasure,

Just the way my taste buds seek,

And I indulge in all I shouldn?t,

All the things I said I wouldn?t,

And it?s just the second week.

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges

PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443

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