This and That Newsletter

Vol 11  Issue 537     Circulation 5,000      May 10, 2007

Ardmore, Oklahoma

Last week Tom Arnold was in town from Tulsa and stopped by for a visit. Tom's grandfather and father ran the Arnold Monument and Vault Company years ago on C Street SE. His grandfather Lee Arnold started the business as Ardmore Surface Vault Company in the 1920s at 1000 C Street SE.

The photo below was taken about April 1942 when Tom's grandfather, Lee Arnold, already had the burial vault company relocated to 1309 C Street SE and added some monuments to the display.  Tom's parents are in the picture about 3 years before they were married in July 1945.  His dad went to Camp Bowie right after the picture was taken, and then went to Cape Town, Africa in October 1942, finally ending up in Cairo, Egypt. When Tom's father, Artie, returned after the war he began the monument business full time.

This is how the monument yard and burial vault company looked from 1950 to about 1965.  The photo was probably taken about 1963 or 1964, based on the truck, the types and designs of the monuments, etc. in the picture, and the long Arnold and Craddock sign that stretched the length of the building was torn off by high winds in about 1965.  They bought a 1964 1-1/2 ton truck in 1966 or 1967.  Tom remembers when they picked it up, it did not have the custom bed needed for the monument business, it was installed later.  It was just the back frame of the truck, with wide gaps in the steel frame.

One very interesting monument by Artie Arnold back in 1955 was the Infant Jesus statue in Prague, Oklahoma.  Tom's father Artie did the engraving on it. The Prague newspaper clipping below is from the August 10, 1955 issue.

It always saddens me when I see a long time family business close like the Arnold's monument company. They played an important part in the everyday lives of so many families all over southern Oklahoma. My family was no different, the Arnolds made the grave covers used on our plot at Rose Hill cemetery. When they ceased making these certain type of grave covers, no one stepped forward to continue that line. I remember asking Newman Craddock (1907-1997) back around 1980 about getting a couple of them made and this is what Newman told me.  After Artie Arnold's death in 1972, an Indian employee by the name of Erie Taylor (1913-1989) continued making the grave covers for about another two years. But as Newman told me, the covers are very labor intensive to make, and no one could be found who really wanted to do the work. So these particular style of covers ceased to be made in Ardmore. If anyone can find a picture of Erie Taylor, I'd like to have it for the T&T.

Thanks Tom for sharing the above history with everyone!

About a year ago we talked about a private bell collection near Durant, Oklahoma. This bell collection has to be the only one like it in the state of Oklahoma. Dan and Patty Wells has accumulated some of the most magnificent bells to be found. Jill and I could only stand there in awe as we gazed on these beautiful bells.  Dan is quite the handyman and repairs any bells they find that are broken or have missing parts, then installs them on bases around the yard.  Of course, the real driving force behind the bells is Patty, and she sits inside the house, looking out any window she chooses, and admires their beauty.

Dan and Patty gave us the royal tour, showing so many of their handiworks besides the bells. The Wells were the most gracious couple, and Jill and I will never forget the hospitality they showed us during our visit to their place.

This is a picture of Dan installing a large bell.

This is a pic I snapped of Patty and Dan standing in front of one of their larger bells.  That's quite an impressive bell, and you should hear the beautiful church tone ring it has when Dan rang it.

This is one of the more usual bells they have mounted in the garage. Its hooked to an air hose, and sounds like the old train bells when the air is applied.... that ding ding, pause.... ding ding, pause..... sound.

The following are some pictures of various bells scattered around the property.

And let's not forget Sadie Wells before we travel on toward Ft Washita. Sadie guards all those bells! And the funny thing, if she's standing next to one when Dan rings it, she doesn't even jump.  lol

Thanks Dan and Patty for being the best of friends and sharing with everyone your bell collection.

After leaving the Wells' place, it was past noon time and we were ready to eat, so we stopped at the west edge of Durant and ate catfish at Bubbas. Boy was it good eating.

From Durant we went NW on the back roads through Silo and Brown, Oklahoma toward Ft Washita where we looked over the old fort from the Civil War days. Ft Washita was the only Union fort to be occupied by Confederate forces during the entire Civil War. One of the most interesting sites on the property was the old bois d'arc tree in front of the Chaplain's Quarters and Main Visitors Office.  Those holes in the tree are bullet holes from target practice many moons ago.

After a stroll around Ft Washita we traveled on west finally ending up in Sulphur at Michael's Bulldog Corner for a hamburger that evening.  They really know how to make a great hamburger!

Speaking of eating places, Jill and I are planning to head south on Saturday (May 12th) to a little town 5 miles west of Gainesville, Texas on Highway 82 by the name of Lindsey and eat at the Smokehouse BBQ. If anyone in the area wants to join us, let me know and we'll coordinate a time. I'm sure there's a lot of history to be talked about over that finger licking good bbq!

A Reader sent in a couple of photos this week taken about 1956 of the old Scotta's Florist and Nursery. It was located on the west side of the High Rise complex across the street. The first photo with the 4 men are (left to right) Bill Lynn, Gerald Anderson, Ollie Taylor, Paul Coffman.

The second photo, left to right is Oren Grounds (on scooter), Paul Coffman, Gerald Anderson, Bill Lynn, Earl Wagoner, Ollie Taylor, Scotta Thompson and Lloyd Boggs

Several of you wrote in a couple weeks back asking to see Jill's little garden she has planted.  With all the rain lately, it is growing fast even though most of it was only planted within the last 3 weeks. Here's the venue.....

Big Boy tomatoes in back and Peppersteak Tomatoes in front.



Lima Beans

Swiss Chard

String Beans and Peas


For a year or more I been looking for a program to help me manage passwords for logging into websites, such as my bank or my Cingular account, or whatever.  A week ago I came across a free program I'm really happy with, does all the ID and Password entering automatically, so I don't have to type anything in the sign in boxes.  The free program is RoboForm.  All you have to remember is one Master password to start the program, and from then on, during that session your on the internet, it does the work.  It defaults so after 2 hrs of inactivity, it logs you out of RoboForm for security reasons.  I've adjusted mine down to 30 minutes. Anyway, I have about 15 websites entered into the RoboForm along with their IDs and passwords  (called Passcards) so I don't have to spend several minutes trying to figure what password I used with what website.  That was really beginning to be a pain, as I have tooooo many.  Of course, I know it could have nothing to getting older and unable to remember.  lol


"I have a copy of a cornerstone on an Ardmore building that was made in the last ten years.  It reads as follows:
1912 Erected 1912
Board of Education
R. A. Hefner, Pres.
A. C. Young, V Pres.
C. H. Burns, Clerk
C. E. Fraley
C. L. Anderson, Bldg. Comm.
C. L. Byrne
J. N. Shinholser
T. L. Smith,  C. W. Richards, Supt.
J. B. White
L. F. Lee  
Does anyone know where this building might be in Ardmore? No doubt is a school.  I am J. B. White's granddaughter and would like any help I may receive." -June Maxey

"Your last issue mentioned again, the Sam P. Hale building at 300 W Broadway, and in taking another look at the good picture I get memories of waiting for the Sam P Hale bus to the airbase- usually the last one out but do not remember just when it was, or how much it cost.  Wondering if there are any others out there who still recall that ride. The numbers who would are no doubt few.  Those many rides were the result of a "special attraction" in Ardmore and 61 years later am still married to her!"  -Bob Farrington
WWI Draft Registration
Name: David M Ballew (Bud Ballew)
City: Not Stated
County: Carter
State: Oklahoma
Birth Date: 5 Sep 1877
Race: White
Roll: 1851693
DraftBoard: 0

Name: David M Ballew
Birth: abt 1878 - Texas
Residence: 1900 - Lone Grove, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory.
Name: David M Ballew
Spouse: Fannie
Birth: abt 1880 - Texas
Residence: 1910 - Lone Grove, Carter, Oklahoma
Name: David M Ballew
Spouse: Fanny M
Birth: abt 1878 - Texas
Residence: 1920 - Wilson, Carter, Oklahoma

Name: David M. Ballew
Birth: abt 1878 - Texas
Residence: 1880 - Eastland, Texas
Name: David M Ballew
Birth: 1877 - Fannin, Texas, USA
Death: 1924 - Wichita Falls, Texas, USA
Marriage: 17 Apr 1900
Parents: Bryant Young Ballew , Malinda A Seabourn
Spouse: Fannie Harper

'Butch, This bee swarm was in the Bur Oak Tree in our front yard NW of Ardmore this evening.' -C. Dwane Stevens
"Thought someone might have some information on a little book I have.
Title.... Facts and Reasons  "A Book of Knowledge"
Author... Chas. B. Harbert
Copyright......1920 (believe it's the original printing...probably never reprinted)
Published by......The Owl Publishers
                         Ardmore, Oklahoma.
I've googled the author.....with no definite results and  Owl Publishers, Ardmore, Oklahoma..... with no results. Just curious and thought you might have heard of author or publisher." -Betty Gila

"If you enjoyed the German Fest in Muenster, you and Jill need to come to the New Braunfels, Texas Wurstfest  between Nov 1 and 10th.  All the German beer you can drink plus sausage (wurst), polka, real German bands from Germany, etc.  A lot of fun and people from all over the world come."
"I just talked with my friend east of town. He used to live at Reck.  He knew exactly about the Reck water well.  The water was very cold and very brackish.  Terrible to drink.  They played ball right there at the well. Reck had a Post Office from Jan. 25, 1892 until June 21,1919 according to the book Oklahoma Place Names by George H. Shirk."  -Hazel Letterman, Madill

"I wanted to let you know about the Church Bell at the Methodist Church in Fairview, Oklahoma. Major county." -Jim Harrison

"Callie Corsbie's (1891-1978) land at one time stretched from Anderson Street SE all the way south to Rose Hill cemetery. She may have owned part of it also, but she did own the land where the Jewish and Catholic cemeteries are now located.  Callie may have been the person who donated the land for those two cemeteries." -Tom Arnold
"I grew up in Sasakwa and Konawa. Vamoosa, Oklahoma is located almost between these two towns. It is a burial custom of the Seminole tribe.  I am of the Seminole and Choctaw decent and grew up mostly with the Seminoles. The house protects the person buried there and personal items were buried along with the deceased. This custom is not as popular with the younger Seminole generation, but while growing up I have seen this custom in action. Sometimes pots, pans, quilt or whatever the favorite food of the person was buried with them. I am not sure, but I think the bags may hold some personal items or it may be a medicine bag. As for the medicine bag, I am not familiar with why it is buried with them, but I do know that if a loved one dies, you are supposed to take a bath in "medicine" to help with the grieving process." -Leona M. Mars

Note:  I was told there is a sign at the front gate of the Vamoosa cemetery now that reads "no more house covers permitted".  -Butch

"The First Free Will Baptist Church at 4635 W. Broadway (west edge of Ardmore) is having their annual Pie Sale.  We will offer lemon, chocolate and coconut.  Price is $12 each and we will deliver.  Please specify on what date you want delivery.  The proceeds will go to furnish the new kitchen.  Thank you for your help.  You can call 465-7107, 223-9725 or 226-9699.  You can also order by e-mailing order to  Deadline will be 2:00 p.m. on Thursday the 10th." -Bobbie Fullingim
"Butch, Thought you might want to see a Buffalo burger from the Rock Cafe on Route 66 in Stroud.  The Rock cafe was built in 1939 as they were building this portion of Route 66.  The rocks covering the outside of the building were dug up from the road bed during the construction.  The building has served many purposes over the years but now is the Rock Cafe and is a landmark on Route 66.  It is one of Michael Wallis' favorite places and usually gets a few pages in his various books about Route 66.  They specialize in homemade food and it is all very tasty.  One of their specialties is their Buffalo burger made of ground buffalo meat.  They also grill onions and place them on the burger along with cheese.  The other item at the bottom of the picture is one of their fried green tomatoes.  The hamburger belonged to my wife, Pam.  I was busy, at the time, eating a plate of their crawfish tails.  If you're looking for fancy then keep on driving, but if you're looking for some good food then make a point to stop.  My wife, son and and I were riding our motorcycles from Glenpool to Shawnee and rode Route 66 between Sapulpa and Chandler.  Of course we had to stop in for a bite along the way.  Although there is a parking lot around back, no one at the cafe or in Stroud seems to mind if we just park our bikes on the sidewalk in front of the place.  It's not unusual to see a parking lot and sidewalk full of motorcycles.  Bikers love good food and will ride hundreds of miles to get it.

Here's a link to the Rock Cafe's menu:

And a link to their history:

If you're ever cruising Route 66 near Stroud, save room for a bite at the Rock Cafe.  Mamie's Route 66 gift shop is right next door." -Gerald Whitworth, Glenpool, Oklahoma

"Butch, I would love to have information about the Rube Wells Auto and Radio Service at 310 West Main in Ardmore in the early 1950's or the late 1940's.  It was owned by my grandfather Rube Wells.  Does a picture exist of it that someone would be willing to share with me?  My husband's father was also the owner of a gas station in Atoka Oklahoma in the early 1950's.  It was known as Blackwood Station." -Bobby Blackwood
"Butch, I thought you might share this with the Readers who have an interest in the old steam railroad engines. The bell on Engine 905 in Duncan has been silent for 53 years, but his Saturday that will change. This ceremony will take place at Fuqua park this Saturday evening at 6:00. It is located along on Hwy 81 and Beech in Duncan." -Glenda

"Butch, here are some pictures Debbie and I took on the Lazy S / Cedar Falls Ranch of the creek in northern Carter county 05/08/07 . The water was really running." -Terry Moore

The Wilson News (submitted by Mindy Taylor)
June 16, 1915
During last Monday's storm, lightning struck five oil tanks in the Healdton field, setting fire to the oil. The Dundee-Samoset Companies lost a 16,000 barrel tank; the Coline Co. a 55,000 barrel tank; three other smaller tanks were lost. The sky was black with the dense smoke from th burning for several days.

The Wilson News
June 16, 1915
Wilson Men Inventors
R. H. Reed and J. L. Long, two of Wilson's business men, have invented and patented an apparatus for prevention of fire from lightning to oil tanks.
The prime cause of fire loss in the oil field is usually due to lightning striking gas, which rises from the tanks to a high point in the air above. When lightning strikes the gas the fire follows the gas down to the oil in the tank and sets it afire.
Messrs. Reed and Long claim to have an apparatus that will carry this gas away from the tanks to a trap on the ground, where it can be used or stored. At least the claim is that it can be so controlled that the damage of fire from this source is reduced to the minimum. The inventors go to Tulsa next week, where they will demonstrate their invention before a gathering of oil men and insurance people.

"Many of you remember Ted Pylant from Ardmore. He was in a motorcycle accident last Saturday. Has broken ribs, a brain injury and many other injuries. He is still in a coma and is not responding according to how he should.  I know the family would appreciate your prayers." -Ruth Bellamy

I Believe  -  1953   -  words and music by Erwin Drake, Irvin Graham, Jimmy Shirl, Al Stillman from the urging of Jane Froman of Columbia, Missouri

I believe, for every drop of rain that falls,
A flower grows...

I believe that somewhere in the darkest night,
A candle glows...

I believe for everyone who goes astray,
Someone will come, to show the way,
I believe, I believe...

I believe, above the storm the smallest prayer,
Will still be heard...

I believe, that someone in the great somewhere,
Hears every word...

Every time I hear a newborn baby cry,
Or touch a leaf, or see the sky,
Then I know why, I believe!

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges

PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443

Save on long distance calls, just a couple cents a minute!
Oklahoma Bells:
American Flyers Memorial Fund - Administration Webpage
Official American Flyers Memorial Website
Ardmore Army Air Field/Ardmore Air Force Base Website
Mirror Site of the Ardmore Army Air Field/Ardmore Air Force Website
Carter county schools, past and present
Carter County Government Website

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