This and That Newsletter

Vol 11  Issue 557     Circulation 5,000      September 27, 2007

Ardmore, Oklahoma

Music is most always a big part of peoples lives.  Sometimes we hear a song from long ago, and it just takes us back in time..... to a time that was slower and less hectic compared to the times we live in today in this push and shove, anything goes world.  I know many of you are like me, and wish we could just transport ourselves from the here and now back to a time another time, a simpler time.  Some songs tend to do that, and I was thinking the other day how the ballad "Home on the Range" has done just that for many generations of Americans. Its been recorded by many artist, and played around the world, yet little did the listeners know, it has a connection to Oklahoma.  I did some searching on the internet and found the man who penned those words over 100 years ago, lived in Oklahoma in his later years.

Dr. Brewster Higley (born 1822 in Indiana) wrote the words to the song "Home on the Range" when he lived in Kansas. The song was published in a Kirwin, Kansas newspaper in 1873 and would become a favorite song along the cattle trails. First published in 1910, the author never saw a copy nor received a cent of royalty. His last home was in Shawnee, Oklahoma.

Home on the Range was not labeled an American frontier ballad until 1934 when Sam Moanfeldt, a New York attorney traced the song's authorship to Dr. Brewster Higley. A skilled surgeon practicing in Kansas, Higley composed the song before 1872, and the tune was quickly adopted by the cowboys involved in the long trail drives north form Texas. Many herds of cattle were calmed on stormy nights by its words and music. Later, in 1886, Higley and his family moved to Shawnee, where he died in 1911.

A historical marker is located (or used to be) on the east side of Highway 18 at Fairview Cemetery on North Harrison Street in Shawnee. It would be interesting to know if this marker is still in place recognizing Dr. Higley and his famous song Home on the Range. I have Readers in Shawnee, maybe we will hear from them on the present day situation of the above mentioned historical marker, and hopefully a picture.

The website below has a lot of info on Dr. Higley, along with photos, audio recordings, and history about Home on the Range. There are several audio songs you can listen to (must have RealAudio Player installed). My favorite recording is not Gene Autry's 1943 version, but is sung by the Central Heights Elementary Chorus (2002) in Richmond, Kansas (click on the "listen to other versions") .

Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam
Where the deer and the antelope play
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day
Home, home on the range
Where the deer and the antelope play
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day

How often at night where the heavens are bright
With the light of the glittering stars
Have I stood there amazed and asked as I gazed
If their glory exceeds that of ours

Home, home on the range
Where the deer and the antelope play
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day

Then give me a land where the bright diamond sand
Flows leisurely down to the stream
Where the graceful white swan goes gliding along
Like a maid in a heavenly dream

Oh I would not exchange my old home on the range
Where the deer and the antelope play
Where the seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day

Eolian. In western Carter county. Post office established March 23, 1904, and named changed to Joiner, May 17, 1909. Its name comes from Aeolus, the Greek god of the wind. -Oklahoma Placenames by George H. Shirk

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

"Being an old Okie (Davis) myself, I am always looking up on search engines ( different aspects of my beloved home state, Oklahoma.  The above website is a fascinating website to say the least." -Scott Bumgarner
"Butch, how would you and Jill like to take a trip over to Wilson to the Museum? I just got an email from Mindy Taylor (See below) My dad and his siblings were in the Cornish home from 1911-1913. Their names are Burt, Mary, Roy (my dad), Raymond, Edna and Samuel. They may be on one of the records lists. Also any picture of the home. I just talked on the phone to Mindy's mother-in-law, Dorothy, and ask about "World Class" hamburgers. She said they do have hamburgers in Wilson but she don't know about the "Word Class" part. You went there to Joe and Angie's convenience store. Got this is from your "Traveling Oklahoma's Hamburger Highway" Would appreciate any thing you can do for me." -Ted Edwards

"Hi Ted, I volunteer at the Wilson Museum in Wilson, OK. We have a book on the home with copies of the actual records of the children who came and went. There are pics in the book as well and there may be a good one of the home. You might want to call first and ask someone to look. 580-668-2505 The museum is open Tues. Thurs. Fri. Sat 10:00 to 4:00 and you can make copies of just about anything there at .20 per copy." -mindy taylor

"Hi Butch, I just wanted to let you know of another of your faithful readers that recently passed away in Odessa, Texas.  Jimmy Brown was into Blue Grass music and played and attended many events over the years including a number of fundraisers.  He was raised and lived in the Healdton, Fox area for a number of years and moved to Louisiana and Texas.  Jimmy was an avid reader and that was how him and I connected through e-mail as he was my uncle and he will be missed by many.  I am sure there are many other readers out there who would like to know of his death. Thank You." -Mike Pennington
"Butch, maybe some of your readers have a schedule of days to fly the American Flag.  I know the usual ones, but often I'm surprised to see Flags flying and I don't know the reason.  If someone has a reliable schedule, printing it would be a service to everyone.  Thanks."  -Mel
"Butch: It really saddened me to read of the passing of Gerald Cobb: I had visited him on a few occasions while in Las Vegas and we would talk about the days he was sheriff and I on the police dept.  Unknown to many was that for a short period of time he was a member of the police dept. then ran for sheriff. He ran using his full name Gerald Theo Cobb, I remember him telling me he used Theo for two reasons one it lengthened the name on the ballot making it stand out more and the other many folks remembered his dad whom was a Oklahoma Highway patrolman and killed while investigating a traffic accident in western carter county. Our second home in Ardmore was on 5th Ave SW and was purchased from his mother in the late 50s. It was the Cobb home place. After he was elected to office he approached me to see if I would serve as one of his deputies, after thinking about it I decided to pass it up and stay with the police dept. mainly for the benefits which included a retirement. Gerald then hired John Smithers who had been working with the police dept.  My supervisor on the PD was Lawton Smithers a brother of John. Gerald failed to seek a second term as he had enrolled in classes to get his law degree, which by the way he did. He told me he would only practice civil law and wanted no part of the criminal element ever again. Yes the passing of Gerald brings back many pleasant memories." -Richard D. (Rick) Feiler APD retired

"Butch,  When I was a boy, Mr. Yeatts, made brooms. He owned what we called the old Doc Johnson place just east of my folk's store (Sugg West Grocery). Mr. Yeatts was an Adventist gentleman who lived just below our store on White Rock Farm. I think his first name was Jim. He was not J. C. Yeatts the furniture man. Jim later moved to Keene, Texas, a large Adventist community just south of Ft. Worth, Tx. I would watch him make brooms from start to finish."  -Mike West
"Butch, I am still reading the back issues of the T&T columns. I have seen several references to the City Drug of Ardmore and the Vickers. My uncle is Ira Vickers, Jr. He is living in Austin, Texas. Perhaps if people have questions concerning the City Drug, I can forward them to him for an answer or at least some clarification. Be glad to help."  -Mike West

"My name is Martha Hensley, from Pushmataha county, Oklahoma. I am researching records pertaining to John Charles and Sara Wheeler who lived in Johnston County around 1892. They had a son named Johnnie B (silent) Wheeler who was my grandfather). I am looking for information on any or all three persons."
"Have been following your e-mails on T&T the past few weeks regarding Old Fort Arbuckle.  I am sitting here at 5:54 Friday evening watching the movie "Hang 'Em High" starring Clint Eastwood.  There is a map on the wall behind the Judge's desk that depicts the Oklahoma Indian Territory (1889) and down near the southwest to south central part of the map was "Fort Arbuckle".  In the seen the Judge points out that he had 16 U.S. Marshals for all of the Indian Territory and only one Fort - you guessed it, Fort Arbuckle."  -Poss in Korea
"Butch I read your newletter today and someone asked about the Rock Quarry near Atoka. I lived in Atoka in the 50's when I was young and my Grandfather worked in Stringtown, near Atoka and he drove a Rock crusher or whatever it was they dug the rocks out of the Quarry with. I believe that is what the person was asking about. It was in Stringtown.  My Grandfather was John Pardue and he went to Stringtown every day to work there in the Rock Quarry. Not sure what the machine he drove was called.  My Grandmother was a waitress in Atoka then at one of the cafe's. Her name was Stella."  -Bobbie (Wilson) Diiorio --Houston Texas
"Hi Butch, A friend from Duncan who always reads your newsletter forwarded this to me. Looks like Meers Store & Restaurant has a website now. Maybe you already knew about this. We enjoyed this week's newsletter, as always."  -Sheila
"I found something interesting, you may have heard of it but I hadn't until we went to trying to get the history of our church, which by the way will be celebrating, 100 years, Sept 30! The church was first called, Eolian Baptist Church. Then it was changed to Joiner Baptist Church the in the mid to late 30's it was moved just about 1/2 to 3/4 miles West of it's present location, and the name was again changed, this time to Zaneis Baptist Church. It was located closer to Zaneis School. We didn't know why it was called Eolian Baptist Church, but after looking up the name Eolian in the "Oklahoma Place Names", by George Shirk, I found this insert.. Eolian - in Western Carter County post office established March 23,1904, and named changed to Joiner, May 17,1909. It's name come from Aeolus, the Greek god of the wind. Joiner formerly name Eolian, In Western Carter county near Wilson. Post office name changed to Joiner. May 17, 1909 and discontinued April 15, 1918. Named for C. M. Joiner, local oil producer. I thought that was some interesting facts.. do you know anything about the community of Eolian? I know approx. Where it is, but had never heard of it. Please let me know if you have any info on those two towns I would like to know. I new about Joiner, but never Eolian. And our church's 100th Anniversary is Sept 30. All day celebration with Bible Conference going through Wed night. Come one come All."  -Lee Thompson
Cars we used to drive in the 50s and 60s
"Not only are fire ants killing horned toads, they are killing song birds."

Patricia Adkins-Rochette  Duncan, OK 73533,

"Your mention in the last T&T about the delicious hamburgers served at the "Mom & Pop" place at the southeast corner of Lake Murray State Park piqued my interest.  A little history about the place:  In the 1930's my in-laws, Bert and Mable Paschall, owned land at the southeast corner of the newly formed Lake Murray State Park.  Prior to WW II they built a weekend cabin a quarter of a mile west of the present location.  A gravel road was the only access to Lake Murray then.  There was no road exit from the park at the southeast corner.  They parked their car on the park side of the fence and crossed over on a stile Bert built.  He later donated the right-of-way to the county and state for an exit at the southeast corner.  In 1946 they built the cafe-store and twelve double motel units.  The original name was "Two Lakes Skyway Courts."  It had a landing strip across the road west of the store.  After two plane accidents causing injuries and in one instance death Bert closed the landing strip and planted peanuts.  He changed the name to "Paschall Village", and sold cabin sites.  One side of the building was a fast food cafe specializing in hamburgers, sandwiches, and cold drinks.  The other side was a convenience store selling all kinds of picnic and camping supplies as well as fishing, boating, and hunting items.  At the  south side of the store was a minnow and bait stand with an ice house.  Gasoline was dispensed from a single pump out front.  In the summer months they catered to the fishing, boating, and water skiing enthusiasts.  In the fall and winter the cafe was a favorite gathering place for quail, duck and deer hunters.  Bert also had a small kennel where he boarded and trained bird dogs.  Bert and Mable operated the place until 1970 when they sold it.  Mable died in 1975 and Bert died in 1977.  I know nothing about the place since, except sometime after Bert's death it burned.  I assume the current owners rebuilt on the original location.  The photo in T&T looks very much like the original building." - Don Davidson, Brenham, Texas
"Hopefully the two articles below will present the business side and the legend side of the Wapanucka quarry.  I did think it was interesting to find out that the courthouse in Madill was built with limestone from the Wapanucka quarry.  I have memories of that courthouse when I was invited to travel on Carl Albert's campaign bus as we went across the 3rd Congressional district on his last run for office.  I remember stopping at the Madill courthouse where Speaker Albert gave a campaign speech.  Former Governor Raymond Gary came out for the campaign speech that evening.  I remember the shoe shine stands in the front lobby of the courthouse.  I wonder if they are still there.  There's not much on the internet about Bugaboo Canyon's legends.  I do have books with information about this little known landmark in Oklahoma." -Gerald Whitworth, Glenpool,

Oklahoma map where Bugaboo Canyon in Atoka county is located.

Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who ever have been, and ever shall be, animated by the same passions, and thus they necessarily have the same results. -Machiavelli  1469-1527

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges

PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443

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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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