This and That Newsletter

Vol 12  Issue 579     Circulation 5,000      February 28, 2008

Ardmore, Oklahoma

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Toll Free Number in Oklahoma:  580-215-4333

We've talked about Ardmoreite Jake Hamon and his death at my kinfolks hotel (by marriage), the Randol Hotel on Main street, in the 1920.  Murdered by his lover, Clara Smith Hamon, it was thought to be back in 1920 a love affair that went bad, but now nearly 100 years later, the true story is coming out. Jake Hamon had a dastardly plan where the common denominator was oil and it reached all the way to Washington DC.

An email sent in this week: "Butch today (Sat) on KLIF Radio 570 am, Ed Wallace Show "Wheels" on this history part of show he did story on 1920 Jake Hamon shooting here in Ardmore related to oil industry. You would have enjoyed this story and what happen in Ardmore. Next Saturday March 1 - His show is on Sat 8am until 1pm, his history usually runs between 9:15 to 9:45am, time will vary. He will do part 2 of this story on Sat (Mar 1)."

Things are moving along very nicely on getting a memorial set to remember those who died in the 1915 explosion at the railroad tracks of Ardmore, nearly destroying the downtown area and taking over 25 lives. Billy and Diana Wilson completed the sandblasting of the inscription on the monument last week. Wilson Monument Company of Lone Grove has came through several times in the name of public service when something of this nature was needed, this is another one of those instances.  They have donated the granite marker to the cause, and it will be appreciated by many people in the years to come, including several reading this newsletter right now whose kinfolk died in that blast.  More on the marker setting in a future T&T.  Below is a picture I snapped of the completed marker setting in the Wilson Monument back room.

Several of you wrote in since last week's T&T to say Ardmore's Snuff Street back in the 50s was also along "B" Street NW from 12th and B NW south to Main Street.  I guess when you come down to it, there were many streets where you drove a block and took a dip.   lol

Many of us remember the Super Dog at 9th and North Commerce and its been talked about in many past issues of T&T.  This week I received some photos of what was left of the restaurant that was located at the same spot.  The Reader thought the name of the restaurant was Freeman's when it blew up one night. Can anyone refresh our memory? Seems like the explosion took place around 1980?

Here's a 1970s picture of a crowd of square dancers inside the civic auditorium.

And this little squirrel is blending in quite well with the tree he's living in.  When the picture was taken, he lived in the SW part of Ardmore.

Jill and I were just west of our place a couple miles visiting John and Marie O'Dell this week. We really enjoyed seeing their 6 chickens and 1 rooster, wishing that we had the same thing, maybe someday soon we will. John has one chicken that lays green eggs. But one interesting thing we saw on their acreage was an oak tree estimated to be over 250 years old.  John said it was not long ago a representative with the Forestry Service came visiting to see the tree, and he estimated it between 250 to 300 years old.  The tree was struck by lightening some time back, but still survives.  Below is a picture I snapped of Jill standing in front of this historic tree (that's Sadie in the picture with Jill, John and Marie's dog).

Now these eggs are the most beautiful eggs I've seen in a long time..... fresh from John and Marie O'Dell's chicken yard.  They have 6 hens and a rooster all living under a chicken wire cage to keep the skunks out. And with eggs sky high now days ($1.98 a dozen), these are going to taste just that much better! And you can't buy eggs like these at the stores!!

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

"Butch, here is my largest cemetery yet, it has 59 graves and is just east of highway 177 just north of Baum, Oklahoma on private land. It is the Hutchins Cemetery. The river is right up to the edge of this cemetery." -Doug

"Butch here is another abandoned cemetery, the Thomas Cemetery, by Baum, Oklahoma that I have cataloged." -Doug Williams
"Howdy Butch, Holy Mackeral! Look what I found while looking for the Carter County radio frequency broadcasts. Apparently you didn't get enough publicity for this heroic action or I would have seen it before. Congratulations, you done an outstanding job! Now that I am thru bragging on you, do you know where I can get the radio frequency numbers? I have a copy, but it has been copied so many times that some of the numbers are hard to read and I get them wrong in my scanner. Thanx." -Ken

Carter county scanner frequencies......

"Mr. Bridges, The bell in Coyle at Camp Fire's Camp Cimarron on your Bell Page is in Payne County, not Logan County. The town of Coyle is in Logan however the north side of the Cimarron is Payne..... Just FYI. I grew up at Cimarron, and love that the bell is in your site. Thanks,." -Megan Brown
"Being an OU Sooner fan and a member of the OU Texoma Club, our Club members were guests of the OU Alumni Club in Norman, this past Saturday for lunch before we attended the OU Gals versus the OSU Gals basketball game, which OU won. I met a new member of our club who is originally from Turner. His name is Mike Fitts and he is the girls basketball coach at Pottsboro, TX. Seems his wife used to work in the only drug store in Davis, and Mike asked me if I knew Randy Moore. Of course, I played football and went to school in Davis with Randy. Randy graduated 1961 and I in 1963. If any of you Davis Grads of the Class of 1963 are reading this, please attend our 45th Reunion this coming May." -Scott Bumgarner, Sherman, TX
"Hello, I am a new recipient of your newsletter. Someone forwarded me a copy because they thought I should tell you to tell your friends of the newest history of Grandfield, Oklahoma. It is Hub of the Big Pasture, Vol. III, published by New Forums Press this past December. It covers the years 1976-1986, the eleven years my wife, Louise, and I were editor of Grandfield's Big Pasture News, a weekly newspaper. The book is a soft bound 6 X 9 book of 488 pages detailing the history of and happenings in Grandfield, Devol, and Loveland, the three near sites in the Big Pasture, the last land for white settlement in Oklahoma in 1906. Volumes I and II were printed in the l970s and are out of print. One can find them occasionally on Ebay or Amazon, but they are very expensive. This volume can be ordered from me at 303 N. Crownpoint, Ada, OK 74820, or can be purchased at Grandfield Public Library or McClurkan Butane in Grandfield. It is $21 plus tax and shipping. The tax is 1.79 and the shipping is $3.30 per book for a grand total of $24.09. I ship it media rate, but one usually gets it in a couple to three days.

Grandfield is one of the few towns of any size that has such a written history. This volume has ever obituary in those three towns, and it is a week by week accounting of life there. The material comes directly from the newspapers' pages. Also published is Devol, The Gateway to the Big Pasture, and it is also out of print, but sometimes available on the same sources. A good friend Louise Watson of Grandfield, has four or five books about her memoirs of growing up in the Big Pasture. Her books are available from her in Grandfield but I don't have the particulars on the pricing, etc. Another good friends, Anne Cook (Mrs. Joe Edd Cook) in Grandfield has a published history of Loveland which is likely available from her. How can a town or a small selection of towns all in the heart of the Big Pasture, have so many books published? It is because the history is so rich. I have two more books ready to publish, but I have to sell this one in order to keep the cash flow enough to print the new ones. One is on Kell City, the recollections and memoirs of the first editor of The Kell City Enterprise, which later evolved into the Big Pasture News (100 years old now). The second one is the story of Eschiti, the government townsite from which Grandfield and Kell City stole the post office to make its home in the new town of Grandfield. They had to take the post office back, but it wasn't long, after the new town of Grandfield promised a free lot for any business or home that moved from Kell City or Eschiti to the new town.

In research I found that while the Wichita and Northwestern were laying the rail lines across the Big Pasture, they discovered a Spanish grave, dated 1541. It was a padre's grave, so history doesn't tell us whether the padre was with Coronado or DeSoto, but we know that the Spanish were in that site near Grandfield and Eschiti in 1541, and long enough to carve the stone (granite) and write the name of the padre and the date the stone was erected.

The Big Pasture was also the place in 1905 when Theodore Roosevelt came and hunted wolves with several men including Quanah Parker, about which Roosevelt wrote a long story for a magazine that year about the adventure, then told about the opening of the new land for white settlement by a lottery system.

This is all a matter of record in the volumes mentioned. I wish Randlett had had a lasting newspaper. It is the first town in the Pasture, but no history has been written of it.

The book may be ordered by anyone or they may write me at online or at my home address, 303 N. Crownpoint, Ada, OK 74820." -Bob Wyatt
"Would anyone have any information on the cemetery that was located on the Okla side across from Preston Bend Tx I believe that it was the Woodville cemetery and it was moved before Lake Texhoma was built. I am looking for a Rily Howard he was said to have been murdered and buried in the cemetery just across the river on the Okla side. He worked or ran a ferry boat across the Red river. Do you know if there is newspaper accounts of this murder. It was in the late 1800's or early 1900's. Thanks for any information to share with me."  -Pat
"Hi Butch, Can you stand one more story about Broomcorn?  Around August of each year while in jr. High, age 13-15, in Marlow, Oklahoma, I would leave a wake up call with the telephone operator for 5:00 a.m. (yes, that was possible in 1948) and walk downtown where the big clock stood and wait.  By 6:00 a.m., if there was work available, a pickup would arrive and take all who could get on to the farm where broomcorn was being harvested.  They fed breakfast, lunch, and dinner, (called dinner and supper) and a usual day consisted of ten hours in the field as a Johnnie, one who cut the corn, and haulers, those who hauled it to the thrashing machine and the ever constant Straw Boss.  After supper all the harvested corn that day was run through a thrasher, which removed the seeds.  The bundles of thrashed broomcorn, usually all a boy of 13 could carry from the thrasher, was bumped on a hard surface, usually a 55 gal. barrel to get the ends even, and carried to an open barn, where the corn was placed on 2-2 inch wide boards.  The barn usually was a roof with open sides and the boards separated by 3-5 inches so the green corn could dry and be bailed in the fall.  When the corn harvested that day was thrashed we would wash up at the stock tank as the dust from the seeds and corn made you feel like you were on fire.  Long sleeve shirts were usually worn with buttoned necks to keep the dust out.  Embarrassment was major when a woman asked me on my first day as a Johnnie if I was going to be  P-ant when we thrashed that night.  I had never heard a woman use such a word and did not know what a P-ant was.  I soon discovered that was the person who carried the corn to the barn.  We looked like a line of P-ant's going from the thrasher to the barn.  A hard, hot, and miserable job but it paid $.50 an hour with great food.  A good Johnnie could earn $6.00 a day plus food.  Lindsey was considered the Broomcorn Capital of the world in 1948 according to the Straw Boss."

W. E. (Wally) Glasscock
Richmond, VA.

"This is Bobbie Van Name and I spoke with you yesterday afternoon about trying to locate my Great-Grandfather, Jeremiah Middleton Wheeler who died (murdered, we think) December 18, 1878 at Oil Springs, Chickasaw Nation, eight miles west of Tishomingo. I'm copying this information from notes my oldest sister got several years ago from people that were related in some way to the Wheelers, so I don't know if there was a town/community of "Oil Springs" or if it was a cemetery. I hope you can clarify some of this for me. My maiden name was Hale (Hail ?). I am the 10th birth child of 11. My oldest brother, soon to be 92, and my oldest sister, soon to be 90, have children my age, and I have a younger sister. Talk about a "pecking order"! This genealogy stuff has been passed down to me and I don't have that much to go on, so I'm trying to get going on it before it's too late. It was nice to talk to you yesterday and I really appreciate that you took the time. Your website is great! Whatever info you can get or happen to run across, please keep in touch."
"Butch, If I am not wrong, the name of the business on Lake Murray Dr. was Cottingham?s Bait House, not Cunningham?s. A mistake that anyone could make after so many years."
"About the deer and the plants.....We have deer in our backyard every day and we live in the City!!!! We planted plants that they won't eat (most of the time)...They certainly won't eat Lantana, Rosemary,Purple Sage, Asparagus fern, fountain plants and I don't know the rest of them....ask the people at the nursery. They'll be able to tell you. Also, go to a beauty shop and ask somebody to save the hair they cut for you and put it all around your plants! Of course, if it rains, you'll have to put it down again! Another plant we have that they don't bother is a shrub that has red/orange flowers on it....hummingbirds love this one but deer won't bother it. Shrimp plants they won't bother and of course, crape myrtle. There is also a spray that supposedly will keep them away! We have several herds of deer just in our neighborhood. People feed them so they are pretty tame but don't get in front of one of them! They have their babies in our backyard because we don't have dogs so they feel safe. The mother will have her babies (usually twins) and go off and leave them for a couple of days. DON'T feed the babies! She'll come back and get them. We had one staying in our backyard for about 2 weeks but she came back and got it. He wouldn't even move when the yard guy mowed the yard!!! DO NOT plant Red tip flotinia!!! They love that. They'll eat up as far as they can on them! Of course, our house has red tip all around our yard but they just look like a pretty bush on top with no leaves whatsoever on the bottom!!!! That's my little deer lesson for you....the voice of experience!!!!"  -danna goode rice
"Al's story is correct but I must put in this little bit of information to make it a complete story. We lived on 12th Ave NW between E and C streets but often times we went to town by going south on "B" St. N.W. and we took a dip at just about every block as we traveled that route. Even today when you take that route you will surely notice the dips along the way. We also called that route "Snuff street"  -Ernest Martian
"A friend of mine and I went to Brown Springs early Saturday morning. We are starting a little paranormal research group. The main reason for going was to photo the headstone that was posted from your visit back in 99. It was cold that morning and we took a lot of photos. When we took a picture of that headstone we caught what might be the photographer?s breath. But that was the only photo that his breath was in. He said he was cautious about his breathing. Well the photo will be posted tonight at about 9:00pm. I have messed our sight up today and will not be able to fix it until tonight.

But anyways the reason for contacting you was because I wanted hear your description of the two men you saw there. While we were there at 7:00am Sat morning. It was 36 deg and raining. While in the cemetery I spotted two men about 50 yards away on the ridge between the road and the cemetery. With the ground cover being wet we couldn?t hear them walking. The lead was wearing black with a long black beard, not like ZZ Top, and long black hair. The second wore a blue jacket and black beanie and was unusually pale. I noticed they were not armed and they didn?t even look up at us. I know they could hear my son talking. We moved over the ridge out of sight and made our way back to the trail and down towards the car. We thought they could be the land owners and didn?t want to get caught on the land; it is posted private property now. We walked down to the road and didn?t see any tracks across the trail or on the road from where they should have passed. When we left we looked in the woods and the fields and didn?t see anybody. I thought it was odd that there were people on foot. No vehicle around and in the middle of nowhere without a rifle at that time of morning. Hmmm. So I was curious of weather the men were part of a residual haunting. Maybe they matched the description you saw when you were out there. I remember you wrote about two people."

Just click on "investigations"
"Looking for country stores, I came upon the Ardmore grocery stores. A Heartsill's store was at E & 12th NW in the 1930s. There was a 'Besaw's' 1000 blk C NW, Bulard's 9th & A NW."
"Butch: The parking meters in the photo are NOT old city of Ardmore parking meters."  -Rick Feiler

This Land Is Your Land - Woody Guthrie  1940  b. Okemah, Oklahoma

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California, to the New York Island
From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me

As I was walking a ribbon of highway
I saw above me an endless skyway
I saw below me a golden valley
This land was made for you and me

I've roamed and rambled and I've followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me

The sun comes shining as I was strolling
The wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
The fog was lifting a voice come chanting
This land was made for you and me

As I was walkin'  -  I saw a sign there
And that sign said - no tress passin'
But on the other side  .... it didn't say nothin!
Now that side was made for you and me!

In the squares of the city - In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office - I see my people
And some are grumblin' and some are wonderin'
If this land's still made for you and me.

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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