This and That Newsletter

Vol 13  Issue 628     Circulation 5,000      February 5, 2009

PO Box 2

Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

email address:

580-657-8616 (not a toll free number)

The past few weeks there has been much interest in the caves around Turner Falls.  Herman Kirkwood wrote in last week to asked if anyone knew where the cave is that Bully July threw two bodies after he killed them.  Herman hopes someone had more info on this cave along with its location.

I did a google search on the Internet and found a Bully July connection to Dead Man's Cave. Hopefully someone can tell us exactly where Dead Man's Cave is located in the Arbuckle Mountains.  That's one cave that has not been mentioned on my caves webpage.  I did find on the Internet where Bully July's brother, Maoma July, a Creek outlaw and member of the Rufus Buck gang was hanged on July 1, 1896 for murder, robbery and rape.

"The worst assignment I ever got was to get Bully July, a negro ex-slave, that turned out to be a murderer, and a bad one, too. I guess Bully was about the worst character that ever run loose in the territory. He was a fast shot, and a champion saloon brawler. Many's the time he'd killed a man that he'd agged on 'til the man jumped him, then killed him in the brawl. That was an old stunt of the bullies that killed many a good man just because the bully wanted to show out.

"Bully July had murdered a man and a woman, in this case, and threw their bodies in a cave in the Arbuckle Mountains. That cave is now a tourist spot, and is called 'Dead Man's Cave'. It's located near where [rdmore?], Okla. is now. [Ardmore?] wasn't a city in those days. Some way, or other, we had to have those bones of the couple, to connect the murder up, and it fell to me to get them.. I went down and raked them all up, and put them into a sack. I then took the sack to the court.  -Tom McClure, Texas peace officer

From the emails I've received lately, I can see I have a number of coin collectors on my mailing list. Maybe some of you can help identify the unusual coin Rick Feiler brought me to look at the other day. A hundred or more years ago they were called a Marke or Mark. This coin had a hole drilled in it by someone, probably to use as a necklace.

Size: Large 1 3/8" diameter. - Brass composition

Obverse: "COMP S MARKE" - Full LIBERTY on bank - stars surrounding bust of liberty


I bought my second 50 lb bag of hen scratch from Morris Feed and Seed at Lone Grove last Saturday. I have been using it in the bird feeder and the birds love it, especially the red birds.  The first bag was produced by Big V Feeds out of McAlester, Oklahoma.  This second bag came from Martindale Feeds in Valley View, Texas.  The Martindale hen scratch, sometimes called chicken scratch, is made up of three ingredients: cracked corn, whole wheat, and whole milo. I bought that first bag on November 11th (its still $9.85), so it lasted 75 days making it about 13 cents a day to feed the birds in our yard. The milo seed (or sorghum) is not all that great a wild bird feed.  But it seems like any seeds the birds kick out of the bird feeder, the squirrels and deer eat.  So none is wasted.  Speaking of the squirrels, none have been able to scamper up the 4 inch PVC pipe, too slick.

Speaking of chickens, Jill and I are planning to build a small chicken coop to hold about 4 or 5 hens soon.  I been reading up on hens, and probably won't get the kind my grandmother and her mother had when I was a teen.... Leghorns.  They are suppose to be great layers but kinda flighty, running the opposite direction when you enter the chicken yard.  If anyone wants to send me some suggestions, we are all ears.  It will probably be a couple of weeks, got to have time to build a coop to keep them in.  If anyone has some hens for sale, send me an email.

Last Saturday morning I decided to try my hand at the free Microsoft program Movie Maker.  It comes on every computer, but very few people take advantage of it.  I have had several of you tell me about it, but kept putting off trying my luck with Movie Maker.  Come to find out its really not all that hard a program to learn and use.  And the resulting movies are quite remarkable.  My first obstacle was to figure out how to convert the MOV file my digital camera creates when in movie mode.  I found a great website that will convert the MOV file to AVI at no cost so Movie Maker can import it. The website is Media-Convert.

Once I had my MOV camera file converted to AVI file, I imported it into Movie Maker and started work on it. Since I had never used the program before, it took me 3 or 4 hours to get the hang of it but soon I had it pretty much mastered.  Like they say, a picture (in this case a movie) is worth a thousand words, so be watching for future movie files.  The best part is there is no programs to purchase, and when uploaded to Youtube, it will be there for as long as this world turns.  All for free.  When google bought Youtube in 2006 for 1.65 Billion dollars, you can imagine what's in Youtube's future and its contents will be there long after all of us reading this will be gone from this earth.  Thanks to all of you Movie Maker 'experts' that helped me.

About a mile or two west of Wilson and a mile and a half south of Highway 70 on Santa Fe Road is Oriental Garden Restaurant.  When you're in the mood for some real authentic oriental cooking, this is one place that's worth the trip. Jill and I stopped in there a while back and filled up on some great food, visited with the owners, Tom and Hom Idleman, and their daughter and son-in-law, Kinnali & Lowell Jordan. Make the trip to Oriental Garden Restaurant, you'll love the great food and peaceful country atmosphere.

Ten cheapest places to buy gas in the Ardmore area......

Oklahoma History Boards!

Q.   Who was Alfalfa's boy?
A.   Johnston Murray

Q.   What member of the 45th Infantry Division drew cartoons in WWII?
A.   (answer in next week's T&T)

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

"Hi Butch, Couple weeks ago you showed a picture of inside an early store in Ardmore. Here is another one. A family picture (about 5x7"), it shows L.D. Mason in his furniture store that was on Caddo, on West side, first building next to the alley off Main street. Note that the electric cord has not straightened out. Obviously the picture was taken shortly after the building was electrified, maybe around 1912. Mason lived at 1201 B NW and passed in 1940, buried in Rose Hill with two wives, had no children. Second wife was my great aunt." -Bob McCrory

"Butch, I am working on some research to piece together the rail history and tracks in Ardmore in the last century.  I am also pulling together all I can on the Ringling line (the former Oklahoma, New Mexico & Pacific, whose depot was the American Legion hall).  Anything you or your readers could share would be appreciated."  -George Pretty
"Mr. Bridges: I have been reading your e-mails for a couple of years, and find it very interesting. My name is Dan Broughton, my father is Walter A. Broughton, who was the airplane mechanic you mentioned at one time in a reprint of an article re: the Springer Airport. He was there shortly after WW II when Bob Goddard owned it.

This week you had some information regarding Oil Creek. The actual reason it was named Oil Creek was because there was an oil seep on the west bank just below the Falls. When the 97 acre lake was established it covered the seep. I was raised on the Goddard Ranch and spent many hours on the Creek." -Dan Broughton

Re: Colonel Sidney Suggs
My great-great-grandmother, Jane Clementine Suggs Simpson was sister of Dr. Isaac Suggs, father of Col. Sidney Suggs. Dr. Isaac Suggs was in charge of Confederate Hospital in Tupelo, and then moved to Mount Pleasant, Texas, following war. There were many Suggs and Simpson and Rogers relatives in Franklin and Titus Counties. Jane Clementine Suggs married HJM Simpson in Madison County, Mississippi, and moved to Texas in 1854 where a number of her brothers were already established. They are all buried in Hopewell Cemetery in Franklin County, across from Cumberland Presbyterian Church founded by our family. Dr. Isaac Suggs was one of the founders of the Presbyterian Church in Mount Pleasant, Texas and is buried in Edwards Cemetery there. I am the fifth generation of Suggs/Simpson to still live on the land settled in 1854. Col. Sidney has always been a rather mythic character to my line, and yes, the bronze plaque is in the Oklahoma Highway Department building. I saw it there about ten years ago. Also, he is noted in the history of Oklahoma newspapers, published by their Press Association. A lady in the archives was very helpful to me, and showed me a banjo or mandolin which belonged to Col. Sidney there in Oklahoma City. After Col. Sidney moved to Oklahoma, he convinced a number of relatives to move up there near him. Many of them were living in the Greenhill Community north of Mount Pleasant, Texas where they were members of one of the earliest Presbyterian churches in Texas. The Suggs name has basically died out in our area, having passed through the female line and been lost. Would love to correspond and meet my Suggs cousins." -Robert Sterling Long, 4932 S E Access Rd, Mount Vernon, Texas 75457
"I have two wooden nickels and on the back is Rusty?s Pawn Discount Center, Atoka, OK . The front has a picture of an Indian and the words Wooden Nickel. I have had these for many years. My husband made a lot of earrings for me and he put holes in these nickels and made me a pair. I used to wear some very unusual earrings."  -Frances
"Butch, found this old photo of me the other day taken with Clu Gulager, an actor from back in the 60's where he was on "The Virginian" and "Wagon Train". Anyway, my dad was an assistant manager at the old Gibson's Discount Store at 12th Avenue and North Washington. I don't remember exactly why the actor was at Gibson's that day, but my dad was adamant about my brother & me having our pictures made with Mr. Gulager. That's my dad (Ray Pritchard) to the left with the dark Ray-Bans on. I think I was about 10 in this picture which would've made this about 1966 when the photo was taken. Man, did that hair cut of mine. I haven't had bangs since the 7th grade. HA!!!" -Kathi George, Fayetteville, Arkansas

"I live on Sandy Creek Road approximately 1 mile from the Wilson Creek Cemetery...many years ago I remember an elderly woman talking to me one day regarding the cemetery and she referred to the name as "Smyrna". The lady had lived in the McMillan area all of her life, so she was very familiar with the area. I am aware that there was a community in that general vicinity. Just stirs up my curiosity to see if anyone knows more about this. Thanks." -Sharon Pilgrim Jones
"Jill and Butch, I remember the day the steel collapsed at the High School Auditorium. I was in Mr. Cobb?s classroom on the third floor of the Junior High. I was a newly minted 7th grade student to the block I was going to be on for the next 6 years. It was in the closest room to the auditorium in the Junior High and the windows were wide open. I remember Mr. Cobb, my home room teacher, jumping under or behind his desk because the noise was tremendously loud as the steel fell. The remainder of us in the room looked like deer in the head lights and we all got great enjoyment from watching Mr. Cobb. Later that day, we heard that three of the iron workers had ridden the steel to the ground and all had lived. It was a miracle they survived because the steel had been topped out at the level you see today.

Mr. Cobb was a great teacher, but he only lasted a few more weeks, until he was replace by an equally good teacher, Mrs. Juanita Cox. Mr. Cobb was called to active duty by the Berlin Crisis in 1961 as I remember. He returned to teaching about a year later. Mrs. Cox was much less of a disciplinarian than Mr. Cobb and we thought we could get away with almost anything. Well that was true until someone put a rubber snake in her desk. I remember who, but that information will go to my grave. Mr. Cobb?s and Mrs. Cox?s desk saw a lot of action that first semester and the classroom rules became much more defined in the second half of the year. I remember thinking if the remainder of my time on the block was as exciting as the first semester, the remaining 7 semesters were going to be a snap and they were.

I would like to hear from those guys who were activated in 1961. Did they go to Berlin? What did they do during the Berlin Crisis? I?d also like to hear about others who where in high school or junior high on the day the red iron collapsed. What do they remember?" -Dan Mahoney, #14 of ?67

The White winged are about the same size as the regular ol' Mourning doves.  Those are likely a form of
Collared doves.  Have both over here and occasionally the small Inca doves.  Attached are some pics of both. Other images here:

And here's a bit from the feederwatch page on the differences in a couple of variations of Collared doves:

Their calls are a good way to identify them also." -Garth

"Butch, Concerning "Old Wilson" vs. "New Wilson", I remember that "Old Wilson" was located west of Red Everett's old store on the same county road. The last time I was there to the best of my memory, I think you could still see the remains of dirt cellars and some "foundation" stones/rocks."
"Hi Butch, Just a note to say we have the ringed neck turtle doves here and have had them for several years. The picture that was in your T&T is the ringed neck dove, the white winged dove is different according to my National Geographic Birds of North America book. They are close in comparison except for the ring on the hind neck. They are larger than the mourning doves and they make a totally different sound, very soft and mellow. They are pretty docile and get along well with the other birds from the area. We have over 40 different bird species in our yard and garden and the ringed neck doves never get in fights around the feeders. Of course, they are on the ground but so are alot of the other birds eating the seeds that fall from the feeder. The common ground doves are the most friendly, they are much smaller than the mourning or the ring necked doves. You can walk within a few inches of them because they are so tame. We love our birds. We have the red tailed hawks, the sparrow hawks, and the one whose picture is in your T&T but I'm not sure what he is. They are all beautiful. The one we don't have that I would love is the Painted Buntings. We have friends that have those and I have watched them from the deck of the friends who live North of Ardmore but we have not seen them here yet. I keep hoping. We have Baltimore Orioles, Cedar Wax Wings, Swifts, several species of Woodpeckers and sapsuckers, Blue Birds, Nuthatch, mockingbirds, cardinals, bluejays, 2 kinds of Wrens, purple martins, Hummingbirds, yellow & purple finch, Chickadees, Juncos, many kinds of sparrows, brown thrush, grackles, road runners that come to our bird bath, redwing blackbirds, crows (ha! Ha)!, vultures, flycatchers, phoebes, starlings, egrets, titmouse, scissor-tailed fly catcher, bats, once in awhile we hear a whip-o-will, and once in awhile we hear a quail but we haven't seen either of those lately. Herb says the fire ants have taken care of the quail, how awful. I don't know if I have named them all but it is like we live in the country and we love it. We have lots of squirrels too. We saw deer tracks and coyote tracks in our garden recently but we've not seen them this year. Hope you and Jill are enjoying your country living. There is nothing like it. The pond up on the south end (not our property) is almost dry. When it has lot of water we have the beautiful geese that live down at Lake Murray come to it alot too." -Pat in Ardmore
"My book, 'Baseball in the Cross Timbers', is at the printer and should be delivered by month end. It has 313 pages of text, 300+ photos and illustrations, and extensive tables and index." -Peter G. Pierce, Norman

"Hi Butch,  I saw in this weeks issue that someone was asking about any photos of the Santa Fe railroad freight depot that was just south of the passenger station. Here are a couple of photos I took many years ago when I was in high school. I was a big fan of the Santa Fe, and often went to the train station on weekends to watch and photograph the trains.

The main subject of each photo is Santa Fe's southbound train #15, the Texas Chief. This passenger train ran daily between Chicago and Houston, through Kansas City, Wichita, Oklahoma City and Fort Worth, and of course Ardmore. I rode this train many times, mostly between Ardmore and Oklahoma City, and watched it go through Ardmore a hundred times.

In the first photo you can see the freight depot in the background, behind the locomotives. The second photo was taken while standing on the platform of the freight depot itself. Both photos were taken in 1970. At this time the freight depot was no longer used, or at least I never saw any activity there. Looking through the windows I could see a lot of debris, old desks, etc,  scattered helter-skelter and piled on top of each other, looking like no one had been in there in years." -John Gow

"Butch, I don't have Monroe Cameron's e-mail but in answer to his story of the soldered mint mark--It was a D mint mark which was soldered to a dime dated 1916 making it a rare and scarce 1916-D in very fine condition. It was his dad who discovered the fraud and he who filed charges in Carter county.  The subject pled guilty and was given a 6 month sentence in Carter County jail." -Rick Feiler

"How far you go in life depends on you being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these."   -George Washington Carver

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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