This and That Newsletter

Vol 13  Issue 653     Circulation 5,000      July 30, 2009

PO Box 2

Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

email address:

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

Last week we talked about Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association special investigator Joe Ramer and his help to the sheriffs office in finding cattle rustlers. Joe covered Carter, Comanche, Cotton, Garvin, Grady, Jefferson, Johnston, Love, Marshall, McClain, Murray, Pontotoc, Stephens and Tillman counties. Joe retired in November 2006 after more than 30 years with the Association. Austin Green is the present investigator for the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association for this area.

A T&T Reader dropped by to see me this week who grew up in the 800 block of 5th NE just 2 blocks north of me, only about a dozen years earlier. He had a story to tell I hadn't heard. We have had lots of mention in past newsletters about Buck Garrett, the most famous sheriff of Carter county.

Buck and his wife lived at North Washington and 3rd Street where the present day Washington Theater (old Ardmore school auditorium) is located.  Back in Garrett's day there was a 2 story residence Buck and his family lived in located on that corner.  After Buck's death, his widow and family continued living there, Mrs. Garrett turning it into a boarding house to generate some cash to make ends meet.

In about 1942 or 1943 a black man was in the house talking to Buck's son and an argument began between them.  The black man ran out the front door, turning north across the lawn, and into the street.  Buck's son was following right behind him and pointed a gun at the fleeing man, shooting him to death on the red bricked street between the house and the old Ringling station depot (ONM&P railway line).

Mr. Brown could not remember what the argument was about, but sure remembers watching it all take place, and his grandmother (they lived across the street to the east beside Harris Gas Station) grabbing the boys up and rushing them into the house for safety.

A Reader wrote in to the Mailbag last week asking about more info on an old homeplace on Douglas Boulevard.  She noticed the other day some remodeling is taking place.  The place was the home of Ardmore pioneer Stephen A. Douglas and his family, building the house in 1886.

A couple of our Barred Rock chickens has had some diarrhea off and on for several weeks.  Last week Jill mixed a couple big heaping tablespoons of yogurt with some oats and chicken scratch, and the chickens loved it.  Within 24 hours the diarrhea seems to have cleared up and we've not seen hardly any since.

Speaking of the chickens, these Barred Rocks are the most adorable, sweet, gentle chickens. They are lovable pets for sure.  I just love Milo the rooster.  Here is Milo up close and personal. He's sure a pretty bird.

This is Milo (on the right) with his 4 good looking pullets. He keeps a close eye on them.

Jill is always coming up with something different when it comes to arts and crafts, and this week she took our old auto tag and used it as the roof for a bird house.  We mailed the bird house to her mother in California for her birthday.  Probably the only birdhouse in CA with a Oklahoma tag as a roof!

We stopped by the Corner Cafe at 12th and E Street NW about a week ago and picked up one of their old fashion burgers.   All I can say is its got room for improvement.  But Jill loved their breakfast burrito!  I'll get one of those next time we stop in there (bacon, chunks of baked potato, onions, real cheddar cheese).

I'm running out of hamburger places to go, so send me some locations nearby.  By the way, this week Mom and Pops at the south edge of Lake Murray burned to the ground.  Hope they rebuild, they sure put out a good hamburger.

Doug Williams picked 10 pounds of grapes this week at a friend's house.  They are not sure what kind of grapes these are, and hopes someone will know?

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

Q.   What river was tamed to make Oklahoma's Port of Catoosa?
A.   Arkansas River  (07/31/09  still be debated ???)

Q.   Where was Oklahoma's most profitable gold mine located?
A.   (answer in next week's T&T)

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

"Here is a little more info on the Rufus Binyon hanging of the last weeks T&T mailbag entry." -Fran
The Daily Ardmoreite
Ardmore, Indian Territory
Friday, January 14, 1902

RUFUS BINYON, charged with murder of his stepdaughter, MARY HAWTHORNE, on May 15, 1900 then set her on fire and burned the body.

Thursday, January 16, 1902

District Court
RUFUS BINYON, guilty of murder, will have to be sentence to be hung.


Ardmore to Have Hanging
At last Ardmore is to have a hanging, in the case of RUFUS BINYON, guilty of murder? Ardmore has never had a hanging? Ardmore already has the gallows.

"Similar to what was in the newsletter a couple of weeks ago about pit bull attacks."  -Cecil

"Butch here are some new school buildings at Geronimo, Oklahoma. A weird sight from the highway." -Doug

"Mr. Bridges, My happy weekends spent at Falconhead west of Marietta. I been rying to research who was the golf pro at the Falconhead course in the late 60's early 70's. Think the name was Aldy Gers?"
"Butch, My husband was looking at the area grocery store list and he was telling me his mother, great aunt and grandmother worked at Mayhall's Dry Goods on Caddo. We are not sure the location, but we know it was on Caddo. Thanks. "  -Lori and Mark
"Hi Butch: Enjoyed your note about the Courthouse clock in the July 16th issue and also the article and pictures you wrote a while back about working on it yourself. Brought back childhood memories to me..... While up there in the clock tower did you see "JHColbert" inscribed on the inside of the clock anywhere? Jimmy Colbert was my Dad and he kept the clock running for many years. He was an Ardmore postman who had a clock shop in his home and repaired many of the clocks in the area until his death in 1976. Going up the iron staircase into the clock tower with him was a great treat for me as a grade school child (the two or three times that I was allowed to do so in the early 1940s) and I remember that I could see the big pecan tree in our backyard on G Street, NW from there.

Also, I have enjoyed your comments on the Ardmore oldtimers, as so many of them my parents knew and others were related to my Dad's Chickasaw ancestors and many were people that my maternal and paternal grandparents were friends of. One early Ardmore event that I recall hearing about was the big train explosion when my Mother was about five (1915?). ****she thought that she caused it*** because she was playing with the ringpull on a window shade at the Carnegie Library (which she had earlier been scolded for doing) when suddenly the shade recoiled and spun around and the windows in the library broke and glass went flying. Guess she had that on her conscience for awhile until she was old enough to realize just what had happened!!  Keep up the good work!"

Tania Colbert Patrick
Plano, TX

"Butch, the giraffe in Lynn McCumber?s picture is inside Arbuckle Wilderness.  The west side of the park starts at the foot of the hill where the picture was taken."

Facebook agreed to let 3rd-party advertisers use your posted pictures w/o your permission. Click on SETTINGS up at the top where you see the Logout link. Select PRIVACY. Then select NEWS FEEDS AND WALL. Next select the tab that reads FACEBOOK ADS. There is a drop down box; select NO ONE. Then SAVE changes.
"Butch, there were two letters in the recent T&T that amused me....the tree they were talking about looking like an animal, ...several times I have told my wife as were were driving NE on hwy 79, and about 2 miles from this tree, to me it appeared as an oversize Rooster....Tail feathers (limbs) and the head and crown, (more limbs) it makes me feel better that someone else saw the tree and made something of it."

"Butch, I realize your audience consists of many smaller towns around Oklahoma. I am a historical wall muralist with several of my outdoor murals being in Blair, Medicine Park, and Yukon, Oklahoma. Many of the small towns have wonderful outdoor walls that could use a bit of history painted on them to draw tourism. Some areas have had burned out buildings in the middle of the main street buildings and they make great sitting areas, park-like effects and mural sites. Also, many of the older churches have murals in their baptisteries that need to be renovated. This is where my talents lie. I will travel up to 250 miles to paint and have a website where my artwork can be seen. If any of your viewers are looking for something unique for their town, please have them contact me to portray their history."

Joy Willingham, Medicine Park, OK

"Here is the Amtrak passenger train arriving in Ardmore."  -Doug Williams

"Here's to the  P-51 Pilots, and all the aviators of WWII,  and previous Aviation Heroes from Oklahoma. One story I heard was that Wiley Post lived in my Ardmore home while taking flying lessons,  I guess from the airfield at Springer, N of Ardmore, and I think the place of my first airplane ride in a Stinson, with my Pastor at First Baptist.  Don't remember just when it was, but just as thrilling to me as any experience I remember, including my first solo.  Thanks."  -Jim Renfro
"Hello Butch,  I've written to you before about the Durwood Cemetery. I have been reading all of your newsletters and would like to tell you a little about my dad. He worked at the Hamburger Inn in Ardmore as the cook, I just don't remember the years. He also worked at the 5 o'clock club as the chef. He put out the first seafood buffet at the Holiday Inn and is pictured on one of their postcards. His name is W. B. Griffin also known as Griff or as they call him in Healdton where he grew up "Dub". He was in the Air Force for 20 plus years mostly stationed at Offutt Air Base in Omaha Nebraska. He was the chef at the officers club and cooked for many famous people including JFK and Bobby Kennedy.  I'm sure some of your readers would know him. The veterans memorial in Healdton does not have his name on it. Do you know if there is some way I could get his name included on this? I would be willing to pay to have his name engraved on it.
My Dad passed away on Oct. 31, 2006 at the age of 79 at his home in Healdton. He is buried in Mt. Olive Cemetery in Healdton. Maybe some of your Readers could share a story about him, I still miss him terribly. He was my best friend. Thank You."  -Debbie

"Butch, What size are these grapes, small, big ??? Herb says they don't look like they are ripe, there is a post oak grape that should be ripe soon but they aren't green when they are ripe. The possum grapes are very small and they are not ripe yet either. Herb also says he has never heard of any green or light colored wild grapes." -Pat

"I am researching my great-grandparents (Richard Belvin Ward and Laura Tucker Ward).  Neither were born in Oklahoma but lived most of their life there.  In the 1900 I.T. census Belvin and Laura are there with 4 children. He lists himself as a physician.  The 1910 census is the last record I have of them. They are in Burney/Burneyville OK and again he is shown as a physician.  The handwriting/spelling is poor but he is shown as what appears to be Belveana Ward and the 4 youngest children.  Their oldest son is Richard Ward who I believe was killed in France in 1918 and lists his home town as Healdton, OK.  Both Belvin and Laura are listed as parents on their youngest sons Texas death certificate.

I have spent dozens of hours looking through libraries and on the internet for more info on them, especially for info on their death and burial.  I will be in that area later this year and would love some tips on where to look.  Any help would be appreciated. BTW, I really enjoy the newsletters. They help connect me to some more of my roots." -Rod Ashcraft, Alabama

July has been a busy month, here at the Arbuckle Historical Society of Murray County museum! We had a great turn-out for the July 20th meeting, which featured a program produced by park rangers from the Chickasaw National Recreation Area (formerly Platt National Park.) Through slides, narration, music and drama, the story of the Civilian Conservation Corps Camp 808 (located in Sulphur) was told. The CCC was a vital part of America's recovery from the Great Depression and ultimate victory in WWII, as many of our soldiers during WWII were CCC alumni.
The audience age ranged from 4-years-old to mid-90's, and we were greatly privileged to have one of the original CCC "boys", Jay Pinkston, here to comment and share his experiences. Talk about "The Greatest Generation!" The rangers developed the program in 2008, as part of the year-long celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the CCC in Murray County.
Don't miss our August 17th meeting, when Donald "Ducky" Day will present his Flags of America program. I haven't seen it yet, but have heard rave reviews by those who have! We will meet at the American Legion Hall in Sulphur at 7 pm for that event. It is located at 910 W. 5th St., right behind the Mary L. Parker Public Library.
And speaking of the Mary L. Parker Public Library, we recently received a micro-fiche machine from them after they got a new one in the course of their remodeling. Roland Earsom ordered several films of old Sulphur newspapers, from 1905 to 1941, from the Oklahoma Historical Society, and they are fascinating reading! I found out, for example, that the Pagoda Well-house, on 11th st. (which was just torn down by the city, and which we hope to see rebuilt!) was finished in 1906. You are welcome to come in and peruse the available films. We don't have the capability to print out from the micro-fiche, but you can make notes.
On a sadder subject, our president, Joe Wright, died suddenly in early July. He will be much-missed for his leadership, generosity and wry sense of humor. He was in the process of planning this year's AHSMC picnic; he loved to feed people and get groups together for fellowship. He was a descendant of Mazeppa Turner, Murray Co. pioneer and namesake of Turner Falls. Joe's wife, Jerrie Wright, has requested that memorial donations be sent to the Arbuckle Historical Society of Murray County in his honor. Our address is 402 W. Muskogee Ave. Sulphur, OK 73086. Our phone number is 580 622-5593, or you can contact me at 580 993-0131, or Roland Earsom at 580 618-0444 for more information.
On a happier note, we have a new worker at the museum. Kay Rather (pronounced "Ray-ther") has joined us and is a tremendous asset. She is an experienced office worker and a fabulous organizer, which we sorely needed! We have really gotten a lot done since she has been here to lend a hand.
For those of you who haven't heard about our new website,, you can log on and see lots of pictures of old Sulphur, some of our museum collections and photos of Sulphur as it appears today. It is a work in progress, as this is the first time I have created a website! I'm having a few problems with it, so if anyone is an expert in FrontPage web design - Please! I'm beggin' you! Call me or email! I haven't been successful with the "guest comments" page; every time I load it, it works for a day, then it quits! So, for now, the best method to contact the museum is to reply to this email or add it to your contact list.
We are trying to constantly update and improve the museum's collections and displays; if you haven't been in to the museum in a while, you will enjoy seeing the changes.
Please contact me with any comments, suggestions, family stories, pictures or Sulphur memories.
We would love to hear from you. Remember, memberships in the AHSMC are only $15. per year for an individual and $25. for a family, and help to keep the museum running. Museum worker's salaries are paid by a government grant, and do not come out of museum funds, which are used to maintain and improve the building and collections. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and donations are tax-deductible.
Help keep Sulphur's history alive!
Randi Crawford
Acting President, AHSMC

The Wilson News
May 11, 1916
Last Tuesday night while Ples St. John was returning to Hewitt, he was held up by three men and robbed of $9.25. He had been to the picture show at Wilson and says that three boys were in the lobby when he was given the change, and the police are trying to locate these boys.
May 18, 1916
What is known as the city Tennison has just opened up 6 miles northwest of here, between Wilson and Ragtown. The principal builder, Mr. W. H. Tennison, who the town was named after, said that while the town was very small (one general store and one hotel) it was a sure comer, and the name of Tennison, Okla., will be on the map some day.
What might have been a serious fire was averted last night at the Royal Cafe by the timely actoin of some of the men, who were close by when a rag that had been used to clean off the stove caught fire. Mr. Harper stated that outside of the loss of a good stove rag no damage was done.
Black eyed peas .07 a bushel.

-Wilson Historical Museum hours: Tues. Thurs. Fri., Sat., 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. We have a great boy scout display!!


We've had some greatly needed rains the past few days, several times.  The ponds are full, and animals happy, and the grass growing green again. 

Oklahoma Morning
Writer Jerry Chestnut

On an early autumn day
Freshness of the breeze brought the mornin'
And the sun came risin' up
Shinin' down on leaves that
fell like golden snow
And the mystery of it all
Made the problems of the day seem unimportant
That Oklahoma mornin'
Puts Oklahoma sunshine in my soul

There ain't nothin' like an Oklahoma mornin'
Nothin' like it when you're feelin' low
It warms up your mind and your body
It puts Oklahoma sunshine in your soul

Our campfire came to life
The crackling of the fire and smell of coffee
Turned back the time
To a day when a man could listen for a while
To the sound of mother nature
Without the sound of industry in the background
That Oklahoma mornin'
Puts Oklahoma sunshine in my smi-i-ile

There ain't nothin' like an Oklahoma mornin'
Nothin' like it when you're feelin' low
It'll warm up your mind and your body
It puts Oklahoma sunshine in your soul

One more time
There ain't nothin' like an Oklahoma mornin'
Nothin' like it when you're feelin' low
It'll warm up your mind and your body
It puts Oklahoma sunshine in your soul
It puts Oklahoma sunshine in your soul

Sung by Charley Pride

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges

236 Timber Road
Ardmore, Oklahoma

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

All previous issues of This & That can be found on my Website.
Feel free to forward this free newsletter. Mailouts: over 1,600.
To be removed from my T&T mailings, just send me an email.
I do not sell, trade or give my mailing list to anyone for any reason.