This and That Newsletter
A Weekly Publication

Vol 15  Issue 732      Circulation 5,000       February 2, 2011

PO Box 2

Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

email address:


Hope everyone is making it through all this ice and snow, seems to cover about 30 percent the country.  Oklahoma City and Tulsa areas were hit harder then we in southern Oklahoma.  The frigid temps sure makes it rough on people who have to work outside.  We just stayed inside the house most of Tuesday and Wednesday, just going outside to check on things and the chickens.  When I opened the chicken house doors Tuesday morning, they just looked down at the white ground, then look up at me, with this expression, are you crazy?  We ain't going out in that stuff, so they just stayed in their coop. This is a pic I snapped looking out our front door toward the road.  Everything sure looks clean and white, but I'm read for some warmer weather.

Since we are snowed in Jill made chicken soup Wednesday.  She boiled a chicken (not one of ours) and then de-boned it, put it back in the pot and added some English peas, carrots, corn, green beans, a little rice, and noodles.... and let's not forget all that delicious broth!  Boy was it good, sure helped with the temp around 18 degrees outside during the day. Here's a pic I snapped of just the chicken being boiled when Jill wasn't watching. She'd kill me if she knew I put this in the newsletter.  lol

The past few days I been compiling a list of Carter county towns, past and present, and when their post offices were established.  The list is pretty comprehensive, but there are a few I have not been able to determine their location is in this county, or even if it was a town in this county.  If anyone can provide more info on any of the listings or even corrections, send me an email.

The oldest post office in Carter county, past or present, that I've been able to determine so far is Healdton, Indian Territory.  The post office in Healdton was established February 26, 1883.

From This and That newsletter archives February 7, 1998:

In the last T&T I mentioned the Justice of the Peace officials here in Oklahoma were abolished in 1967. Come to find out, the legislature established the district attorney office during their 1965 session. In 1966 the people of this state voted for their first DA and he/she took office in January 1967. The Justice of the Peace were repealed in the 1968 legislature and the effective date (no more JPs) was January 13, 1969.

Q.   Who was the astronaut from Weatherford, Oklahoma?
A.    Thomas P. Stafford

Q.    Garth Brooks was born in what Oklahoma town?
A.     (answer in next week's newsletter)

Gas prices today in the Ardmore area......

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

"There is a section line road one mile east of Mead, Oklahoma that is named Leavenworth Road. Here is an article on General Leavenworth & where his remains were buried." -Sam Cottrell

The Daily Ardmoreite  August 22, 1945
By Sgt. Jck C. Smith
Marine Corps Combat Correspondent
Delayed - For single-handedly attacking and killing enemy troops firing on marines from three caves in the battle of Iwo Jima, Cpl. Enoch C. Watterson, 19, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Watterson, Ardmore, Okla., has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal. Corporal Watterson, who says his job before the war was "ranching and roping." was a flame-thrower operator on Iwo Jima, his first campaign.
"When the advance of his company had been halted by intense enemy firing from three caves," his citation read, "Watterson volunteered to attempt to eliminate the resistance." "By working his way 50 yards ahead of the front lines, through intense enemy machinegun and rifle fire, he succeeded in reaching a position from which he could operate a flame thrower. Though he continued at a great personal danger to himself, he fired the three enemy caves with his flame thrower, destroyed the enemy therein and thus enabled his company to continue the advance. "His courage and conduct throughout were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States naval service."

"Hey butch, I bet you have probably already heard of this since you are a whole bunch smarter than me. haha  But my son introduced me to  You can type in whatever kinds of music or artists you like and it plays only that music or artist's music. It keeps your music "on file" so every time you connect to it, it starts playing your chosen music. You can always add to it whenever you want."
A Boyhood Observance

Though born in 1930 and raised at Fort Sill, Oklahoma for seven years, as a young lad boy I resided several years at Gainesville, Texas. One of the scenes I remember during those boyhood days in Gainesville, Texas was a large cuspidor that sat in the middle area of the local passenger train station of Gainesville, Texas. I remember that it seemed to me to always contain a large volume of liquid remains of chewing tobacco and snuff.

Passengers waiting to depart and those who debarked from the outgoing and incoming passenger trains at the train station could not help observing this gigantic cuspidor sitting in the middle of the passenger lobby and smelling its wafting tobacco odor in the passenger lobby.

In August of 1949, as an active duty 19-year old duty Airman in the USAF, and having completed a 10-day furlough with my grandparents and other relatives, I departed Gainesville, Texas for the country of Newfoundland aboard a train bound for a USAF air base located in the state of Massachusetts where I would wait for air transportation to the island. At that time, Newfoundland was a separate country. Today it is an integral part of Canada.

I remember observing the large cuspidor sitting in its usual place as I walked from the lobby to board the east coast bound train. But eighteen months later, February 2, 1950 I returned via train from Newfoundland to Gainesville, Texas for a 20-day furlough. Upon entering the Gainesville passenger lobby I noticed that the cuspidor was no longer sitting in its prominent place. My Uncle James Miller informed me that during my stay in 18-month tour of duty in Newfoundland the town fathers had decided to remove the cuspidor from the train station, for to them the cuspidor reflected the old life and they desired the train station to reflect the new to incoming and outgoing passengers to the city. By the way, a few years later the benches that surrounded the country court house where the farmers on fair-day Saturdays sat, whittled, sniffed snuff and chewed tobacco and chatted with each other while their wives shopped were also removed.

Time goes on, and things do change, but our memories do not.

Elmer G. West

"We at the Arbuckle Historical Society of Murray County -- 402 W. Muskogee --  in Sulphur have approximately 200 ledgers from the Court Clerk's and County Clerk's offices and the County School Superintendent's office which are available to researchers."
The Daily Ardmoreite  August 22, 1945
Third Brother Shot to Death
Ben Keirsey, 42, third member of the famous Southeastern Oklahoma peace officer family to meet violent death, was shot and killed in Borger, Texas, late Monday, according to word received by Cliff Keirsey, deputy sheriff of Bryan county and last survivor of the four brothers. Keirsey is well known in Ardmore. His brothers, Cliff and Con Keirsey were peace officers in this county the latter being killed here in making an arrest a number of years ago. Jim Keirsey, another brother, was killed in Seminole, when he sought to apprehend a desperado. Jim was formerly chief of police of Durant. Cliff was to bring the body of his brother back to Durant for burial.

"The old building that was reported to be a store, a mail house, a stagecoach stop, etc. (south of Sulphur) was not removed due to the widening of the highway. Before the road was widened, the building was torn down by ODOT at the request of some people who were involved in a 3 car accident that could have cost 3 lives because of the close proximity of the building to the highway. It was only a few feet from the edge line of the road. ODOT had been waiting for a complaint and when it came in they were quick to removed the building that was in such a dangerous location. Fortunately, no fatal injuries resulted from the accident."  -Mary Lou

"Butch, There was a school close to White Mound. It was located on the south side of the County road just east of the gate going into White Mound property. I was told of it by my grandparents, (Claburn Lee & Lizzie Roundtree, who lived in the area from the turn of the 20th century and on. The school set on the hill side there, the road has been rerouted a bit now, the old road was more up the ridge. You can find both the school and the old road bed with a little looking. I think I remember being told that the school burned. There is evidence of that on the hillside. I found cast metal parts of school desks and other metals up there. This location would be approx -97.010508 34.361122. You can see the old road bed the attached photo. I enjoy your news letter. Between you and your many readers, many old memories are stirred."   -Roy Roundtree, Murray Co Game Warden, RET.  Murray County 911

Note: There are a couple pages dedicated to the Big Canyon School  and Crusher community in the 1977 Murray County History Book by Opal Hartsell Brown

"Looking at those pics of the Tivoli burning, I swear the guy in the overalls & hat looks like my grandpa. :-) Anyway, since I was only 2 when this happened, how long did it take to rebuild? What caused the fire? I worked there during high school in the ticket booth. Made 75 cents an hour, but got to watch the movies for free & got free soda & popcorn. Not too bad for a 16 year old kid."  -Kathi G.

Re: Old KVSO Radio- "As best as I can remember from what I was told, the original station was on the air at the location on Chickasaw Blvd. until it moved down town on North Washington above the Daily Ardmoreite building. The transmitter and tower remained at the original location and were controlled remotely by a telephone line. The location in the picture was next door to a structure called House Beautiful. The studios remained on North Washington until the early 60's when they were moved back to the small white building and stayed there until moved to the Gilbert Building which became The Ardmoreite Building. I don't know when they were moved to north Ardmore on Merrick Drive where they are now. My memory is sketchy so if anyone can correct me, feel free. I worked for KVSO and KVSO-TV in the late 50's. That was when Bill Lauderdale and Bob Boykin were standards on the air. Bill did sports and played platters and Bob was a DJ at all times of the day (nothing on the air past 11PM)."  -George Davis

"One of my earliest memories was going down to Gable's Feed Store on Caddo Street with my grandparents to pick up some chicken feed on a cloudy day. We were in poppa's old black '48 chevy four door -- and I remember asking him about that feed loading tube (I assume that's what it was" that used to be up above the awning on the north outside wall of the building. Then pop drove us down to the Railway Express building where we sat for a moment, made a u-turn and headed on home. I remember the way the place looked -- and smelled -- and the baby chicks. Pretty great!"  -Tom Elmore
"Butch, Hermann Hospital, located in Houston, was named for George H. Hermann who died in 1914. He left a large portion of his estate for the establishment of a hospital for the poor. It was the first hospital in the Texas Medical Center where more than 93,000 people now work. There are more that 6 million patient visits to the center each year. The medical center occupies an area larger than downtown Dallas."  -Monroe Cameron
"Turner Falls Park was originally mostly Indian Land. I'm not sure if Mr. Turner married into property ownership or if he just bought from Indians who wanted land that could be farmed.. There were no buildings or improvements to speak of around the falls at that time. Mr. Turner was not related to any of Bill Colling's family.

Bill's maternal Grandparents, Dr and Mrs. Ellsworth Collings, and Bill's mother, came from Missouri to Norman, Okla. when Dr. Collings was hired to be the Dean of Education at O.U in the mid 1920's... Some of the Education faculty members owned little rock cabins in Turner Falls Park and Dr. Collings bought some lots adjoining their land and built a small house with a garage above it and the staircase from the path to the falls up to the house and another staircase that led up to the garage above.

The house was built from natural rock in Spanish style with parapets decorating the tops of the house and the walls around the little patios and the wall around the bottom of his lots where the footpath led to the falls. A small cabin with maybe 3 main rooms, a fireplace and narrow staircases to the room above. This was their "Summer Cabin" where they would spend time over holidays and when school was not in session. They called it "The Park House" Many people in Davis have called it "The Castle". Mrs. Collings used to have summer picnics and BBQs and entertained faculty members there. The Park house was always meant to be personal family property and was never a tourist thing while it was owned by the family.

Dr. and Mrs. Collings also owned a large Ranch called the Bar C Ranch, above the "Park House" which adjoined park land above Turner falls. The Bar C Ranch was sold to the YMCA after Dr. Collings died. The Collings family never did own Turner Falls Park or Turner Falls. I believe at one time in the Depression they could have purchased the Park but never did.

The "Castle" was sold before Dr. Collings died in 1970, to a man and I do not remember his name. This man I believe, leased the park from the City at that time. He lived in the house and operated the park as a private park.

The Cabins that are located across from the Waterslide were built in the early 1940's by Bills parents.... Mr. Geis was a principal and Mrs. Geis was a teacher at that time and Bill was in school at Davis High School. After graduation, Bill attended Oklahoma State and then served in the Signal Corps in Korea. I moved to the cabins while Bill was in Korea. His grandmother also lived there at that time because Mr. and Mrs. Geis had moved to Pawhuska to teach Bill and I continued to live there until we moved to Colorado in 1982.

Bill and I also owned Honey Creek Ranch along the Washita River which we later did sell to the owner of the "Arbuckle Wilderness" who wanted the land. to raise hay for his wild animals. The Ranch was in the flood plain and did flood several times while we owned it. The Washita River did alter it's path during the floods and now I believe the northern boundary of that property is on the North side of the river. There was a small barn on the property but no other buildings were ever built because of the possibility of a flood.

I need to add that Bill's grandfather, Dr. Collings. did have an extensive collection of Western art and artifacts...Most of his collection is now in the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. Another part of his collection is in Wolaroc Museum near Bartlesville in the Northeastern part of Oklahoma."  -Mrs Bill Geis

"Mr. Bridges, I am a new subscriber, and I enjoy your newsletters a lot.  This last weekend, since the weather was so nice, I surprised my wife with a trip to Turner Falls. We walked around "the castle" and enjoyed the day outside. I was highly disappointed with the amount of information available about the site, though. The only sign simply said it was a summer home for a doctor Collings. Do you have any more details about "the castle"? I'm curious about who, when, why, how and more. When did it stop being a summer home and start being a collection place for graffiti and urine? Who owns "the castle" and are there any plans to clean it up? Thanks."   -Scott

"Butch, Fort Sill, OK was established on January 8, 1869, by Maj Gen Phillip H. Sheridan. It was a Cavalry Post until the School of Fire was organized in 1911.  LTC George A. Custer was stationed there about 1872, with the 7th Cavalry. Gen Sherman visited Fort Sill about 1874 when he was the Commanding General of the Cavalry and Infantry units fighting the Indian Wars. Custer had nothing to do with the building of Fort Sill.  I do not believe there was an Artillery Center in 1850. If there was it would have been at one of the older installations east of the Mississippi River."  -Sydney Clinton Holt, US Army (Retired)
A bit of Ardmore & OK history I'm sure of some interest to you as a historian, if not for T&T. The 1910 picture is of my Grandfather, H.C. Ledbetter, his brothers and Father

Left to Right
Hugh 1877-1956 Ardmore Lawyer,
Guy T. 1874-1938 Ardmore business man, real estate,
Seth 1877-1956 Oklahoma City OK Capitol Building clerk,
Horace C. 1866-1952 Ardmore Insurance Agent, 1930s, my Grandfather,
Walter A. 1863-1934 Lawyer, Ardmore & OK City, an author of OK State Constitution, later State Senator for many years.
Thomas A. 1832-1918 - prosperous farmer in Fayette County TX, moved to Ardmore where his sons resided.

All of the above except Seth are still in Ardmore, out in Rose Hill.

The first page of the abstract of my home is sale in 1906 to Walter A. Ledbetter by Chickasaw Nation.

-Bob McCrory

?Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep the postmen from their appointed rounds.?

Today many people believe the above saying to be the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) motto, but, in fact, is not their official slogan. According to the USPS they have no slogan at all. The reason it has become identified with the USPS is because back in 1896-97 when the New York City General Post Office was being designed, Mitchel Kendal, an employee for the architectural firm, McKim, Mead and White, came up with the idea of engraving the Greek historian Herodotus? saying all around the outside of the building. From that time on the saying has been associated with US postal carriers.

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges

PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443

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Ardmore High School Criterions Online
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
Ardmore School Criterions

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