This and That Newsletter
A Weekly Publication

Vol 15  Issue 734      Circulation 5,000       February 17, 2011

PO Box 2

Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

email address:


Note: anyone on my mailing list who has an email account, as far as I can tell, those emails all bounced back.  Said 'does not have account". Of course I know that's not true.  About 173 emails bounced back to me.  So something went wrong.

I received a big brown envelope in the mail this week from Okmulgee, Oklahoma.  I could not image what Chester Hodge, a retired police chief in Okmulgee, was sending me.  I was so surprised when I opened it up, and inside was a 1958 issue of the Oklahoma FOP magazine. (FOP stand for Fraternal Order of Police.) It was packed full of history on police departments from all around the state, but also inside was a write-up on Ardmore PD. I scanned the pages as best I could, hope they are readable for those of you who are interested.

In this next scan I cropped away most of the page, leaving only the photo of the APD officers.

Thanks Chester for the FOP magazine, by the way, anyone with the last name Murphree living in Okmulgee are kin to me on my mother's side.  I did a name search in for the name Murphree and the only name I found was a Rowena Murphree.  You can bet she's my cousin, maybe by marriage.  On my Facebook is a cousin, Stan Murphree, who still lives in Okmulgee. Stan is short for Stanley, same first name as me.  lol

Last week we talked about Overbrook, Oklahoma.  This week one of the old timers from Overbrook, Albert Cullum, brought by a painting by a past postmaster of Overbrook, Gloria Ellis.  For those of you who don't know, I believe Albert is the only still surviving Founding Member and organizer of Southern Oklahoma Water Corporation.

"SOWC was formed in 1969 by forward looking individuals with the idea of providing potable water to needy homes in Carter County. These individuals such as Herman Day, Albert Cullum, Dorothy Lacey, Ollie Testerman, Arvel Jones, Thomas Ayers, Melvin Sampley, Milo Watkins, Eldon Jones, Andy Arnold, George Washburn, Warren Jones, and John Hissom worked days and nights and weekends trying to get enough people together with a like mind to contribute $50.00 per meter to secure a FHA loan to build the SOWC water system. This list is a smattering of individuals that had a direct and active hand in the formation and building of the SOWC Water System. Many people worked long hours to get a reliable source of drinking water for the rural areas. There was a minimum of 1,100 contributions or meters needed to get that Farmers Home Administration loan approved. To secure enough people and receive the FHA money it was decided to expand the system into Love County. With this expansion and the subsequent contributions, SOWC was able to proceed with plans and become a reality."

A Reader here in Lone Grove told me a couple weeks ago about using flour tortillas to make chicken and dumplings.  I finally got around to trying it, and boy was it easy to make and great tasting too!  I just cut the soft flour tortilla in strips and dropped them in the chicken broth and all, let it simmer about 30 minutes, and it turned out great.  My mother spent a lot of time making the dough, wax paper, rolling it out, and all. This is so much easer, and they don't clump together or anything like that.

Then a couple days Norma Lowery sent in her recipe.  I can already tell these are going to be just like my mother made, and might try them her weekend.

Some friends of ours at Wilson bought an oil painting by an artist named Arnold Vail (1922-1995).  They have been searching the internet to see what its value may be.  Some of Vail's paintings are worth 100's of dollars.  Maybe someone out there is familiar with this painting and artist? Here is a pic I took of my friends oil painting.

From This and That newsletter archives February 14, 1998:

"I sure do enjoy your web page and visit it often. I especially like the pictures of the clock in the courthouse. Back in the late 70s when I worked for the County Treasurer, Mike McComber was always taking people up to see the clock tower and I could never go see it. Now, thanks to you, I can see what I missed back then. Thanks!"  -Bob Lantrip 1940-2003

Note:  Bob Lantrip was stricken with polio as a child back in the early 50s, and because he wore braces, he was never able to go up into the bell tower of the Ardmore courthouse with his dad, who made almost a weekly trip to see the Seth Thomas Tower Clock. Bob said they lived at Wilson and made a weekly trip to Ardmore, and hardly a time did his dad miss going to see the clock. When I put some pictures on my website of the clock, Bob sent in the above email to the Mailbag. I learned years ago, I never know what T&T article will strike a cord and bring back a memory.

Q.    Spiro Mounds is Oklahoma's only archaeological park. What is it known for??
A.    A 140-acre site encompassing 12 southern mounds that contain evidence of an Indian culture that occupied the site from 850 A.D. to 1450 A.D. The Mounds are considered one of the four most important prehistoric Indian sites east of the Rocky Mountains

Q.     What radio station was the first one transmitting from west of the Mississippi River?
A.     (answer in next week's newsletter)

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

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

"Hi Butch, While it is being brought up again since I last wrote to you about Dr. Ellsworth Collings in This and That Newsletter Vol 13 Issue 639 on April 23, 2009

For a period of time growing up in Davis, my family lived in the first house north of the Bar-C along the northwest side of Highway 77 directly across the highway from the Turner Falls Assembly of God Youth Camp with a perfect view of the three crosses perched on the hill above the campgrounds. It was a stone house located only a few hundred feet from the Bar-C Dude Ranch and was possibly part of the ranch at one time. We used to know the caretakers of the Bar-C and occasionally stopped there to visit on our way walking to and from Turner Falls Park. The buildings are in a similar style to the Castle and similar stone was used in their construction. I spent most of my summers in the 60s and 70s either swimming, hiking, camping, girl watching and even working at Turner Falls Park. The park was owned by the City of Davis, but leased to Bob Howell and Max Sulcer for a number of years during that time period.

This is copied from:

But, I wanted to send it to you with the actual text because these links "go dead" or get changed so often.

The Castle and The Bar-C Dude Ranch

The Castle and the Bar-C were built by Dr. Ellsworth Collings, Dean of Education at the University of Oklahoma. It was never a permanent home of the Collings, but on special occasions, friends were entertained at the Castle in the Arbuckles.  Very little is known about the Castle ... The whys and wherefores are left unanswered. On one thing we can agree. It is an interestingly beautiful, mystically intriguing, Romeo and Juliet Magic Kingdom left there on the mountainside to spark the imagination of the child within each of us.  The Bar-C Dude Ranch was living quarters, museum, office and rental cabins located just north of Turner Falls Park entrance. This property was purchased by Dr. Collings from John W. Williams in 1943. John Williams, Tom Frame, T. Easter and Will Moore organized Turner Falls Park Company in 1925.  Local builders worked on the Bar-C while Onis Wilson quarried the rock by hand from Clabe Russell's property and sand was hauled by Doyle Dalley.  The largest of the buildings was living quarters, museum, and office. Collings had a large collection of Western Art, Sculpture, Spurs, Bridles, etc. That collection in now in the Cowboy Hall of Fame, Oklahoma City and Woolaroc Museum, Tulsa.  Dr. and Mrs. Collings lived at the Bar-C and Dr. Collings commuted three times a week to Norman until his retirement in 1958. He was a member of many educational organizations and writers clubs. He was an active member of the Murray County Historical Society. Dr. Collings was listed in Who's Who in America and donator to the Cowboy Hall of Fame degrees.

There are more pictures of the Bar-C cabins at this link:

-Mickey Shackelford

"On Monday night, February 21, 2011, I will be singing at the Prairie Rose Chuckwagon Supper in Benton, Kansas. This event is called ?The Monday Night Roundup?. There is no admission charge and the food is free. However, this is a pot luck supper, so we ask you to bring a covered dish (with food in it!!) or one of your favorite dishes to share with all of the others. My presentation will be primarily gospel music so come hear me sing some of my favorite gospel songs, and some stories I think you will enjoy. The supper starts at 6:30 pm and the event will end around 8:30pm. If you need directions, call Orin or J.W. at 316-778-2121.  Hope to see you there."  -Les Gilliam, The Oklahoma Ballader
The Daily Ardmoreite, Ardmore, Okla., Tuesday, November 2, 1915, p. 1, col 5:
WELL KNOWN NEGRO DIED HERE MONDAY;   J. Milton Turner, formerly of St. Louis, and active in interest of freedman, died here yesterday.  J. Milton Turner, well known negro politician, and former minister to Liberia, who has for the past year has been making his home in this city, died yesterday after a brief illness at the home of a friend where he was staying. He was appointed to the post in Liberia by President Grant, and for many years was active in Missouri politics, being a native of St. Louis, where it is said, as a slave, he was sold from the court house steps for fifty dollars, previous to the Civil War. He was always anxious for the welfare of his race and founded the first negro schools in Missouri, at Kansas City, in 1868. A few years ago he arrived in this city in the interest of several freedmen who were not at that time on the rolls of the Choctaws or Chickasaws and succeeded together with S. T. Wiggins, another negro attorney in getting twelve freedmen on the rolls, and their lands secured. For this service the two attorneys claimed approximately $12,000, which the freedmen disputed, and the case was taken into the central court for settlement. The style of the case was Turner & Wiggins vs. Charles Cohee et al., and after a bitterly fought case, the plaintiffs were awarded a judgment for half the amount prayed for. The case was appealed to the supreme court, and by that tribunal affirmed. For the past year Turner has been making his home in this city, for the purpose of collecting the judgment which was being paid by the defendants as their means allowed. Turner has had a most colorful career and was an entertaining talker. He had many friends among the white people, who admired him for his ability and his kindly council to his own people. He was injured recently by the explosion of gas that wrecked a portion of the city. The remains will be interred this afternoon. Deceased was 76 years old at the time of his death.

"Butch, I am not sure why my great-grandmother Mary Canning was not listed as the Postmistress of Burwell, Ok which she managed for more than a decade. In other issues of your "This n That" you listed her name; however I could not find it in the USPS listing of last week. Additionally my great grandfather William Canning was the Justice of Peace and Mary Canning was run over by a dairy truck in Guthrie, Oklahoma in 1921. My great-grandmother was the first traffic fatality in the new state of Oklahoma. Her age was listed incorrectly as 60 when she was in her 70s after making the Land Run of 1889. Her house, the Post Office remains standing and I included some of it's pictures. I am a great admirer of your articles and send it to many of my relatives in Oklahoma Territory." -Revis Wilson

"You would think that since the United States Postal Service is in charge of all Post Offices you would think that they would know where they are, but they don?t. I grew up in Foster area. I remember when Katie Studdard first worked at the Post Office at Foster and later on was appointed as PM. The above information came from the Government web site on finding Post Offices or Post Masters anywhere. The problem is that the above information is wrong. Foster is not close to Stephens County it is in Garvin County. Foster Post Office is approximately six miles west of Elmore City on 29 HWY and one mile south. What do you think Butch, does the Government ever make a mistake?"
Marty wrote: "James Kenneth Johnson was the man he was shot north on Mt Washington rd. A state trooper from purcell shot him with a sawed of double barrel both barrels at the same time. Lem England was with him. He later said that was the loudest gun shot he ever heard! James Clark was the D.A. he was in the helicopter with Wayne Warthen. Johnson was shooting at them trying to shoot out the spot light. There was one shot behind the little store on C se and 10th SE"
 "Butch, before this was Payne's grocery (C and 10th SE) it was Trotter's."
"That website you included in the newsletter answered my question about Charles Hobart Heald. He was actually the 5th postmaster at Healdton, OK. BUT what none of us knew is that our grandfather, Ben C. Heald was ALSO a postmaster in Healdton. I love days like this!"  -Serena Heald Holder
"We have a neighbor down the road. He prepares soil, then clips all branches off plants except for a few on top, he plants deep to cover all branch stubs. He ties up plant branches throughout grow season. His plants are fantastic and loaded. One day my wife ask why they grow so well---the secret--After he plants, he digs 3 small holes equally spaced outside of plant , he then adds a cup of Epson salt to one hole, a cup of lime to another, and finally a cup of powdered milk to the third hole.  His crop is perfect every year."  -Ted
"I went to work for the Video Independent Theatres Inc., in 1958, when the Tivoli burned, 75 cents per hour was a small fortune. I started at 50 cents an hour selling popcorn at the Tower Drive In and got promoted to projectionist, which was one of the better paying jobs, at 55 cents per hour. My first day on the job was the day the Tivoli burned and I figured, no job for me, but my job was at the drive in and I went to work. I stayed with that company off and on (mostly on) until 1966. At that time I was working for their theatres in Lubbock."  -George Davis
"Here is another view of the Red River Bridge south of Hollis Oklahoma, Harmon County about 2010."  -Gary Branigan

Map of Hollis, Oklahoma and the bridge south of Hollis

Photos from Feb 22, 2007 newsletter

My family has a long connection to "The Meridian."

My great grand parents homesteaded a farm in 1889 on the meridian (1-1/2 mi S of HW 62) in what was Old Greer County and moved there from Davenport Iowa. On March 16, 1896, the Court ruled that the southern branch of the Red River was the true Red River and they now lived in Oklahoma without having moved. Things were fine till the early 1900's when several surveys were done to determine the "true" meridian. The Branigan home and various amounts for the farm were legally juggled back and forth from Texas to Oklahoma as the meridian wandered from 4000 feet west to it's present location as determined in 1929. That put the meridian right through the middle of the family home on the homestead. The bedrooms were in Texas. My father is reported to have said. "Fortunately all us kids (he, his brother and sister) were born while the meridian was still 15 feet west of the house." That of course made them all "Born in Oklahoma."  My wife's uncle A. D Lewis also had a farm right on the Meridian (1/4 mi N of HW 62) with the living room in Oklahoma and the rest of the house in Texas.

The pictures

There are a string of survey markers ("Witnesses") starting about 2000 feet north of the present north bank of the river. I can find three in about 300 yards. I am told the severely vandalized post, which is about 50 yards west of the others, is from an earlier survey. No one can tell me the date. No one can tell me of survey markers from any of the earlier more "Westerly" surveys.  -Gary Branigan

"Mr. Butch Bridges, I am writing to you because I have been searching for some information on a young lady from Oklahoma City in the Early 1900's. I just read with interest your Vol. 14, Issue 677, dated January 14, 2010, on the Internet. I was surprised to see the name I was looking for. I am hoping that you can share some information about her or at least head me in the right direction to find some information. The young ladies name was Miss Elizabeth Ames, who according to the article I read was one of the naming sponsors and persons to christen one of ten ships. Elizabeth was the person
to christen the "Oklahoma City" as reported by the Daily Ardmoreite on December 13, 1918.

I have been researching one of our Medal of Honor recipients from World War One. He is 2Lt Erwin R. Bleckley from Wichita, Kansas. He was in the Kansas National Guard prior to being activated with the 35th Infantry Division in August of 1917. The Division was mobilized and trained at Camp Doniphan, Oklahoma. His "War" diary indicated that he knew Elizabeth, had gone out with her, and in fact his best friend, Frank T. Priest, had "won the girl" and became engaged to her. I have found out where her family lived in OKC but other then that, until I read your newsletter, I have not been able to find
out anything else about her, what happened to her, or what her married name might be. Obviously she did not marry Frank T. Priest. I know she was from a prominent family in the City.

It is my hope someone may be able to shed some light on Miss Ames? I would truly appreciate any information. Thanks in advance."  -Doug Jacobs, LTC (R)

Butch, here are the pics I promised showing our 20 inches of snow & what the weatherman called "hoarfrost".

Definition: Hoarfrost-  A deposit of interlocking ice crystals (hoar crystals) formed by direct sublimation on objects, usually those of small diameter freely exposed to the air, such as tree branches, plant stems and leaf edges, wires, poles, etc., which surface is sufficiently cooled, mostly by nocturnal radiation, to cause the direct sublimation of the water vapor contained in the ambient air.

Enjoy the photos. Hope it's a very long time before northwest Arkansas sees 20+ inches of snow & minus 17 degrees temps again. At least, in my lifetime. :-)
Kathi G.
Springdale, Arkansas

"Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!"  -Sitting Bull

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges

PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443

Save on long distance calls, just a couple cents a minute!
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

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.