This and That Newsletter
A Weekly Publication

Vol 15  Issue 737      Circulation 5,000       March 10, 2011

PO Box 2

Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

email address:


The mystery I spoke of last week about Charles Ringer and the memorial tree planted at the courthouse in 1927 brought some responses and shed some light on who he was.  Charles was a druggist in Ardmore back in those days.  His daughter, Mary Margaret Ringer (old maid) taught me in the 5th grade at Washington School. I still don't know why he was chosen to have a memorial tree planted in his honor on the courthouse grounds.  But a Reader did submit the following:

"Hi Butch-since I had Ringer relatives in Ardmore 1898-1910, there is some info I looked up. As it turns out these Ringers are from a family that went from PA to OH, then disbursed from there. Some ended up in the Lawton-Chickasha area. They are documented in the records of Okla. Historical Society Research Room by the capitol in OKC. They are listed in First Families of the Twin Territories as well."  -Barb

1900 Census Dist 233, Ward 20, Pittsburgh, Allegheny, PA ED 233 Pg 10A
RINGER, Chas E head w m Jan 1868 32 M7 OH WVA WVA Druggist
Laura wife w f Mar 1868 32 M7 3/3 OH Ire Ire
Alford son w m July 1893 6 S OH OH OH
William son w m Feb 1896 4 S OH OH OH
Mary dau w f Aug 1898 1 S PA OH OH
Moorhead, Sadie servant w f May 1880 20 S OH OH OH Servant

1910 Census Ward 4, Ardmore, Carter, OK ED 45 pg 13B Carter St.
RINGER, Charles E. head m w 43 M16 OH VA MO Retail merchant Drugs Emporium
Laura wife f w 41 M16 4/4 OH PA Ire none
Alpheus son m w 15 S OH OH OH none
William son m w 13 S OH OH OH none
Mary dau f w 10 S PA OH OH none
Charles son m w 6 S PA OH OH none

1920 Census Carter Co, OK Ardmore City ED 46 pg 16A 804 Carter St.
RINGER, Charles E. Head m w 52 M OH PA PA proprieter Drug Store
Laura wife f w 51 M OH PA Ire none (mother tongue Irish)
Alpheus A. son m w 25 S OH OH OH Clerk Wholesale Grocery
Mary M. dau f w 20 S PA OH OH Teacher Public School
Charles E, Jr. son m w 15 S PA OH OH none
LEE, Andrew R. brother-in-law m w Wd OH PA PA none

ROSE HILL CEMETERY, Ardmore, Carter County Oklahoma
Compiled by Bill Hamm
RINGER CHARLES E JR 24 JAN 190 4 24 JUN 1933
CHARLES E 11 AP R 1867 22 MAR 1926
LAURA JOHNSTON 22 JUN 1868 31 JAN 1939
MARY MARGARET 23 JUN 1899 3 DEC 1967

Another Reader found an article about the the Oklahoma Pecan Growers Association in which is mentioned both O.K. Darden and Charles Ringer:

"Butch, it's on Page 29, March 1921 edition of the American Nut Journal:"

Oklahoma Pecan Growers Association article

A Reader brought by an interesting piece of Ardmore history I did not remember.  A picture of Alfred McKerson standing in his newly opened business called Kwame's BBQ and Sea Food Row at 1717 West Broadway. The newspaper clipping was from 1985.

I had a special request from Michelle Yeager this week. is relocating to the old Hudson Houston Lumber Company (Yard #1) building at North Washington and East Broadway.  Michelle has been on a mission to find any information on the history of the building, and hoped some T&T Readers might shed some light on the old lumber yard and building. I know back in the late 50s KXII had their TV station located in the building adjoining the lumber yard on the north. And the Ardmoreite also was located in that same building before moving to the old Gilbert Building at West Broadway and B Street.  Michelle told me when they removed some tin siding at the top of the building, there was the name Harold Wallace and the date 1919.  She was able to find out that Harold Wallace was president of the Ardmore National Bank at one time back in 1917, but still does not know what connection he had with this building.  If anyone has info on this old Ardmore landmark, please send Michelle an email at

The courthouse maintenance crew has been busy the past couple of weeks restoring the west entrance (Main Front Entrance) of the courthouse back to its original . In December 1911 when the courthouse was opened, the west entrance consisted of 3 entrance ways. Back around the 1950s or 60s two of the entrances were closed in creating 2 small storage rooms, and leaving only the center entrance way for visitors to use. When maintenance is finished all three entrances will be usable.

In the photo below I have outlined in red the two outside windows that will be eventually be removed when the inside is finished, leaving 3 entrances into the courthouse.

Here is a pic I took on the inside to give everyone an idea what's taking place in the building.

This week my first of 3 books I ordered from arrived. The $4.97 book (postage paid) is over 260 pages of early day Oklahoma history covering 29 Oklahoma Indian tribes along with plenty of photographs all through the book.  The book, A Guide to the Indian Tribes of Oklahoma is by Oklahoma author Muriel H. Wright. It was printed in 1951, the book I have is the 2nd printing.  I am looking forward to reading it, and then passing it along to my friends Steve and Sonia Moran in Australia. I have 2 more books on Oklahoma Indian history I've bought from AbeBooks and should arrive any day.

Speaking of Steve Moran, he sent me a picture of a wagon load of wheat pulled by 14 horses. The 407 bags of wheat weighed 45 tons, setting a world record in 1923 in Australia that has not been broken.

Our 4 Australorp baby chicks we bought nearly 2 weeks ago are doing fine, growing like a weed.  We have them in the bottom section of a large dog box, with a white plastic lattice top I made to keep them from flying out.  They are learning fast.  They can be so comical.  We found they go ape over oatmeal.  One will grab a bite, run away with it, and the others in hot pursuit, even though there is plenty more oatmeal on plate for the other 3.  I made this 2 minute video using my camera showing the commotion as they run around, trying to out run the other. (Plays with Windows Media Player)

The above video file was just 2 minutes on my camera as a .MOV file, but the size was a huge 22 megs.  I used a Freeware program Any Video Converter to make it into a file Microsoft Media Player would recognize and play.  It worked perfectly and the conversion was so fast, and the end product was a video less then 2 megs (.mp4 file) in size.  What a difference, a 20 meg reduction in size!

From This and That newsletter archives March 7, 1998:


About 27 miles southeast of Durant, Oklahoma on Highway 78 is the Red River and an old bridge. I've been told the bridge was built before statehood (1907). The bridge is iron and only wide enough for one lane of traffic to travel between Oklahoma and Texas at a time. One can only imagine the history that has travelled between Oklahoma and Texas via this bridge. Here are two views of the bridge, one looking south toward Texas, the other looking north toward Oklahoma.

Q.     What Oklahoma town was called "the buckle of the wheat belt?"
A.     Kingfisher, Oklahoma. Kingfisher was the largest wheat market in America and is still perceived as such today.

Q.    What is Oklahoma's State Motto?
A.    (answer in next week's newsletter)

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

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

"My Grandfather, C.S. Cooksey, was born in 1876 in Preston, Texas, which is now under Lake Texoma. They moved the town and called it Preston Bend (near Pottsboro). I have several of his old pictures which he had identified with the following names: Cora Jackson, Dr. C.A. Gibson, B.B. Steele, Lizzie Kenedy, Allie Wallace, Rick Van Antwerp, Bananah Perry and Thursia Shigley. Thursia was from Denison, the others were from Preston and Pottsboro. All the pictures were made by studios in either Denison or Sherman. If any of these names is familiar to anyone in your reading audience, I would love to hear from them. Thanks for your help." -Nell Hull

"The date for our 40th reunion on your page in hope that some of our classmates may see it and send their contact info to us. Date is July 23rd from 7-12 at the Elk's Lodge. Contact email is And our FB page is AHS 1971 Reunion."
"I read with interest your mention of using the "juice" from an aloe plant on your burn. Glad it helped ! My brother was a Pharmacist's Mate First Class with the Marines in WWII. He was in the Navy, but since the Marines don't have their own Medics, the Navy furnishes corpsmen for them.  After his tour of duty on several Pacific islands, he was stationed at the Naval Hospital at San Diego. After the patients were well enough to be moved from Pearl Harbor, they came to San Diego for completion of their treatments. Many of his patients were burn victims from explosions on land as well as aboard ships. (They treated Marines as well as Navy personnel.) Some were extremely disfigured. My brother took an extra interest in one lad, who was so stoic as his wounds were dressed, knowing that the pain was so great. They used pure Lanolin and Aloe to soften the burns so the skin would stay supple and not scar so much. (Treatments have since changed drastically) My brother would go back at night and rub this boy's burns, and visit with him.

My brother was shipped out for the Pacific again, and never saw the boy again until he returned from his tour. He was walking down the hall at the hospital, and heard someone call out "Hey, Doc". (Most guys called the medics Doc) He then said, "You don't remember me, do you?" It was the boy he had spent so much time with. He had healed and had no visible scars. Some war stories do end well.

As an aside - Some people thought, and still think, that Pres. Truman should not have ordered the dropping of the Atomic Bombs on Japan. This might change their minds - After we took Okinawa, with the great, great loss of life, my brother was sent back to San Diego to draw medical supplies for the Invasion of Japan. They told them to expect at least 80% casualties. Do these people not know how many of our young men would have been killed; as well as the Japanese. My brother and perhaps hundreds of thousands of his fellow Marines came home to us - had we invaded Japan, they might not have. Just a fact to be considered."   -Anna Marie.

"Butch, I remember "The Morris Plan" finance company very well. In 1959, my father "Harvey W. "SHORTY" Adams, ask me at suppertime if I'd like to buy a red and white 1955 Chevy Bel Air Convertible? I was 15 years old and had a paper route with the Daily Oklahoman in the Northwest area. Dad told me that a man owed him money on the engine work and also that he owed five (5) payments of $41.00 each to the Morris Plan. I went to the Morris Plan and took up the mans note of $205.00 and made those payments. It was very hard then to make the payments but somehow I did and drove that convertible through out high school. I have I have many fond memories in that red convertible. I enjoy your newsletter, keep up the great work."  -Harvey W. Adams Jr.
"Butch, the picture of TOM COOPER FARMS, is priceless, I was born 2 miles west of there. which is now LOVES on 12TH. Been looking for a picture of this for years, to no avail. Thank a million."  -Ruby Martin

Mill Creek Cemetery:  Old Mill Creek was on the Jack Penner Ranch located in Twp 2 S, R 4 E, Section 3 on the Eastern Murray line. The cemetery is located on Mill Creek originally known as Cherokee Creek. This land belonged to Cyrus Harris, the first Governor of the Chickasaw Nation. Cyrus Harris put a grist mill on the creek and the name changed.

Several years ago, the remains of Governor Harris and those of his family were removed to the Drake-Nebo Cemetery some five miles west. The course of Mill Creek had changed to where it was beginning to wash the coffins of the Governor's family away. The town of Mill Creek moved some five miles east to it's present location after the Frisco R.R. came through in 1901. The names below are the only ones that remain in the Old Mill Creek Cemetery. Check the Drake-Nebo, Murray County, OK cemetery registry for the family of Cyrus Harris. The Penner Family are relatives of Governor Harris. The names below, were taken from the book "Mill Creek, The Life and Times" by Harold Garrison with his permission.  -Contributed by Dennis Muncrief, Apr 26, 2001

Carter, John E., b. Mar 4, 1861, d. Dec 7, 1887
Gibson, William A., b. Jun 14, 1892, d. Sep 18, 189_, s/o W.A. & S.L. Gibson
Harrison, Andrew J., b. Aug 21, 1870, d. Sep 9, 1884, s/o J.P. & E. J.Harrison
Heald, Eliza J. Guy, b. May 4, 1841, d. Nov 26, 1887, w/o C.H. Heald
Heald, James Dawson, b. May 5, 1874, d. Oct 5, 1876
L.C. Ellis, b. Jan 23,1897, d. Apr 16, 1897, d/o L.U. & N.B. Ellis

03/04/11 Additional note:  The interesting twist I mentioned was what we found when we finally located the Old Mill Creek cemetery.  There was nothing left of the old town itself - it was just a cow pasture and a grove of trees along the river where the cemetery was.  Many of the graves had washed away into the river, and the rest had been hopelessly damaged by the grazing cows.  Headstones and footstones were broken and scattered everywhere, and we figured we had wasted our time.  Then, over in a corner, we spotted a black iron fence that had formerly enclosed Governor Cyrus Harris's grave, which had already been moved.  Not ten feet away was the one and only remaining intact headstone and footstone in the entire cemetery, and it was Eliza Jane Heald's!  That was almost like divine intervention."  -Bob Heald
This is absolutely awesome... remember... she can't hear, she can't speak. No bridle, no saddle... all commands are by touch only. This is one of those, "I wouldn't believe it unless I saw it with my own eyes" kind of thing. A Horse Whisperer: This girl riding the horse is in her 20's - her father passed away just 24 days before this performance. You can hear her dedication to him just before her performance so turn up your speakers a bit. Notice that it is just her and the horse - no bit, no saddle. She uses signals and touch cues.

Stacy Westfall's Championship Run 2006 on Youtube (turn your speakers up)
Q.  "Hey Butch, one of the links you included in the newsletter has a list of post offices old and new. Do you know or know someone who knows what towns on this list had schools at any point in time? I love the history in your newsletters...and old schools in history is my thing!!"

A.  A T&T Reader created a custom overlay for Google Earth that shows the location of many schools from bygone days within Carter County.  If you double click on the link below, you must have Google Earth installed on  your computer to view it.  Its a big file, so it may take a couple minutes to load, so be patient.  You can zoom and out to see the school locations.

Re: AHS class of 1971 reunion:  Ardmore High School graduates of 1971 are having their 40th reunion on Saturday,July 23rd at the Elk's Lodge from 7-12. If you are related to a '71 grad or know of any, please send the address and contact info to   Dinner will be catered by the Interurban Restaurant and music by our longtime friends the X-Centrics.
"Well, it's time for me to chime in again. 2 weeks ago you had the FOP ads that included American Torpedo Company and this week you had three letters
explaining it. Here's my story from 1955 or so:

A man who may have been the last torpedo man working in the oil patch and two assistants were killed at a drilling site a few miles east of Wilson, when the torpedo detonated prematurely as they were starting to lower it into the well. The site was operated by Frankfort Drilling, which did a lot of deep-hole exploration in that time frame and for some reason had decided to use nitro instead of the much safer fractioning process. The man, whose name I no longer remember, was from Oklahoma City. He had some 100 quarts of nitro in his panel truck, and when the torpedo went off it detonated the whole batch. The largest piece of the truck remaining was part of the engine block. And all three victims were shredded into mincemeat. At the time I was oil-patch reporter for the Ardmoreite, and I got the call from the sheriff's office not long after it happened. I raced out to the scene and got there just a car length or so behind Sheriff Enoch Watterson. Took photos of the crater, which was some 50-75 feet in diameter and at least 20 feet deep. Returned the next day to watch folk from the Harvey Funeral Home collecting body fragments from the surrounding fields, using bushel baskets. Amazingly, one person -- the drilling superintendent for Frankfort -- survived. He had been a couple of hundred feet from the well head, and behind a sludge tank. Nevertheless the blast ruptured both his eardrums and he suffered shrapnel wounds as well. The torpedoes were supposed to be fired by a timer mechanism that would be set just before lowering the charge into the well, and the best explanation anyone could come up with for the accident was that the timer malfunctioned and fired immediately when the torpedo man set it.  You may be able to find the exact date and the names of the victims by checking out Ardmoreite issues for late 1954 and early 1955. I believe this happened in the spring or summer of 1955 but am not certain."   -Jim Kyle

"Marietta, Oklahoma's four star general:  Since U.S. Army Gen. James D. Thurman from Marietta, OK. has been nominated for the top Command in So. Korea, I would like to point out with additional pride that, The first Master Chief Petty Officer of the U.S. Navy, Master Chief Gunners-mate, Delbert D. Black, was also from just west of Marietta at Orr, Oklahoma. The Love county community can be and I am sure they are, proud of not only these two Military men but of the many others."   -Don Greenaway
"That was an interesting question about the origin of the phrase "honky-tonk" being in Ardmore. I had presumed that it might have something to do with the "Honk-A-Tonk" saloon that was one of the 110 saloons located in "Hell's Half Acre" in Perry, Oklahoma back in 1893. I also wondered how that saloon got its name. I still don't know."  -Roy Kendrick, Perry, OK
"Does anyone have a story or info about the blowing up of the Pennington dam?"  -Ann in Kansas
"Butch, we of the Class of 1955 (Ardmore High School) have had fun all this week "reliving our youth" passing around the 1954 list of Ardmore Businesses in week before last T&T. We remember Shirley Rosser going thru the Sports Club probably on a Saturday night. Shirley was the only one with enough nerve to go in!!! I have spoken with Norma Lee Howell several times this week....her dad owned a cafe next door to where Fonville's Studio on B Street used to be, he also owned Eden's before Elmo bought it! You'll have to do that again....we've had great fun remembering!!!! Thanks."  -danna
First and last freeze/frost dates. Gardening by zip code. Change the zip code to your area.


"I am looking for a few historic photos of Davis. In particular, I would like one of the first water tower, one of Davis Dry Goods, and one of the old walk-in movie theater (I remember it having ships painted on the walls). Would anyone happen to have any of these? Thank you very much!"  -Tracy Beasley
"We are looking for information about this incident back in 1900 (see below). Any information would be appreciated." -Dan Boucher

The Daily Ardmoreite
Ardmore, Carter Co., Oklahoma
Sunday, August 19, 1900

Killed His Brother-in-Law
Last Friday near Lebanon, a difficulty occurred between ED WHITESIDE and ROBERT COURTNEY in which Whiteside was killed. Courtney is in jail, claims he acted in self-defense, says Whiteside, his brother-in-law, and another man came to his house and he drove them away. They came again and this time Whiteside was armed and attempted to shoot him. Both men emptied their revolvers. Whiteside was struck three times and Courtney's horse was killed but he was not hurt. Courtney bears a good name among those who know him.  -From the Atoka Citizen

BOYS AND GUNS -1930s to Now

Little boys wanted to grow up to be a policeman, fireman or a cowboy. The two out of three had guns. So we kids had guns, cap guns, wooden guns we made or occasionally a real pistol a rusty junker that wouldn't shoot. We played the cowboy movie we saw last Saturday morning. Later we warred with 'rubber guns' we made from wood, shooting heavy rubber bands made by cutting inner tubes from car tires. It would really sting to be hit on bare skin.

Around the eighth grade many were into hunting and shooting our own .22 rifle or .410 shotgun. My Grandfather and to a lesser extent my Father trained me in proper and safe gun handling. Some of us got cheap pistols, frowned on but tolerated by our elders, under strict instruction. Some of us spent many an hour tramping over the Criner hills shooting whatever moved. A lot of jack rabbits then -- but no more, replaced by the armadillo.

School tolerated guns to some degree, old-ish guns sometimes came to school for 'show and tell'. I remember one boy, sixth grade, brought a little .22 pistol (not loaded) to school. Teacher took it away and gave it back to him at end of the day with admonition to leave it at home.

We didn't get expelled, arrested, psycho-explored or turn out to be criminals. Later, upper 1940s, one of our class shot another but neither had been members of our juvenile 'gun culture'. In that case, a romantic triangle, nobody died and nobody did any time for it.
Time changes everything --- from 1963 I have my Son's show and tell school project that won a red ribbon for a board display of a number of live ammunition types. Today divided society on one hand demonizes guns while our legislature considers legalizing 'open carry'.
-Bob McCrory

Jill recently returned from California, after attending a memorial service for her mother who passed away about 100 miles NE of LA.  She got to see her brothers and sisters and many other kin, which she hadn't seen in several years.  A big family reunion for her, even if it was on a sad occasion.

MILDRED K. BERNARDY July 5, 1924 - December 26, 2010. Mildred went peacefully to the Lord on December 26, 2010, where she is joined by her husband, Victor, and her son, Victor Jr. She is leaving daughters, Sandra, Candice, Renee, June, Jill; and sons, Hal, Brian, and Christopher. She had 15 grandchildren, and 8 great grandchildren. She lived in San Bernardino, CA, for 28 years, and in Helendale, CA, for 26 years. She will be dearly missed and will be held in our hearts with the deepest of love. Memorial Service: Fri. 01/07/11, 2:30 P.M. at Riverside National Cemetery, Staging Area #1.

Jill had just talked to her mother on the phone Christmas Day, could tell her speech was not as usual. Then the next evening her mother was gone, things can happen so fast. Jill loves California, living there from age 1 and all her adult life. But she loves Oklahoma now even more, and thankful she lives in Okieland. Since Jill had not been back to California in 7 years, it was good for her, to see all her family and friends, and places.  I know many of you will listen to the song below, and go back in time to another place you'd like to revisit from long ago. And you may even know in the back of your mind you will never be able to return to that state, but it does not keep one from dreaming of it.

California Blues by Roy Orbison 1989

One sunny day I'll get back again
Somehow, someway But I don't know when
California Blue California Blue
Still missing you California Blue

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 AmSerican 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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