This and That Newsletter
A Weekly Publication

Vol 15  Issue 739      Circulation 5,000       March 24, 2011

PO Box 2

Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

email address:


This week an email came in from a law student at Oklahoma City University (graduates in May) asking about info on Ardmore's famous attorney, James Mathers (1877-1961).  Mathers was the first County Attorney after statehood in 1907, but soon resigned to defend Clara Hamon at her murder trial. She is researching State of Oklahoma vs James Mathers.  I really don't know much about him, but he's been mentioned several times over the years in my newsletters.  The one that stands out is the incident many years ago on the 2nd floor of the courthouse here in Ardmore where Mathers was a County Judge.

The story goes that a murder defendant, Wobblin' Willie, had a gun and fired at Judge Mathers. Judge Mathers pulled the gun from his desk, returned fire and killed the defendant. Just 3 or 4 years ago a person could still see the bullet holes in the entrance doorway to the DAs offices. Those bullet markings on the door facing was the result of that shoot-out between Mathers and the murder defendant. About 3 years ago maintenance crews were replacing the door facings during some remodeling, and not knowing the historical value of the bullet holes, disposed of the door facing with the bullet holes. I remember years ago when some remodeling was going on at the DAs offices, the then DA told maintenance, "don't remove that one door frame, its a piece of Carter county history."  lol

But I did get a picture taken a number of years ago of that famous door facing and its bullet hole.

In googling around the internet I found a story where Mathers defended Earl Quinn for the rape and double murder of sisters Zexie and Jessie Griffith in Kay county, Oklahoma back in 1930.

Judge James Mathers is buried in Rosehill Cemetery here in Ardmore.

Another email received this week was inquiring about a grocery store back in the 40s located at C Street SE and 2nd.  She said she bought lots of soda pop there as a kid.  Maybe someone remembers it??

Linda Wagner sent in a link to her webcam in Bayfield, CO.  She has a beautiful view of pines and mountains and still some snow remaining! Can't see much at night the the day view is great. The webcam takes a snapshot every few minutes. Note: must d/l and install the free FLV Player to see webcam.

A Back to the 50s Dance is being held Saturday April 2nd at the Springdale Community Center (SE edge of Ardmore).  Live music, bands, and more, sounds like a lot of fun! It's even rumored Elvis my appear.  Start time is 7pm!

I received an email this week about the passing of a long time T&T Reader and former Ardmoreite, who passed away in Texas.  She was a testament to the old saying, "Your never too old to learn."  She was 97 years young.  When I look back over the last 15 years and the contributions so many have made to this T&T, I will never forget those who helped.  An email from her daughter and link to her obit is in the Mailbag below.

From This and That newsletter archives March 21, 1998:

by Joe D. Jordan

The Town of Dougherty, Oklahoma (Population 273) has never officially had a town hall, for the last 4 or 5 years they have been using the old school building that was abandoned. Before that the town clerk used an army surplus communications trailer for the office, and before that, all records and transactions were kept and handled in whomever was town clerk's home.

In 1997 they applied for a $55,000.00 Southern Oklahoma Development Association/Oklahoma Department of Commerce grant for a new Town hall and it was awarded in the fall of that year. Construction was completed March 23 1998. The building is complete with a meeting room capable of holding approximately 90 people, a full kitchen, handicap accessible rest rooms, a Mayors/Clerks Office, Dept. Public Works Office, and the Fire Chiefs office. This 1600 square foot facility was designed By Joe D. Jordan, the Public Works Manager, and meets all Federal and State Codes, and by cutting out the middle men (architects/engineers ) we were able to use all of the money for material and construction expenses, and build a building the whole community can be proud of.

When it was decided where to build the Town Hall everyone in the community was pleased to hear it was going to be built next to the old town jail, which was built around 1920, it is a 1 room 1 cell jail made of natural sandstone, the jailhouse will remain standing and is in the process of being partially repaired.

Dougherty, Oklahoma is in the Arbuckle Mountains, about 25 miles north of Ardmore, OK.

Q.    What is Oklahoma's State Motto?
A.    Labor Omnia Vincit was incorporated into the design of the Grand Seal of the Territory of Oklahoma during the second session of the Territorial Legislative Assembly held in Guthrie, January 1893.

Q.     Where WAS the longest bridge in Oklahoma?
A.     (answer in next week's newsletter)

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

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

"Butch, the photos you showed in the March 17th "This and That" of the Ardmore Airbase were actually taken during the 2nd go-around of the airbase during the 1950s and not the WWII timeframe... I was a paperboy and sold the Daily Ardmoreite along with my schoolmate Dewey Payne during that 2nd period and I recall the sign and the barracks building well...along with that 50s vintage Chevrolet. I would guess the pictures were taken around 1954-55 based on the weathering of the sign which was put up about 1951-52."  -Gordon James

"Hi Butch, I was reading about the storm shelter and it made me think of what happened to my sister. She was where the storms always come through. It was the year of the May 3, 1999 tornado. FEMA approved and sent them a letter for a safe room to be installed. They had the shelter installed and when they filed their taxes, the IRS changed the policy a wouldn't allow for the shelter even with the approval. I would hate to see this happen to anyone else. I don't see how you change the rules in the middle of the stream - but they DID. You all might want to double check - maybe with a tax person."  -Cecil
"I have never seen a bell at the Presbyterian Church here in Perry, Oklahoma. From my house I can see 8 churches and there are about 11 or 12 within walking distance. I was on the computer until after 2 AM this morning and began to smell smoke. I thought my computer was overheating and shut it down. Then I remembered that I'd heard a siren nearby and opened my front door to look outside. There was a wall of fire a block and a half south and I saw flames leaping about 40 feet above it! I stared for a few minutes and then turned back into the house to put my shoes back on because I thought that the super-strong wind was going to spread that fire towards my house and I was going to have to grab my dogs and run to my car to escape! Then I turned on my 'police' scanner and went back to open the front door again. That fire was huge. Then I could see streams of water being shot into the air (probably 50 feet high) to rain back down onto the flames. I reached for my light switch and turned off the lights to get a better look. I heard nothing from the scanner for several minutes and then heard a female dispatchers voice saying that a city crew was needed at once because a policeman had reported that a water main had burst, I looked at the frequency displayed on my scanner and realized that it was OSU security alerting a water crew in Stillwater, 25 miles away.... it had nothing to do with Perry's water pressure and our firemen's ability to continue fighting this fire. I went back to watching those horrible flames, and the huge clouds of smoke rolling to the north, across the sky. My house was not in the direct path of that dense cloud of smoke but it was less than half a block west of my location and I was concerned that the wind could shift at any moment..... it did NOT. I continued watching the flames, at times they would die down a little and then would suddenly burst back into that 'wall of fire'. About two hours went by and it appeared that they might get it under control after all. I was exhausted and decided to lie down fully clothed and try to get some sleep. I even left my shoes on in case I'd need to race to my car. I glanced at the clock which said 4:15 AM. I slept for about an hour and fifteen minutes and then awakened to look out my front door again. The fire was much smaller, and my stomach hurt so I went to the fridge and drank some milk. Then decided that it must be 'bathroom time'. After that, I took my shoes off and went back to sleep. My alarm went off at 7:55 and I got up, looked outside again and then fed my dogs. Later in the morning I got my camera and took some pictures. There were still some firemen there quenching hot spots. Smoke and small flames have continued throughout the day. I suppose I should include some pix here so that you can see what the church looks like now. At the time that I took the pictures, I was thinking that this was the Methodist Church youth building which happens to be across the street. In the background of some of these photos you can see the Perry Highschool." -Roy in Perry, Oklahoma
"Correction about the Ringer family. Older age and being a poor typist enable me to make many mistakes. Mary, the old maid teacher, was the sister-in-law of Kitty Ringer, NOT her sister. Mr. Ringer was her brother. Does anyone remember those "names" we made up regarding those famous paintings just for fun?"
"hi Butch. Thought you might like to know that the post office at Overbrook, Oklahoma was at one time also the grocery store ran by Madge Holt! I grew up in Overbrook. Sid Bourland was a cousin to my granddad."  -Rose Geihsler
"Enjoyed your reminiscence of Miss Ringer's art class at Washington Grade School. I remember El Greco's view of Toledo to this day. and others. There was a classmate by the name of Wanda Fletcher. She was an accomplished artist. We had an assignment. I asked Wanda to draw me a purple German Iris. I watched her do it. When my paper was returned to me it said "traced". "
Q.  "Butch, what is the link to the Health Department's restaurant inspection website?


"Butch, Here is a bit of news that some of your readers may be interested in. In the early to middle 1850"s my GG Grandfather, Henry Mitchel Black, ran a Stage Line out of East Texas. We found all of this in our family genealogy research. Several years ago a company in Weatherford, Texas decided to make a Replica of one of his stage coaches and it is housed in the " Fanthorp Inn Museum " in Anderson, Texas. Last year when I found this information, I called the museum and told them how I was connected to that Stage Coach and they invited me over. My wife and I drove over there and they welcomed us with open arms and pulled the Stage out front and gave us free access to it as long as we wanted to stay. Needless to say, we took lots of pictures and asked lots of questions. I have attached a photo of the Stage for your reader's interest. You will be able to read the " H. M. BLACK " along the top of the Stage. Listed below is an article in their local newspaper copied just as it was written.

"A NEW tri-weekly line of FOUR-HORSE POST-COACHES, is now in operation between Nacogdoches and Waco, and will leave Nacogdoches every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday, and connect with all important routes in Texas. The trip will be made from to Nacogdoches to Waco in Three Days - one day less than schedule time. The Proprietor promises that his coaches are safe and comfortable, and the road is stocked with superior teams. His drivers are careful, competent and accommodating, and the traveling public may be assured of comfort and safety, The patronage of the public is solicited."
Palestine, Sept. 23rd, 1857 H. M. BLACK

One of Henry Mitchel Black's sons, Edgar Dewey Black, came across Red River and settled in Love County in the community of ORR and everyone in the community called him " Uncle Ed ". He lived and raised his family there until he passed away in 1947 and is buried in the Orr Cemetery."
Edgar Wallace,

"For years, Mom has read This and That. Just two weeks ago, she was looking at her Ardmore High School graduating class picture - Class of 1930. She was going to write you to see if there were any surviving classmates or was she the last one.

With great sadness, I need to let you know Mom passed away Sunday, while we were singing hymns at her side. She had a massive stroke 9 days prior that left her unable to speak, open her eyes or move. Yet she could hear and we would have an occasional grunt or squeeze of hand. She may have been 97 years old but she was very active in life! She read This And That religiously every week, she emailed cousins and friends daily, she played bridge and just that week, made a corn casserole dish for a gathering of her group at church. She called friends to encourage them and to check on them when they were sick. Mom went to church every week at First United Methodist Arlington and if she couldn't make it, she'd watch it on TV. She choose to participate in life and not sit on the sidelines.  Thanks, Butch, for writing the This And That and bringing Ardmore back to Mom. She loved it! Blessings"  -Susan

Mary Elizabeth "Beth" Gunn Obit

"Here while back a lot of you where so nice to help me with my lamb family that used to live in Ardmore Oklahoma! I have recently had a family member send a photo of Barbara! The photo is very special to me! I am also trying to get a photo of Walter lamb, Barbara's brother, Their parents where Emma and Phillip Lamb, who owned and ran Lamb's grocery store in Ardmore! And any other Lamb family photo that anyone could share! I'd appreciate it so much! If anyone has a photo of Lambs grocery story when it was named that! I would love to see that too! Thanks!" - Barb

Addition info:  Lamb's Grocery. 1121 E Street NW in the SW corner of E and 12th NW. The grocery was originally started around 1935 at 519 5th SE (Lake Murray Drive) by Walter G. Lamb and his wife Nannie. In 1949 it was Crews and Lamb Grocery. John Crews and W. Don Lamb located at 1121 E Street NW

In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours.  -Mark Twain

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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