Ardmore, Oklahoma

11:11 PM 3/22/2022
Phone: 580-490-6823

If you’re looking for a certain article I wrote in a past issue of “This & That” you might find it faster by doing a “search” with your browser. With Netscape just click your mouse at the top at EDIT and then FIND and type in the word or words you’re looking for. If you use Internet Explorer, just click on EDIT and then FIND ON THIS PAGE to do a search.

Below is May 6, 2005 to 31, 2005.

May 26, 2005 – Circulation over 4,000 Vol 9 Issue 435

It always saddens me when I hear about a T&T Reader passing away. As I look back over the 9 years this little rag has gone out, letting me come into your homes week after week, its like many of you have said, we are like one big family here with a common thread. I want to let every know Jerry Royall died in the Ardmore hospital last Friday morning around 9am. He was a faithful reader of T&T newsletter for many years and contributed to the mailbag regularly. Here is a pic I took of Jerry back in May 2004. He was a good friend, one that would do anything for anybody, all you had to do was call him. He will be missed. See you on the other side old buddy. <—– Click Here

I know some of you really love baseball, in particular the early years of Ardmore’s baseball teams, and I wanted to let everyone know our “number one expert” on those early day baseball teams, Ernesto (Ernie) Wallerstein, has a new email address. So, if you want to pic Ernie’s brain about any baseball games from the 40s and 50s, here is his New Jersey email address:

Last week when the emails starting coming in about that ‘mystery building’ may be that we talked about, several of you including Troy Seedig. Troy wrote in asking if it might be some connection to the old Mill Creek Dam which supplied water to Madill many years ago. There is more info on this in the mailbag below.

And it is this mention of Mill Creek Dam that really spiked my interest. Seems like it was a $400,000 white elephant. More details in the Mailbag below. Now I’ve got to make plans to get over to Mill Creek, find this dam and take come pics! One Reader who grew up in that area and volunteered

And Ernest Martin wrote in this week saying he couldn’t see how in the world that pic of the flooded streets of Ardmore, could actually be Ardmore. Ernest said if you look at the photo carefully there are several landmarks that should be in the photo, and they aren’t. So I call the owners of the photo in Oklahoma City, and they said they were give the wrong info and that it was not a 1930 something pic of Ardmore. Hope this didn’t confuse anyone too much. Course you old timers, I’m sure it didn’t slip by you. lol Anyway, now I wonder where this flood took place? <—– Click Here

In last week’s Mailbag a Reader wrote in wondering why this road near the Airpark is called Seven Sisters Road. Well, several of you wrote in, and boy was I in for a education. Anyway, here is what Doug Williams wrote in his email:

“There are seven mountains in a row that all look alike therefore they were named the seven sisters. They are better seen from the scenic turnout in the north lane of I-35 in the Arbuckle mountains. They are quite beautiful.”

I’m going to have to get a pic of these 7 hills next time I’m in that area.

My cousins Carol Jean and Laura Cole from Ft Worth were in Ardmore last saturday for a visit. When it was time to eat I suggested Catfish Corner on South Commerce. Boy, it is a great place to eat. Lets see, there were 3 pieces of catfish, a baked potato with Land ‘O Lakes butter and sour cream, pinto beans, cole slaw, hush puppies, onion, pickle, and lets not forget that delicious green tomato relish that’s oh so good…. all for $5.95 at noon time. Oh, and that big bottle of tartar sauce.. got to have it! By the way, every Thursday night is Seniors Night, all you can eat for $7.99. Its all so good, and the atmosphere at Catfish Corner is so down home like, you know what I mean? I love to look at all the old memorablila on the walls from bygone days…. a real trip back into time. So if you ever hankering for catfish, the owner John Burkhart (cousin to Sheriff Harvey Burkhart) is usually at the cash register greeting all who enter, so stop on in and say Hi. Some of you oldtimers will remember this business being El Palacio Mexican restaurant 30 years ago. By the way, Catfish Corners offers excellent Mexican food too, just like the old El Palacio! Remember those sopapias? oh my. Here is a pic I took of my catfish platte. <—– Click Here

I snapped this picture of proprietor John Burkhart at the front entrance. <—– Click Here

And here is an outside view of Catfish Corner. 580-223-2922 <—– Click Here

Healdton’s Number 1 historian sent me a picture this week of him sitting in a Well Fargo stagecoach. I think Kenneth Eck just did it do make me jealous (it worked too lol). Boy, this stagecoach was made from the ground up by Duane Stevens and his dad. It’s a breathtaking stagecoach, guess I’ll have to go get a picture of me inside this masterpiece. You will find a pic of this beautiful red stagecoach down in the Mailbag below. Thanks for sharing the photo Kenneth, its really appreciated me, and now, by many others!

Speaking of mysteries, a Reader in Wilson, Oklahoma gave me some photos last week of some most unusual rocks they have in their yard. The rocks were already there when they moved, and everyone is wondering just want kind of rocks these are. Maybe someone will recognize the features and lets us know. There is four rocks, and they are the only kind like it on their property. <—– Click Here <—– Click Here

With the recent passing of former sheriff Bill Noland, I thought it would be an appropriate tribute to make some videos available for viewing Bill was featured in. These were taken by Kathy Conry back in the 1970s and 1980s. I have created a webpage for the videos presentations. Maybe some of you can tell us who the unidentified people are in the clips. Just send me an email with their names, what clip they appeared in, and I’ll make the additions to the webpage. <—– Click Here

Last week we had a mention of a song written by Cecil Crosby. Some of you will remember Bill Crosby was involved in a shooting in 1931 that nearly caused an international incident. It all took place one dark evening at “E” Street NW and 10th. Anyway, in 1939 Cecil Crosby made a song entitled “My Arbuckle Mountain Home”. Well guess what! Bob and Penny Cline brought me by the original 1939 sheet music this week! They got it a a garage sale, can you believe that? A piece of Ardmore history like that, just sitting in a garage sale. Needless to say, I’m as proud of this piece of Ardmore history as a little boy with a shiny silver dollar. <—– Click Here

<—– Click Here

Now I’ll get hold of my cousin Don Bridges, he lives right outside D.C., and see if he will record it as a song, so we can all listen to it! I”ve kinda sung it a little, because I can read music, even though its been years since I did much of it. lol

I went to see my friends at Ardmore Photocopy and had them make me a copy of the original before anything happens to it. They did a great job, now I can frame the original! <—– Click Here

I did a close-up scan of “My Arbuckle Mountain Home” with the photo of a man and horse on the front page. Maybe someone can tell us if that is Cecil Crosby in the photo. <—– Click Here

I change back to Cingular last week, got a new phone, and didnt know what to do with my year old cell phone. So I put it on ebay, and sold it for a good price! <—– Click Here

I found a great freeware program to keep your computer cleaned up. This little bitty jewel is not for viruses or spyware but for all the other junk left behind from surfing the web, installing and uninstalling programs, cookies, and a lot more. Of course it cleans up those ‘temporary internet files’, but it also rids your computer of a lot more excess baggage, some you might now want prying eyes to see. <—– Click Here


“Hi Butch, very interesting about the mystery concrete building near Madill. A thought came to me as I looked at the pictures of it. My family and I lived west of Ravia on Mill Creek just below the Mill Creek Dam in 1937. I understood that at one time Madill water supply came from that Dam. Wondering if just maybe the concrete mystery had anything to do do with that water system. My memory of the dam is, it sure made a nice swimming hole for us lads after working the fields all the hot days. Keep up the good work with T&T. Enjoy each week and a lot of memories surface. Have seen so many changes in the 83 years the Lord has let me have.” -Troy Seedig
“Butch, I used to go four wheeling down in Randolph bottom a long time ago. Probably close to thirty years ago. The road used to go to a slough a mile or two past that old school. If I remember correctly there used to be a railroad crossing just across from the school that went down to the Washita river. We used to go down there and shoot guns. I wish I had all that money back I wasted on ammunition. Most of the time it took a four wheel drive vehicle to get to the river. I got stuck down at the end of the road one night and had to walk out. Sure was spooky. I hadn’t thought about that place in years but that old school still looks the same. Thanks for the memories.”
“Butch I have been down there many times and if you have a 4×4 and you dare to push far enough you can make it all the way to the end where it is gated. get out follow the road and be careful. People routinly cut the lock on the gate and drive back but there are some VERY large ruts but once you make it to the end there is a VERY nice lake. Im not sure what the lake is but it looked very nice the last time I was there. also be careful on Randolph Road alot of people go down there to target practice. I many times have gone to where you parked and shot skeet.”
“Hello Butch, I think I know about the old building that you took pictures of, it is over in what we called Randolph Bottom way back 50 years ago, we could get there from Russett in those days, but we went down in there to fish in Oil Creek, but the last time we tried to go down in there, it has all been fenced off from that direction and there wasn’t a country road that went near it. I don’t know what the building was, I was told that it was an old school building used years ago, and it looked like that might be what it was when I saw it. That was 49 years ago, and it wasn’t grown up with trees and vines like your pictures show it to be, evidently whomever owned the land that it is on kept it clean up, it was clear, a group of young people and I spent one afternoon there just playing on the piers and running around the top of the ledges and taking pictures, I do have some pictures, but they are black and white and not very good, cameras were not very good in those days. I am going to try to scan some to send to you to see if it looks what I think they will to you, there couldn’t be two buildings like that in that country anyway, so it almost has to be the same building, only deteriorated much, much more than it was when I saw it last. I and my friends lived in the Simpson area at that time and I worked in Madill at the Ayres Real Estate Agency, that was in 1956. I live in Antlers, Pushmataha County, this is my home town, was then, I was just living in Johnston County with a sister at that time. Thought I would tell you what I know, which isn’t very much, hope it might help and you get some info from someone who really knows about the old building. Surely someone in that area knows what it is.” -Madge Gentry, I was not married at that time, so my name was Madge Franks then.” <—– Click Here
“Butch, One reader told about seeing some old columns that appeared to have supported pipes which were near the old Randolph School. I believe these were the remains of the old gravity-fed Mill Creek to Madill pipeline that was constructed to carry water from Mill Creek to Madill in the early 1920s. This leads to another odd remnant of the past, if you take Highway 1 from Mannsville toward Ravia and cross the Washita River then turn left on Greasy Bend Road and follow Greasy Bend Road until you reach the Mill Creek bridge. Take the small road that goes North on the East side of Mill Creek, park and walk to the creek and continue following the creek North until you come to a large concrete dam, concrete storage tanks, filtration plant, pump houses and other related structures on the creek. The dam is located about 2 miles upstream from the Washita River. It is really an impressive sight. This is the remains of Madill’s old water supply. The City of Madill built this dam in the early 1920’s to impound Mill Creek and they built a 12 mile gravity-fed pipeline to carry the water to Madill. It was supposed to provide Madill with all of the water it would need for at least 100 years. The City sold $400,000 in bonds to finance the project. They completed the project and opened the pipes and plenty of fresh water came rushing out the other end. There was only one problem, the engineering firm who designed the project either underestimated or forgot about the amount of silt carried by the creek after large rains. In a short while the dam had completely silted in to within 18” of the top and was useless as a water supply. This became Madill’s $400,000 “White Elephant”. The equipment that could be salvaged was removed and taken to Madill for use there. The City paid off the bonds on this boondoggle many years later. Carter Lake was finally built which provided Madill with their needed water supply.”
I wish I could send each of you a copy of the Travel section of today’s San Antonio Express News. It has a full two-page spread of an exploratory trip the editor made into eastern Oklahoma. Great pictures. He seemed almost surprised to be praising what he found (well, after all he’s a Texan). Some of his friends insisted that he detour and look at Turner Falls, which he did and put a really nice picture on the front of the section. He liked La Brue’s Coffee House in Davis, and really appreciated the Tex-Mex at Las Cascadas.

Then he headed for his planned starting point at Tahlequah to move on down to Broken Bow. All the wonderful lakes seemed like Water Country to him – Eufaula and Tenkiller especially – and the beauty and vistas of the Kiamichi Mountains really intrigued him. The Cherokee Heritage Center in Tahlequah was featured prominently in the article. The amphitheater there is used for the performances of the “Trail of Tears” – dramatizing the brutality of the forced march of the Five Civilized Tribes in 1838-39. The presentations this year run June 18 – Sept. 4.

He toured Runestone Park in Heavener, where Vikings visited circa 1017. Then he headed for Beavers Bend State Park. He recommends staying at Lakeview Lodge at nearby Hochatown State Park on the shore of Broken Bow Lake (180 miles of shoreline.)

I’ve only touched on a few highlights of his trip. He enjoyed great food everywhere he went, and especially recommends the Southern Belle in Heavener and Stevens Gap at Beavers Bend.
“Butch, Thought this might be interesting to you. My great grandmother was a sisiter to this LOU ANN EVERETT KELLER wife of FORNEY KELLER.” -Minnie Lou Whittington <—– Click Here
The Great Plains Chautauqua Society program will be brought to Perry, Oklahoma June 2 through the 7 by the Oklahoma Humanities Council. Perry is one of only two towns in Oklahoma chosen as a Chautauqua site. The theme for the summer of 2005 is “From Sea to Shining Sea: American Expansion and Cultural Change, 2790 – 1850”. This historic program will bring momentous decades to life though first person characterizations each evening and workshops for children and adults during the day. Chautauqua audiences will time travel for an hour or so for five nights under a big tent in the Perry Courthouse Park. Dolly Madison, wife of President James Madison and the Washington hostess for President Thomas Jefferson will host the evening programs. The audience will also hear from five other historical figures; William Clark, co-commander of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Sacagawea, the Shoshoni woman who traveled with Lewis and Clark, Tecumseh, a Shawnee chief, York, the childhood companion of Clark who was also a member of the Expedition, and John Jacob Astor, the entrepreneur who amassed a fortune in the fur trade, China trade, and New York real estate, on successive evenings beginning on Friday, June 3rd. It will be locally sponsored by First Bank & Trust which will also host the first night’s performance. On Saturday, June 4th., Perry’s Big Band will also perform in the park at 6:30 PM. The band is comprised of adult musicians from Noble County and led by Bill Rotter, a semi-retired bandmaster who has been a leader of several prizewinning highschool bands in Oklahoma and Texas.
“How exciting to sit in an old Wells Fargo Stage Coach in the Stevens Private Museum. You can see it by going by Dwane Stevens’ house. He has built a nice building to house the covered wagon, the stage coach, a Mennonite Buggy and many other things that his father, Carl Stevens and Dwane’s uncle had built, remodeled or whatever it took. There are a lot of interesting things to look at and Dwane won’t charge a dime to look at it. He is also known as Carl D. and he and his wife, Terry, live at 4393 Kings Road in Ardmore. They are putting in a lot of time getting the museum up and running. He likes visitors so give him a call and go by. He is dedicating the museum as a memorial to his father.” -Kenneth Eck, Healdton <—– Click Here
“Butch, Cecil Crosby was my great uncle. A copy of his music, “In My Arbuckle Mountain Home”, is in the museum at Gene Autry. Here’s the real story behind that music: Cecil only wrote the words to that song. About that time, he was a guard at a prison in western OK. (Not sure of the town.) A prisoner actually wrote the music. I guess we’ll never know the name of that prisoner, but Cecil got credit for it. Oops!! Did I just spill an old family secret?!”
Bessie Elaine Williams celebrated her 107th birthday last week in a Davis nursing home. <—– Click Here
“Hey Butch, Great job as usual. For some time, I’ve been trying to think of what each of your T&T’s do to me. I think I have it figured out. Sometime they are like the old Alfred Hitchcock shows. Kinda leaves you hanging at the end wanting more, or maybe like the season finale of a tv show, can’t wait for the next one to see what will happen next. So keep it up ole buddy. Viva Butch, and viva This and That.”
“Hi Butch, Found your site today very interesting. Trying to locate a Olivia, Oklahoma. Doing genealogy, My mother was born in Olivia according to her social security application. Parents were father William P Glenn, mother Winnie Grandberry. Cannot locate her birth certificate, born May 28,1913. Does any of these names ring a bell with your history. Really enjoyed this site, as I am a history nut. Spent the whole afternoon reading. Maybe someone can tell me where Olivia was located?”
The Daily Ardmoreite, June 24, 1947
***Eating lunch at the Mulkey Tuesday were H.F. GIBSON of Dallas, HUNTER L. MARTIN, Tulsa insurance man, CARL WOLF of Wilson, CARL HOLLIDAY of Ardmore, and Robert MOWER.
***JAMES OXFORD will be associated with Harvey’s chapel as the new funeral director. Oxford is a graduate of Ardmore high school and has made his home here a number of years. His mother lives here.
***HORACE KENDALL has loved Ardmore and got his mail here just as many years as Ardmore has lived–60 years. Horace has worked as a cow hand many a day. Because of his faithfulness and his devotion to business he was always paid above the usual wage.
***RAB WYMORE is in the Veterans Hospital at Sulphur.
***Indian JOHN McCARTY came to Ardmore from Crockett county, Texas in 1889. He arrived in May, he had some good horses and a mule or two and one animal was used as a pack horse. He was on his way to Kansas when he stopped at a spring where Central park is now across the street south of the First Methodist church. McCarty used the water of the spring to drink and to make coffee. He remained there all night. Some man joined him. The stranger got down and drank from the spring and remarked about the fine water. Then he drew a quart of Old Crow from his pocket and the two men took a drink together. The stranger liked the place and he lay down on the grass and went to sleep and spent the night. McCarty rose next morning and left for Kansas while his friend was still sleeping and he never knew his name. McCarty who is a quarter breed Choctaw came back through here and went to Mexico where he lived three years and from Mexico he came to this section and has been here since. These old timers will tell you the first who ever published a paper in Ardmore was a man named WHITEHEAD. It is also said that GEORGE BRINSTEAD ran a paper here in 1888. DAVID T. NISBETT was an early day newspaper man. He was employed on the Daily Ardmoreite. This paper was founded October 28, 1893. Ardmore was six years old when the paper was founded. The founders were R.S.W. PARKER and F.E. WILSON. Both of these men are dead. When JAMES GRIFFITH was on the paper he used plenty of time to gather a story about the early day papers and his story was published. As many as 2 papers have been started in Ardmore.
***ROY HOLDER was born at Holder in 1891. His father was BUD HOLDER who settled at Holder, southeast of Ardmore, in 1881. The Holder brothers were GEORGE, AL, EVANS, AND I.B.
***CLYDE FATHING can qualify for the pioneer class. He came to Ardmore in 1896.
***Ardmore never had a man who lived more in the affections of its people than the late L.D. RICKEY who served Oklahoma as game and fish warden. When Rickey died, his friend, CHARLES B. GODDARD, buried his body on Goddard’s wild life ranch. He had talked the question over with Rickey. Now since the state has build highway 18 through the Goddard place, the grave is near the highway.
***The road through the Goddard Paddle G Ranch has been a long time under construction. One of the hills, a part of the Arbuckles, had to be leveled and workmen were delayed by a spring of water. The flow was so heavy that some means had to be found to control the water before a highway could be built. As a final analysis of the puzzling situation a pipe was buried underground large enough to convey the water to the spring and the stream was directed clear of the highway so it cannot soften and ruin the roadbed.
***A situation similar to the spring on highway 18 had to be handled in constructing the federal building in Ardmore. The water was conveyed clear of the building by means of underground pipes.
***The late JAMES H HAVENS, who sold and erected windmills here for many years, used to tell me that much water was under the Arbuckles. He said there is a spot near Oil Springs where one at 70 feet could find a river of water that would supply water enough to irrigate an entire valley.
***JOHN A. CRINER was born in this country in 1892. He was born in the hills named for his family southwest of Ardmore.
****Since the day Ardmore first had a post office, ROBERT A. WATKINS has always got his mail in this city. He was born in 1885.
****M.D. MITCHELL came to Ardmore first in 1888 and was absent for a time and returned in 1896. He lives in Ardmore at this time.
****B.F. MITCHELL came to this section of Indian Territory in 1888 and from that time to this year 1947, he has always been a patron of the Lone Grove post office.

Arbuckle Mountain Home

When prairie stars are shining,
And the sky above is blue,
‘Tis then my thoughts returneth,
To a place so good and true,
A place up in the mountains,
Up thar by Turner Falls,
Where turtle doves are cooing.
And you hear those coyotes call,
‘Tis the music of the mountains,
That seems to call me back,
Back to a humble cottage,
Just a little mountain shack,
And soon I’ll be returning,
Never more to roam,
And I’ll settle down forever,
In my Arbuckle Mountain Home.

I would not trade my humble shack,
For a place by the sea,
For up thar in those mountains high,
It is always home to me,
And soon I’ll be returning,
Never more to roam,
And I’ll settle down forever,
In my Arbuckle Mountain Home.

-Cecil Crosby, Ardmore, Oklahoma 1939

See everyone next time!

Butch Bridges
Lone Grove, Oklahoma


May 17, 2005 – Circulation over 4,000 Vol 9 Issue 434

It was a sad week last week with the sudden death of former Carter county sheriff Bill Noland. I still find it hard to believe he is not here with us…. I’ve been around him 1,000s of times, and I guess just took it for granted it he would always be nearby. But for reasons we dont understand, he was taken from us during a car accident last week. Bill was a dedicated law enforcement officer and will be missed. I received several email asking if I got a picture of the tribute in flowers created by Brenda’s Flowers here in Ardmore from Sheriff Harvey Burkhart and the sheriff’s staff. I didnt get a pic, but Brenda’s Flowers did take a photo and passed it along to me. Doug Crumley, Manager at Brenda’s Flowers, created this beautiful piece of artwork, made entirely of Mums. It took around 12 hours of detail work to make the arrangement look like the sheriff’s badge. Doug did a remarkable job, and he had a reason to put a lot of personal work into it. Doug’s father, Howard Crumley, was a highway patrolman and killed in the line of duty back in 1970. So Doug put a lot of personal attention in this tribute, and it was appreciated by many who attended the funeral and saw it first hand. It was befitting of the man behind that badge, Bill Noland. Gone but not forgotten. See you on the other side old friend. <—– Click Here <—– Click Here

I received another one of those old fashioned letters in the mail this week. Remember those? Before email and instant messages? lol. This letter came from Cow Town (that’s Ft Worth, Texas) addressed to “Butch Bridges” on the first line and “Ardmore Oklahoma” on the second line. I wonder what those people at the Ardmore post office think when they see that second name? lol. I get quite a few emails a year asking what is that? I have never told in any past issues of T&T really what Ardmore Oklahoma is, but I will now. It is my Indian name given to me by a full blood Choctaw Indian way up in those Arbuckle Mountains years ago. Since I have Choctaw blood in me from my great grandmother Ida Murphree Miller (she Choctaw from Alabama), he gave it to me and I’ve appreciated that name more then he knows. It means “wolf’s friend”. So now you know the rest of the story. lol

Anyway, back to this letter from Cow Town, it is from Wilda Stephens, and she’s wanting to pass along info about her upcoming AHS class reunion. Here is Wilda’s letter:

Hi Butch, I really enjoy your T&T. I always find much of interest to me. I am really an “oldtimer”. I wanted to tell you about a reunion of the Ardmore High School Class of 1940. That’s 65 years ago! We will meet May 24 at Cafe Alley. At least 26 have responded who will be there. That includes some of will bring class members who need help. Also includes some spouses of members. I plan to be there. I haven’t missed any reunion of our class. -Alwilda Payne Stephens

Last week we talked about the mystery concrete building NE of Madill. I appreciate those of you who wrote in with your suggestion as to what this building may have been. Come to find out, it was the old Randolph School. There are several emails that tells a lot more about this old school in the Mailbag. <—– Click Here <—– Click Here <—– Click Here <—– Click Here <—– Click Here <—– Click Here <—– Click Here <—– Click Here <—– Click Here <—– Click Here <—– Click Here <—– Click Here <—– Click Here

Last week we talked about the old cast iron gates at the entrance of Rosehill Cemetery in Ardmore, and when the fence and gate might have been put up. I snapped some pics this last weekend and as you can tell the pillars were made from the Autumn Rose granite from the quarry north of Ravia. The gate entrance to Mt Zion Cemetery across the street is made from this same granite, and that gate says 1920 on it. It sure might be 1920 when the fence was built. You can tell the pillars right at the front next to the office is a lot more recent brick work. <—– Click Here <—– Click Here <—– Click Here <—– Click Here <—– Click Here <—– Click Here

My uncle, Donald Bridges, lives in La Palma, California and just recently installed a fish pond in his yard. If he lived in Ardmore he could go into business setting up those beautiful fish ponds. Of course I think his wife is the true artist behind the work. lol <—– Click Here <—– Click Here

I saw parked at Broadway Tow on South Commerce this week a 1962 or 1963 Beardmore London taxi cab. The driver sits on the right side as is done in jolly old England, and the fares charged passengers is still on the inside door, those suicide doors. The asking price is about $4,000 and if you’re interested, contact the Wilson Tag Agent at 580-668-3376. <—– Click Here <—– Click Here <—– Click Here <—– Click Here <—– Click Here <—– Click Here

Then just a little further south on South Commerce in front of A-1 Mini Storage was this neat old tractor For Sale made by Avery. I never heard of Avery, but then I’ve never lived on a farm either. The number to call on it for info was 580-220-8056. It sure is a clean machine! <—– Click Here <—– Click Here

In July 1998 Ann Randolph gave me a photo of the old Red River Toll Bridge she had in her collection of old photos. By looking at the car below the bridge, the pic was taken in the 1930s. <—– Click Here

For those of you who just like to browse through photos, I’ve placed back on my website over 1,000 photos I had taken off a couple years ago because of storage limitations. But since I’ve upped my website storage to 1 Gig, I have been able to put back over 1,000 pics for viewing! <—– Click Here

My great grandmother would never believe this. Tomatos are now being grown upside down. Well, not exactly, but still they are upside down. What they are doing is starting the young tomato plants out in a 5 gallon bucket, when they taken root and all, turn the bucket upside down and hang from a pole or tree limb. They claim the plant makes twice as many tomatos! <—– Click Here


“Butch, I ran across an old piece of sheet music (it is in very good shape) titled “In My Arbuckle Mountain Home”. Words and music by Cecil Crosby, copyright 1939. It was published by Cecil Crosby in Ardmore, Oklahoma. It says it is a “waltz song”. Interested?”
“Here’s a tidbit that you probably already know but I see a lot of genealogy questions in T&T. One of the copies of the Dawes census cards and enrollment jackets for the Five Tribes of Oklahoma is in Ft. Worth at the National Archives. People need to really be prepared when they research that information. We get a lot of questions off our website and many of them are about our Indian ancestry. They need to understand that the family member had to register to be listed and they better know the tribe. I know my grandfather (and many of his siblings) did not register. In those cases you have to trace that information from another family member. Here’s the link to the Ft. Worth location.” <—– Click Here
“Does anyone know when the Mill Creek school reunion is to be held this year? Wife and I are graduates and have attended off-and-on over the years; however, never seem to get on their notification list. Any help would be appreciated.” -Bob Ozment, Victoria, Texas
“Butch the construction at central park is new modern bathrooms. Also have you seen the new playground.” <—– Click Here
“I may be mistaken, but I believe that old concrete foundation was the Randolph School. Not that I am old enough to remember it! LOL”
“That looks like the old school house. The story I was told was that there was a small community schoolhouse back in the woods, and it was hit by a tornado. The story also noted that it was rebuilt, and destroyed again by a tornado. I’m not sure how factual that is, but in those woods no one could really doubt such a thing. I saw some rather large rattlesnakes along that concrete, so beware! When we’d party there as kids, we would drive down into the woods a few miles, but there were 2 main water crossings like the one pictured with the bridge. Since most vehicles wouldn’t make it down through, and a few times they actually constructed gates too, we would park and climb up to the train tracks then venture a couple of miles down to get to the concrete remains of the school house. There was no true reasoning for this, we were just kids looking for a haunted house. I can remember one party at that place where the cars did make it back, and there were maybe 50 or more people at least. Needless to say, when the action caught on, the scary tales started falling flat. I did see my fair share of unexplainable events in those woods, so I still have a dark feeling about them. But since those days, they dozed down a lot of the trees also. Trees used to wrap up the road like a cocoon as you drove in. You felt like you were going somewhere and not coming back. It was a lot of fun. Makes me miss the old days. That water crossing also strikes a nerve, because when we were hunting once, we came upon a set of tracks going to and from the water that we couldn’t explain. We were hunters, so we knew the region obviously. The only thing we could think of is alligator, oddly enough. The little hands with claws, and the drag marks, etc. It was way too big for a Beaver or anything like that. We never saw anything, but it made us look around more! I could tell a lot of horror stories that are unbelievable, but the two I personally remember the most was one time being stopped at the water crossing. There were several trucks, guns, and 10-15 beer drinkers there. As everyone was accessing the situation, I was in the back of the pickup truck looking into the woods. Low and behold, about 50 yards out I could see a face looking around a tree at us. I totally froze up, shocked at the matter. I tried to draw a friends attention without losing sight, but as I finally turned and called on him, when I looked for the person again, he was gone. This isn’t one of those “might have been” stories, it was a fact. The guy had a beard I also recall. When we started going into those woods for kicks, we were told not only about the natural and structural dangers, but also that certain shady characters grew marijuana in patches, and had them booby trapped. Nobody ever saw one of these to prove it, but I often wonder if some of the folks we spotted off in those woods had something to do with it. The other story was just weird. We drove into the woods, 4 deep in a pick up truck. It was dead of winter, and spooky. It started snowing while we were down the road, so we decided to leave. It was FREEZING cold that night; I recall the heater and 4 of us in coats jammed into the truck. As we were leaving, in a little small house on the edge of the woods, there was one light on inside the house that was blue. But we could see one very bright light near the road. Super bright. We were all freaking out saying “what is that thing”. As we got to the light, we found it was a flood light clamped on a post by the road. In the ditch, there was a dirty, wild looking man down on his hands and knees digging. He was using a hand shovel, not a true shovel. Also, the only clothes he had on was a pair of jeans. He looked pretty determined as well. As we passed we all said to one another “What the….” and as the truck went by, he stood to attention to stare at us in a not-so-friendly manner. We all left that night thinking we’d seen something quite bizarre. I can remember the theme to Deliverance humming in my head. Anyway, it was a fun time and as kids we used to love that area. Fortunately, nobody was ever hurt.”
“Butch, After doing some checking in the Johnston County area and with Johnston County folks it is now confirmed that the pictures you have are of the old Randolph Bottom School. This school originally was 3 stories high according to a gentleman who attended there. He said that the school was built for farm workers children as during the ’20s that area was cotton fields. You might get more information on this building from the Johnston County Historical Society. I haven’t checked with them yet, but am sure they might have something on it. Good hunting.” -Betty Roan, Tishomingo, OK
“Butch, some buildings like that one were constructed by the late Fred Chapman, who either owned or leased much of the Wichita river bottom prior to the construction of Lake Texoma. You can find similar type buildings located all over the area. several were submerged by the construction of the Cumberland cut and are favorite places to crappie fish. At the Tishomingo wildlife reserve you can see several of these structures one of which has been converted into a lookout tower to view water fowl. The buildings were used to house tenant workers who farmed the land for Mr.. Chapman. There are several good books that can be checked out of the library that deals with the history of the Chapman family.”
“Butch, I was wondering if that concrete structure could have been part of railroad property? All I know is that the Rock Island line from Ardmore to McAlester went east of Ardmore on the same track as the Frisco, then just below the “tiny Chapel” SE of Dickson, Ok, the track branched with the Frisco going on towards Oakland, Madill, etc. The Frisco out of Ardmore, Ok merged with the main line at Madill which was from Tulsa, OK, to DFW, TX. The Frisco branched itself East of the Lake Texhoma bridge with a line into Durant, Ok and points East all the way into Hope, Arkansas. The other portion of the line went through Lake Texhoma State Park, and crossed the Red River on the MKT bridge N. of Denison, TX., then to Sherman, TX and points beyond there.”
“I remember this old building from over 50 years ago when I hunted and camped in this area. This is part of the old Randolph community that originally existed near the junction of the Frisco Railroad and Oil Creek, a tributary of the Washita River. The Randolph post office was established 5 Sept 1901 and lasted until 30 June 1919. Some of my references indicate that Randolph was named after Thomas Randolph, an official of the Frisco Railroad.

This concrete foundation had remnants of a brick superstructure, and it was often referred to as the old Randolph School. It is a little confusing because there were other ruins in the immediate vicinity of tall concrete columns leading away from the foundations which apparently were meant to support a large duct crossing the swampy lowlands. Some of these ruins were referred to locally as the remains of an old glass or sand plant. This may have been speculation because it appeared the cradled tops of the columns could have supported ducts large enough for water borne sand to flow through.

There are other remnants nearby of another community that is so close it is practically indistinguishable from Randolph. It is listed on the old maps as Telephone. The remains of dugouts in the embankment were obvious when I was there many years ago. Telephone is not listed in “Oklahoma Place Names” so it probably did not have a post office.

Randolph Bottom was also a favorite location to take the new High School seniors and the new FFA members to drop them off at night. The new members were blindfolded during the trip and had not a clue where they were when dropped off in the middle of nowhere. I was dropped off in Randolph Bottom one night but fortunately, I was familiar with the place and knew how to get out of there. My grandfather owned some land nearby and the Posey family also lived along the old road just as it entered Randolph Bottom.

I am sure there have been some articles published on the history of Randolph in certain books or county histories but I have never had the chance to check on them. I have a lot of memories of boating in the sloughs and avoiding the many beaver lodges, while shooting squirrels out of the trees hanging over the water. They were the main ingredient in squirrel stew when cooked with potatoes and carrots over an open fire on the bank. I camped among the dugouts in this wild country many times. Hope this sheds some light on the “mystery place”. -Towana Spivey
“Butch, I believe your mystery building is the remains of the Old Randolph School House. Randolph was at one time a thriving community that even had a hotel that mainly catered to travelers on the railroad. About 35 years ago you could take the Randolph bottom road all the way north past the school where it deadened at the swampy lake, the road was in terrible shape then and it took a 4 wheel drive to make the trip. During this period parts of the wooden floor of the structure although collapsed were still sitting on top of the foundation. The majority of the building was torn down and recycled when the old school was closed. There were several foundations visible on either side of the road back then and some old iron pipe from the playground equipment was still on the East side of the building.

The building foundation was made from cement in the style of the buildings that still exist at the Tishomingo Wildlife Management Area and the flooring and upper stories were made of wood. These cement buildings at Tishomingo have been in Lake Texoma for over 60 years and are still as sound as ever.

One word of warning, you should visit this area in the winter because it is choc full of huge rattlesnakes.

Pettijohn Springs Park was a huge tourist attraction which had a hotel, camp, springs and pool during its heyday and people would ride the train to Randolph, as it was the closest station, from all over the country to visit the park. The Randolph Road was one way to get from Madill to Ravia, Russett, Mill Creek and also to Tishomingo. A few things that contributed to its demise was:

The toll of World War I on small rural communities, the Government Built Old Highway 70 that went past Pettijohn Springs and bypassed Randolph, the concrete road that passes Pettijohn Springs is the location of the original Hwy. Then Lake Texoma was built and caused the Washita river to change and created the swampy lakes which now cross the road and made it a deadened. Years ago the iron remains of the old Randolph Road Bridge could still be found on the banks of the Washita river but I guess they are long gone. The mosquitoes and snakes were hard on the residents and people became afraid of yellow fever about 1918 -1920 and the trains began burning oil and did not need to stop for coal and water. I guess the combination of all of this caused the demise of the town.”
“Butch if you are interested Randolph had a post office from 9/15/1901 through 6/5/1919 and the town was named for Thomas Randolph who was an official of the FRISCO Railroad. The town was actually started by the FRISCO Railroad about the same time the City of Madill was forming.”
“Hi Butch, I just spent the week in Boise City, Oklahoma in the Panhandle. A while back someone was telling about the city being bombed during WWII. On July 5, 1943 the courthouse was bombed by a B-17 stationed at Dalhart’s Army Air Force Base. I found a couple of other interesting items. It is the only county (Cimarron County) that touches four states other than it’s own. You have talked about Antlers only having one light. But it is also believed Cimarron County to be the only county in the US without a stop light. In that part of the world when there is not much to do you read up on local history.”
“Hey Butch, Josh is the son of my cousin, Tammy Green. Not bragging on Josh or anything, but the kid is a really good guitar picker as well as an adventurer. Just thought I would pass this along.” -clif aka tuklo nashoba
“The so called “blob top” soda bottles described by Steven in your column are actually soda bottles with the Hutchinson stopper which was invented in 1872 and continued in use well into the early 1900s. The more modern type of soda bottle we all remember which used the metal cap was invented in 1892 and it quickly replaced the Hutchinson stopper by 1910. The two bottles illustrated represent the 1890’s period after Ardmore was first established in the Indian Territory and shortly after the 1907 period when Oklahoma became a state.

The Hutchinson stopper actually sealed by pulling up on the wire loop which extended from within the bottle and closing from the inside. When it was opened by hitting the wire loop in a downward motion with the flat of the hand on the lip, it would pop as the seal opened. This was the origin for the terms “pop bottle” and “soda pop”. The wire loop sometimes fell to the bottom of the bottle and other times it could be resealed by pulling up on the wire loop. These bottles were normally stored right side up although prolonged storage could cause the rubber ring around the edge of the metal seal to dry out and permit the fluid to evaporate. I have a number of these from various Indian and Oklahoma Territory towns.” -Towana Spivey
“Butch, I keep forgetting to tell you this so I’m going to while I’m thinking of it. Remember talking about Grapette soda pop? Well, at the local Walmart stores here in Northwest Arkansas they have been selling 2 liter bottles of Grapette. However, the label also has the “Sam’s Choice” brand name on it. My son, who works in the Sam’s Offices in Bentonville, says that Walmart bought out the Grapette name and recipe and are producing it under the Grapette/Sam’s Choice name. I do not know how far out it’s being sold, but thought I would just pass the info on to you. Wish I had a photo to send you, but I don’t. By the way, the 2 liter bottle in my fridge tastes like it always has. ;-))
“This is Bill Hall from Oklahoma City. I have attached several photos of a bell I found while visiting a Scout camp located in Caddo county 8 miles west of Apache, OK. It is Camp George Thomas. The bell is a large one and is used to call visitors in for announcements. The bell has several markings on it. One side has “C. S. Bell & Co. Hillsboro O. on it. The other side reads “Steel Alloy Alarm Bell” and the number 536. I’ll send more photos as I find new bells.” <—– Click Here <—– Click Here <—– Click Here
“Butch, I’m wondering if you or anyone on your mailing list can tell me something about Seven Sisters Road. Is there a story behind the name? The road crosses highway 177 just north of 53 or the Gene Autry road. Every time I go by there, I wonder why that name.” Bud Caudle, e-mail
“Do any of your readers know where Okra, Oklahoma was located? My mother lived there as a child and an uncle was born there. All I know is that it is somewhere near Pauls Valley. My grandparents moved there from Mississippi about 1905 or 1906. Would love to visit the place if anyone can tell me where it is located. Thanks.” -Fran

England swings like a pendulum do
Bobbies on bicycles, two by two
Westminster Abbey, the tower of Big Ben
The rosy red cheeks of the little children

Now, if you huff and puff and you fina’lly save enough
Money up to take your family on a trip across the sea
Take a tip before you take your trip; let me tell you where to go
Go to Engeland, Oh

Mama’s old pajamas and your papa’s mustache
Falling out the window sill, frolic in the grass
Tryin’ to mock the way they talk fun but all in vain
Gaping at the dapper men with derby hats and canes.
-Roger Miller 1964
<—– Click Here

See everyone next time!

Butch Bridges
Lone Grove, Oklahoma


May 12, 2005 – Circulation over 4,000 Vol 9 Issue 433

Last week I mentioned there was a piece of history located out in the middle of nowhere near Madill, Oklahoma. This week I traveled over to Madill to take a look-see. After studying the map, this piece of history may be located just over the county line in Johnston county.

Ardmore residents Josh and Tonya Rangel picked me up late Wednesday and took me to just NE of Madill, Oklahoma to a place that is so far down in the woods, it is almost like you are at the end of the world. It seems that Josh first learned of this mystery place from a friend at work. Daniel Pruitt of Madill has been there many times hunting or whatever with friends, and he had no idea what this concrete structure was, only that it located in very remote area.

The directions to this place is as follows: From Madill go north on Highway 177 and when you pass the old trailer manufacturing businesses, turn off the highway on to Pittijohn Road. Go north on Pettijohn Road about 1 mile. Then turn east on Jagger Road go 1 mile east and go across the railroad tracks to Randolph Bottom Road. Now turn north on Randolph Bottom Road and travel north about 3 miles along side of the railroad track til you cross Oil Creek and come to the “Washita Arm” sign. When you are a few feet north of that sign, you will see a circle turn around. Stop there, get out and start walking west a couple of hundred feet toward the railroad tracks. When you get on top of the railroad track you walk north about a half mile. Then go back east a couple hundred feet and you will see a dirt path/road. Follow that dirt path northeast up the hill a few hundred feet and there is the concrete building.

If you’re a GPS’er here is the exact location of the structure:
N 34? 10.917
W 096? 44.855

Bear in mind when you turn north off Jagger Road on to Randolph Bottom Road, when you travel north the dirt road starts out wide and graded, and traveled. But as you go north those 3 miles the dirt road gets narrower and narrower until you barely have a road, with thick trees and brush and overgrowth on each side of you. When you reach the end of that 3 miles, you will feel like you are 100 miles from civilization. Also, the foot trek is hard on the body, so you better be in shape. It was almost an endurance test for me. lol. One more thing, if you did go there, be careful, cell phones do not work that Marshall county wilderness.

So, what is this concrete structure? None of us knows. I first thought it might be the remnants of that WWII POW camp in Marshall county. But after checking the map, it was SW of Madill near Powell, Oklahoma. I sure hope someone out there will be able to tell us after seeing the photos.

First, here’s a screenshot of the map with a red X showing the location of the building. <—– Click Here

Whatever this concrete thing is, it seems someone has already labeled it a bad place. lol <—– Click Here

This is a pic I took where the ‘circle turn-around’ is located. We parked here and walked west 1 couple hundred feet to the railroad tracks. <—– Click Here

This is a pic of the railroad bridge over Oil Creek. You can see the railroad used the pink autumn rose granite that is mined north of Ravia, Oklahoma using it as the base foundation for the railroad bed. <—– Click Here <—– Click Here

This is about the first thing you see of this mysterious concrete structure when you come around the bend in the dirt trail after leaving the railroad track. <—– Click Here

The following are some random photos I took of the complex. <—– Click Here <—– Click Here <—– Click Here <—– Click Here <—– Click Here

Here is a picture of our guide Daniel Pruitt (on left) and Josh Rangel (on right). Daniel lives in Madill and has tromped all around those woods hunting and all. He said there are a lot of wild hogs, and you better skinny up a tree fast if one comes after you. Josh lives in Ardmoreite, he and his wife Tonya take their digital movie camera all around southern Oklahoma filming anything of interest. When Josh learned of the concrete structure from Daniel, he knew I’d want to go and explore it. The two are looking at a footprint impression in the concrete step. <—– Click Here

This is a pic I took in front of the structure looking down the dirt path that leads up from the railroad track. <—– Click Here

Now that everyone has looked at this strange concrete bunkers or whatever they are, maybe someone will write in and tell us what it is.

I have mentioned several times the past nine years how so different the landscape in southern Oklahoma was around 1900 in regard to trees. There is a mention in the Mailbag below confirming there were no trees in Ardmore and surrounding area during the turn of the century.

Here is a map of the townships in Carter county. <—– Click Here

I was going out West Broadway last weekend and I saw a sign that read: Charlie Freds BBQ. Boy, did that catch my attention, so I had to check it out. This BBQ is located inside the Food Mart at 801 West Broadway next door to CableOne. Come to find out Charlie Fred used to have a BBQ stand on P Street SE just south of the baseball complex, and his son is carrying on the tradition now of making fine BBQ. The cashier asked me if I wanted the small ($1.99) or the large sandwich $2.49) so you guessed it, I ordered the large. Boy, its some great tasting BBQ and there is even a little dining area inside the convenience store where you can set down and enjoy your meal! <—– Click Here <—– Click Here <—– Click Here <—– Click Here <—– Click Here

Here’s a pic I took last weekend of the construction going on behind the Central Park pavilion. I guess some of you will remember us talking about this being the same area where ‘old central cemetery” was located around 1900. It was later moved to Rose Hill. <—– Click Here

This is a reply I received from Bill Hamm a few years ago: “When Ardmore became a city in 1887, the cemetery was on the west side of town and was called Old South. As the city began to grow the city leaders realized that the cemetery was too close to the community and decided to move it to another location. The cemetery was moved about 1895 or 1896 to its present location south of the City and the new cemetery was called New South Cemetery, later it was named Rose Hill Cemetery. When the graves that were in Old South Cemetery were moved, the workers were only able to move the graves that had markers and the rest were left behind. The area of the Old South Cemetery is now part of Central Park, the Episcopal Church and the houses west of the area. When that area was being developed it was not unusual for the builders to dig into a burial site. I have found several people who had been buried in Old South Cemetery, but could not find any record of them as being moved to Rose Hill Cemetery.”

I’ve had a couple of special requests this week. One is more info on Bitter Enders Cave near Turner Falls. Has anyone been there lately? Is it still up from the Falls?

The other request is if anyone knows when the rock pillers and iron fence was placed at the entrance of Rose Hill or any other info about this old piece of history?

New South Cemetery (Rose Hill) was platted off in December 1894.

On November 1, 1997 many Oklahomans who were in a 405 area code, were changed to 580.

This week I received some old video footage from back in the 70s and 80s. I don’t want to say to much right now, but I’m working on getting the several clips on a webpage, but I will tell you you need Quick Time to view the clips. More next week!


“In regard to the mug from Jerry’s Gun Shop, the semi-auto pistol on the left side is a Sigma, which was introduced in 1994. So the mug can’t be any older than that.”
“Butch, All those old timers arrived about the same time as my Mom and Dad my mom was born in Wilson in 1887 Stella F Wall to William P Wall & Fanny E Kimbrough My Dad was born in Wise County Texas in 1883 and arrived in McMullen 1888 Benjamin E Poindexter son of Benjamin Spear Poindexter and Amanda Frances Cartwright They were married in 1904 in Atoka IT.” -Paskell
“My dad used to talk about his dad getting drunk and the mules knew their way home to Kinlock outside of Madill.”
“Hi Butch. What is the story with Bitter Enders Cave? Is it possible to still go into it? How do you get there. about ten years ago I believe some friends and I hiked up the creek from Turner falls park for about 3 miles where we came to the origin of the creek and right there was the cave. Went back a few weeks ago and could not find it.” <—– Click Here
“re: the ‘ptsnooper’ you were talking about in T&T’s the hardest sucker to get OFF your PC I’ve ever seen. In the 14 years I’ve been using PCs.. this one takes the cake. It’s not active when I CAD ..but it ALWAYS tries to ‘load’ .. I’ve got WINPATROL .. which warns me when stuff loads and I just tell it not to load it..but.. the little X X X still lingers, waiting.’ I’ve taken it out of the registry ..and I won’t bore you with all my good APPS I’ve used.. and all..if you want to really know about this. just Google it. ( and it’s not the ‘other’ program that comes with modems ..that is mistaken for PTSNOOP .. Google will tell you all about it.and so far, no advice I’ve gotten has worked. I’ll give anyone a great big ole Texas hug ..if they can FOR SURE get rid of PTSNOOP .. it’ll always show up in your ‘startup’ if you’ve got it ..but, naturally .. no matter what you do .. It returns.” -‘nita from Houston
“Don’t make me wait too long for that “piece of history” near Madill!!!”
“I was a student at Dickson High School in 1966. American Flyers paid several of us senior boys and other people of various ages to simulate passengers on board one of their planes. This I believe occurred in February 1966. We were to exit the plane as rapidly as we could. In April of 1966, on a Friday night a good friend of mine and I were in Ardmore watching a movie. When we went to leave our car was barricaded on the street that ran near the Civic Auditorium and we could not leave. We noticed much activity at the auditorium and went to investigate. We went in and saw about 30-40 bodies lined up near the stage. Later they would be covered with sheets. A night that I will not forget. I finally went home which was 5 miles east of Ardmore on the then Highway 70. My father and mother owned the Shug West grocery store between Ardmore and Dickson. It was a very rainy and drizzly night. My father stayed open for part of the night which allowed the rescue workers to stop. Even after he closed, trucks would still stop.’ -Mike P. West
“For Mary Dube: Mary, I seem to remember my mother & her friends going to Whittington Park in the 50’s when she was a teenager. I think the pool at may have been filled in in the 60’s. Seems to me like it was still there when I was in grade school in the early 60’s. By the time I got married in ’77 it really wasn’t too safe to go to Whittington Park at night. I definitely wouldn’t take my son there after he was born in ’78, at least not at night. Also, I do remember a small zoo over on the fairgrounds the other side of Whittington Park. But it only had a few small animals like a bear and such. That was in the early 60’s, too.” -Kathi George
“butch, here are some things from the crown bottling works i thought i would share. The two bottles are blob tops but one is indian territory and the other is oklahoma. one pic is of the original crate these two bottles would have been in and the other is an aluminum business card. let me know if you have any other questions. The bottles were kept upside down in the crate so the plug would not dry out.” -steven <—– Click Here <—– Click Here <—– Click Here <—– Click Here <—– Click Here
“Butch, I really enjoy “This and That”. So many times it brings back wonderful Ardmore memories. You should give Jean Ilniski a ribbing about the picture in Sunday’s Ardmoreite. She never misses “This and That”. We were at Mt. Rushmore when the picture was made. That was quite a trip and anyone who’s never been to South Dakota should take the opportunity to experience that incredible piece of U.S. history as well as that area of this beautiful country. In this age of bigger, better and fast travel options we forget the wonderful back roads and countryside. One of my accounts once told me we live in a “disposable society”. Everyone wants everything right now with no cost and no waiting. Then we throw it away when it’s time for a new one. I think that’s a perfect analogy for today’s world. I’ve been fortunate to travel extensively with my job but the trips I treasure most were in a car, with family, enjoying side roads or times before the Interstate Highway system. The drive from Ardmore through Kansas, Nebraska and into South Dakota is filled with beauty as well as history. It’s amazing to see where the wagon trails all converge in Nebraska and absorb the history. What’s even more amazing is to think about the Rocky Mountains as they journeyed even further west and imagine how the pioneers endured. We made that road trip even more fun by coming back through Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas before returning to Ardmore. What a road trip! The four of us stopped when we wanted and took alternate routes if it struck our fancy. Does anyone realize the “World’s Largest Ball of Twine” is in a small Kansas town near the geographic center of the 48 contiguous states? That’s another picture you could ask Jeannie about…..LOL. My sister came up with the idea of these road trips. Anyone who knows Donna would expect something like that. We made another road trip last year and I saw parts of Oklahoma I’d never seen. And of course we’re already planning another for this year. These are stories from my generation that I can pass along to my grandchildren. I was fortunate enough (as were our girls with both their great-grandmothers) to hear many stories from my Grandmother and her childhood. Those are recorded in our family history program. You’d be amazed how many times our grandchildren have used our family history for school projects. I urge everyone to take the opportunity to sit with family and record those voices and memories. Then pass them on to future generations. They are priceless and lost if we don’t take the time to make a permanent record. But then I think any family history is a treasure.” -Jan Ilniski Baker
“My friend and former boss found my address through reading some issues of T&T and now wants his own subscription (we haven’t seen each other for about 52 years but he’s considering coming to Perry for a short visit). He was a tank driver in Europe during WWII.”
“I don’t make any long distance calls that cost anything, I did buy some time with your cheap long distance service for my son. He calls his friend in Malaysia frequently and this saves him a lot.” <—– Click Here
The Daily Ardmoreite, July 13, 1947
Mrs. J. HARLEY LAYMAN, the former CALLIE THOMASON, daughter of a pioneer family, has lived in Ardmore for the past 50 years. She well remembers when wild horses came close to her father’s place and he stood with a gun in hand ready to shoot if they should break into their house lot. Another vivid recollection of those early days was the time their pet dog went mad and had to be killed. The Thomasons lived in the northwest part of town near the old WALCOTT place, and later moved to the country. Mrs. Layman says Ardmore was a barren spot then with no trees, beautiful streets and homes, but only barbed wire fences as far as the eye could see. Their old home near Ardmore still stands but Mrs. Layman hasn’t been out there in a long time. She says it has been unoccupied and that transients have pulled off the boards and wrecked it but she likes to go there for it is a pleasant spot in summer and always beautiful. Her father was E. CAL THOMASON and her mother was a sister of the late Mrs. W.B. FRAME.
July 16, 1947
J.W. MOORE, Healdton, lays claim to the right to be called one of the pioneer citizens of this state and backs it up with some interesting facts. Both he and his wife are long-time residents of Oklahoma. They will have been married 39 years next October. Moore was born April 28, 1897, two miles north of what was known as Chagris, I.T. He went to his first school in a log cabin with split logs for benches and a dirt floor. The only school book they had was the blue back speller. His father, E.P. MOORE, was a country school teacher who came here in 1885. “I have seen Ardmore when it had dirt side walks and streets,” Moore says, “then board side walks and on to paved streets and cement side walks to the best town in the state, with the exception, of course, of Healdton, where I have lived for 60 years. This hardy pioneer remembers when he had to get up at 5a.m. and stay up until sunrise to keep the deer and wild turkeys out of their garden and watermelon patch. His father was one of the first subscribers to the Ardmoreite before it became a daily paper. He has missed but a few issues of the paper which he calls “the best in the state”. Mrs. Moore was born near Ardmore in 1889. Her maiden name was WILLIE BLEVINS.
July 23, 1947
I see in your paper of July 17, a letter from J.W. MOORE, of Healdton, claiming to be one of the old-timers of this country. I didn’t think much about being one of the old-timers until I read his letter. Just thought I would drop you a line and tell you I was born two miles north and east of what was then called Dixie in Pickens county, Nov. 16, 1886, about seven miles from where Mr. Moore was born. My father CON GILSTRAP, who came to the Indian Territory in the early 70’s from the state of Texas. Dr. J.A. GORDON of old Healdton was my grandfather, and Dr. W.F. McKNIGHT, who died at new Healdton four or five years ago was my uncle, so I guess I am an old-timer myself. What little education I got was at what was called Cottonwood school house, south and west of old Chagris about six or seven miles, and the old log school house at Dixie. I attended one term of school at old Healdton in 1898. I have been in Oklahoma my entire life, and have “cow-boyed” from the Texas line to the Kansas line. I now live seven miles southeast of Marietta and will be in the Marietta section of your parade July 24. Yours very truly, TOM GILSTRAP, Route 1, Marietta
July 27, 1947
Mrs. J.R. BRADY, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. J.J. EAVES, Pooleville, who were Carter county’s pioneer farmers and cattlemen, remembers moving to Indian Territory from Roanoke, TX, in the moving train was one ox wagon. They landed Dec. 23, 1893, near Elk, I.T., now Pooleville, and the second night after they settled they heard the chickens squall. Her father ran and saw two men on horses leaving. The next morning Mr. Eaves got on a horse with Mrs. Brady behind him and they followed the horse tracks to two log rooms back in the timber on the bank of a creek, and in a coop were their chickens. Mr. Eaves asked what they were doing with his chickens. “We only wanted to have a rooster fight” and he could take his chickens home. And to their surprise this home was the notorious BILL DALTON place. Mrs. Brady says she played in the yard with his children. After this Mr. Eaves was never molested. Mrs. Brady remembers when Bill Dalton was killed. Mrs. Dalton said that was seven times Bill had been killed, but was the first time his body had been cold. Mrs. Brady can also remember there being wild horses on the range. One especially that had its neck broken, a Spanish horse that could only raise its head about two feet from the ground. In the winter Mr. Eaves would carry feed out on the range where the horse could find it, as the range was all open then. Soon it began to come and eat with his horses and even got tame enough for her to pet it. Another incident in her memory was a few days after arriving they missed their friend, a dog they called Ponto. Mr. Eaves hunted all day for him and in about two weeks a letter came from Texas saying Ponto was sitting on the porch, his feet sore, swollen, and bleeding, so stiff he could hardly move. Mr. Eaves saddled his horse and left for TX, swam the Red River and carried the dog home on his horse. But those pioneer days were great character building, and days which the children of today do not have the pleasure of enjoying. Things are too mechanical and not enough of honest to goodness, home loving, home building, and making the living by the sweat of the brow.
I noticed where Ardmore is celebrating her 60th anniversary on July 28, so I will try to be there as I was born near Ardmore in 1881, and lived two miles south of the old coal mines. Spent my boyhood days there and it seems like home to me. My parents are buried in the cemetery there. My father helped to build the road into Ardmore. I hope to meet some of the old timers if any are left. I hope you will give this to the committee on arrangements. E.E. GRAHAM, 727 East Tenth st., Ada, OK
My mother, Mrs. A.F. PYEATT moved to Ardmore, October, 1891, from Denton, TX. My stepfather opened the City Meat Market. My name was ROSS LILES and I was 12 years old at that time. I married L.F. BURTON who was in business there, and is buried in Ardmore. Mrs. MAHLON TAYLOR, Dover, OK
Mrs. FRANK FLOYD, 408 C street southeast, was born in Pickens county, I.T., two miles from Ardmore, Feb. 22, 1890, and has never lived any other place. She remembers when there were no trees from her home to Ardmore.
Here comes an oldtimer! I landed at the old Fayfield ranch near Reck, March 4, 1877, and have seen many changes in this country since then. I was in Ardmore 60 years ago on the twenty eighth day of this month. On July 28, I was married here and raised my family here. My oldest child is 56 and my youngest 44, and all came up the hard way like I did. M. WISCOM.
I want to announce myself as an old timer, a resident of Carter county for 55 years. My husband and I came to Ardmore the day after we were married in Fort Worth in 1892. We have lived in what was Hewitt, I.T., and later, Oklahoma, ever since. My husband, JEFF TODD, was associated with his brothers, DAVE and OTT TODD, in the gin business for many years. My husband and his brothers have passed away but their children are all living in this community. I am the mother of eight children, three of whom have passed away. I have been an invaid for nearly eight years. I am as helpless as a baby, but my mind is still clear and alive to every change and progress that is being made. When I was still able to go to Ardmore, I was amazed at the progress that had been made. I am proud of Ardmore. I like its merchants, its schools and its churches. I think some of the best people on the earth live in Ardmore. I congratulate Ardmore on its 60th birthday and if I were not disabled, I would be there to meet my old-time friends and the many new ones I hope I have made. With happy wishes for a good birthday to Ardmore, I remain. Mrs. LUCY TODD, Wilson, Route 1, Box 151
Agreeable to your request in the Ardmoreite, I can say I was a citizen of your city in the year 1890 and lived there part of 1891. I was sent to Ardmore by Jones and Richardson Lumber dealers of Oklahoma City, and worked in their lumber yard as yard man for their local manager, CHARLEY SAMMONS. The lumber yard was located on Caddo street. If this entitles me to be an old settler of your city, I will be proud, as I know you have a city to be proud of. Yours very truly, E.A. BUTT
I am an old timer here at Healdton. Was born at Healdton, I.T. Nov. 30 1884, 62 years ago, went to school at Iron Top school house when it was a log school house, and my first and only school teacher was the late Senator U.T. REXROAT. I remember I was a little boy helping mother milk the cow early one morning and a panther jumped over in the lot and all the cows ran away except the calf I had tied to a tree. We would go to Ardmore and sell our cotton and it would take two days to go there and back. Ardmore had dirt streets then. I also had to walk three miles to school. CLEVE GORDON, Healdton, OK
Here is another old pioneer, Mrs. H. MORRIS of Healdton. My dad came to Ardmore in 1890, he was JIM HARRIS. I was 12 years old at that time, so I have lived in and around Ardmore ever since. When we came to Ardmore there were just a few log cabins all chinked and dobbed with mud. We came from Laramie county, TX, to the Indian Territory and settled about eight miles from Ardmore and have lived here ever since. My father died 30 years ago and my mother, Mrs. ROSS HARRIS, still lives. She is 91 years old and I am 68, so you can see I am an old pioneer. I love Ardmore, it sure has made a town since we first landed there. My dad lived around Ardmore most all of his life and then moved to Pooleville and there he died. He used to be the constable there, everybody knew him as Uncle JIMMY HARRIS. Mrs. H.C. MORRIS, Healdton
10 years ago from the files of the Daily Ardmoreite July 27, 1927
W.S. SPEARS turned the first shovelful of dirt for the new Orthodox Baptist church. Miss SALLY SMITH left for her home in Utica, NY after visiting Miss BETTY THOMPSON. Mrs. PAUL T. MORRELL and her sister-in-law, Miss MYRTLE MORELL, left for a week’s stay in Dallas. Mrs. JAMES MAY was home from a Dallas trip. Mrs. ISADORE COHEN, Washington, D.C., was the houseguest of Mr. and Mrs. J. ROBISON. Mr. & Mrs. MIKE MADDEN moved to a new home at 322 Twelfth avenue northwest.
20 years ago
Mrs. MERLE McCARTY WEST returned from Oklahoma City where she was called by the fatal illness of her mother. Sheriff FRED HUNT of Tishomingo was in Ardmore on business. Mr. & Mrs. F.T. CREECY and son, EDWARD WAYNE, returned from a vacation with friends and relatives in TX. Miss MITTIE REID was back from a trip to Los Angeles. Miss ANN JACKSON of Oklahoma City was the houseguest of Miss VINITA McCULLOUGH. NEWELL JONES of Los Angeles arrived at the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J.M. JONES. Mrs. ROY BRAZELTON returned to her home in Gainesville, following a visit with her brother-in-law and sister, Mr. and Mrs. M.M. WALLIS.

“I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength, and I stand and watch until at last she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other. Then someone at my side says, ‘There she goes!’ Gone where? Gone from my sight … that is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of destination. Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says, ‘There she goes!’ there are other eyes watching her coming and their voices ready to take up the glad shouts ‘Here she comes!’ -Henry Van Dyke 1852-1933 <—– Click Here

See everyone next time!

Butch Bridges
Lone Grove, Oklahoma


May 6, 2005 – Circulation over 4,000 Vol 9 Issue 432

I received an old fashion letter in the mail this week from Grover Wells. Sometimes I think we are losing something as we wean ourselves away from the old traditional ways of communicating, and lean more and more toward emails, instant messages, and video conferencing. But without these modern day marvels how would I be able to come into your home every week, and visit people all over the country? I couldnt. Without this electronic wonder called email, I would not be able to enjoy (or afford) this communication that reaches 1,000s every week. And without the internet, our paths probably would have never crossed. How all this plays in the end-time I do not know, but I for one appreciate the internet. Its the world’s largest library.

Back to the letter I received in the mail, Grover Wells wanted to pass along info on their upcoming class reunion. I was only a year old when Grover was walking across the stage. Here is the flyer with reunion details and registration form for the September 23rd and 24th event. <—– Click Here

Grover also enclosed in his letter to me the newspaper clipping of his dad’s death back in 1934. When I read the obit, I though what a small world it is. Bert Gaines was a pallbearer and if my memory serves me right, Bert lived at 726 4th NE here in Ardmore with his parents when I was a teen back in the 60s. If this is the same Bert Gaines (first name Virgil comes to my mind too), Bert could take a tree leaf, not just any leaf would do, I think it was an Elm tree leaf, and he’d hold that leaf in his mouth just right, and whistle like a song bird, loud and clear. I know there are several of you out there who will remember Mr. Gaines’ first name, please let me know.

The Daily Ardmoreite, Friday, December 28, 1934
Widely Known Ardmore Man Dies
Grover Wells Passes After Long Illness
Funeral Services Are to be Held at Harvey Bros Chapel Saturday Afternoon at 2:30
Dr. Weith Will Conduct Rites
Wells Was Former Commissioner; Former Member of Board of Education
Grove S. Wells, 405 F Street NE, passed away shortly after noon Friday after an illness of several years. Services will be held at Harvey Bros chapel at 2:30 o’clock Saturday with the Rev C.C. Weith, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, as one of the officiating ministers. Wells had been unable to work for the past year and collapsed a week ago. Pall bearers will be Paul Bringman of Gainesville, Texas, Ashburn Williams, Hugo Stromberg, Gordon Brown, Will Frasher and Bert Gaines. All of Wells friends are honorary pallbearers. Survivors are: His wife; mother, Mrs. M.J. Wells; three children, Kenneth Lora Alice and Grover Wells Jr.; the following sisters: Mrs Lynn Egelston, Mrs H.L. James of Tulsa, Mrs. Earl Ferrell of Oklahoma City, Mrs. R. P. Tefft of Los Angeles, and Mrs. H.G. Archibald of Aniheim, Cal; two aunts, Mrs. Will Fraley, and Mrs. C.E. Fraley.

Born in Texas. Wells, who was born in Texas September 24, 1894, had lived in Ardmore since babyhood. He had been associated with Hudson-Houston Lumber company for many years and in the lumber business for 24 years. Wells was a former city commissioner, a former member of the school board and an active scout worker. For 21 years Wells had been a member of the Calvary Presbyterian Church, of which he served as treasurer for several years.

There are several Wells mentioned in the Mailbag below. Maybe Grover will let us know if he’s kin to any of them.

I received another surprise in the mail this week. Jerry Summy is the driving force behind’s website. Horntown, Oklahoma is in Hughes county and Jerry has built a very impressive site for Horntown history and Moss school info. If anyone wants one of these Horntown pens, drop by and I’ll give you one (but I’m keeping one. lol). Looks like they have a reunion coming up on May 28th! <—– Click Here <—– Click Here

Sometimes I get an email that puts me aback. Here is one I received last week: QUESTION: “Butch, I am sure you have a favorite recipe for your smoothies. Would you care to share it?”

ANSWER: I have tried several varieties, but my favorite is just three ingredients. A few heaping tablespoons of strawberries, one banana and about 7 or 8 ice cubes, all mixed up in a blender!

I received an email this week from England. They had been viewing my webcam I had pointed at the Ladies Garden Center last Saturday evening, and asked if that was a milk truck sitting by the curve. I guess in a round about way, it might be. lol <—– Click Here

Speaking of emails, here is one I received this week that may lead us to be a very valuable piece of Ardmore history. “in the July 27, 1947 Daily Ardmoreite a man, Ben Scott Sr., has drawn out a map of Ardmore about 1892-1893 per his recollections.”

Here is something I ran across on at a garage sale last weekend. Its a ceramic coffee mug imprinted with Jerrys Gun Shop of Ardmore on the sides. Maybe Stephen knows when this mug was produced??? <—– Click Here <—– Click Here

Here’s a picture of Ardmore’s Robison Opera House. <—– Click Here

This is a pic of the American Flyers life vest. AF was located at the Ardmore Air Park. <—– Click Here

And here is a piece of Ardmore history. Its a flour sifter imprinted with Pugh See Company on it. The company was located at 133 Caddo. <—– Click Here

I’m in the market for a couple of things. First, I would like to find an antenna of some kind, like TV or HAM radio or whatever, that I can put beside my house to put a webcam on top of. If you have or know of one, let me know. Also, I… well…. I cant think what the second thing was right now. Boy, I know there was something else…. lol

If you want to know what your IP address is, you can go to the MS DOS Prompt box and type in IPCONFIG (WinXP) or WINIPCFG (Win98). But when you’re on the internet here’s the easiest way to find out your computer’s IP address. <—– Click Here

Ever wonder how fast your computer is when on the Net? Run a free speed test here. <—– Click Here Here is my cableone’s speed test I ran on a couple of evenings this week. <—– Click Here <—– Click Here

Here is something to check for on your computer. Do that CONTROL-ALT-DEL thing and look in the Processes Running box for the word ptsnooper. If you see ptsnooper, right-click on it and stop it. Then do some research on the net for that word. Its something you probably won’t running on your computer.

When I sent out my T&T last week, over 90 of them that went to my 150 AOL subscribers, bounced back to me. This is about the 4th time the past year this has happened. The other times I would call AOL tech support and get it problem fixed, but its too much of a hassle. Takes a couple of hours on the phone to get a problem corrected on their end, caused by AOL’s spam catcher. Its a funny thing to me after 9 years, AOL now thinks my T&T is spam. lol. Now I know why I dropped AOL for my internet service over 10 years ago. Anyway, if you use AOL and dont get my T&T, I suggest you calling them to fix the problem. Also you can go to the link below and read my T&T online. <—– Click Here

The four months I’ve been using for my internet, their virus catching software has been doing a great job. I’ve noticed the past 4 days, about 30 or more virus laden emails a day have been blocked from my Inbox by their software. A few days ago I had only been seeing about 10 a day. I sure hope everyone has up to date virus checking software.

A friend let me see some video they took near Madill, Oklahoma just a couple of days ago. This is really a historical find, and if you didnt live in that area of Marshall county, you’d never know this piece of history existed. It’s way out in the middle of nowhere. I’ll try to get it on my computer, then on to my website for viewing in a few days. More on this in my next T&T.


“hey butch you probably have loads of people already telling you this but that is a Robin’s egg, i find them in my pasture all the time, they are a really pretty egg. the robin will lay up to four or five and wait to incubate them till all the eggs are laid. most birds will lay eggs till they get the entire clutch which could last for a long time if you keep taking the eggs, but a robin will lay on four or five (almost only four).” a href=” “> <—– Click Here
“That was a Robin’s egg. Can’t find a prettier blue anywhere, can ya?”
Flying L Ranch Quartet members in the movie “Home in Oklahoma” with Roy Rogers. a href=” “> <—– Click Here
“Three early photo’s of SantaFe cut, Crusher and fishermen…. two miles south of Dougherty, Oklahoma on the Washita river.” a href=” “> <—– Click Here a href=” “> <—– Click Here a href=” “> <—– Click Here
“Hi Butch, I’m doing a personal project on Ardmore’s history and wonder if anyone could help me with Central Park, when it was founded and by whom.The building or pavilion in the center is what I am most curious about, when it was built and for what purpose. Another thing I would like to know is when Whittington Park was founded and the big pool across the street which was filled in and a playground erected to my dismay and many others of my generation and older — this I know for a fact. I spent many hours of my childhood and early teenaged years picnicking in the park, swimming in that glorious pool and roller skating above the bathhouse. To me and others it was a paradise and I was sorry that my children never got to experience it. Now the skating rink is in the NW, the community pool in the NE and Whittingtom Park is a thing of the past. It’s still there, yes, but nothing like it used to be, and as far as I am concerned it was the biggest mistake Ardmore ever made. How many of your readers agree with me?” -Mary Dube
“Hi Butch, I use AOL as my server so I called AOL. I talked to “Colby” at AOL about your problem with AOL service/members. I gave them the complete run down on yours and my disappointments with AOL’s service. My Case # is 152188844. Colby said that I could NOT do anything to insure that I would receive your newsletters. Only you can give AOL your “I P” number (not you e-mail address) and if you would give AOL my Case Number in order for AOL to analyze and correct this situation. My response to Colby was that I would do what you did 10 years ago. Also, I told him that over 150 T&T subscribers would probable follow suit if AOL does not correct their system ASAP and authorize your Newsletters to go thru AOL. One suggestion: If in your next T&T if you could add the following suggest to the AOL subscriber”s list to do: (6. Get a Case # when you make a complaints and send the Case number to you with the Time and Date of the complaint. Complaint Case Numbers are annotated documented that AOL uses to correct their problems. I am also having trouble with AOL when I send out my Newsletters on Hughes & Butler Surname DNA Projects. I don’t think I have an “I P” number because I do not know what it is. What is it? Maybe we both can force AOL to do better or I will follow in you old tracks. Thanks for your hard work in making hundreds of people/subscribers happy all over USA.” -Al Hughes
“I can remember back to about 1933 or 34 and my family would load up the Model A with food and kin folks and go to the river for an outing. I can remember being at Tucks Ferry, seems like wading the river over to the ferry boat. It stayed on the Oklahoma side when idle. The river was no higher than now. People had graded off enough sand to make a passable path down to load the ferry. We would spend the day playing in the water, eating, getting burned to a crisp.Lots of fun. I would be afraid to do that now, we encountered quick sand but was aware of the perils and kept on the move.”
“Butch, The two books by Voncille Shipley mentioned in last weeks T&T are great books. I’ve read them both just lately.If you like books about Okla. I highly recommend them.” -Minnie Lou Whittington
“Dr. J.L. Cox in 1937. I know he delivered many of us.” a href=” “> <—– Click Here
“Hey Man, I just gots to tell ya that I really enjoy the T and T. Please, Keep it coming. Thanks a million.” -Scott Bumgarner, Sherman, TX
“Hi, I found a lot of interesting things in this issue. I especially was thrilled to learn that these Empress trees are what I had been trying to find out about for 2 years. I was in Tenn. and N. Carolina when they were all in bloom and no-one could tell me their name. That buffalo is beautiful. Too bad all of them can’t be like that, there are some pretty ugly ones around OKC. Keith, I enjoyed seeing the house of Dr. Hathaway too. I thought the Dr. that delivered all of us kids lived in Milo. Did we have different doctors? Butch I must put on at least a pound with every newsletter. You make me hungry with all the good tips about the food places. lol lol Keep them coming. All the letters are good!” -Nellie Combe, Shawnee, home of the original Hamburger King
“Hi Butch, Finally I have a story about one of your letters, When my mother In Law was a Youngster Her family moved down on the Standfield Ranch right across the Red River from Ryan Oklahoma, she has mentioned the Ferry going across down by Terral and when we were last down there we saw a sign for the crossing out on one of the dirt roads on the Texas side of the River, I can’t recall the name right now. Here is a little story she tell’s about there stay on the Standfeild Ranch and crossing the Red River in a wagon.

By Sybil Maxine Tate
“When I was about 12 or 13 in about 1925, we moved from Ashland to the Standfield Ranch, along with Uncle Lem, Aunt Ida and their kids, just across the river (Red River) from Ryan, Oklahoma. Papa and Uncle Lem went to work on the ranch share cropping and would grow cotton there on the land allotted to them. Papa would make us kids work out in the cotton fields pickin cotton, it was hard back breaking work and dad would get us girls up before daylight to work in the fields , He’d always say “lets bust it girls”, he was real hard on us sometimes. One day out in The fields my sister Fern decided she just could not do it anymore, she tied that full sack of cotton around her neck dragging it like she was gonna choke herself, she looked a sight dragging that cotton sack around her neck, and it didn’t do the job cause she survived it fine. Us kids would pick up pecans in tow sacks for him to sell too, there was a lot of paper shells around there down the hill by the Red River. When it was time, he would load it up in the wagon and take off across the river to Ryan to sell it, he’d stay gone so long drinking and such, it would be way into the night before got home, papa would get so drunk he’d pass out in the wagon and the old team would just come on home. We would here the wagon coming back down the road along time before it got there, and when he got there he always brought back lots of supplies and plenty of candy for us kids. We Could also hear the Texas Special (Train) that runs along side the river there to. Papa decided that it was not to profitable sharecropping there so after about a year or so we went back to McAlester, and Uncle Lem (TATE) and Aunt Ida (GRIFFITH) stayed on there.”

Many times she had told this story and has very fond memories of her time on the Stanfeild Ranch. Also if any of your readers or you run across an article about the shooting of James Martin Sept 10 1906 in Oswalt I sure would appreciate info on it, He was shot by Eldridge Gasoway, John Banks and Bill Adherholt according to family stories. As always continue to be fascinated by your Newsletter. -Linda Hamner
“Butch, I think Devil’s Den is now private property. I would love to go back there, as I have a lot of good memories of going there as a kid. I was fascinated by all the old legends about the place. If I remember correctly, in one of the caves the skeleton of a man and a mountain lion were found, along with an old gun. If that’s not the way it was, it sure makes a good story! We had several great picnics there with aunts, uncles and cousins. All of us kids climbed all over the huge boulders, swam in the creek and got sunburns that make me cringe even now.”
“I have mixed feelings about seeing the picture of Doc Hathaway’s office in Lone Grove. It is a bit nostalgic, but I keep remembering a sore throat, a needle the size of a pencil, and my bare behind.” -Chuck <—– Click Here
“Hi Butch, Always enjoy This and That since getting hooked several months ago. Does anyone remember Marcus and Nora Austin who attended school at Zanies or their parents who worked for an oil company there in Carter County?”
“Butch, from time to time I’ve shared some of my WWII Models with you and your readers. Here is the one I did of WWII Veteran, Senator, and one time Presidential Candidate Robert “Bob” Dole. It is on display at the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas through June. I had the pleasure of being invited to his book signing there last Tuesday and got to present the model to him. We were also given a private “white glove tour” of the Dole Archives in the basement which houses all of his documents, photos, gifts etc. from his first day in office through the building of the WWII National Monument in D.C. He was promoting his new book ONE SOLDIER’S STORY. This is a great book that chronicles his time in the Army and recovery from his injury. This was truly the best moment I’ve had in this modeling hobby.” -Bryan Pullen <—– Click Here <—– Click Here <—– Click Here <—– Click Here <—– Click Here
Ran across this (1966 survivor Nicholas Joseph Leone) while trying to locate Jeff Wilkinson’s email address. Thought you would like to know of it.” <—– Click Here
“recently read in article about how things that had happened on caddo in the 1950s. I remember some of the things the person was speaking of, in fact the person spoke of a woman barber, on the street but could not remember her name. I do remember the name, it was Lee Wood and she told me that her husband was killed watching or was involved in a gun fight, not sure of the circumstances but seems like his name was Jess Wood or Woods.”
“Hi Butch, I had written you about the McMillan, Oklahoma School Bell sometime back and you were going to try to get down & get a Picture. Don’t know if you did or not, so thought I would send you one. This Bell had been stored out in the pasture behind Arville Saxon’s home after it was removed from the School building several years ago. I had talked to Mr. Saxon about putting it out in front of the old school, now Community Center. He was in poor health & passed away before we got it done. His Son J.A. took over his Dad’s volunteer duties in the Community, so I approached him and sent him some pictures of a Bell in front of the Chisholm Trail Museum at Waurika, & I thought that would be a good way to display it. To my great surprise, last May at the McMillan Homecoming, he & his Son had installed it. I couldn’t have been more proud & I know his Dad and my Dad & Mother, Melvin & Iva (Harrell) Gardner, all started school there about 1914, would be equally proud. Thanks for letting me share this information. I do so enjoy your weekly T&T’s.” -Tawana (Gardner) Fleming <—– Click Here <—– Click Here
“Wilson has a fledgling museum that is really nice for its size and very interesting. As most of you know museums survive on grants and donations. It is now time, once again, for them to apply for their grant. The size of the grant depends partly on the amount of visitors they have in the month of May. Please stop by and sign in even if you only have a minute. There are some real treasures here. Along with some wonderful museum displays are: Obituary notebooks. The books are alphabetized and have the obits from the Wilson Post from 1914 to present day. There are also obits from the Daily Ardmoreite and other area newspapers if they pertain to a Wilsonite. Genealogy books done by families in the Wilson area. There are also note books with articles about the oil field and the towns of Hewitt and Wilson. School albums and notebooks with old articles on the local schools. There are also books too numerous to mention which house articles from the Wilson Posts of the past.” -Melinda Taylor
The Daily Ardmoreite, July 27, 1947
Mrs. G.W. WELLS writes: My parents brought me to the territory in 1895 from Tennessee, and I have lived in and around Ardmore ever since. I have really seen Ardmore grow, for when we came, Westheimer and Daube’s was just a plank store with a blue front, and there wasn’t a street paved. Caddo street was really a mess when it rained. I now live in Springer.
Editor: Here is another old-timer. I came here in April, 1900. I’ll say this much, the town has really changed in more ways than one in the past 47 years. Thanks a lot for letting me in on this. Sincerely, Mrs. CHARLIE ATKINSON, 314 Fourth Avenue NW
Dear Ardmoreite: Sorry to be so late in registering for your list of old timers. I grew up with this town, the best on earth. Came here in 1895 (very young and tender, of course) with my parents, Mr. and Mrs. W.R. BURNITT. My father has gone, only lived to see Ardmore grow into a fine town and he loved it. FAY BURNITT BAKER
To the Daily Ardmoreite: I have lived in and around Ardmore since 1886 when my parents moved here in covered wagons–four wagons and one buggy, two of the wagons drawn by yoke and oxen and two wagons drawn by two large horses. To this Indian Territory, my father brought 200 cattle from East Texas. Ardmore always seems like home to me. JEWEL J. KING, Mannsville
My mother, Mrs. CORA FORBES is an early settler in Southern Oklahoma, having come here in 1880. She attended Indianola Business college in 1898 in Ardmore. MRS. LETA FAYE ANDERSON, Marietta, OK
WILLIE J. SMITH, cattle buyer, now living at 1424 A street northeast, was born on Hoxbar ranch, Jan. 24, 1890. The first trip to town that he remembers was in an ox wagon with his father, the late W.G. SMITH. He drove one horse and one ox to the wagon. Mr. Smith moved to Ardmore at an early age and has lived here since, except for about six months spent in Gainesville, TX. Mr. Smith remembers visiting the old Iron Store east of the Santa Fe tracks which was the beginning of Daube’s store. He recalls many things that happened while Ardmore grew. Mrs. Willie J. Smith, the former MARY ELVA GULLEDGE, came to Ardmore with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. T.A. GULLEDGE, in 1894, in a covered wagon. She remembers most of all the board side walks and the water well on main street where every one drew water for the stock before taking them to the wagon yard. Mr. and Mrs. Smith met and were married in 1907 and have made their home in Ardmore rearing their four children here. They feel proud of Ardmore and are happy that their children have chosen Ardmore to be their home. Sincerely, A READER
We moved from Woodline, TX to Lone Grove, I.T. on Dec. 23, 1892 and have lived within 45 miles of Ardmore all of these years. I could talk a lot, but talking will get you in jail. ARTHUR FLETCHER
More old timers are the N.A. CARDWELL family, who came to the Indian Territory in 1887. They came from Wise county, TX, near Greenwood, to Gainesville, in a covered wagon, then on to Ardmore on a freight train, riding in the caboose. The oldest boy drove the wagon on to Ardmore. On the same train with the Cardwells was the late Mrs. IDA SCALES CHANDLER and her family. The Cardwells settled one and one-half miles west of town, near the old SHUMAN florist. The family has lived in and near Ardmore practically ever since. One daughter, Mrs. JOHN W. BOUCHER, lived in Clovis, NM two years, and another daughter Mrs. OSCAR WHITEHURST, lived in FL two years. Mrs. JOHN GRIFFIS and family live three miles northeast of town, and one son, TOM, lives three miles west of town. The other son and daughter live in Ardmore. They get together once a year and talk over old times. MRS. LELAND JONES, Lone Grove
Another old timer, CHARLIE ROBERTS, landed at the 700 Ranch, Sept. 4, 1882, and has been here and around close ever since. He lives five miles north of Lone Grove now and will be 81 Sept 4.
Mrs. MARY D. (MAYSE) WELLS came to I.T. in 1893 and has lived in and around Ardmore since that time. ANDY M. MAYSE her uncle, came to Berwyn, I.T. in 1889. He now lives here in Ardmore and is 86 years young. He worked as a carpenter until a few years ago. He makes his home with his daughter, Mrs. W.F. BARNES, and hopes to be able to attend the birthday celebration. Mrs. E.C. WELLS, 904 B Street Northeast.
Gentlemen: Our radio newscaster advises that you desire the names of people who settled in Ardmore prior to 1897 to be honored at your old timers celebration, July 28. I respectfully suggest to you the name of SUMMERS HARDY, my father, who came to Ardmore in 1891 with my grandfather and his family. Members of the HENRY HARDY family survivors are: CORNELIUS HARDY, Ardmore, R.D. HARDY, Dallas, ABBY HARDY, Little Rock, Mrs. DOLLY HUFF, nw of Ardmore, Miss MINNIE HARDY, nw of Ardmore, Mrs. JEFF HENDERSON, Paris, TX, Mrs. WILLIE GLENN, now of Ardmore. It is my understanding that this family owned a portion of downtown Ardmore. I hope this information will assist you in your old timers celebration. MILTON W. HARDY

We’ve gotta get out of this place
if it’s the last thing we ever do
We’ve gotta get out of this place
Girl there’s a better life for me and you

-The Animals, July 1965

See everyone next time!

Butch Bridges
Lone Grove, Oklahoma