PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402
Email: [email protected], Phone: 580-490-6823
In the last few issues of T&T there has been several mentions of Tater Hill east of Ardmore. Tater Hill is located 3 miles south of Dickson, Oklahoma on Dickson Road, and then a little back west on Tater Hill Road. As we’ve read in past T&Ts, Kirk Holley Smith grew up at Tater Hill and I’m sure he’s got some more info and stories he can pass along to everyone next week. Last week Kirk talked about wanting to fix up a mess of fried okra in Montana where he lives now. Folks up there don’t even know what fried okra looks like, much less that delicious taste when its fried. I can hardly wait until summer when okra is in season, and Jill can fix me up a mess of it. Boy, ain’t life grand….. we got it made here in Oklahoma when it comes to good old home style southern cooking.
The link below is a topographical view of Tater Hill. Tater Hill is near the very bottom, marked in red with an arrow pointing east pointing to the circle… that’s Tater Hill.
Below is a satellite view of Tater Hill. You will see Dickson, Oklahoma in the upper right hand corner. Just above Tater Hill (Tater Hill is in red) is the word Provence. The little white square just to the right of the word Provence is Provence Cemetery.
There is a method to my madness, and the reason I brought up Tater Hill today is because that is the point on which some Ardmore people watched, and what many people thought were flying saucers for several hours one evening back in 1965. In fact, there were many others who watch this event that night all over southern Oklahoma. Law enforcement phones were jammed with callers wanting to know what was going on. Jets were even dispatched from Perrin AFB in Sherman to check out the reports, but by the time they arrived in the area, there was nothing to be found. Ardmoreite Jack Thompson was one of the first to call in and report the flying objects, as many as 8 of them. He watched saucers through his telescope at his cabin on top of Tater Hill. Below is a pic of the cabin on Tater Hill as it looks today. Few people even remember this evening of August 7, 1965, even though it made headlines in all the newspapers the next day. Below is a link to what I believe is the cabin on top of Tater Hill from which the Thompsons watched the UFOs. Maybe someone can tell us for sure if this is the cabin.
So what did hundreds, maybe several thousand people in southern Oklahoma see in the sky that evening? Optical allusions? Secret government flying machines? Visitors from outer space? I guess we will never know, but we do know it was not just one person, but many who saw them flying around. To read all about this unbelievable story from 1965 just follow the link below. Also, I tried to find a website that would tell the elevation of Tater Hill, but could never find that info on the web. Maybe someone else can??? I have a GPS that gives that information in its display, guess I need to do some traveling east and get a reading.
A Reader sent an email this week to tell about a website dedicated to Russett, Oklahoma. The website’s creator is Larry Wilcox. The little community of Russett is located on Highway 1 between Mannsville and Ravia. Also, back in 2002 a Reader in Kansas by the name of Paula (Stout??) had a webpage dedicated to Russett, Oklahoma. But that link is now a non-working link, so I guess Paula has taken down her webpage or moved it somewhere else??
Below is an interesting email I received this week from a Reader. I will let everyone know how this project comes along in future T&Ts: “I was thinking about building a Google Earth overlay of the old schools of Ardmore and Carter County in my spare time. (Don’t tell my wife that I have any spare time.) The resolution in Google Earth of the eastern half of Carter County is very poor right now, but they are constantly improving these things as the images become available. I seem to remember that you were compiling the locations. Is that information available and would there be a problem using the pictures that you have on your website?” http://earth.google.com
All I can say about earth.google.com after installing the program is Wow! Now to learn about all that’s available and features when using the program.
Below is the content I received in an email this week. What a valuable database of historical information the county clerk in Oklahoma County as turned her volumes of files into….. and I look forward to the day when all counties in Oklahoma have done the same. Yippee! By the way, you do have to register at the county clerk’s website in Oklahoma City to access the database, but searching is free!
Oklahoma County Records Available
Online at No Charge Dating Back to 1889
The project is in its final stages, and when completed, all Oklahoma County land records from 1889 to present will be available online to the public at no charge. The county so far has electronically scanned and indexed 8,650,000 pages of land records for Oklahoma County. Prior to this time, the oldest record on the Oklahoma County’s on-line site was dated 1991. All told, there is now approximately 17 million pages available.
A few years ago the state legislature passed a bill requiring all Oklahoman’s to pay a $5 Records Preservation Fee each time an instrument is filed in a County Clerk’s office. Title 28, of the Oklahoma Statutes, Section 32C became effective in July 2001 and states that “for the purpose of preserving, maintaining, and archiving recorded instruments including, but not limited to, records management, records preservation, automation, modernization, and related lawful expenditures, in addition to all other fees required by law, the county clerk shall collect Five Dollars ($5.00) for each instrument recorded with the Registrar of Deeds.”
To date, Oklahoma County is the only county who has digitized records going back to before statehood. It may not only be a first in Oklahoma, but also a first nationwide. The project took three years to complete due to extensive planning and organizing all the records. The entire cost of the project is estimated around $2.2 million. In order to accomplish this massive undertaking Oklahoma County Clerk Carolynn Caudill saved up the document fees until she had enough money to go out for bid to obtain a qualified vendor.
The real estate industry, in recent years, has indicated an interest in being able to conduct transactions electronically. Now it looks as if that day is here — we always thought the county office would be the holdup. All six Oklahoma County Abstract Companies-have-agreements with Oklahoma County under the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act to file paper documents electronically. The County Clerk’s Office receives and files “paperless” tax liens from the Oklahoma State Tax Commission in a pure electronic form. The Oklahoma County Clerk’s Office has been filing pure electronic Uniform Commercial Code documents this way since 2001. However, before other transactions go paperless the issue of electronic signatures is still of concern and the Secretary of State’s Office has indicated that rules need to be adopted to move the possibility of electronic signatures forward.
As a point of interest, the old records that have just been put online contain many historic documents that tell the story of Oklahomans who settled here or who had an interest in Oklahoma. Some of the records contain the signatures of famous people who had connections to Oklahoma County. John Wayne is one such celebrity. How did John Wayne have a connection in Oklahoma County? It was through his daughter Mary Antonia (Toni) Morrison LaCava who lived here with her husband Donald LaCava. They purchased a home in the Biltmore Estates subdivision on June 10, 1959. They sold their home on April 29, 1961 and held the mortgage of the new owners. Don LaCava assigned the real estate mortgage to his father-in-law, John Wayne, on July 15, 1963. The mortgage was subsequently paid off and John Wayne signed the release on May 13, 1966. Other celebrities include Gene Autry, Joseph Kennedy and Cecil B. Demille. You can obtain the Oklahoma County’s records online (must register) at http://www. oklahomacounty.org in the left margin.
Jill and I were at Ada this past weekend doing some looking around. I snapped some pics of the Holnam cement plant on the south side of Ada. It once had the longest conveyor belt in the world, but that long mechanical belt is all gone now. The conveyor belt ran south all the way to Roff, Oklahoma and then some. It carried the limestone and rock used in making the portland cement to the plant there in Ada. Here are two pictures of the Ada Cement Plant.
With over a inch and one-half of rain over the weekend, there was plenty of water gushing for Turner Falls and filling Honey Creek. What a beautiful sight.
I even snapped a picture of the radio towers on top of the hill south of Turner Falls. I’m sure someone can tell us what these towers are used for and maybe what companies use them.
In November 2004 I received a phone call from a lady in Arkansas who had gone to a garage sale and there in a box was a bunch of old photographs. In the box were photos of a family from Ardmore, Oklahoma. She contacted me in hopes that someone would recognize the name Pierman, and she could find family members to give the photographs to. Well, this week the daughter of the Piermans ran across the 2004 article and would like to talk to the lady in Arkansas if she can be found. Here is the follow-up email from the lady in Arkansas back in 2004:
“From information put together from other photos (out of the many that I have), Paul Pierman may be the father of David Paul, who was 8 days old in May 1941. Other children may have included Judy (born August 9, 1948) and perhaps David Ralph Pierman who was age 2 in 1949 — and I’m wondering if David Paul died before the birth of David Ralph (simply because of the repetition of names). I also thought “Jack” (named in the fifth photo) could also be Paul’s son, but I find no other reference to him. Paul’s wife may have been named Maude… again, a guess. Other family names –MAY– include Dorothy, Linnie, Bill, and an Aunt Winnie. Other photos include a Hugh Vitterman Marker (born 1898); and in another photo, MAYBE his father, a William F. (possibly Franklin) Marker — maybe the “Bill” mentioned above. William Marker is pictured in another photo with an Edward W. (probably Warren) Stocker — as two “dapper” young men, in January 1894 at the University of Illinois, School of Architecture. Another photo leads me to believe that Edward W. Stocker died on September 16, 1894, just eight months later.” Click Here Click Here Click Here Click Here Click Here
Well, guess what? After 29 days, that I know for sure, the birds are back in my neighbor! Had plenty of them eating out of our bird feeder this week.
MAILBAG“Butch,I bet you’ve played WaHoo. My cousin Chuck sells the board game online.” -Jayson Pruitthttp://wahoogames.com/
“Butch this was a vacant house west of Ratliff City on Thursday I guess it was faster to burn it than tear it down.” -Doug Williamshttps://oklahomahistory.net/ttphotos7a/RatliffCityHouseBurn.jpg
“As a child in Ardmore our ritual after church on Sunday was to dine at Priddy’s restaurant which became Eden’s later. It was there that I was “educated” about the educated hamburger. This was late 40’s, early 50’s. I was always torn between the educated burger and Priddy’s chicken salad sandwich, both of which I thought were the best on earth. And they WERE good!!” -Penny Phipps Powhatan
“Hi Butch, Hope all is ok with you and your wonderful wife. I thought you might be interested in an article in this month’s edition of Hemmings classic car. You can’t reprint it because of copywrite stuff but maybe your Ardmore readers remember a Lewis C. Markley of Ardmore, who in 1953 won a first prize of an unrestored 1930 Lincoln LeBaron convertible (worth about $500 in 1953) for sending in the winning entry in a contest sponsored by MOTOR TREND MAGAZINE, defining what a “Classic Automobile” is. His four paragraph answer was really well written. Does anyone remember Mr. Markley and his 1930 Lincoln convertible, sounds like quite a distinctive prize to drive around the Arbuckles in to me.” -John in Joliet, Illinois
“Tonkawa Massacre in 1862 in now Anadarko, OK.” -Patricia Adkins-Rochette
Q: “Butch where did Dwane Stevens get that map that has section, township and ranges?”A: http://www.topozone.com/
Get out of your cell phone contract. http://cellswapper.com
“Butch, the structure that “Jeepshadow” referred to in Whittington Park is probably where the kiddie wading pool was. I and 78 years old and I can remember going there as a very young child. Later I took my children there to play in the pool. The pool deteriorated and was filled in with dirt. I don’t remember just when this happened but probably after they opened the new swimming pool on 3rd. N.E.” -Frances Dunlap
“Butch: The book that your reader inquired about, Indian Territory and Carter County Pioneers, is available at the Greater SW History Museum in Ardmore unless they have sold out in the past few months.”
Build a Family Tree Online. http://www.geni.com/
“I found a cool item on Ebay. It is an aerial photo CD covering Carter County, Okla. Once you load it on your computer you can zoom in on any part of Carter County. The photos are in color and were made in 2006. All of the free aerial photos I have used on the net are at least 5 years old and sometimes ten or more years old. A nice viewer comes with it. For any of your readers that might be interested, the item number is, # 270061545355. (Just do a search with this number on the Ebay search page)”http:www.ebay.com
“This Land is Made For You and Me” (need Quicktime Player to listen) (another toe tapper) http://www.okielegacy.net/podcast/Site/Podcast/BFCEC6DB-059E-4A5C-B434-2F13F3E319D9.html
“I was wondering if you and your readers had any information about the old Wheeler school? I have
enjoyed reading your newsletter and browsing through your website. Thank you.” -John [email protected]
THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND
words and music by Woody Guthrie 1940
This land is your land, this land is my land
From California, to the New York Island
From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me
As I was walking a ribbon of highway
I saw above me an endless skyway
I saw below me a golden valley
This land was made for you and me
I’ve roamed and rambled and I’ve followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me
The sun comes shining as I was strolling
The wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
The fog was lifting a voice come chanting
This land was made for you and me
As I was walkin’ – I saw a sign there
And that sign said – no tress passin’
But on the other side …. it didn’t say nothin!
Now that side was made for you and me!
In the squares of the city – In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office – I see my people
And some are grumblin’ and some are wonderin’
If this land’s still made for you and me.
See everyone next week!
Butch and Jill Bridges
PO Box 11
Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402
Save on long distance calls, just a couple cents a minute!
Best Web Hosting: https://oklahomahistory.net/webhosting.htm
Oklahoma Bells: https://oklahomahistory.net/bellpage.html
American Flyers Memorial Fund – Administration Webpage
Official American Flyers Memorial Website
Ardmore Army Air Field/Ardmore Air Force Base Website
Mirror Site of the Ardmore Army Air Field/Ardmore Air Force Website
Carter county schools, past and present
Carter County Government Website
All previous issues of This & That can be found on my Website.
Feel free to forward this free newsletter. Mailouts: over 1,500.
To be removed from my T&T mailings, just send me an email.
I do not sell, trade or give my mailing list to anyone for any reason.