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Vol 11  Issue 552  August 23, 2007

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

Email: butchbridges@oklahomahistory.net, Phone: 580-490-6823

I received an email this week from Mike West that was chocked full of history about several old Ardmore area grocery stores about 50 years ago. When I was looking through some of the old Ardmore phone books at the Ardmore library, I noticed that back in the 20’s and 30’s it seemed like there was ‘ma and pa’ grocery on nearly every block in this town.  My how things have changed.  As a teen when I had a motorcycle I’d stop in at Shugg West’s grocery store east of town and get a soda pop or something.  Then when I started working at the ambulance service, I made trips to the Shugg West (1902-1988) home next door to the store when his health was failing. He always had a good story to tell me.  Anyway, below is the email Mike sent this week:“You might wish to add “The Shug West Grocery” which was located on the former Highway 70 (now Highway 199) about 5 miles east of Ardmore in Dripping Springs. The first store, a small sheet iron building, was built in 1945 just after the war. My father had worked as a fireman at the airbase in Gene Autry.

The second store, which still stands but not much longer,  was built directly behind that first sheet iron store. The second store was built about 1957. The building will be torn down when highway 199 is widened. The first store still stands in SE Ardmore not far from Hardy Murphy Coliseum.There is/was the old Red Everett store south of Dickson near old Wilson. I think it is still standing. You would have to check.

There were two old stores near Caldwell’s Hill. One at the corner of what we called Homer Duke Rd. on the north side of the intersection of 199 and Provence Rd. The other across the 199 on the south side. I think a man by the name of Norton ran the store on the north side of 199 at Provence Rd.If you continue north on the Homer Duke/Provence Rd. for about 1-1.5 miles you will come to the old Blackjack School. Almost directly west across the road from the old school about an eighth of mile on the bank of Sand Creek is the old Blue Hole Store.

Another old store was on the north side of 199 east of the Noble Foundation and west of the Gene Autry road. I can still remember it. I was told that it was at this store that Harvey Bailey got gasoline and drove off without paying for it. He along with the Ft. Worth police officer were caught in Ardmore.There were several stores in or near Baum, Oklahoma. The Cochrans owned a store just on the north side of the Washita bridge near Baum. I think it was on the west side of the road. I also remember one in Baum.

I remembered another store in Dripping Springs. It is located west of my folks old store. It is on the northside of 199 about an eighth of a mile. I don’t recall who owned it.

I mentioned the Blue Hole Store. It was quite old when my daddy was a young boy. My father was born in 1902. I used to hunt arrowheads around where it was located. When I learned that it was there, I started looking for its remains. I found an old well, numerous blacksmith castoffs, and some foundation stones.I don’t know who owns the property now. Walter Gant had it then.

I hope this adds to your list. I was born at the Hardy Sanitarium in 1948. I still have the old fan my dad bought for me and my mother because it was so hot in the building. I was born in June.There were several stores in Provence but that was before my time. I do remember the location of one of the Post Office structures. Berwyn had a number of stores. I can remember one or two of them. Long before my father died, he and I sat down together and I had him to go back in his mind to remember the layout of the town when he was a boy. I took an old box top and sketched it as he spoke. I will try to find it and draw it onto a better piece of paper.

My uncle, O. D. Thomas, owned and operated the Berwyn Mercantile until he sold it. I believe he sold it to my uncle, Marion Fowler. Marion and my aunt Emma later owned a grocery in Lone Grove. Their Lone Grove store was on the northside of highway 70 on the western edge of town.”  -Mike P. West

Last week we told about an iron plant stand Jill found at a junk store just east of the Roosevelt Bridge at Lake Texoma.  This week an email came in, and it knocked my socks off.  JoAnn Ricks’ kinfolk was probably the maker of it!

“The plant stand that you and Jill found was possibly made by my grandfather between 1940 and 1956 in Payne County, Mullhall, OK. He made several of them and sold them to his neighbors and friends. I have one exactly like the one Jill refinished. I sure would love to have her redo mine, but it’s a bit too heavy to send from California. I was shocked to see a picture of the 3 pot planter. My grandfather, Herman P. Bishop made these holders for one pot, two pots, 3 pots and he made two of them for 5 pots but he found they weren’t sturdy enough so he didn’t make anymore. What a small world this really is! Some day I’m going to get to meet you when I come to OK for our family reunion in May. I’m so happy to see the picture of the 3 spot plant holder and be sure to tell Jill that the refinished one looks better than it did when it was first made!”  -JoAnn Ricks – a California girl with Oklahoma relatives


Jill and were just outside Sulphur last Saturday taking a dip in the Lake of the Arbuckles. It was a perfect day to swim.  But after 4 hours in the water, I had some sunburn on my legs and feet that night.  I couldn’t even lay still enough to fall asleep.  Then I thought about a bottle of Aloe Vera jell I bought back in the late 70s.  So I put some one the burned area, and within about 30 minutes the sting was barely noticeable.  At least I got a good night’s rest.  Back in 1979 it cost me $5.75 for 32 oz bottle of Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Jel.  A quick search on google and I find the same product selling for $5.95, so not much of an increase the past 30 years.

Of course any old grandmother knows that aloe vera was a remedy for burns.  I remember back in the late 70s some people in this area was drinking aloe vera for ulcers of the stomach.

The photo album of Devils Den north of Tishomingo continues to receive more look-sees than any of the other Webshot albums.  There sure is an interest in that old swimming hole.  Wish someone would re-open it.  I wonder who owns the property today?

Doug Williams sent in some pictures this week he received from Halie Moody.  She took the pics after workers laying a water line discovered an abandoned water well just west of Ardmore’s Valero refinery on the north edge of Ardmore.



Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..“Dear Butch, I did a search on dogpile for the old Ft Arbuckle and found this on “Loopnet”:

“The recent accounts in the T&T about Seminole remind me of a story my dad told me several years ago about an oil boom town known as Slick City located somewhere southeast of Seminole toward Wewoka.  Dad was a student at Central State Teachers College at Edmond.  He worked part time for a man that owned and operated a local eatery.  One day the man approached dad with the proposition to work as the cook at an eatery he planned to open in Slick City.  Dad and the man drove from Edmond to Seminole in the man’s Model-T Ford arriving late that afternoon.  They found someone had already established an eatery in Slick City.  It was a large tent with board sides, dirt floor, and a wood-burning cook stove at the back.  They ate and then looked around Slick City for a suitable location for another eatery.  They slept that night in the Model-T Ford.  The next morning they looked around some more and then went by to see the owner of the eatery.  They told him they were looking around for a place to open another eatery and dad was to be the cook.  The owner offered dad a job as his cook.  Dad said, “I thought you already have a cook.”  The owner said, “I did, but he made a bad batch of biscuits this morning and got shot.”  Dad thought about that situation a few seconds and decided to return to Edmond to school.  He lived to age 104 years.” – Don Davidson, Brenham, Texas

“I just finnished reading Eddie Rue McClanahan’s book My First Five Husbands. She was Blanche on the Golden Girls if you don’t remember her, and was raised in Healdton.  It has a lot of stories about Ardmore.  Some not no flattering but still a good and fast read.”

“Do you have information about the Bowlin School that located at madill or Cumberlan. I have a Perfect Attendance Certificate for my Dad dated 1918.  It is signed by Marvin Shilling for the teacher at Bowlin School.” Tressa101@gmail.com

Do you know if records from the Hardy Sanitarium still exist?

“I know this isn’t being held in Oklahoma but I thought some of your readers throughout the country might like knowing about a WWII event happening at the Dennison Depot in Dennison, Ohio in August. They are holding a last big Homecoming Event. Since we are losing our WWII veterans at a rate of 1100 per day this will be the last one held. This is what you will find on the Dennison Depot Site ( http://www.dennisondepot.org ) and then select Homecoming.

“This 1940s era, WWII event will surround the historic Dennison Depot. It will feature battle reenactments, Big Band Music, USO Entertainment, Parade, military vehicles and displays, vendors, Mess Tents, 1940s movies, reenactment of the Canteen, fly-bys and a memorial service.

Dennison Ohio is one of the only WWII Canteen sites still existing, and the only one that continues to serve free coffee and donuts every day to offering hospitality to weary travelers.


Even if you did not stop at the Dennison Canteen but at another Canteen similar to Dennison’s, we invite you back as a symbolic gesture to remember volunteers who served at all canteens.

Also ongoing at the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum: Operation Letters. Bring your WWII letters and correspondance to be preserved at the Museum.”

The history section says: For soldiers being shipped out west for training, or east for departure over seas, the Depot was a common traveling point.
The Dennison Depot Servicemen’s Canteen operated from March 19, 1942 to April 8, 1946. A million and a half G.I.s were served free food, coffee and smiles by 3,987 volunteers from eight counties at the Dennison Depot Salvation Army Servicemen’s Canteen. The Canteen operated around the clock, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, providing a great boost to the home front effort and earning the town the nickname “Dreamsville, Ohio.

On behalf of my WWII veteran father (Robert Farrington) I wanted to get an invite out to all the WWII veterans and their families. Join us in Ohio on August 10, 11 & 12th.”  -Marilyn Roder (lived in Ardmore a short time; visited every summer growing up; attended Charles Evans) mroder1@mac.com

Butch, Our annual reunion is coming up in San Antonio, Tx. October 10th – 14th, 2007. This reunion has been held each year since 1948. All 6th Atmored Division members,family and friends are welcome. Homer (Pug ) Hawkins, Veteran Co. C 69th Tank Bn. – 6th Armored Patton’s 3rd Army WW-2. http://www.military.com/Resources/ReunionDisplay/1,11584,80784-R,00.html

“Many years ago, our mothers and grandmothers made jams and jellies, often from wild fruits we gathered in the countryside. (I remember the sand plum thickets and the snakes that also enjoyed the fruit.) The last step in the process was melting paraffin and pouring a layer on the jar’s contents before affixing the lids. The National Center for Home Food Preservation says the use of paraffin is no longer recommended. I’m trying to remember what it was expected to do.  Someone on a gardening forum posed the question and I was nonplused to realize I don’t recall the purpose – if I ever really knew. Can anyone help me out? My curiosity is bugging me unmercifully!”  -Elizabeth Dyer

“Hey Butch, I really envy your and Jill’s traveling around seeing all these wonderful places. I enjoy tagging along through this news letter.You talking about Jim Hill from Woodford, my father was born in Woodford, in the foot hills in a dug out. I haven’t tried yet, to find out exactly where that dug out was. He was born in 1914, and they moved into Ardmore in 1915. His name was Ira Carl Johnson. He was part owner of Besaw & Johnson Plumbing Co. here. I have driven around Woodford, wondering about his birthplace there. His parents were Osie Neal and Ila Jane St John Johnson. Osie previously lived in Weaverton, Ok. if you remember me writting to get your help in finding out where Weaverton was. Keep up the good work, and travel.”  -Karla

“You’ll find some mention of the old Fort Arbuckle site at the following link:


I believe this article was written quite a few years ago and the site is now covered by Lake Keystone. Based on its proximity to Washington Irving’s Bears Glen I believe it was somewhere near where Highway 412 crosses Lake Keystone.” -Gerald Whitworth in Glenpool

“In reading some of your T and T columns, I ran across references to various racetracks. There used to be a horse track north of my folk’s place east of Ardmore just off Highway 199. The track began roughly at the southwest corner of what is now the Ardmore city dump which is north of Dripping Springs. The track was a straight run from the northwest to the southeast then it appeared to curve to the northeast. My brother can remember going there when he was a kid and watching the races and the gambling going on in the edge of the timber on the east.”

“Just a note to tell you how much I enjoy receiving it each week. The picture of the way station at Woodford reminded me of my ties via Grandfather John Henry Wakefield and Myrtle Lou Johnson Wakefield who resided in Woodford and John Henry is buried there.  My ties to Ardmore are  Grandfather Louis Porter Staples,  Father,  Walter Eugene Staples, and of course James Ulisses(sic) Staples who is reported to have plowed the first furrow for Main Street in Ardmore.  It is reported the furrow was a bit crooked probably due to his partaking of a tankard or two of ale prior to plowing. I have several photos courtesy of  R.W. Hunnicutt of the Staples Grocery, several relatives in various time frames.  I’m sure that R.W. would be glad to share those with your readers.  Also for those who are interested in early day Ardmore pioneers Susan M. Grey has an excellent book(Territory Town: The Ardmore Story) for sale.  I’m sure one could mention family names and she could tell you if they are included in the book. E-mail at: greyarea@cableone.net   Looking forward to the next issue”  -Ron Staples in Chickasha, Oklahoma

Remembering Early Days of the Moore Family
as written by Katie Moore Dean – February 1982

“B H & Rosetta Moore came here from Lampasas, Texas by wagon around 87 years ago, with 6 boys. One died in Texas. Five more boys & two girls. Yes, was very hard times. They camped out along the way & til they could rent a farm was around Burneyville on River. Then they moved into the Pike, I.T. Country, so there when the county was born. Love county. We lived around close in to miles of Pike. The kids went to school at what was Crossroads school. The younger kids went to Pike school. My dad bought a farm about 75 years ago. All lived a good life, then got married and everyone went his or her ways. They lived & died in several states. Some, including Mom & Dad are buried in Burneyville Cemetery. My dad said he settled here because was plenty wood & water. Back then land was good & we that was big enough to work, could pick 2 bales cotton a day. It was probably 3 or 5 cents at that time, well as I remember. In later years they had sheep. Some man would shear them, Mother washed the wool, carded it into rolls, spin it into thread, then she knit socks, sweaters, gloves, caps & sold them. Then she made a frame & would weave rugs and sell them. Anything to make a living. We went to church in the wagon. Worked mules & had to take corn to mill for our corn bread. Milked our cows for milk & butter, hens for eggs & meat. Raised our hogs for meat & lard. Made our own soap, washed on rub board, dryed on line. Made big gardens. Hilled up turnips & sweet potatoes for winter eating & raised large water melons for our eating. Had fruit, wild berries & grapes for jellies & juice. Made sorghum by 50 gallon barrels for winter & to make cakes & cookies & to eat with butter & hot biscuits. Still sounds good. Ate polk for spring greens, it does grow wild & is still around. We put up lots of kraut & hominy that we made at home, & lots of wild honey. Not much of it here anymore.

My dad ground his coffee. The old mill wore out, don’t know what went with it. Don’t have much of the old days stuff around now. Maybe a few items. Time has changed everything. I had three brothers in World War I & nephews in World War II. All come home but never the same, but they lived. As we know..always problems. My dad got up at 4:00am & got fires going & then everybody got up & had breakfast all at one time. Then the chores & getting off to school, walking the two miles there & back every day. Never was tardy & not absent much & all were healthy. No doctors, at least not many times. If it was too bad to do anything, my dad cut & split posts & always had to cut our wood. Some for fireplace & cook wood for the big stove in the kitchen. Was lots of work for everyone. We didn’t have much play time. No TV or radio. Played ball & games like checkers or pitch, or just got our homework. Seems each week we washed all day on Saturday, so we didn’t miss school, & then iron that night what everyone wore to school on Monday. Set the irons in fireplace to heat them. We had a set of three, would stay hot but have to change often. Would be a chore now for kids to live like that.

Our bath was a wash tub & you carried your water from well, warmed it on the stove, then had to carry it outside later. Other things I may have forgot to put down.  Mom learned us to piece quilts & quilt them & we had to card the cotton into batts to pad the quilts. It took two chairs full, stacked to top of the back. Was can bottom chairs. We used base ball thread, was like twine, only size smaller. We learned to patch all our clothes to make them last longer & work buttonholes, sew on buttons, everything they don’t do now.

We done field work like hoeing. We worked from sun-up til sun down for a dollar a day, had one hour off at noon to rest & eat. Now they work by the hour & not too many hours, then call it quits. My mother was bad sick & she called me & said, I have a problem & this is it. She did not want to be embalmed because no man had ever seen her body, only her husband, so her problem was not to go to the undertakers or no one to bathe her but me. I said don’t worry, I’ll do what you want done. So I bathed her, almost with tears, but when I got done & dressed her, the guy laid her in the coffin. They said, “A good job, Lady.” It was her wish so I carried it out. She was a working lady but at 83 she gave up, was sick a long time. I took care of her for ten years. My dad was blind five years & I helped with him. Stayed three months at a time to do for him. After they passed on, I stayed on. My brother Henry Moore wasn’t married, had no one to take care of him. So, I did it. Now I am still in the home where they died & I have been here 42 years. Have been alone for nine long years. Doing house over & made fences for four years. I gave up & gave it to the sweetest family to see after me when I get disabled to see after myself & I am trying not to get in their way & hope I don’t get down & be a lot of trouble. That’s my wish.No one but family lived on the place long as we have had it til 1980. I am sure it will be in good hands. Hope they keep it as a home & do good so their boys can carry on. Post note: The “Moore’s family land” across from the Falconhead Resort (which should have gone on down to the Moore family of whom there are many heirs) Aunt Katie deeded to the Alexander family with the promise of them taking care of her. She had a stroke after that & laid in her bed ….being able to look out her window & see the “sweetest family’s” home sitting on the Moore land…and they did not check on her and she laid there for several days after having the stroke unable to call for help. She had decided before that she had made a mistake giving her land away but it was too late.” -submitted by Sylvia Moore of Ardmore

Local author, writer and historian Dennis Muncrief, has just had his second book published entitled “A History of Platt National Park”.  His first book, “A History of Ft. Arbuckle” was published in 2004. http://www.brightok.net/sulphurtimes/news3.html

“When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.” -Benjamin Franklin, (1706-1790), Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1746

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges
Ardmore Oklahoma
PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443

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