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Vol 11  Issue 570   December 27, 2007

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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

This week I got my hands on Ken Butler’s new book, “More Oklahoma Renegades.” (Ken Butler passed away about 2 years ago and others finished up the book and put it to print). I can tell by just thumbing through its pages, it is a wealth of Oklahoma history. This book is a companion to Ken’s, “Oklahoma Renegades: Their Deeds and Misdeeds”. This new book is 384 pages, 28 Chapters, and lots of photos contains some of Ken’s greatest stories about the Outlaws and lawmen of Oklahoma.  The following is just a brief listing:

Wesley Barnett-Terror of the Creek Indian Nation;
The Devious Outlaw Career of Bob Rogers;
No Heroes Were There (Beer City, “No Man’s Land”);
Justice Was Evade In “No Man’s Land”-The Massacre at Wild Horse Lake;
“Black-Faced” Charley Bryant’s Blazing Moment of Glory;
Clyde Mattox-An Oklahoma Hellion;
The Passing of the Oklahoma Outlaw;
The Troublesome Stevenson Brothers;
Bits of History From Keokuk Falls;
Dr. Beemblossom Becomes a Sleuth (Re: Bert Casey Gang);
Ambush & Murder of (Mack Alred & Cicero Davis) In Creek County;
Ira N. Terrill-Oklahoma’s First Lawmaker -Lawbreaker;
The McIntosh County Seat War;
A Night of Vengeance in Wewoka (Lynching of John Cudjo);
The First Prison Break At Big Mack;
Outlaw Tom Slaughter-Even His Name Spelled Death;
Ed Lockhart-An Outlaw From Sallisaw;
Joe Davis-Charged With Many Crimes But Seldom Convicted;
Bank Robbery Fiasco At Salt Springs-End Of An Era?;
The Oglesby Brothers And The OCPD;
The Cunningham Brothers-Bank Robbers & Petty Thieves;
Bessie’s Heroic Banker;
A Rape & Double Murder (of Griffith Sisters) In Kay County;
George Birdwell-Bank Robber, Blunder At Boley;
The Kidnapping of Charles F. Urschel;
The Hanging of Arthur Gooch;
Texas Officers Shot ‘Em Dead In Oklahoma;
Murray Humphreys-A Chicago Crime Boss And His Oklahoma Connection

Oklahoma has been a crossroads for every generation of criminal gang activity. The exciting stories in this book include the heroic actions by law enforcement to bring bandits, thieves, and murderers to justice, from “Black-faced Charley” Bryant to Bonnie and Clyde. A companion volume to Butler’s first collection, Oklahoma Renegades, which focused on the state’s lawlessness prior to statehood, this collection introduces readers to lesser-known outlaws and lawmen. It also includes examples of many acts of vigilantism, including the hanging of “Deacon” Jim Miller in 1909, considered by many historians to be the end of the Old West era.

If you want your own copy of this fantastic book, rich in Oklahoma’s outlaw history, get hold of Herman Kirkwood in OKC at  okolha32@yahoo.com Herman can mail you the book, postage paid to your door, for $20.


Jill and I drove down Ardmore’s Main Street Christmas Day after dark. It was lit up all over, from side to side.  I have still not master the art of taking pictures with my digital camera at night, so these are not the best pics.

This pic is looking east on Main street.


This next one is of Central Park all lit up.


And these next 4 are taken in the windows of the old Stolfa Hardware store.  These are replicas and originals of the Christmas windows at Daube Department Store years ago.





After leaving the Christmas lights of Main Street we traveled to the north edge of Ardmore to see the Holiday of Lights Festival. If you have not visited this place in a couple years, you are in for a surprise. Its 1 and 1/2 miles of Christmas lights on exhibit. Nothing like it in south central Oklahoma. You still have time before New Years Day to see this spectacular display of lights!

Tom Elmore who lived about 2 blocks west of me when we were growing up on 3rd NE sent me an email this week about an old railroad map of Ardmore. I found it very interesting in that it shows a section going off to the west and intersecting the main line that went from the old depot by the high school at 3rd and North Washington to Ringling.  I think you might understand it better when you see the map.  I assume this is the tracks that started just south of the present day Blue Bonnet Feed Mill, went west and curved back north toward Ardmore Mall. Anyway, here is the email in Tommy’s on words”

“Butch- I just ran across this in Russell Crump’s archive. No date — but plainly precedes the Rock Island’s departure from Ardmore, which apparently happened in January, 1940. I’d sure like to have photos drawings, anything of the railroad shops that reportedly lay where Ardmore Mall is today. From the looks of this junction diagram, those shops, which originally served the old “Ringling Road,” probably lay about where the “Wye” at the top of the short, westerly north-south ATSF lead is shown.” -Tom Elmore


We are still making progress for the big move soon to Lone Grove.  I had some gravel put in last week for our new driveway, and needed it smoothed out along with the places where the sewer line was dug.  Russell Martin came to our rescue with his Kubota tractor and box blade.  Russell had the driveway all level in a little over 2 hours, and its was as smooth as a baby’s gluteus maximus.  If you ever need some tractor work done, give Russ a call, he lives out on Gene Autry Road (580-226-7671).


Last week we mentioned a gadget to fixed stopped up drains called DrainKing.  I want to mention something else I learned a month ago when getting our modular home installed.  One thing that came with it was a 10′ X 12′ deck. The man who built it in OKC, Steve Peterson who owns Slingshot Construction (405-408-7468) gave me a tip about preserving the deck.  He said most people use Thompson’s wood preservative, with is great stuff, but they need to mix something with it.  Steve said if you mix it 1/3 linseed oil to 2/3’s Thompson’s, this mixture will keep the deck’s wood from turning gray.  We have all seen a lot of decks turned gray, might even have one yourself that’s turned gray over the years.  Steve said this mixture will preserve it for years to come, and it won’t turn gray either.  He gave me a pump up sprayer with the Thompson’s and linseed oil already mixed together, so I been using it on some other unpainted boards around the property. We will see how it works over the next year.

Here is an interesting 1917 picture postcard of the Ardmore Refinery right after the start of the oil boom here. This plant would have been located on 199 East near the underpass, a lot closer to town back then, then the present day refinery. I had a great uncle fall to his death there in 1922.


Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..“You may want to check out the beautiful new Plaza which has replaced the demolished Armstrong Building in Tishomingo on Main Street.  I’m sure there would be a lot of interest in seeing some photos of this beautiful new feature in the Central Business District.”

“Butch, I am not sure how to get something into the “mailbag” for your T & T. I was wondering if any of your readers knew anything about Broken Bow. I have relatives from there, alive and passed, that I wanted to see if I could get some information on.

I am in search for information on: Andrew Jackson Harris. He died in Broken Bow, Oklahoma on 15 Apr 1967, he was 82 years old. His wife was Caroline “Callie” Shields Harris and also died there but I have no other information on her. They had at least 3 children, George Harris, died in Broken Bow Jul 1975 and he was 58 years old. Sister Thelma Harris and brother Gene Edward Harris. Thelma was oldest, being born in 1914 and Gene was the baby, born in 1938.

If anyone has information they would be willing to share I would welcome it.  jazr@austin.rr.com

Thanks so much Butch. I truly enjoy reading your newsletter and seeing all the photos.” -Peggy Roome in Austin, Texas

“Does anyone know the names of the men in the pictures.  My dad worked there years ago and one kinda favored him.  Would love to know!” bjf15612003@yahoo.com


“My father was Mark Stephens dob 6/7/24 would like more info on his family. Grand father was Mark Stephens, great grand father was John Stephens, do you know where they originally came from, Grandmother was Ethel Parrish remarried to Hamilton. All I know is that they were from Dougherty, Oklahoma but beyond that nothing. His aunt was Janie Black she lived in Davis, has family there, My dads cousin was Opal Black is she still alive, Any info would be helpful. Thank you.” -Mary Ann Stephens  maryannecabrera@sbcglobal.net

The Wilson News 8-4-1915 submitted by Mindy Taylor

Big Basket Picnic
There will be a big basket picnic at Jackson Springs, seven miles south and one mile east of Wilson, on August 10 and 11. The management promises the public “plenty of water and shade”. Socialists will address those present, while the courtesies of the day will be extended to any other speakers who may wish to talk. Among the attractions of the day will be a base ball game and some interesting “bronco bustin”. Jim Hensley has charge of the concessions.

Gay and Festive Gamblers Running a crude imitation of a roulette wheel under the name of a “penny fortune wheel”, a man and woman giving their names as Mr. and Mrs. J. Thompson and their post office address as the entire state of Arkansas with the whole state of Oklahoma as a forwarding address, street and number, played upon the credulity and pryed upon the pocketbooks of those attending the socialist encampment until Constable Charlie Jones came down upon them and gathered them into the fold, after the manner in which a Kansas cyclone gathers unto itself a ripening harvest field. When Officer Jones arrested the game operators some eight or ten dollars was on the board, placed in nickels, dimes, quarters and halves, upon the “lucky numbers”, while the unsophisticated youths who surrounded the table held pie plates with numbers pasted upon each, corresponding to the numbers the “sport” had picked as the winner.

Thompson and lady were brought into the city and Judge Dillard was called from his downey couch. After investigating the case thoroughly Judge Dillard released the gay gamblers from custody, exacting a cash bond. Encampment for Three Days In mentioning the Socialist encampment in another column of this issue of the News, we inadvertently stated that it was held on only Monday and Tuesday, whereas we should have stated it continued over Wednesday (today). Attorney G. V. Pardue, one of the mainstays of Carter County’s socialism, is expected to address the “comrades” today.

The Wilson Historical Museum now has transcribed records of Cornish newspapers from the early 1900s. Wilson Historical Museum hours: Tues., Thurs., Fri., Sat., 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Our Genealogy department is growing daily!!

Another year has come and gone.  So much as been shared here every week by so many, I can not count those of you who help make this newsletter what it is every week.  It is appreciated.  Some of our T&T family did not finished out 2007 with us, but they will never be forgotten. Every time I see a piece of history in this area, I reflect back to an email or conversation from someone, somewhere, out there who gave some insight to it in a past T&T.  Now we look forward to 2008 and what it brings and the Oklahoma history that awaits sharing.  Thank you for letting us come into your home every week.  Jill and I wish all of you a blessed 2008.

Happy New Year everyone, and see you all next year!

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

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