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Vol 12  Issue 583      March 27, 2008

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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

Last weekend Jill and I had the privilege of taking a tour of an old Indian burial ground south of Wilson, Oklahoma. The couple who took us to the area has known about the burial ground since the 1970s, but only a handful of people actually knows where this burial ground is located. So Jill and I were really honored when they invited us to go see this piece of history and take some pictures. About 5 years ago a seismograph crew was in that area and using a bulldozer, and plowed right though the cemetery. I don’t think the crew really knew what was there, because only a trained eye would know what they were looking at.

Back in the 1970s they could identify about 12 graves, but because of pilfering and then the seismograph crew damage 5 years ago, only 2 or 3 graves are really recognizable today.

First, this is an overview picture I took of the burial ground when we first arrived.


This photo was taken in 1977 of the spot that probably belonged to a Indian chief. The indention in the ground was originally lined with rocks indicating a chief was buried there.


This is a view of a lesser important person’s grave, you can see one stone at the top, and if you look close, you will see the other stone marking the foot of the grave.


When I stood there and looked at what’s left of the grave site, and how the Indian graves have been vandalized, pilfered and damaged by others, it really made me sad. I can imagine how I would feel if my part Choctaw blood great grandmother Ida Murphree Miller was buried there and years later her grave was vandalized.

This is a photo I took near the Indian burial ground of a small tree with some kind of growth, nest or hive on its limbs. Maybe someone can tell us exactly what it is growing on the branches.


And just a little further south of that tree on top of the hill was an oak tree with a bee’s hive in it, or what is left of it after probably a bear robbed the honey comb.  You can see in the second picture where the bear smeared honey all around the outside of the hole attempting to remove the honey.  Since I will probably never run across a piece of nature like this in my lifetime, I was so glad we ventured to the south and made the discover.



And then a little further south down the other side of the hill is a spring fed creek.


Last week we talked about a newly published book titled “Bud Ballew, the Legendary Oklahoma Lawman”.  The book review below was sent in this week by Sally Gray.

A short review, at Butch’s request, of the newly-released Bud Ballew, Legendary Oklahoma Lawman  by Elmer D. McInnes and Lauretta Ritchie McInnes.

Much has been written about Ardmore’s famous deputy, Bud Ballew, but never before has a book delved so deeply into the personal and public life of this early day lawman.

Beginning with a short genealogical history, through his life as a peace officer and up to his tragic death, Bud Ballew is studied, scrutinized, analyzed, but never judged.

The book is rich in history of this area and nothing proved too sacred to print.  Tales of bootlegging, bribery, murder and mayhem, all part of Ardmore’s checkered past, are put on display. The oil field town of Ragtown (Wirt) plays a prominent part in the career of Bud Ballew as he shot, and was shot, in his attempts to keep the peace in that city of sin.

Bud’s eccentricities, his legendary temper and his fall from grace make for some fascinating reading. The author’s comment in chapter 20 where he dismisses the story offered by Sheriff Floyd Randolph regarding Bud’s death seems a little mean-spirited.  Randolph, who was on a first name basis with every performer on the rodeo circuit, and himself a veteran performer and judge, as well as an associate of both Ballew and Buck Garrett, made the statement that Ballew and  his friend had gone to Wichita Falls to meet “some old rodeo women.” Bud’s reputation would seem to make this story plausible, not something to be rejected as “absurd.”

The Daily Oklahoman of June 4, 1922, suggested that a disturbance call answered by the Wichita Falls, Texas, police which resulted in Bud’s death, might be too simple an explanation; that instead it may have been the result of a business deal in which Ballew and his killer McCormick had butted heads. Only two men knew the answer to that question and we have to fall back on the old cliche that “dead men tell no tales.”

The authors have done an excellent job of resurrecting Ardmore’s famous deputy in the pages of Bud Ballew, Legendary Oklahoma Lawman and it is well worth reading. The book may be purchased at The Book Seller, 614 West Main in Ardmore. -submitted by Sally Gray

As stated in last week’s T&T the Oklahoma Outlaws Lawmen History Association will be hosting a Rendezvous in Ardmore on Saturday April 19th.  The meeting is free to all, starts at about 8am that Saturday and goes to about noon.  It will be held at the OSU conference room next door to the courthouse in Ardmore (south end of the yellow brick Annex Building). That afternoon the group will proceed to some historical sites in downtown Ardmore and then on to other places in the area. We hope to see as many as possible of you take advantage of this history conference and attend!

If you were planning to attend from out of town and wanted an Ardmore motel to spend the night, you are probably out of luck. Seems there is some kind of school sports tournament that weekend of the April 19th, and every motel room in Ardmore is booked.  But as of three days ago, there were rooms still available at the Mt View Motel (580-369-2321) at the south edge of Davis, Oklahoma for $45 a night. If you want one, don’t wait too long. Davis is 25 miles north of Ardmore. So, come down the day before (Friday) spend the day looking around those beautiful Arbuckle Mountains, then get up early Saturday morning and head on down to Ardmore and the OKOLHA Rendezvous!!

You can find more updated info as warranted on the April 19th meet on the Oklahoma History Boards……. come on, sign up, and join in!


The old East Anadarche Creek bridge on Concord Road (used to be Blevins Road) southeast of Ardmore was built in 1927.  The bridge is representative of many Warren “pony truss” bridges built across Oklahoma from around 1910 through the 1930s. This week Carter County Commissioner Bill McLaughlin had the bridge removed in preparation for a new one. I took a picture of the brass nameplate Bill removed for later mounting on a wood frame for hanging in his office. The plate reads: BUILT BY J B KLEIN, IRON & FDRY CO, OKLAHOMA CITY, 1927. Below is a picture I took of that nameplate along with other pics of the bridge just before the crane would arrive to move it.






Below is a picture I took of the old Wilson Fire Department watering trough located just west of the new Alexander Funeral Home in Wilson. It probably dates back to around statehood in 1907, maybe before.


I snapped this picture of an old panel wagon type auto sticking out of the ground on Highway 70 on the north side side of the highway just east of Texaco Road and Highway (between Lone Grove and Wilson).



And for all you gardeners out there, Jill started her garden this week.  She picked out a small spot behind the house, and I fenced it in to try and keep the deer out of it, I hope.  I only have right-handed shovels, rakes and hoes, and since Jill is left-handed (her identical twin June in California is right-handed), it was slow going for her, but she’s almost got the garden done.  lol


I had a request this week, asking if anyone knows of a hamburger place on Highway 16 between Muskogee and Morris, Oklahoma that is run by a former Broken Arrow, Oklahoma police officer.  If anyone has info on this place, let me know.

Speaking of hamburgers, Jill and I were at the Wilson Junction Cafe at Highway 70 and Highway 76 (just west of Wilson, Oklahoma) last weekend.  Jill ordered a hamburger, and she said it was delicious! I wish I had ordered one too after her’s arrived at the table, but instead I ordered their baked ham plate, but it was great too.



Oklahoma Trivia- from Oklahoma History Trivia Book
Q.  What governor was known as the “Father of good roads in Oklahoma”?
A.   James Robertson

Q.  What amendment was defeated by OK in 1982?
A.   (answer in next week’s T&T)

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..“Butch, the Whataburger coffee cup that Jim Rozzell found in Caddo Creek was part of a promotion. They would refill it for a nickel. I remember seeing those cups, but I don’t recall the time frame. When my father was transferred from the Samedan district #1 in Carter County to Odessa, Texas in 1962, I was 12 years old and didn’t find much to like about Odessa until we went to the Whatabuger. I’ve probably eaten a couple of thousand of them since then. I guess now that there is one in Ardmore, I can move back.”  -Chuck https://secureservercdn.net/

“Butch- I enjoyed the aerial photos of the Chickasaw Capitol building and of Devil’s Den. Those were very recent photos. You can see the newly installed median on North Capitol Street to the left of the Capitol Building. The Chickasaw Nation has only recently completed re-doing all of the streets around the Capitol Building.” -Rex

“Butch, my wife and I were driving around and came across this old one lane bridge.  The bridge crosses the South Canadian River north of Byars,
Oklahoma.”  -Charles Smith


“In the late 1940’s and 1950’s Howard Johnson was sheriff, Fred Johnson,
Elmer Winton “Pete” Fair, Lawton Smithers, Virgil Straughn were all
Deputies. Jack Poweledge was sheriff later. If you should check the old
check registers in the county clerk’s office you could find all the names
of lots of the old deputies”   -Ruth

“I was watching the Today show on St. Patrick’s Day and saw some Healdton High School Bulldogs in the crowd, also OU fans.  Felt good to see their signs.” -Carolyn Hickey, Wagoner OK, now a Wagoner Bulldog

“Butch, My grandfather’s name was not on the list of past Deputy Sheriff’s in Carter County. His name was Fred Williams and he died in 1945. I am not sure of the dates of his service but I know that he worked for Buck Garrett. Prior to working in Carter County, he served as the Sheriff of Osage County, Oklahoma and the Chief of Police in Borger, Texas. Thank you.” -Sam Williams, Denton, Texas

“Dear Butch, before there was a Whataburger restaurant in Ardmore, there was a burger by that name. Back in the 1950’s, Bill & Barb’s Restaurant, originally located on US 70 East, had a burger on the menu called the Whataburger. In the 1960’s when Gibson’s Discount Store was built on North Washington, Bill & Barb’s moved into the space at the north end of that strip center. My grandparents who moved from Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1963 ate Sunday lunch there every week after church. I believe the burger was about 7 inches in diameter. I don’t remember who supplied the buns. It was a meal. Having lived in Houston for over 30 years, before moving to Montana, I ate at Whataburger a lot. Some of the employees in the store I most often went to had been there more than 25 years. They certainly must treat the employees well.” -Monroe Cameron

‘Drive In Review’ by Devin Winter on the movie ‘Penelope’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Du7t9Go24yE

“Butch there is a article on Oil springs in Patti Rochette’s book– “Bourland in North Texas and Indian Territory during the Civil War”. The article is on page–85 and 86. I think the Ardmore library has the book.” -DeWayne

The Oklahoma Historical Society 2008 Annual Meeting will be held on April 17th and 18th, 2008 at the Ardmore Convention Center, 2401 North Rockford in Ardmore OK.  

I am scheduled to speak at Session VII at 8:30 a.m. on Friday April 18th about my 1,046-page book, BOURLAND IN NORTH TEXAS AND INDIAN TERRITORY IN NORTH TEXAS DURING THE CIVIL WAR: FORT COBB, FORT ARBUCKLE, AND THE WICHITA MOUNTAINS that is 70% from handwritten records.  My book has four indexes including a 150-page Name Index.  

Attendees will be given my 6-page handout.  Please look at my website.  Patricia Adkins-Rochette

Patricia Adkins-Rochette, 580-252-2094
1509 Shadybrook Lane
Duncan, OK 73533, www.bourlandcivilwar.com

“Butch, I have done some minor sleuthing concerning the issue of Umbria, I. T. I remembered reading something by Mac McGalliard several years ago in which he mentioned some old towns in Carter County. I found the little book, Reporter’s Notebook, published 1973 and on page 36 under the title of “County Towns Vanish–October 31, 1966”, McGalliard mentions Umbria and several other towns. Later on in the same book, page 108 under the title “Memories of Vanished Towns–April 14, 1970″, he picks up the discussion of old towns in Carter County. In this second title he makes no mention of Umbria but in his opening sentence, McGalliard refers to a Feb. 26th Notebook column which might contain information about Umbria. I would think that the Feb. 26th column would have occurred in 1970. If you have access to McGalliard’s columns, you might check it to see if Umbria is mentioned.”

“Butch, I forgot to ask the date of your “Umbria” map? The map reveals some very interesting roads that clearly do not exist today. What was to be US 70/State 199 does not appear on the map, instead there appears to be a road going east of Ardmore to Province. I had heard of the Bankhead highway but I think it followed roughly US 70/State 199. Any help would be appreciated.” https://secureservercdn.net/

“The Umbria map reveals some very interesting roads that clearly do not exist today. What was to be US 70/State 199 does not appear on the map instead there appears to be a road going east of Ardmore to Province. I had heard of the Bankhead highway but I think it followed roughly US 70/State 199.”

“Butch, My Granddad Doc Young and My Uncle Albert Young helped to build Lake  Murray and I heard them speak of the CC camp that was there, the tower was a look out for the guards, to the east of rock tower back in the woods is an old mule camp, what they would do is fill the old trucks back then with sand in order to build the beaches and would back the truck as far out as possible til it died then would hook the mules up to it and pull it out of the water after the dirt had been hand shoveled out of it and dry out the distributor and start the truck back up and go for more sand.”  -Allen Young

“Hey Cuz, Enjoyed your piece on Alan Primrose. After he graduated from Ardmore the year after I graduated from Davis and he moved up to Davis, he and I worked for his Dad (Joe Primrose) a couple of summers. We became very good friends and I lost touch of him after I was drafted in 1964. I knew he had passed away as Mom had sent me a note informing me he had. A very close and dear friend who left this world way to young in life. Thanks again for bringing back some fond memories of a departed friend. Please add this to your next week’s T&T in case some of his friends or Family read and want to get in touch with me here in Korea.” -Poss  bridgesford42@hotmail.com

“Hi Butch, Here is a link to a fantastic radio station that I think many of your readers will enjoy.  This is strictly a one of a kind radio station that plays some of the greatest songs from the past 50 to 60 years.  It’s KAAM 770 am out of Garland Texas.  While you can pick this station up during the day here in the Ardmore area on the radio, the signal begins to fade in the evening hours.  But there is a link I have enclosed you can listen to KAAM over the Internet any time of the day or night by clicking on the words, “Listen Live”.  The format can’t actually be called an oldies station it’s more of a nostalgia station.  You hear these fabulous songs by Doris Day, Frank Sinatra, Frankie Lane, and even Patsy Cline, and Ray Price just to list a few.  You can visit this link when you log onto the Internet and catch some great music it makes wonderful back ground music.  In a time when most radio and TV stations will not broadcast anything for those of us over fifty this is truly a unique and one of a kind radio station.  Enjoy.” -Mike Jones   http://www.kaamradio.com/

“Joe Walker owned and operated a sawmill on the south side of Gene Autry, Oklahoma. I don’t know how long it was there but I can remember it very well. As you drive south across the railroad out of Gene Autry, you can bear to the west/southwest and on the south side of the road maybe 1/2 of a mile the sawmill sat on the side of the hill. The other sawmill was in the area of what I believe to be the location of old Umbria. My brother and dad went there many years ago and I recall my father pointing out where an old sawmill stood. It has been many years but I know the general location of it. Many years ago a road used to cross Caddo Creek going south from this place and it would eventually cross the extreme west edge of the old Walter Gant ranch (Oak Hill Farms). What I knew as the Homer Duke road would have gone straight north and become the road I just mentioned crossing Caddo Creek. The old Blue Hole store used to be just west of the Homer Duke road. The old store was west of the old Blackjack School building. I would like to see someone do some research on the Blue Hole store. One other thing concerning Umbria, if someone has time and patience, check the old issues of the Berwyn Light housed at the Chickasaw Library. They might contain some reference to Umbria.”

“Butch, you are a pretty good techie guy but a lot of your readers are not. Cable is very poor in San Jose, California so I have a Dish network setup. Works pretty good except some of the local PBS stations and some of the digital sub channels are not shown so I use an over the air box to get those channels. Works OK but I would like to simplify and get one of the new converter boxes and I really want a full tv guide. There are few to choose from as yet. You can do your readers a great service by informing them of the choices they can make. Not every one can get cable and many feel they cannot afford cable or sat. For those folks with an old TV set a new day is coming after the new year. I appreciate your writings, please, keep up the good work.” -Jerry Brown

Click here: TV Converter Box Coupon Program


Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.   –Jacques Cousteau (1910-1997)

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges
Lone Grove, Oklahoma


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

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