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Vol 12  Issue 585    April 10, 2008

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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

This week a T&T reader sent me a CD in the mail, a audio recording about a CCC camp of the 30s.  J.C. Williams formally of Ardmore and now living in Tampa, Florida entered a Sulphur, Oklahoma CCC work program back in 1937 as a teen. His brother Doyle Williams in Ft Worth is quite an audio and video guru in his own right, decided to interview his brother about his experiences in the CCC camp.  When I first heard J.C.’s account of his time at the CCC camp, I was absolutely amazed.  I listened to the recording several times as Doyle interviewed J.C. and each time I learned more about life in the CCC camps.  Quite frequently I get emails from people who had an ancestor who worked in a CCC camp, and like me, knew very little about that time period (the Great Depression years) in the U.S.

The 5 links below are to the five audio tracks Doyle made of his telephone interview with his brother J.C. Williams in Florida. Doyle’s effort will be a great contribution to future generations to learn from in the recordings he made of his brother.  Someday J.C. Williams will be gone from this earth, but his experience in the CCC work camps at Sulphur Oklahoma will live on in the recordings as long as this world turns.  Thank you Doyle for take the time and providing the technology, and a big thank you to J.C. in Florida for sharing his CCC experiences.

But first, I want to introduce you to the man, Mr. J.C. Williams.


Secondly, a 1938 photograph of J.C. and his CCC truck along with the other crew members.  J.C. is standing at the truck door.


The following files are in mp3 format and about 3 megs each.  If you have internet through slow modem, you may not be able to download, but give the files time, it should work even on dial up modem.






Last week I told about losing my wedding band somewhere in the yard.  Before hardly 1/3 of the 1,600 emails I send out each Thursday evening had been delivered, when I received an email from Hoot Gilbert at Healdton.  Seems one of his friends is a treasure hunter and has been for 40 years with metal detectors.  Healdtonite Virgil Warrington has developed quite a reputation for finding things using his detector, dropped years ago on the ground.  Virgil said he’d bring is detector over and look for my ring.  I showed him the 2 places I had been working two days earlier, where I thought the ring might be, but nothing was found at either spot.  So Virgil left and headed by home, but one thing he said kept coming back to me.  He said many times people lose their rings when they are removing their work gloves.  I had been using my gloves to plant 2 apricot trees Chuck Carter gave me a couple hours earlier that day.  And that is where Jill found my ring, just 10 minutes after Virgil left….. on the gravel driveway beneath the door on my pickup where I had removed the gloves to put back in the cab!  So even though Virgil Warrington did not find my wedding band with his metal detector, it was he who gave Jill and I the insight as to where to look.  Thanks Virgil!

In my story telling about Ketchum’s Bluff last week, I forgot to tell what one of the photos was and it would be hard to figure out just looking at it.  I was standing right at the edge of the Bluff at the Red River (not for the weak hearted) looking down, and it is waaaaay down there too, to the Red River. I was reminded of the old Lover’s Leap at Sulphur when I starred down.  Below is the pic from the rocky edge at Ketchum’s Bluff.


Speaking of Ketchum’s Bluff, I received some great aerial photos of the Bluff this week.  You can even see the old roadway on the Texas side in a couple of them. Remnants of the old road on the Texas side are visible from the air.  It is just an overgrown trail near the river and then part of it is washed away farther south before it starts again as a dirt road.





One more thing before we leave Ketchum’s Bluff, I had a mistake in last week’s location, Ketchum’s Bluff is not in Love county, but in Jefferson county.

This week Derek Helmke submitted a new updated list of Carter county deputies. Many of you have helped make the list what it is today.


Oklahoma Outlaws Lawmen History Association Rendezvous

Saturday April 19th at Ardmore starting at 8am

107 1st SW (OSU Extension Office Conference Room)

Make plans to attend!  Free to the public!

Herman Kirkwood, in OKC at  srkirkwood@usa.com  for more info.

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


Also, interest in the Oklahoma History Board continues to grow.  We’ve had over 110 guest in the last 24 hours!

Leland McDaniel, local Agent for the OSU Extension Office here in Ardmore has been out collecting morel mushrooms.  He wouldn’t disclose exactly where he found these morsels growing but today (Thursday) he cooked about 200 of these mushrooms for anyone at the courthouse who wanted to eat some.  And there was plenty of takers who tried Chef Leland’s delicacy.  Leland says you’ll only find these growing in this area around the first 2 weeks of April, to look around sandy soil places near creeks, etc.   So you still have a few days left to maybe find morel mushrooms growing in the wild.  He slices his in half, batters them, and drops them in the deep fryer until they are golden brown.  Boy, you talk about delicious!!  Words can not describe it.




To learn more about the morel mushroom……….

By the way, science has not found a way to commercially grow morels.

When we lock our doors at night we assume we are safe inside. But as I found out on youtube.com, it is so easy for the bad guy to use what is called a bumpkey to unlock any locked door or padlock, even a deadbolt lock.  Bumpkeys are being sold all over the internet, but the bad guy can even make a bumpkey with just a little effort and time.  So the next time you lock your door, and think your safe, think again.

How to make a bumpkey

The woodpecker technique using a spring

Last week a friend told me about a crew removing old railroad cross ties over at G Street and 10th NE area.  You will see the old trussle in the background. When a wee lad a couple of friends and I would find large pieces of cardboard, take to the trussle and slide down the dirt sides.  Anyway, I was needing the ties to use in our yard and driveway, the man was selling them for $6 each.


Jill and I have lived in the country a little over 2 months, and I’m having second thoughts.  I killed this thing in our drive way this evening.  I hate all creepy crawling things.


Its been kinda dry in Carter county compared to other areas the past few weeks.  But that changed the past 24 hours, we had over 60 mile an hour winds last night, but also our rain gauge had 2 1/2 inches of water in it this morning!  That will sure help the grass sod I planted last weekend.

On another matter, I am about to undertake a very unique project at home that requires an air compressor that puts out 16 CFM of air at 90 PSI.  I have an air compressor, but its not able to produce that much volume.  If anyone has an air compressor that meets the above (or almost), and would let me rent or borrow it, give me a shout.  This project, I won’t disclose quite yet what it is, will make some interesting reading in a future T&T, especially if you live on a farm, but also for city dwellers too.

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..“Dear Butch, One of my old school buddies gave me your address and I have been receiving your Newsletter. I wanted to tell you how much I have enjoyed the History of this area in Southern Oklahoma that you have shared. My husband Bill Wolfe and I have been married over 60 years and have lived in or near Marietta all these years. I wanted to add something interesting to your story about the TOWN OF OSCAR bit. My husband, Bill is an old retired employee of Red River Valley REA in Marietta. Their work crews used to service several oil wells that were located near Oscar back in the l960’s, or there-abouts. They changed out meters and transformers and made sure there was proper electrical current to keep the oil pumps going. I read him your story tonight and asked him if he still remembered going to Oscar. He then told me an interesting story about a man call “Scrap Metal Bill” who lived in that area. It seems he did a lot of walking up and down those old roads and apparently picked up bits and pieces of old scrap metal, odds and ends such as bolts, nuts, screws, tin cans, old tire wheels, horse shoes, just about anything that was metal and he then hung these relics on the bobbed-wire fence. The small ones were wired on. No one knew why he did this, but Bill said it made a very odd looking but interesting fence. In looking at the picture of the old, run-down building you posted, he immediately said “that is probably that old building where we used to eat lunch.” I asked him what kind of food they served. He told me it was not a cafe, just a little ole’ store where the guys could get a loaf of bread, bologna & cheese for the makings of really good sandwiches and a coke to top it off. Bill is now 87 years young, with a terrific memory of the old days. working at REA and going to the out of the way places to keep the electricity going. He said he could well remember those trips to Oscar as if it were yesterday. We used to pass that area a lot making trips to Amarillo, TX via Waurika and Grandfield. He never failed to mention something about that old town of Oscar. And yes, he did know the location of Ketchum Bluff. Thanks for some good memories.”   -Betty Wolfe

“Butch – We did an oilfield site cleanup at Oscar a few years ago and we killed one of the biggest rattlesnakes I’ve seen in this area. You and Jill better be glad you went there before they started moving this year. There’s not a lot of anything or anyone to bother them in that area, so they grow big there.”  dddollar@sbcglobal.net

“Hi Butch: I formerly lived for 2 years in Lone Grove, leaving in the 7th grade in 1954 for Texas.  I was born in Marlow, with my Mother being born in Pickens County, Chickasaw Nation in 1903. However, I  have Carter County relatives, since two of my Grandmother’s sisters , born at Illinois Bend, Montague County, Texas, and settling near Wilson and Newport. Their married names were Wallace and Johnston.  I believe the happiest years of my life were while living in Lone Grove, then a village of 500 people.  Visiting Devils Den, Lake Murray, and  the Airbase during open house, as well as going to BSA Camp at Bromide are my fondest memories. We had moved from western Oklahoma (Washita County) during the drought, and I was amazed by the creeks with water, when it was not raining, , water in the tanks that was not red, and trees. Can you or someone comment on the history of Milo.  I visited one of my Mother’s cousins about 10 years ago, a Chickasaw Allotee named Cutchie Johnston, who died in 2001 a few days short of 100. She told me that the town was named after her two older sisters, Millie and Lorraine.  Her father, last name Johnson, from Tennessee,  married a Chickasaw woman from Mill Creek.  According to Cutchie, he ran the post office and a store at Milo. Thanks  for the website and the work you do to keep it interesting.”  -Larry Watkins at Mesquite, Texas  larry943@gmail.com

The last Pig Stand in Texas closed down. The clientele was mostly older but there were younger people who enjoyed the food and the atmosphere and locals are mourning the unexpected closing. Given what’s happening in that old neighborhood (gentrification), tear-down is almost certain if no new owner takes it over with an eye to keeping it open. The chain is for sale if anybody’s interested in owning a bit of restaurant history.



“Butch, I sure appreciate your weekly news letter, and your willingness to assist persons and organizations in their searches for friends and relatives.  The Arbuckle Historical Society Museum of Sulphur, OK has another request. One of our residents residents recently suggested that we have a plaque, monument or some other type of memorial be placed at the Museum for U. S. Army Major Raymond Harvey (deceased), a Chickasaw originally from Sulphur, who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroic action during the Korean War. We want to get as much information  as possible on this hero so we can give his background, family, education, etc., in a biography so visitors may learn more of him.  Photos are certainly welcome also.”contact me at: ursm_17848@yahoo.com

“Hi Butch, I got a kick out of reading about Oscar, Oklahoma.  All you have to do is set up your GPS system and it will take you right to the heart of it? My cousin Danny Pennington and I were looking for the Oscar Cemetery?  Did you find it?  Actually a nice little cemetery but did not give us a lot of information on the Pennington ancestry like we had hoped.  In reading your article it brought back a couple of memories.”  -Mike Pennington

Editor’s Note, if you have Google Earth installed on your computer, and enter the following in the search box, it will zoom you right down to the exact spot of Ketchum’s Bluff.  Amazing technology!  Copy and paste the GPS reading below into the Google Earth search box, then click GO……

33 56.157′ N, 097 45.644′ W

“Butch, I would like to know if you or someone would take a picture of some sopapilla’s. They are different in Georgia where I now live. Everyone thinks they are only flat like they are here. I always liked the puffed ones. They are so much better.”   Marietta, GA

“At the Research Library at the Greater Southwest Museum, we have several copies of the rodeo programs including three leather bound books with most of the rodeo programs that was printed in them.  In the Research Library, we’ve added new books, microfilm, & some microfiche to our collections. The hours are Tuesday – Friday  12:00 pm to 4:00 pm, Saturday 10:00 am to 2:00 pm , Sunday & Monday- Closed.”

The Wilson News submitted by Mindy Taylor
Big Fire At Wirt Monday
Fire broke out last Saturday about 11:30 in the Oil Exchange Cafe and destroyed almost the entire business section of theat city, it was said by several of the men who were fighting the blaze that if they had have had one more fire extinguisher they would have controlled the fire. The damage was estimated to be between $250,000 and $3000,000.
Mettry & Adwon of this city was one of the many loosers. They had just put in a large line of dry goods. Most of the goods were saved. The building was destroyed.
There was one killing during the excitement, but everything seems to be quiet now, and the people have started to build. The new buildings will be set about 10 feet further back from the street, so in case of another fire, one side of the street may be saved.

~~Wilson Museum Hours: Tues., Thurs., Fri., Sat. 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Tumbling Tumbleweed
-composed by Bob Noland, member of the Sons of the Pioneers – 1935

See them tumbling down
Pledging their love to the ground
Lonely but free I’ll be found
Drifting along with the tumbling tumble weed
Cares of the past are behind
Nowhere to go but I’ll find
Just were the trail will wind
Drifting along with the tumbling tumble weed
I know when night has gone
That a new world’s born at dawn
I’ll keep rolling along
Deep in my heart is a song
Here on the range I belong
Drifting along with the tumbling tumble weed
I know when night has gone
That a new world’s born at dawn
I’ll keep rolling along
Deep in my heart is a song
Here on the range I belong
Drifting along with the tumbling tumble weed


See everyone next week!

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

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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

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