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Vol 12  Issue 617  November 20, 2008

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

Email: butchbridges@oklahomahistory.net

Over the years there has been mention several times about the old wagon yard near Central Park. It was called the West Wagon Yard (Central Wagon Yard was near Daubes on East Main).  One article stated it was east of the park.  Many first timers to Ardmore back in the 1890s who were unable to find other lodging or afford a hotel room spent the nights at the West Wagon Yard.  I found the exact location of the West Wagon Yard on a 1924 map showing it at the SE edge of Central Park, south side of the alley way where the present day office of Gene Reding, CPA at #14 E SW.


Below is a screen shot of the 1924 map showing the 300 Block of West Main at D Street SW.  In that SW corner I see the old Brown and Bridgeman Undertakers office, which eventually became Harvey Brothers Funeral Home. And I see directly on the south side of the undertakers office the boarding house where my Aunt Eva Carmon lived. My aunt Eva was employed at Daube Department Store as a hat maker in 1917 when she lived behind the undertaking office. Hat makers were known as milliners back in those days and were in quite demand to supply high fashion ladies’ hats to the more affluent.


For an historical account of the beginnings of Harvey-Douglas Funeral Home, starting back before Ardmore was even an incorporated town and was basically just a tent city, follow the link below.

Carter county employee Nathan Christian was storing some records in the former Harvey-Douglas Funeral Home (recently purchased by Carter County Government) across the street from the courthouse, and found a couple of unusual items.  Two framed diplomas with Henry Lee Cathey in one frame, and Beulah Cathey’s name inscribed on the other diploma. Henry Lee Cathey (1876-1940) is buried at Rosehill Cemetery here in Ardmore. These framed diplomas were well hidden in the rafters of the building and both have dates of 1919 on the diplomas.



The first part of the year a Reader in NW Oklahoma sent me a picture and CD of the old Millcreek Dam located north of Madill.  It was built by the City of Madill back in the 1920s as a water source for Madill, but never could be used, and turned out to be a $400,000 white elephant for the City of Madill. The problem was too much silt coming down stream in the water, settling and filling in the dam in the matter of a few months, making it impossible to use as a water source.


Ex-Ardmoreite Bobby Harris now living in Mexico sent in an even better view of the old boarding house that used to be on the north side of the old Ardmore High School.  I received several emails saying they thought that used to be a boarding house ran by the widow of either Sheriff Buck Garrett or deputy sheriff Bud Ballew.  One email said they thought it was not torn down, but moved 1 block to the north to 4th and North Washington (facing the Trinity Baptist Church). That being the case, the house is known today as Harmon Apartments (formerly Myers Apts).



Southeast of Ardmore near the county line is an area that used to be called Smyrna, Oklahoma. I know several of you have written in to say you or your kin attended the Smyrna school at one time.  I know Kenneth Faught, a retired Carter county deputy sheriff here in Ardmore, attended the Smyrna school as a child.  A reader sent in a class photo taken at the Smyrna school in 1931.

“Butch I noticed you had an earlier picture of Smyrna school 1923. Here is another one made 1931. The teacher standing at top the left side of the picture as you view it on screen. First one on the second row. Mary Byrne Damoran. I have two sisters in the picture.” -Minnilou Baird


A reader on Myall Road has deer come up in their backyard every morning to eat.  Using chicken scratch as food, they watch the deer from their kitchen window every morning while they drink coffee.  He said this week is the first time a buck deer has came to eat.  All other times were does and baby fawns.  When he told me he uses chicken scratch as the attractant, I knew I would have to buy some to try on our property.  Last Saturday I stopped at Morris Feed in Lone Grove and bought a 50 lb bag of chicken scratch.  Morris Feed’s price was $9.85 tax and all, and the young man even brought that heavy bag of chicken scratch to my car for me.  Now you can’t beat that!  Of course I believe in buying Oklahoma products and foods whenever possible, and their chicken scratch is made at McAlester, Oklahoma by Big V Feeds.




Speaking of deer, sometimes I have mixed feelings about drawing them to our property.  Only in the past week or two have I noticed 2 of our 6 new fruit trees damaged by deer rubbing their horns up and down the trunk until the bark is wore off the trees.  This Deer rub thing happens during late Fall after they acquired their new antlers, to rubbing the velvet off the antlers. But maybe things will work out between me, the deer and our fruit trees.   lol


Jill has a new plant to nurse through the winter months, given to her by a friend in Wilson, Oklahoma.  Kenneth Updike gave her a Mexican Petunia plant last week from his yard.  He said they don’t really have a fragrance, but the blooms are beautiful.  When Jill put the one Ken gave her in a pot, a couple days later it had one blossom!  I don’t know if this is a fluke or what, but here’s a picture I took of it in our kitchen.


Another plant, or should I say 2 plants, Jill has growing in pots in our kitchen is the Castor Beans Bill Uhles of Sulphur gave her.  They are doing fine, and hopefully next Spring when winter is over all these plants can be moved from the kitchen to the outside.


When the holidays right around the corner, Doug Williams came up with an idea to show recognition to the men and women who lost their lives serving in Iraq and other places around the world.  Here is Doug’s idea in his own words:

“I would like to try and raise enough money to buy 8″ x12″ stick flags and line Veteran’s Boulevard, about a foot apart for all American solders killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Sadly, the number at the present time is 3,931.  We could promote this event and have people buy a single flag or multiples.  We could get schools, boy scouts, churches and/or motorcycle clubs to help us install them.   The cost of 3,960 flags are .39 cents each plus shipping.  The total cost would be around $1600.00.   I think it could have a huge impact on our community.”  -Doug Williams

Doug would like to hear from others on this proposed project, so send Doug an email with your thoughts, and make a pledge if you want to toward the project.  Doug and I will keep everyone up to date here on its reception and progress.  Email Doug at dougwilliams@cableone.net

Sneed, Oklahoma was a thriving community about 5 miles NW of Lone Grove back when oil was discovered in Carter county.  No much left of Sneed nowadays,  some residents and a Volunteer Fire Department.  This year the Sneed VFD is placing drop boxes a several locations for their winter coat and children’s socks drive. If you are like us, you probably have at least one old, but still good, coat you can’t wear anymore.  Do something good with that old coat and drop it off at the County Commissioners office in the Annex Bldg next door to the courthouse……. Sneed VFD has a drop off box just inside the front door. I know we have a couple we are going to place in the box for pickup.



How about a well kept secret right outside Ardmore a few miles?  Its the Diamond Car Wash at Lone Grove where you can still wash your car for 75 cents. Its really not that hard to do, if your car is not real dirty, and you don’t dilly dally around.  I knock the dust and dirt off the car for about the first minute or less using the Soap selection, then switch it to Wax to finish it (not Rinse) for the remaining 2 minutes. Impossible you say?  I do it pretty much that way every time.


Ten cheapest places to buy gas in the Ardmore area……


Lots of new postings.  Check out the Oklahoma History Boards and join in!


Q.   Who commuted death row inmates’ sentences to life in prison?
A.   Lee Cruce

Q.   What resource brought immigrants to Oklahoma in the 1800s?
A.   (answer in next week’s T&T)

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..“Butch, When someone brought up the subject about Wild Woman Cave near Turner Falls, it brought back fond memories of one of my good friends of many, many years ago when I was still living in Ardmore. We attended church together and he was a fellow principal at Lincoln Elementary School. He was V.S. Watson, a spelunker as a hobby, with two other men on the team, whose names I can’t recall at the time. V.S. passed away many years ago but I’m sure some of your readers will remember him.
They traveled all around the country exploring, charting and taking pictures of caves during the summer time. He spoke a good bit about Wild Woman Cave and they were deep within that cave more than once. He described it pretty much like one of your readers as muddy in areas and having to go through water at times to get to other parts. I also remember him saying that some of the passage ways were rather small to crawl through but once you got to the other side there would be large, beautiful rooms.
Even at that time he didn’t believe it would ever be very commercial because of the difficulty getting through from room to room. He said man could probably improve to approach and entrance but the big problem was inside. His impression was: that it was as attractive as some of the popular caves once inside but just not suited for passage to the public.
I have no idea what may have happened to their charts and pictures since V.S. and his wife, Erma, had no children. Some of your readers may recall and know who the other men on the team were. Just a bit of information to add to what has already been said.” -Edgar Wallace

“This is the one of the best presentations of the 1960s that I have ever seen online. It is very well done. Just click on the link and sit back and enjoy the memories. Great photos and facts.”


“I’m looking for Osage fence posts that have been in the ground many years in wet, muddy spots. This is usually found in an area around a cattle lot near a watering hole or pond. If they have been there long enough, the wood of the below-ground portion may turn a greenish color, sought-after by woodworkers like myself. Any help or leads will be greatly appreciated, and thanks.” -Tommy Conaway   jtommyc@bellsouth.net

“First of all, my name is Peggy Kenyon and I have attempted many times to find out about the my past for over the past years. I’m pushing 60 and have begun researching out where I was born. And that was in 1949 at Pawhuska. I believe, I was adopted because I only have a photo static copy of my birth certificate and it has no official state seal on it plus I was the only one in the family who was raised with to have asthma, food allergies and terrible eyesight since a young age. I found your website by googling 1949 + adopted + infant girl + Pawhuska during my searching and your website came up through a Summary Period  Dec. 2006 search string generated Jan. 1, 2007 at 20:55 HKT. One of the entries read: 1949 adoption of infant girl Pawhuska. That same page also listed: 1949 adoptions 1949 Pawhuska. Do you have or do you know someone with any further information about those adoptions? The parents who raised me never would address the fact that I had no family resemblance to them or other relatives, and the differences in my medical history. I would like to let it rest but I would also like to know if I was really adopted and who my birth parents might actually be. Another thing that haunts me, none of the other siblings in this family had a pink beaded hospital I.D. bracelet like I did and I still have that in my possession. Also, I have a baby ring and a small necklace. The ring has initials that do not match that family’s surname. Thank you, in advance, if you can shed any light on this matter.” -Peggy  mizpeg@hotmail.com

I stared & stared at that photo & finally realized that the 2 story house stood where the auditorium is now. The building on the left was the shop building when I was going to school there. The building on the right just to the side of the telephone pole was the administration building at one point.”

“I wanted to ask you about having a link in your newsletter to our newly-released book’s website.  It is an authorized historical biography of Chuck Norris’ mother, Ms. Wilma Norris Knight. Sheltered in His Arms has lots of Wilson and Carter County history.  Our story spans over one hundred years and covers six generations from pre-statehood Love County to 2005 Carter County.  http://www.shelteredinhisarms.com

“The first and second photo is of the Ingalls Hotel in Ingalls, Oklahoma where, in 1893, a running gun battle started between the Doolin gang and several marshals. Arkansas Tom was in an upper window and killed two marshals. Bill Tighlman was at the battle and this hotel was part of Bill Tilghman’s movie “The passing of the Oklahoma Outlaw”  The other two pictures are of the Dougherty, Oklahoma town jail built sometime in the late 1800’s. I took it this summer while on a motorcycle ride.” -Lynn McCumber





‘COME YE THANKFUL’. The modern British tradition of celebrating Harvest Festival in churches began in 1843, when the Reverend Robert Hawker invited parishioners to a special Thanksgiving service at his church at Morwenstow in Cornwall, England. Victorian hymns such as “We plough the fields and scatter”, “Come ye thankful people, come” and “All things bright and beautiful” helped popularize his idea of harvest festival and spread the annual custom of decorating churches with home-grown produce for the Harvest Festival service.

Words: Henry Alford, Psalms and Hymns, 1844Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied;
Come to God?s own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home.

All the world is God?s own field, fruit unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown unto joy or sorrow grown.
First the blade and then the ear, then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come, and shall take His harvest home;
From His field shall in that day all offenses purge away,
Giving angels charge at last in the fire the tares to cast;
But the fruitful ears to store in His garner evermore.

Even so, Lord, quickly come, bring Thy final harvest home;
Gather Thou Thy people in, free from sorrow, free from sin,
There, forever purified, in Thy garner to abide;
Come, with all Thine angels come, raise the glorious harvest home.

See everyone next week!

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

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