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Vol 13  Issue 625    January 15, 2009

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

Email: butchbridges@oklahomahistory.net

Years ago before statehood Wilson, Oklahoma was located in the very far SE corner of Carter county, in an area east of what would become Lake Murray. When it was moved to where Wilson is located today, it was called New Wilson. The old Wilson was located near the Wilson Creek and nearby was the Wilson Creek cemetery.  A T&T Reader’s daughter was at the Wilson Creek cemetery a few days ago, and took some digital night photos while inside the cemetery. The nighttime photos below have some very strange images on them…. orbs, aberrations, mists, ghosts or whatever they might be called, they’re still strange images on the pictures.  I sure don’t know what the images are, so take a look, and you be the judge.




Speaking about some strange things going on, many have forgotten about the big UFO scare over Ardmore back in 1964.


The 4th annual Ardmore Coin Show was held November 8, 1964 at Lake Murray Lodge.  Maybe someone will remember this club and its members?



There was a write-up in the February 1970 True West magazine on Buck Garrett.


Then in the April 1971 True West magazine there was an article on Bud Ballew.


From April 20, 2002 T&T:  “Louise Riotte (1909 – 1998) was an Ardmoreite and wrote many columns for The Daily Ardmoreite as well as her own books and short stories. Many of us will remember her promoting organic gardening. I would stop by her house on 11th and K Street NW and in her backyard she had all kinds of neat projects growing. But what a lot of people either didn’t know or forgot about, is Louise Riotte wrote a story in the Frontier Times back in November 1980. It was published by Western Publications of Iola, Wisconsin, and was an article about Marshal Dow Brazil and Deputy Bud Ballew.” -Butch Bridges

I don’t know for sure, but my educated guess is the 2 articles above were submitted to True West magazine by Louise Riotte.

Shug West Grocery was located about five miles east of Ardmore on Highway 199 at Dripping Springs. The original was built in 1945 just after the WWII.  The second which still stands but not too much longer was built in the mid-1950s.  The first original Shug West Grocery was a metal building (1945). It was moved to 9th and E Street SE and is still used today for a storage shed.



Note: The old Shug West Grocery was demolished to make way for the widening of Highway 199 on January 12, 2009.

Find out if any Felons live near you.  http://www.familywatchdog.us/

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


There are new postings.  Check out the Oklahoma History Boards!


Q.   How many square miles does Oklahoma contain?
A.    69,916

Q.   What outlaw gang robbed a train in Wharton (Perry) in 1891?
A.   (answer in next week’s T&T)

The Poteau River (eastern Oklahoma) is the only river in Oklahoma that flows north.

In April 1827, the steamboats Catawba, Velocipede, and Scioto steamed into Fort Gibson with supplies.

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..Mr. Earsom at Sulphur has requested that I forward this to help in the attempt to find relatives of war hero Raymond Harvey of Sulphur, OK. Harvey will be honored in Sulphur on March 27, 2009 at the Arbuckle Historical Society Museum. Nancy Namm is the former Nancy Parmenter. At this writing, she has been unable to find any of the Harvey family. Please forward this to all of your contacts. Anyone who knows the Raymond Harvey family should contact  NanaNamm1@aol.com

“My name is Martin Oliver Bridges, Sr. I am trying to research the Bridges Family and have lost a link. One time (unfortunately for me) I found a newspaper article from the mid-1800’s concerning my great-grandfather. His name was John Simpson Bridges and he had tracked some attempted bank robbers from southern Oklahoma to Texas where he lost the trail after they had crossed a river and rain had washed away the tracks. This was a story which has been circulating among our family for a long time (obviously). I believe the robbery had occurred somewhere close to Ardmore in the Indian Territory between 1860 and 1870. According to the article, the robbers had failed to kick in the back door of the bank but had stolen two horses.

According to everything I have found so far I do not believe we are in the same family tree, but then again I have only been researching my direct lineage. There may be information in my research which you could complete that may combine our two family trees. You can see what I’ve found in my web site: http://www.bridgestree.org

Most of the information I have is either from the family bible, family oral history, or from US Census records.

If you have access to any information that could help me locate that newspaper article I would appreciate it greatly. The only other information we have on John S Bridges is that he died on a cattle drive from Texas to Kansas of consumption, but we don’t have the date or location.”  -Martin O Bridges, Sr.  mbridges1@bridgestree.org

“Butch:  I checked with friends from Ditch Witch (the plants are here in Perry) and the machines identified in the picture in your last newsletter were NOT made by Charles Machine Works (Ditch Witch).  Ditch Witch NEVER made equipment that looks like that.  Sometime when you’re in the neighborhood you should take a tour of the plant.  They make a huge variety of diggers, etc.”  -Roy K https://oklahomahistory.net/ttphotos9a/DitchWitch010109.jpg

“Butch, some of your readers might be interested in this if they don’t know about it already. My husband recently died after many years of illness and after being his primary care giver for so long I found myself with some time on my hands. Someone told me about http://www.adoptaussoldier.org/ and I checked it out and adopted a young soldier in Iraq. Our church ladies auxiliary was so excited about it they decided to co-adopt him with me so now I have adopted a second one. The soldiers are so appreciative of people at home supporting them and taking an interest. It doesn’t take a lot of time and I have found the rewards far outweigh the effort. Plus I can’t go over there and fight but I can let one or two of them know I care and that I pray for them every day.

Here are some excerpts from one adopted soldier’s response: “You just don’t know what you have done for the morale of me and all my soldiers. We have been going through a real rough time and a week ago we had to watch as they put a couple of our friends in some body bags. But the care packages that you have sent really put a smile on all the soldiers faces and gave them a piece of home. Some of them broke down and cried and some just sat on the desert floor and ate the goodies……..I thank God for you and all those who gave. I passed out the cards and letters (from a church group) to all the soldiers and it was kind of hard to watch some of them read the cards because with some of them, their own families don’t even write them and it is hard for me to understand how can complete strangers care more about us than our families”. I hope some of your readers will take an interest in this.”  -Leta McCurry, Florence, OR

“What a sad day this is, this is the lot that on Sunday the old Dripping Springs store used to stand. All of Carter county’s old timers all knew a great old man named Shug West who owned and ran this store at the Dripping Springs location. So much for progress I guess we need the new road.”  -Doug Williams https://oklahomahistory.net/ttphotos9a/ShugWestGroGone011309.jpg

“Would you see if any of your Readers have items or pictures of the Shackelford-Seeton Drug store in Sulphur, OK?  John Seeton later bought out H.S. Shackelford and the store became Seeton Drug.  My father, Albert DeFratus, and his partner Bob Gowan bought the store from John Seeton.  After them, the store was owned by Mitch and Ann Hull.”  -Mary Lou DeFratus Heltzel   helt@brightok.net

“Butch, Just want to share some information with your readers from a book “Ghost Towns of Oklahoma” about my home community of ORR, Oklahoma located in the extreme west end of Love County. I survived the depression years and lived there all my life until I graduated from high school and joined the Army near the end of WWII and was sent to the Pacific where I served with the Occupation Forces in Japan.”  -Edgar Wallace, edgarwallace@sbcglobal,net

Post Office: July, 21, 1892 – November 29, 1957
Orr, founded in the early 1880’s, developed as an agricultural center. Growth in population and in services was continuous until about 1915, when approximately five hundred people lived in the town and some fifteen to twenty commercial establishments served the towns-people and farmers living in the adjacent area.

The business district fronted one square block with stores and shops located on all four sides. No side, however, was completely built up. Most of the buildings were one-story frame structures, some being almost flat with the ground and others having high foundations and front porch loading docks. The largest stores, in both area occupied and total sales, were the general stores, which handled everything from drugs to groceries and from clothing to farm machines. The bank, a rock structure, and a “movie” were on the south side of the square. Churches, a school system. and a telephone exchange were organized shortly after Orr was established. A feed mill, cotton gins, and blacksmith shops were also in operation. In 1913 the town had two hotels and three doctors.

Orr began to decline about the time of World War I. Many young men who went into the service did not return. Cotton “wore out” the sandy soil, and formally cultivated fields returned to pasture. Few jobs were available during the depression years of the 1930’s. State highways bypassed the town some three miles to the west and some six miles to the south, and county roads leading to the area were and still are poor. In 1949 the high school was closed, and in 1963 the few remaining grade school students were transferred to other districts.

The town square can still be located, but no business buildings remain. One small school building and the foundation of another, the storm cellar, and some playground equipment are on the school site. The cement sidewalk that led from the school to the town square can be followed for a part of the way. One small church remains active.(Note by Edgar Wallace: The one building that remains on the school ground is the Lunch Room and is used as headquarters for the former students reunion which is held each year on the second Saturday in June.)

“With the introduction to the Zeke Putnam story by the OKOLHA a few years ago at the placing of a marker on his grave, I became intrigued with the man and his relevance to the history of Allen, Oklahoma. It has taken me quite a long time, but I have thoroughly researched all the evidence I could find and have compiled a booklet containing the actual accounts of events of his assassination. During my research, I was able to locate two of Zeke Putnam’s grandsons who have graciously contributed family photos and additional information. With all the history of the event in place, I approached the City of Allen and the Police Chief, Eric Holcolmb with a plan. With the help of Holcolmb, the City will name the new bridge in town “Ezekiel M. Putnam Memorial Bridge”, and January 16, 2009, has been designated “Zeke Putnam Day.”  Remembering the 100th anniversary of Zeke Putman’s death, the Allen Historical Society and the City will have a Honor Guard dedication ceremony. The public is invited to attend the informal ceremony and the reception that will follow. At a later date, we will have a permanent marker honoring Marshal Putnam placed in the new Allen Historical Society Park when it is completed. Three generations of Zeke’s descendants plan to attend our event.

We will meet at the Farmer’s State Bank lobby (drive-by location) around 1:00 Friday, January 16th, with the ceremony beginning at 1:30. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate. The ‘come and go’ reception should last a couple hours in order for folks to have time to visit. The bank building is our alternate bank adjacent to City Hall, which is across from the west side of the school. It is located on the corner of Broadway and North Memphis, downtown Allen, Oklahoma.

Sheila Valpredo
Allen Historical Society

“Hi Butch, Thought that you might enjoy knowing about this segment that was on the 10 o’clock news tonight.  Your relative, Story Sloane – descendant of Wm Cain, is involved in the photography of Houston’s history and will publish a book later this year.”http://www.khou.com/topstories/stories/khou090109_jj_houston-old-photographs.ca4f62e.html


“Hi Butch, I wanted to reply to your quiz about the bird on your feeder, but figured someone would let you know. In the winter you get lots of birds visiting. Some are really new to me. Couple years back I had a Painted Bunting hang around for a few days. Then he/she was gone. Get some of the suet filled cakes. The little birds really like them. Tractor Supply and Orschelin have them. Best regards for this another new year.” -Ken Updike, Wilson, Oklahoma

“Hi Butch, I’m making an album of my mother’s biography, pictures included. Her name is Fern Worley and she is ninety-seven years old. She lives alone on Choctaw NW and gets around very well. She stopped driving last July because she had a fender bender so that was it for her. She was born in Provence to Robert Lee and Betty Bruce Stanford in 1911. She is the only sibling living out of ten; she had six sisters and three brothers. She married my father, David Worley, from Ardmore who is now deceased. I’m sure you know who I’m talking about. Mother, Daddy, my sister, brother and I lived on G Street NE a block from your grandfather Carmon’s lumber yard and store. Your cousin, Carol Carmon Cole, was one of my close friends, we attended Washington School, Junior High and High School together.

I have some old pictures of Mother when she was younger, I just need some pictures of Provence in the early 1900’s, the old school house that Mother and her siblings attended, and the second one when the first one burned down. Mother told me Provence back then was a thriving rural community. It had a post office and a general store called Horne’s Mercantile and was owned by a Mr. Horne and his wife Sister Esther. Mother was born in a little house right across the street from this store. Nearby were the railroad tracks running east and west. The Santa Fe train stopped daily to pick up and deliver mail and let passengers off or on, and there was a little depot by the tracks where people could wait for the train. When Mother and her siblings were older, they went to school in Dickson and thought nothing of walking the distance, usually taking a short cut through the fields and woods, over hills and dales in all kinds of weather. Can you imagine?

Maybe some of your Readers can help me compile information about Provence and perhaps share old pictures as well. I would appreciate it very much.” -Mary Dube   MDDube@aol.com

“Butch as much as you and your wife travel around, I am sure this web site will be very informative prior to visiting another zip code. Type in the zip and look at all the info it provides.”  -Don Greenaway 

“hi butch.  i spent many summers in davis & at turner falls.  my cousins & i decided to go looking for a cave that my father had described.  we went up the creek & bore to the left around several bends, at times walking in the water.  i don’t know how far it was, but it seemed very far to a child.  we came to what looked like a hole in the ground.  my cousin, a boy 2 years older than i took the lead & slid down a muddy slope & landed in a pile of dry leaves.  our parents had warned us to look out for rattlesnakes.  the first thing that occurred to me was, “there must be snakes in those leaves”.  my cousin assured me that he did not see any snakes.  so  i went for it & slid down the slope as well as did my younger girl cousin.  we only had a flashlight that we took from my grandmother’s house.  we hid it because we knew that they did not want us to go into any cave except wagon wheel & the one over the falls.  well,   we were too scared to go back any further into the cave.  we crawled out with great difficulty, never to return.  our parents & grandparents never knew this story.  thank goodness!”  -susan

“I am researching George R. Tucker, Deputy U. S. Marshal 1889 (Paris, TX) and in 1896 transferred to Ardmore. His wife Belle Tucker died 1898 and I think he remarried an Annie by 1900 and is widowed again by 1910 when he is Chief of police at Waurika, Jefferson Co., OK. Then by 1920 he is back in Carter Co. at Healdton running a boarding house.

I am writing a book about his life called “Danger Trails” and I seek any information on him. There are some descendants living in Ardmore but they know little about him. He was also assistance police chief there in Ardmore at one time and held other positions with the city and county. Belle is buried at Rose Hill I think and George is buried in Ardmore but a Great Grandson cannot remember which cemetery but said it was close to Rose Hill and the name escaped him when we talked on the phone. If anyone has info on this George Tucker, please contact me.” -Norm Brown, West TX  norm@sptc.net

CARTER COUNTY SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT’S 1923 VISITING CARD:  Dear Pupil, Rudyard Kipling was right when he said “Yours is the world and everything that’s in it.”  I am hoping that on my visit to your school I may cause you to realize the great possibilities in Life for the boy or girl who early realize the importance of making the most of their educational opportunities and who earn the great lesson of self control.  Keep this poem, read it, think about it and if you care to, add it to your memory of gems. The beautiful thoughts in this poem will help you in claiming the good things in life. –Kate Galt Zanies  1887 – 1973

‘ If ‘ by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master,
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges
Ardmore Oklahoma
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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