A Home Grown Home Page

Home of the This and That Newsletters

Vol 13  Issue 631    February 26, 2009

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

Email: butchbridges@oklahomahistory.net

I took Jill to her first Pow Wow last Saturday night at Ardmore’s Hardy Murphy Coliseum.  She loved it. The Ardmore Dream Catcher’s Pow Wow was sponsored by the Ardmore High School Native American Club.  If you’ve never attended a Pow Wow, I encourage you to find an upcoming event near you, and go.  Just do a google search for “Oklahoma Pow Wow” and you’ll find one coming soon to a city near you.  Or just go to www.PowWow.com and start your search plus learn much more!

You ask what is a Pow Wow?  Pow Wow time is the Native American people’s way of meeting together, to join in dancing, singing, visiting, renewing old friendships and make new ones. A time to renew thought of the old ways and to preserve a rich heritage. The Pow Wow begins by the Grand Entry. This is the entry of all the people entering the arena. During the Grand Entry, everyone is asked to stand as the flags are brought into the arena. The flags carried generally include the US flag, tribal flags, POW flag, and eagle staffs of various tribes present. These are usually carried by veterans. Native Americans hold the United States flag in an honored position despite the horrible treatment received from this country. The flag has a dual meaning. First it is a way to remember all of the ancestors that fought against this country. It is also the symbol of the United States which Native Americans are now a part. The flag here also reminds people of those people who have fought for this country.  A Native American Pow Wow is something everyone should experience at least once. My maternal great grandmother was Choctaw from Blount County, Alabama. I wish she was still alive so I could take her to a Pow Wow.  She’s been gone since 1965 and I still miss that lady.







In the last issue of T&T I had a typo in Herman Kirkwood’s email address.  I know some of you tried to email him and order the booklet “Was Justice Denied in Ada Oklahoma ($12 including postage).   Here is Herman’s email again:  srkirkwood@usa.com



Also in the mailbag below there is an 35 minute interview I made with Herman back in 2004.  You will need Microsoft Media Player to listen to the file.

Since last week’s T&T there has been many more photos, including a number of aerial photos, added to the Lone Grove Tornado folder.


After the storm left Lone Grove on February 10th it traveled on NE and dumping a lot of snow in the State of Maine where T&T reader Jerry Lewis lives.







Since the tornado there have been several companies selling storm shelters.  I saw one on display on the north side of Highway 70 between Lone Grove and Ardmore at Kings Road… selling for $2,350 which includes installation.


My shed/chicken coop is coming along nicely.  The 42 inch square wood pallets are held together end to end by two 5/16 inch bolts.  Seems very strong so far.  I still lack 4 pallets being able to finish up the walls.  If you know of any pallets in this area, 42 inch square, let me know.


Retired Ardmore Police Captain Rick Feiler sent in 3 group photos of APD that will sure take you back in time when you read over the names he’s attached to the police officers in the photographs. I recognize so many of them, some of them now passed on.  The dates of the photos are approximate, could be off a year either way.  Also there are a couple of officers whose names escapes Rick’s memory, if you know, send an email.




A Reader sent in an email this week asking about the abundance of lady bugs this year.  He lives near Plainview school and has never seen so many lady bugs.  The strange thing is here south of Lone Grove we had not seen that many.  Maybe some of you have???

During the tornado and it’s aftermath, our friend Ron McFarland, a T&T reader in Australia, was being plagued by brush fires.  We need to remember Ron and those in that area of the world, here is the story in his own words:

“At the time of your tornado, my attention was actually focused on another tragedy much closer to home. Saturday 7th February was the hottest day on the record for Melbourne, Australia (very SE corner of Australia). The temperature got to just over 47 degrees Celsius (116 F.), and the day was very windy. Our state was hit by the worst bushfires in its history. Entire communities were burnt to the ground by fires that spread so fast, and with such intensity, that people could not escape. The latest death toll is in the order of 210, and it’s still rising as searchers continue to sift through burnt out remains. Fires are still burning in remote locations.

Even in Berwick we had a couple of outbreaks. About 3 miles to the SW of our place, a grass fire adjoining a new housing estate destroyed about 8 houses; and about 1 mile to the NW, another fire burnt out a number of farm sheds but was brought under control before it reached the nearby forest area.

Here is a gallery of photos of the fires and some of the damage they inflicted:


Events like these show just how quickly, and violently, everything we have can be taken from us. I’m very pleased to hear that you and your family all came through your trials unscathed. Warm regards.” -Ron McFarland  ronmcf01@tpg.com.au

I have been using Irfanview  for many years to edit nearly all the photos you see in my newsletters.   I came across a free photo editing program using google by the name of Picasa.  Sure seems to have a lot of super features that Irfanview lacks.  Be sure and click on the informational video, it’s worth a 1,000 words.



That terrible twister may have put Lone Grove on the map with all the national coverage, but it also sent the Hits to my website through the roof.  On the day of the tornado, February 10th, my website received about 5,000 Hits, about average for daily Hits the past few months.  But 2 days after the tornado, there were over 10,000 Hits, and two days after that, over 50,000 hits in single day.  People all over the world were seeking anything they could find on the disaster, especially photos. As you will see in the web stats link below, the twister photos were the most looked at on my website.  All I can say is wow!


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


Oklahoma History Boards!


Q.   What governor said “Oklahoma is OK”?
A.   Raymond Gary

Q.   Who were the Buffalo Soldiers?
A.    (answer in next week’s T&T)

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..“The Wilson Historical Society and Museum will be hosting our Annual Recognition Dinner, Thursday evening, March 5th at 6:00 p.m. at the Chamber of Commerce/Lee Building on Main Street in downtown Wilson. It will be a pot-luck dinner hosted by the Society for which there is no charge; donations, of course, are appreciated.

The purpose of this dinner is to recognize and honor two “Friends of the Museum”. Of interest to local and area historians and researchers, Mary Jones Wilson of Lone Grove, noted collector of regional historical information, will be honored as will be the Oklahoma Historical Society for their financial support of the Wilson Historical Museum over the past few years.

In addition, others being recognized will be the Society’s Volunteers of the Year. Their identity is a closely guarded secret until the night of the event.

In order to ensure that sufficient food is available, reservations are needed no later than Sunday, March 1st. Please make your reservation by contacting the Wilson Historical Society by phone (580) 668-2505 Friday or Saturday, or by calling Carole Pinches at (580) 224-0766 or (580) 504-4076. We invite everyone interested in preserving the history of this part of southern Oklahoma to attend.”

“A friend gave me two rare Oil Field Catalogs for my museum (I have a big interest in antique oil field equipment as you know). One catalog dated 1916 has an illustration of a railroad tank car used for Oil Transportation. I’ve attached a scan of the page. You and I have been discussing the tank cars shown in one of my 1962 photos of the Healdton Santa Fe Yard. I’m not sure how the car in this illustration relates to the ones in Healdton but thought you might find it interesting. I haven’t heard back from anyone concerning the question of whether all those tank cars in Healdton at that time were pressurized or non-pressurized and if
pressurized why were there so many of them there.”  -Dwane Stevens

“Butch, Dwane was right. The path of the tornado DID go North of the intersection of Prairie Valley Rd. and Kings Rd. My daughter, Donna Elliott and her husband, Dick, live across the street from the vacant house that was destroyed. That hay was their hay. It used to be in their pasture on the West side of the road. Their house used to have a red metal roof. They had a lot of damage, besides the roof. About 12 windows, and a lot of glass and water damage. Also lost one pregnant cow. Everyone in the family, and a host of friends have spent a long week helping them. And there is still a lot of debris, from Lone Grove, that was dropped out of the tornado cloud, onto their pastures. It will take years to find it all. Everyone seems to think the tornado lifted on the East side of Lone Grove, and sat down again near I-35. But it didn’t. It stayed on the ground nearly all the way.”  -Jo Ann Piatt

“hi butch.  when i was a child visiting my grandparents in Davis, we would “go for a ride” usually on sunday afternoon.  this was before tv of course.  we would ride down the russell road in search of ripe persimmons in the fall, go look at the fall foliage, drive over to sulphur to the park to wade and catch snails. plaster ourselves with foul-smelling mud (supposed to cure what ails ya), swim in vendome or belleview.  one of my favorite rides was down to Dougherty near where my grandmother was born.  it seemed like the “wild west” to me.  once we were there walking on the wooden sidewalks, when i spied a red stain on the wood.  i imagined that there had been a shoot-out, and the stain was fresh blood. perhaps it was true.  what has happened to Dougherty?  is it still there? i haven’t heard you mention it before.”  -susan whitten, nee francis, of baton rouge

“Dear Butch, The article about Healdton in your last This ‘n That prompted the following memory. As a young man my father, Albert DeFratus, worked in a drug store in Healdton. He lived in the storeroom at the back. This would have been in the early or mid 1920’s. Evidently at that time, Healdton was a “wild and wooly” place because he slept with a shotgun under his bed.

In that storeroom was an old soda fountain in need of repair. My dad got it working again and after the store closed, he opened the back door and served fountain drinks to the African American townspeople who, due to the segregation of the time, could not be served in the store itself.

Later, Albert moved to Sulphur where he became a pharmacy apprentice to John Seeton of Seeton’s Drug. At that time, one could serve as an apprentice and then take the state pharmacy board exam and be licensed. Eventually my father bought the drug store and after returning from WWII, Bob Gowan became a partner. They ran the store together for many, many years. The store was sold to Mitch Hull and David Pittman in the 1970’s and Albert often served as relief pharmacist. He was opening the store when he had his final heart attack and died in the place where he had been such a vital part of the life of Sulphur.”  -Mary Lou DeFratus Heltzel

“Butch when you go to Sulphur Dog Trade Days to get those pullets dont miss one of tammy’s hamburgers. I get one every sunday, they are a meal.”

“I am also interested in the Bridges name.  My great grandfather was born James M. Bridges in 1856, I believe in Missouri.  He married my great grandmother in Travis County, TX in 1894.  They had several children before moving to Indian Territory between 1902 and 1905.  When they arrived in I. T., JMB took the name Edward Mack Merritt and the rest of the family kept their given names but took Merritt as their last name.  Would you have any knowledge of this?”  -Helen Hatfield, Chickasha, OK  helenhatfield@juno.com

On these two pages:


2004 audio interview (35 min) with Herman Kirkwood on Jesse Chisholm and Dr. Zeno Beemblossom


It says:

“…telling about the murder of a 13 year old son of Dr. Zeno Beemblossom before statehood.”
“…. Dr. Zeno Beemblossom and the murder of his 13 year old son by outlaws before statehood.”

According to the trial (MORAN v. TERRITORY OF OKLAHOMA) transcript:

Joseph Philip Beemblossom was 11 on the day he died, August 4, 1901

Also, Kenneth, you have his date of death as August 5, 1902, and his name as “Jay”?

Can we get a photo of young Joseph’s marker if he has one?

Thanks folks…REFERENCE:

Slide show of Lone Grove destruction.


Auction  Saturday, March 7, 2009  10:00 AM


Complete Dispersal of Farm Equipment/Machinery

DIRECTIONS: From The Intersection Of S.H. 19/133 (East Of Pauls Valley, OK) Travel North 3.2 Miles
OR From The Intersection Of S.H. 59/133 (West Of Byars, OK) Travel South 3.3 Miles. Auction East
Side Of Hwy. Watch For Signs. For Color Pictures & Complete Details:


“There is single grave on the East side of Hwy 177,  South of Sulphur, appx. 100 yards S of Buckhorn Creek on a ridge.  The grave is that of a horse thief and it was unmarked for years.  It has a tombstone now.  Does anyone know the story behind the hanging and does anyone know the name of the man buried there?”  -Ron Taylor – mindy@brightok.net

“Concerning tomatoes, I have already found that 40-50% shade is the difference between success and burned up here in Oklahoma.  Full sun is out of the question. So I am going to use a 40% shade cloth frame over the top when it starts to heat up.  I shall send pictures.”

Healdton Herald 4-4-1924
John Huckaby, 14-years-old, while rabbit hunting, his dog unearthed an old skunk hide wrapped around $10,000 in currency.  The money was believed to have been buried half a century ago as printing is almost illegible.  The money was sent to the currency department in Washington for redemption.

The Daily Ardmoreite September 3, 1916

Old Pioneer Tells Story of Early Days
Time has bequeath to SI LOVE, an old time negro, a rich legacy of highly prized memories of pioneer life in this country. Si was with BOB LOVE and from the famous LOVE family of the Indians, he took his name. He was born near Colbert 67 years ago. He has spent most the years about where Marietta and Ardmore are now. He and other boys captured buffalo calves where the city of Ardmore now stands. He has chased and captured many wild turkeys in this state.

But Uncle Si has aided in the capture of bigger game than the buffalo and it is this game that he likes most to talk of. He knows a dozen different tribes of Indians. He lived here with the peaceful Chickasaws and Choctaws and was their friend and they were his. But when the wild tribes made their raids in here, it was then, that Si shouldered his gun and went with other men in defense of the tribal estate. Some of his relatives were slain by the Indians and his mother, who is now 100 years old, and who contentedly lives with her son south of Lone Grove two miles, bears the scars of the arrow of the Indian which was aimed at her to snuff out her life.

Si says he has been over many a fresh battle ground. He helped gather the dead white men and bury their bodies, but he never found in the battlefield the body of an Indian. “I known now why it was,” he said, “when the Indian went into battle, he was tied to his horse. If he received a fatal shot, his horse often escaped and took the body of the dead Indian away.” The way to fight the Indians says this old warrior is to shoot the horses down. The Indian depends on his horse for protection, he is so skilled at riding that he can lie on the side of the animal and shoot over his back. With the horse out of the way, the Indian is a poor fighter.

In the early days the Indians here sold many cattle. There were no banks close where money would be deposited and if there had been one, the Indians would have been afraid of them. He took his pay for cattle in gold and that gold was kept about the Indian cabins. Uncle Si says there should be some valuable deposits of gold found near here. At a place two miles south and a little west of Ardmore, a vast sum of money was buried and that money is there today.

For 13 years Uncle Si has lived near Lone Grove. He owns an 80 acre farm and for six years prior, he lived in Ardmore. All the old timers know him. He knows as much about human nature as a man of the prairies can know and he knows more than any of the college professors can ever learn. He is a child of the prairies, he was brought up in the early days when men had to be men. They had to look to themselves for their own protection. Those were times when only the stout hearted braved the wilds and remained here. There were no soft spots of living. Those were times when men sat peacefully and contentedly in their own cabins except when there were raids made by the wild tribes and when they were all Minute Men and went to their arms with a stubborn resolve to drive the intruders back to the mountains.

There are but few people living now who went through those times that tried the souls of men. And these men are entitled to the respect and admiration of those living here now. It was the spirit of adventure that grew in their bosoms that conquered the wild west, that made it inhabitable. The work of those men paved the way for the school, for the church, for civilization. Some one had to undergo those hardships that a peaceful country might be handed down as heritage to others. They did their work well and just how well is shown by the civilization that has followed in the wake of the Indian raids. When this class of old heroes are gone, much of the history of the country will be buried with them. They will have no successors. When their candles are snuffed out, there will be no class of men to relight them. The traditions of the early days will largely pass with them.

“I’m a Born Again American, conceived in Liberty
My Bible and the Bill of Rights, my creed’s equality
I’m a Born Again American, my country ’tis of me
And everyone who shares the dream from sea to shining sea.”


See everyone next week!

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

Save on long distance calls, just a couple cents a minute!
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

All previous issues of This & That can be found on my Website.
Feel free to forward this free newsletter. Mailouts: over 1,600.
To be removed from my T&T mailings, just send me an email.
I do not sell, trade or give my mailing list to anyone for any reason.