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Vol 13  Issue 635  March 26, 2009

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

Email: butchbridges@oklahomahistory.net

I mentioned a couple weeks ago about the upcoming 100th anniversary of the infamous Ada hanging.  April 19, 1909 was a day that hit all the newspapers in the country about the hanging of four men in Ada, Oklahoma early that morning.  Jill and I are planning to make the OKOLHA Rendezvous that weekend in Ada, we hope to see some of you there.  This week I received the following email:

“My documentary about the 1909 lynching in Ada is going to air this April 19th at 9:30 PM (Sunday night). That is the 100th anniversary of the hanging. Here’s the website for the film.”  -Will Boggs, Ada


I received two photos the other day from Thal McGinness in Houston (See the Mailbag below).  His dad, Jess McGinness, retired from the Ardmore Police Department, and these 2 photos are from his collection.  I recognize some of the officers listed from those days, 1949, as they were older during my younger years.  I see Lawton Smithers, he drove one of the Harley Davidson 3-wheelers downtown everyday working traffic when I was a teen. He just lived about 4 blocks east of me but on N NE (near 4th Street NE).  I’d drive by his house sometimes on my 305cc Honda Super Hawk and I’d see his police 3 wheeler sitting in his yard.  I see Wes Henderson in the group photo, he was so easy going, always calm and collected.  I also see a Charles Beane.  I knew a Charlie Beane who ran a barber shop just east of Cardinal Park around the 400 block of P Street SE back in the 60s.  I wonder if this is same Charlie Beane?

I almost have my shed made from wood pallets finished.


T&T readers continue to send in more area grocers to include on the grocery store Page.


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


Oklahoma History Boards!


Q.   Who was the first Oklahoma governor to campaign on TV?
A.    J. Howard Edmondson

Q.    Who was Oklahoma’s first astronaut?
A.    (answer in next week’s T&T)

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..“Butch, I am not going to be able to be at the Earth Day in April so if anybody around here wants a Plumeria cheap give me a call at 220-9052 I don’t know how many will make but a couple of weeks will tell to see how many will sprout.


Also German Fest is next month    http://www.germanfest.net   -Doug Williams

Raymond Harvey of Sulphur, OK. will be honored in Sulphur on Friday March 27, 2009 at the Arbuckle Historical Society Museum. Captain (Lt. Col. Ret.) Raymond Harvey is Sulphur’s and the Chickasaw Nation’s only Medal of Honor Recipient.

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“Well, Spring has sprung here in Montana. We had the first two Juncos come visit yesterday. Did I mention snow?  A storm is supposed to arrive Sunday off the Pacific. I think it will go nicely with what we already have.” -Monroe Cameron



“Butch, I just wanted to tell you and your newsletter readers about a great on-line photo service I recently discovered. The company is Art-Tec Prints and is located in Sun Valley, CA. Their online link is below. They have an on going special on 8X10 inch prints for only 85 cents each plus shipping. That’s dirt cheap compared to all the other sources I’ve checked, local and on line. In fact it is so cheap that I was skeptical about the quality but decided to give them a try. I ordered ten 8X10 inch prints of some of my railroad and family digital photos for a total of $14.30 (including shipping). To my pleasant surprise the quality is fantastic and they printed on Kodak Royal Digital Paper. Just go to their website, create an account and upload your photos. Their instructions are easy to follow. They have other services also but I’ve only tried the prints.”  -Dwane Stevens


“In the early  70s.  Just North of Beaver is Pioneer Park, or was, it is one of the most beautiful sand parks I have ever seen.  It contains a lot of Sand Dunes.  Back in the early 70s we went to Pioneer Park on the weekends and watched the dune buggies race and mainly just having a good time.” -Judie

“Stanley and Velma Trent’s grocery and Post Office in Brock. Stanley was also preacher at the Baptist church next door.  It closed around 1953(?).  This is just from a fairly vague memory, I was around 7 at the time. Anybody else know exactly?”

“Hi Butch! Just found this website and love it! The lady’s name at the concession stand at the Tivoli was Ava Webb. We grew up in the same neck of the woods west of Overbrook by Rock Crossing.”

“Butch, There was Hicks Grocery on the SW corner of C” St. & 7th Ave NW. in the 1930’s, later sold to ? Name escapes me but they lived the second house north of above intersection on C, Should be able to check City Directory about 1948 – 49.

Also on McLish W of HWY (sw) Close to Thompson’s Grocery was Zellners Grocery. When I had Ardmoreite Paper Route 9, These were my only “weekly” subscribers, @ two bits a week. Of course I was obligated to stop for refreshments, that always cost me more than I collected, but the route carried 92 customers of which 44 paid “Annually”, so my paper bill was covered within 2 or 3 dollars of my monthly paper bill. I later had Route 28 with 125 or so Customers, covering “I”, “K”, Wheeler’” and “L” and a similar number of annual customers. There was another Grocery fronting the Hwy 70, that also paid weekly. One on each route.

Also the B Street location of the Ellis Grocery was originally the location of Martins Grocery. Martins lived on the corner of 7th & B NW, Grandson named Baron Goodfellow. There was a large veggie garden between the house and the store to the North.  Mrs. Martin had a big Black Kettle in the back yard, used for washing clothes weekly and occasionally making lye soap. She had a large “poke bush” along the North side of the house – (Poke salad) but the berries were poison, so you had to be sure not to put you hands to your face after getting them a bright red stain by crushing the berries. Probably was used as an Indian paint also. Took several days to get rid of the stain…with lye soap!

“Gunner” Thompson owned the Thompson’s Grocery I believe about 1 Block from Bixby or in that neighborhood, and also the Pak-A Sacks, which were early type Seven Elevens. I worked with Tommy Anastasio at the one on 12th Ave NW, but before that I worked for Tommy as a Primrose Dairy Delivery boy, when he had the route all over town. I was 12 and got my first job by soliciting Tommy at the Ellis Grocery across from where I lived. Tommy paid 50 cents a day and “all the milk I could drink” WE had a wonderful time that summer, starting work at 3:30 AM to load up out by Dornick Hills to load up (and learned about “past-your eyes” ing milk. Even watch a demonstration here last fall  at the Texas Fair.

Seems to me there was another owner before Ellis who bought the Martin store, tore it down and rebuilt the Cement Block Store, before Ellis.

Before and during WWII my father, Josh Renfro, did a lot of the commercial refrigeration service for all the major grocers, some of the smaller groceries, cold storage etc and some residential. and I was
going with him to many of the locations before I started School at Franklin. I remember Mr. Williams “Greenfront” on Main, as my dad came to Franklin School, took me out to see the fire when the store burned down. It was a hot one as the wooden floors were soaked with the oil put in Floor Sweep. Quite a site and a lot of spectators! I don’t think the teachers liked it, but I got a couple of hours hookey with my dad! The fire must have been in 1941 or 2, I think.”  -Jim Renfro

“Butch, Just a note:  In the picture of Jim and brother Reeves.  Most likely the guns, bottle and boots are props. Many personal photos  of that era used props.  And so while they are somewhat indicative of the era, they usually are not suggestive of the character and or behavior of the person in the picture.” -Larry

“Butch, your latest newsletter mentioned Grocery Stores in Carter County. I have a couple of photos to add to your collection.

One is the “Rexroat Grocery.” It was located on Dillard Road three miles North of Hwy 70 on the SW corner of the intersection. This put it one mile West of the Rexroat School. It was owned and operated by Ruby Freeman and as you can see it was quite small. I remember going in there many times with my Dad, Carl W. Stevens, back in the early 1960’s. He operated some of the old oilfield central powerhouses in the area and we would stop in for a pop and candy. Ruby had canned goods, etc. and one of those pop coolers that had water in it. The pop bottles sat in the cold water and you would just open the lid and take out a bottle. Ruby didn’t have room in the store for a meat cooler so she kept the bologna and cheese in her fridge at her house on the south side of the store. My Dad took the photo of one of his longtime best friends, Corky Bolles, standing in front of the store.


The second photo is of Hooper’s Cafe across the road from the Rexroat School. I think Dad told me it was a cafe and store. Notice the sign says “School Supplies.” At the time of the photo my Grandmother, Francis Stevens, was operating the store and some of her kids and Grandkids are shown in front of the store. I think this was the same building that Mary Wilson’s parents had their grocery store in (Jones Grocery) as shown on your website of “Ardmore and Carter County Grocery Stores.”  -C. Dwane Stevens


“My grandfather Lewis Porter Staples ran a grocery and market before the streets in Ardmore were even paved. I have a picture with several people in it in front of the market. I would assume it was located on Main Street. I do not know the name but if anyone could fill in some of the blanks it would be greatly appreciated. And of course with the information I would like to add it to the grocery store list.” -Ron Staples ronald.staples@sbcglobal.net

The Waurika News Democrat
Waurika, Jefferson County, Oklahoma

Friday, May 13, 1938

Fire Destroys Big Building at Mountain Home
Jefferson County lost its third large consolidated school building by fire Saturday night when the large building in Mountain Home district, four miles northwest of Ringling, went up in flames. Buildings at Ringling and Addington have been lost in fire during the recent years.

“There was a C & W Grocery on Highway 76 on west side of Healdton during the ’40s. It was owned by Clay and Wayne Golson.”

“I worked at KWTV at the same time.  There were many people working there at the time and most of us only associated with the folks who we had a frequent contact with.  Two or three of the engineers were folks who I knew because we’d shared conversations during lunch or while on a coffee break, and I spoke to several as I passed through master control (where I think your dad worked) on my way to or from the projection room when I delivered filmed shows, movies, or trays commercial or promotional ‘spots’.  I wish I still had Gene Ruby’s email address (it was lost when I had a computer crash) because he probably worked with your dad frequently. 
   Usually, the engineers spent time at various monitor screens while checking the quality of the picture or sound and making certain that everything was as perfect as it could be as the broadcast signal went out ‘over the air’.  They controlled the input from: the announce booth; the projection room (film, slides, photos or ‘layouts’ that were projected from a camera trained on them in what was called a “Telop” or “Ballop” machine, etc.), and from the director’s booth which overlooked the studio and controlled which camera or microphone to ‘take’ and send out to the control booth for the engineers to transmit over the air.
   The engineers were also the folks who kept the transmitters tuned to peak performance so that the broadcast picture and sound would be in perfect synchronization as it went out ‘over the air’.
   My job as film editor kept me in my own little ‘cubby-hole’ office where I viewed all the films that came in for content (censoring anything that might not pass ‘code’) and so that I could make any necessary cuts for time (length of the film or sometimes a commercial) and to indicate where the commercial breaks would be.  A paper ‘cue sheet’ was included with each film show or movie that I took in to projection and that sheet informed the projectionist as to the exact time to insert the commercials (which were threaded up on different projectors) and the exact complete length of the show.  I also ‘broke’ the film by inserting about three feet of white ‘leader film’ into the main film at those precise locations.  The timing was done by using a mechanical footage counter that each film was run through by hand (3 feet of 16mm film equals 5 seconds, which means that 36 feet equaled one minute, etc.) as I put the film through a ‘viewer’.  I also sometimes used a mechanically operated electronic ‘sound reader’ to make certain that I didn’t make a cut in ‘mid-sentence’.  This was a dream job for me because I was such a fan of old movies anyway, having been a movie projectionist in theatres; plus in the field while in the airforce; and having owned and operated my own movie theatres.  I stayed in the movie theatre business for more than 30 years (even during the 9 years as film editor at Channel 9, KWTV). 
   I know that I haven’t given you the answers that you were looking for, but perhaps have enlightened you a little bit on the inner workings of television ‘back stage’ so to speak.  It’s not all the glamour as seen by the eye of the camera, but it was still lots of fun. 
   Also, the local folks didn’t make those fabulous salaries that you hear of ‘Hollywood” stars making.  My salary at the end of those nine years was only $90 per week and I quit because it just wasn’t enough to support my growing family (our second baby was on the way) and the place that I went to next (National Theatre Supply) hired me at a starting salary of $125 per week and that was increased to $135 (plus commissions) after just 30 days on the job.  I was still operating two small-town theatres (at Tuttle and Minco, Oklahoma) at night and then later, my wife and I added the management of the popcorn stands at Frontier City to our ‘jobs’ for a season.  Following that summer we leased the theatres at Perry, Oklahoma and moved here (making a longer ‘commute’ to the OKC job and also to the theatres at Tuttle and Minco, but it was an exciting time for us and the income was reasonable).” -Roy Kendrick

“After operating the Corner Grocery at 2nd and H Street NW, Thurman and Lois Loughridge later opened the Loughridge TV store on Commerce and west of G Street NW.”

The Comedy Barn in Tennessee is home to a long-running variety show. One of the show?s staples is a standup comedian. For one bit, he pulls audience members onstage. But on this day, he got more than he bargained for. One man breaks up the show. No, he?s not causing trouble. He?s just laughing. But isn?t comedy supposed to make you laugh? Wait until you hear this guy. Even the professional can?t keep a straight face. Enjoy.


“I am sending these pictures to you for the T&T. I thought folks might like to know what who to call in the Ardmore area in case they want to capture any honey bees they might find. Honey bees are hard to come by these days, so even if you don’t want them, give Donald Boydston (580-221-1883) a call and he’ll help you out. Our “hive” was discovered by my sister-in-law on an old house she recently purchased. The hive was about 2 feet wide and 1 foot top-to-bottom. We called Donald and he put the bees in a box hive which we moved to our property. It is best to move bees in the evening when they have returned to the hive and are not swarming. He was very patient with us and taught us the basics. The bees have wintered over very nicely and are busy making honey even as I type.”





“Here’s some more for the archives of the Ardmore PD. The two scans are very near one another in time as noted by the youth of the ‘new pup’ (Dad), the age of the car and the dating on the magazine page. New Officer? Note that the Sam Browne is reversed in the two pictures and he is the only one in the group photo with it holding up the empty side of his belt! At least someone taught him the proper way to wear it before appearing in the national magazine.

A page from “The Peace Officer” magazine dated November 1949 with the same uniformed crew plus the mascot, Winniepoo, and 4 desk Sgts. Yes, that’s the same Ott Welch who later became Chief.” -T. E. (Thal) McGinness, Houston, TX.


Uniformed Patrol L-to_R: Wes Henderson, Howard Salon, Ernest Holley, Jess Salon, Lawton Smithers, Jess McGinness, Chief Hubert Bartlett. Missing is Matt Alexander.


Museum Memories – Contributed by Melinda Taylor
Extracted from the Lone Grove Ledger archives (originally taken from The Daily Ardmoreite)

85 years ago:
Aug. 5 – Hewitt.  The work on the new Methodist church is progressing nicely and the building will be ready for occupancy soon.

Nov. 18 – The Methodist Church, South, people will no doubt be the first to have a church building in Wilson, although it will be a close race, between that denomination and the Christians. Rev. Dr. W. U. Witt of Ardmore, presiding elder for this district, has closed a contract with the Wilson Townsite Company for two lots on which to put a church building and parsonage immediately. The South Methodists now have a church structure in the course of construction at Hewitt and it will be moved to the Wilson site. Rev. H. B. Thompson, now located at Lone Grove, has the circuit including Wilson, and will preach there after the church is located. Rev. Witt intends making Wilson a permanent charge with a pastor stationed there regularly. The Christian Church at Hewitt will also be moved to Wilson in the near future.

Dec. 2 – The Methodist Church has been moved from here to Wilson.

March 31 – The Methodist Episcopal Church announced the following appointments: Lone Grove and Wilson, J. C. Sessums; Woodford, Charles Mann

The Wilson Historical Museum has a collection of church notebooks filled with histories, news articles, records and pictures. All churches from Wilson and the surrounding communities are represented. You are welcome to stop by and look at these notebooks or add information and pictures. Wilson Historical Museum is open 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Tues., Thur., Fri., Sat.

When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments; tenderness for what he is, and respect for what he may become. -Louis Pasteur

See everyone next week!

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

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American Flyers Memorial Fund – Administration Webpage
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Carter county schools, past and present
Carter County Government Website

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