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Vol 13  Issue 651  July 16, 2009

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

Email: butchbridges@oklahomahistory.net

I’m starting this issue out on a sad note. The 1928 Seth Thomas clock at
the courthouse
 stopped running about a month ago. The original electric
motor burned out. I took it to a local electric motor repair, but they
said they can not find another motor to replace it with. There is actually
2 electric motors that keeps the clock working, one (a newer motor) keeps
the big heavy weight pulled up as needed, to ring the bell. This 2nd motor
is smaller and keeps the actual clock works running. Maybe someone out
there might know where we can get a replacement motor. Here are the specs:

MODEL:  26138
FRAME:  1137
AMPS:   3.2
VOLTS:  110
H.P.:   1/8
SPEED:  1725
General Electric
Schenectady, NY

Picture of the actual motor plate:


View looking down from top

Looking at front from an angle

Back view

View looking at bottom with mounting hole measurements

Close up view of shaft

When I was a teenager I worked about a year for Pace Electric on Caddo and 3rd NE. My primary job was repairing the electric motors people brought it. But they were much larger motors, like 10 and 20 horse, and much easier to put new motor windings in. This is such a small motor, it would be a lot more delicate work and cheaper to just replace the burned out motor with a new one.  Replacement is about the only answer. If anyone knows where we can get such a motor, let me know.

While we’re on sad stories, a friend of mine went to the tag agent at
Wilson to renew his drivers license a couple months ago. They gave him a
new drivers license, but failed to keep the “M” endorsement (for
motorcycle) on it. He didn’t notice it until he got home, gave them call,
and was told since its already in the computer, there was nothing that
could be done. After numerous phone calls, even to the Department of Public Safety in OKC, he had to give up on getting a new one with the M on it. He ended up having to go to Ada (that was the town where they gave the motorcycle test the soonest) and take the motorcycle test over. He had the M endorsement for his entire life and they failed to reissue it on the renewal. I’d be asking for an Administrative Hearing at the DPS in OKC or contacting an attorney. I’ve had an “M” on my license for 45 years.

This week I added Volume 8 of Betty Carroll’s “Once Upon A Time” audios to the website.


Ardmoreite Steven Harris sent in a couple of neat old Ardmore photos this week.  This first one is an old menu from Priddy’s Cafe on Main Street.


Here’s another great photo Steven sent in, a 4th of July parade in downtown Ardmore around 1896.  I even see the water well in the middle of the street.  A real piece of Ardmore history, thanks Steven.


Speaking of water wells, with this 100 plus weather the past week or two, we’ve been relying heavily on our water well for outside watering.  I been running a sprinkler or two for as much as 24/7 for 6 days straight, and never have pumped it dry.  I’m estimating that we’re using about 6,000 gallons of well water a month. Harold Newman sure brought us in a good well.  The weather is suppose to improve starting over the next 3 or 4 days, with temps back down to 88 by Sunday.  Sounds good to me.

Does anyone know where I can buy a Black Diamond water melon in the Ardmore area.  Seems like the only kind I find are those light green striped Jubilee melons.  One I paid $6 for last week was not very sweet at all, and it was grown in Mexico.  Can you believe that?  Oklahoma has to import watermelons from Mexico?  What a shame.

I did find what looked like a Black Diamond (called a Bambino) this week at Walmart for $3.50 and it was like eating sugar. Sweet all the way down to the thin green rind.  Needless to say the chickens loved the left over rind.



There have been several emails this week about watermelons from Readers (in the Mailbag below).  I’ll be looking exclusively for Black Diamonds in the future, after reading one email.

Last year I mentioned about using some stuff named Bengal Tiger Fire Ant Killer around our place. This stuff is the most amazing product, just a very very light sprinkle on the ant mound, and 30 minutes later, no ants. I have about eradicated the ants near our house. With plenty of open land all around us, they can live there, that’s the way I look at it. The only place I know of in Ardmore where you can buy this amazing stuff is at Ardmore Lumber Company on South Washington. I use about a 1/8 to a 1/4th of a teaspoon on a mound, so the canister lasts a long time.



I thought I’d share a pic of the old Ardmore High School that was located at Stanley and G Street SW (back then called Stanley and 2nd Street) before a high school was built on North Washington.


Here’s a 1920s photo of the Carter county courthouse.


The past month, several times a week, very early in the mornings I’ve seen those huge wind turbines going west on Highway 70.  Just last Tuesday I saw 3 transport trucks in a row heading west out of Ardmore.  The wind turbines are made by Molded Fiberglass Inc in Gainesville Texas.  I wonder where all those turbines are going? Some wind farm out west?

I been making storage shelves out of wood pallets.  Those pallets can be used for many things, and recycled instead of ending up in the dump.


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


Q.   What counties were named after Governor William Murray?
A.   Murray and Alfalfa counties

Q.   Who established Ft Sill in 1869?
A.   (answer in next week’s T&T)

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..“Well, Family and friends, Our vacation to Oklahoma for the most part was a real bust.  Three days after arriving I was told at Tinker AFB that I had a golf ball size kidney stone that needed to be dissolved and if not, then surgically removed.  I spent the better part of the first two weeks drinking fluids and taking medication that finally dissolved the stone.  For the better part of the first week and half home I was urinating blood – not a great start to our vacation.

We were finally able to make it down to Ardmore and Davis to put out flowers at Family graves and have lunch with our Cousin Butch and his lovely wife Jill. That was on the 27th of June.

Our daughter (in Norman) Jennifer’s boy-friend called on the 28th of June to inform her that his Grandmother died after being removed from life-support down in Florida (she had been in the Hospital for over two months from a auto accident).  Needless to say, this spoiled our plans for any upcoming travel and visits we were planning.

On the 29th of June, Jennifer’s computer crashed and we were the limited to the use of her cell phone only as the telephone company did not come out an install a new phone in the home in a timely manner.

We arrived home in South Korea on Sunday evening to find out that the living room floor in our Apartment was about 1/3 flooded from the Typhoon like rains that poured in earlier Sunday morning.  We live on the eight floor and the rain came directly into the living room doors from back-up rain fall from the floors above and the winds.  We are taking leave the rest of this week in order to have the floor repaired before returning to work on Monday.

Of the many folks we wanted to see and visit, we were only able to meet up with three of them, Butch and Jill, Harvey Nichols (who met us at the airport when we arrived and who came over on Friday for lunch before we left on Saturday).  We were able to have dinner with Tom Jamison and his wife Tannie (Thursday evening) before we left as well.

For those of you we wanted to see personally and talk with, we do apologize as we were really excited about seeing and talking with folks when we arrived home for our vacation.  Guess it was not to be this time around.”   -Ralph Bridges aka ‘Poss’ in Korea  bridgesford42@hotmail.com

“Butch, Terri and I had an interesting experience while visiting our kids at Albuquerque this past week.

Our Son-in-Law took off some extra time from work to take us sight seeing a lot. He’s always very good to do that.  We went up to Los Alamos and visited Bandelier National Monument with it’s cliff dwellings and Kivas, etc. It was very interesting but also very hot that day. We also saw the Valles Caldera National Preserve while in that area. It’s 89,000 acres in the top of a dormant volcano. Quite a contrast from the Bandelier area. The Caldera was very green with vegetation and nice & cool.

We also rode the Rail Runner from Los Ranchos/Journal Center station to Santa Fe in the morning and then back to Albuquerque in the afternoon.

The Rail Runner is a set of express passenger trains that run between Belen, New Mexico and Santa Fe, New Mexico with stops at Albuquerque and other stations along the way. These express trains have become very popular with people traveling between home and work and with tourists as well. Our trains were full both directions.

The Los Ranchos/Journal Center station is closer to our kids house ( as opposed to the station in downtown Albuquerque) since they live in the NE part of Albuquerque near Tramway Blvd. When we got to Santa Fe we spent a lot of time around the Plaza and toured the New Mexico History Museum. A Norther blew in while we were there and cooled it down so much that I actually got cold for a while. Everyone else was just fine, LOL.

The trip got really interesting while riding the Rail Runner from Santa Fe back to Albuquerque!

We were speeding along somewhere between 60 to 70 MPH across the desert and I was sitting near the window taking in the passing views when all of a sudden there was this extremely loud sound like we were being bombarded with large hail stones hitting the coach car, except that the sound was from underneath the coach instead of on top.

I looked at the floor and then back outside and saw ballast gravel flying into the air from beneath the train. The train went into emergency and finally came to a dead stop. You could smell the hot brakes. Everyone was wondering what happened and I told Terri that apparently something happened underneath the train. The attendants were rushing up and down the isles and finally the conductor came on the intercom and said that we had hit a cow on the tracks. The cow just happened to lodge under the coach we were ridding in and was dragged down the tracks throwing the ballast in all directions. It sounded like the rocks were going to come right through the floor.

The air conditioning went off for a few minutes and the emergency lighting came on. Fortunately no serious damage was done and after the crew finished inspecting the train we resumed after about 30 minutes.

My Granddaughter was really upset especially about the cow being killed. I was just glad that we didn’t derail and they didn’t have to call busses to get us since we were out in the middle of no where in the desert heat. LOL

My Son-in-Law said that just moments before the incident he saw cows laying near the tracks on his side of
the coach.

I wanted to ride on down to Belen but my Granddaughter said she had enough excitement for one day!

They wouldn’t let me off the train to get any photos of the incident ( I can’t imagine why! ) but I did get a few photos of the train at Los Ranchos/Journal Center at the following link:


-Dwane Stevens

“Butch, every time I go to southern Oklahoma, I make it a point to stop by Turner Falls. Although I live in OKC, my heart is still in the Arbuckles. I’m an old Dougherty river rat and spent many many days exploring the Arbuckles and surrounding area. I was on my motorcycle the other day and took the old road that ends behind the youth camp. Luckily, the gates were open so I was able to get a picture of Price’s Falls. I used to swim in that hole of water. As you can see, its still a beautiful place. I also drove off the road to a hilltop and took the picture of the valley below. I wouldn’t advise doing that as the terrain is very steep and rocky. It’s also private property but there is no gate to prevent curious sightseers like me. If anyone does venture off the beaten path, please respect whoever the owner may be and leave it as pristine as you found it. We are so lucky to have this little piece of heaven in our state.” -Lynn McCumber




“Hi Butch, Before I forget, I want to wish you a very happy Birthday this coming Saturday. Hope you have a great one. Just remember, it is not the years that count, it is counting the years that hurts. You are only as young as you feel. Cheers.”  -Claude in Juneau, Alaska

“Butch, I appreciate the attention you devoted to the Summit View Cemetery in Guthrie, Oklahoma. The Wilson side of my family is buried in the cemetery and as I was growing, I often visited my grandparents’ graves and those of the infamous that you listed. I and my brother would continue our bicycle trips to north of Guthrie where there were caves that the Doolin and Dalton Gang members would hide from the law. Over the years they became filled with sand and rocks. The Guthrie Territorial Jail that you pictured was the Nazarene Church for as long as I could remember (please see my attachment for perfect attendance). The walls of the church were thick and the doors were unusual for a church. I never missed a Sunday or a Wednesday and I was the President of the Nazarene Youth Class until I left Guthrie when I began working for a seismograph crew in Pond Creek, Oklahoma and then Pensacola, FL until I entered the ninth grade in Guthrie. Thereafter each summer I would travel to another state to work on different seismograph crews until I entered the Marine Corp. After Khe Sanh, Vietnam I lost my desire to become a Nazarene Missionary, and finished my college degrees in psychology and history and government. The other side of my family was the Cannings who are buried in the Mount Hope Cemetery east of Guthrie and my great grandparents were the 90th settlers from the Land Run of 1889. http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ok/county/logan/photo/canning1fam.htm

I continue to write for the Oklahoma Researchers, but I thoroughly enjoy your This and That. I have many friends in Indian Territory and as the previous Assistant Manager of Social Security and the eleven counties serviced by the Ardmore District Office, I forward your publication to residents of Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory. Thank you for a great job. I might build me a chicken coop and plot my garden again as I have a small acreage behind my house that begs for tomatoes and some Oklahoma okra.”  -Revis E. Wilson


“Butch, My sister raises chickens (Buff Orpingtons) these are large birds that lay jumbo brown eggs and they have very sweet dispositions. Boy, what a difference in egg color & taste from store bought, huh? She started with about 30 hens and one rooster. The rooster was magnificent but he was such a pistol that she gave him away. She will have scars for life from that so & so!. She sold hens down to a more manageable 10 plus 2 babies that were hatched out before the excess hens were sold off. One is a little hen and the other is a little rooster.

I started feeding worms that I dug up to them when they were just babies.. WOW.. they sure knew what to do with them even then!!

Her chickens are free range during the day but their favorite time is when someone will go out & turn over the soil at a compost area (no bin – just a place that has been designated for dumping compost waste & straw from the hen house etc..) These hens have such great eyesight. They can see those very tiny baby worms that I can’t with these old eyes. One jumps on the shovel full of dirt and starts scratching before the other girls get a chance at it! They make me laugh and bring such joy to my heart.

My sister has one hen, Dot, that saved her life from a rattler. That hen got so spoiled that she comes in every morning and lays her egg on a comforter that has been molded into a nest and put in an antique rocking chair. When she is done she begs for corn and then goes over to the rug in the living room and lays on her side and sleeps! She is so funny! She is so tidy that if she needs to go she goes to the door. I turned my sister onto the H2O mop which she steam cleans her laminate floors with. I can’t say enough great things about this mop!

“Fast Eddie” is my favorite hen. She comes in and does things 3 times faster than all the other hens. Like a hen on speed! She’s a tomboy and always full of dirt! You can be standing there talking to her and all of a sudden she vibrates and huge circle if very fine dirt forms a LARGE circle around her. Needless to say Eddie doesn’t get to hang out in the house much.

My mother buys cans of corn for them by the case and they get about 2 cans between 10 hens a day…my mother never spoiled us like that!! They are also fed scratch, cracked corn and sunflower seeds along with all the bugs they eat all day. My sister is deathly afraid of snakes and those black snakes get into the hen house every once in a while. You can here my sister scream for miles! LOL.. My brother in law just flings them out by the tail.
WE recently had all that rain.. for days and days and flooding real bad around here. The hens sure suffered thru that! But the hatch of bugs afterward was great! Sure wish they would eat those huge lubber grasshoppers and leave the frogs alone tho.

I can tell you by experience that a chicken will not care one iota which kind of worm you feed it!! Fill your bin with any kind of worm and decaying leaves are the best to put in your worm bin.. that and scraps from the kitchen (compost type scraps)…When I was weeding this Spring I dug up about 50 worms and dumped them into my compost bin and they have been partying in there ever since!.. I just dig around and gather some up and take them to my sister’s chickens as a treat. They LOVE me!!!”  -Florida

“Hey, Butch, my dad always fed his chickens leftover watermelon rinds along with honeydew & cantaloupe. The loved it and believe it or not the eggs actually had a sweeter taste to them. They also love corn cobs, too. Chickens will eat just about any vegetable leftover & certain fruits that you are willing to give them. Sometimes daddy would buy a bag of special chicken feed that had crushed oyster shell mixed with it. He said it helped the chickens digestion and their eggs would actually have a whiter & harder shell. Love reading about you chicks cause it brings back memories of a younger time. 🙂  Thanks.”  -Kathi G. Fayetteville, Arkansas

“I am looking for the grave of Drucilla Griffin Lowery. Some say her name was actually Willie Drucilla. She supposedly died in 1906 or 1907 in Durwood and might be buried at the Durwood cemetery. She taught school in Caddo. Would love to find her final resting place.  Thank you for any help you can give me. I would appreciate any info I can get on her.”

“I read your blurb in T&T about a watermelon you had bought and that it wasn’t very  sweet. I noticed it was some kind of striped watermelon. Well, there’s your problem! The only kind of watermelon to eat is Black Diamond. They are very dark green, and really sweet inside. I grew up in Ardmore in the 50’s back in the days when Oklahoma was sort of Black Diamond watermelon kingdom. We used to buy them on Caddo Street from several local and area vendors. They were typically 50 pounds or more, and I remember when they sold for 1/2 cent a pound. Think of it, a 50 pounder for a quarter! Those watermelons had hearts as big as some whole melons you buy today. There used to be a couple of watermelon stands there where on a hot summer night, you could go buy it by the slice, sit at a picnic table and eat it right there. The melons were kept in big tubs full of crushed ice, and man, were they cold. Dennis Lavers and I stopped at a watermelon place near Lindsay, OK one time and picked out the smallest one we could find. It was 102 pounds! Nobody seems to grow them like that any more and if you find one, it’s around 25 pounds or less and was picked green in Colombia or some where. Aahh for the good old days!” Bowden Miller, Alamogordo, NM

“Butch, I’m sorry to hear your story about Mexico watermelons being sold in some Ardmore stores, unfortunately that story is told more and more these days. I’m also sorry to say that the local melons here in Rush Springs aren’t quite ready yet (1 more month), however, let me give you a number to a grower here in Rush Springs and he’ll definitely give you an answer that I hope you’ll be happy with (for Black Diamonds). His name is Mark Williams and his number is 405-278-1851”

Rush Springs 2009 Watermelon Festival


“Butch, In this weeks This & That, Betty Wolfe mentioned there used to be a man in Marietta who sold red worms. She is probably talking about my grandfather, Brad Vernon. After Grandpapa retired from driving a school bus for Turner School, he raised red worms in old freezers in his storage buildings and sold them for fish bait. He loved to fish. People around Marietta might remember him as the gentleman who kept the Love County Courthouse lawns looking so beautiful because he also mowed lawns, for many years with a push mower. But Grandpapa passed away in the 1980?s, I?m thinking it was 1986. I had someone tell me a few years ago they would go to buy their worms from him. Said they got a real bargain if Grandpapa was home ?cause he would scoop the worms up by the handful. If he wasn?t home and they had to buy from Grandmama, it wasn?t such a sweet deal because she would count out those worms one by one.” -Denise Menke, Extension Secretary, Carter County OSU Extension

“The best one is from south of Ardmore, named Mr. Winchester.  His best melon is an orange meated melon called Orange Glow (I think).”

“Butch, one of your T&T readers wrote that he would like to find the book “Bloody Caddo Street, Ardmore Ok.  I GOOGLED “Bloody Caddo Street” and came up with a dealer who has a copy. The price is somewhere around $13.00″

Butch, I need your readers help. I have heard from someone (Andy Quinn) this week looking for more information on something that I posted in my “Oakie Heart to Heart” newsletter about 9 years ago
(2000), Vol. 2, entitled “The Crooked Bridge Story.”

This is what one of our readers submitted some nine years ago. I don’t have a name or email address of the person who submitted and thought maybe by chance that someone might remember the following and still be out there. Since the person was looking for Indian heritage, I thought maybe someone from your area might help me.

Here is the “Mailbag” submission from Vol. 2, 2000:  “I love hearing about Oklahoma from you so much that I am trying to figure out how I can work it into my schedule to visit. Oklahoma that is–and you too, but I won’t just “drop by”. 🙂 A coworker had to come out there last fall while I was on medical leave. He helps to approve day care centers and he was in the Indian Day Care Centers in your area. I was so jealous of him, but he brought me back some souvenirs of his trip. He KNOWS I am passionate about my Indian roots. If you know of any Indian Guinn’s that might would be willing to help share some history it would sure be appreciated. Love your newsletter–Keep it coming! Today I attended the Carlisle 2000 Powwow to honor the Carlisle Indian Students. I got to meet Scott Momaday and got his autograph. Jim Thorpe’s daughter was there also, but unfortunately I did not get to meet her. It rained all day, but was worth the trip.”

The person I heard from this week says, “I did a google search and found a note that was placed on one of your blogs. I’d like to get in contact with this person, is there any way you might have the reference somewhere? Thank you for any help you can offer.” -Andy Guinn, San Mateo, CA.

Andy is looking for the person that wanted to know of any Indian Guinn’s that would be willing to help share some history. Can anyone help me connect these Guinn family connection?

Linda McGill Wagner

The Wilson News
~ The Graham gin burned down Monday morning at about three o’clock. Mr. Welcher, the owner, was in Ardmore at the time. One bale of cotton that belonged to Douglas Davis burned. I think that was all the cotton that was in the gin.
~ 7-14-1915 R. H. Reed unloaded a car of new gin machinery here for his Oil City gin last week. Mr. Reed says he is anticipating a big run this coming season.
~ 8 – 4 – 1915 Cotton continues to come in to this place for ginning. The Reed gin makes a run or two every week. This is probably the only gin in the county that is running this late in the season. Several loads of cotton came to the Reed gin last week from the vicinity of Ringling.
~ 9 – 30 – 1915 Wilson has six cotton buyers now, which keeps bidding keen, each one trying to beat the other on the price.

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

The Daily Ardmoreite
January 21, 1898
Healdton, I. T., Jan. 20th
The school building at Graham nine miles north of Healdton, was burned last night. It was a two-story structure, the upper story being used by the A. F. and A. M. and I.O.O.F. fraternities. It was the best building of its kind in this country. The loss is estimated at $1500.

January 21, 1898
The Daily Ardmoreite
The Ardmoreite will be given you in exchange for cord wood.

The Daily Ardmoreite
February 21, 1918
Fort Smith, Ark., Feb. 21
A man alleged to be J. H. Huff of Ada, Okla, was shot and seriously wounded after he had robbed the Bank of Wister at Wister, Okla., of several hundred dollars today. Armed with a pistol, he forced President Harris to place the bank funds in a satchel and then locked bank officers and customers in the vault. The public had been aroused, and a posse opened fire on Huff as he emerged. Huff dropped wounded, and was carried into the bank building and a surgeon called.

The Daily Ardmoreite
February 13, 1898
Brock, I. T., Feb. 12th
Noticing in your paper an account of the burning of the school at Brock, I will make a statement of the burn. In the first place it is a mistake that the fire was incendiary. No such thought was entertained by anyone. I attended the box supper the night the house was burned, and think it caught fire from the stove. The stove was in a dilapidated condition and had been for some time. The house was worth about $150. The school numbered 53 pupils. Another house is being erected which greatly surpasses the former one. Thanks to the liberality of the citizens of the community, and to the good people of Ardmore for their liberal donations. Respectfully yours, J. H. Akers.

With all the talk this week about watermelons I have to tell this story:  Some kids were stealing watermelons out of this farmers patch at night.  The farmer got tired of it, so he put up a sign by the road that read:  “This watermelon patch has one poison watermelon.”   The next morning when the farmer looked out, the kids had placed a second sign up,  “This watermelon patch now has 2 poison watermelons.”

See everyone next week!

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

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