PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402
Many of you know of Mr. Bill Hamm‘s work of recording burial records for this county back in the 1990s. Bill’s work-of-love covered about a 12 year period until his death in 2004 and resulted in over 66,000 records in his database. Bill Hamm walked out every known cemetery in this county, recording one by one the grave marker inscriptions on individuals plus recording the obits from The Ardmoreite every day. The generations that follow us will probably never know the dedicated work Bill Hamm did during his last years on this earth compiling the burial records, but his work will continue to be used by genealogy researchers for as long as this old world turns. No one since 2004 has taken up his cause and continued to record the deaths and burial information for Carter county, or even kept updated the 66,000 records already online. I have received emails from time to time since Bill Hamm’s death asking to have a record corrected and all I can tell them is no one has came forward to update his online data or record deaths on a day to day basis since 2004 after the death of Mr. Hamm.
As I google the burial records for this county online I find several johnny-come-lately websites with burial records for Carter county. For the most part they’ve just taken Bill Hamm’s records, did a little cosmetic magic on them, and put them online.
Genealogy researchers used to could search The Daily Ardmoreite’s online obits by YEAR back to 1999 but when they re-did their website about 2 years ago, that was all taken offline. As far as I can tell you can only pull up someone’s obit for the past 2 years (if that far back) at The Ardmoreite’s website. I sure wish they would put those obits back online.
Some more interesting, but little known history on Bill Hamm is he was the great grandson of Bill Conner. You say you don’t know who Bill Conner is? Well, neither did I until Steve Hamm brought it to my attention a few months ago.
Bill Conner, an Osage Indian, lived in the late 1800s and was an Osage Indian Chief, and a co-founder of the Osage Constitution which was styled after the U.S. Constitution. He was known as a “good Indian” according to published reports. The Osage Nation originally was located in Kentucky, but migrated to Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas by the 17th century.
The cause of Bill Conner’s death in Monett, Kansas in 1899 remains a mystery to this day. Below are several links to more info on Bill Conner on the web.
Information on the mysterious death of Bill Conner at Monett, Kansas in 1899.
Before we leave the topic of Carter county cemetery records, I must mention Allene Haney (1919-1994). Allene and her husband Clyde owned and operated the Gene Autry Grocery Store for many years. Allene lived in Gene Autry, Oklahoma and like Bill Hamm, walked out every cemetery in this county back in the 70s and 80s recording the info from grave markers. Her daughter, Sandra Telford, complied the info into several books and published them a number of years ago. I know the Chickasaw Regional Library here in Ardmore has her books for viewing and research.
A Reader mentioned Grapette in last week’s T&T. I did find it at Walmart, both 2 litter bottle and cans.
A Reader east of Ardmore killed a snake in his front yard a couple weeks ago. He was wondering if anyone recognizes what kind of snake?
H1N1 SWINE FLU info and common sense prevention in general
Ten cheapest places to buy gas in the Ardmore area……
Q. What county was named for its mining industry?
A. Coal County
Q. What 2 methods were used to open land in OK to settlers?
A. (answer in next week’s issue)
Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..
In 1935, Mr. Frank Phillips (Phillips 66) was investigating the possibility of purchasing some of the Palacine Indian statues for his ranch at Bartlesville, Oklahoma and was advised in a letter from Mr. J. S. Entriken, sales manager of the Wirt Franklin Petroleum Company that the statues of “A Friend” were made by the firm of Fiedley & Voshort, Chicago, Illinois. They were molded of zinc alloy “a metal that has proven satisfactory except that in a few cases they have broken at the ankle of the figure which has necessitated a reinforcement at that point. The statues, of course, require a coating of bronze paint at regular intervals.” The original cost of manufacture was reported to represent an investment of $600 in the die or mold, and thereafter each statue was invoiced to Wirt Franklin at $140. Mr. Phillips was offered the opportunity to purchase new statues at the $140 cost or repaired ones at $100. Mr. Phillips turned down this offer at the time with the excuse that he did not “want to have one they are using in front of their stations”. At a later time he did acquire at least four of the statues, we still have three and the remains of the base of one. Interestingly enough, the remaining statues have had a flat metal plate applied over the embossed “A FRIEND” logo on the front of the base, thus changing the message. In the not so distant past, the painted message on these statues as displayed at Woolaroc Ranch was simply the greeting: “HOW”.
Director, Woolaroc Museum http://www.woolaroc.org/
Major Ernest L. Massad was born in Brinkman, Oklahoma to Namey and Shafiga Kouri Massad in 1908. Massad graduated from Ardmore High School and enrolled in the University of Oklahoma in the Fall of 1928.
“Butch, I was curious if anyone ever figured out the actual coordinates for Wild Woman Cave? I saw the township and range description on your cave webpage under “what others are saying” but couldn’t get it located exactly. Does anyone know the name of the owner of the land? I was hoping he might let me take a couple of guys (I am training to lead Arkansas based caving excursions) through WWC to get a better handle on the use of their rappelling equipment in a subterranean environment. Thanks.” -Eric
“Butch, my husband and I were in Tishomingo this past weekend for the Chickasaw Tribal Festival. We were looking for someplace to eat and wound up at a little restaurant right across the street from Tishomingo High School. We both ordered the jumbo hamburger and it was undoubtedly the best I have ever eaten. We could have easily split one hamburger. The two burgers and an order of fries (boy! did we “over-order!) were around $12.00. You may have already found out about this place but, if not, if you are ever in Tishomingo, stop in and give the burgers a try. There is no sign up with their name but we were told it is named “Cousins”. Sure appreciate the good work you and Jill do.” -Jane Gilcrease, Okla. City
“Dear Butch, My father, Ossian Cameron was one of three children of John Munro Cameron, the builder of the refinery in Ardmore. His wife’s name was Elizabeth and she was the daughter of Jame Hancock of Lynchburg, Virginia. Their home was on the west side of “D” Street between Stanley and 1st Avenue. Prior to moving to Ardmore, my grandfather had built and operated the Great Western Oil Refining Company in Erie, Kansas.
My dad’s two oldest friends in Ardmore were Ed Luke and Lacy Mullin. Of course, Ed Luke was owner of Luke’s Music Store which his father established before statehood and Lacy Mullin and his brother, Sylvester, owned the Conoco service station at the corner of 1st Avenue and “D” Street S.W. They both lived in the two story frame house on the north side of the Conoco. As far as I know, neither brother married. I do remember that Sylvester had been a graduate of Harvard. It seems like Lacy was a geologist.
For the reader who mentioned Grapette, it was distributed out of a warehouse located across the street from the Davis Food Market on “C” Street N.W. I can’t remember the gentleman’s last name (his first name was Glen) who operated the distributorship but he had two children named John David and Nancy and his wife’s name was Mildred. Years ago Wal-Mart bought the name and formula and you can now buy Grapette in cans or economy plastic bottles in your local Wal-Mart store. Take a sip for me.” -Monroe Cameron
“Butch I saw some of your Oklahoma History postings. I am looking for early photos of Charles D. Carter e.g. when he worked on the ranch. C.D. Carter on a horse photo would be super. Also I would like more info on his serving as Mining Inspector, or the like, with copy of his commission, badge, etc on that topic. I have his slightly later life info but need earlier info and photos thanks in advance for anything any T&T Reader can do.” -Bill Welch in Atlanta email@example.com
“Does any T&T Reader know how to get rid of cockleburs other than burning them out? My yard is full of them. I haven?t found any chemical that would kill them. Is burning the only option I have?” -Lynn McCumber
“Butch I found this on Youtube about Ardmore’s KXII channel 12 reporter Kathy Conry leaving in 1989. She was a great reporter.” -Doug Williams
Q. “Dear Mr. & Mrs. Bridges, There was a Drug Store I think in Main st in Ardmore at the corner of Washington St., and the owners were Eddie and Virginia Lotz, they were my friends and very nice people, good fans of our baseball team and I remember one time that I had a cold and right away they gave me medicine without any charge. I know this is a long time ago but that came to my mind and maybe with your connections you will find about these wonderful people, My God there was so many nice people in Ardmore and I hope and almost sure this Town is in the same way.” -your friend Ernie in NJ
A’ “Butch: The Pharmacist that had the Drug Store was Eddie Lotz and was located down about where Greenberg Jewelry store was once located (next to Daubes). Eddie & his wife were good people and were very active sports fans. Unfortunately Eddie passed away from cancer and his store closed shortly thereafter (time was in the 50’s I believe).” -Ernest Martin
Edward J. Lotz Sr. 1881-1962 is buried at Rosehill Cemetery in Ardmore
“Butch: When I was in high school, I used to mix coffee cream inside of the Grapette soda pop and drink it, and it was quite good. Us youngins’ usually ended up in Betty’s cafe, in the north part of Davis and eat those old greasy, thin, but great tastin’ cheeseburgers, there on late Saturday night after being out and chasing skirts. Grapette was a good tastin’ pop back in the old days.” -Scott Bumgarner, Sherman, TX
“Hi Butch. I remember the Grapette drink quite well as it was my choice if the chocolate drink was not available. Grape drinks in this time do not measure up.” -Dale Gant
“Butch, For awhile a couple of years ago Walmart brought Grapette back in it’s Arkansas stores. I was so excited to see it come back and bought several brought back so many childhood memories. Well, Walmart bought the Grapette recipe and it eventually morphed from Grapette into the Walmart brand of grape soda and it still tastes the same. But most folks don’t know that it is the old Grapette recipe.” -Kathi G., Fayetteville, AR
“I have visited the cute Alpaca sheep in Mora, NM (south of Angel Fire) several times and bought a beautiful soft and light weight scarf made there. But the real treat is Tapetes Lana Mora Weaving Studio in the town, a non-profit organization created to help rural residents in North Eastern NM by offering employment where they operate about seven weaving looms, making beautiful rugs, place mats, hand made things from the sheep raised locally. I look forward to visiting Davenport’s Alpalca ranch you mentioned.” -Evelyn
“Here’s an interview with my friend Rosalea Hostetler of Harper, Kansas (her interview is near the bottom of the page). She comes through Perry about every month or so and I go with her to Stillwater for her ‘shopping spree’ at the discount and second-hand stores. She’s a delightful person to know and yes, she’s heard the song “Harper Valley P.T.A.” hundred’s of times (and hates it but says it’s true if they’re singing about her town). She recently celebrated her 80th birthday and says there’s no time to slow down now………. she’s still got too many things to do. I know the feeling.” -Roy Kendrick
“Dear Butch and Jill, In Monroe Cameron’s picture of the refinery what is the name of the creek? The Santa Fe Lake was quite near there. Is that it in the picture? Our family had property joining or very near the refinery. Our Dad worked there early in his adult life for a short time. Recently our brother David retired from working with Valero. Another brother still has property near the refinery. There is a Black cemetery near by and a hill at the corner of the highway and the truck bypass. When we were growing up there were a number of small very modest dwellings there. Mama Lloyd who lived at the Santa Fe Lake told me she was going to take me to see Mrs…… who lived on the hill. The reason was she had a dirt floor. The point of the visit was that one could be poor but they did not have to be dirty. As Mr. Monroe says in his article about the dirt floor in Taos so the floor in Ardmore, on the hill. I was probably in the third grade. The floor looked like any other to me. Like linoleum. I did not know how they got it to look like that, it was hard and shiny. I was impressed!
Our public broadcasting company here in Louisiana, is running the series America’s National Parks in honor of their 100th anniversary. There has been much coverage of Yellowstone. Enjoyed the picture of Mr. Cameron and the bear. Happy he made it home to provide employment for so many people through the years.
I recognize names of the small towns there in Carter County in your news letter. Our Dad ran for Sheriff and also County Commissioner, he was not successful in either endeavor. We would make the tour in the summer evenings to a different town each week and all running for office would have opportunity to make their political speech. For we young ones running around handing out literature and meeting children of other politicians it was an enjoyable time. You mentioned a man who ran for sheriff several times. He was really funny and we enjoyed his speaking. He wore overalls. I think you shared a picture of him. Otto Powell I think…. Zanies, Wirt, Woodford, Gene Autry, Ravia, I do not remember all and maybe wrong about some of these…. Do they still do that?
When we moved to Louisiana in 2002 was the first time I ever heard of Bengal Tiger roach spray. Here we have those big water roaches. We spray around our doors and windows once a year and it keeps them out. I have not done it this year and we have them occasionally……
Delightful to hear about Grapette. We also liked the zingy taste but oh, those little bottles……..RC was the biggest we were usually sharing it with someone! We bought ours at that little Bell Station on highway 70 just before an overpass. I think we got them out of a real icebox filled with ice.
Eden’s restaurant was a high class place seemed to me. We would look in their windows on our way to Priddy’s grill on Saturday evenings. They had white table cloths and napkins. The baseball players with the Ardmore Indians professional team ate there. Our Dad picked up Eden’s restaurant leftovers (slop) for our hogs. At the hog farm we had big metal bowls like the sugar refining bowls here in Louisiana, and dump it all in and build a fire under it and cook it before you could feed it to the animals…When the German prison camp was at the air base our Dad picked up their leftovers. I have a white buffalo china gravy boat and a US cooking spoon. They were souvenirs in the slop. Also a wooden stool made by one of the prisoners. It has always been my understanding it was given to him by a prisoner. We also picked up the day old bread from John Small’s Bakery. What we and the neighbors did not take ended up in that big cooker. Our Dad would come home with his pickup truck loaded down with day old bread. Oh, that cinnamon bread, buttermilk bread……That was the high light of the neighborhood! We lived several blocks from the bakery but oh, the aroma! When we lived in San Angelo, Texas, we lived across the street from Mrs. Bhomes bakery. On Lord’s day evenings when we came in from the evening meetings we would go over and get a loaf hot out of the oven not sliced cut and butter it, ummmm Today we enjoy the reality, Christ, the Living Bread that came down out of heaven. He is hot bread every morning.”
“If I can get all the deer eating every flower and tree in my front yard up to your place, maybe you can keep them there with the corn. They’re destroying the entire landscape here.” -T. E. (Thal) McGinness, Conroe, TX
“Hi Butch; I’ve known Steve Bunch since the 1970s and have great respect for his knowledge of criminal (and law) history. I believe that he had relatives in the Cherokee Strip Land run in 1893. My great-grandfather was in the territory earlier, and made the first run (in Oklahoma City) in 1889. I’m not certain when he first came into the territory but my grandmother (his daughter) was born in a covered wagon at Stonewall, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory in March of 1886 and I believe that they were living in Henryetta sometime before the run of ’89. My dad’s older sister told me that her mom (my grandmother) was in the house with my great-grandmother while my great-grandfather and his first son, Will, were on the roof firing rifles at the Indians on horseback to keep them from burning the house down. Also, Conoco’s unleaded regular went up again today (to $2.22).” -Roy Kendrick, Perry, Oklahoma
“Good morning Butch; Perry’s downtown Conoco station raised their price on regular unleaded (without alcohol) to $2.20.9 today. It was $2.16.9 earlier. And you can buy 2-liter bottles of Grapette at your local WalMart because they bought the company. They’re also still producing Orangette. I’m glad that Steve gave you the info on Cattle Annie and Little Britches. He has supplied information to me several times about early lawmen and outlaws in and near northern Oklahoma and I appreciate his knowledge. He’s a former sheriff and police chief from our area. Also there were coal mines at Henryetta which is north of Coal County, because my (deputy sheriff) great-grandfather, William Harvey Burdick, fought off Indians who wanted to set fire to their house when they lived at Henryetta.” -Roy Kendrick, Perry Oklahoma
“My sister, Mona Blanton, in Ardmore, OK has a very bad lung cancer called Squamus Cell Carcinoma. She is very sick and taking very expensive chemotherapy because this cancer is inoperable. We have designed a web page for Mona, called Monas Recovery ( www.MonasRecovery.com ). Mona’s family faces many expenses, the chemo therapy being the most expensive. Radiation is not a viable option due to the severity of the cancer.
We will be holding a benefit on October 17, 2009 in Ardmore, OK. There will be dinner, music, and a silent auction. Any donations are appreciated. We are hoping to raise enough money to send her to a Cancer Center. Below is a link to a flyer in PDF format. Thank you and God Bless.” -Lawanda Norris (punkin)
Vows made in storms are forgotten in calm. –Thomas Fuller
See everyone next week!
Butch and Jill Bridges
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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