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Vol 14  Issue 695 May 20, 2010

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

Email: butchbridges@oklahomahistory.net

One of the earliest merchants of Ardmore was Edward B. Luke (1869-1943), the father of Edward A. Luke (1909-1990).  On many of the old street scenes of the town, E.B. Luke’s sign is visible.  E.B. came to Ardmore, Indian Territory, in 1893 from Detroit. He had a brother, Jack, who had a school and music book store in Oklahoma City, and Jack urged E.B. to set up the same in Ardmore. E.B. married Isabel Tedford in Oklahoma City in 1895, and established the store in Ardmore the same year.  E.B. was Canadian by birth, and received his naturalization papers in the Federal Court in Ardmore.

E.A. Luke was born in Ardmore in 1909, in the same home in which he now lives, 503 West Broadway. The home was built in 1907. He remembers as a boy a wagon yard was located where the Methodist Church now stands. Liquor was illegal at that time, and men would go to Texas and bring it into Oklahoma in their boots (thus the term “bootlegger”).  They would then come and slip it through the slats in the wall of the wagon yard and make a sale. Federal agents often used an upstairs bedroom in the Luke home to observe the bootleggers.  He also recalls that the Jones Cotton Gin was located where the Humpty-Dumpty Food store is located today, and when walking on South Washington Street, cotton samplings would come up to nearly his knees.

Ed Luke remembers how Albert Solomon would follow Bud Ballew into the rough northwestern section of the county to make his run for “peace keeping”, while Albert would be behind him selling fresh bread and baked goods.  Bud was an excellent marksman with his gun, and reportedly practice his accuracy by shooting the buckets off the chimney that farmers sometimes use to cover the chimney opening. He notes that Ardmore hotels in the early days provided a “service car” in which there was a rear jump seat, providing space for 9 riders. These cars could be rented to take a group to the oil fields. On Armistice Day of WWI men rode in the service cars and completely shot out the “O” in the word hotel.

-The above was taken from the 1983 Indian Territory and Carter County Pioneers book

This is a photo of the Luke home place in the NW corner of E Street NW and West Broadway. The home is now gone and the Raymond Colvert Youth Ministry building (United Methodist Church) stands there today.


I was browsing through the 1907 Ardmore criterion on Steve Hamm’s website and two photos caught my attention. The first one was of Jewel Whittington, of the Whittington Hotel family (Wiley Whittington) at East Main and A SE.

And another photo in the 1907 criterion (in the link below) a picture of Ella Hunter.  On Caddo street just north of the present day Caddo Cafe, is an old rock building with the following inscription at the top: “Ella Hunter – 1933”. Ella Hunter was an early day business woman of Ardmore, Oklahoma. She was a boarding house owner and also owned a small cigar stand in the corner of the Whittington Hotel at Caddo and Main. One long time Ardmoreite told me Ella Hunter would buy property anytime she had some extra cash, eventually even owning property as far away as Houston, Texas. Ella was a young widow and reared three children- Virgil, Amelia, and Maude. Amelia Hunter Hall would go on to be renown throughout the country for her theater and musical talents. Ella Hunter 1864-1952. The Ella Hunter building is at A Street and 2nd Northeast.


Also in the 1907 criterion was an advertisement by J.B. White and Company.  J.B. White was an early day architect and designed a number of downtown Ardmore buildings.


Here’s a Ardmore theater I don’t remember reading about although Sally Gray does mention it in her 2006 book “Territory Town: The Ardmore Story.”  The Electric Theater in Ardmore.


East of Ardmore is Mary Niblack Road.  Years ago there was a Mary Niblack school.  I saw this photo of Mary Niblack in the 1907 year book too.


A couple of issues back I mentioned the American Flyers plane crash back in 1966 I failed to mention Doug Williams website where he’s posted about 70 photos, the first dozen or so actual photographs take at the crash site.


This week we broke away from our norm and instead of getting a burger, we visted a fairly new BBQ place on South Commerce in Ardmore by the name of KC’s Smokehouse.  Some of the best BBQ in Southern Oklahoma can be found right here in Ardmore on South Commerce and Moore Street!

Here are a couple pictures I took inside the BBQ joint.


And this beautiful cowhide was on a back wall in the rear of the dining rooms.


But what is most interesting is the model train travels all the way around the dining room on a set of tracks near the ceiling.  Pretty neat.


When you arrive at KC’s Smokehouse you go to the back to place your order, and an employee will bring your order to your table right pronto.


And now for the good part, the BBQ. Here’s the pic of the BBQ sandwich I ordered.  The meat is so tender, it almost melts in your mouth.  And the BBQ flavor is just right. There is one thing that I don’t want in BBQ, dry and tough meat, and you won’t find that here at KC’s BBQ.  I ordered the large BBQ brisket sandwich and it was loaded with meat, more then I’ve seen at any other BBQ eatery in a long time, and at $7.95 its well worth it.  And for someone who does not want that much meat, you can also order the small BBQ sand for $4.95. And the french fries are to kill for.  Very crisp, as in crunchy.  Delicious.



This is an order of KC’s ribs.


Q.   What happened on Black Sunday?
A.   “Black Sunday was April 14, 1935, the day the dust was blown off the prairies and turned day into night. The dust made its way to the east coast and the top soil from the prairie was never to be seen again. Soil Conservation practices were begun. I hope we have learned our lessons from the 1930s farming that caused the erosion and the dust bowl era.”  -Linda Wagner

Q.   What governor ask the Arkansas governor to pardon Emmett Dalton?
A.   (answer in next week’s issue)

Gas prices today in the Ardmore area……


Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..From my Dad. Several responses recall him as their teacher, some recall my Dad as their friend growing up.

“My father, John Luther Green, was born in Eldorado, Arkansas, on Dec 27,1906. I know from conversations with my grandmother that when he was four they lived in Denver where my grandfather was a lawyer for the Union Pacific railroad. Some time afterwards they moved to a farm near Lawton, OK where my grandmother ran the farm and my grandfather “rode” a District Court circuit. (Along with the judge and the other lawyers) In 1920 my grandparents moved their family to Norman, OK so that their five sons could attend Oklahoma University and my grandfather had a law practice in Oklahoma City. My father graduated from Norman, OK high school and the University of Oklahoma also located in Norman. My grandmother, who was divorced during this period, told me that my father worked at an assortment of jobs while in college: cook in a hotel, shoveling coal for the railroad, making maps for the US geological Survey and as a member of the National Guard. He also courted my mother so that they were married shortly after he obtained BA. His first teaching job was for one year in Woodward, OK where he taught mathematics, science, English and coached the football team. After I was born, he moved us to Pond Creek where he tried to run the Lee-Wilson furniture- funeral parlor business for my maternal grandmother who was widowed. Some time later, date uncertain, he moved us to Ardmore, Ok. He taught English in the Ardmore High School and for a time coached the wrestling team (extra $10 a month). For some time during his tenure in Ardmore he ran the cannery during one or more summers, rented a farm near town which he worked on week ends and summers, moved us back to town so we kids could attend school. During this period he had a cow, chickens and a garden about the size of my present garden (in its original 1/4 acre form) which I remember him spading by hand (he was in his early 30’s). He also obtained his master’s degree from OU during this period. In 1941 (the start of WWII) he moved us to Tulsa where he taught English at Tulsa Central High School for one year, He then moved to the Wilson Jr. High where he taught eighth grade science for the rest of his life. During the war years besides teaching, he worked an eight hour shift as a machinist at a defense plant. He died when he was 47 of a heart attack. (Your mother and I had moved to Oklahoma City where Ruth was born) He and my mother had 12 children and raised nine to maturity. In our present day struggles, which are real, we often forget how hard our ancestors struggled. As a teenager I did not always agree with my father, of course, but as I grow older, I admire his boundless energy, cheerfulness, ingenuity and dedication.”  -submitted by Luther Green

“Hi Butch, Re: Volume 14, Issue 694, May 13, 2010. The song “Cotton Fields Back Home” revived a childhood scene in the year of 1935 in which my mother and I picked cotton at a cotton field located close to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, the place of my birth. Yep, I once was an “Army Brat.” Matter of fact, I enlisted in the U.S military in November 1947 and liked it so well, I spent 21 years in the United Sates Army (3 years) and Air Force (18 years.) Today I am retired and residing in San Antonio, Texas.

I believe that I was aged 5 at the time of this cotton-pickin tale. One sunny day during the after my father reported for duty during the cotton picking time in the fall, my mother desiring to earn some “Mad money” drove she and I in the family car, a 1935 Dodge, to a cotton field located near the Post. She allowed me to pick some cotton, but later being too slow and too small, she confined me in to our car and advised me to remain in the car while she picked more cotton. Being an obedient boy (God help me if I disobeyed) I obeyed her.” -Elmer G. West

“Jeddie J. Harrison,  who found the painting of Hattie Hinkle has passed away and I am his sister Connie, who would like to keep the fire burning for Hattie and my brother. Justice and righteousness prevail for their lives and what they started will be finished. I’ll see you Jeddie, you will be missed. Love you always, your sister.”

“Butch: My research tells me that Ardmore’s first birthday party in 1888 was on East Main near the railroad tracks and people came from far and near on foot, in wagons and buggies and sleeping accommodations were insufficient for the large gathering. Some camped and slept in the park. Maybe this accounts for the confusion for the first location. I don’t have a number for the year 1888 but the following year, an estimated 5,000 people attended the celebration. The birthday party was moved to Whittington Park about 1905, according to early day resident Simon Kahn.”  -Sally Gray

“Butch, regarding the person asking about The Works being used in a dishwasher? I have not used it for that but I have used a product that was awesome…..Dishwasher Magic. Bought it at Wal-mart for about $4. It is located in the dishwashing liquids section of the store. Take the lid off, turn bottle upside down in dishwasher silverware tray and run the dishwasher through a cycle without dishes in it. Made my dishwasher look like brand new – it disinfects and clears out lime buildup as well. Awesome product.”  -Jenell


“My name is Lee Sands. I live in Palm City, Fl. Martin County just north of Palm Beach County. My wife grew up in Clewiston Fl where we met and bought our first home in 1988. In a wood shed in the back yard of this home built in the 50’s I found a small box with an address label and a fragile sticker on it. Inside the 3×3 by 2′ cardboard box was a Fly Rod that looked as if it was never used. We moved from Clewiston to Palm City in 2001 and Today while cleaning my garage I found the box with the fly rod inside. Now with the internet I started looking for info on the rod and How it got into my hands. On the shipping label It was shipped originally to Luke’s Music Store in Ardmore, Oklahoma. I can not find a date but the fly rod company states in may be from the 60’s. I am looking for Ed Luke if he is still around. I found an article mentioning him running the store until the 80’s. I am wondering how it got to Clewiston Fl.. Clewiston is on the south end of Lake Okeechobee and is big time bass fishing country. Maybe he visited or had friends there?” -Lee Sands


“Butch and Jill, My name is Big Al Weekley, I am a radio host for 880 KRVN and also work with Les Gilliam on his shows from time to time. My wife B and I like to preserve music history so we are sending you this link to our new Audio Magazine page that contains many Artist and Les Gilliams and their stories about the music and history of the songs. We thought you would enjoy listening to the “live ” chats we have on there. Thank You and Enjoy! Big Al n B.”


“Looking at your list of grocery stores, my husband seems to remember a store called Gables. He says it was across the street and north of Pratt’s. He was raised in the Dickson area and they would come into Ardmore and shop . The owner as he remembers was Rufus Gable.”  -Betty Cavner

“This recently created mural which celebrates the history of Sulphur is in “Eastside Downtown”,  on 3rd. street, painted on the west wall of the old Cooper Auto Stores building.  It is across from the Plaza on the corner of 3rd. and Muskogee.  Further down the street is the Artists of the Arbuckles gallery and the Arbuckle Historical Society Museum.”  -Mary Lou Heltzel



“Once again Steve Hamm came across to show all of the yearbooks for Ardmore High School.  This must be very time consuming for him and I for one would like to thank him for all of his efforts.  Also like to thank Butch Bridges for his T&T article that brings out a lot of memories.  I actually found my mother and her twin sister in the 1947 annual.  If you bring up a page and click on it you can view the entire page large enough to read.  Again well worth looking at!”  -Mike Pennington

BBQ is fun to eat
Ribs & Sauce, spicy-sweet!
But, alas, I must confess
It leaves your face an awful mess!


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!
Ardmore High School Criterions Online
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
Ardmore School Criterions

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