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Vol 14  Issue 707   August 12, 2010

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

Email: butchbridges@oklahomahistory.net

The Yellow Hills is a series of small mountain peaks and ridges that runs from Dickson, Oklahoma south toward Durwood, to McMillan and south toward the Red River. Durwood was a hard luck town. When the Frisco Railroad came through that area to Ardmore in 1902, it missed Durwood on the south and a town called New Durwood was built on the railroad. Old Durwood lost its post office and in efforts to get another one, changed its name to Nelda.

Then when U.S 70 (now Highway 199) was built through Southern Oklahoma many years later, it ran about a mile north of the old Durwood and Dickson was established on the highway. And the little town of Durwood was missed by the railroad and the highway, so it never amounted to much.

Below is a map I modified to show the old and new Durwood (as best I could) in relation to Dickson, Oklahoma.


The Daily Ardmoreite August 1960 – Shot through the fleshy part of the right thigh and with deep cuts to the upper and lower lids of his left eye, Howard Johnson, Carter County Sheriff, is reported in good condition. Johnson was injured when he was attacked by a mental patient, he and a deputy were returning to the hospital in Norman. The sheriff and the prisoner grappled for Johnson’s gun.  The gun went off with the bullet plowing through the sheriff’s thigh.  The sheriff’s glasses were broken during the struggle, and the fragments made deep cuts on the sheriff’s eyes. A bystander, Wilson Wallace, rushed to the aid of the sheriff and his deputy when their lives were in dire danger.

By the way, I am still looking for photos of the following 2 sheriffs of Carter county:

1947-1951 Howard Johnson   2 terms
1951-1953 Jack Powledge   1 term

A T&T Reader who lives a couple miles from me wanted ask if another besides him has noticed how few hummingbirds are seen around the feeders in this area.  I know a number of you feed the hummingbirds, has anyone noticed this?

Q.   Who developed the Cherokee written language?
A.    Sequoyah 

Q.   Who was Oklahoma’s first Territorial governor?
A.   (answer in next week’s issue)

Gas prices today in the Ardmore area……


Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

Limestone Gap is an unincorporated community in Atoka County, Oklahoma. The gate leading into the Limestone Gap Cemetery is located 8 miles south of Kiowa, Oklahoma on the west side of State Highway 69.


One of the thousands of caves in the Limestone Bluffs at Limestone Gap. In many of these caves outlaws hid their stash of money taken in train robberies. Many outlaws hid in such caves as some of the caves were large enough and long enough they could go a half mile and deeper for the outlaws to hide in when being sought out by Captain Charles LeFlore.  Captain LeFlore’s Home was at Limestone Gap and very similar to that of Chief Allen Wright, a one time neighbor in Boggy Depot, Atoka County in the Choctaw Nation.


Clark McEntire, Reba’s dad (inside the pickup, telling Mike McElroy about his children; Alice, Pake, Reba and Susie McEntire. The McEntire Ranch is located about 15 miles north of Atoka at Chockie, Oklahoma.


“I found your website when I googled Hardy Sanitarium. I was born there (Hardy) in 1945. My mom told me there was a maternity ward section set aside for military mothers. Is that accurate information? Maybe some of your Readers knows? When my dad got out of the service we moved back to Pennsylvania. I went along with them since I was only 6 months old and didn’t want to go on my own just yet. We went back in ’53 for a vacation. My godfather was Joseph Hivick. I remember seeing the horned toads and the sticklers in their yard. Pleasant memories!”  -Thomas Pringle in Las Vegas  tompringle@rapidlv.com

Quilted Textile Appraisals
In conjunction with the Greater Southwest Historical Museum’s Community Quilt Art Challenge, Lisa Erlandson, an AQS Certified Quilted Textile Appraiser, will be providing written appraisals by appointment only on September 11, 2010 from 9:00am-5:00pm. Contact Kristin Mravinec at 580-226-3857. Walk-in appointments will be accepted at the Museum if time is available. The cost is $40 per quilt. Payment in advance is required to secure the appointment.

Appraisals are given for Insurance Value, Fair Market Value or Donation Value. An appraiser since 1996, Lisa Erlandson is a member of the Professional Association of Appraisers of Quilted Textiles. For a private quilted textile appraisal consultation, contact Lisa Erlandson at 940-668-6758 or lisa@lequilts.com

“Hi Butch. I enjoyed reading the latest T&T while still away from home. Your comments on visiting Tishomingo reminded me of Devil’s Den which is north of there. The site is closed to the public now but I have flown over the place in the Cessna a couple of times over the past year and could recognize many of the rock formations I first visited almost 50 years ago. It is a beautiful place with the creek running through the rock formations. Also do you remember the old suspension car bridge that was once there in Tishomingo? I believe it was washed away in a flood several years ago. Did you know the song that is used as the theme song for “A Prairie Home Companion” radio show is actually called the “Tishomingo Blues”? It was written about Tishomingo, Mississippi.

The Winnie Mae is alive and well at the new Smithsonian Udvar Hazy center near Dulles Airport. For many years the Winnie Mae was located at the old Air and Space Museum on the Washington, D.C. Mall. When they opened the new museum hangar at Dulles, they moved the airplane to the new facility. I had my picture taken standing next to her a few months ago. There are many other famous aircraft housed in the new hangar including the Enola Gay and one of Roscoe Turner’s old planes. The Spirit of St. Louis and the Wright Brother’s flyer are still located at the older museum on the DC mall.” -Jon


“Your readers and you talking about Turner Falls and Cedarvale brought back a few old memories.  Must been 1945 or 46, I went to Baptist Church Camp at Falls Creek. We were given permission or “slipped off” and went to Turner Falls. ( I was living in Seminole at the time.) I have a an old photo of me climbing up the falls and jumping off. We had someone “spot” and stand on the large rock that was just below the surface of the water on the left side of the falls. So that we would not hit it. I have not been able to find the photo to verify this. We also swam in Cedarvale. I remember diving off the concrete dam and hitting the concrete bottom. I broke my nose!  Aw such memories. Thanks for helping me reminisce.”  -Ken @ Wilson

Butch: Your photos of Pennington Creek/Park at Tishomingo included a shot of the 06 Blue Angels jet. There’s quite a story behind this photo. The plane was flown in the Blue Angel squadron by C. O. “Smokey” Tolbert of Mill Creek. He went from Mill Creek to the Naval Academy, qualified for the Angel program, and flew with distinction. He finished military service and flew commercial for American Airlines for a while, then re-entered the Navy. A year later, his jet was hit by a Sam missile over North Vietnam, and he perished. Here’s what the Lone Grove Ledger said about the event in its archives:

“At 5:04 p.m. March 21, 1969, Navy Lieutenant C. O. Tolbert brought his sleek Blue Angel jet onto the runway at the Ardmore Industrial Park. The swept wing, Gruman Tiger F-11, No. 6 of the Navy’s famed “Blue Angels” precision flying group, would never fly again. Instead, it is retired and given to the City of Tishomingo, where it will be on display at Murray State College. Tolbert is a Mill Creek High School graduate and former Murray student.” -james clark, Ardmore

“Hi Ya Butch, Re: The article “Sodding Bare Area with Grass.” I liked the article very much. It reminded me of a time when I first sodded grass. The grass sodding occurred in the summer of 1955 when I was stationed in Japan at Camp Whittington as a member of Headquarters Company, 8th Cavalry Regiment, First Cavalry Division. Camp Whittington was located at Fukaya, Honshu, Japan. During that summer of 1955, one NCO and 10 privates including myself were selected to sod a US/Japanese rifle shooting range. If my aging memory serves me correctly that rifle range had 6 elevated earthen berms that were separated approximately 100 feet apart. The attached picture gives you an idea of what I am striving to describe. The pictured shooting range is a four-berm shooting range that is 400 feet in length, whereas the the range in Japan was 600 feet in length. The highest point of a rifle shooting range begins at the the sixth berm and gradually sloped downward to the first berm that is closer to the targets. The rifle shooters begin at the first berm and move up hill until they reach the sixth berm.

Our mission was to resod the US/Japanese rifle range that was located on the slopes of Mt. Fujiyama. None of us had ever sodded grass so this was a challenge to us. We were all in our early twenties and full of vim, vigor, and vitality so we considered it an easy challenge. After arriving at the range we were instructed how to sod the berms that were about 100 feet in length, 10 feet high, 10 feet at the top and 20 feet thick at the bottom. About a quarter of the way through the job we were informed that we were behind in schedule so the Japanese army was called in the next day to help us sod the berms. To make it competitive the four unsodded berms were split between the American and Japanese teams, two for the American army and two for the Japanese army.

That morning two teams consisting of American and Japanese soldiers began a competition of who would finish first. The average Japanese soldier was about two inches shorter and smaller in weight than the average American soldier but they were eager workers. Two days later we two teams completed our project. Both teams came out even in the competition. A month later we US Army and Japanese “experienced grass sod workers” were notified that all of our sodding at the US/Japanese rifle shooting range was in vain because of a heavy rain storm had washed all the sod we had planted. Our sadden team asked for the reason(s) why. We were informed that each separated sod of one square foot of grass should have been secured with a foot-long piece of bamboo. Also the American and Japanese armies learned that day they should have contracted with a professional Japanese civilian company. A Japanese civilian company was hired to resod the six berms with square foot grass that was secured with one foot long piece of bamboo that later was removed after the grass had rooted.

Though we two teams of two different countries learned the hard way about sodding grass the best thing that we learned during the two days of competition between us two teams was the friendship that was gained between the Japanese and American soldiers. To learn and understand this “GI comradeship” you must serve as a member of a military armed force.”   -Elmer G. West, San Antonio, Texas



re: Sequoyah- butch I live within 10 miles of where a lot of his work took place. I have been told he raised children by three wives. I believe this is denied by the Cherokee nation. His name was actually George Guest or Gist according to early writings. The valley across the ridges from me was full of Guests.  A friend T.K. Guest–WWII veteran—died about 1972 –I believe he was about 83—said George was his g-grand Dad. that he took one of the girls to New Echota with him when he went to work on the paper. He was said to be making his marks on shingles and refused to cut wood and the wife burned the shingles.– that is when he left.” -Taylor Crow

Truly fortunate that so many of these have survived. Probably a million wet plate photos were made during the civil war on glass plate. Popular during the war, they lost their appeal afterwards and so many were sold for the glass. Many used in green houses. Over the years the sun caused the images to disappear. These are pretty amazing considering they were taken up to 150 years ago: A compendium of photos from the Civil War era. Run the cursor over the photograph and the picture caption will pop up. Click a photo to enlarge.


“I don’t know if Greer County is too far from Lone Grove to be of interest to you. I got an article from their local paper today that my father wrote. They are planning on putting all his writings on the internet. I know I am proud. But, I thought this might be of interest to you, particularly the State Links of Interest on their web-site.” -Roberta Abbe


Courtesy Newsletter from Wichita Falls Railroad Museum.  -Rusty Jameson

Click on the links for the Newsletters

July Newsletter……… http://www.wfrrm.com/nl/jul10/

Latest July/August Newsletter………………… http://www.wfrrm.com/nl/ja10/

“We are looking for information on, possibly, a great uncle. We are hoping someone reading your web page can help us.
A.B. Miller
B: April 15, 1854 maybe in Kentucky
D: Feb. 9, 1907 in Philips OK and is buried in the Lehigh Cemetery, Lehigh, OK
We believe he lived around what is now Gene Autry OK in 1880’s to early 1900.
Thank you.” -Buz and Kay Bowerman  buzkaybowerman@hotmail.com

“Did Terry Walker receive any info about his grandfather? I remember them well. Having grown up in NE Ardmore. His Grandfather was the oldest resident and his Grandmother had the longest hair at the Ardmore Birthday celebrations. They were a colorful event with the flowers they made from crepe paper and dipped in wax. This was before the advent of artificial flowers at the stores. They were artfully and well constructed. Just wish I had thought to do and see how they did them. Our younger brothers have many wonderful and funny stories to tell about the times they visited in their home and Mrs. Walker would make breakfast for them. I remember them coming to our home on Lord’s day afternoon and singing hymns with our parents and other afternoon guest while the boys rode goats or calves in the cow lot. Surely the Ardmoreite has pictures of those occasions. What a nice remembrance of Miss Duston in the picture. The circus performances were quite professional and way before their time for Ardmore. I was always in the three ring circus as part of an animal. Our costumes came from a supplier in Dallas. Really authentic. Also in the gymnastic performance of the pyramids. I was always on the bottom. There were other acts with beautiful and exotic costumes. I still do some of the exercises she taught us in our PE classes.” fjsmathers@aol.com

“Dear Butch, I have been overwhelmed with the generous response to my query regarding Doris Dean Duston in This and That. I was hoping to find a friend of my late mother’s, and have discovered a much loved and respected teacher, friend and neighbor, whose memory is still held dear by all those who knew her. Her junior high and high school students have described her as gracious, inspirational, strict but fair, an excellent teacher, and “quite a lady.” She was passionate about daily exercise, and had everyone at school in great shape. Her Spring Circus performances, involving all the grades, at the Civic Auditorium were memorable for their extravagant productions and exotic costumes. The participants practised their routines long hours and with many dress rehearsals, but were proud to be a part of it, whether they were playing animals or were at the bottom of a human pyramid! Audiences were made up of students and their extended families, school staff, and people from all over Ardmore.

My understanding of Ms. Duston’s career was that she was a junior high gym teacher in Ardmore prior to 1944 when she went to England with the American Red Cross (ARC) to work as Senior Recreation Worker. She was assigned to the 188th General Hospital in Cirencester, where she met my mother, Virginia Cooley, also from the ARC. They organized entertainment for the wounded, taught crafts, helped to write letters home, and saw to it that the soldiers’ morale was kept as high as possible. After the war in 1946 she took a position as Field Director with the ARC in Amarillo, TX. One of my correspondents thought she ran a pre-school in Ardmore before returning to the local Junior High, and later High School to teach young women gym and acrobatics. Most don’t remember her being married, and think that she died several years ago, which sadly I believe to be true.

In all I received 13 emails from around Ardmore and as far away as Texas and Northern California, names readers may remember from their school days, although some will have changed with marriage. These include Danna Rice, Helen Ripple, Mae Cox, Sam Cottrell, Jo Bradly, Jack Moorhead, Ruth Bellemy, Wilda Stephens, R. Helms, and Melba. Thanks to each and every one for sharing their happy memories of a remarkable woman and teacher, Doris Duston, and to Butch Bridges of This and That for his support.”  -Stephanie Bath in Australia

The Ardmore High School Class of 1965 is having a 45 year reunion September 24, 25 and 26, 2010. We are looking for the following people: Cheryl A. Ashmore, Linda Battle, Steven Joe Bowling, Donald W. (Bill) Buchanan, Dianna Christy, Dorothy Davis, Mary Davis, Bob Dearmore, William (Bill) Fuller, Doris Hardegree, Vicki Hardegree, Vonda Hobbs, Patsy Jones, Lewis Franklin Knight, Wendy Jane Davis, Vicki Michelle Laverents, Charlotte Lavette, Bonnie Rebecca Cochran Lowry, Sherry Messick Lloyd, David Mc Clendon, Susan Mc Lean, Charlotte Minter Moore, Reba Joy Nall, Sharon Parks, Norma Peace, Valerie Perry, Linda Jean Pitts, Linda Powell, Jerry Roe, David E. Smith, James Stidham, Steve Vaughn, Linda Marie Wilkins, David Richard Wilson and Margaret Wise. If anyone has information on any of the above, please email:  alaarch@swbell.net or bobbyeahs1965@yahoo.com

The Arbuckle Historical Museum (Sulphur) is having some staffing problems and may not always be open on Sundays. If you plan to visit, I suggest that you call to see if it is open Sunday afternoons. It will be open on Friday and Saturday afternoons. The number is 580-622-5593. www.ahsmc.org  -Mary Lou

I had no idea such equipment existed! Let’s build a railroad….


Museum Memories
Contributed by Melinda Taylor
The Wilson News
October 19, 1916
One Child Run Over By Team, Another Kicked By Horse, and Third Stuck by Auto.
There was a series of accidents in Wilson, Thursday afternoon, but fortunately none of them proved to be of a serious nature. Just as the westbound O. N. M. & P. train blew into the depot at 4 o’clock, a team became frightened at the locomotive, became unmanageable and dashed away. A little school girl, whose name was not learned, was directly in front of the frightened animals, and seeing them coming directly upon her, deliberately laid flat on the earth, dropping her school books. The team did not strike her as they passed over, but two wheels of the wagon passed over one of her lower limb. The sand was deep where the girl had toppled over and the wheels merely pressed her limb into the sand and she arose badly frightened but altogether unhurt.
A few minutes after the above incident had happened, Bennie DeBerry, son of Mr. B. DeBerry, was kicked by a horse. A physician was immediately called but upon examination found that Bennie was worse scared than hurt, hence professional services were not necessary.
The third accident was of a somewhat more serious nature however. The little son of Mr. and Mrs. H. W. Williams was struck by an auto and pretty severely shaken up, as well as receiving a gash in the back of the head. Dr. Tidmore took a stitch or two in the lacerated part of the head and reported that while he expected no serious results, yet the cut was a deep one, penetrating the skull bone. www.wilsonhistoricalmuseum.org Museum Hours: Tues., Thurs., Fri., Sat. 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The Daily Ardmoreite
June 29, 1919
Ardmore Will Have Real Amusement Park Before Summer Ends
Ardmore is to have an attractive amusement park in the near future.
And from the backing it is getting from substantial local business men there is little room for doubt, but within the next thirty days citizens of this city will have a real place of amusement open for them.
The place in question is the new amusement enterprise known as the Whittington Park Amusement Company, which has already expended thousands of dollars, and are preparing to expend more, to make this one of the most attractive amusement resorts in the state.
At present work is progressing on the concrete natatorium, which within a few days will be ready for the water, which will be supplied by the city. The basin is 80 x 200 feet.
The company will immediately begin erecting dressing rooms two stories in height, the roofs of which will be utilized as dancing pavilions. These dressing rooms will be equipped with every modern convenience for the accommodation of patrons of the natatorium.
Mr. Gardner who is in active supervision of the job states that when all is completed, Ardmore will have an institution of which its citizens may be justly proud. With this object in view the promoters of the enterprise are sparing no expense.
It is planned by the company to add other attractions than the swimming pool. they have several schemes in contemplation, but are unprepared at this time to fully divulge their plans.
The far sighted business men of the city who are backing this enterprise are the following:
Will Gardner, Walter Colbert, Sam M. McDaniel, J. Holmes Akers, Harold Wallace, R. S. Colvert, Ben H. Mason, J. E. McCarty, K. C. Tucker, J. Ernest Williams, Russell B. Brown, Olin Wolverton, B. S. Frost, E. B. Luke, Willmore Brown, Paul Phillips, J. J. Stancill, Will Morgan, C. W. Richards, W. W. Clements, Woerz Brothers, Y. B. Lynn, Fred C. Carr, Capt. W. F. Whittington, J. B. Spragins, C. T. Barringer, Clelie Crimm, C. P. Van Denberg, F. E. Watson, Bud Wicker, Quinn Wicker, Joe F. Williams, Paul C. Eckern, Tom Sloan, R. V. Dulaney, Slaughter Motor Co.
The above gentlemen and business concerns wish to assure the citizens of Ardmore that nothing but the cleanest amusements will be offered in the park, that ladies and children may come feeling that they will always be accorded the most courteous treatment.
Announcement of the date of the opening will be made later.

Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to the end, requires some of the same courage which a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men to win them. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

See everyone next week!

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

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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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