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Vol 14  Issue 713 September 23, 2010

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

Email: butchbridges@oklahomahistory.net

Phone: 580-490-6823

James Richard Pennington was born November 2, 1858 in Franklin County, Tennessee.  He was the son of William Walker and Martha (Collins) Pennington. James attended Tullahoma College in Tennessee and taught school for 8 years.  Afterwards he want into the mercantile business.  In 1889 when Ardmore was 2 years old, he came to the fledgling town in Chickasaw Nation, as a jobber.  For a few years he operated a retail grocery business, but in 1895 he began shipping cotton and grain, plus ranching. In 1902 he organized the J. R. Pennington Grocery Company located on the entire block of East Main, bordering the Rock Island Railroad.  This company supplied a wide area in Indian Territory with wholesale groceries.  He helped organize the Ardmore National Bank, and later became vice president and director, until it consolidated with First National Bank.  In 1909 he developed farm and stock lands consisting of 1,000 acres near Ardmore.  He was responsible for developing the first four cisterns, which was the beginning of the present water works in Ardmore.

On October 28, 1891 James married Nettie Boyd Pennington. Nettie was born November 6, 1870.  They were blessed with five children: Gomer, James, Helen, Francis and Nettie.  The Penningtons were Presbyterians, where James was an Elder for 32 years. He served as a member of the Ardmore city council from 1900 to 1912.  James R. died May 11, 1932 and Nettie on March 28, 1947. They are buried in Rose Hill Cemetery and were very important early day settlers in Ardmore. -from the Indian Territory and Carter County Pioneers book 1983

Photo of James Pennington


Photo of the old Pennington home place in the SW corner of B Street and Stanley.


I took these 2 pics this week of what I think is the old Pennington home. This home on Stanley look so much like the old Pennington home above.  Its a deteriorating landmark. Does anyone know if the home above is the same as the one below?



Photo of old Pennington Grocery Company in the SE corner of East Main and A Street SE as it looks today.


From a 2003 Newsletter:  “I have been cleaning out my parents house in Ardmore getting it ready for sale. In the process I have cleaned out the safe that was in my father’s office. I found several old stock certificates dated in 1912, 1914, 1918 and 1919. The earliest two are for The Pennington Grocery Company of Ardmore (these two on stock certificates incorporated under the laws of Indian Territory), then the Healdton Lead and Zinc Company and the latest was the Gladiator Oil Company of Wichita Falls, Texas. Additionally I found a receipt where Mr. Pennington got his Buick serviced at Guy Harris Buick Company 407-11 West Main, phone 1339 and 220 on April 9th 1926. Also bank deposit slip for the 1st National Bank on July 12, 1928, numerous grocery receipts from Harlan’s Grocery “Highest Quality Foods” telephone 302, 225 West Main Street, Ardmore. Business cards for Healthitarium Vegetarian Dining Room “Pleasant Rooms with hot and cold water” phone 2703 431 Prospect Ave. Ardmore(?), First Presbyterian Church worship schedule for Sunday October 22nd, 1922. Photo on the front looks just like the church today. A third premium live stock dept. 1922 Carter Co. Free Fair and Exposition along with the picture of the cow that won the ribbon wearing the ribbon. Photo by Howard’s Studio, Ardmore Okla. A record of tuberculin tests for 62 cows done on 1-21 to 24- 1929. Finally an agreement settling a lawsuit dated 8 May 1920. All of this seems to have been the property of J. R. Pennington prior to the safe coming into my father’s possession. I was just there in house when I was growing up. I am about to be 58. I know not exactly when my father acquired the safe. Thought you might have some historical background about these businesses and people.”

I’ve found another mystery. The 1969 Ardmoreite archives speaks of a White Mound in Carter county, owned by the James family. It was a place where an eddy in the ancient sea that covered Southern Oklahoma made a pile of shellfish some 30 feet high and 40 feet wide at the base. Over the past some odd 100 years archeologist and students have all but carried the mound away, and by 1969 is was pretty much non-existent. I did a google search (the best search engine on the planet) for White Mound and didn’t find anything in Carter county. I did found a White Mound in Murray county just a few miles southeast of Dougherty, Oklahoma. I wonder if it is the same or a different mound? I even found pictures on the internet of White Mound in Murray county.


Last week we had a picture of the old Federal courthouse and jail. A few weeks ago it housed on the first floor the Ole Time Sandwich Shoppe, but it has since gone out of business. The news media recently reported a couple from Norman (they already own a sushi bar in Norman) is opening a sushi bar in the building at B and West Main. I talked to the owners this week and they hope to be open for business in about a week. I have never ate at a sushi bar and looking forward to trying it!


Someone asked me this week about the old Coxey Honda shop of Ardmore’s bygone years.  Does anyone know if Gene is still alive and living in this area?

Our 4 Barred Rock hens and 5 Speckled Sussex hens have been laying eggs for about a year and a half, averaging 5 day.  During the two months of 100 degree a few weeks ago the egg laying slowed to about 2 or 3 a day.  Now with the cooler weather here they are starting back to 5 or 6.  But this week one of them played a little trick on me.  She laid this egg the size of a bird egg. They all lay brown eggs, but since this one is the dark brown, it was one of the four Barred Rock hens. Anyone hen expert out there have some info to share on this?


A couple of T&T Readers brought to my attention last week that the Lewis and Clark Expedition did not travel through Oklahoma.  The booklet I obtained the trivia last week was wrong.

Q.   What system was adopted for state employees in 1956?
A.   The Merit System

Q.  What is Oklahoma’s coldest recorded temperature?
A.  (answer in next week’s issue)

Gas prices today in the Ardmore area……


Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..“Butch: My husband, Gene Brawley, was born on the family farm near Wilson, Ok. When he was a teenager his parents moved to Borger, Texas & that is where Gene learned the printing trade. He also started delivering papers but the newspaper foreman took a liking to him & taught him the linotype machine. I know exactly what the man who wrote to you about cleaning up the metal shavings is referring too. They were put back in the metal pot & new “pigs” were made to hang in the linotype machine. My Dad, Ed Forrest was also the pressman at the Borger News Herald & I was a proofreader for about three years (way before computers & spell check). We now live in Austin, Texas but in a community called Rollingwood & are inundated with deer. We have at least 12 to 14 roaming just our street every day. I know that sounds odd for so many near the big city of Austin & not that far from the Colorado River or Lake Austin as it is called when it runs thru town. Guess the progress of building took over the deer’s land & they refuse to move!!” -Theresa & Gene Brawley

“I live about a half-mile from Rick and also had the killdeers nesting here, I suspect the fire ants ran them off (or neighborhood cats). Those and the horned lizards disappeared around the same time.” -Garth Hoard, Lone Grove



Record Videos of Your Desktop on Any Operating System for Free



Re-using bottle top caps to seal plastic bags.


“For the first time in several years, it did not ‘rain on our parade’!!! Nor did we have any bad weather for the entire week of our county fair here in Perry, Oklahoma. We have just completed our 117th continuous annual running of the CHEROKEE STRIP LAND RUN celebration. It is the longest running continuous annual celebration in the state of Oklahoma, having begun 13 years before we became the 46th state in the nation.
I can recall one year that the falling rain was quite cold and many of us huddled under awnings and other overhangs around our town square as we watched the decorated floats slowly losing their identity as it melted away from the constant falling moisture. Last year, the rain miraculously quit just ten minutes before the hour-and-a-half parade began.
This year we had bright sunshine all day long and I shot video for our local-access TV channel for almost eight hours. Most of that time was spent standing on the grass under tent covering the audio-control booth in front of the bandstand in the courthouse park, but I also stood for an hour-and-a-half in front of Jim Franklin’s sculpture studio behind my video camera that was recording the passing parade. This year’s parade marshal was our own internationally famous (two-time Olympic Champion Wrestler, retired) Danny Hodge. His vehicle was followed by our ‘citizen of the year’, Noble County Sheriff Charlie Hanger (the ex-highway patrol trooper who in years past had arrested the Oklahoma City bomber, Timothy McVeigh).
All in all, it turned out to be a great day for our celebration, and I am beginning to get rested up from it. As to falling rain, the previous week, we had received an additional six tenths of an inch. We’ve had a considerable amount this year and I’m behind again on my grass mowing.” -Roy Kendrick in Perry, OK

“Does anyone know where any Indian encampments were in the Ardmore area?”

“Butch, do you or any of your readers have any idea what kind of flowers these are?? They just popped up overnight last weekend. They’re quite pretty. Thanks.”   -Kathi G


“Reading some of the memories of teachers and their paddles in T ‘n’ T prompted me to tell you of Mr. Harold John’s “Electric Paddle” at Washington Elementary in Sulphur. Mr. John taped an old electric razor on the back of a wooden paddle. When he came into the classroom to discuss discipline problems, he plugged it in and it would vibrate. This fell into the “prevention is worth a pound of cure” category!

However, Mr. John, who is still living, is remembered mostly for the reenactments of the Land Run. Everyone had lots of fun and even after he retired, Mr. John was often invited to fire his starting pistol as a signal for the children to stake their claim. Every year one student in my first grade class would tell me that steak was expensive and his mom wouldn’t let him bring one to school and put it on the ground. Teaching is a very entertaining profession!”

“Dear Butch and Jill, we enjoyed a fawn that came up on our farm at Sherwood, Texas, near Mertzon, on Spring Creek. She was bottle fed on a farm down from us. We would be working in the garden and suddenly she would appear scare us to death. One day we were there with our grandchildren she began to rear up on and paw the back of our granddaughter Natanna. After that we tried to not be so friendly with her and we heard neighbors called the game warden to take her to a more remote uninhabited area as she was becoming a nuisance and danger.

Enjoyed seeing the mention of Dr. Haines. We all went to him if we needed dental work. You did not have to have an appointment first come first serve. We would go early about 6:30 or 7 in the morning. He was very popular. Recently went to such a place here in Baton Rouge, called Affordable Dentures. Reminded me of those early morning ventures to Dr. Haines.”

Silver Dollar City I hope you will join me and my Silver Lake Band for Missouri’s Biggest Barn Dance October 13-30, 2010 at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri (closed each Mon/Tue). We will be in the Red Gold Heritage Hall. Show times are 10:30am, 11:15am, Noon and 12:45pm. Bring Grandpa, Grandma and the kids for a family fun time.

Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame On November 4, 2010, I will be inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, along with Jean Shepard of the Grand Ole Opry, Sam Harris of Star Search and Broadway, and Jamie Oldaker, drummer for Eric Clapton. The dinner (optional), induc-tion ceremony and full evening concert will be held in the Muskogee, Oklahoma Civic Center. Call 918-687-0800 for details and reserva-tions. I will consider it a personal favor if you are able to attend and let me shake your hand and thank you for your support.

Cowboy Christmas Ball Our annual Cowboy Christmas Ball will be held December 11, 2010 in Winfield, Kansas. My Silver Lake Band and I would like for you to join us at Baden Square Community Center, 7th and Gary in Winfield. For reservations, details and directions, call 620-222-2154.

New Years Eve Our annual New Years Eve Dance/Concert with me and the band will be held again at the Prairie Rose Chuckwagon location near Benton, Kansas, on the northeast edge of Wichita. For reservations, details and directions, please call 316-778-2121.

Western Swing Cruise I hope you will consider joining me and my Silver Lake Band for a fun time on the Carnival Cruise Line Ship “Ecstasy”. The dates are January 30-February 5, 2011. Some of you may choose to leave the driving to us and ride with me and the band on a deluxe motorcoach from Kansas, Oklahoma or North Texas. Others may decide to join us at the ship in Galveston with a lower cost. Ports of Call will be Progreso and Cozumel. We will have daily private concert/dances, including an evening of dancing under the stars on the Lido Deck. You will also be able to enjoy other entertainment provided by Carnival. There will also be jam sessions for those who bring their own instruments. For reservations and details, please call Cruises and More at 888-834-8660 or 580-765-4600. But you must make your reservations with Cruises and More to be able to attend our concerts/dances.

Hope you can join us for any or all these events. Thanks for everyone’s friendship and support.

Les Gilliam “The Oklahoma Balladeer”

“Butch, I thought you might like this email and placed into the Mailbag on the history of Ardmore airfield. Thanks.” -Joe Ritter

Hercules and the Four Horsemen



The Daily Ardmoreite November 18, 1942
Popularity of Hardy Murphy Retains Hold
He has returned to Madison Square Rodeo for nine years.
The Daily Oklahoma carried a half page story and pictures Sunday featuring Hardy Murphy, Ardmore, and other Oklahomans who have appeared in Madison Square Garden the past two weeks.
Twenty-three Oklahomans have been listed on the official program for the annual fall rodeo, the youngest representative of this state present perhaps being Thomas Hardy, Murphy’s 4-year-old son.
According to Lucille McKenzie Clancy, writer of the article, one of the most popular features of the rodeo year after year is furnished by Murphy, with his horse, “Buck.” No other horse act ever has played the Garden more than twice, but Hardy Murphy with Buck has come back for nine years.
For these nine years Murphy and Buck have acted out a pantomime named “The Fatal Prairie Dog Hole” with the immense Garden darkened and the single spotlight on the man and horse. When Buck breaks his leg and Murphy must kill his best friend while the best friend looks up with begging eyes, women weep and strong men get a lump in their throats.
“When I was a boy I saw events like that happen, and never forgot it,” Murphy explained. His show first was put on in Chicago in 1931.
Mrs. Jim Eskew Jr., and her baby daughter, Madonna Louise, from Ardmore, accompanied her husband to the show. Junior Eskew is one of the featured performers in the special act known as “Cowboy trick and fancy roping exhibition.” He thrills the audience with his rope jumping and twirling exhibitions and also the wild cow milking contest in which he came out only one second behind the performer who won the top rating in that field. Mrs. Eskew is the former Miss Mary Louise Randolph, daughter of Sheriff and Mrs. Floyd Randolph.
C. J. Shellenberger, Marietta, who was injured at a rodeo early in the spring, got back in shape for the New York show and his brother, David Shellenberger, also of Marietta, entered in the bareback bronc riding and bull riding contests. A brace has been keeping C. J.’s injured leg from further hurt.
Mrs. Murphy accompanied her husband to New York as she has on all other trips since their marriage several years ago.

With the super harvest moon so bright the past few nights, I hope everyone takes time to see its beauty, along with the bright planet Jupiter and a somewhat dimmer Uranus next to Jupiter.

Ruth Etting, “SHINE ON HARVEST MOON” (1931)


See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges
Ardmore Oklahoma
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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