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Vol 14  Issue 715    October 7, 2010

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

Email: butchbridges@oklahomahistory.net

Phone: 580-490-6823

For the second time, Ardmore proved that it was a town too tough to die after surviving another major disaster in 1915.  A 250 barrel tanker railroad car, designated I.N.T.X, 8051, parked in the 93 degree Oklahoma heat and carrying casinghead gasoline, exploded on the tracks, destroying the Union Depot, killing forty-nine people and injuring dozens more.  The eastern sector of the city was once again demolished.  Many downtown buildings which were not destroyed, suffered major damage.  Three blocks away from the blast, Charles R. Smith standing on Main Street and M.E. Atkins on Washington were killed by dislodged stones hurtling downward from the shaken buildings.  Windows and glass fronts were shattered as far as half a mile away.

Hardy Sanitarium’s thirty-five beds were soon filled as more than a hundred victims came running or were carried by friends or family.  Soon the hospital grounds were crowded with cots brought by Ardmore’s citizens to fill the need in this emergency.  Within hours, emergency relief in the form of doctors and nurses poured into the city as Santa Fe engineer Lawrence O. Freeman kept the throttle wide open on locomotive #1108, roaring through signals between Gainesville, Texas and Ardmore to rush to the aid of the injured.  Freeman made the run in record time, hitting speeds of ninety miles per hour at times.  Risk was no stranger to this engineer who had some in Ardmore in 1898 after discharge from the army following his service in the Spanish-American War. With a group of cronies, he arrived broke and hungry and extremely grateful for the compassion of Ardmoreite Jake Bodovitz, who supplied the former soldiers with groceries from his market on Broadway.  The men pitched camp at Whittington Park, cooked and ate and lived there until they found employment.  Later, Freeman spent some time railroading in Mexico before returning to Ardmore to live out his days.

Engine 1108 was later donated to the City of Ardmore and remains on display on the grounds of the Hardy Murphy Coliseum.

-from page 156 Territory Town: The Ardmore Story by Sally Gray 1923-2010

Thanks to James Allen, Carter County GIS director, we now have for download in PDF format a map of Carter County with the 71 cemeteries Bill Hamm cataloged shown on the map. The locations are not exact but are shown within the 1 square mile Section of land. Since some cemeteries listed are on private property in the middle of a pasture, you may have to ask a nearby landowner where the cemetery is located exactly and for permission to go there. To keep the map from becoming too cluttered, the cemeteries are only designated by number from Bill Hamm‘s cemetery list. So you must use his list (see below) to know the number designation.

Cemeteries in Carter County(must have Adobe PDF Reader to view)

Bill Hamm’s Cemetery List (text file)

Wayne Vaughn in the Carter County courthouse maintenance department was helping move some old ledger books in the old jail (above the election board) and ran across something interesting.  He first thought the book had a rock or something underneath the back cover, but upon opening the 1919 Civil Cases book found a bullet lodged in the back cover and pages.   We have no idea when the incident might have happened.  Sometime right after statehood (not likely) or more recently, like 50 or more years ago?  Or maybe even a later date?  Anyway, if this book could talk, I bet it would have an interesting story to tell.





In George Washington’s days, there were no cameras. One’s image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs would cost the buyer more. Hence the expression, ‘Okay, but it’ll cost you an arm and a leg.’ (Artists know hands and arms are more difficult to paint)

Last week we mentioned the new sushi place coming to the location of the Olde Sandwich Shoppe building at B and West Main. They are now open and we hope to soon try sushi for the first time. But I think first I’ll try to educate myself on sushi and what to eat. I talked to a lady on Main Street today at noon, and she and her husband tried the sushi place last night. She said it was the best sushi food she has ever eaten, and was so glad they are now open in Ardmore. I found a FAQ website dedicated to sushi questions, and even a link to info for newbies to sushi foods like myself.



My forex trading (demo account) using an Expert Advisor seems to be working well the past few weeks, but time will tell.


Q.   Who was married in a mock wedding in the Oklahoma statehood celebration?
A.   Mr. Oklahoma Territory and Miss Indian Territory

Q.  What governor was elected in 1963 and again in 1986?
A.  (answer in next week’s issue)

Gas prices today in the Ardmore area……

https://oklahomahistory.net/gasprices.htmlSome mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

“I was googling my dad, Aldy Gers & came upon your website with tons of information on all sorts of people from the Ardmore area. I lived my young childhood in Ardmore. My dad was the Golf Pro at Falconhead & my uncle Chris Gers was the Pro at Dornick Hills. I didn?t golf but spent every day of the summer at Falconhead either in the pool or at the horse stables. Got myself in trouble many times for taking a paddle boat out onto the lake and digging up clams! My dad would call my name over the golf course speaker for all to hear! I can?t remember the exact years but I?ll never forget them! Was the time of my life and I treasure the memories. My dad passed away on October 21, 1996 & uncle Chris passed in 1995. They both were giving golf lessons at Lake Hefner & Brookside right up until they died. Someone on your site was inquiring about Falconhead & trying to remember who was the Pro way back when. Just thought I?d let you know it was my dad!”  -Kathy Gers Willis

Birth of a hummingbird.


“Butch, There was a grocery/gas station on the NE corner of Plainview Rd. and US 70. I think the owner was Clyde Tannin. I know Clyde is right, but I?m not positive about the last name. The store was made of native stone and burned about 1952. He previously had another store on the south side of 70, east of Plainview Rd. Maybe someone remembers Clyde’s last name?” -Jim

Davis Grocery. 207 C Street NW. J. W. Davis. 1898-1961

Photo 1 is inside the original Davis Grocery in the 200 block of East main. 1920

Photo 2 is the 213 C NW store with the three owners, L to R: J. W. Davis, George Davis, son, and Warren Davis, son. It was replaced with a new building at 207 C NW in the early 50’s.

Photo 3 is the new Davis Grocery at 207 C NW.

Photo 4 is employees L to R: George W. Davis, 2 part time employees: Esley Brown and Jess Reed, George Bradley, Warren Davis, George S. Davis, and J. W. Davis.

-photos were submitted by George W. Davis

“Butch, I am hoping that one of your friends might be able to help. My son is graduating from Oklahoma State University with a degree in Wind Turbine Technology. This program is new and the school hasn’t lined up any internships for their students. Kevin asked me to help him be pro-active and ask my friends if they w…ork for a company that does operations and maintenance on wind turbines that would offer him an internship or a position as a Wind Tech l. He has a 3.4 GPA which demonstrates his ability to learn. Alternatively, an electrical company or a company that works on generators would be greatly beneficial. If one of your friends knows of someone please contact me! They say everyone you need in your life is only 3 people away… so we are praying that God will guide him to the right person. Thanks!” -DeAnna West    ashblnd@aol.com

“Hey Butch, I enjoyed the posting on the out house. In fact it reminded me of my Grandfathers’ in Mississippi a very long time ago. He had one that had a 2X16 plank in it with three holes in the plank. The holes went from kids size, to woman size then grandpa’s butt. You stuck a peg hanging on the wall in the plank and slid the board to fit your rear. Grandpa’s also had a fur skin cover on the seat to protect from the updraft in the winter time. Of course your final action was administered by using a page or two from the Sears catalog after you were through reading. If you chose the back up plan, it consisted of two buckets of corncobs on the floor. It went this way:

1st you used a “RED” one, then you used a “WHITE” one to see if you needed another “RED” one.”  LOL!

“Hey Butch – just a small “correction” on the grocery stores list. There are two listing for my dad’s grocery stores – listed as “Boyd’s Grocery” with the Lake Murray Drive location & Broadway. They were originally called Boyd’s Pak-a-Sak (not just “Boyd’s) – and there is/was also one on Washington – don’t remember address, but it’s on east side of road and my dad sold it to Jerrell Allen (oops can’t remember for SURE his last name or correct spelling of 1st name) eventually, but he still called it “Pak-a-Sak.”

There were a total of 3 locations – originally Boyd’s Pak-a-Sak . . . have some pictures SOMEWHERE – if ever find them will scan & send to you.  -Pam Boyd Barry

“Hi Butch, Here is a story on the old Cattlemen’s Steakhouse in OKC.  -Cecil


All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.  -Ralph W. Emerson

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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