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Vol 14  Issue 718  October 28, 2010

Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

Email: butchbridges@oklahomahistory.net

Phone: 580-490-6823

No Man’s Land.  In 1890 Beaver County, sometimes known as the Neutral Strip, No Man’s Land, or Cimarron Territory, was added to Oklahoma.  This strip of land, 167 miles long and 35 miles wide, containing 3,682,369 acres, belonged to Mexico and afterward was a part of the Republic of Texas, but was not admitted as a part of the State of Texas because it lies north of 36 degrees, 30′, the northern limit of slave territory. For a number of years it was not part of any state or territory. It was settled, however, and the citizens met, organized a government, and named the country Cimarron Territory. They elected officers and even sent a delegation to Congress, but they were not recognized.

-from Geography of Oklahoma by Charles N. Gould 1909. Printed by Bunn Brothers, Ardmore, Oklahoma



Carter County was officially recognized as a StormReady County by the National Weather Service October 18, 2010. StormReady was a program started in 1999 in Tulsa that helps ensure communities have the communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property before and during severe weather events. Communities must submit applications to the NWS to receive StormReady status. Rick Smith, a warning coordination meteorologist with the Norman Forecast Office of the National Weather Service, said the new status recognizes the partnership between the county?s emergency management office and the NWS. ?It is a big accomplishment. It is a way to recognize the county?s ability to be as prepared as possible (for severe weather),? he said. It?s not only the county?s continuing work to improve abilities, it?s also the citizens of Carter County that make the system better. By taking the information and preparing themselves is what makes it work. The Citizens of Carter County should be proud of the accomplishment they helped the County achieve.


I was traveling west from Ardmore on 12th avenue the other day, when I reached Memorial Road and Brock Road (north side of Lone Grove). I noticed in the NW corner of that intersection someone had installed new wind turbine for generating electricity.  Its a really nice turbine but the kicker is they live less than a mile from a very large substation.  Hopefully with the tax breaks and all, and putting electricity back into the grid, it will help!


Speaking of wind turbines, I remember back in the 80s one of the first wind turbines in this area was erected just southwest of Brock Road and Highway 70 intersection (Lone Grove).  I’d glance over at it over the years, but noticed for a very long time now, its been in a non working condition.


The other day the maintenance crew at the courthouse were busy with a bucket truck removing a metal panel from a 3rd floor window, so a contract crew could install a new window.  When the panel was removed, one could see the dark red bricks, like were used in so many buildings back around 1910.




I was in OKC a couple weeks ago visiting my ailing uncle, Jack Bridges, and he gave me a family photo with my dad, R.V. Bridges in it, taken probably around 1935 (my dad was born in 1917).  I had never seen this good of a photo of my dad from those days (my mother and father divorced when I was 6 months old).  Back in his high school years my dad won all the football trophies at Ardmore High, or so I was told. When I was young, friends who knew my dad would comment, “you sure didn’t take after your dad,” since I’m really not into football.  lol


The other day we had another eating establishment open on Main Street.  This one is just a couple doors east of the old Daube’s Department Store building. It’s the Ten Star Pizza Kitchen.  I stopped in there today at noon and took a picture, didn’t order, but the good smell of cooking pizza made it tempting.  Can hardly wait until Jill and I can get down there and try some delicious pizza!



From This and That newsletter October 1997:

In 1925 the elected Sheriff of Carter county, Ewing London, was indicted by a Grand Jury. London was temporarily removed from office and a new sheriff appointed by the name of James Cruce. Cruce would only be sheriff for 30 days. A Purcell, Oklahoma Judge would overrule the removal and order Sheriff London reinstated to office. London would serve out the rest of his term unchallenged. You can read the entire story on the link below. If anyone has info on James “Jim” Cruce, we would like to hear from you. Cruce was a dairyman living north of Ardmore on Mt Washington Road in 1925. Any help is appreciated in finding out more about this “forgotten Sheriff”.


Q.  What Oklahoma city was accidentally bombed during WWII?
A.   Boise City, Oklahoma in 1943

Q.   What was Oklahoma’s first mail route?
A.   (answer in next week’s newsletter)  

Gas prices today in the Ardmore area……

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

“I remember when they constructed the new highway, US 70, west of Madill. My dad used to call it the Raymond Gary Highway because it ran from Madill where Gary was from. Actually, he was born somewhere between Madill and Kingston. I remember Gary was known for his highway construction during his term.

Sometime after it was finished, on a Sunday drive, we discovered it driving from the west. You’re right about the turn at the end of the highway. There was a barrier, a one lane exit to the left (south) onto a section line.My mother was driving and I think Betty Tarver was with us. She was the nurse at the Carter County Health Service back in the 50’s. As I remember, there weren’t any signs on the highway designating speed, highway number, anything. Betty and her husband, “Red,” Tarver lived on the west side of North Washington in about the 500 block. Red was an old friend of my dad.”  -Monroe Cameron

“Butch, I was just wondering if any Readers have ever heard of a general store along HWY 70 in Zanies near where Jap’s Trading Post is located. My Grandmother-in-law said she remembers as a kid in the 1920’s passing by that place on a wagon and there was a store called Oklahoma Tourism and that they also rented out small 10×10 rooms for people that was traveling and needed a place to sleep. The foundations to these building are still there. They (Jap and Otha Williams) bought the place in 1945 but no buildings were there at that time just foundations. If anyone has any information on this I would greatly appreciate it.” -Michael Phelps

“Butch, my mother Jean Adams lives across the street from where Jean Edwards lived at the nursing home on 13th ave and A street N.W. Jean Edwards had two children, Mike who lives in Healdton, OK and David in Loco, OK. My mom always found time to go and see Jean and took her many meals when she could, and sometimes she had me deliver them to Jean. Even though Jean Edwards was a quadriplegic, she always had a kind work to say, I never once heard her say anything negative regarding the condition or circumstances that put her in the state she had to endure to live. She was a wonderful person and is sadly missed.” -Harvey Adams

“I do remember when Channel 12 had a studio in Ardmore on N. Washington St in the block S. of AHS. They did have a teen dance show live each week and it was called Sock Hop. I can’t remember the name of the young HS student who was in charge, but I think he graduated in 1958. I do know of someone I could ask, but thought I had better share this before I forget the name of the Program. Of course they played all the current top 10 hits and others that nearly all teenagers listened to daily via the radio.”

To Cole: It sounds like it may have been a painting or poster used by the Santa Fe Railroad promoting the scenery through New Mexico and Arizona and especially the Grand Canyon and also the associated sighting tours run by the Fred Harvey Company with tne name “Indian Detours.”  -Wes Leatherock

“Hi Butch. My Grandfather, Henry Lafayette Willingham was killed on that day. It was my dad’s second birthday. He had brought my Grandmother, Mary Etta Kerbo Willingham to Ardmore from Marsden. They were in a wagon with a team of mules. My uncle Arthur was with them. When the explosion took place, my uncle Arthur grabbed up Granny Willingham and ran with her. She was pregnant with my uncle Henry. His body was recovered and he was buried in Gordon Cemetery off of Oswalt road in Love county. The old section road was moved and the cemetery now lies on private property. My family and I have been going there for many years, every Memorial Day, to decorate my Grandfather’s, great Grandfather’s and great Grandmother’s grave. The land at one time belonged to D Joyce Coffey and was sold several years ago to some folks from Texas. They put up a new pipe fence, graveled the road to the cemetery and cleaned up the cemetery. It looked nice. The new owners took the fence down from around the cemetery when they cleaned it up. Then the problems started. I tracked down the new owners and got a phone number. I called and explained that we go to the cemetery every year to decorate. The lady said there would be no problem and gave me her cell number. The first year we called they had not put up the new fence yet and the cemetery road was open. The next year the story was they could not be there to open the gate on Memorial Day. We had to come the day after. The next year I could not get hold of the people that own the land. The gate was open on Memorial Day. The next year the lady said she didn’t believe she could make it. But she did and let us in a different gate. When we got to the cemetery I could not believe my eyes. My Grandfather’s, great Grandfather and Mother’s grave markers were knocked over and my Grandfather’s marker was broken in half. We cleaned up a little, set my great Grandfather and Mother’s markers back up and loaded my Grandfather’s marker into my son-in-law’s pickup. The lady owner came up to me and said that a big buck deer likes to sleep under these trees and he must have done it. The only problem is there is cow poop all over the cemetery. They had turned cows onto the cemetery property. They took the fence down and it was in bad shape but did not put anything back up. The lady said some other folks had talked about having a fence building day. I told her that I was taking my Grandfather’s grave marker, all are tall marble markers, and either have it replaced or repair the old one and I would be back at some point and put the marker back.

I repaired the marker with epoxy and a brass dowel rod and called the lady to make arrangements to gain entry to the property. No answer and no returned call. I needed a couple of days to repair all three grave marker footings and reset my Grandfather’s marker. Three calls were made when I could be off and three calls ignored. The state law says that I must make a reasonable effort to contact the landowner in order to visit the cemetery but the land owner cannot refuse entry to the cemetery during a reasonable hour.

Just venting. The explosion story just brought it back to mind.”   -David Joe  copwilli@aol.com

“I know you like bells, saw this one and thought of you. Its small and probably pretty new. Its in Thackerville at the Red River Ranch RV.”


“BUTCH, THIS IS A LOVELY VIDEO OF THE AREA. Arbuckle Mountain Region Promo Video .”


“Happy to see the dedication of the Pruitt Cemetery and the mention of Byrdie Pruitt. I remember seeing her when growing up in Ardmore, heard stories about her. Our Dad had cattle and worked at the sale barn on sale day weighing the cattle. Would her relatives share more about this iconic figure from that era?

World population explained using gumballs.

“A year after the misguided bombing of Boise City (July 5, 1943), the same bomber crew led an 800-plane daylight raid on Berlin and became one of the most decorated of World War II. All of the crewmembers survived the war and went on to tell stories about their slightly misguided raid on a small Oklahoma town. In fact, one crewmember even went on to marry a Boise City Girl.” -Larry Guthrie


I think I will end this issue with a good laugh on myself.  A couple weeks ago I was shopping at Wal-mart near the bread isle, turned around to what I thought was my shopping cart, and off I went toward the checkout counters. I almost made it to checkout when I noticed it was not my cart.  I looked around and two ladies, I think it was a mother and her young adult daughter were looking at me, and I told them I had the wrong cart.  They started to chuckle and I started taking the cart back toward the bread isle where I found it to get my cart.  I never did see anyone that who looked like they had lost a cart with groceries.  Anyway, I proceeded to the checkout stands.

After checking out I went to the parking lot where I thought our car was parked, but when I tried my key it didnt fit, so then I knew I was at the wrong car!  And would you believe those same two ladies were parked just a couple cars down from me, and I looked at them, saw they were watching me and laughing, and said, this is not my car. They both just died laughing, just like I did.  I bet those two ladies were thinking, that poor man, I wonder if he can make it home, maybe we should following him to make sure he gets home safely.  lol

A grandmother pretends she doesn’t know who you are on Halloween.  -Erma Bombeck

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges
Lone Grove, Oklahoma

From This and That October 1997:

Around 1971 a young couple was getting married about 25 miles east of Ardmore in Madill, Oklahoma. At that time the “new highway” between Madill and Ardmore only went about 5 miles west of Madill and abruptly came to an end. We in this area all called it “the highway to nowhere”. It was suppose to go on to Ardmore, but the money stopped and so did the highway, at the Marshall-Carter county line. There were barricades and barrels to stop drivers from continuing on west. A car would have to almost come to a complete stop and turn south into a narrow, crooked county road to continue on to Ardmore. It was Friday night, the young bride and groom just repeated their wedding vows, left the church, and headed out on their honeymoon and new life. They were traveling at a pretty fast clip (in 1971 the speed limit in Oklahoma was 70), probably sneaking a few kisses, traveling west toward a dead end highway, not realizing they were on the wrong highway. Wham. Crash. Bam. Highway signs, plastic barrels, barricades and reflectors went everywhere. I happened to be on ambulance duty that night. Those newlyweds were in tears, scared to death, and probably wondering if they made a big mistake getting married. But God was with them, they only had scrapes and scratches, treated at the E.R. and released. But one thing I’m sure of…. their honeymoon and night of wedding bliss was not going to take place that night. I never heard from them again. But I hope they stuck it out, loved each other more then ever, and are still together, looking back to that year and unforgettable night with great big laughs and smiles 🙂

Q.   What Oklahoman was “America’s Favorite Cowgirl?”
A.   Lucille Mulhall


Q.  What Oklahoma city was accidentally bombed during WWII?
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…..

“Butch, in your article about the Davis Grocery, 207 C NW, Ardmore, in photo 4, you mentioned the two part-time employees (without names). The first young man is Ted Jones, my wife’s (Margarette Jones) youngest brother. The other young man we do not recognize, even though he looks familiar. I think he was a friend to Ted. Ted worked there for sometime – paying his way through college.” -Wayne Drewery


“Does anyone remember when channel 12 had teen dances after school each week ? They were televised. This would have been late fifties or early sixties. Would there be copies of these, or even photos?” -Josie

“Butch, I just read about Ponder’s closing. How sad. I worked there 1976-1978. And, I’ll never forget the drive-in/restaurant they had on North Commerce. Best chopped bar-b-que beef sandwich I ever ate.”  -Nelda in MO

“We, too, are sad that Ponder’s Restaurant is a thing of the past. We’ve only known Ponder’s since 1978; we always enjoyed their food, liked seeing the owners and the staff, the accommodations for a meeting room, the take-out food, and the general atmosphere of a social club. Guess all good things must come to an end.” -Elmer and Renate Hoyle

“I am looking for a picture that I have seen in my past years and have not found it on the internet, so I’m asking for more help. The painting or drawing is of a lone Indian standing on a cliff overlooking a deep canyon with his hands over the top of his eye’s as if trying to keep the sun from his eye’s, as he looks over the deep gorge. If you have seen it or know where I can find it I would be. I do not know who the artist was I could have a surprise for the first one to send the correct one to me. Thank you. -Cole

“I also remember our trip to Devil’s den back in the 50. That was quite a trip for our family of 7. We were the SE kids (Jefferson elementary) that was one of only 3 trips that I can remember with my family.” -Judie

“Butch I saw where a reader wanted to know how to make the Chuck Wagon Apple Dumplings. I used to work at the Chuck Wagon BBQ (east side of Ardmore) back in 1971 to 1972 as a busboy before I went to college. Jean Bailey – owner of the restaurant told me the “secret” recipe to making them. I make them often and they taste just like they came from the Chuck Wagon restaurant.”

Chuck Wagon Apple Dumpling Recipe

Roll pie dough out into 8 – 10 inch squares or use pie dough your can buy at the store.
Peel and core an apple and place on the center of the pie dough square, they used Red Delicious apples at the Chuck Wagon.
Add 1 teaspoon of Cinnamon on apple
Add 1 tablespoon of butter on top of apple
Gather the edges of the pie dough square and pinch together around the apple
Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown crust.

Vanilla sauce:

depending on how many apple dumplings you are making , use box(s) of vanilla Jello pudding and pie
filling , (not the instant type).


“Hi Butch, I read the article about Cole Younger. My husband here in Houston has an Uncle (he is deceased now) who was a distant relative of Cole Younger. His name is Jim Younger. He died in his late 80’s.

The story goes that Belle Starr the famous female outlaw ran with the Quantrill gang and the James brothers, and the Younger brothers. Her name was Myra Maybelle Shirley. She was a teen when she ran with the gang. She accompanied the gang on the attack on Lawrence, Kansas on August 22, 1863.

Later she went to Dallas and became the mistress of Cole Younger. It is said that they had a child together. But Cole later abandoned Belle Star and the child. Then she took up with Jim Reed a small time outlaw. They married and she had another child. He was killed in a gunfight. Belle took off for Indian territory and married a Cherokee named Sam Starr in 1880. They set up shop on aa ranch that became a regular hangout for members of the James gang.

Belle later was caught stealing a horse and sentenced to nine months in Jail. Years later she was widowed when Sam Starr was killed. She moved in with a half Breed named Blue Duck. Within a year he was gone. Sentenced to life in prison.

Historian Joyce Gibson Roach tells of the story of a 1880’s cowboy who spent a night in San Antonio hotel with a strange woman he met there. They talked about Belle Starr and her famous deeds. The next morning as he and his partner saddled up to go their separate ways, he remarked, “I’d sure like to meet her” The other rider turned to him and shouted,” Well, You slept with her last night”! After one more marriage Belle was gunned down in 1889 in Oklahoma by a bushwhacker hired by her husband, who was afraid she would testify against him in his trial for horse theft.

So goes the story of Belle Starr and Cole Younger.”  -Bobbie

The Cottage Hotel was a business at Berwyn (now Gene Autry, OK) according to the 1906 newspaper The Berwyn Light: The Cottage Hotel, J P. MORAN, proprietor

“As you know, the ballot for the election next month will be full of choices. Eleven (11) of them are Oklahoma State Questions concerning constitutional changes and other regulations. The State was nice enough to publish the list of questions online so the voters can read them before they step off in the ballot booth.”


“I don’t know anyone who knew Jean Edwards who didn’t love and admire her.  That wheelchair never stopped her and she encouraged anyone who was in one to get out and go everywhere.  Her paintings were fantastic.  She is missed by all of us.”  -Millie


RE: Davis Grocery– “It’s humbling to read the kind comments about my family and the grocery store. I knew a lot of the neighbor customers as I was an AHS grad of 1960. As for Viola Cameron’s offspring, I recall a lot of items in the store you couldn’t buy closer than OKC or Dallas. I won’t try to list them this time but one was Davis Chili or as the ad would say, “NUFSED”. I was in school at OU in 1961 when I got word they were “liquidating” the store. I wasn’t sure what that meant until my tuition ran out but I think it was in March or April of that year. My dad was Warren and he died of a stroke in January, 1963, of sadness and boredom. That was his life along with his family.”  -George Davis   patgeorgedavis@hotmail.com

“Boggy Depot Bigfoot Conference, Atoka, Oklahoma: If you’re look’n for a fun time this Friday and Saturday… check out the website below.”


“The railroad line that ran near Springdale Road was actually used by the Rock Island and the Frisco railroads. The Frisco came into Ardmore from Madill and the R.I. came into Ardmore via Tishomingo (this was the southern most part of the old R.I. line from Haileyville). The two lines joined up at a point about 12.6 miles east of Ardmore (as best I can tell from different sources). In other words, the line you refer to near Springdale Rd. was actually a joint or shared track with the two railroads, Frisco & Rock Island, (not Katy) and the two split into different lines further East of Ardmore at a point sometimes called Frisco Junction at Mile Post 103.8 The Mile Post at Ardmore was 116.4 The two railroads (using the same track) also operated jointly over the old trestles in Ardmore that were removed a couple of years back. After coming off the overpass bridge (which crossed the BNSF north/south main, previously Santa Fe) and trestle system, the lines split again with the RI heading into the west side of the Ardmore depot and the Frisco went on to the Ringling Road Station on N. Washington and 3rd Ave. NW. Frisco did have a loading/freight depot of their own on A St N.E. for freight about a half block from the current Amtrak station. When the Rock Island was dismantled before WWII, the Frisco began using all the tracks on the west side of the current depot and later part of their loading/freight depot was used for passengers. This was after the Ringling Road Station on N. Washington was abandoned and the tracks to it were removed. (The tracks from Ardmore to Ringling were rerouted along the south side of Ardmore near the old Osteopathic Hospital). The RI and Frisco had a joint roundhouse in SW Ardmore where a turntable was located.” -Dwane Stevens onmp@arbuckleonline.com


Barkingwater Productions, Inc. of Lawton, OK will present the Lawton Fort Sill Cowboy Story Hour on Saturday, November 13, at 7 p.m. at the McMahon Memorial Auditorium at 801 N. W. Ferris in Lawton. We will be sharing the lives and times of those who lived in the late 1880’s and helped settle this great state of ours. We will have the stories of the cowboys as told by Wallace C. Moore, Sr. Wallace is a cowboy poet, storyteller, historian, and author of “Ebony Shadows of the Trail”. Wallace will also tell the story of the Buffalo Soldiers who built Fort Sill. Ms. Debra Coppinger Hill of Northeast Oklahoma will share with us in her cowboy poetry the views of that time from a woman’s perspective. Mr. Timothy Tate Nevaquaya with fill the air with the sounds of his Native American Flutes and share that history with us. Mr. Kris Forsyth will fill the background with his guitar music before and throughout the show. There is NO admission for this show. After the show donations for Prevent Blindness Oklahoma will be taken as this organization travels to all 77 counties of Oklahoma and does vision screening on school children. Last year they screened over 260,000 children in our state. This year the goal is 275,000 children will have their eyes screened. We know that children can not learn if they can not see, and research has shown 1 in 4 school age children have a vision problem. This show is being sponsored by the City of Lawton, LAHC, NEA, and Oklahoma Arts Council. If you need more information, you may call Marcia Peppel at 580-351-8862 or email us a mpeppel@earthlink.net

Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule – and both commonly succeed, and are right.  –H.L. Mencken 1956

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges
Lone Grove, Oklahoma

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