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Vol 14  Issue 719 November 4, 2010

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

Email: butchbridges@oklahomahistory.net

Phone: 580-490-6823

Ardmoreite Tonya Rangel was in Ada last week and took some photos of Wintersmith Park. Since I have not heard of Wintersmith Park, I did a google search and found the park was named for Frances Wintersmith. It was built in 1933-1934 as a part of the New Deal work program during the Great Depression. Workers built the lake, a lodge available for rental, bridges, trails and a public amphitheater.








Also sent in this week by Tonya were pics she took of the old Pontotoc, Oklahoma community center.




Joe Hock in OKC sent in a picture of a bell at the First United Methodist Church in Cashion, Oklahoma.


In last week’s T&T I mentioned the opening of the Ten Star Pizza Kitchen on East Main in Ardmore.  This week I got to taste some of their delicious pizza!




From This and That newsletter archives November 1997:

For many years the clock face on the east side of the Carter County Courthouse did not light up, like the other 3. But thanks to the county commissioners and the labor of Dalton Cain, Maintenance at the courthouse, it now shines brightly. If you get the chance, go to the courthouse some evening, and look at the beauty that is there. There are flood lamps at each of the four corners under the dome, shining up, putting the dome in a soft white light. Listen to that 2,000 pound bell ring out the time. I have lived all my life in Ardmore, and I can not think of anything so beautiful here as that courthouse at night. It stands so majestic, almost like a beacon under the glow of the floodlights, as a person looks up 7 stories. I do not have the camera nor the expertise to take a photo at night. But hopefully soon, someone will do just that, and I can show you the splendor of that 1910 structure, and you will see why it is the most magnificent sight in downtown Ardmore at night.

I been playing around with some free online storage.  I found 2 that looks promising.  One is www.4shared.com and the other is www.dropbox.com.   For ease of use I think dropbox.com is the best of the two, even though it does not provide as much online storage space and other features as 4shared. What can you do with it?  Let’s say you have this huge file you want to email to some friends.  Just upload the file to your dropbox Public folder, copy the ‘share link to the file, and then email your friends with that link in the email.  When they click on the link, it will take them to the file.  Here is an example:


Here is another example, a 1 meg PDF file of last AHS reunion last April.


Watch the demo video and to signup for dropbox here….


Q.   What was Oklahoma’s first mail route?
A.    Butterfield Overland Mail


Q.   What was the Oklahoma Organic Act?
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…..

“Butch, I need a little more information to answer the question correctly. I believe the Overland Mail Route began in the 1820’s. On the other hand…

The Postal Service established free delivery of mail to rural areas in 1896. Oklahoma?s first rural route began serving customers on August 15, 1900 in Hennessey, Oklahoma.” -Larry

Q.  “Hi Butch, I stumbled upon your newsletter on the web when I typed in this search: When was the old Pawhuska, Oklahoma jail built? In attached photo the jail was the dark building pictured behind the courthouse. We know the courthouse was built in 1912 and we assume the jail was built after 1912. We have asked the people at the library, as well as people in the courthouse, but no one seems to know.”

A.  “The Jail located behind the Osage county courthouse was a territory jail and was actually built in 1910, two years before the courthouse was built.  It was demolished in 2002.”  -Krista


?Butch- While obtaining information for the Ardmore Army Air Field website, former air crew members told of at least two accounts of practice bombs being dropped on civilian property. One waist gunner reported that the bombardier on their aircraft “accidentally” dropped a practice bomb on the cement factory near Ada, Oklahoma one morning at around 7:30AM. The gunner wrote officials of Ada a few years ago asking if they had a record of this incidence as to any damage done. Too many years and generations had passed for anyone to care enough to answer his letter or be interested enough to search for or provide any information. Another crew member of another B-17 at another time, reported that they bombed an electrical distribution station by error on one of their training missions but did not know the location or outcome of that incident. It is reported that the Rock House located on the east side of Lake Murray, an administration office at the time, was also bombed by a B-17 from Ardmore. Unfortunately, Lake Murray officials of that time period are no longer with us and the incident has not been verified. Maybe someone reading this will be able to contribute information. A co-pilot that trained at Ardmore with one of the last crews here, communicated recently (March 2007) that their bombardier accidentally released a bomb around mid-night that went through the roof of a drug store in Ada, Oklahoma. I have no other information about that incident. The bombs in these occurrences would have been loaded with sand and a light powder charge and would have done more physical damage by force of gravity than the powder charge. A website on the Internet tells of another bombing experience of an Ardmore crew. I have included the bombing incident related by Lt. Lee Strong Bane, navigator, on the ?This I Remember?.? link http://www.brightok.net/~gsimmons/remember.html#25  of the Ardmore site (near bottom of page).

I visited the Ada Public Library regarding the bombing incidents of the cement factory and drug store. No one there had ever heard the stories or jumped up and down with excitement. They have the old newspapers of that period and gave permission to access the storage area sometime to search for the story—if it was ever printed. Not knowing the dates would make the search a lifelong adventure for me as I will be 78 next month. If a reader knows anything about these happenings and can furnish information, it will be appreciated.”  gsimmons

“I?m wondering if anyone knows how Pennington Creek got its name? My father?s grandmother was Lucretia Pennington and they lived in the Caddo/Calera area.”  -Glenda

“Butch, Yesterday morning, before making breakfast, I had to get a couple of shots of our young moose family. They were right off our deck. We let some weeds grow wild this year because they last longer than most grasses up here in Big Sky, MT once it gets cold and the moose love them. Any way, here are some shots of them having breakfast this morning. You can see the spikes on the male on the right.” -Monroe Cameron


When I worked for the Ardmoreite in 1954-55, the radio station was on the second floor of the Ardmoreite building (at that location, a half block south of AHS on Washington) and there was a totally vacant third floor. The TV station had not yet come into existence then, of course, but I would bet dollars to doughnuts that the studio mentioned was built in that vacant third floor although it might have been added to some of the second floor since the radio station didn’t take up much space.

At that time Bill McGalliard was my mentor about the news business and my city editor was the legendary Sam Blackburn (The Wicked Flea). In late 1955 the publisher fired me for having a red light and siren on my car, while Sam was away from the office at a trade meeting. I removed the light and siren, and the firing was cancelled — but when Sam got back, he had a showdown with the publisher about meddling with his staff. The result was that Sam quit and moved to Texas; I didn’t want to have anything more to do with the publisher so refused the offered promotion to city editor, and returned to OKC to work for the Gaylord empire, first on the Times for a year and then at the Oklahoman for the rest of my newspaper career (which ended in late 1959 when I went into industry as a technical writer).” -Jim Kyle

“Butch, I thought I had responded to this inquiry but maybe an old person dreams or forgets. The Sock Hop dance program at KVSO-TV Channel 12 after school was hosted by Jim Lewis and he did graduate in 1958. Jim is now living in New York City with his sister Dixie, who graduated in 1962. He is an accomplished photographer and actor. A couple of other AHS students were employed at Channel 12, Jim Sanders, class of 1958 as camera operator, and George Davis, class of 1960 as camera operator and part time switcher (the person in the control room punching the buttons to change from one camera to the other and playing the music). One other AHS student did work there for a time while the station was moving to Sherman, Stan Bartell. One of the old time employees at KVSO radio at that time was Bob Boykin who died recently. He was a life time Ardmore resident. When the TV station operations moved to Sherman, Denison, Ardmore, the call letters were changed to KXII-TV, and the transmitter and antenna tower were moved from the Arbuckle mountains to a location between Madill and Kingston. There is still a satellite studio in Ardmore but the operating studio in in Sherman.” -George Davis

“Butch, I’m James Lewis. I was the host of “Sock Hop” on Channel 12 when I was in high school. Since then, I’ve worked in various media around the country: newspapers, radio and television. At this late point in my life, I’ve moved back to New York City where I’m a photographer and actor.

“Sock Hop” was a pleasant time in our lives. It was nice to be reminded.

Actually I was the host for 4 days. On the fifth day it was an all black show, hosted by a young man from Douglas High School. Quite progressive for 1957!”

James Lewis Media, New York, NY

“Tonight I was happy to see mention of Red and Betty Tarver. When I was 5 and 6 yrs. old, we lived next door to them on N. Washington. I loved Betty. She could do anything. She taught me how to catch a chicken and prepare it for dinner that night. She taught me gratitude for the sacrifices of our military as we decorated their graves with flags each Memorial Day and Veterans Day. She knew just how to make a sick kid feel better… and that shots were maybe not so bad after all.  I had heard that she moved to Iowa to be with her daughter Jane and that she passed away there. Jane and I had been good friends on N. Washington St. but I have lost track of her. Does anyone know where she is now? I would love to get in touch with her.”  -Nancy Wilson

“I know Horace and Verna Crow (spell??) had a wind turbin put in their yard around 1980s, they lived on Walnut Hill in the North Chaparral area, of Lone Grove (they have all since passed away) . When I would visit my parents it was always fun to watch it to see how fast it would go and which direction it was pointing! (Just like the BIG Flag at the Bank on the Highway).”  -Deborah Holmes


“Jean Edwards was a precious lady as everyone has said. In the ’70’s I use to go with a group from church every Thursday to play the piano for them. I had two young children & Jean told me one day not to ever get on to my kids while driving. She said she had turned her head to look at her children who were acting like kids and that is why she was paralyzed. I always remembered her words when my kids would be acting up and I took her advice to heart. She also told me that she told her husband to divorce her & marry again because she couldn’t be a wife to him. I thought that was very unselfish of her. She said he would bring their children to see her and sit them on her lap although she couldn’t really hold them. I felt so badly for her but she never seemed to have a bad attitude about her life. I remember when she came to my garage sale one day. I hadn’t seen her in years. She told me that she had a friend who had made her go outside with him in their wheelchairs and she was so thankful that she had found that freedom. At that time her friend had died, but she still was going places up and down the streets in her wheelchair. And her paintings.. she did so well. She reminded me of Joni Erickson who is a Christian quadriplegic who paints and does speakings, etc. I won’t ever forget Jean. Who knows.. she may have saved me from her plight by giving me her story about her children. I shared that advice with lots of others through the years.. And I’m sharing again.. If you have to get onto your children… please stop, pull over and then discipline. It could mean the difference in your life and your children’s.” -Sylvia West Moore


Keeping Clean Etc. in the 1930s

“Tough as depression times were, we were better off than a lot of people. My father had been Filling Station Manager for the Oklahoma City area for Wirt Franklin Oil Company but lost his job as the company failed. I was in the second grade in 1930 when we moved back to Ardmore, in with my grandparents where I was born and the same address I live today. They had gas for cooking, electricity, water and sewage. Pretty well off, had some property, owned his insurance agency, had a Model T Ford, but lived much the same as they had since the 1890s but for the utilities.

Wash day was a big thing. My grandmother would build a fire under her big black iron pot in the backyard and heat water. She and my mother washed clothes by hand on a ‘wash board’. Washboards had an area a foot or so square mounted in a wood frame with legs to stand in the water in the wash tub. With soap and warm water they rubbed the dirty collars and such against the corrugated surface of the wash board to get clean. Then rinsed and wrung out the water by twisting each by hand, then hung on the clothes line. There was such a thing as a wringer with two rollers that was cranked by hand but we didn’t have one. Every fall my grandmother fired up the old washpot and made lye soap – which she did till she passed in 1950.

A washing machine relieved the labor about 1932. Got a water heater also. Our new washer was the latest and greatest with the wringer ‘safety release’. The rollers were powered and could be a source of injury. By hitting a bar on top the rollers separated and stopped. The common saying of getting a ‘finger in the wringer’ was no joke, worse if some other body part got caught.

The water heater was bare galvanized iron about a foot in diameter and five feet tall. You lit the burner below and set the flame for the water being used. With no safety devices heaters could explode if one got hot enough to make steam. Water heaters did explode – but not ours. Water usually was heated for several baths. You would put about inch and a half water in the old bathtub (standing on legs), do your bath and drain it for the next. Small children were bathed more than one at a time. We heard of grownups bathing together but didn’t know anybody who would do such a bizarre thing. Probably half the houses in Ardmore didn’t have a bathtub then. I recall that our house and the house next door had the bathroom added to the basic house, probably when Ardmore installed sewage, before my time.

Electric refrigerator came about 1932. Before that the ice man came each day in his horse wagon. An ice card in the window had numbers on it if, say 25 pounds, was up he put 25 in our ice box on the back porch. Horse wagon delivery also used for milk and other frequent stops. I recall person delivery, Tamale man from his pushcart sold hot tamales wrapped in corn shucks. We all ate wild game then, rabbit, squirrel, etc. These were rabbit tamales. The story went around that he was accused of using horse meat. Questioned, he admitted part horse. How much?? 50-50 – one rabbit, one horse. Such was life in back in memory lane.”  -Bob McCrory

“Butch, there was a mention of Channel 12 having a TV station early on. First off, I am rather sure that we did not even have that many channels at the time. To the best of my memory, we could only recieve about three stations, or maybe four at the time. I think that we could only receive the ADA channel, plus one or two of the Oklahoma City channels, plus this local channel. The station that is being referred to was KVSO-TV, owned by the Dillard and Riesen families, who also owned the Daily Ardmoreite, plus the theatres, the Dil-Ries Oil Company, etc. Don Rorick (owner of Noel Datin men’s store) had a son (Dale Rorick). Dale played saxaphone, and had wanted to start a band. His dad put up the money, and the “Teen Tones” was formed. I was a member of the band, as well. Don had some really nice music stands made for us, just like the ones that the “Big Bands” had. We were told that we were the very first “live telecast” that was ever produced at this studio. The studio was above the Daily Ardmoreite building on the east side of North Washington street. It was across the street from the Mulkey Hotel, Mulkey Coffee Shop, the Lutz Cafe, and the Ford Hotel.”  -Larry

Q.  “My name is Michael Short. My Great Great Grandmother “Muddy” “Nickname” Short – was the last matron of the Ardmore Confederate Home. We do not know her real first name but I do have a picture of of her on the porch of the house. However the picture I have is at a wooden house. I have seen a picture of the picture of the Brick building from 1910 on the web site. I am wondering if you have any lists of the people who lived in the home before the 1910 time or a place where I could look for such a thing.”  -Michael Short, Orange California. I was born in Ardmore!

A.  “This is what I could find: The United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1906 began a temporary establishment to house indigent veterans, their wives and their widows; the McAlester home was merely to serve until a permanent plant could be built. (I don’t know if they were talking about J.J. McAlester or the city of McAlester?) there was no building located where the Ardmore Veterans Center is located until 1911. The first corner stone was laid on June 24, 1910.” -Rick Wallace

More info from 06/14/07 T&T:  “Our family lived about a half block from the county home Iris Larson spoke about in your last issue. As a boy during the 1940’s, I remember the residents welcomed my occasional visits into what must have been a fairly dreary existence.. Their living quarters were not much more than clapboard shanties but my impression was they were glad to have a roof over their heads. Meals were prepared by Mrs. Arnold at the main house. In addition to a cow, pigs were raised and then slaughtered in the fall. I have learned since that “county homes” for the indigent were commonplace throughout the country and were a result of the depression of the 1930’s. The cellar for this county home was still there at Myall and C Streets the last time I visited Ardmore. It was used to store all the canned goods from what seemed to me an immense garden raised by the residents. I think this county home closed sometime in the late 1940’s.” -Jim Lewis JLEWIS8585@aol.com

Location of ‘poor home’ was Myall and C Street SE.

06/14/07 T&T: “Butch: Before her death, Patty Norton (1919-2001) told me that when she was a child, she and her mother. “Miss Hallie” Saxon, frequently walked down Myall street from their home in the southeast part of Ardmore, each carrying a syrup bucket of homemade soup. Their first stop was at the “poor farm” where they hand-fed the sick and afflicted before going on to the Confederate Home to do the same for the old veterans who lived there. Patty was born in 1919 so this would have occurred five or six years later, I suppose.” -Sally Gray

“Right outside of Tishomingo (I think) is this long red building and to the right of it was the old white house. Not sure if it’s an old school or what??? Can someone shed some light on this for me!”  -Tonya Rangel



L-O-V-E  by Nat King Cole 1964

L is for the way you look at me
O is for the only one I see
V is very, very extraordinary
E is even more than anyone that you adore

Love is all that I can give to you
Love is more than just a game for two
Two in love can make it
Take my heart and please don’t break it
Love was made for me and you


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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