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Vol 15  Issue 736   March 3, 2011

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

Email: butchbridges@oklahomahistory.net

Phone: 580-490-6823

Elisha S Mason established a post office in 1882 1/2 mile east of the present site of Healdton, Oklahoma. The community, called Mason after its founder, sported a few houses, a general store, and a wagon yard. Charles H. Heald became the postmaster in 1897 and the settlement’s name was changed to Healdton. Heald was an intermarried citizen of the Chickasaw Nation.  At the start of the oil era, Hamon and Ringling decided to build a railroad from Ardmore to the town of Ringling and approached Heald for permission to cross his land. They were turned down and the railroad was laid 1/2 mile west of the settlement.  Ben C. Heald soon succeeded his father as postmaster of Healdton. There was a rumor that Wirt, a little town west of the railroad that was often referred to as Rag Town, was planning to move to the railroad and establish itself as the hub of the activity that the recent discovery of oil had assured.  Ben Heald acted fast.  He loaded his post office and his spare shirts on a wagon and relocated at the present townsite.  All the major oil companies and their supporting operators and services soon established offices at Healdton.  The populace is till supported directly or indirectly by the petroleum industry.  The oil that was stored in earthen tanks and transported to the railroad in wooden barrels loaded on wagons was worth but 30 cents a barrel for a time.  -History of Carter County Book 1957

Photo of Charles Hobert Heald


Listing of post offices in Carter county


Don’t you just love a mystery? I do. In last week’s T&T I mentioned about two pecan trees planted in 1927 near the front entrance of
the courthouse. One was in honor of the first county Carter county commissioner from District 3, O.K. Darden, and his efforts in promoting the planting of pecans trees throughout the county as source of not only locally good tasting pecans, but as a cash producing crop. That granite marker is still at the front entrance of the courthouse.


But the mystery I’m referring to is the memorial tree to Charles Ringer (1867-1926) that was planted at the same time as the one for O.K. Darden. We know from the 1927 newspaper article that some kind of plaques were placed by the trees, which I guess have disappeared long ago. But was there also a granite marker set by a tree as a memorial for Charles Ringer too? And who was Charles Ringer? I would bet he was kin to my grade school teacher back in the 1950s, Mary Margaret Ringer (1899-1967). Miss Ringer could have been Charles’ daughter. Maybe someone will remember the Ringer name and shed more light on this Charles Ringer. If there were two granite markers set back in 1927 to honor these men, where is Charles Ringer’s marker? As far as I can tell, its not in the ground at the courthouse. The marker still there for O.K. Darden is made from Autumn Rose granite, quarried from Tishomingo area, like so much of the outside walls of the courthouse.

I had a request from a newspaper reporter in OKC wanting to get in touch with the Geis family mentioned in last week’s T&T and the article on “the castle” at Turner falls.  I can’t remember who emailed me, but if you know how to get in touch with a Geis family member, send me an email.

Last week Carter County Commissioners approved installation of another security camera at the courthouse. We have 21 cameras recording 24/7, and monitored by the Sheriffs Office 24 hours a day. There may not be another courthouse in Oklahoma outside OKC and Tulsa with a higher level of security for its employees and visitors then in Ardmore. Its quite an accomplishment for our little courthouse. The screen shot below is a glimpse of the camera’s technology. The cameras can pan, tilt, zoom, take snapshots, instant playback and much more.


Six days ago I stopped by the farm store and bought 4 baby Australorps chicks. We have them under a light inside a dog carrier until they get old enough to put in the chicken pen with our adult 4 barred rock hens.  Hope these 4 chicks make it to maturity, they are so dainty.



Last week I told about burning my thumb baking cookies, and applying aloe vera from our plant here in the house. I applied it every minute or two for over an hour as soon as I burned the thumb.  I went on to say that less than 2 hours later there was no pain at all in my thumb.  As you can see a big blister did rise, and I did pierce it with a needle about 10pm that night to press the liquid from the burn. But the real surprise would come the next morning.  I looked at the thumb and could hardly see where I had burned it, except from the spot where I pricked it with a needle.  The blister was completely gone, and no skin separated from the underskin, it was like it had never been burned, and there was never a blister.  Boy, that aloe vera really worked!

Picture of my thumb right after the burn…..


Picture of my thumb 2 days later, after all the aloe vera I applied the evening of the burn.  Remember, I split open a sliver of aloe vera and rub it on the burn for nearly 2 hours right after it happened, applying the gooey juice of the aloe vera to the burn every minute or 2 or 3.


From This and That newsletter archives March 7, 1998:


Monday, September 4, 1933 in Ardmore, Oklahoma, a car chase took place that would make headlines across the country. Harvey Bailey, bank robber, was being held in jail at Dallas for kidnapping Oklahoma City oil man and millionaire, Charles F. Urschel. The Dallas county jail, constructed in 1914 in the southwest corner of Main and Houston streets, was consider escape proof. But somehow, a gun was slipped to Harvey Bailey, he took a jailor captive, and the two fled in the jailor’s car. Bailey was associated with the mob. It was on his farm that police arrested one of the key murderers of the Valentine Massacre in Chicago. Machine Gun Kelley and Bailey were the suspected kidnappers of oilman Urschel. Washington DC anti-crime administrators had even sent 6 Army airplanes in search of Bailey.

After fleeing the Dallas jail, Bailey took back roads to Oklahoma. Love county Sheriff Sam Randoph received a tip that Bailey was in the Ardmore area. Soon afterward, Bailey stopped his car to get gasoline and was noticed immediately. Ardmore Police Chief Hale Dunn, and detectives Bennett Wallace and Raymond Shoemaker gave chase to Bailey, leading them on a wild chase through Ardmore. At the corner of North Washington and Second Street in front of the Mulkey Hotel, Bailey lost control of his car, hit the curb, and broke the spokes away from the tire. He was immediately surrounded by police and taken into custody. Jailor Nick Tresp, a hostage, was unharmed in the crash.

I remember my Dad, R.V. Bridges, telling me he was in the Army Reserves at the time. When they moved Bailey from the City Hall jail, my dad and another Army reserve were posted on top of the old Coca Cola building across the street (where the County Detention Center is now located) with a machine gun. He felt kind of silly being posted up there with two machine guns. There were spectators all over the area when they came out with Bailey, and he said there was no way they could shoot without hitting a lot of innocent bystanders.

Q.     What Oklahoma town has 20,000 lighters and ‘fire starters’ on display?
A.     Guthrie, Oklahoma.  The National Lighter Museum

Q.    What Oklahoma town was called “the buckle of the wheat belt?”
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…..

“Barnum & Bailey and Ringling Bros. once merged. When they very first merged, my dad was a wild bronc rider and a boxer in their shows. His name was George Hill, probably better known as “Jack” Hill. Is there anyone out there who could give us more information of those years when these groupes were together?”  -George  gmjjh@cableone.net

Webb’s Office Supply (printing, hobbies, art supplies and school books and supplies (1942-1974)) 30 North Washington, Ardmore, Oklahoma

“You’re right about the list of advertisers in the 1957 Oklahoma FOP magazine jogging memories listed in last week’s T&T. I remember the Morris Plan because that is where I had a Christmas Club account for many years. Each year I would save $25 for gift buying the next Christmas.

I remember Knapp Advertising because they had all the billboards in the Ardmore area. Mr. Knapp died young and it seems like his wife sold the business. Their son, Richard, drove a blue Corvette and he used to come back to Ardmore on the weekends from college and you could see him dragging the Sonic.

Vumore was the first cable TV provider in Oklahoma and one of the very first in the country. It seems like you paid $7 per month and originally got 7 channels.

When I was in grade school, on Saturdays I would often go to work with my dad and occasionally we would go to Sies Machine Shop and I remember that all of the equipment was powered by an overhead shaft and belt system. That place always fascinated me along with the tin shops in town.

Ray’s Office Supply was where I first saw a copy machine in the Spring of 1962. Steve Parks and I had a science fair project that won us a trip to State and Carl Albert had written a letter to Mr. Allen who taught science at Ardmore Junior High. My dad and I went to Ray’s to have a copy made. It was a Xerox machine that used a wet process.

Sollars Plumbing Company was owned by “Red” Sollar and he also sold sporting goods. I bought my second baseball glove there. It is a Bob Cerv model XPG9 made by Rawlings and I still have it. I have many fond memories using that glove.

Fonville Studios is where all of our family portraits were done while I was growing up. Fonville even shot baby pictures of my sister and I. The last studio photos we ever took in Ardmore were done by a woman who had a shop catty-cornered from Barber’s Cleaners at the corner of “E” Street and 12Th. It seems like her first name was Trudy but I can’s remember any longer. That was probably about 1960. Barber’s was the cleaner my mother always used.

I have many memories about other businesses on the list but these are the one that really meant something to me growing up.”

-Monroe Cameron

Re: FOP Ads in Magazine.  “Hi Butch…it is amazing how time has erased the old time businesses in our community…I can remember pretty well all of them and according to my recollection it looks like all but three are gone…those in and using the same name are Ray’s Office Supply and Hoyle Holt…same name changes locations and Vogue Cleaners, same location changed name to Ritz Cleaners…ah well time changes all things…enjoy your newsletter and your facebooking.”   -Steve

“Butch, one more grocery store for your list:.  Boy’s Food Store located on Sam Noble Parkway… owner Farris Richards.”


“I think there is “Sugar Pill” t-shirts in the old Cook’s Laundry place. If I remember right it is connected to David Vernon.. who is a herb doctor as such..”  -Sylvia

“Back before perforated charges and scalloped tubing, the wells were completed by dropping in “torpedoes” filled with nitro-glycerin and setting them off like a stick of dynamite. The listing above is for the local well completions company of the day. This was later replaced by companies lowering perforating guns on wireline and setting off shaped charges to punch holes in the casing and rock to allow flow into the well.”   -T. E. (Thal) McGinness, Conroe, TX

“Hey Butch, back in the early days they often used a charge of nitroglycerin to stimulate oil wells. They would let a container of nitro down to the bottom of the well with a small cable, and then set the charge off to bust up the rock formations so that the oil could flow into the well bore easier. They called the containers torpedos.” -Randy Huff

“The American Glycerin Co. and American Torpedo in Ardmore are one in the same company who were contracted using a device to deliver nitroglycerin to the bottom an oil well.”

Q.  “Butch, do you know about the expression “Honky Tonk”? Tom heard over the radio while he was out trucking, that this expression originated in Ardmore, Oklahoma”

A.   Ardmore, Oklahoma 1894  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honky-tonk

“Phone numbers of the type 9515-F-2 were magneto lines–often with 12 or 15 parties on them. They were in the country, and usually owned and maintained (or not) by the people on the line. The number or code after the F was the number of rings the operator applied to the line when you called that number. Various combinations of numbers meant such things as 2 short rings, a long and a short, or various other combinations. All the parties on line heard all the rings and only the person being called was supposed to answer, but many times other people on the line listened. To make an outgoing call you turned the crank of a magneto (generator) on your phone and the operator would answer. Of course everyone else on the line heard the ring and might listen in. Such lines were often very stat icky and not very private, making a problem for teenagers or others wanting privacy. Also if a conversation went on too long, nobody else could get on and sometimes them would get on the line and tell you to ring off so they could make a call.”  -Wes Leatherock

Rockin T Tamales was established in 2011 by Kent, DeLisa, and Ryan Taylor. We serve real 1/2 pound tamales, Smokin Joe’s chopped beef and ribs. Come out and give us a try. We are located at the intersection of Hwy 70 and 377 just one block south of McDonalds in Madill Oklahoma.  Hours 11:00am – 7:00pm Monday thru Friday and Saturdays are coming soon.


“Some of the recent warm days brought out the bees. Since we didn’t have many last year we were surprised to see them in our back yard in SE Ardmore. My husband decided to feed them to see if there were many or just a few. We put out some honey water in a container and before long we had a few! The next day we had many, and in a short time we had hundreds and he decided there was a tree or a hive close. His father had taught him to ‘trail’ them to find a bee tree when they lived up in the mountains of Eastern Oklahoma. We sat outside Saturday afternoon in the sun watching the bees fill up and fly away, they always flew this one path to the S.W. of our yard. After a few hours of that we moved the honey water down to the Ponderosa where we thought was in the vicinity of the trail of bees. Shortly after moving it the same thing happened as in the yard, a few came, more came and finally hundreds were there. It didn’t take us long to find the trial and it was a short one. There is an old abandoned house right across the street from the Ponderosa and the bees were flying to that point. Upon inspection – on the other side of the fence- he found their hive. Along the foundation of the old house where the wood and siding meet were several small holes and the bees were disappearing into those holes. You can hear them buzzing inside and see them fighting sometimes to get into the holes. It was a neat thing to watch and find them. Adventure is the spice of life!  His father’s information was to do what he did to feed them, then move the feeder along the path of their trail and at times it would be a lengthy search through the pine trees. You can’t see them very far as you lose sight of them and he would lay down on his back to watch them leave the feeder. He kept moving the feed until he could see or hear the tree. Yum, fresh good honey! My dad also found a bee tree on our property when I was growing up and he kept us in fresh honey and comb. That was my favorite part – the comb – but he said you had to be careful about stealing the comb, not to get too much and leave plenty for the bees to fill with honey. I don’t know if that is true or not but always thought my dad was so-o smart to rob bee trees.”

“Hi Butch. I was curious about the WKY and WRR radio stations apparent controversy. Wikipedia states that WKY was “the first licensed radio station west of the Mississippi River and licensed March 16, 1922.” But Wikipedia also has WRR listed and states that it is “the oldest licensed radio station in Texas, and second oldest in the U.S. behind only KDKA in Pittsburgh”. I wonder how that works????”

“Butch, there was a post about the derivation of Honky Tonk, someone posted about a Top Cat Club on Caddo St. Does anyone have more information or time frame for that? Or where I can get it?”

Spring has sprung

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges
Nashobish Ikana
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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