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Vol 15  Issue 740  March 31, 2011

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

Email: butchbridges@oklahomahistory.net

Phone: 580-490-6823

I never know what the mailman will bring me from the T&T Readers. This week I received a packet from Texas from Wilda Stephens. I had no idea she was sending it, so it caught me by complete surprise. When I opened the envelope, inside were copies of 3 old photographs from long ago.

This first one is the H.H. Wedel General Store at Gotebo, Oklahoma taken in 1909. Gotebo is about 50 miles NW of Lawton. I’d say in these modern times, it was Gary England, metorologist at KWTV TV in Oklahoma City who put Gotebo on the map. Gary would mention Gotebo quite often during his weather broadcasts.


This next picture was taken in 1905 of the Union Dale school house (Kiowa county) and its schoolmaster and teacher, R.M Rodgers. There are about 50 students standing in front of the school, and their names listed below the pictures.


BTW, each year since 1961, former students of Union Dale have gotten together for a reunion. They meet in the Community building in Cooperton, Oklahoma the last Sunday in April at 12:00 Noon. Everyone is invited to attend, bring a basket lunch and enjoy the program and the fellowship. Contact: Ethel Taylor bandony@yahoo.com

This 3rd photo was taken in Dougherty, Oklahoma of the Barvis Cafe in 1927. Next door is the Jess Payne Barber Shop. Here is a brief history of the cafe and barbershop in Wilda Stephens own words:

“I read in your T&T last week the 1998 letter from Joe D. Jordan about Dougherty building a town hall. My daughter and I drove through Dougherty last summer. It appeared that the little town had just simply rotted away. There was not even a service station. It makes me so sad. I was particularly interested because I lived there in the late 1920s and have always had a special feeling for that place. Good memories. I am sending you a picture of my daddy, Jess Payne’s barber shop (about 1927). In the building with his barber shop is Barvis Cafe.” -Wilda Stephens, Texas


I received an email this week inquiring if I had any info on a dam (one of 3 or 4) across Pennington Creek a little ways north of Tishomingo being blown up by someone back in the 1930s. I had never heard of this incident, and hope someone reading this does, and can give some documentation on the explosion or even a date the explosion took place? If I can get a date, I’ll look it up in the newspaper archives.

I’ve been telling people for 2 or 3 years that Facebook is the most powerful communications tool the world has ever known. And that is being proven more and more with each passing month. Just look at the pivotal roll Facebook has played in several countries in the Middle East, especially Egypt, the past few weeks. With over 3,100 friends on my Facebook, I can see how powerful it can be as a research tool, etc. I posted something about the old Norton Bridge and the damage done to it in 2008 by some old field equipment. I was wondering if it had been repaired or what, and about 40 Posts were placed on my Wall about the Norton Bridge. This is just a sampling of the postings:

Madge Franks Gentry commented on your Facebook link.
Madge wrote: “This bridge is sentimental to a lot of people also, this was where my husband and I, before we were married, and just courting would go across the bridge on the side that goes on to Ravia and park just to the east down close to the water. There is where we did a lot of our courting and getting to know each other. He is from Mannsville and I lived at Simpson just south of Mannsville at the time. We married in 1957, so there has been a lot of water run under that bridge in these 54 years plus.”

Here is a pic I took back in ’08 of the bridge with the equipment still sitting on it.


There were 26 comments on the Norton Bridge on my Wall of Facebook.

Laverne Young commented on your Facebook link.
Laverne wrote: “We have a new Sonic Drive-in here in Roseburg, Oregon but we have to special order fried pickelo’s cuz they’re not fond of them out here on the west coast. They don’t recognize a good thing but I LOVE my fried pickles. lol”

There were over 43 comments on the Sonic Drive-in on my Facebook.

So, if you’ve been hesitating getting on Facebook, give it a try, it’s lots of fun, and not a day goes by that you won’t learn something about the friends and people we live with everyday.

Thought I’d share a couple of photos taken back in the 1980s of 2 groups of people I had the pleasure of working with for 14 years when I was employed by the Southern Oklahoma Ambulance Service.  Some have passed on to a better place now, but I will always remember the many memories of seeing them at all times of the day and night. I think it is safe to say they were all my teachers, as I looked up to them while carrying out my duties.  During 14 years on the ambulance, some memories may not have been so pleasant and I kinda just block those out, and other memories, good memories, I hold close.

This first group photo is the doctors at Medical Arts Clinic here in Ardmore back in 1981.

L-R, front row:
W. S. (Fred) Gauthier, M.D., General Surgeon
Deborah Baird, M.D., Pediatrician
Thornton Kell, M.D., General Surgeon
J. Hobson Veazey, M.D., Internal Medicine

L-R, back row:
Clifford Lorentzen, M.D., Internal Medicine
Loyd L. Long, M.D., OB/GYN
Tom Sparks, M.D., General Surgeon
Joe Hamill, M.D., Internal Medicine
David Rose, M.D., Internal Medicine


This 2nd group photo are employees of the operating room at Memorial Hospital in Ardmore, 1981.

Judy Knox, nurse
Sandy Farney (with hand on Judy’s shoulder), nurse
Virginia White, unit clerk
Shirley Anderson, nurse
Dave Moser, nurse
Peggy Parker, nurse
Marge Whipple, nurse (OR Supervisor)


I know the above photos will bring back a lot of memories to those of you who lived in Ardmore.

Many of  you have heard of C.M Mays Lumber Company at Sulphur, Oklahoma.  I knew it had been around for a long time, but below is a check written in 1909 on the Park National Bank by C.M. Mays Lumber Company.


I’ve learned about a turn of the century store called Craighead’s Five and Dime store.  Its located at Caddo, Oklahoma and is a history museum in its own right. Caddo is located in Bryan county about 15 miles north of Durant on Highway 69.  I’ve been by there, but not into the town itself, and I looks like a great place to visit if you want to step back in time, into a town located on a buffalo trail.


Don’t forget the Back to the 50s Dance is being held this Saturday night, April 2nd at the Springdale Community Center (SE edge of Ardmore).  Live music, bands, and more, sounds like a lot of fun! It’s even rumored Elvis my appear.  Start time is 7pm!


But before the dance event SE of Ardmore, the Master Gardeners Spring Show is being held from 9am to 5pm at Heritage Hall on West Broadway and C Street on Saturday April 2nd too!


And let’s not forget the Southern Oklahoma Home Show. April 2, 2011 at 9:00am Ardmore Convention Center.

When warmer weather is here, I have another project to try, a potting cart made from wood pallets.  A Reader sent the link below to me, and I can’t wait to try making Jill a potting bench when spring planting time is here.  Wait a minute, Spring planting time is here now!


Straight from the horse’s mouth: Jimmy’s Egg will be opening up at the old Ponder’s Restaurant building around July 1st. Location is I-35 and Exit 33 north edge of Ardmore. I can’t wait to try their breakfast!


From This and That newsletter archives January 31, 1998:

In 1966, the State of Oklahoma did away with Justice of the Peace officials and County Attorney. They replaced the County Attorney establishing the District Attorney. Here in Ardmore there is an attorney named Claud H. Smith…. he’s 92 and still working! He has an upstairs office on Main Street and still has a keen mind for his age. He was accepted to the Bar in 1949. He was elected County Attorney first, and then ran for District Attorney in 1966 but he lost his bid for DA. He was at the courthouse the other day… outside picking up pecans on the front lawn, so I stopped to talk. I always pick his brain about history from long ago… he has a wealth of historical knowledge tucked way back in that brain of his. Anyway, I asked him if I could scan the campaign poster of his District Attorney run back around 1966. Here is his campaign poster from 1966 along with his picture.


Q.     Where WAS the longest bridge in Oklahoma?
A.     Bixby’s Wagon Bridge 1911

Q.    Where is the lowest point in Oklahoma?
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, in your last edition a reader asked if anyone remembered the grocery store at 2nd and C Street SE. It is telling my age but I remember it being there when I was in high school and I graduated 65 years ago. I believe the lady who owned the store was Mrs. Testerman who came to Ardmore from Love County where I lived for 15 years. She lived in the back of the store and as I remember she had an adult son who either lived with her or was there very often. I often stopped there on my way home from school to visit or have a Dr. Pepper or candy bar. I guess the store closed when she passed away as I don?t remember anyone else operating it.”  -Frances

“A reader asked if anyone knew the name of the grocery store on the corner of 2nd and C Street S.E. in Ardmore. It was Collins Grocery owned by Lloyd and Jewel Collins. Jewel had a beauty shop in the back part of the store. My brother Gary had his first job there sacking groceries and helping out around the store. We grew up on 2nd st. S.E. My mother always made the best homemade pies and when we would tell her how good her pie was she would tease us and say she didn’t make it, she bought it at Collins grocery! Of course we knew better!  I love your newsletter Butch.”  -Cheryl Cason

“Butch, This was in my late Uncle J B Lewis’s personal effects. It belonged to my Grandfather Joe M. F. Lewis from Healdton. I was wondering if any of your readers knew what kind of Lodge it was?”


“One more thing about the Overbrook post office. In the early 1940’s it was located on the east side of Hwy. 77… on the southeast corner of the highway and the road that went east to the church. It was in the Riner home and the Postmaster was Ruth Riner. I also grew up in Overbrook and went to school with Rose Earl Howard. I would love to hear from her! She knew me as Nona Ruth Tanner.”  -Nona Evitts

“Butch,  Your story about James Mathers brought back a lot of memories for me. When I was a young lawyer in Ardmore in the mid sixties, I practiced with Marvin Shilling, a former County Attorney and an expert on title and probate law. Marvin prosecuted a lot of famous cases during his time, including the murder of two young Mexicans by a Carter County Deputy Sheriff. The two young men were traveling through Ardmore on their way to Mexico City. One was the son and the other the nephew of the president of Mexico. Alfalfa “Bill” Murray tried to replace Marvin as the prosecutor in the case, since Murray wanted to run for president and thought the case would help him. Marvin refused to step aside.

He used to tell a story about James Mathers serving as County Attorney when Clara Hamon shot Jake Hamon, who was a nationally known oilman from Ardmore. Mathers resigned on the spot after the homicide and took over Clara’s defense, a move that shocked a lot of people, including Mr. Shilling. The shooting occurred at the Randol Hotel, which was located where the parking lot just east of Ray’s Office Supply is now located. Media came to Ardmore on passenger trains from all over the country to cover the trial, which resulted in Ms. Hamon’s acquittal. Jake Hamon gave a deathbed statement absolving Clara of the crime, which was pivotal.

Mathers was a famous frontier attorney, known for his spectacular defenses in a host of murder cases. He handled cases all over the state and was quite successful. I knew his son, “Uncle Jimmy” Mathers, when he was a judge in Tishomingo. Judge Mathers had a lot of stories to tell about his famous father.”

james clark

“We are putting together some family history of the W. W. Shelby family of Mannsville for an upcoming family reunion and are searching for a copy of a photo of the early Methodist Church in Mannsville as it was in the ’30’s and 40’s, it has a special interest to me also (probably why I was charged with finding one) as my Father was a Methodist minister for over 60 years and he started his career at that church, met my Mother at that church which was probably in the late ’20’s or early ’30’s.  I hope a Reader may have a photo of the old Methodist church in Mannsville to share with me.”  -Jim Jordan, TX

“The Woodland School (10 miles west of Davis, OK on Hwy 7) reunion will be the Saturday after Easter Sunday. Anyone that went there is encouraged to attend.” -James Singleterry

“I periodically check out a genealogy related link that a nice lady, Mary Maurer has up in Caddo, OK where a lot of my relatives on my father’s side lived and a few still do. The site has a monthly newsletter with excerpts from newspaper articles of the old days. I frequently check it out for the Powell side and have found out a lot about my great-grandfather’s family which consisted of ten children, one of which was my grandfather whom I am named after. My father was also born in Caddo (and my mother in Tishomingo). He had an older brother who had been killed in a car wreck back in 1926 when the brother was 26 years old. I remember my dad telling me about it when I was young but details were sparse. Lo and behold, one of the newspaper articles in a monthly newsletter covered the accident in detail.  You may be familiar with the site but if not, here is the link to “Caddo, My Home Town”.”   -Scott T. Powell,  Oregon


“Howdy Butch. Greeting from San Antonio, Texas. In the year of 1943 three of us boys were playing in the backyard of our home in the small township of Fletcher, Oklahoma. I was aged 13 at the time. It was a warm spring day that was great for playing outside. Our nation was at war with the Axis. As we were playing, we heard a faint roaring sound approaching from the south. The time was about 11:00 a.m, perhaps later. As the noise increased in intensity we began to observe many olive drab aircraft flying in formation parallel with our house at a height of about 200 feet. As each aircraft passed by within our view we could plainly see the copilot, right side gunner, and the tail gunner who waved back at us as we waved at them. The formation of flying aircraft must have been fairly large because it took at least 10 minutes for all aircraft to fly by. At that time we three boys could not identify what type of aircraft was passing by but we knew that the aircraft were military because we could see the mounted machine guns in the nose, the side, the top, and rear of the the aircraft. Next to each gun was a gunner. However, according to your recent “This and That” paper, March 24, 2011 I discovered an article about the 359th being at Ardmore during WW11 that was comprised of B-17 aircraft that is identical with the aircraft that we three boys saw that particular day in 1943. So my conclusion is that the military aircraft was stationed at Ardmore Air Field. The sight of that B-17 formation was a spectacle that we three boys would never forget.”  -Elmer G. West, an Okie living in San Antonio, Texas

Wanted to let everyone know the museum has located many copies of the out of print book ?Indian Territory and Carter County Pioneers – 1840-1982? (783 pages). We are selling them in our gift shop. The price is $40.00 a copy for the month of April only. Price will increase in May. We know that many people have been looking for this book and we were very excited to have located these copies. Thank You.  -Barbara Salamone, Greater Southwest Historical Museum


“Hello, Found your site and it is quiet interesting. I am currently typing up my Dad’s memoirs for him. He is 80 years old and figured he better write some stuff down for his family. 🙂  What led me to your site, is the fact that his father, James Dial Neighbors, worked for the CCC on Lake Murray when it was being built. It would be interesting if there was a site where I could find Dad some more info about his father’s history with the CCC. I hope your Readers could direct me to a site about the CCC and Lake Murray ”  -Rick Neighbors   rick@rickn.com

“Thanks to June Curry Miller, we now have our class’ anchoring paver stone in the sidewalk near the Hamburger Inn.( 1955 GRADS ). A number of our departed classmates are honored nearby with their own paver brick. Many thanks, June. Great job!!”  -Joe and Rella Helms

A chain is no stronger than its weakest link.  –Sir Leslie Stephen (1832-1904)

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 AmSerican 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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