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Vol 15  Issue 761 August 25, 2011

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

Email: butchbridges@oklahomahistory.net

Phone: 580-490-6823

Last week I received an email that prompted me to work up a webpage on Coleman Jones, the mysterious, bearded, bike riding gentleman of Ardmore so many remember from years ago.  This is the email that put me to work on the man Coleman Jones:

“Dear Butch, It would be very interesting to hear the whole story on the old man on the bicycle. In the 60?s we would see him riding his bike around town. He wore ragged clothes and had a long grey beard. In ?71 we moved next door to him. He lived on Douglas Blvd. on the corner, top of the hill, about two blocks south of Lake Murray Drive. We renovated the house north of him, also on a corner, and painted it yellow. It remains yellow to this day. As an 18 year old, I looked in his detached two car garage one day. The roof had fallen in part way. In there were classic old cars from the ?40 or maybe earlier.

Seems I remember a rumor that he had indeed graduated from an Ivy League college in the east! So I wonder what would have made this man abandon normal life for one like his. He never mowed the lawn or kept up the house either. It would have been so interesting to see the inside of his house. Like the garage, one can only wonder what very old things may have been there.

The home has since been razed and a new home has been constructed on it?s place. It would be so interesting to have the story from beginning to end on the old man on the bicycle.”
  -Randy Day, Ardmore High School Class of 1971

This is the link to my webpage on Coleman Jones:


A Reader sent in pictures of two old barrels at the end of Field Trail Road at Lake Murray, near the rocks. “Its field trail road, you keep going past the RC Flying grounds, its the only dirt road to the right after the flying field. When you turn right on the dirt road it takes you all the way to the cove where we swim. You walk over to the other side its very rocky and between the 2 areas the land comes to a point there is a white marker for the boats cause the water has gone down you see the rocks coming out of the water.”  I am wondering how long those barrels have been there, and what is in them. Since Lake Murray is at low because of the extreme drought, the barrels are now visible to the necked eye. Could this be the remains of Jimmy Hoffa who disappeared in 1975?



I have added “the rest of the story” from last week’s article about the El Paso 10.  This additional info is from David Joe Willingham, retired- Ardmore Police Department.


U.S. drought monitor


From This and That newsletter archives of August 15, 1998:
The Gene Autry, Oklahoma Museum now has their own website.


Q.   Who and where was the YIELD sign designed?
A.   Clinton Riggs, an Oklahoma Highway Patrolman, got the idea for a yield sign while attending a traffic institute meeting in 1939 at Chicago. The war years slowed its development but in 1959 the first yield sign was used at a dangerous intersection in Tulsa. It lowered the number of accidents. Soon the Keystone-shaped yield sign became popular and was adopted by cities and states across the nation. Riggs, who also had a successful career with the Tulsa Police Department, is credited with designing the Tulsa police shoulder patch in the same shape as the yield sign.

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Who_invented_the_yield_sign#ixzz1VuRQNCC7

Q.   Who was the world famous singer born in Hugo, Oklahoma?
A.    (answer in next week’s newsletter)

Gas prices today in the Ardmore area……


Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..“Butch, in last week’s column someone wrote in asking who lived in the house on “I” St N.E. It faced west and had lattice work on the wide front porch, with the back yard slopping down into the woods. It was, from what I interpreted, between 3rd and 2nd NE. If it’s the one I am thinking it is, you are describing the house that a Mrs. Haven lived in during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Don’t know how long she lived there. I believe before her the Labatt family resided in that house. I remember playing in the field east of that backyard. A creek separated that field from the yard. One time someone had placed a log across the creek and the kids I was playing with dared me to see if I could walk across on the log without falling into the creek. Dumb me, I tried it and succeeded. The scary thing is, the creek was nearly dry and someone had thrown glass bottles down on the rocks that lined the creek and there was broken glass all under that log. I shudder to think what could have resulted if I’d fallen in. But I always took the dare, no matter how dangerous. Butch, how did we survive back then? I guess that picture of the angel protecting the two little children crossing a rickety bridge with rushing water below was a reality in our lives. I know I walked part way up the rail of the wooden viaduct (we called it a vidock) before it burned and was replaced with metal. I don’t have time nor room to list all of the stupid things I did as a kid, so will stop here. That’s why I didn’t believe one thing my kids told me and tried to always know where they were. Because I knew they were my offspring and probably would do exactly as I had done as a child. Thank God we all survived.”  -Diane Armstrong

“Butch, took a while but here is a little Ardmore history you may want to share with your readers about my Uncle Fleet ? Tom Cooper?s [Tom Cooper Farms] brother. Might even bring back a memory or two of yesteryears.

Fleet Cooper’s obituary was on the front page of the October 25, 1955, Daily Ardmoreite. [Photo was included with article, which I have not included because it did not copy well enough for me to copy.]”

Retired Car Dealer Dies Here Monday

Fleet Cooper, prominent Ardmore business man, died Monday night in a local hospital following an extended illness. He was 68.

Services, conducted by Dr. Karl H. Moore, First Baptist Church, and Major Jack Key, Salvation Army, will be at 2 p.m., Wednesday in Harvey Chapel. The Masons will direct graveside rites. Burial will be in Rose Hill Cemetery.

All Masons are to meet in the Masonic Hall at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Serving as pallbearers will be Bill Couch, Ira Gumm, Earl A. Brown, Henry Couch, Harry S. Mayes and Everett Henley.

A retired car dealer, Cooper built the present Lincoln and Mercury headquarters at 710 W. Broadway (in 1949 located at 11-13 W. Broadway). He was born Oct. 24, 1887 in Weatherford, Texas, and died on his birthday.

Active in a number of civic organizations, he served as a member of the local Salvation Army advisory board, the Chamber of Commerce, First Baptist Church and was a member of the Ardmore Lodge No. 31, A. F & A. M., Scottish Rite, Knights Templar and Shrine.

He is survived by his wife, Geneva, of the home 418 2nd Ave., NW; his step-mother, Mrs. Georgia Cooper, of Weatherford, Texas; two sisters, Mrs. E. G. Hendrix, San Antonio, Texas, and Mrs. S. W. Jones, Weatherford, and a brother, Tom, Oklahoma City.

Hiram ?Ben? Cooper
Bella Vista, Arkansas

“The Arbuckle Regional Weather Net will host an area-wide, Multi-Resource net Thursday September 1, 2011 beginning at 8 PM CDT. The net will be conducted using both the online WXspots Net and the radio net on 146.55 simplex. This net will serve three purposes, one will be to help net participants become familiar with how the net uses multiple resources and multiple net control operators during weather net activation, two, give net participants an opportunity to test their equipment and capabilities and three, enhance net control skills. If there were other WXspots AFFILIATED nets in our area, we would invite them to participate using their own net resources and demonstrate how the Arbuckle Weather Net monitors and relays information. All area hams are welcome to join in and participate using either WXspots OR 146.55 simplex.”  -David C. Bond KF5CMR

Assault on the Deadwood Stage: “Hi Butch, I don’t remember if I said anything to you about this book that was released in May 2011. A few months back, you had some really neat pictures of Deadwood SD that someone shared with the readers. When I bought the book, it got me to thinking – here is the story on Deadwood, SD stagecoaches just like in the pictures. The book looks like it is going to be a good read. It is a hardback book that sells for $24.95 at Barnes & Noble. If you have a coupon, the book sells for less. Just thought that someone might be interested. Stay out of heat.” -Cecil

“Hello Butch. It is funny what you hear about the old gravel roads running up and down the Arbuckles and how they were negotiated. I just read the gentleman?s comment about the gas being gravity fed to the engine and the location of the outlet causing folks to have to back a T-Model up the hillsides to assure the engines did not starve for fuel. My dad said they backed up them because reverse was always lower-geared than first gear and it was easier on the motors if you used reverse to climb the hills. Both ideas seem plausible.”  -Bruce Bennett

The Daily Ardmoreite February 17, 1946

Title over pic
Ardmore Children in ‘Our Gang’ Comedy

Caption under pic
Harry M. Lowenstein, manager of the Tivoli theater, announces arrangements have been perfected with Melton Barker to produce a two-reel “Our Gang” comedy using nothing but local talent with children whose ages range between 3 and 14 years. Barker is not new to Ardmore as he produced an “Our Gang” comedy in Ardmore before the war. Barker served in the world war in the Seabees as a photographer. If your child or a child you may know, wishes to be in the picture, he may register at the Tivoli. There is no charge for registration or tryouts, however there will be a small charge for training of those selected. About 100 children are used in the making of the picture, which will be shown at the Tivoli after completion.


“I have found a photo of the Hilltop Grocery store that my dad, Robert Farrington, owned for a short time. This picture was taken in 1964 about the time he purchased the store. You can see the old Ardmore water tower on the far left – kind of faint but it is there. I did check and the address was on Northwest Blvd where the EZ Shop Food Store is located today. I compared the Google image of that location and you can also see faintly the old Ardmore water tower in the same spot so I am confident this is where it was located.”  -Marilyn (Farrington) Roder


“Hi, I for one remember Basil and the Moran grocery. When I was newly married we traded a lot with him. We even lived for a time in the little rock store building across the street on the corner. I remember an Indian couple who walked past there every day with him out front and her following behind. Of course that was their custom but I was a green country kid and I thought it odd. Basil was a good man, we really liked him.” -Nellie


Robbie wrote on Facebook: “I remember Coleman Jones, in just so many ways. In 1974, when I dislocated my wrist in a boating accident, I rode my bike with one arm in a sling, and he rode his bike with one arm in a sling from a run in with a brick wall. We nodded at each other, needless to say instead of waving, and compared injuries, the rate of healing and many observances about the “other people” in the world. From these sidewalk meetings a friendship grew. I remember his “passing” onto new horizons, new city streets and sidewalks. When my oldest son was born, the middle name Coleman came to mind, for two reasons, one was Ronald Coleman, a comrade of Russell’s father, who never made it back from ‘Nam, and of course Russell “Coleman” Billingsley in memory of my friend Coleman Jones. I pay both of these men homage, I feel my son has two very special brave, loving and intellectual guardian angels.”

“Re Mountain ranges in Oklahoma. You missed one. The Boston Mountains are separate from the four mentioned. They are a part of the Ozarks, and the Ozark plateau.”  -Larry

Q. Do you happen to have a picture of Healdton that shows two red lights in Healdton?  do not remember there ever being 2 red lights there. I was born and raised there. I moved off in 1958 when I went to nurses training but my mother lived there until 1980. -Mary

Replies on Facebook:

George wrote: “There were two red lights in Healdton in the fifties. I know because I ran both of them one night really red. I am color blind and the lights were in reverse so I saw green when they were really red.”

Carol wrote: “Seems like a little boy was hit by a car and died at that intersection, then they put up the light for a few yrs. in late ’40s maybe. I think the other was at Texas and 6th Street (?)”

Danna wrote: “yes there were two stop lights in Healdton in the 1950s.”

THE DAVIS NEWS – 100 YEARS AGO: The Oklahoma Geological Survey issued a report on the zinc field near Davis. The most active area was near the headwaters of Colbert Creek, 7 miles southwest of Davis. According to the report, much of the ore was very finely disseminated, occurring in small crystals, which makes it more difficult to extract profitably.

S.H. Davis represented Davis at a meeting in Oklahoma City about the interstate postal highway proposed to be built north and south through Oklahoma. Nellie Gray, the old gray mare W.L. Bird brought with him when he came to Davis in 1894, dropped dead suddenly. She was about 30 years old, and Mr. Bird had owned her over 20 years.

Dr. I.N. Brown moved back to Davis and was taking patients at the Baptist parsonage until he could build or buy a home.

A picnic at Price’s Falls marked the end of a two-month school taught by Prof. F.M. Dodson at Price’s Chapel. He was lined up to teach again in the fall.

Gus Graves sold his livery barn to W.S. Thompson and T.J. Hunt, prosperous farmers residing west of Davis.

“Just read the story on the El Paso 10. I was 18 @ the time and was in the courtroom for most of the trial. My dad was one of the jurors. So I wanted to go watch. It was very interesting @ the time. I remember my dad never talked about the case during the trial, he was the most honest man I knew. As a spectator, I couldn’t believe there was not a conviction. They had a whole bail of Columbian Marijuana in the courtroom for evidence during the trial and the rest of it was being guarded @ the Hardy Murphy Coliseum. If my memory is correct there were 4 truck drivers, all 10 were tried together on the charges. I can remember during recess the defendants seemed so casual. They didn’t appear to be nervous, it was more like they were attending a convention and taking a break. My Dad and one other juror thought all 10 were guilty, there were several women on the jury that just wanted to convict the 4 truck drivers. In the end they couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict, so they all walked. 17 tons of evidence and no one was guilty!!! That was my first encounter where I thought the justice system failed. Since then, a few more come to mind, O.J. and Casey Anthony. Anyway you brought up a piece of history that hadn’t crossed my mind for quite some time. I remember the lawyer getting killed later, now I’m left to wonder what has happened to the 10 defendants. One was mentioned in the article, the other nine will probably remain a mystery to me.”  -Greg

“I cant tell you why. This is so devastating to his faithful customers. He had been there for over Fifteen years. Best breakfast in the city limits including Ardmore. I talked with his Dad today. Said Monty was just wanting to do something else. Good Luck to you Monty, what ever you do.”   Ken@Wilson


The sky is falling!  -by Henny Penny aka Chicken Little


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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