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Vol 16  Issue 799  May 17, 2012

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402 Email:  butchbridges@oklahomahistory.net Phone: 580-490-6823

Had my first taste of a chopped BBQ beef sandwich from Ardmore’s new Smokin Joe’s Rib Ranch at A Street and 2nd NE. The BBQ place is located in the old 1933 Ella Hunter building.

Ella Hunter was an early day businesswoman of Ardmore, Oklahoma. She was a boarding house owner and also owned a small cigar stand in the corner of the Whittington Hotel at Caddo and Main (SW corner). One long time Ardmoreite told me Ella Hunter would buy property anytime she had some extra cash, eventually even owning property as far away as Houston, Texas. Ella was a young widow and reared three children- Virgil, Amelia, and Maude. Amelia Hunter Hall would go on to be renown throughout the country for her theater and musical talents. Ella Hunter 1864-1952.

I had heard the servings at Ardmore’s Smokin Joe’s was more than one person could eat, and boy was that true.  It took me two days to eat this sandwich and delicious is the way I describe it. Now I have to try the sliced beef soon!


Here’s a pic I took of Smokin Joe’s. Closed Sunday and Monday.


I see the old Masonic Temple at Main and Washington is getting a new hot tar roof this week.


About 20 years ago lightning hit the top of the building and blew a number of the red bricks away. It has since been repaired.  Ardmore’s first Masonic Temple was established in 1889. That first building was located on ‘A’ Street SE, just south of Main, behind the old Echols Storage Building. It was destroyed by a fire.

Here’s a pic of the old Carter Avenue Methodist Church at 4th and Carter SE. Its been a number of things through the years, but now sits empty and deteriorating.


I remember the first time I tried using video chat on the internet. It was about 14 years ago, and Yahoo added Messenger and one of the features was the ability to see who you were chatting with.  It was really bad, choppy and iffy to say the least.  I didn’t try it but a few times and stopped. I thought they’d never perfect this for the home user. But video teleconferencing for personal use has made great advances for the home user. You can see and talk to someone on the other side of the world on your home computer. Little did the inventor of the video phone years ago know how it would evolve into the video communications of today.


The Daily Ardmoreite, May 1928
Franz Kim, county attorney of Marshall County, was shot and killed by Sheriff Edd Long, after an argument during a commissioners meeting. Kim said a claim submitted by Long was too exorbitant. After a few minutes of argument, Long was alleged to have drawn a gun and starting firing.  The sheriff later surrendered to M.E. Ewing, justice of the peace. Before he was shot, Kim went to his office and donned a suit of steel armor, and armed himself with a pistol. Then he returned to the meeting area, according to witnesses, he pointed the gun at Long. Long told him to put the gun down. Kim didn’t and Long fired. The bullet ricocheted from the armor into Kim’s abdomen.

From This and That newsletter archives of May 15, 1999:

These are 1909 potato diggers at Shawnee, Oklahoma.
At 24th and South Harvey in Oklahome City stands the Hunter Funeral Home. Here’s pic of it years ago.
Here’s an old pic of the Ponca City, Oklahoma hospital

The First Presbyterian Church of Hugo, Oklahoma years ago
“This is John Hasty’s Piper Cub where he was training folks to fly at the Ardmore airport in the 30’s and 40’s. Don’t know who’s up front, but at the stick in back is Phleat Boyd, later to become a pilot captain with TWA, and, still later, a renowned Oklahoma artist. You can’t see it here, but there was no right side on the cabin, making one ride enough for most folk.”
“Butch the people here in California are a good bunch of people. The local talk radio station KFBK set up a collection place to send relief to May 3, 1999 Oklahoma City tornado victims.This morning Sat 8th of May four trucks, 40 foot trailers, loaded with donations and $20,000 in cash and the Sacramento’s Kings NBA team matched the money. It all left for Oklahoma City this morning. It impressed me how this country stands together in a crisis. As an old okie I know the area very well you got no mountains to turn a storm away. Thank GOD there were so few lives. Lost property can be replaced, they may need help but they are still around to talk about it.”
“….my husband was sitting at the stoplight on Washington facing north. He witnessed the lightening hitting the top of the Masonic Lodge. But, he cannot remember the year that it happened. He thinks he was working for Harry Stockdale plumbing at the time. And that would have been early 80’s. He remembers the bricks smashing to the street and even coming over to the truck. He will never forget that experience!”

Q.  What town in Oklahoma was the first to have electricity?
A.  Vinita, Oklahoma was the first town in the state to have electricity. It is also the oldest incorporated town in the state.

Q.  What Oklahoma town is the tribal capital for the Cherokee Nation?
A. (answer in next week’s T&T)

Gas prices today in the Ardmore area……


Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

“Hi Butch, In your last newsletter you included an email from Larry Guthrie concerning the ?Battle? of the Washita that contained some information that may not have been totally complete and might be misinterpreted by your readers. Whether or not the incident could be called a massacre is open to discussion depending on who?s telling the story. Custer?s version, of which Mr. Guthrie?s account seems to be based, considered it a battle against ?hostile? Indians. Other accounts disagree. There had been attacks on settlers in Kansas earlier reportedly killing 15 men and capturing 5 women. Some of the warriors that participated in the attacks apparently entered Black Kettle?s camp after the raids. Custer supposedly followed their trail back and attacked. There have been some facts left out of the story.

1. Four years earlier, Colonel John Chivington led a similar attack on a Cheyenne village at Sand Creek in Colorado that came to be known as the Sand Creek Massacre. Black Kettle was in that village and had both an American Flag and white flag of peace displayed over his lodge prior to the attack. The atrocities committed that day are well documented. Even after surviving the Sand Creek Massacre, Black Kettle continued to be known as a ?Peace Chief?.
2. On November 20, 1868, Black Kettle and Little Robe of the Cheyenne and Big Mouth and Spotted Wolf of the Arapaho visited Ft Cobb to try to make peace and assure his cooperation. He was told he could only make peace with General Phillip ?The only good Indian is a dead Indian? Sheridan, Col. Custer?s commander.
3. In an Interview between Colonel E. W. Wynkoop, United States Indian agent, and Little Rock, a Cheyenne chief, held at Fort Larned, Kansas, August 19, 1868, Little Rock provided the names of the Indians that had taken part in the Kansas raids and offered to turn them over to Wynkoop.
4. There is no evidence that Custer was following the trail of a war party. There had been a heavy snow storm and there was over a foot of snow on the ground. The trail they were following could just as easily been a returning hunting party. The only evidence that it was a war party was that a hunting party would have had dogs and they didn?t see any dog tracks.
5. The civilian scouts? account did not agree with the ?Official? version of the incident. According to scout James S. Morrison, twice as many women and children as warriors had been killed during the attack. He estimated 20 warriors and 40 women and children were killed.
6. Benjamin “Ben” Clark, the highly regarded scout and guide attached to the Seventh Cavalry recalled “[T]he regiment galloped through the tepees?firing indiscriminately and killing men and women alike.” One cavalry unit was seen pursuing “a group of women and children” shooting at them and “killing them without mercy”.
7. Black Kettle and his wife were shot in the back while trying to escape on horseback in the river. He was considered an old man at 65 years old.
8. Custer attacked with 4 columns, made up of 3 companies each; about 700 men. Black Kettle?s camp was comprised of about 50 lodges; about 250 men, women, and children.

There is an abundance of information concerning the 7th Calvary attack on Black Kettle?s camp on November 27, 1868 including eye-witness accounts from Indians and Whites alike. I encourage you to investigate and form your own opinion as to whether is was a ?battle? or ?Massacre.?

As a side note, The North American Indian population within the area of the forty-eight contiguous states is estimated to have numbered in excess of twelve million in the year 1500. By official estimates, the population was reduced to barely more than 237,000 four centuries later.

-Lance Straughn

Good info on Battle of the Washita  http://www.answers.com/topic/battle-of-washita-river

“Hi Butch, Thank you so much for your wonderful newsletter. I have been doing family history for several years and I can’t tell you how many times your newsletter has helped out in some way.

My great-grandparents grew up in Ardmore – Wilburn Meade Davis and Anna Lee Chandler. They had my grandfather, Harvey Joe Davis, in 1925 and Wilburn died in 1929. Anna Lee remarried, to Claude Benjamin Pistole, and they had a daughter, Barbara. Barbara died in 2009.

My grandfather, Harvey Joe Davis, left Ardmore around 1943 and moved to CA. He married my grandmother, Margie Christine Davis (Butner) and they moved back to Ardmore with their two kids, Benjamin Raymond Davis and my mom Cheryl Ann Davis, in 1949. Margie worked at the Santa Fe Tavern (I believe) and Harvey Joe worked at the East Side Service Station that Claude Pistole owned.

Claude and Anna Lee moved to Elmore City and she died there. Claude remarried and he died in the 80’s – Wanette, the woman he remarried, died a couple of years ago.

I was hoping someone might have some information on Wilburn. From their marriage certificate, it looks as though Wilburn lived on Mary Niblack Rd (was it actually called “Mary Niblack Rd” in 1925? There is no “road” in the record – it just states “Mary Niblack, Carter County.” And it had “Springdale” for Anna Lee. Since the 2 roads empty into each other (I believe – I’m looking on Google Maps), I assumed the record was referring to those roads.

I don’t think that any of them went to school beyond the sixth grade because I have been unable to find any of them in high school yearbooks.

I know there are several primary schools around that area – Hoxbar, Springdale, and Mary Niblack Schools especially – that my relatives probably attended.

If anyone has any photos with identification of the persons, or knows of my relatives – I would be infinitely grateful for any assistance. When Wilburn died, we completely lost touch with the Davis side of our family. I have never seen pictures of any of them. I know Wilburn’s parents were George Scott Davis and Ella Alice Claxton, if that helps at all. I also have census records and several listings in Polk’s City Directory for Ardmore for many of my relatives. I haven’t been able to find any obituary for Wilburn or his mother in the Daily Ardmoreite either, but I only have access to those entries posted online.

Please feel free to email me: nairnej@gmail.com

Thank you, again, Butch for your all your hard work. I have attached an old photo of the East Side Service Station, owned by Claude Pistole. My Aunt Barbara gave me the photo and there isn’t a date, but I would guess it’s in the mid-30’s.” -Jennifer Nairne


Springer Volunteer Fire Department Annual Fundraiser
Saturday, May 19, 2012 ? start 6:00 PM
BBQ, auction and dance so bring a lawn chair and ENJOY!

“Hi Butch, Enjoyed the newsletter as usual, I know what a drag it is to produce a monthly newsletter, much less one every week, RE: Satellite photos on the various websites. The most current ones can be found on Google Earth, some as recent as a day ago. A NASA photo mapping satellite passes over your house every eighteen hours which means about a third of them are at night when you can’t see much.  Anyone can buy a download but it’s rather costly so most of those websites don’t upgrade very often, some are two and three years old, same goes for the Google Street Views. Those are made by vans driving the streets and they tend to be more current in towns than in the country. Google, MapQuest and all the other websites make their money by selling photos to tax assessors, realtors and city planners. Cities and counties usually buy a run of photos every other month and then run them through a computer which looks for something different. Build a back yard shed or install a swimming pool and they are looking for building permits and adding them to your property for tax purposes. Three or four years ago I got a knock at the door and two women said they were from the Cleveland County Tax Assessor’s office and were there to measure my house (yes, they had the proper ID cards) The first place they went was the 16 x 20 covered patio on the back of the house I’d built perhaps a year before. They had two satellite photos, one with and one without the patio. They measured the exterior of the house, mentioned that it was 36′ larger than what they had on the books but since the patio wasn’t enclosed, it wouldn’t be added to the size of the house. Ain’t technology great!” -Jim Foreman

“Does anyone know anything about the area in Sulphur that the Indians used as the mud baths, are they still there?” -Linda Long

Ten Acre Rock north of Ravia is listed for sale

“This past weekend I had my second visit to Magnetic Hill off of I-35. My first time was about 76 years ago when my Dad took me there. It seems nothing has changed, except the road is paved now……the thrill and disbelief is ever bit as strong as it was back then. You sit in your car and shake your head no, but right on up the hill you go in neutral. (or so it seems) Everyone should experience it at least once.”  -Elisabeth in Tulsa

“This is a photo of Ralph & Sue Kettlewell’s grandparents Matt and Ella Byrd of Pooleville, OK taken the summer of 1951 at the artesian well by the swimming pool that was in downtown Sulphur, OK.” -Sue Kettlewell Griffin, Sacramento, CA

“Nice edition this week. Has anyone heard about a place named “Ballard’s Park”? Our families used to go up there back in the 50’s to swim, picnic, and roller skate. If memory serves, i “think” it was located North of Tish, possibly in the Ravia area…it’s been a while. You may have already written about this before I joined your followers. Just wondering.” -Bob Gates in Tulsa

Hello Friends,

Final Paper Newsletter
Due to the increase in costs, we have decided to discontinue this annual paper newsletter. But we will continue to contact our fans and friends by email. So, if you have email, be sure to send us your email address. If you do not have email, could you contact a relative or friend who does have email and send us their email address? That way we can still be in touch with you from time to time. My schedule is always shown on my website and updated around the first of every month.

No More Gene Autry, OK Festivals
As most of you know, for sixteen years the annual Cowboy Film and Music Festival was held in my hometown of Gene Autry, Oklahoma. The event was very successful but due to age and health issues, the annual festival had to be discontinued. Thereafter, Janet McBride and I put together a few one day fundraisers for the Museum. But now, even the one day events will not be held anymore. The Gene Autry Oklahoma Museum of Local History and Gift Store will remain open so we hope you will drop in and express your thanks to Elvin and Flo Sweeten for the many years of fun and fellowship they have provided for all of us.

Silver Dollar City
This year, my Silver Lake Band and I will return to Silver Dollar City in Branson for our annual “Missouri’s Biggest Barn Dance”. This will be our 16th consecutive year to work Silver Dollar City. For the past few years, our time there has been in October. But, please note that our booking there has been changed to September. So tell all your friends that we will be there September 13-30, 2012. Our show times will be 1pm, 2pm and 3pm. And as before, the park is closed Monday and Tuesday during our time there.
So, come join us for some great Western Swing Music, including the daily “Chicken Dance”. Whether you dance or just pat your foot, come join us as much as you can because every show we do there is different and we love to take requests for your favorite songs.
On Tuesday, September 25, many of us will gather for supper at the Grand Plaza Hotel in Branson. We are calling it the “Parrott Party” because our friend Kenny Parrott is the entertainer there each evening. Kenny Parrott is the vocalist for the Buck Trent Show and considered by many to be the best country singer in Branson. We will meet at 5pm in the dining hall at the top floor of the Grand Plaza. We will need a head count in advance so please call Janet Stanturf at 417-272-8639 if you will be attending the Parrott Party.

Next CD
I have recorded sixteen albums to date, including two gospel albums. So, in response to the many requests, number seventeen will be another gospel album. The estimated release date is September 1, 2012. I’ll remind you again by email when the album is available for sale. And we will have the new one available at our Silver Dollar City appearance.

Please stay in touch and we hope to see you down the trail.

Les Gilliam
“The Oklahoma Balladeer”

“There is a cave that is south maybe southwest of Bitter Enders. It is a large cave with a metal ladder that goes down into it. Anyone know what the name of this cave?” -Sonja

“Jefferson Elementary school will have a reunion of all former students, teachers and friends on May 19th at the Ardmore Garden Center on Stanley S.W. There will be a picnic at the Center at noon. Each family or alumni will bring their own food for this event. That evening you may arrive at the Center at 6:p.m for a period of visitation before dinner at 7:00 p.m. Cost is $10 per person. Teachers are free. The event will honor the late Mrs. Billie Zach Graybill, a former teacher at the school. Her daughters will attend. Enthusiasm is high and former students are coming from several states including S. Carolina and hopefully one from Canada. Those of you who have not sent in your reservations have until April 27th to get them in to: Melissa Henson West, 390 Cisco Rd., Ardmore, OK 73401. The cost of the dinner will not cover all the expenses so any donations will be greatly appreciated. Bring any pictures or other memorabilia to share. As far as we know this is the first reunion for a grade school. Lets make it a really good one.” -Frances Dunlap

Dillard Fire Department annual fundraiser: May 19, 2012 (Saturday) Cake and pie auction begins at 1:00 p.m. Indian tacos will be served beginning at 11:00 a.m. until around 3:00 p.m. Tacos are free. Donations accepted and very appreciated. We thank everyone who has supported us in the past. We would not be where we are today without you. Please come join us May 19.

God Bless The USA by Lee Greenwood

If tomorrow all the things were gone,
I’d worked for all my life.
And I had to start again,
with just my children and my wife.

I’d thank my lucky stars,
to be livin here today.
?Cause the flag still stands for freedom,
and they can’t take that away.

And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.


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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