A Home Grown Home Page

Home of the This and That Newsletters

Vol 16  Issue 811   August 9, 2012

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

With gasoline sky high and going higher every day, I thought back to the 60s when I first starting buying gas. The lowest I ever paid for gas for my motorcycle around 1966 was 19 cents a gallon during an Ardmore gas war at that time (normally 20 something). I remember Otis Ivey running a gas station at 3rd and A NE (west of the old Cashway Lumber Company) and changed from a full service station to a self-service station. This would have been in the late 1960s. He said he was thinking one day, how he’d go out in the cold, rain, heat, check oil, check tires, etc. to make 2 cents on the gallon. He said heck with this, and changed his gas station to a self-service station. A lot of stations back in the 60s are gone from the Ardmore scene. Here’s a listing from 1960.


Same with auto repair shops in Ardmore, a lot have faded away since 1960.


I’m sure some of you ‘old timers’ will remember some of these apartment houses from 1960.


Oh, and let’s not forget the barber shops. There are very few still around today, compared to 1960. I remember the Tivoli Barber Shop on Main Street, after it closed, the barber pole left by the door outside, it was stolen some time later. The barber pole started in the middle ages when barbers did bloodletting.


Here’s a old photo of the entrance to the airbase when it had a guard shack.


In 1904 Burrel Hicks was the Hot Tamale King of Ardmore, Oklahoma!


David Redfield was the Postmaster at Ardmore in 1904.


This is a pic of the founder of The Ardmoreite in 1904, Sidney Suggs.


I see another old building in downtown Ardmore being razed.  For the past few years there had been a mattress/furniture business in the east end of the building.


Aerial view of building.


View of almost empty lot.


Oklahoma History Revisited by Larry Guthrie, Sulphur

Question: The first territorial election, held August 5, 1890 saw three parties in the field, Republican, Democrat and ?. The first legislature consisted of 14 Republicans, 8 Democrats and 4 ? in the House.

Answer: Alliance Party. The Alliance Party was the Oklahoma version of the socialist Farmers Alliance Party. Most folk do not realize how strong the socialist party was before WWI. As the first decade of the 20th Century drew to a close, the Socialist Party of Oklahoma was one of the most dominant state organizations of the national party, gaining the support of nearly one in five Oklahoma voters and electing candidates to office in various locales around the state.

Some of you will remember me mentioning just a little over 90 days ago we bought a The Boss halogen oven.  Loved it, used it nearly everyday since buying it, sometimes two times in one day. During that time Jill never used our conventional oven in the kitchen.  Last week she was cooking chicken, and about halfway through it just quit.  So, I immediately ordered a Secura halogen oven from amazon.com.  Hope this one last longer. We’ve used it twice now, works great, here’s a pic of sweet potatoes cooking.


From This and That newsletter archives of August 15, 1998:I love to test different search engines. Thought of the saying “topping high cotton”. Only one search engine, Metacrawler, found those three words. And they were from the June 20th Issue of my This & That. For those wondering what is “topping high cotton”, it’s being able to pick those cotton balls from the top of the stalks, instead of having to stoop over all day, pulling them.
The Gene Autry, Oklahoma Museum now has their own website. (new link to new website in Dallas)
“Butch, the best remedy for poison ivy that I’ve found is old-fashioned Right Guard aerosol deodorant in the copper-colored can. I don’t know why, but it dries up the spots and keeps them from spreading.”

Q.  Wildman, Oklahoma and Oreana, Oklahoma are two Ghost towns located where and why did they ?spring up? ? -Larry
A.  In 1900 the Government opened the Wichita Mountain region with the Kiowa and Comanche Indian reservations to prospectors. These were two of the mining towns that were established for a short time.

Q. Who was the first Merchant in Oklahoma?
A. (answer in next week’s T&T)

Gas prices today in the Ardmore area……


Check gas prices by town or zip code anywhere in U.S.


Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..“Butch – I just returned from my 30th AHS reunion and read your newsletter. One of your readers asked several questions about schools in Ardmore. I can answer some of these.

A fire was set in the AJHS school office in the spring of 1978. The fire itself was contained to the office and the gym below it (if you remember, both the JHS and HS had gyms in their basements). The building didn?t burn down, but it did suffer quite a bit of smoke and water damage. I was in the 8th grade that year. AJHS housed 8th and 9th graders. AMS housed 6th and 7th grades, and was located on the same block in the old (your) ASHS building. ASHS had moved into its new facilities on Highway 142 just a few years before.

The administration did what they could. They moved as many classes as possible to the ?Science Building”, the addition from the late 1950?s/early 1960?s. The classrooms in the Science Building (floors 3 and 4) could not house the entire school population of 700-800 students so we finished out the school year in the junior high building. That would be the last year for Ardmore Junior High School.

For the next few months after the fire, there were numerous discussions about what to do for the next school year: build a new school, quickly establish Ardmore Douglass High School as the junior high or ?freshman high school?, utilize other buildings (churches, etc), or redistribute the grades across the campuses. They decided to change ASHS from a three year high school to a four year high school, starting in the autumn of 1978. The eighth graders were to be housed in the Science Building. Class size trends were decreasing due to the end of the baby boom, so the building was large enough to house the entire population of a single grade for the foreseeable future. This arrangement lasted for a year or two. They later changed AMS to grades 7-8 and moved the sixth graders to the Science Building, calling it Ardmore Central Elementary. Eventually, AMS changed to a three grade setup (6-8).

Our class (1982) was the first freshman class housed at AHS since the establishment of the junior high back in the 1910s. We were very crowded on the AHS campus. We had 1300 students on a campus designed for about 1000. Classes were held wherever they could, including the cafeteria, library, fine arts building, and gyms. In those first few weeks, they discovered the cafeteria could not handle the large number of students within the two designated lunch periods. If you were at the end of one of the lines (there were 3 different lines in those days), you probably would not have made it to the serving line before the lunch period was up! They had to re-arrange the lunch period, and some of us went to our 4th period class for 20 or 30 minutes, ate lunch, and then returned to 4th period for the rest of class. This was the only way they could feed us all. This arrangement lasted for the remainder of the school year.

For that first year, freshman could not participate in senior high activities (varsity or junior varsity) ? we had our own separate sports teams, bands, choruses, etc. The rumor at the time was that the administration wanted to keep the 9th grade separate, as a ?school within a school? because that year was going to determine our OSSAA classification for the next few years, based upon our Average Daily Attendance (ADA). If our freshman class of over 350 had been included in the high school population, it was feared that we would have been placed in the largest class in the state at that time (4A). Instead, we remained in Class 3A. Even so, we played schools in Class 4A football anyway. It was a rough first year since over half the campus (freshmen and sophomores) were new to the campus.

Things settled down later in the year, and crowding eased in the subsequent years because the classes were getting smaller, due to the end of the baby boom. The oil bust also caused a loss of population in the early 1980s.

There were a string of arsons around town that year (the JCPenney and Woolworth buildings downtown burned down the previous autumn) and the same person was believed responsible for 12 or 13 fires, as I recall. They eventually caught him.

Ardmore Dunbar School was in the unit block of G SE (the building is still there) and housed Grades 1-8. Ardmore Douglass High School was at 800 M Street NE, and today is the administration building for Ardmore City Schools. Before that, I believe Douglass High School was on E Main, where the H.F.V. Wilson Community Center stands today. H.F.V. Wilson was the last principal of Ardmore DHS when it closed in 1969. I am not old enough to remember these schools being active. The schools were integrated before I started school.

The Ardmore Douglass Dragons played at Walker Stadium. Here?s a link to the 1962 Homecoming Program.


One interesting fact: only two of the players weighed more than 200 pounds! Ardmore Douglass was in Class B, and Ardmore was in Class 2A (the top class) in the early 1960s. Ardmore Douglass won the Class B football championship in 1957.

I?m not sure where the teams (either ASHS or DHS) played before Walker Stadium. I would guess that one of the fields near the old downtown campus was used. I?ve never read any history on previous football stadiums.

DHS has a very active alumni organization and could probably fill in the blanks, or correct me where I?m wrong.” -Larry Hamm

“butch. I just read and enjoyed newsletter. Ardmore Douglas was playing their football games on Thursday nights in Walker Stadium in late 50’s. I was playing for Davis and participated in a couple of them.” -Jim Hefley

Link to the new Bryan County Genealogy Library at Calera, Oklahoma

“hi butch, yall are doing a great job. yall went to the chickasaw cultural center in sulphur,ok. i seen the photos of all the governors. my gggrandfather is thomas j parker gov in 1871-1872, his photo was not shown. maybe you can find out the reason it was not there. thanks.” -butch bennett/houston,texas

“I have a cousin, MaryBeth Mitchell, PO Box 225, Laverne, Oklahoma (do not have a phone # for her). She has spent last fifty years researching the Hancock side of our family. We are related to the BEAVERS, through the Hancocks. Your last letter had someone interested in finding info on John Beaver and I am sure is they contact MaryBeth she will be able to answer their questions. I have lots of info on the Hancocks but am so blind and unable to go through the books and tie down how the Beaver family sits into our Hancock side. My grandfather Tom Dorsett’s mother was a Hancock. We all lived in Ringling. Hope this will help your reader in his research. Love your weekly newsletter and pass it along to other friends and family who also grew up in Ringling and Grady.”  -Jo

“This is a video the city of Houston put together on what to do should you (a citizen) run across an active shooter, such as the guy in the movie theater. They were just finishing it when the Colorado shootings occurred. If you haven?t seen it??it is well worth the watch and worth sharing with your family and friends as well.”

“Butch, in your latest “This n That” Doug Williams mentions a cement post on the corner of MLK and K St. NE. At the east end of the block there used to be a Seven Day Adventist school years ago. All that was left was the posts that were used for a fence around the school. My husband dragged 2 posts down to our place and put them up for a fence around our house. Originally that block of land was owned by a family named Payne.” -Melba Wallace

“Butch, Here is another little bit of history for that block of northeast Ardmore. Of course, MLK St. used to be 5th Ave. I talked about the Paynes and the cement post fence that surrounded the rental property they had and on which they raised goats, sold goat milk, and goat cheese. Melba (my sister) and I lived just across the street in 1947, before she and her husband bought the corner years later. The attachment is a couple of pages from my book, “My Fathers Branch.”” -Doyle Williams

“Here is part of the biography of Roy Rogers. I remember when his first wife died and when he married Dale Evans. I was 13 years old then and a great fan of his as was most kids. I guess the younger folks never learned much about his personal life, which seemed to be filled with tragedies.” -Jo

Throughout his life, Rogers was known as much for his kindness as for his movie roles. For instance, he appreciated his fans so much that he attempted to respond personally to every piece of mail he received, despite the fact that his film studio refused to pay for postage, and the cost came out of his own pocket. In 1988, for his achievement in the country music industry and in recognition of his inspiration to generations of country musicians, Rogers was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame. In addition to numerous awards and accolades, he has four stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in recognition of his achievements in radio, music, film, and television.

In 1936, Rogers married first wife Arlene Wilkins, who died after giving birth to their only son, Roy Jr., in 1946. The couple also had two daughters, Cheryl (adopted) and Linda Lou. Rogers married Dale Evans on New Year’s Eve in 1947. Together they had a daughter, Robin–born with a heart defect and Down’s syndrome?who died just days before her second birthday in 1952. In the 1950s, Rogers and Evans adopted four more children, known familiarly as Dodie, Sandy, Marion Swift and Debbie Lee. The Rogers family was struck with tragedy when, in 1964, Debbie died in a church bus accident, and again, in 1965, when Sandy choked to death while serving in the Army.

Six months after celebrating the 50th anniversary of his marriage to Evans, Rogers died in Victorville, California, on July 6, 1998, of congestive heart failure.

“Being a retired U.S. Navy sailor, I was wondering if anyone in your readership was ever assigned to Operation Deep Freeze from any of the military services, National Science Foundation or part of the civilian contractors. I have been curious how many other Old Antarctica Explorers (OAE) are around Oklahoma or other parts.”

Thomas P. Gaines
Chief Warrant Officer, W-2
U.S. Navy (Retired)

“Butch, I think I saved this photo of Horseshoe Curve near Turner Falls from one of your previous newsletters.” -Jadean

2005 Wilson, Okla.

“When I got up this morning Della was cooking a 20# meatloaf. I asked her who died. She told me an elderly lady from our church. (When they have a funeral at the church the ladies always prepare a dinner for the relatives and friends.)  Ms. Davis fixes a casserole, Ms. Wharton bakes a cake, Ms. Parker brings vegetables, and Della bakes a Meatloaf. I asked Della if she was going to make a meatloaf when I die and they have services for me? She said “Probably”. I told her that since she was going to have me cremated, could she add my remains to her meatloaf and this would give it some “BODY”! So folks, when I die, and you should feel obligated to attend my funeral, I’m tellin you up front, “Don’t eat the Meatloaf!”” -Ken @ Wilson

“Butch, this is a picture of my grandfather Frank Rountree. He and Gladys Graham are standing with my cousin Gary on the bridge that had burned over the Washita river in the early 1950’s. They had made it a walk bridge before the Air Force built the Bailey Bridge that is not there any more. This is on the east side of the Air force base and Annie Conway’s house.” -Doug Williams

via James Clark: “Now we are feeding them with bananas and sunflower seeds… they come here every day and we are enjoying so much… Look at this picture? there are two maritacas in the tree also. Yesterday there was a wood pecker in our Yellow Ype Tree; two black birds, a trush orange and many doves come here all the time to have some food. What a joy!!!”  -Maria Calil – Sao Paulo, Brazil

“Butch, I’ve been reading your “This and That Newsletter” for a couple of years now. In issue 809, Mary Lou discusses the Vendome Plunge in Sulphur, and has a question about the dark area north of the well in the picture. I remember this well, as I learned to swim in the Vendome and later helped run the Belleview Plunge in the mid 70’s. The dark area at the Vendome was a pool that heated water for the main pool. I don’t know exactly how it worked, but I remember it was a rectangular pool that had large pipes running through it. I also seem to remember pipes sticking up from the pool. I don’t know if the pipes were heated by an external source or not. The Belleview water was heated by an interesting system: water flowed from 2 or 3 artesian wells into shallow pools where it was warmed by the sun. Water then flowed over a small dam into the next pool and then finally into the main pool. Very environmentally friendly and economical as well. The first warming pool on the north side was called the Cold Plunge, and it definitely lived up to the name as the water was straight from the well, about 65 degrees.”  -Lanny Seals, Bartlesville, OK

The Daily ArdmoreiteNovember 4, 1946Roy Roger’s Wife PassesLos Angeles, Nov. 4 – Death Sunday claimed 32-year-old Arlene Rogers, wife of cowboy actor Roy Rogers, a week after the birth by Caesarean section of their third child, Roy Jr.Mrs. Rogers was in fine spirits at breakfast, hospital attendants reported, and talked by telephone with her film star husband.  But a few hours later she had a relapse.  Physicians summoned Rogers but she died an hour after his arrival.The child, doctors said, is progressing satisfactorily.The Rogers were married 10 years ago.  They met in Roswell, N. M., when he was on a radio program featuring the Mesquite Song Specialists, Sons of the Pioneers.”Their other children are daughters Cheryl, 6 and Linda Lou, 3.Roy Rogers cowboy movie star, was in Ardmore on Oct. 30 for the world premiere of “Home in Oklahoma.”  He arrived in the state two days before that event, was notified of his wife’s condition and had to fly hurriedly back to the coast to be at her bedside.  When she showed improvement he flew back to fill his engagement at Ardmore and Ada.

Happy Trails” by Dale Evans and Roy Rogers

Happy trails to you, until we meet again.
Happy trails to you, keep smilin’ until then.
Who cares about the clouds when we’re together?
Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.
Happy trails to you, ’till we meet again.

Some trails are happy ones,
Others are blue.
It’s the way you ride the trail that counts,
Here’s a happy one for you.

Happy trails to you, until we meet again.
Happy trails to you, keep smilin’ until then.
Who cares about the clouds when we’re together?
Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.

Happy trails to you, ’till we meet again.


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

All previous issues of This & That can be found on my Website.
Feel free to forward this free newsletter. Mailouts: over 1,600.
To be removed from my T&T mailings, just send me an email.
I do not sell, trade or give my mailing list to anyone for any reason.