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Vol 16  Issue 816     September 13, 2012

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

Something has been bothering me for 6 years. Back in 2005 I started a project to replace the broken and deteriorating confederate grave markers at Rose Hill cemetery here in Ardmore, Oklahoma. Some were in such bad shape the inscriptions were unreadable and missing info. About 25 out of 80 needing replaced (about 50 were replaced in 2006), I was unable to do so. Now with ancestry.com and other sources of info that were not available in 2006, and the help of the Sons of Confederate Veterans organization, I’m ready to try again. I hope this time we can finish the job.


I was contacted by the grandson of Thomas Seale this week, and Thomas Seale’s grave marker in the confederate section is one of those in need of repair.  His will be the first one I’ll make at the start of this Phase 2.


The second line of Seale’s marker was unreadable and why I didn’t make a new maker in 2006.  This week I did a rubbing with pencil and paper and the 2nd line came through fine.  Co A

Thomas L. Seale
Co A    <—– became visible through the rubbing.
14th Miss Cav
May 31, 1847
Aug 4, 1939

The good part is I’ll be able to make the new markers with the money left over from the 2006 project, thanks to a lot of people and organizations who donated to make it possible.

This is a video of the Cooper Farms building at West Broadway and K Street SW that burned in 1982. Kathy Conry interviews Fire Chief Pete Middleton in that ’82 video.


This Friday, Saturday and Sunday (14th, 15th, 16th) the Murray County Antique Tractor and Implement Show will be holding its 19th annual event.  The even is held just north of Sulphur on Highway 177.  We have been to several and its one of the best farm and tractor shows in southern Oklahoma. According to weather reports rain is predicted all 3 days, so it may be a wet one. I hope not, we sure enjoyed the ones we attended.


Here is a link to their website with all the details and info….


Nursing Homes Ardmore, Oklahoma 1960:
Bryant Nursing Home 1114 6th NE
D & H Nursing Home 1630 3rd NE
Walker Nursing Home 16 1st SE

Machinist/Machine Shops Ardmore, Oklahoma 1960
Murphey Machine Supply 205 Mill SE
Rogers Machine Co 17 A SE
Shuman Machine Co 120 South Washington
Sies Machine 106 East Broadway

Back around 1957 my grandfather Stanley Carmon was building a house for Marzee Douglass at 117 I Street NE.  My grandfather built a number of homes around Ardmore and Marzee asked to him to build a house for him.  I remember it being so hot that year.  After they poured the slab, we’d go there around 4pm every day just to wet the new slab, so it would not cure too quickly.  About halfway through the construction, Marzee told my grandfather he had no place to stay, and if he brought a couch to put in the living room, could he sleep there during the construction.  My grandfather said that is ok.  I saw Marzee several times a week during the next month or two.  And even in later years when I’d see him, we’d talk about that time.  Marzee Douglass was one of the finest men I’ve ever known.  He was a teacher, educator and civic leader in this area and I will never forget him.  Here is a picture of that house on I Street NE.


This is Marzee’s obituary from The Daily Ardmoreite along with a photo of him.


Took a little time, but I’ve got all the past District Attorneys photos on the webpage.


I have also been researching Carter county clerks since 1907 and updated that webpage with a list of past Clerks.


Oklahoma History Revisited by Larry Guthrie, Sulphur

Question:  What railroad was the first to enter Oklahoma?

Answer:  1. 1870 the Missouri, Kansas and Texas completed its line across the Kansas border, the first railroad to enter Oklahoma. The government has offered a grant of every other section of land for a distance of five mile on both sides of the right of way to the road that first reached the territory. Three companies were in the race and the Katy won.

2. The Katy first ran as far as Vinita. In 1871 it reached Muskogee, and in 1872 operated across the Red River into Texas. The second road into Oklahoma, the Alantic and Pacific, now the Frisco, crossed the Missouri border through the Wyandotte reservation and built to a junction with the Katy at Vinita in 1872.

3. The building of the Katy railroad across Indian Territory led to the opening of Oklahoma?s first coal mines. Co., J. J. McAlester, then a young man interested in coal development, opened a general store at the cross roads where the city of McAlester now stands. When the railroad reached there in 1872, surface mining was started.

4. Royalty was paid on each ton to the Choctaw people who claimed the mines. The Choctaw governor, Cole, was opposed to the operation and ordered McAlester and his three partners seized and shot. The four escaped and later when the Indians realized the benefits in the way of money and school aid, the enterprise received official sanction.

From This and That newsletter archives of September 12, 1998:

One reader wrote in and mentioned the old Ardmore Zoo that was just south of the Hardy Murphy Coliseum here in Ardmore. I remember going there as a child, and personally, I’m glad it’s gone. The animals looked so sad. Here’s a pic of the monkey cage.
“Don’t talk to me about hot. Why, back in the “dust bowl” days of Oklahoma, it got so hot that the ears of corn on the stalks started to pop. The horses thought it was snow and some of them froze to death.”
“Back in the mid 40’s we lived just outside of Seminole, Ok. We had a push mower of which my dad decided to make a power mower out of it. He electrified it. Somehow he mounted an electric motor on the mower with a belt that drove the rotating blades. He bought the longest extension cord in Okla. And it worked. There were a few problems. One you always had to watch out for the cord so you wouldn’t cut it up and electrocute yourself. Another the mower was so heavy a grown man could hardly push it and cut a straight row. As I said it worked, but not the very best.”
“I really enjoy reading your T&T every week. I really remember the Cooper Farms fire for you see I was an Ardmore fire fighter and it was my first major fire, it was sad to me because right to the west where McDonalds is now is where I met and married my wonderful bride of 28 years. Do you remember the large two story house that set there where McDonalds is now. And also it is where we had held Gene Autry Schools JR & SR Banquets in 1967 & 1968”  -Doug Williams

Update 9/11/12  “It was Scheryl’s 2 story house that she lived in and we were married there. Shortly after we got married it was sold and moved south on Cheek road about 4 miles. Her dad had an upholstery shop in a garage in the back. We always tell people that we got married at McDonalds.” -Doug Williams
“I was interested in a letter that someone wrote you and asked about the downtown stores of ages past. I can remember going to the Woolworth Store and sitting in the booth with friends and watch the people go by. A wonderful ice cream treat called Tulip Sundae was served there. We would sit in the booth for hours being entertained by the unsuspecting folks walking by. I will never forget the Kress store. I would go in there on Saturday to the candy counter, (after first going to the back and looking at the alligators in the fish tanks) and buy 10 cents worth of chocolate covered peanuts. The sales person would carefully weigh out the candy, and put it in a small white sack. But for 10 cents, there was enough candy to just about make you sick!”
“Why not write something about the Ardmore Zoo? Remember that? And if you do, do you remember that poor coyote that paced back and forth in a very, very small cage? I think that sort of traumatized me seeing that pitiful sight!”

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 came across your newsletter looking for information about Gene Coxey, who at one time was owner of Coxey Sporting Goods. Is Gene was still around Ardmore?”  -Michael Gold

“A slight correction:  It is correct that the Justice of the Peace office was abolished, along with the County Court. However, the JP was replaced by the position of Special Judge. Earl Brown was the first Special Judge in Carter County. He was followed by Luster Cook, me, Mike Hisey, Bebe Bridges, Charles Tate, and now Thomas Baldwin. As an FYI, I was the first, and only, person in this judicial district to hold all three judicial positions – Special Judge, Associate District Judge and District Judge. The District Attorney replaced the County Attorney.”  -Tom Walker

Hi Butch, After reading your story on the man and his spudder rig, I pulled up an interesting site on the Fort Worth Spudder Rig. Showed many different rigs that have been used over the years. I enjoyed for I have seen years ago one of the old spudders drilling. We have a son that is a water well driller here in Texas and Oklahoma. http://www.bassettdrilling.com/

After my husband, Joel, read your article and saw the old spudders he told of an article from Australia a year or so ago describing the discovery of a spudder rig that had been lost due to the migration of a large sand dune. The winds of nature had recently uncovered the truck mounted rig, the tires were up, the workers tin lunch boxes were in the cab of the truck. It was believed the truck had been covered for seventy years. The rig is in a water well drilling museum now. Many thanks to you for your weekly news. My family enjoys reading the old history of Oklahoma. Joel and I belong and work with the Grayson County Historical Society.”  -Jeri Bassett

“Did you know that September is National biscuit month? I didn’t either.  But this morning I was baking canned biscuits in my Rave oven and I had a recall when I was first introduced to canned biscuits.  Although they have been around since the early 30’s, My Dad, found them in the old Red Bud store in Anadarko sometime in the late 50’s.  They were called Ballard Biscuits and came 10 to a can. And the cost was a staggering price of .10 cents a can or 3 cans for a quarter.  In preparing breakfast for us, I can see Him now opening a can and patiently counting out the 10 for baking. He always thought it was a gift from heaven, when he would occasionally get 11 in a can.  After baking he would butter and line up 6 or 8 biscuits on the rim of his plate. Course these were small biscuits. Not like the old “Cat head biscuits” your mother used to make. (Cat head biscuits, that’s a whole other story)  Very seldom were there any of his biscuits left over for the rest of the day.”  -Ken @ Wilson

“In last weeks newsletter you had an article about the Epperson family and it brought back fond memories to me.  When they had the Club Willow it was the place to go if you liked to dance and loved country music… both of which I thoroughly enjoyed. All of the stars of that era played there…. George Jones, Faron Young, Webb Pierce. Bob Wills, Ernest Tubb, and many more. Hank Williams was supposed to be there in November 1952…. he made it to the parking lot but they couldn?t get him out of the car. Then he died New Years Eve 1953. One night they had a jitterbug contest with a lot of couples entered. As we danced they had judges going around on the floor eliminating people. It finally got down to two couples… Frank ?Chief? Stribling and myself and Joe Elles and Shirley Epperson… Chief and I won!!! We really thought we were something!! LOL If anyone has any pictures of Club Willow (inside or outside) I would love to see them. Thank you for allowing me to share this memory!” -Nona

“Mrs. Arrington was one of my teachers when I was in the 7th grade at AJHS in 1969-1970. And my brother & I grew up across the street from Thurman Thomason & his family. I was closer in age to his late brother, Mark. Went to church with Don Ray (a pastor now, who spoke at my Aunt Carol Jagers’ funeral a couple of weeks ago) and brother Paul Lynn in the 70’s.”  -Kathi Pritchard George

“I was at OK Iron and Metal last Friday. There was an old ‘bell’ a top a big orange tank. Looked like one side of the support beam was broken. Couldn’t tell much about it from where I was at. Don’t know if you might be able to buy it or not. Just thought of you when I saw it. ” -Johnnie

“Butch, I discovered these Oklahoma Territorial Corporation records online and I was wondering if you already knew they were available.” -Daniel

The Hook Nine Ranch in the Indian Territory by Ellsworth Collings

If you want to download the Hook Nine Ranch story as a Wordpad file (.doc) you can do so from this link.


“Here is a web site that could provide endless memories. It is searchable, so who knows what you may find.”  http://www.reminisce.com/

“Butch I got a letter Sandra Haney Tedford today and we both do grave research on a site called www.findagrave.com . Somebody here in this area we think goes by the name of ‘stone seeker’ and has done a wonderful job of posting a lot of deaths from this area but has not been active lately. Any of your readers that might know this person please get ahold of me.”  dougwilliams@cableone.net

“Tricia caught the moose in front of our house this week. The first photo is of baby moose and Josh Tobey’s bronze, Disciple of the Bear. The second photo is mama and baby moose having breakfast. The cooler weather brings the moose to lower altitudes. Our house is at 7,600 feet. We had our first frost at the beginning of the week.” -Monroe Cameron


Rain Drops Keep Falling by B.J. Thomas (born in Hugo, Oklahoma in 1947)

So I just did me some talkin’ to the sun
And I said I didn’t like the way he got things done
Sleepin’ on the job
Those raindrops are fallin’ on my head, they keep fallin’

But there’s one thing I know
The blues they send to meet me won’t defeat me
It won’t be long till happiness steps up to greet me


See everyone next week!
Butch and Jill Bridges

PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443

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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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