PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402 Email: [email protected] Phone: 580-490-6823
I hope everyone is making it through the Thanksgiving holidays without too much bloated feeling from the turkey and all the trimmings. With both of us holding steadfast to our Paleo Diet, our meal was pretty simple, delicious turkey breasts cooked in our Secura halogen oven, along with California mixed vegetables. Our desert consisted of dates and nuts. Even though it was a simple meal, we are happy and thankful, and it was delicious!
We went to Gainesville, Texas last Saturday looking for a memorial marker about the hanging of 40 people there in 1862. We did not find the memorial on the east side of Pecan Creek where the hanging took place as we thought, but learned later it had been moved to the Gainesville Zoo area on the west side of I-35 while construction crews are re-working the creek banks.
I talked to history buff Leon Russell of Keller, Texas last Sunday who has done a tremendous amount of research on the hanging, and he opened my eyes to the Gainesville lynching of 40 non-slave owners in 1862 by the Gainesville businessmen and community leaders (slave owners) and how for over 100 years it was a taboo topic, something never brought up. And to think I might have never been born had my non-slave owner great grandparents, Howard and Ada Carmon, from Pennsylvania had moved to Gainesville during the Civil War and lived there in 1862. Who knows, they might have been among those 40 hanged. They are buried at Fairview Cemetery in Gainesville. I am glad they moved to Gainesville afterthe Civil War ended.
The granite memorial marker mentioned above was to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the hangings. When the Texas State Historical Society learned about it, they had the marker made and hoped it would be placed at the actual site next to Pecan Creek, but the city leaders said no, they wanted nothing do to with it. So the marker was first placed out west of town where the zoo is now located (there was no I-35 in 1962).
At the urging of those interested in the maker being at the original site, Gainesville resident Collene Clark Carri purchased the property on the east side of Pecan Creek and the marker was moved there where it has been until recently when construction was started to widen Pecan creek to alleviate flooding problems.
I learned to late to attend, but on October 13, 2012 a commemorative event was held in Gainesville and drew descendants of those hanged from all over the U.S. At first the business leaders and City were going to be a part of the event, but backed out at the last minute. Leon Russell, born just a few miles east of Gainesville and the driving force all these years to see this injustice finally recognized, along with the book’s author mentioned above and others, were guest speakers at the event last month.
Leon told me about a book written in 1963 entitled Tainted Breeze by Richard McCaslin that covers this 1862 hanging in great detail at Gainesville. I found a used copy, in “barely used condition” on www.abebooks.com for $9 postage paid, so I had to ordered it. Can hardly wait to get to read it!
This is a map showing the exact location where the hanging took place. Its on the east side of Pecan Creek between California Street and Main Street of Gainesville.
This is the way the park looked last Saturday when we visited, lots of construction going on at present. I hope when the work is finished the marker is moved back to the park.
There is a geodetic surveying marker just south and west of Fox, Oklahoma, and I found this one mounted in the wall of the Gainesville depot.
I snapped this pic of a poster in the window of the depot showing the rental fees, etc.
Here is a sketch of Ardmore High School when it was under construction in 1912.
The Majestic Theater was located at 108 West Main in Ardmore not long after the turn of the century. Amelia Hunter was the theater’s manager. Amelia Hunter Hall would go on to be renown throughout the country for her theater and musical talents.
At one time the building where Smokin Joe’s BBQ is located on A NE (Caddo) was owned by Amelia’s mother, Ella Hunter (1864-1952). Ella’s name is in the native rock at the top of the building.
Tucker’s Tower at Lake Murray is named for Oklahoma State Senator Fred Tucker. Here’s a pic from the 1912 Ardmore criterion.
Walter Drew was the first carter county resident to die in action during WWI (The Great War). There is a bronze statue of Walter Drew in Rose Hill Cemetery in Ardmore. I ran across a picture of Walter as a young man at Ardmore High School in the 1912 criterion.
We’ve mentioned George Anderson several times through the years (the George R. Anderson Post 65).
The Daily Ardmoreite, January 16, 1919 – Four shade trees will be planted on the Ardmore high school grounds in memory of the four high school boys who made the supreme sacrifice in the world war, Lieut. George Anderson, Lieut. Walter Drew, Sergts. Earl Hignight and Earl Speake, by the High School Mother’s Club. This action was decided upon at a meeting held yesterday afternoon in the high school building. A committee comprising Bert Herman, Mrs Perry Maxwell and Mrs C. H. Everett was appointed for the purpose of carrying out the plans.
We’ve also talked about one of Ardmore’s pioneer physicians, Frederick Von Keller, in past issues. Some of you will remember the Von Keller hospital (opened in 1911) was located on North Commerce just southwest of the old Ardmore Adventist Hospital. When Dr. Von Keller came to Ardmore in 1894 his first office was in the Pennington Building in the SE corner of Caddo and Main. He later would open the first hospital 1898 (along with Dr. J.C. McNeese, and Dr. Robert Henry, Dr. Walter Hardy), the Ardmore Sanitarium, in the NW corner of Caddo and Main. I ran across a photo in the 1912 Ardmore criterion of Dr. Von Keller’s daughter, Beatrice Von Keller.
Oklahoma History Revisited by Larry Guthrie, Sulphur
Captain Randolph B. Marcy removed Camp Arbuckle from its original location southeast of Purcell on the Canadian River and established Fort Arbuckle on Wild Horse Creek, west of Davis, in 1851. The ruins of chimneys and the walks between barracks are still to be seen on the site of Fort Arbuckle. Initial Point, the point of origin for the Oklahoma survey of ranges, townships, and sections, is approximately one mile south of the fort.
From This and That newsletter archives of November 15, 1998:
A friend brought to my attention this week an Aumbry located inside the Episcopal Church here in Ardmore. Henry Kiker was the craftsman who created this work of art inside the church, used to contain consecrated elements left over from Holy Communion or Holy Eucharist.
“My mother had a very dear friend in Ardmore and I believe she is still living but when I was back I couldn’t find anything about her. She and her husband had a jewelry store on Main St for many years. I know he died and her son was killed in a car wreck back in the 50’s but I would like to know about her and maybe write her a note. Her name was Nettie Peden. The last I knew her sister Wilma was living with her. If anyone knows I would love to hear from them.” -Evelyn Barton
“Butch, what I knew was very little, since this happened 3 years before I was born, except what I had heard from my parents. But a few years ago my cousin, Bill Guess’s granddaughter was searching for information and in the process of me helping her I found a book written by a UT professor. I can’t recall the name of the author but the name of the book was “An Oklahoma Tragedy” published at UT of El Paso, Texas. It was very good and very fair. My uncle and Mr. Crosby, (a school mate of my Dad’s) were both found innocent. But the Governor (Bill Murray) was willing to offer them as a peace offering to Mexico. The whole thing was a sad mistake but Bill Guess shot in self defense. The account in the Ardmoreite was fair and accurate.”
“Among the many other observations you made in this last issue (Nov. 14, 1998), I was especially impressed with your Tribute to Charles M. Dibrell. When I was around 12 or 13 years of age I experimented with all things that seemed to interest me. I was involved with the construction of a homemade crystal set radio at that time & when I had completed it, I discovered that we were almost out of range with any radio station – although I could sometimes pick up a radio station beamed from near DelRio Texas or perhaps a faint signal from a station in Dallas or Ft Worth. All reception was very faint but on occasion I would receive one side of a ham radio signal that was coming from a little building in the 800 block of C street N.W. & was being broadcast by Mr. Dibrell. Then one day in 1936 a radio station was opened in Ardmore with the call letters of KVSO. As I remember it, the Daily Ardmoreite announced that the station would go on the air at 6 A.M – I was standing by that fateful morning & sure enough when the transmitter went to work I was there to hear it.- what a thrill. The crystal set radios we made back then actually had a mineral crystal with a cat whisker which was used to place on a sensitive spot for better reception. I think a cathode later was used to replace the mineral crystal. To this day I am not sure what the old crystal mineral was made of, yet it appears to be a natural substance. Maybe you can inform me.”
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…..“We are still trying to find a photograph of Bill Washington and his Chickasaw wife.” -Herman Kirkwood
Springer Christmas Parade ? Saturday ? December 8, 2012
Open to antique cars, bikes, ATV, floats, walkers and horse groups. Entry fee is one new unwrapped toy. If you want to participate in the parade, please meet in the Springer School parking lot on the South side at 12:30 PM and the parade will start at 1:00 PM. Volunteers are welcome and greatly appreciated. Come and enjoy the parade and join everyone at the Community Center for refreshments after the parade.
“Hello Butch. Hope you are doing well. I haven’t been out much over past five months due to taking care of my 91 year old mother after a stroke. I enjoyed the T&T article about the old locomotive over in Ardmore. I have often wondered who is responsible for the upkeep on the locomotive? It seems to be in rather bad condition with rust showing through the paint in many places. Since it is a real part of the history of Ardmore I would think the City of Ardmore should see that it is better taken care of. I noticed in the 1955 photo the stack appeared to be painted silver and the rest of the engine black with silver accents. It would be great if the City could do a professional restoration on this including a high quality and period accurate paint job.” -Jon
Hey Butch, I was just makin my last tour outside of this beautiful day and I seen my wife’s roses still blooming after the Frost killing temperatures we have had. And It brought back another one of my memories. When I was still in junior high school, my teacher, Ms. Hantorne, asked us to memorize a poem and then we were to stand before the class and recite the poem. I have no idea why I chose this poem. Apparently it was a good one, as she gave me an A+ for that semester. -Ken at Wilson
The Last Rose of Summer by Thomas Moore (1779?1852)
?Tis the last rose of summer
Left blooming alone;
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone;
No flower of her kindred,
No rosebud is nigh,
To reflect back her blushes,
To give sigh for sigh.
I?ll not leave thee, thou lone one!
To pine on the stem;
Since the lovely are sleeping,
Go, sleep thou with them.
Thus kindly I scatter
Thy leaves o?er the bed,
Where thy mates of the garden
Lie scentless and dead.
So soon may I follow,
When friendships decay,
And from Love?s shining circle
The gems drop away.
When true hearts lie withered
And fond ones are flown,
Oh! who would inhabit
This bleak world alone?
See everyone next week!
Butch and Jill Bridges
PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443
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Ardmore High School Criterions Online
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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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