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Vol 17  Issue 848 April 25, 2013

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

Over 100 years ago one of Ardmore’s pioneer doctors was A. J. Higgins, MD. Dr. Higgins and his family lived on E Street Northwest. His wife operated probably the first answering service in Ardmore.

The Daily Ardmoreite – July 25, 1947:   Dr. Higgins, came to Ardmore in 1890 and has been in Carter county ever since, recalls riding horseback in 1903 with a pair of physician’s saddle bags on the saddle five or six miles on cold, snowy and sleety nights to “deliver babies” in old log cabins by candlelight or an old kerosene lamp without any chimney and no one to help except a neighbor woman or two–and sometimes no one present except the woman and myself”
“Many times the husband was out hunting with only a neighbor to help me while the baby was born,” Dr. Higgins continued.
    “The fee at that time was $10–and if paid at all–was usually paid with corn at 25 cents a bushel, oats at 12 1/2 to 15 cents a bushel, dressed pork at 3 1/2 cents a pound, and everything else in proportion. My old books show that one man at that time owed me a big bill for those times and he delivered some 67 bushels of oats at 15 cents a bushel, 35 bushels of cotton seed at 10 cents a bushel, two hogs at $8, 112 bushels of corn at 25 cents a bushel, 333 pounds of dressed pork at 3 1/2 cents a pound, 100 pounds of flour for $1.50, and $40 in cash, and the man still owes me $96.30.”
    “The man still owes the $96.30,” Dr. Higgins continued, “but I expect he is in Heaven now because he died several years ago, but when I see him in Heaven when I go there, I do not intend to ask him for the money. However, I may ask him if he has any fresh pork to sell at 3 1/2 cents a pound.”
    “The time I have spoken of was what you hear people call the good old days, although people were really more happy and contented than they are today with all the modern conveniences surrounding them. At this time I am delivering babies for $50 in a well equipped hospital with all modern conveniences, surrounded with well trained graduate nurses to wait upon my every need and to look after the mother and baby.

Dr. Higgins developed his own liniment as a young man and his patients used it for many ailments.  He would only allow one pharmacy at a time to sell the ointment, first one pharmacy, then he switched to another after a period of time, thus allowing all the pharmacies of those days the right to sell his unique oil at one time or another. Today only one pharmacy has the formula, T&M Pharmacy at 12th and E Street Northwest.  I stopped by this week and the Trents fixed me up with a 2 ounce bottle. I always enjoy stopping in T and M Pharmacy and chatting with Mr. Trent. He is a wealth of Ardmore history.


How I first learned of Higgins Oil was from an old friend, Jerry Royall.  Jerry is no longer with us today, but his dad is 96 years old and swears by Higgins Cure Oil. Here is an email I received from Jerry back in 2002:

“I am not sure when Dr. H.A. Higgins started mixing the formula for Higgins Cure All but my dad says only one pharmacy at a time was allowed to compound it after Dr. Higgins stopped doing it himself. I think Martin’s drug was the first, then Clarence Fedler and finally T&M Pharmacy took over many years ago. I think it still costs $2 for a 2 ounce bottle. My dad buys it by the pint or quart so they usually have to make up a batch when he wants it. He uses it for sore throat, sun burn, chest colds and just to rub into a leg he injured while working at Tyler and Simpson in 1947. He and my grandparents put about a quarter tsp on their tongues when they’d get that itchy feeling in their throats. It states it is only to be used externally but my grandad was 80 and my grandmother was 92 when they passed away. My dad is 86 so I guess it is pretty safe. Since I have diabetes I rub it on the bottom of my feet and on my legs. It sure makes them feel better. You can taste it when you put it on the bottom of your feet. I don’t know how it works but I know it does.” -Jerry Royall

My first time to meet Jerry Royall was at the railroad crossing and North Plainview Road back around 1980. Someone crossed the center line and hit Jerry head-on at that crossing.  Thankfully Jerry was not hurt, and when we got him to the hospital he was treated and released.

And here is the strange twist to all the above.  About 10 years ago I mentioned in a newsletter about my Murphree kinfolks that lived in Ada when I was a teenager.  Jerry Royall emailed me to say he too was kin to the Murphrees that lived in Ada and we figured out that somewhere way back in time our family trees were connected. So that makes Nancy Miller (Jerry’s sister) at the court clerks office and Darrell Deatherage at the District 1 County Barn distant cousins. I lost count years ago at all the emails I’ve received from Readers since I started my newsletter how connections have been made because of some post or article in it. And when someone does share their story, it makes me proud to know my T&T brought people together.


Bill Dixon of Healdton shared a note his grandfather received from King George V of Windsor Castle in 1918.  It is a handwritten note with the king’s signature and embossed seal on both note and the letter. Quite a piece of history from nearly 100 years ago.


Dwane Stevens took this photo of the old Ringling, Oklahoma Depot in 1998.


Dwane Stevens shared this photo of the first train to pull into Healdton, Oklahoma.


Ardmore is one of the few cities in Oklahoma that has newspaper archives that go back before statehood. There are countless times I have referred to the Ardmoreite microfilm of a century ago for help in research, an invaluable tool to a history buff like myself.  Thank you Daily Ardmoreite!


Q.  What is the longest highway in Oklahoma?
A.   Highway 3.  Click here for map.

Q.  Two Oklahoma towns tie for the smallest towns in Oklahoma. What are they?
A.  (answer in next week’s T&T)

From This and That newsletter archives of April 22, 2000:

This week I had my first experience using Paypal.com and it was a most interesting concept. A reader emailed me $25 to go on the memorial stone using PayPal.
“Butch, Will you ask your many readers if they have any knowledge about a photography studio that was back in Oklahoma Territory & Indian Territory called Walpole’s Studio? Have an old photo of a relative taken by them…and Walpole’s Studio is stamped on the back of it. Just wondered if it was a permanent studio, or maybe one of the traveling kind. Thanks for your wonderful column each Saturday…it is a joy to see on the Mail list every Saturday morning…like getting a letter from an old friend.”
“I am  a granddaughter of Harris (Harry) Gaines, who was the janitor at the old Carter County Court House, where he had is first heart attack. The times we climbed those stairs and listened to the echo of our shoes hitting the steps and the voice of Granddad saying, “Be careful.” Looking up at what seemed the most beautiful sight–the rotunda. As a child of the fifties, that building and the old viaduct on fifth street northeast, which has burned since then, were my favorite places to walk with him.”
“On May 27, 1927, several young Carter County men were killed in an oil well explosion and fire in Sanford, TX. My great uncle Bryant Daniel, age 29, was one of those killed and my grandfather Claud Daniel was burned badly but he recovered. Most of the men came from Rexroat, Graham, Healdton, and they worked for the Blacky East Casing Crew out of Borger, TX. One newspaper report said that Bryant was married and had four children. He lived in Rexroat. I am asking for help in finding any of his descendents since I have never met any of them. There were six Daniel brothers in the county and there were three sisters who lived elsewhere. All of them are deceased now and I would love to find some new cousins to share info and stories. If any of your Readers know of any of the Daniel ancestors please have them contact me.”  -Del Daniel, grandson of Claud Daniel.  deldaniel41@sbcglobal.net
“On Friday, March 3, 2000 General Robert E. Lee’s boyhood home was CLOSED to the public after 30 years as a museum. The Lee-Jackson Foundation SOLD it to a multimillionaire couple as their private home, NOT open to the public. The sale was totally secret until it was a “done deal”. The house was never publicly on the market, and the millionaire buyer asked the Foundation to keep the sale confidential.”—————————————————-
“Hi Butch, man i had forgotten about the fifty cent coin rings. I made one of those in 1949 while in the navy. I do remember how sore my fingers got while holding that coin and pounding on it with the spoon. Someone asked me the other day if I knew when the water tower on north commerce was built, I didn’t. I’m sure you have written about this before but maybe you can refresh my memory.”
Q.  “Hi Butch. You are doing a heck of a job. I stumbled onto your website. Nice to find something on the web from near Home. I was raised at Loco, Oklahoma. In your search for places that are no longer, Where is Camp School? The only directions I can get are west of Pruitt City, OK or North of Pinto Store. No miles given in either case. Hope someone knows.”
A.  NW of Fox, Oklahoma.  “I have information on the Camp School for the reader who asked about it, last week. Camp School is located in the Northwestern part of Carter County. (Beginning at the West Cen. line of Sec. 15, 2 south and 3 west, thence west to the Stephens county line, thence north to west cen. line of sec. 31, thence east to the west cen. line of sec. 34, then south to west cen. line of sec. 15, point of beginning. The first building was a one room log structure, built by some of those hardy pioneers in territorial days. Some few years after, a small box building was erected. This was not going to meet the need of the growing community, so the good settlers with an ideal leader, Mrs. Kate Galt Zaneis, realized what Camp needed was ample room and equipment and capable teachers as the children in other districts enjoyed. Thus another room was annexed, offering one year of high school work. The Camp community has organized a Sunday School and Literary Society. Ball teams have been organized to develop the boys and girls physically as well as mentally and morally. I believe I can say upon authority that there is not another school in Carter County in our class that can defeat us in athletics, debating and spelling.”  -Robert Cecil Cavins, Principal.

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…..The Arbuckle Historical Society Museum is now open from 1:00 to 4:00 on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. It is located at 402 W. Muskogee in Sulphur just one block north of Broadway (Hwy 7). There may occasionally be temporary adjustments to the hours due to school field trips, so we suggest that you call first 580-622-5593. The Artists of the Arbuckles gallery is right next door, there are new shops down the street toward the hotel construction, a winery, and there is a bakery around the corner to the north on 3rd. Street and an additional gift shop to the south on the corner of 3rd. and Broadway. On 3rd. Street, you can also see a beautiful mural depicting Sulphur of the past. Don’t forget the Chickasaw Cultural Center west of town (turn south at Walmart). They have a nice cafe where you can have lunch. BUT come to the museum FIRST!! We have a quality two story museum filled with many interesting things.

The local flea market north of town on Hwy 177 is open on Sundays and is now officially known as Trades Day. It began as a Dog Trade years ago and long-time residents still call it that.A reader asked why the campground in the Platt National Park was closed. This is common practice during the winter months. Of the three campgrounds in Platt Historic District, I believe that Rock Creek Campground is open. It is on the west side of the park. Within Platt Historic District, be sure to see beautiful little Veteran’s lake with it’s hiking trail around the lake. Pray for rain, so that the springs will flow again! There are further camping sites at the Lake of the Arbuckles which is south of town down Hwy 177 about 5 miles, then west on Buckhorn Road several miles.

“Dear Butch, In your last newsletter someone wrote about a “Mad Stone” There are madstones. They are real. They do work. My grandparents had one. The story is that they bought it from an Indian. Also that it came from the brain of a white deer. It cured snake bites as well as maddog bites. Anyone with a need came to my grandparents. My grandparents never charged for the use of their madstone. I saw its use about 80 (yes eighty) years ago.  I was ten years old. A boy in the little town of Dougherty, Okla. where I lived was bitten by a maddog. My daddy immediately drove to Wapanucka to get the madstone. The boy who was bitten was brought to our house. My mother knew how to use the stone. The stone was (as I remember it) flat and round. Mother took a needle and scratched around the bite to make a raw spot. She boiled the stone in water. Then took it out and held it in a clean cloth until it had cooled enough so it would not burn when it was put on the bite. The stone stuck to the raw place until it drew out some of the poison. When it filled up, it fell off. This process was repeated until the stone no longer would stick on the boy.
He never had any effects of rabies.” -Wilda

Springer Annual Firemen?s Bar-B-Q ? Saturday ? May 11, 2013 ? 6 PM. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy the music after the meal. Please support our local volunteer firemen.

Hello Everybody:
     Hooray!  I came out ahead in Wednesday and Thursday’s Winstar action, but the details have to wait until I can give credit to those who enhanced our two fun days away from the clutter of daily routine.

     First, Jo and I enjoyed Winstar’s bounteous and free breakfast as always. If you like biscuits and gravy, which I had today — and they had a ton of each, served by the world famous Global Catering. Additionally, they offer all the many other choices to make this feast a chow-hound’s paradise — every Wednesday and Thursday beginning at 7:30 a.m. To be sure, it is free to all Seniors 55 and older; and to the uninitiated, you will be impressed.

     Next, The Highrollers rolled in with their usual free performance, great camaraderie, and rich assortment of music genre. Hey, they rang the rafters with polkas, Cajun, jazz, blues, western, country, big band era swing, boogie woogie, golden oldies, and some genre beyond my classifying ability. In other words, if you like good music, and who doesn’t, you’ll find something to like in The Highroller repertoire.  Mike Nicosia (keyboards, vocals) was absent with a kink in his sacroiliac on Wednesday, but he was replaced by the affable and very able Mark Cozart. Mark, (also a vocalist) is one piano playing dude. We enjoyed you, Mark, if by some chance you end up with a copy of this effort to relay our Winstar adventures. By the same token, we were relieved to see Mike, albeit with a back brace, standing at his station for Thursday’s performance. Dan (bandleader, bass guitar, vocals), you selected some great performance lists for the two days. Mario (saxophone, clarinet, flute) is one of the premier players of these instruments; it is our pleasure to hear him perform. Paul (percussionist)  from Mesquite (the town), keeps the beat, and otherwise holds down the back forty. Randy (guitar, vocals) need not take a backseat to anybody. He can do ‘Walk Like A Man’ with the best of them; notwithstanding, Stephanie and Dan can join in the chorus with no small effect. Today, Jo said: “When Randy did the Ray Charles number, ‘I Can’t Stop Loving You,’ a chill went up my arm.” Hey, that is some kinda’ tribute. Stephanie {vocals, Anime voice over, dancer, public-relations emissary, and just plain performer) sings all my favorite ‘blue’ songs: “Blue” and “Blue Bayou.” She incorporates the sounds of Patsy Cline, Linda Rondstadt, LeAnne Rimes, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and a couple other top stars. Dan introduces her, of course, as: “The greatest girl singer in the world — in her price range.” She is an artist, and it costs nothing for two hours of top entertainment.

     For the girls, Stephanie, on Wednesday, wore a flowered blouse over a pant suit, and wedges. Jo commented, a couple of times, on how attractive the  flower-decorated blous. On Thursday, Stephanie opted for a black body suit (I think) under a cranberry chiffon blouse with multiple lower ruffles, and boots. A three chain necklace completed her ensemble.

     Now to some serious business! Lady Luck has a way of changing our outlook on, who else, Lady Luck, and life in general. Fickle to the core, this Sprite can make you or break you. Last week, it was a down hill slide all the way, on both days. You’ve heard the old Hee Haw song, “If I had no bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.” Well, that was our lament last week.This week we’re singing a different tune: “Roll out the barrel, we’ll have a barrel of fun.” Truly, we had a barrel of fun. Wednesday, Jo and I, both, cleared about $80. Thursday, we could do no wrong. I think Jo wound up winner of about $180.(over the two days), and I discovered a machine just ready to pop and wound up the two days about $250 winner (more or less).

     Anyway, we will give Winstar a chance to take it away from us this next week. You can’t just take the money and run; besides, “God hates a quitter.” lol

Until next time,”  -Ben Winter

Q.  “On Tater Hill east of Ardmore I found some river rocks. My question was there ever a small river that ran from the top of the hill. I found the rocks in clay 2 feet down.”

A.  “Butch, I am not sure exactly where the “Tater Hill” is east of Ardmore you are referring to but in my work as a Soil Scientist I have seen many of the ridge tops in the area with river rocks on them, most were stream beds or delta streams in ancient times and these beds were more resistant to erosion and now occupy the higher part of the landscape. I am sure some Geologist could give a better explanation. Hope this sheds a little light on this mystery.” -Charlie Cail

Century Chest opened in Oklahoma City after 100 years.

Old black and white pictures taken around 1900. The sharpness of the pictures are amazing.

“A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.” – Frank Lloyd Wright (1868-1959)

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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