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Vol 17  Issue 863 August 8, 2013

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

I had a request this week inquiring if anyone has info on a William “Bill” Oakes? Oakes was a Kansas real estate man from whose part in the run of the eighty-niners made him a wealthy man. If anyone has info on Mr. Oakes, let me know.

The old Tom Tipps Furniture store building at #7 East Main was demolished last week. Back in around 1950 it was the Globe Theater. The Ritz (later named the Park Theater) was located at 117 West Main.



Here is a picture of the old Royal Theater (this would be before it was the Ritz/Park).


Former Ardmoreite George Davis sent in a photo this week of the old Park Theater at 117 West Main.  One can see the movie “The Trapp Family” was a German docudrama about the von Trapp family singers was showing that day. Mary Martin saw it and went to Rodgers and Hammerstein and the result was “The Sound of Music”, first a Broadway musical then a motion picture in 1965.


The old Longhorn Diner of Lone Grove closed last week. But I’ve heard through the grapevine it may re-open soon with a new owner.


At Freedom, Oklahoma: Labor Day 2013 marks Alabaster Caverns 60th birthday and we?re having a Birthday Bash?all weekend longgggggggg!!!

Beginning Saturday, August 31, we will have 1950?s games for everyone to enjoy. How long has it been since you played hopscotch or four-square; jacks or marbles? Bring your little ones out (and not so little ones) and introduce them to games that don?t involve a keyboard or joystick!!! We?ll have 1950?s movies and cartoons playing during the day in our Clubhouse Pavilion and Movie Star and Sport Star Trivia games for those interested. That evening we have Lantern Tours of the Caverns (by reservation only) and come and enjoy music by northwest Oklahoma?s own ?Double D? beginning at 8:00 pm.

Sunday?s activities will include 1950?s games and movies, a Professor Nature and Jimmy Whodunnit magic show for the young and the young-at-heart. Being that this is the park?s actual birthday-day, we will have free hotdogs for the first 250 people from 11 am until 1 pm and of course free birthday cake and ice cream beginning at 3:00 pm for the first 250 people.

Monday?s activities include 1950?s games and movies.

Still haven?t decided about coming out for a visit? How about if we roll the ticket prices for the Cavern tours back to the 1950?s price of $1.20 per person all weekend long!!! That?s right, a family of four can tour the Cavern for less than five dollars!!! The tours will begin at 9:00 am with the last tour leaving the building at 5:00 pm. There will be no reservations for these tours?first come, first serve, so come early and stay late!!!

As a side note, if you are one of those folks that like to work on 1950?s cars and motorcycles as well as show them off, give us a call and we?ll make room for you to bring out your ?baby? for the day or the weekend so everyone can see your efforts!!!

For more information, please call the Alabaster Cavern park office at 580-621-3381 or email us at alabastercaverns@travelok.com

The paver project on the west side of the courthouse now has close to 70 bricks installed with the names of employees who retired through the OPERS system since 1970. I still need help in finding information of a few people.


In last week’s T&T I mentioned my uncle Don Bridges was seeking info on his grandpa who he thought was murdered in Addington, Oklahoma.  Seems he did find out, and his grandfather was killed near Frost, Texas.  If he told me, I guess I forgot, so here is a summary on Don’s find:

THE BRIDGES KILLING: A compilation of news articles from the Dallas Morning News, the Daily Times Herald, and the Houston Post reported that on Wednesday 26 May 1897 at about 4 o?clock in the afternoon near the Post Office at Frost, 21 miles from Corsicana on the Cotton Belt Railroad., Robert William Bridges was shot twice with a shotgun and four times with a pistol by Willie R. Cain, causing Bridges to die instantly. Cain was identified as a grocery merchant at Frost, and brother-in-law of the deceased. The ?family problem? arose as a result of Bridges having been previously married to a sister of his wife Drusey. Drusey had returned to Frost, taking their four children with her. She filed for divorce on 22 May 1897, and when the divorce citation reached her husband in Indian Territory, he immediately departed for Frost, reaching there on 26 May. There were 32 holes in the body of Bridges, with one ball passing directly through the heart. Physicians said that any of the shots would have produced death. Sheriff Alien arrested Cain at Frost and Cain posted $1,000 bond. An inquest by Justice Wilkinson of Blooming Grove determined that Bridges met his death at the hands of Cain. Both parties were members of prominent families residing at and near Frost, and the remains of Bridges were to be interred nearby, where his mother and other relatives resided.

Q.  Which Oklahoma City area institution of higher learning is the alma mater of Kristin Chenoweth, Leona Mitchell and Ernest Istook?
A.  Oklahoma City University

Q.  Who was the first African-American to be elected judge in Oklahoma?
A.  (answer in next week’s T&T)

From This and That newsletter archives of August 7, 1999:

Corner of Grand and Main Street in 1908 of Frederick, Oklahoma.
The Sapulpa, Oklahoma Depot about 1920.
At noon Monday, January 14, 1974 a southbound Amtrak passenger train jumped the track at the depot here in Ardmore. Myself  (Butch Bridges) and Bill Lewis were on duty at the ambulance service. When we arrived at the station, several of the cars were off the track and tilting at a 45 degree angle toward to east. The cars would have completely fell over on their side, except they were held in this precarious position by those cars that were still upright on the rails. The thing I remember most working that accident was how everything was leaning so when we were inside the cars, that both myself and Bill Lewis developed equilibrium problems. Weird. We had to break windows out of the passenger cars and extricate the victims on spineboards out the windows to waiting rescuers. This is a photo of some of those helping with the rescue, including District Attorney Investigator Wayne Warthen, City Electrician James Blalock, and Respiratory Therapist Bill Allen of the Ardmore Adventist Hospital. Also there was my co-worker Joe Pack of the ambulance service, but on this day he was working part-time at the Ardmore Hospital in Respiratory Therapy and responded with a second ambulance.
Four old photos of Waurika, Oklahoma, the rattlesnake capital of the world. The pics are: $5000.00 Steel Bridge Crossing Big Beaver to Sycamore Heights Addition to Waurika, OK. Cotton Compress, Waurika, OK. Stuard Opera House in Waurika, OK. and the Scene on Capitol Hill, Waurika, OK.

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…..

“This is a picture of my Uncle and Aunt on Ardmore’s Main Street years ago in front of Martin-Fedlers pharmacy.”  -Betty Dighton

Legend states that as the sun came up on a bitterly cold morning in January 1870, a sentry patrolling the grounds around Fort Gibson in the Indian Territory discovered the body of one of the fort’s troopers, young private Thomas, lying dead across a grave in the cemetery near the fort.


“My invention the PawPull has made it past the first stage of Walmart?s Get On The Shelf! It now moves on to the Audition Round, where online voting will help show the judges how much public support the PawPull has. Please vote for the PawPull. Vote once every day during August 2013. The PawPull is manufactured in Mena, Arkansas. If you would like to receive a brief daily email during August reminding you to vote, please reply to this email and I will add you to the list. Please help me get the word out and get votes for the PawPull. Thank you!”  -Laura

“Hi Butch, Wayne Mitchell here. My sister, Mary Pollard, has a couple of plots in the Garden of the Good Sheppard section of Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery there in Ardmore, that she would like to sell, the asking price is $650.00 but may be negotiable to some degree. If you could, would you please post this in the newsletter. If anyone is interested, they can contact me at cherokeekowboy@yahoo.com and I can put them in touch with either my sister or the gentleman at the cemetery. Thanks.” -Wayne

“I am starting up a business at The Wellness Center in Ardmore. We have purchased a laser. This laser will do tattoo removals, hair removals, hair reduction, age spots, acne scarring, toe nail fungus removal, plus many more things as well. I am just trying to get the word out! People travel all over to get these things done and hopefully they will see it can be done right here at home and not only save on gas but the treatments as well!!  If anyone has questions please give me a call!!” -Kaci Hill 1001 15th Ave NW, Ardmore, Oklahoma (580) 223-3737

“Literature should not be suppressed merely because it offends the moral code of the censor.” -Justice William Douglas

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges
Ardmore Oklahoma
PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443

Carter County Courthouse Paver Project
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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
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Carter County Government Website
Ardmore School Criterions

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