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Vol 17  Issue 867  September 5, 2013

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

When I went to work at the ambulance service in Ardmore on August 1, 1970 I remember walking over to the old Dr. Frederick vonKeller Ardmore Hospital building; The closed hospital was located on the west side of the ambulance service (12th NW and North Commerce) behind Ardmore Adventist Hospital.  It was kind of spooky looking inside the darkness.


Back in 2005 I received the following email from the great granddaughter of Dr. vonKeller:

“Dr. vonKeller and his associates did so much for Ardmore and surrounding areas providing health care and surgery to anyone in need whether they could pay or not. Not only did Dr. vonKeller build the first hospital in Ardmore Indian territory providing care to all (even to black people whom he sheltered and hid) who were not ‘allowed’ to receive care in ‘white hospitals’. His philanthropy along with those of his ‘pioneer doctor’ associates who traveled by horseback and wagon to care for those in need have somehow been neglected to be recognized by any kind of memorial for their generous contributions to the growth and welfare of the area.”  -gretchen hart-vonKeller

And a few days later this email followed:

“Dear Butch, I am writing in response to a Gretchen wanting to find someone who knew her g-grandfather, Dr. Von Keller. I want her to know that Dr. Von Keller was our family doctor. Those were the days when doctors made house calls and delivered babies at homes of his patients. He was a dear, dear caring man. He delivered all my mother’s five daughters (the Stonum girls) with his Irish nurse, Miss McCabe, assisting him. He owned the “Von Keller Hospital,” a large, red-brick building. He and his family had a large home right next to the hospital. I do remember he had a daughter and I believe her name was Helen. She was older than I, and I believe she was the age of my older sisters. I am now eighty-six years old. I remember when my younger sister, Mary Frances, was born. I was around five years old at that time. Our old cook Lilly had taken my sister Lena and me next door to our Aunt Lena and Uncle Will Potter’s house because it was time for mother’s baby to arrive. As we watched out the front library window of Aunt Lena’s home we saw Dr. Von Keller running up the front walk with his satchel and his nurse running behind him. I remember one of my older sisters saying that mother’s baby was in the satchel. He was German and spoke with a definite accent, and Miss McCabe was Irish and also sounded different. She was always attired in her starched white nurse’s headdress with a big red cross on it. Her navy blue, rather long cape also had a big red cross on it. I remember other things about him too, because I had very bad asthma as a child and he was at our home quite often. I spent one year out of school around the 2nd or 3rd grade and was in his hospital off and on. I really loved him as a child; he came by to see and visit me frequently. He was a dedicated humanitarian and a brilliant man. God bless you.  -Tweed Stonum Machock

This is a 1960 list of apartments to rent in Ardmore.


There sure were a lot more auto repair businesses in Ardmore in 1960.


A photo of the 3 Carter county commissioners in office in 1915.


A photo of Creek Indian Fred Beaver in 1976 with his painting Eagle Dancer.


Photo of Ardmore’s water water plant at north edge of Ardmore, Indian Territory in 1902.


I switched from a Straight Talk no-contract smart phone that used Verizon towers (I didn’t know it in the beginning) to a Straight Talk no-contract phone that used AT&T towers.  A world of difference.  Here’s the whole story……


Today there was a large crane between the Annex 1 and Annex 2 buildings installing a new air conditioning unit on top of Annex II next to the courthouse.  The old a/c unit didn’t make it through the heat wave the past few weeks. We sure need some rain.



Q.  What is Red Dirt music?
A.  Red Dirt Music is a music genre that gets its name from the color of soil found in Oklahoma. Although Stillwater, Oklahoma is considered to be the center of Red Dirt music, there’s a Texas Red Dirt sound as well. Outlaws, Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson are associated with the distinctive Texas sound the way Bob Childers defines Oklahoma Red Dirt music. At one time the distinction between the two genres was obvious, but by 2008 that gap had diminished.

Q.  On March 26, 1930, the “Wild Mary Sudik” spewed oil for how long?
A.  (answer in next week’s T&T)

From This and That newsletter archives of September 4, 1999:

Last week I told about Love county Deputy Sheriff Walter Tate being killed in the line of duty in 1917. I went to Oswalt last Saturday and found his grave. South of Ardmore about 12 miles on I-35 is the Oswalt Road exit. If you go west about 11 miles you find the intersection of Oswalt Road and Hembree Road. Turn north and go about 1/4 mile curving back to the west is Oswalt cemetery. I found Walter Tate’s tombstone near the south end of the cemetery. His marker was not resting on it’s base, but was laying flat on the ground. I asked myself how could I get his marker back to it’s base. A couple days later at a local auto parts house, and met Mrs. Mary Wilson, owner of Wilson Monuments in Lone Grove, Oklahoma. I told her the story and she ask me to draw her a map where Walter Tate is buried. She said they had a monument to sit in Leon, Oklahoma and would drop back by Oswalt cemetery and repair Deputy Tate’s tombstone free of charge.
Just NW of Lawton, Oklahoma is the small town of Mountain Park. The United Methodist Church at Mountain Park has a nice bell mounted beside their church building.
In 1883 an English colony was incorporated near Harper, Kansas and was known as Runnymede. It was named after the Runnymede in England (the famous place where King John signed the Magna Carta 1215). Ten years later, in 1893, the colony of Runnymede would be moved from Kansas to Alva, Oklahoma. Here is a photo of the present day Runnymede building in Alva. The citizens there are discussing converting it into a Cultural Center.
The Carter County Clerks’ Office here is now doing some high tech file transmissions via modem. The county barn at Healdton (western Carter county) is transmitting daily by telephone modem their Purchase Orders to the clerk’s office for processing. This saves an employee at the Healdton barn the 50 mile round trip to hand deliver the POs to the courthouse. It’s working flawlessly!
“Butch, I am sending you a copy of a letter received in your this week’s T&T – It is of particular interest to me because I was the State Senator that caused the road on the east side of Lake Murray to be completed from the Old Rock Tower site to it tie in with what is now HW 70 east. I took a map of Lake Murray & presented it to the State Highway Commission, along with my proposed route drawn on it to show where the road should be excavated & completed…. I should mention that I knew the Paschall’s well & it was through inspiration from them that motivated me to pursue the effort. By the way, the route was charted by flying over the area with a helicopter. The Superintendent of Lake Murray, Junior Dobson, actually drafted the route as he flew over the area with the helicopter pilot.” Ernest Martin

—————————————————-I want to dedicate this issue to, who in my opinion, was truly a Princess of Hearts. There has been no lady in this generation that equals Princess Diana. She lost her life August 31, 1997 and is still missed around the world. She was and still is, the people’s Princess.

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…..

Growing up in rural Seminole my friends and I ran free in the woods. We kept noticing flying squirrels flying from tree to tree. We were bound and determined to catch some. We came upon the idea of building a trap, similar to the old style rabbit trap.


only on a smaller scale. After building the traps, we would climb trees and set them in branches and bait them with pecans. It wasn’t long before we had caught several. My friend had a screened in front porch so we would release them on his porch. We soon learned that we needed to wear leather gloves as they could bite and bring the blood to our hands. I still have a few scars. We eventually tamed them enough that we could carry them in our shirt pockets,. They would really snuggle down in the pocket on a bib of overalls.

After capturing a few we decided to take them to school and sell them to other kids. We were quite successful. At 50 cents a piece we became “rich” over night.

But soon the squirrels became leery of the traps and trapping them became scarce.

Meanwhile my friend had found a dead rat that was multi colored. We had never seen one like this before. And since we were running short of squirrels, I took the rat to school and sold him to an unsuspecting kid. I gave him a deal, Since the rat was not feeling well and appeared to be sickly, I cut him a deal for 25 cents.

So there you have it. Some things a kid will do for entertainment.”  -Ken @ Wilson

William Fossett was a marshal in the Oklahoma territory in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Kingfisher’s Chisholm Trail Museum is chronicling his life in a new permanent exhibit.

Huge concrete arrows strategically located from east to west across the U.S.


“Butch, I always enjoy checking the newsletter every Thursday evening. I was just wondering if any of the readers may remember the name of the little motel on twelfth street where Citizens Bank now sits? I remember it back in the early sixties.”  -Frank

Q. “the bus station in seminole oklahoma made great hamburgers but have been closed for a few years, I recently heard they are reopened but unsure by who and havent been able to go eat there—if its the same owners and cooks you should be impressed…..also the catfish roundup by I-40 at seminole exit also makes a good burger…and finally the brown derby in shawnee is consistently the best old fashioned hamburger you can find in shawnee…. if the bus stations burgers in seminole or like they use to be it will take you back in time to how a burger tasted no matter where you stopped… back in the day every one could make a great burger….but by far the best burgers in oklahoma were made by my grandma when she was alive and thats what I judge all burgers against….enjoyed reading your burger site.”

A.  As to the inquiry re. the Seminole Bus Station, just asked a friend of mine who lives in Seminole, she states that the Bus Station is indeed open and has awesome hamburgers…thought you might like to know. -Bob Gates

“I was at a funeral of a close friend in Love County last week and had several people asking where they can get a copy of my book, “The Red River Prosecutor.” They were also talking about your This and That Newsletter and the stories about the Brown Springs Cemetery in my book and your Newsletter. My book can be purchased directly from the Publisher, Galde Press, Inc., whose toll free number is 1-800-777-3454. Also, The Bookseller book store in Ardmore, should have it or can order it.” -Ken Bacon

Historic Boley, Oklahoma was founded by Blacks long before statehood. The town would play an important role to the railroad and the locomotives that traveled between Prague and Okemah, Oklahoma that needed water every 6 miles.


See everyone next week!

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

Carter County Courthouse Paver Project
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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