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Vol 17  Issue 878 November 21, 2013

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

Thought I would revisit my visit in May 2002 to the basement of the Colston Building at Main and A SW in Ardmore.  Not too many years ago it was called the Little Building, and before that Simpson Building.  The building was built in 1918 and some of the original equipment is still in the basement. The 6 story building was Ardmore?s first attempt at building a skyscraper office building. The building was purchased by Quintin Little and Carrie Lou Little in 1949, who renamed it the Little Building. The Little family did extensive interior remodeling and utility upgrades in 1968 ? 1969. Subsequently, in 1975, the building was acquired by The Colston Corporation, with stockholders being Bob Colston and Thomas C. Jobe. The building was later renamed the Colston Building.

The Simpson building was a project of Ardmore oil man Roy M. Johnson and Burton A. Simpson. Roy Johnson was Carter County Commissioner back in 1920 and the only Republican to hold that office since. Something missing from the photo which has been a part of the outside appearance in the 1950s is the 110 air conditioning units that used to stick out of the windows.


The building was originally heated by coal fired boilers. There are old electric generators in the basement. These things are huge.


Another interesting piece of still working history in the basement is the water pressure driven service elevator.  It’s still used today to move things from the basement to the sidewalk on the outside of the building on the west side.



There are still three old safes in the basement too.


And let’s not forget the old 1917 mailbox on the first floor by the elevator.  This mailbox is a collector box for mail dropped through a chute from the upper floors of the building. The chute runs all the way down to the first floor mailbox. So tenants on the upper floors of the building, just walk over to the south wall by the elevator, place their letters in the mail drop, and the letters drop all the way down a chute to the first floor mailbox. Each day the downtown letter carrier picks up mail from the first floor box. Anyway, yes, sometimes I walk over to the Colston Building to mail a letter; there is just something about dropping that letter in this old, almost 100 year old, mailbox.


By the way, several area history buffs have been trying to figure out of there really are the initials or the name of B. A. Simpson somewhere on the outside brick walls, as local folklore has it.

November 7, 2013 Quapaw, Oklahoma – An anchor was presented to the Quapaw tribe earlier this month in Oklahoma in a ceremony attended by 18 sailors who served on the fleet ocean tug of the same name. The Quapaw earned Battle Stars during World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

Click here for COMPLETE STORY

When we were camping two weeks ago, and while walking that 6 mile round trip to Robbers Cave from our campsite, there by the road was what I think might be a walnut tree.  After cutting the nut in half with a hacksaw, I was told it is a hickory nut.


I been sandblasting several bricks for OG&E retirees.  The bricks and the OGE logo look nice. The one below I made for Danny Jackson who is retiring from OG&E.  Danny’s wife, Theresa Jackson, works at the County Clerks office.


This is a paver I was playing around with, making a Christmas gift for Jill’s twin sister in California. Turned out nice.


Q.  What Oklahoma hotel served as the state capitol until 1917 when the present state capitol was finished?
A.   The Lee-Huckins Hotel at 22 N Broadway at the Southeast corner of Main & Broadway. The Huckins Hotel was torn down in the 1960’s as part of an urban renewal project. The Mid-America Tower now stands where it once stood.

Q.  What famous baseball player was born in Spavinaw, Oklahoma?
A.  (answer in next week’s T&T)

From This and That newsletter archives of November 20, 1999:

On the west side of the courthouse (front entrance) there is a granite stone on the ground by the sidewalk. It reads: “O.K. Darden, Pioneer in Pecan Improvement”. O.K. Darden was one of the first county commissioner here from 1907 – 1912 and a promoter of pecans as a good cash crop for the area. By looking at all the pecan trees in this county, it looks like his endeavor paid off.

A friend brought by an old map of Love County, Oklahoma this week. Marietta is the county seat of Love County located in south-central Oklahoma along the Red River. Looks like there were about 12 ferry crossings across the Red River many years ago. I see on the map the ferry crossing by Browns Springs was called Browns Ferry. But the springs is given the name Refuge Springs. I notice on the map south of Ardmore on Highway 77 just over into Love County is “Adam Jimmy House”.
I noticed on the map the community of Enville, Oklahoma (eastern Love county). I was searching some old newspaper archives the other day around 1917, and read a paragraph about Enville. For several years the black bear was thought to be extinct in the Enville area. But in 1917 a farmer near Enville shot and killed a black bear. Interesting. But I’m sure they are gone now. Sad.
Before 1907 (Statehood) Ardmore boasted a skating rink like has never been since. It was called the Royal Roller Rink and was located where the present day Lincoln Center stands. The building was 10,200 square feet, with a seating capacity for 2,500 people and had 500 roller skates.

“Hi Butch, have been enjoying your paper the last couple of weeks that we have been receiving it. I just wanted to mention about the Scivally family. I wouldn’t argue the point but what research I have been able to uncover is that in the late 1800″s the Scivally family did own some property on what is now the LAZY S RANCH. I have heard that the Scivally’s called their place the “Flying “V” Ranch”. I have seen the Flying V painted on and old barn where a new addition had been added on. The information I have is that the Cal Washburn family purchased the ranch from the Scivally’s about the turn of the century. Cal Washburn’s son C.F. once told me that his father purchased a herd of cattle out of North Texas from the estate of Col. C.C. Slaughter who branded the” Lazy S “on all of his cattle in Texas. At one time this brand was on more cattle in Texas than any other brand. In Texas it is also sometimes referred to and a” Long S”. C.F. told me that his father Cal liked the brand on the cattle and adopted it to use on his cattle. That is the story I have been able to uncover on how the LAZY S RANCH got it’s name. The Washburn family later sold the ranch and moved to Hennepin. The “Lazy S ” brand stayed here and they acquired another brand.”   -Tom Rankin Sr. General Manager LAZY S RANCH Springer, OK

“When I was in high school (early 60’s), I can remember hearing tales of the Milburn, Oklahoma lights. We planned to go there every Saturday night; however, some good-lookin hunk usually drove down Healdton (OK) Main Street and diverted our attention. We never did get to go see the Milburn lights but I’ve always remembered. We were not deterred, however, when we heard about the Wapanucka, Oklahoma train wreck. Remember that one? It was a trainload of beer…surely you remember. I think every young person this side of the Mississippi heard about it. By the time we got there, however, it was cordoned off. We never saw the train, never saw the beer but we sure did meet a lot of people from all over the place! Now, really… that was the best part about it!”

Gas prices today in the Ardmore area……


Check gas prices by town or zip code anywhere in U.S.


Non-ethanol gas (pure gas) stations in the Ardmore area (updated).


Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

Springer Christmas Parade ? Saturday ? December 14, 2013
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 of the school 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.

“Butch, I was passing through Healdton recently after dark and saw this lighted sign (see attachement). I thought it would be cool to do a night shot of it because of the “Magneto” wording. I grew up in the oilfields so I knew that mags were used extensively on oil well engines back in the day. I used to go with my Dad when I was a kid as he made all his oilfield leases and checked on the engines and pump jacks, etc. Back then there were “mag shops” in nearly all of the “oilfield towns” in Carter County. Today the majority of oil wells are pumped with electric motors so there aren’t nearly as many “mag shops” still around. Of course magnetos are still used on lots of other types of engines such as lawn mowers, grass trimmers, etc, basically any internal combustion engine that requires no battery to run including virtually all piston engine aircraft which are fitted with two magneto systems, each supplying power to one of two spark plugs in each cylinder. I had to get more than one timed exposure at different settings and then blend them together into one image to get the exposure of the sign and the building to come out like I wanted. While I was there the owner happened to come by and he stopped to see what was going on. Very nice man and we had a nice visit. He told me to come back and have a cup of coffee with him at the shop which I plan to do. I’ve also attached a scan of some early day oilfield mags from my 1936 copy of “Oilfield and Pipeline Equipment” catalog. (I remember Dad had some powerhouse engines that use the types OC and EK mags).”   -Dwane Stevens


“Butch, I KNOW of 2 other round barns, one is on the north side of I-40 NEAR OKEMAH & I forgot where the other one is, but its also off of 40 between here & Fort Smith.”  -Herman

Fall foliage in Ardmore, Oklahoma submitted by Doug Williams

Greetings Butch, I sent the T&T link to a friend of mine in Quapaw asking if he knew anything about the ?Spook Light? legend. Here?s his response which I thought you might find interesting. Main reason I sent it is his comment about his Grandfather? good point.  -Willis Choate

“This guy nailed it. He even knew about our light here in Ok. The more famous one IS in Mo. He was also correct about the headlights somewhere to the east being blamed. My Indian grandfather laughed about that. No cars when he was a boy. At least not here lol. And he was correct about the Indian story. The way it’s told is abit different. Two young Indian lovers that weren’t allowed to marry jumped off “lovers leap”, a rock pinnacle overlooking Spring River, not far from Quapaw.”

Dear Friends,  My longtime steel guitar player, Smiley Weaver, has decided to retire from the music business at the end of 2013. So, at our annual Western Swing Christmas Ball in Winfield, Kansas, we will pay tribute to Smiley for his many years of entertaining folks. As many of you know, Smiley is a Hall of Fame musician and has worked for Bob Wills, Hank Thompson and others before joining our Silver Lake Band.

The Christmas Ball and Tribute to Smiley will take place on December 14 at Baden Square Community Center, 7th and Gary, in Winfield, Kansas. The dance starts at 7pm and concludes at 10pm. Light hors d?oeveres will be served at intermission. For reservations, directions and other information, please call 620-222-2154. If you would like to send a card or personal note to Smiley and Carol, to include in the Tribute Scrapbook, please send it to Martha Gilliam, 736 Dalewood Ln, Ponca City, OK 74604.


Les Gilliam  http://www.lesgilliam.com/P.S. I will also remind you of my solo show on November 23 in Grenola, Kansas for the Elevator Museum Fund Raiser. For reservations and information, call 620-358-3241.

“I liked the piece about Small’s Bakery as Pa Bridges took my brother (Ed) and me there right after our Dad’s, Paul Bridges, funeral in 1945 – we each got one doughnut.”  -Poss

“Enjoyed your newsletter as usual, especially the part about the Newport Grocery store. Our bicycle club usually has one of their weekend rides out of Lake Murray where we do the loop over to Lone Grove, north with a rest stop at the Newport Grocery to Highway 53, stop by to coast up the magnetic hill and back through Springer and Gene Autry. Great country roads with minimal traffic. Don’t do it as much any more since AMTRAK took the bike racks out of the Heartland Flyer. We’d ride the train down to Ardmore on Saturday morning, camp overnight and back home Sunday evening, great weekend trip.”  -Jim Foreman

Time is too slow for those who wait,
Too swift for those who fear,
Too long for those who grieve,
Too short for those who rejoice,
But for those who love, it is eternity.

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
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

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