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Vol 17  Issue 880 December 5, 2013

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

Old Man Winter is hitting Oklahoma hard this evening. Ice and snow are blanketing the state, and will continue falling, off and on all night. Friday will be slick and dangerous. I Hope everyone stays warm and stays home if at all possible. The next few days will be rough. The Carter County courthouse will be closed Friday, so I’m glad I will get to stay home on Friday.

We spent a couple of days camping at Beavers Bend State Park at Broken Bow, Oklahoma last week.  It was a busy place, we barely got a campsite, but managed to find one on the Fern Circle campground.  Lots to see and do at Beavers Bend including a fabulous history museum of the area.  I snapped a few pictures.







On Highway 199 as you leave Dickson, Oklahoma I snapped this picture of the twin water towers. It’s probably one of the few towns in the country that offers hot and cold water to its citizens.


In my grandfather’s birthplace, Gainesville Texas, the City approved two memorial monuments to be placed at California Street and Pecan Creek in remembrance of The Great Hanging in that town over 100 years ago. The piece of property where the monuments will stand is where the hangings took place.


When I started work for the Ardmore ambulance service in July 1970 the four of us; Bill Lewis, Bob Vernon, Joe Pack, and myself, would take call for out of town trips on our days off.  Back in those days we seldom had a patient attendant in the back on ‘routine’ transfers.  Usually just a relative accompanied the patient, unless they were really in serious condition, then a nurse went along with the patient. We did have a two-way police radio but it was usually only good in Carter county. When we made an out of town trip, like to Oklahoma City, we were OK’d to spend up to $1.25 for a meal for which we were reimbursed later. After delivering the patient to the hospital in OKC, we’d often stop on the way back to eat at Ruby’s truck stop and cafe in Purcell, Oklahoma. A person could purchase an entire meal including the drink and desert for $1.25 so we enjoyed a meal there every chance we could. Since the driver was out of radio reach, and if we needed him back in Ardmore ASAP, we’d first call the hospital where he took the patient.  If he had already left for Ardmore, we’d try Ruby’s next in hopes that he would be there eating. In this month’s issue of Oklahoma Living there was a really nice write-up about Ruby’s and how it started in the 1950s.


Couple more bricks sandblasted out for two OG&E retirees.



Q.  What color was the field of the Oklahoma State flag designed in 1911?
A.   From 1911 to 1925 it was a red field (background) and a blue star with the number 46 inside the star.

Q. What is the official state amphibian of Oklahoma?
A.  (answer in next week’s T&T)

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

Last July I was about 25 miles east of here in Madill, Oklahoma messing around. On the way back just a couple of miles west of Madill, on the south side of Highway 70 was a piece of the past just sitting in front of a store. An old enclosed Amish type carriage.
Just west of Ardmore 7 miles, in Lone Grove, Oklahoma, is a beautiful little gem. It’s an old Canadian surrey owned by Nathan and Shirley Christian. They own Christian’s Auction in Lone Grove and the surrey is parked behind their store.
The last few issues of my T&T, several wrote about the train wreck near Wapanuka, Oklahoma when all the Texas Schlitz beer was scattered all over the tracks. Everyone said the accident happened in the Fall of 1961. Guess what? A resident of the Wapanuka, OK area who has been gone for 30 years (now in Oregon) has a photo of this infamous train wreck. Here it is, a one and only photo! A glimpse into the past!
“Butch, Read with interest , as usual, your newsletter. I was very glad to hear that someone besides me loved and misses Grapette. its been the better part of 45 years since I tasted one of those wonderful drinks. If anyone finds a source for them please have them let me know. Also another thing I lived and miss was Rex fruit jelly. Anyone know if they are still around? If so I would love to find some. I remember my mother serving hot biscuits and we always had plenty of Rex jelly. I remember with great fondness a lot of the places mentioned in your newsletter. The Hamburger Inn, the Dew Drop Inn, the Stag Bar, Steels drug, Fedlers Pharmacy, the old Paramount theater, and the Ritz theater. I skated at the old rink that used to be at the old swimming pool out by the fairgrounds.”

The last few T&T you were discussing “Domes” on State Capitol buildings and why Oklahoma didn’t have one. The Oklahoman Archives Section Online” (http://archives.oklahoman.com), I found an article written by Paul English, 04/24/1994, for the “Centennial Edition II 1894-1919 Special Edition” concerning “Reform Politics Launches Territory Into Statehood.” In that same article it talks about many things, but this paragraph is what I thought was interesting — “In a special legislative session in 1913, a new Capitol Commission was authorized and $750,000 was appropriated to begin the work. To secure more funds, the commission was empowered to sell lands donated by Oklahoma City in the effort to get the capital. Construction began on July 25, 1914. Because of a shortage of funds and immediate need for the building, officials deleted plans for a dome.””
“Dear Butch, Want to share with you a former industry in Ardmore. The way I became aware of it was: Several years ago while in Ardmore visiting and browsing in one of the Antique Malls I ran across a package of homemade Christmas ornaments. Inside the zip-lock bag was a hand-written note which read: “These ornaments were made by the NEUSTADT children and sold in their father’s Hardware Store in 1945-1947″ (I think these are the right dates, I have lost the note). Ornaments were so hard for us to get during the war the dates could have been earlier. The wire appears to be 24 or 26 gauge, painted barn red, and generously sprinkled with red glitter. The original satin ribbon ties, faded and frayed are 1/8″ wide. Wanted to share with you how pretty they look on my antique feather tree.”


“Hello Butch. My parents were one of the hundreds going to California during the depression in search of work. My dad left Caddo County in May of 1937 and my mother, brother, sister and I followed in July. They were motivated to go because of Flyers or Tracts handed out, telling of the abundance of work in CA. Would you know where I can get a copy of one of those Flyers or Tracts. Any help is appreciated.” k_blanton@yahoo.com

“Hi Butch, One of the readers of T&T commented on the whereabouts of that great drink “Grapette”. I was born in Ada, OK but my family moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico when I was 7 years old. Every summer, we would pack the family into the car (no air conditioning or Interstate Highways in those days) and drive to Tishomingo to visit my grandmother, Selena Thomas and my uncle, aunt and favorite cousins who lived there. One of my first official acts was to go to downtown Tishomingo and drink a Grapette and then buy firecrackers, neither of which were available in Santa Fe. (I used to drive my relatives and parents crazy popping firecrackers.) By the way, my grandmother, whom we called “Keke”, was a former Johnson County clerk and lived right across the street (on the old jail side) of the courthouse for many, many years. Another favorite thing for my brother and sisters to do during those summer visits were to chase and capture fireflys on the courthouse grounds.”
“My grandfather, General Jackson (Jack) York married Emma Thompson in York, OK in 1900. The town of York was named after my great grandfather, Joseph York who was Postmaster from 1894-1914. It was about 30 miles south of Ada, OK. The town eventually became a ghost town. Jack and Emma had a son named Jesse. He was born in Ravia, OK in 1904. The family later moved to Healdton, OK where Jack worked in powerhouse (~1915-1920). Any idea how I could find out more historical information on York, OK. I’ve attached a school picture of my uncle taken at New Healdton Primary School ~1917 (Teacher is Mrs. Brace). My uncle, Harlton Franklin York, is seated 1st row 3rd from right. I can find no information about this school.”  lynn.york@cubic.com


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.

“Hey Butch! Thanks for the newsletter, I hope you and your family had a blessed Thanksgiving! I just wanted to send a special “Thank You” to you for posting the link (and the words) to the Prayer for Thanksgiving! I had completely forgotten about it. See, my Dad passed away in August 2003 so it’s been nearly 20 years since I heard it. But when I was a kid (WAYYY back in the 1960s, LOL), he sang it with his off-key baritone with great gusto every single Thanksgiving. And of course, for self-preservation, we all chimed in, if for no other reason in hopes of drowning him out! ha! Thank you for reminding me of an important family tradition–it almost got lost but I can assure you, next Thanksgiving, everyone will have a copy of the words and I for one will belt it out with my off-key (inherited) alto! LOL Thanks again.” -leslei

“The colors will dazzle you. This was the Choctaw Pow Wow held last weekend at Durant. 500 Indian warriors dancing at the same time. It was amazing.” -Doug Williams

“Butch, I hope Jill and you have a very Happy Thanksgiving. The old news film from WKY is great. The first one I watched was about the 101 Ranch. After I moved to Ponca City to begin working for Conoco, I tried to find any remains of the original ranch, but found very little. It wasn’t until I was in college that I even discovered the 101 existed. Again, enjoy the day.” -Monroe Cameron

“Hi Butch, some more stuff T&T stimulated —-
Your T&T article 1949 Caddo businesses – back down memory lane for me, but earlier than ’49. Live & Let Live shoe shop was, 1930s, the first door West side off Main street, adjacent to the alley. Tiny shop was about 3 steps down from sidewalk level, run then by Lent Matthews. Pruitt produce was where the ‘Cafe Alley’ is now, East side @ 2nd Ave. Pruitts lived on corner of 10th Av & Cruce Street NW with 3 boys near my age. Further back in time ca. 1910 picture of L.D. Mason in his store just across the alley from Live & Let Live. Must have electric being installed seeing that the light cord hadn’t been hanging long enuf to straighten out & no light bulb.” -Bob McCrory

“In 1962, the original Artesian Hotel located in Sulphur Oklahoma, burned to the ground. This fine old lady was originally opened in 1906, and had courted one US President, and lot of famous people. In 1963, Gene Feliciano, originally of San Francisco California; but, living in Davis Oklahoma at the time, submitted the winning bid for cleaning up the burned hotel site, and building a new motor hotel in its place. After high school graduation in 1963, I went to work for Uncle Gene as a laborer. We set up a brick yard east of Davis. We hauled the bricks to the Davis yard. Gene hired various people to clean and stack the bricks on a daily basis. To clean a brick, one would use a hatchet to knock off the old mortar, and then stack the bricks. One received a penny a brick for cleaning and stacking the bricks. When one was through with the stacking, the bricks would be stacked uniformly, and each stack would contain one thousand bricks. Paid $10 a day. I cleaned many, many bricks. Another guy and I hauled bricks about every other day to home sites where new homes were being built in the Davis and Sulphur areas. In that same summer of 1963, Gene won the bid to tear down the old Ardmore Sanitarium, and clean off the site. We set up another brick yard out east of Ardmore at the end of east main street. We also hauled used bricks to home sites in the Ardmore area. In those days, a new brick cost about 3 to 4 cents; whereas, a used brick was worth around 6 to 7 cents a brick. There are several homes in the Davis, Sulphur, and Ardmore Oklahoma areas built with the bricks from the original Artesian Hotel, and the Ardmore Sanitarium.”  -Scott Bumgarner

“William’s Domino on Caddo – what a walk down memory lane for me. Our Grandma Prater would watch as us kids would go across the street to run down to Williams to tell our Grandpa Prater that dinner was on the table. Thanks Cuz for bringing back yet another fond memory of my childhood.” -Poss

“Butch, From time to time you include pieces about railroads. I don’t know if you will have an interest in this but the Union Pacific has reacquired UP steam locomotive 4014, one of the largest steam locomotives ever produced and is going to restore it before putting it back on the rails as a living piece of rail history. These locomotives were built to take trains through the Wasatch Mountains going into Ogden, UT from the east. The locomotive and tender weigh 1.2 million pounds.

This locomotive has spent its life since retirement at the L. A. County Fairgrounds in Pomona, CA. Last month the UP began the process of moving the locomotive to their shop in Cheyenne, WY. where it will spend the next few years being fully restored. I am guessing that it will be present at the 150th anniversary of the Wedding of the Rail outside of Salt Lake City in 2019. After that, I am sure the UP will operate it around the country as they do their other heritage trains.

There are several video clips on YouTube concerning the beginning of the move of this locomotive from Pomona. There is also a short 28 minute UP produced video about the shop in Cheyenne and a longer video with outtakes from the official UP video.For someone who remembers the steam locomotives on the tracks in Ardmore, this is great stuff.”  -Monroe Cameron

Winter Wonderland – first recorder by Guy Lombardo 1934

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening,
In the lane, snow is glistening
A beautiful sight,
We’re happy tonight.
Walking in a winter wonderland.

Gone away is the bluebird,
Here to stay is a new bird
He sings a love song,
As we go along,
Walking in a winter wonderland.

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

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