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Vol 18  Issue 891   February 20, 2014

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

This week the Oklahoma Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association came out with their Winter journal commemorating their 100th year. Its full of old photos and stories from bygone years. If you into law enforcement history and can get your hands on this centennial edition, I encourage you to do so. I would say most of the police departments and sheriffs offices in Oklahoma received their issue this week. In fact some received several issues.  So if your friends with a police chief or sheriff, see if you can see this week’s edition. Or better yet, show your support and join the organization and you’ll get their quarterly journal.


One of the oldest still standing buildings in Ardmore came crashing down yesterday.  The old 1905 Elks Lodge building will be no more in a few days as a demolition company has been hired to remove what is remaining of this piece of Ardmore history. Wednesday afternoon the building was struck by a pickup truck. After the truck was removed from the scene, several minutes later, bystanders heard a cracking sound, and that’s when all 3 floors of the front of the building collapsed.


We may be in a drought here in southern Oklahoma, but this picture looks great of the Blue River north of Tishomingo, Oklahoma. Through the years this has been a favorite place for trout fishing.


Those of you who attended Ardmore’s Washington School on 5th NE years ago will remember the principal, George Connely ( 1913-1990 ). He was loved by everyone in the building. But I must tell everyone that Mr. Connely could apply the “board” of education when necessary. When I was in the 6th Grade, Jimmy Echer and I went out and played on the front lawn during the morning break. That was a No No and we knew it. We were both taken to Mr. Connely’s office, where he gave us a paddling.  Back in 2003 his son, John Mark Connely, sent me a 1974 photo of his dad.


This week I received the following email from John Mark’s wife:

“My husband, John, passed away this past weekend. I am inviting friends that I know he kept in contact with over the years to help us celebrate his life and accomplishments. There will be a memorial service on Thursday afternoon. Please see attachment for more details. Hope to see you there.”  -Vickie Connely

Even though John lived in Fort Worth, Texas he has received my newsletter each week for over 10 years. It always saddens me when a T&T Reader passes away.


I was in a sandblasting mood the other day. Made this rooster for Jill, turned out really nice. The sandstone was given to me by a friend and is 12 inches square.


She found the perfect place for it, in the kitchen.


I sandblasted this one for Gregg Johnson at the sheriffs office.


Every now and then someone talks about wood pallet projects, and where to find pallets in the Ardmore area. Pallets Plus is owned by Charles Dodd and its located at the south edge of Davis, Oklahoma, they must have a million!


I did receive the following response this week….

“There are a ton of pallets behind Roberts Truck Center. It is located on Interstate Drive in Ardmore.”  -Trish Brown

I usually get a hamburger at Braums, but this week when we stopped at the completely remodeled Braums Ice Cream and Dairy store in Sulphur, I tried their steak burger.  It was delicious. Steak was so tender, and it was bigger than the buns. $5.99 for the combo, burger, fries and medium drink.


Q.  Where was the hottest temperature ever recorded in Oklahoma?
A.  The all-time record hottest temperature ever recorded in the state of Oklahoma is 120 degrees, which occurred on June 27, 1994, in Tipton. The small town of Tipton is located about 140 miles southwest of Oklahoma City.

Q.  In what city did billionaire J. Paul Getty began his oil empire ?
A.  (answer in next week’s T&T)

From This and That newsletter archives of February 17, 2001:

Here’s a picture taken by an x-Russett, Oklahoma resident, Paula Stout, of the old Russett school.
Regarding last week’s mention of the Wishing Well at Cornish, a Reader told me if I had travelled on west down Main street, and then back north, I would have found another well. A well with the coldest water in Jefferson county. Guess I’m going to need to take another trip over there!
Back in the late 50s and early 60s when I went to Washington elementary school, there was a little grocery store across the street north in the NE corner of 6th and G street NE here in Ardmore. It was owned and operated by Basil Moran. I talked to Mr. Moran this week and I could scan a photo he had old grocery store.

When Bud Hunt was alive, he lived out by the refinery in the NE part of Ardmore (not Bud Hunt the Carter county deputy). Bud moved the old Moran wood store he bought from Mr. Moran from 6th NE to just east of Refinery Road and Highway 142 near the refinery and used it in his business. Recently the wood building was either torn down or moved again. I remember going to Bud Hunt’s house in the late 1960s and putting Freon in his refrigerated water cooler. Bud was so proud of that water cooler… probably the only person in Ardmore at that time to have one in his kitchen!
A friend brought me a photo taken around 1915 south of Leon, Oklahoma at an area called Rock Bluff next to the Red River. It is a photo of her kinfolk’s ferry that was used to transport people, horses and wagons back and forth across the river. One can see in the photo the “rock bluff”…. so the location would be easy to find, even 85 years later.
I received an email this week inquiring if there was a cemetery located near McLish street SW here in Ardmore before 1900. I contacted the number one authority in Ardmore for info on Carter county cemeteries, Bill Hamm, and below is the reply from Bill:

“When Ardmore became a city in 1887, the cemetery was on the west side of town and was called Old South. As the city began to grow the city leaders realized that the cemetery was too close to the community and decided to move it to another location. The cemetery was moved about 1895 or 1896 to its present location south of the City and the new cemetery was called New South Cemetery, later it was named Rose Hill Cemetery. When the graves that were in Old South Cemetery were moved, the workers were only able to move the graves that had markers and the rest were left behind. The area of the Old South Cemetery is now part of Central Park, the Episcopal Church and the houses west of the area. When that area was being developed it was not unusual for the builders to dig into a burial site. I have found several people who had been buried in Old South Cemetery, but could not find any record of them as being moved to Rose Hill Cemetery.”
“A story about the German POWs housed in Oklahoma during WW2: Eight POW camps were located in Oklahoma, including one at the prison in McAlester. Because of the manpower shortage caused by the war, the prisoners worked several kinds of jobs. Military jobs came first, then agriculture, then industry. At that time C. C. Buxton owned the Horseshoe Ranch near Roff and Alvin Powell was the foreman. The one and only time that the Horseshoe ever raised sheep was during the war, and they had thousands of them. Powell called the military liaison at McAlester and said that he would need a number of men for several days for spring lambing. The city fellow in charge informed Powell that the men were booked up and he would have to “put off lambing.” (This story and others about Oklahoma during the war can be found in our book textbook “Oklahoma Heritage.”)
“Dear Butch: I was amazed to learn that the orphanage that used to be near Ringling is still remembered. I was told years ago that the place no longer existed. As a child, I remember helping my Grandmother Louvena Fronterhouse and my mother, the late Vera Fronterhouse Horton, gather items together for our church, First Methodist Church of Healdton, to send to the orphans there. We weren’t well off (my father was an oilfield worker and there were five of us kids at home) but my parents and grandparents had generous and loving hearts. Thanks for the photo and for your weekly newsletter. Sincerely, Jo (Fronterhouse) Long”
“Dear Butch: W.R. “Bill Bob” Cornish, grandson of the Cornish that the town was named after, informed me that the orphanage was in place long before Hamon and Ringling arrived. He said that Moses Harris built the orphanage with monies that he went around over the area and received as donations. He remembers his dad, John Cornish, donating money to him off and on to keep the orphanage going. Most people called him “Mose”. I also remember him canvassing Healdton for donations, of course this was in later years after Ringling was established.
“Once upon a time…. some Ringling residents will remember the Cornish Children’s Home that began as a dream for Moses E. Harris, who taught school at the Chickasaw Chapel near Marietta. He dreamed one night that he built a magnificent orphanage. Shortly after his dream, Harris began securing funds to build such a place in Cornish, Oklahoma.

The frame structure was started in October 1903. Then in 1917 the three-story wooden structure caught fire. It was a sad day for all the kids who lived in the home, but it didn’t take long for rebuilding to begin. Funds were slow to come in so Wirt Franklin, a local oilman, paid for the completion of the building after striking oil near Oklahoma City.

After Harris reached old age he sold the 297 acres and home for $7,000 with the understanding that the home would keep going. After about two years it sold to an individual and the doors were closed forever. The home ultimately housed over 1,700 homeless children.” -Recorded by Betty Carroll, October 17, 1984

“I am a journalist working for The Western Mail which is the national newspaper of Wales, UK, and I am trying to get some details about the town of Gene Autry, formerly known as Berwyn. Berwyn in Welsh means mountain range and, clearly, the town was originally founded by Welsh immigrants. I would like to know more about them, if that is at all possible. Do you have any background information? Or, could you put me in touch with someone who has studied the history of the town? I would be very grateful for this information – it will probably make a nice story for my newspaper (as a youngster I was a big fan of Gene Autry). My e-mail address is,”  Colin.hughes@wme.co.uk
“Butch, this is the building located on the NW corner of Main and Caddo Streets of Ardmore.As you know this is one of the oldest buildings on main street & is the site of the first hospital and sanitarium established by Dr. Walter Hardy. The lower floor, on the corner, was purportedly occupied by a Drug store throughout the buildings history. The building took a devastating blow from the 1915 explosion of the train load of casing head gasoline located at the rail road tracks less than a block east of its location. The pharmacist & proprietor who was leasing the Drug Store at the time of the explosion was a Mr. Adcock. Mr. Adcock told me that when the explosion occurred, it caused all of his wall fixtures to fall face down on the floor. This old building has a basement, and it is commonly referred to as the location of the Dew Drop Inn. Photographs of the building ,which were taken at the time, do not reveal a great deal of damage to the upper portion of the outside east wall of the building. The upper east wall was also faced with large sand stone building blocks, but later that portion of the building was replaced with brick. If you view the west wall of the old building you can see that the original sand stone wall still surrounds the upper portion of the building. I am sending you several attachments of pictures, taken today, that demonstrate a structural breakdown of the building some 85 years after the notoriously devastating damage caused by the explosion in 1915. The old building presently is unoccupied but probably be inspected to determine if it is near falling in. I know the old building pretty well and many of the stories you hear today are believed as fact, but I know many of the tales are legend instead of fact.”

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.


Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

“Butch, someone mentioned Chili Bowl chili. It is still made here in Tulsa and can be purchased from Sam’s club for about $8 for a large 5# tub. I think its the best you can buy. I heard that Sonic serves it. Always good to here from Southern Oklahoma.”  -Don Coe

Note:  Heartland Foods in Ardmore sells Chili Bowl chili.

Followup – February 5, 2000: “Butch- The picture with the men described as Tom-Fleet Cooper’s garage may not be correct. The reason for me saying this is that my dad, Brook Simmons, is in the picture. My mother had this picture and as I remember, Dad worked for a freight company which I thought was in or to the south of Echol’s Storage building north of Bluebonnet. Cooper’s dealership and garage, as I remember in the late 40’s, was located where the county health office is now.

“Officials said the front of a building at the corner of Broadway and Washington streets came tumbling down when a pickup truck crashed into it Wednesday afternoon.  Of course I had to go down and get my own photos 🙂  Made this pano shot from 4 photos stitched together.” -C. Dwane Stevens”


“Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one’s trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.”

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod (Dutch Lullaby)
by Eugene Field (1850-1895)


See everyone next week!

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

Vicious Dog Attacks in Oklahoma
Bells of Oklahoma
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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