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Vol 18  Issue 892 February 27, 2014

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

Back in March of 1996 I created a webpage about the 1915 Big Explosion in Ardmore. Not long after I made that webpage someone sent me a link to a newspaper article printed in the Fort Wayne, Indiana newspaper. The article gave additional facts that were not in the Ardmoreite article.

Fort Wayne News, Fort Wayne, Indiana – September 28, 1915
Explosion in Ardmore, Oklahoma nearly destroys downtown

A year or so ago I scanned a booklet printed by The Daily Ardmoreite (year unknown) with info and a lots of photos of the 1915 explosion that nearly destroyed downtown Ardmore. Below is a link to the Folder I placed all the scanned pages in, you have to click on each page to view.


In September 2008, a memorial monument was dedicated on the south side of Ardmore’s depot in remembrance of those who lost their lives in 1915.


I added a David Gilley retirement paver to the west walk of the courthouse this week. Looks good right next to Sinka’s paver.


David was Sinka’s handler when she was at the sheriff’s office before her retirement in 2013.


I learned this week of a man learning clock repair in Ardmore.  There has been no place that I know of since Clock World on Main Street closed years ago, to take a clock for repair in Ardmore.  He is Doug Acox who works at Citizen Bank in Ardmore. Ardmore sure needs a good clockman.

Q.  In what city did billionaire J. Paul Getty began his oil empire ?
A.  Tulsa, Oklahoma

Q.  In 1907 what Oklahoma town was known as “the world’s largest oil field?”
A.  (answer in next week’s T&T)

From This and That newsletter archives of February 24, 2001:

I travelled over to the Blue River Hunting and Fishing Resort five miles north of Tishomingo, Oklahoma last Saturday. Tish is 30 miles east of Ardmore. Blue River was cresting that day from all the previous days of rain. There were people even trying to catch fish in the rushing river.
On the way over to Tish I went through Paula Stout’s stomping grounds, Russett, Oklahoma. The first thing I noticed in Russett was an outhouse behind this old house. The house and property is located at Highway 1 and Pettijohn Camp Road in Russett.
I have been trying this week to find a relative and hopefully a photo, of Mr. A.D. Wilkinson (1883 – 1973). Back in the 60s Mr. Wilkinson lived at 812 Carter SE here in Ardmore. But he also ran a printing shop adjacent to Hunts Grocery (west side) at 726 3rd NE. I can remember so well watching Mr Wilkinson, who was in his 80s, placing sheet after sheet of paper n the press, as his huge printing machine roller went across that flat inked surface, just before the roller went across the type.
Speaking of Mr. Wilkinson, I looked in my garage and found an old printer’s tray that came from his shop back in the early 60s. It is a true antique, so I got it out, but a couple of hangers on the back and hung it on my front room wall, and turned it into a shadow box. Across the top I even lined it with all these little bottles of liquor that a friend of mine has given me over the years, with each trip they make to Las Vegas. Makes for an interesting conversation.
“Butch, years ago there was a beautiful old wooden water wheel around Falls Creek and on the road to Dougherty. It’s back in the mountains on a dirt road and kinda hard to find. If you are back in that area again it is probably still there. There is a creek that turns the wheel and a beautiful area to picnic or walk. It’s been years since I have been there and you may know where the wheel is at. If you go back, take a picture for me.”
“Hi Butch, I think that I was surprised this week in the “this and that” that someone did not respond to the Clark Gable story you had a couple of weeks ago. I am not so sure that he worked on the making of the dam for Lake Murray, but he did work in the oil fields in the Healdton area. His first wife, I think was Mabel Franklin who was the sister to Wirt Franklin. The marriage did not last long, however and he was on his way to Hollywood. Mabel later married and was known as Mabel Franklin Ocher. (her last name could be spelled wrong)”
“I found a magazine I really enjoy that I found out about very accidentally. it’s called “the good ol days”. a lot of the stuff may have happened BEFORE I was born, but it certainly gives a lot of insight as to what those days were really like. have U ever heard of that magazine? they even have a website!”
“Butch, You have to remember, I am from a small town. We have no roads in or out of Juneau. We have two trolley cars in the summer but they are powered by gas engines. As long as there are telephone poles to hide behind, I get along fine. We do have 10 stop lights in Juneau. It took many hours to get to work when they were first put in. The Red lights kept Blinking on and off and everyone kept stopping and going, stopping and going as it blinked on and off. Sometimes you could make 2 feet when the light was off. Was sure glad when they finally let them turn green for a few minutes. (LOL) I go to work early so I miss all the stopping and going. I also start home early also so miss it that direction also. I only live 6.2 miles from home. Soon to be 7.2. We bought a new house a mile farther from town and a mile closer to the Glacier. We will only be about 3 miles from it when we get moved.”  -Claude in Alaska

Follow-up 02/26/14:  “My friend Butch Bridges, We still have no roads out of Juneau, Alaska, however we are 2 miles closer now. They added two miles to the end of the road last year. As for the Stop lights, we now have 14 stop lights and two round abouts, working on the 3rd one. AND, yes, the Salmon Bake is a great spot to have lunch or dinner in the summer only. Also, if you like Crab legs, there is a place downtown behind the Parking Garage by the Big boat dock called the “Crab Shack” that has great Crab Legs in the summer. We even have a bear that will not hibernate this year. Keeps pestering a friend of ours almost nightly. Population is around 33,000 give or take a few people. at this time of year, it is a Ghost town down town Juneau. The day after the last tourist ship leaves, you can shoot a cannon down Franklin street and never hit anything but maybe a bear. Every one has left Juneau and taken their money south with them, which I think is a shame. For that reason, I only shop with the Local businesses that stay in Juneau year around.”  -Claude Roberts
“Here are 3 pictures of a contraption on some older Oil Wells that make a substance known as Drip”. My Father says that drip is a gas in the casing that when it hits air condenses to a raw form of gasoline. I’m not for sure on the lead content. My Dad says that it was mostly used in the oil field way back when to wash off tools and stuff. But he said some people used to run it in their cars a long time ago. He used to run it in his 1955 Ford Pickup, and said you could smell someone running drip in their vehicles from 5 miles away. I guess it sinks. He said that you could run it in your engine and turn the key off and the engine would run for about 15 minutes before it would die. He also said that if you had an old car that didn’t want to start you could mix about 5 gallons of gas with 5 gallons of drip and the car would start up every time just like a new one. When he was running a hot oiler truck, if a pumpjack had an engine that ran off of the natural gas from the casing, when you would run hot oil down the casing you would have to cut off the gas from the casing and switch it over to a propane source. Sometimes when the pumpers would forget to switch the gas to propane and when the hot oil would go down the casing some of the drip would get into the line going to the gas engine and it start running 90 miles per hour. he he he. DripUnit3 shows the line coming out of the well head and running into the bushes. DripUnit2 shows the line going into a home made drum to collect the condensed drip. DripUnit1 shows the drip running out of the faucet after I opened it. Pretty neat huh? Do you happen to know anything about this or any of your readers?”




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…..“I don’t think that you and I have met, but I was born in Ardmore in ’47 and graduated from there in ’65. Your latest newsletter brought back so many memories of my childhood. I began first grade at Washington Elementary in 1952 and was in Mrs. Whitmore’s class. On a few occasions she would get mad at me and send me to Mr. Connely’s office for a spanking. Instead, he would sit me across from him at his desk, give me a box of crayons and paper. I knew that he loved me and knew that I really didn’t need to be spanked. I always adored him. The picture of the little grocery store on the corner across the street from Washington brought back floods of memories. I used to sit on the end of that porch – the west end – and open my lunch and eat it there. I even remember the day that the glass lining in my thermos had broken and the disappointment of not being able to drink my chocolate milk. When I walked inside that front door, to my immediate left was the candy. On the shelves behind the candy were the SloPokes. My absolute favorites but I couldn’t finish one before going back into class, so I usually got a Vallomilk. (the chocolate cups that are filled with delicious stringy marshmallow cream) Back then, some of the candy even had a coin! Vallomilk and Necco’s did. A nickel, dime, or sometimes a quarter! It was the lottery for kids! 🙂

As an adult I’ve often thought about all the kids who attended Washington Elementary from Carter Seminary. They were extremely quiet and stayed to themselves – even on the playground. A few years ago I saw a documentary about Carter Seminary that showed the abuse that those children endured there. According to the documentary, many only spoke their native languages and were punished severely for not speaking English. Are you familiar with the history of Carter?Thank you so much for the shared information. I look forward to your newsletter!”  -Lydia

“Check the Google-maps street images of the building. Seems to me like the letters were not so much on a separate, monolithic block as somehow raised in the upper right corner (as a viewer would face the building from Broadway) brickwork.” -Tom Elmore

“Butch, if anyone would be interested in a burial plot in the Ardmore’s Rosehill Cemetery we have 4 close to the entrance. If someone would be interested in one or all four they can contact Larry Hale at 580-504-8718. Our mother bought them years ago and since our parents are buried in the Mannsville Cemetery we will not be using them.”  -Charlie Hale

“Butch, Seeing the Elks Lodge building picture reminded me that some time in the early 1960s there used to be a weekly poker game played there. It seems that there were a couple Ardmore police officers there one week for a game, one of them being Rick Feiler. Someone had brought a guest or two and and at one point in the evening, a gun was produced and all the regular members were told to strip their pants off and give the robbers their pants and money. I don’t remember whether they were ever caught. Maybe someone else remembers the details of the incident.” -Monroe Cameron

“As a young lad of age 14, 1943 I lived at Connerville, Oklahoma. The Blue River was located approximately 1 mile from Connerville. Every chance available during the spring and summer of 1943 I went fishing. Though I didn’t catch much fish I enjoyed the sport. On one day while fishing I saw a water moccasin swimming down the river. I threw a rock at it that landed nearby. The snake opened its mouth and several small snakes swam out. Apparently, the large snake was the mother and she allowed the babies to swim from her mouth in order to save their lives. I had never seen such a demonstration before. For current citizens of Connerville, Oklahoma that may read OklahomaHistory.net, my maternal grandfather Elmer E. Gore was the pastor of the Assembly of God Church, the only church in Connerville. I think there were about 50 families living in Connerville in 1943. A Mr. Barnes was the principle of the local consolidated school grades 1- 8. The school had a water well with an electric equipped pump where many of us town citizens obtained water. I carried many gallons of water to and from the church for drinking, taking baths in a number 3 washtub, and for Monday wash day. Once a week weather permitting my grandmother used a large black iron pot for boiling water for hand washing our clothes. We lived about about one block from the school.”  -Elmer G. West, San Antonio, TX.  elmer0347@att.net

“A photo gallery of the new Artesian Hotel in Sulphur, Oklahoma.”  -Doug Williams

“Butch, The monument is back in place where it was before on California Street by the creek. I can’t see that they have done much to the land around it, except maybe mow the grass.”  -Jim Hubbell

Friends, I would like to remind you of two shows coming up in the next few days in which you might have an interest.

1. Front Porch Gospel Concert – February 28, 2014
On Friday, February 28, 2014, I will be presenting a concert of Gospel Music, cowboy style, at the Prairie Rose Chuckwagon Supper location in Benson, Kansas. The Prairie Rose is located at 15231 SW Parallel St., Benton, Kansas. Benton is located on the northeast edge of Wichita, Kansas. The doors open at 6:30pm and the concert begins at 7:30pm. The concert will be held in the Bar 20 Theater in the Museum Building. Price of admission is $15. Light concessions will be available for purchase. Reservations are not required but are encouraged. Call 316-778-2121 for reservations, more information and directions. Also, you can find out more about the Prairie Rose and this concert on their website – www.prairierosechuckwagon.com

2. Reagan Jubilee – March 8, 2014
The Reagan Jubilee is a country music show held on the second Saturday of each month in the Community Center in Reagan, Oklahoma. Reagan is located between Ada and Tishomingo, Oklahoma. I will be joining Johnny Shackleford and his Reaganeers band on Saturday, March 8, 2014 for this, my 6th consecutive year to present a concert of country music at the Reagan Jubilee. Located next to Reagan is Sipokni West, the old western town which has been featured in numerous movies and TV shows. A BBQ Sandwich super will be available at Sipokni West at 5pm at a cost of $5 each.  The Concert in Reagan will be begin at 6pm and concludes around 9pm. Tickets for the concert are $5 each.

I hope to see you at one or both of these events, if possible for you to attend. Thanks for your support.”  -Les Giilliam

A virtual tour of the Smithsonian Museum room by room.

“My dad was a tire salesman for BF Goodrich whose store was in the old Elks Building at N. Washington and W. Broadway. I used to wait for him in front to get off work never visualizing that building would someday come tumbling down. He also belonged to VFW who had the whole top floor. He and my mother spent many happy times there and my children attended a Christmas party for kids one year. It’s history is long and well recorded, it’s sad it’s no longer there.” -Mary Dube

Museum Memories
Compiled by Melinda Taylor
The Wilson News
January 12, 1917


Wednesday Nights Blaze Was First in Some Time, Man Seriously Burned

Wednesday night at about 10:45 p. m. fire broke out in the house occupied by Mr. C. V. Kennett on W. Main St., having its origin in an accidental manner that came near causing Mr. Kennett’s death. As it was, he escaped however being severely burned about the face.

The alarm was turned in about the hour designated above and was the first call to which the city fire department was given a chance to respond. Forty-five seconds actual time elapsed after the alarm was sounded until the hose cart was out and on its way. This initial trial of the efficiency of the Fire Department trained under the competent direction of Chief Wormington amply demonstrated the skilled and experienced supervision of its chief. Mr. C. W. Tuck, fire foreman was the first member to respond for duty. The fire was put out after about forty-five minutes effort, but the house and all of Mr. Kennett’s clothing and furniture were burned. On attaching the hose to the large 4 in. main it was found to be about fifty feet short which necessitated using the 2 in., thus delaying the work of the fire department in putting out the fire. Incidentally this fire brought out the significant fact that the hose carrying capacity of the cart is insufficient as is also the length of hose. To successfully fight fires the necessary apparatus must be provided and it is to be hoped that the fire of last night may serve to draw the attention of the City Council to these deficiencies in the equipment of the Fire Department in order that a repetition of dangerous delay caused by a shortage of hose may not endanger the safety of property in the event of another fire.

Wilson Historical Museum Hours: Tues., Thurs., Fri., Sat., 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. or visit us online. We have thousands of obituaries!!

“Elvis has left the building.”  This line was used at the end of all, or close to all, of Elvis’ shows, except when in Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe, where he stayed at the hotel. The announcer’s name was Albert “Al” Dvorin.

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges
Ardmore Oklahoma
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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