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Vol 18  Issue 923  October 2, 2014

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

Email: butchbridges@oklahomahistory.net

Phone: 580-490-6823

I had another update this week from Brad Walker in Australia about their trip cross country using the Canning Trail. One in their group had a drone, and used it to video parts of the trail. Some beautiful scenery, makes me want to visit.

“One of the group on our Canning trip is a videographer, if there is such a thing. He just sent a sample of some of the drone footage he did. Drones can be very annoying but the end result looks pretty good. We are currently at Northampton, about 50km north of Geraldton. Will have a couple of nights here before heading inland a bit.”

Cheers for now,
Brad and Nellie


There is a lot of beautiful Australia landscape in the above video, but what really caught my eye was the water well about 1/3 of the way through. Brad said last week there is a water well about every 25 miles along the Canning Trail for travelers to use.


I received two beautiful full color magazines on Australia this week from my friend Steve Moran. He and Sonia live on some acreage north of Sidney on the east coast. The magazine is R.W. Williams Outback. There is so much to read in these two magazines, I can tell it is going to take me a while to go through them.



September 1954 – Dorris Ballew, son of the late Bud Ballew, lives in Natchez, Mississippi, where he and his son, Gene, operate the Providence Plantation, where they raise purebred Herefords and quarter horses. Ballew is also an oil well contractor and oil producer.

September 1954 – Maurice Macy Epley, Jr., 11, was dragged to death by a horse he was training in a pasture at this parents home when he became tangled in a rope attached to the saddle. Besides his parents, he is survived by two sisters, Moline and Metha Jane of the home. He was born December 4, 1942. Burial was in the Hewitt Cemetery.

September 1930 – Wheeler Consolidated School is in better shape now than it was before the storm of last May when the property was seriously damaged. The gym has been put in shape and the resident of J.E. Steel has been reroofed. When the storm broke last spring the children were in the school and there might have been heavy loss of life if it had not been for the storm shelters, Steele said.

Below are a couple pavers I sandblasted this week. I enjoy making the pavers, it’s like a hobby for me.




As many you know from past issues of my T&T and other sources, in 1915 there was an explosion at the railroad tracks near the depot in Ardmore when a tanker car exploded. The explosion killed dozens of people and wrecked the downtown district, demolishing many of the buildings. Over the next few weeks I will be sharing some photos taken after the explosion by Fonville Studios of Ardmore.

This frist photo shows the burning of the Santa Fe Freight Depot and the Pennington Building. Seven charred bodies were found in the freight depot and 3 men were killed in front of the Pennington Building.


This second photo was taken on Caddo street and shows the destruction in front of the Waldo Hotel located on south Caddo. There is a Ford car completely covered in debris and I even see that Caddo had concrete curbs and drainage holes in the street.


“Once Upon A Time…. “Prior to statehood Oklahoma was the Indian Territory with the five civilized tribes, the Creeks, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Cherokees, and Seminoles having their separate nations here. Among the first pioneers in the area were the soldiers. Zachary Taylor, Jefferson Davis, and Robert E. Lee were among the officers of Oklahoma forts. Old Ft Washita is a 115 acre historical site where you step back into the southern Oklahoma of around 100 years ago. You will see partially restored ruins of native stone buildings. The ancient Pawnee Indian trail comes into the fort from the east. Confederate troops held the fort through much of the Civil War. But the federal soldiers built and occupied the fort from about 1847 until the early years of the Civil War. There are cemeteries on all sides and two generals were buried there. We wonder what dramatic happenings were experienced by the frontier soldiers and their families.” -Betty Carroll, October 23, 1984

Q.  Who was the famous radio commentator and news columnist born in Tulsa and always said during his commentaries, “…when we return, the rest of the story.”
A.  Paul Harvey, born September 4, 1918 in Tulsa Oklahoma

Q.  Oklahoma is bordered by what states?
A.  (answer in next week’s T&T)

From This and That newsletter archives of September 30, 2000:

Oklahoma was the first state in the Union to make available to state law enforcement agencies the Oklahoma Department of Corrections database on its inmates about 10 years ago. Now the Department of Corrections has taken another giant step forward. They have placed on the Internet this same searchable database. This is a database of convicted felons from all 77 counties dating back 20 or 25 years. We are talking about several hundred thousands inmates. You can check out Oklahoma’s felon database at the following URL:
“Your account of the train ride to Ft. Worth brought back old memories again. I must have been about 11 or 12 and was in the Girl Scouts. A couple of my friends Nancy and Patsy Veal need uniforms and their grandmother said we should go to Ft. Worth to Singers (dept. store). He husband Mr. Jones worked for the railroad and got us passes so on Saturday we got up early and went to the RR Depot and boarded the train. Now that was over 50 years ago so that train was not like the ones we have now. But for 3 girls who went for a train ride for the first time it was very special. Grandma took us a lunch and we had hard boiled eggs (which I never liked just to eat) It took us about 4 hours because we got there shortly after noon. We did our shopping and made the trip back home. I still think about that time.”  -Jo Evelyn Franklin Barton
“Butch, I have been out of town for long weekend and was just reading your T&T. My dad was a country veterinarian and did all of his work out of a car or pickup. He had an old cigar box on the dash of his vehicle that had counter checks from all the banks in that area. I think he had 8 or 10 different banks checks. When he would finish a call, he would make out a check from the proper bank and the farmer would sign it. I don’t know how those people at the bank knew whose account to deduct the payment from. Some of those signatures were sure hard to read. I guess they just recognized the scribbling.”
“Comment on Yellow Hills…Mac MacGalliard wrote a lot of history for his column, as you know, and it is stored at the Public Library on E and Grand. He talked about the Yellow Hills and a lepracon there that a horse and buggy doctor used to show him the way to people’s homes who needed him.”

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, I remember the dinky. We lived about three miles east of Ardmore in 1942 and 1943. The dinky passed right in front of our house. It went east in the morning and came back in the afternoon. Some times it would have to stop and run cattle off the tracks. We moved to California in 1943 but have lots of relatives living in Ardmore. Have lots of memories walking up and down the streets on Saturdays. Walked into town every Saturday. Didn’t have a car. Sometimes took the team of mules and the wagon if we needed supplies. Kept them at the old fairgrounds during the day. If I remember right it was down Caddo street past the old Safeway store. Been a long time ago. My dad was working cleaning the brush out of the bottom for Lake Murray when we left to come to California. Sure was lots of chiggers. Really enjoy your news. Keep up the good work.” -Orie Edwards

“Butch: I found this photo on line of them moving Locomotive 1108 to the fairgrounds and thought you would like to have it. The photo was taken by the man who was in charge of the Ardmore Depot at the time locomotive 1108 was move to the fairgrounds. His Grandson had posted it on line, he said that he had several more photos.” -Larry Paul

“Had to put in a couple words about the Marquette Hotel. It was our home from 1945 to 1947. I mentioned before, my dad bought it as a back up plan in case his tile business didn’t make it. The hotel had 22 rooms and the maid was Ethel Macon who took care of all the bed making and cleaning. She was an attractive black lady that became quite close to our family. My mother had no experience in running a hotel but, she did. No man and woman got past my mother unless they were husband and wife and you better be convincing. It was truly a no ‘hanky panky’ hotel. The Ardmore Indians baseball team use to stay at the hotel. Otto Utt was the manager, Ralph Blair was a pitcher that had a fabulous ‘knuckle ball’, the catchers’ last name was Guglielmo or something like that. Red Sollars, I believe played shortstop. Red later married Bob Barnet’s daughter. Barnet Plumbing Company was in business for years in Ardmore and later Red bought the company and changed it’s name to Sollars Plumbing. Puny Sparger use to announce at all the ballgames. He kept the crowd pretty well entertained. Puny’s wife, Julia Sparger taught English Literature at Ardmore High school for years.” -Dale Young

“Here are some images that I took today of a 1929 Tri-Motor plane. Images taken at Sundance Airport in Oklahoma City. It is a beautiful aircraft. I will be sending a separate mailing of the history of the plane.” -Cecil Elliott

“Butch, here’s and interesting site where you can do a quick search for cell towers in your area and find their location, who owns them, etc.”  -C. Dwane Stevens

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

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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