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Vol 19  Issue 955 May 14, 2015

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

Email: butchbridges@oklahomahistory.net

Phone: 580-490-6823

Cecil Elliott in Oklahoma City called the other day and reminded me of a grave at Fort Reno cemetery. I had visited Ft Reno in 2009 which is located NW of Oklahoma City. The cemetery has a section for U.S. Army soldiers who are buried there.

And there is another section of the cemetery where WWII Italian and German POWs are buried who died while incarcerated at Ft Reno.



Off to the side of the cemetery, all by itself, is a single grave marker that catches one’s eye. A grave marker with coins on top of the grave stone.

Here is the photo Cecil Elliott took of Mr. Wah’s tombstone. You can see the coins visitors have placed on the top of the marker.


You see, Wee Gan Wah worked at the Fort Reno Laundry. He slept by himself in the back of the laundry, saving his money so he could bring his family to the U.S. from China. Before he could accomplish this, he was murdered at the laundry during a holdup.

Wee Gan Wah was born in December 1863 in China. He came to the United States in 1881. Mr. Wah could not read or write, but he did speak English. He lived with another Chinese man named Guig Yee, who was a cook at the fort.

Two soldiers dressed like women came to his door and wanted to come in. He would not let them in and they left. About 30 minutes later, around 10:00 o’clock, while he was working in his laundry, he was shot. Wee Gan Wah had $360 in his house and robbery was probably the reason for the murder.  He died November 16, 1901 in the Fort Reno Hospital.



Fort Reno Post Cemetery , El Reno, Canadian County
Oklahoma, USA


Historians recall hidden “Chinese underground” under Oklahoma City streets.


I received an email last week with an attached photo I had never seen before. Back around 1900 there was a family by the name of Stanley in Ardmore. The same family that Stanley SW is named after. Henry A. and his wife, Lela, were prominent teachers and educators in Ardmore and nearby towns of Madill and Marietta.  Lela established a private school in the home at 1023 Stanley Boulevard which grew as it became known for quality education. At its height, her school encompassed kindergarten through seventh grade. Lela taught until she was 88 years old, twice moving her school to smaller locations, the last being 121 K Street NW.

Attached to Pat Corcoran’s email this week was a photo of the H.A. and Lela Stanley’s home. Mrs. Stanley also held classes for students in her home.



Henry and Lela Stanley’s home place still stands today. Here is a photo taken in 2004.


Someone shared this picture of the Willis Bridge south of Madill, Oklahoma across Lake Texoma this week. After all the rains, area lakes are really up, including Lake Murray.


Below is the 1980 roster of the Charles Evans 5th grade in Ardmore, Oklahoma


I bought a Kill-A-Watt electricity usage monitor from Amazon this week. Over the next few weeks I’ll be report on here how much electricity is used by different appliances and the cost per month to run that appliance. The directions says for accurate reporting the electricity usage the monitor needs to be plugged in for several days. I will have some good reports for the next issue, starting with the clothes washer.


A couple of pavers I’ve sandblasted this week.



Even though I have not lost any more weight in 4 weeks since dropping down to 177 pounds, I’m still getting the benefit of the extra energy and all. If anyone wants to try it give me a holler. “I’ll meet you at the Walmart mailbox!” Join us and check it all out at the link below.



Hot days just around the corner, my OKie Power Saver will help keep my electric bill as low as possible when I crank up the air conditioning this summer. I’m ready to combat that sky high electric bill. I have created a webpage to tell more about the OKie Power Saver at the link below. You really have nothing to lose except a high electric bill to try the power saver. I am guaranteeing the unit to save you money or your money back. Give me a holler for more information.


Q.  The first peace treaty negotiated between the United States and Plains Indian tribes?
A.  Treaty of Camp Holmes 1835 near Lexington in Cleveland County, Oklahoma

Q.  Where in Oklahoma might one pick up hourglass (selenite) crystals?
A.  (answer in next week’s T&T)

From This and That newsletter archives of May 13, 2000:

In the 1950s the courthouse here in Ardmore employed a janitor by the name of James Harris “Harry” Gaines. A reader sent me his photo this week to share with everyone.
“Butch I go through Idabel, Oklahoma about 3 times a year and I think they paint new murals about every year. They are really some pretty drawings and the artist does a great job.”
“Dear Sir. How odd. Not too long ago I found a picture of my father in Homecoming at Vanoss High School. Teasing him about it, he replied he was king two years in a row “thank you very much”! I asked about the young lady and he said her name and that she died in a plane crash, and had been a stewardess. Then he said she was a really nice person. Something stuck with me and while browsing the AZ boards (I grew up in AZ) on GenForum I saw reference to a crash. I called my mother and asked the woman’s name and she said “Wanda Stonecipher”. Then I found her name on your page.”

“The person who said the revolving door was at the Ardmore Hotel was definitely correct. I remember as a child going there just to go through those doors. It was hardly a trip to town if we didn’t walk up there and go through those doors, maybe several times. Weren’t there some at the office building that was next to the old Exchange National Bank too? Seems like I remember them too. Boy you could get a good “Cherry Phosphate” at the fountain there. Those were the simple days when a kid could go to town and be safe.”

Note: In July 2007 I took this picture of the revolving door at the Seminole County Courthouse at Wewoka, Oklahoma.
I was saddened last week when I heard about the death of Ardmoreite L.T. “Red” Kitchens. When I asked in my T&T February 26th for donations to the American Flyers Memorial, L.T. Kitchens was the fourth person to respond with a donation. I’d like to share with everyone the email Mr. Kitchens sent me that Saturday:

“Please put us on your list for $25.00 contribution. I was foreman for American Flyers Airline meeting the airplane on a through flight from California. I heard the airplane as it was making an approach. The ceiling was low and I heard an explosion. I called the tower to find out if they still had contact with the airplane, which they didn’t. I called and notified my boss and told him that I thought the airplane had gone down. He came out and we went by car to the sight. We were the first car there. At which time we looked for the aircraft form 1 and also the flight data recorder. Death and destruction was everywhere. The airplane had hit in a herd of cattle and people and cattle were scattered and burning. It’s not a sight you would EVER forget. Also, I personally knew the flight crew as well. It was unbelievable. My name is L.T. Kitchens, 1950 Hawkins St. Ardmore, OK. 73401”

I never met Mr. Kitchens. But through the power of email and a tragedy that took place 33 years ago, our paths crossed. He did not live to see the memorial to completion. But I know on the day the dedication ceremony is held, Mr. Kitchens will be there with us.

Gas prices today in the Ardmore area……


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


Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

“The bottles are all from Ardmore. The Tom Cooper and Colvert’s bottles are self evident. The middle bottle is from the Ardmore Coca-Cola bottling plant, and is the old six-and-a-half ounce size. And I’m sure more than a few of your readers tuned in to Rudy Dockray.”  -Mark Coe

Springer Volunteer Fire Department Bar-B-Q  Saturday  May 16, 2015 ? 6:00 PM
Join us at the Springer, Oklahoma Community/ Storm Shelter for the annual Springer Volunteer Fire Department BBQ along with a dance and pie/cake auction.
Bring your lawn chairs, sit back and enjoy the music!

“Butch, Here is whimsical article about raising chickens without a blueprint from the Kingman, AZ newspaper that you might enjoy.” -Ted Edwards

“Some of your older readers will recall the traditional “Oratorical Contests” at Ardmore High School. I am not sure when the contest ended but, it was a tradition for several years. The oratorical debates (contest) were held in the auditorium in the evening. I don’t ever recall attending the debates but, the fun always began after the contest. Traditionally, the upper classmen (seniors and maybe juniors) would go hunting around town to locate the lower classmates (sophomores) and carry them to far out places like the cemetery or Lake Murray and make them walk back to town. This was pretty wild and ornery back then but, no one ever got hurt and guzzling beer or smoking anything were not a part of it, just teenagers being kinda stupid.
One such occasion when I was a sophomore, Wade Henry, an Ardmore High track star was chasing me. I ran so hard and fast that I out ran him for a block or so before he caught me. If I remember accurately, I believe Carl Atkinson was with Wade. They corralled probably 3 to 5 of me and my buddies and hauled us out somewhere to walk back. I think the walk back with my buddies, talking about how we out witted those upper classmen for a while was the most fun. If you try to understand why they did that and we did it in later years for the same reasons, you will become frustrated. There was no purpose, just living as teenagers during the late 40s and 50s. Don’t ask me what the debates were about…. never attended one that I recall.” -Dale Young

Our task must be to free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges
Nashobish Ikana
PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443http://www.7is7.com/otto/countdown.html?year=2015&month=6&date=30&ts=12&hrs=16&min=30&sec=0&tz=-300&lang=en&show=MWd&mode=t&cdir=down&bgcolor=%23CCFFFF&fgcolor=%23000000&title=Retirement%20Countdown

Follow me on the TruVision lose weight program
Vicious Dog Attacks in Oklahoma
Bells of Oklahoma
Carter County Courthouse Paver Project
Ardmore High School Criterions Online
Oklahoma Bells: https://oklahomahistory.net/bellpage.html
Bill Hamm’s Cemetery Database
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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