PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402
History of the Oklahoma City oil well by Don Taylor, Ralston, Oklahoma
A little history they don’t teach in Oklahoma History class and like many who study history have discovered, events tend to repeat themselves, but I digress. The Oklahoma City oilfield was the last of the great uncontrolled boom fields. Many booms have occurred in various forms since, but this was the last with the “wild west” mentality and as was typical of almost all Oklahoma early oil production, was basically a free for all.
The first Oklahoma City gusher was struck in December 4, 1928 and oilmen from all over were soon drilling wells everywhere. Like today, many of the wells were being drilled in residential areas, and like today, the local population was bitterly opposed to oil wells in their back yards, school yards, streets, etc. I think most people are familiar with the fact that Oklahoma has an oil well at the state capitol. It is often shown in modern postcards as a point of pride. How it got there is a completely different story.
During the height of the boom, oil producers had free run throughout the field and into Oklahoma City. Wells were literally sunk every block in some residential area and fires, oil from the wells, and the incessant noise were driving the citizens insane. The city attempted and injunction blocking any drilling within the city limits, but then Governor E.W. Marland would have none of it, claiming the state, not the city, held the right to determine drilling rights. A vicious legal brawl occurred with Oklahoma City passing an injunction in spite of the governor’s stance. In response, Marland declared martial law and called out the National Guard to ensure local officials did not attempt to interfere with drilling, and to further thumb his nose at the city, allowed oil wells to be dug on the state capitol grounds.
On April 3rd, 1936, Marland himself drove the first marking the drilling location. Oklahoma City eventually was able to put controls in place, but were not successful with stopping drilling on state property within the city limits. Though chastised by the courts for declaring martial law, it was determined that Marland was within his right to control drilling on state property. Multiple wells were erected, including in front of the governor’s mansion.
I find this an interesting parallel with cities today that are fighting the same battle with the fracking boom. I also find it interesting I never heard this story when I was in school.
The first photo shows a crew leveling the ground for the first well on the state capital ground. The second photo shows oil wells in a residential area in Oklahoma City. The third photo shows wells nearing completion at the state capital.
Last Saturday our central air conditioning unit came on about noon and never cycled off again until 10pm when the outside unit finally cycled OFF. What brought my attention to it was it was hot in the house. I thought it might be low on Freon, so I put my A/C gauges on it, and nope, not low on Freon. But it had been in the direct sunlight, 100 degrees beating down on the outside unit all afternoon. So I pulled the camper in front of it, shielding it from the bright sun except maybe 3 or 4 hours around noon and after. Plus I used the water hose to wash the outside coil really good to get rid of accumulated dirt and dust. What a difference it made. The A/C unit cycles OFF and ON everyday now like it should. The knowledge and experience I gained servicing and repairing several 1,000 air conditioners back in the last 60s and 70s paid off.
A few pavers I sandblasted this week.
Rush to Rush Springs, Oklahoma
It’s time to celebrate the watermelon, Oklahoma’s official state vegetable (yes, you read that right. Full of watermelon-themed activities, the 71st annual Rush Springs Watermelon Festival is set for Saturday, August 8.
I’ve had several tell me they took a paper back and stuff it with wadded up newspapers to make it look like a hornet’s nest. Then they hung it up on their deck and it kept the flying insects away such as flies, mosquitoes, wasp, bees, etc.
I’m still happy with the overall effects of TruVision. Knocked those pounds off, more energy, lower BP, and feeling great. 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.
Do you have a Smart Meter on the side of your house? So do I. Here is the Smart Meter at my house. CLICK HERE Smart meters are built out of plastic that can melt and catch fire. We are talking about Smart Meters that read ELECTRICITY right? Even a third grader knows that plastic burns and melts while glass resists flame. Below are photos of Smart Meters utility companies are using and what can happen. Are you next on the hit list?
Q. What year did the trolley cars start operation in Ardmore?
A. Ardmore Electric Railway Company began business in 1907. Tracks eventually ran west on Main from the train station to C Street, north on C to 8th, west on 8th to Wolverton, and north on Wolverton to Dornick Hills and the car barn. Service ended in 1922.
Q. What year did Ardmore’s YMCA open?
A. (answer in next week’s T&T)
From This and That newsletter archives of July 21, 2001:
Back when I was a wee lad of about 7 years old, we had an old motorless push mower I used to mow the grass, and here is a photo of that push mower.
I wonder if anyone still uses those electric lawnmowers? We don’t seem them at all in this part of the country. But I remember in my early teens, Mrs. Phinn (Christine) Townsend lived a couple houses away near 3rd and H NE, and she had this electric lawnmower she used to mow her grass. I just watched in awe as she mowed the yard, with that electric cord trailing behind. I know if I had one what would happen with that cord.
The Carter County Assessors Office went over the 10,000 mark of photos of Carter county properties this week. (Plus there’s another 10,000 thumbnails!) And Steve Hamm has been busy fine tuning the website. He’s made it so easy to pull up maps of properties along with those photos. And its easy to Identify the owner of adjoining properties too. Carter county is the first county in the state to have maps available to the public of county properties
J.L. Self moved into her new office in the Annex Building next door to the courthouse this month. She is the new 911 coordinator and will be working with the company that will be mapping the county for implementation of a county wide 911 system.
“I am pretty sure it was mid 70’s like 1976 check the paper and see and there was another water elevator on the north side of the old Ardmore Hotel (Lincoln Bank) I rode it many times and it always leaked. It might still be there.”
Wonder if the elevator above mentioned elevator could be part of the “find” on the north side of the Lincoln Center last June?
“To bad the building in Tishomingo (Walker Hotel) is being torn down… It was a sad day when the viaduct burned down… I was there in town and lived on 3rd ne but you know i do not remember it burning… i must have been out of town… i know i could not believe it when i was told.”
“Dillard, Oklahoma located in Carter County, 16 miles west of Ardmore. A post office from November 22,1924, to June 30, 1955. Named for Lee H. Dillard, Choctaw allotee.”
“According to the tomb stone marker, his nick name was “PUNY” Sparger, not “Tiny” Sparger. [Rose Hill Cemetery – Ardmore,Oklahoma 6-18-01″
Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..“Congratulations on your retirement!! I have been retired three years now. The first year I said to myself ?How did I get all this work done at home and work too?. The second year said the same old thing. Now for this third year I say ?There?s tomorrow?. Naps are good too!! As for what day it is, I?m always checking my cell phone to see the date LOL!! Enjoy your retirement!!” -Reta
Here’s wishing YOU Butch the best birthday ever! You have diligently carved out a on going notch in Oklahoma’s history as one of the most recognized story tellers since Will Rogers…
Good luck my friend and GOD SPEED!
*Lee & Mary Alice Hilton
Retired Flight Engineer
*Both of us were employed at AFA from 1965 to 1972…FLIGHT ENGINEER & FLIGHT ATTENDANT!
“April 1966, This is a date that haunted me since 1966. It will probably remain with me for the rest of my life. Ya’ see I trained with the fellas that rode in this aircraft. Most all of us were scheduled to go to Fort Benning for jump school. Many of us had taken the tests that would allow us to go into Special Forces (Airborne) training after completing jump training. When the orders came down to leave, another fella I remember as Frank and my name were not on the orders for Ft. Benning. The two of us went over to the SF recruiter who had tested us to see if we could get special orders cut so we could go with our buddies. He told us no, that we would have to go on the next levy. Frank and I were very disappointed. The day came for the deployment to Ft Benning. Buses arrived at the company headquarters, we said our goodbyes and off they went to the Monterey Airport. Frank and I were very despondent not going with our friends. We were all built up to go and then had to stay behind.
The barracks was empty. All the mattress were rolled at the foot of the bunks. All except Frank’s and mine.
The next morning we went up to the company headquarters office to have some coffee and see how things were going. We weren’t on a training schedule so all we had to do was wait until we deployed to Benning.
When we walked into the office things were very solemn. We saw newspapers spread around on tables. It showed wreckage of an aircraft. The photo’s looked very bad. That’s when they broke the news to us of the crash. Needles to say Frank and I just looked at each other… we were speechless. I’ll never forget the feeling I had.
The CO told me to phone home, that my mother had called to check on my status. I had written home saying I was headed to jump school, but didn’t let them know my orders didn’t come down. Needless to say they were quite concerned.
Frank and I waited another week, then were put on a bus with the next group and driven to San Francisco. We flew non-stop to Atlanta, Georgia, then put on buses and driven to Ft. Benning. We completed our jump training, then were sent to Fort Bragg to the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center. I did finish my SF training and served as a demolition engineer on an “A” Team.
I’ll never forget that April of 1966.” -John Mangum
The saw mill in last week’s This and That was great. Brought back many North Georgia memories. I assume the truck wheel was jacked up and had the drive belt on it.
We were big time and had a Red Seal power unit. However a neighbor had one powered with a “T” model truck. It had the gear pedal in the floor and there was three of them. He had a stick he propped against the pedals when he wanted power. One could tell by the sound of the engine what kind of tree he was sawing. He would set the spark and gas levers when sawing hard wood. Raised 9 children with that contraption.
Retirement is great. One can sit around and dream of the old days. Old dogs — R.C. Colas and moon pies. Think I will get one right now. Heck I ain’t on a diet.” -Taylor Crowe in Alabama
Oh, I did get up about 25 bois d’arc trees. Tap root as long as the body– amazing
Not sure whether you meant home or commercial building, but you surely must have meant Oklahoma County. McAlester was a town at the time of the Civil War. First called Perryville I think. By the 1870’s J. J. McAlester was a coal baron there. McAlester was where the money was in Oklahoma. I’m quite sure there were several homes and commercial buildings in McAlester before Edmond even existed. I’ll bet some of the buildings in Guthrie between 1889 and 1893 were also 2 story.” -Larry
“Hi Butch. Congratulations on your retirement, give it a couple of months you will wonder how you ever found the time to go to work. We are going through a pretty cool period at the moment, its snowing in
places it has never snowed before, but I guess its that time of year. Anyway you and Jill take care. Regards. ” -Steve in Australia
“I read the posting from 2001 and remember one of the two Mr. Williams who owned the bicycle shop on Main Street. He and his wife owned the log cabin across from us at Lake Ardmore in the late 1940s. I believe it was the only log cabin ever built at the lake. My sister, Sharon, and I used to spend a lot of time over there with Mrs. Williams. Our water pump house was located just below them on that neck of the lake. Some time much later that home burned to the ground and was a total loss.
One time during the Christmas season, my mother had my sister, Sharon, and me with her shopping. We were in Kress and somehow became separated. I think I was three at the time. I couldn’t find her and didn’t know what to do I began to panic. I went out the front of the store and decided to walk to the Williams’ bike shop down the street and on the south side of Main. I didn’t know anyone in Kress but I knew Mr. Williams. I just followed people crossing the streets and got to the shop and told them what had happened. I think they called my dad at work. Eventually my mother arrived and boy was she happy to see me. I wasn’t lost – I knew where I was. Then I had to explain how I got from Kress to the bike shop.
I still remember crossing “A” Street at the First National Bank and then crossing Main at the same corner to arrive in front of the Exchange National Bank before walking east and crossing Washington to get to the shop.
After that and when we moved to town my mother never worried about me getting lost in Ardmore. My sister and I along with our friend, Bev Edwards from across the street, used to walk to the movies every Saturday morning once we moved to town and lived on Stanley a block from Lincoln. We always took the same route – north on “D” Street past Syl Mullins’ service station, then east on Main. We always walked around the outdoor showcase at Luke’s Music Store because I always wanted to see what was in the window and then to the end of the block across from the Tivoli.
Ardmore was a great place to grow up in the 1950s and ’60s. I’ve still got the same core group of friends I made from about the age of eleven and we’ll be returning this September to celebrate our 50th anniversary of graduation from AHS. “Beer, beer for old Ardmore High. . .” I’m still amazed that they allowed us to sing that at every pep rally we ever had while I was in school. I wonder if students today still sing that song.” -Monroe Cameron
“Those… who think Communism is the wave of the future should come to Berlin.”
President John F. Kennedy, June 26, 1963
See everyone next week!
Butch and Jill Bridges
PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443
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
All previous issues of This & That can be found on my Website.
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