PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402
Hip Hip Hooray! After a long dry spell the rains have returned to southern Oklahoma and north Texas. The rain started about 2:30pm today and now 5 hours later we’ve had 2? inches of rain in our rain gauge here south of Lone Grove. It’s pouring down hard as I type this newsletter. And plenty more rain in the forecast too over the next 3 or 4 days. All I can say is “bring it on!”
January 14, 1946 – Robert W. “Bob” Dick, First Mayor Ardmore, Dies
His Work for City And Many Improvements He Accomplished Are Recalled by Death
R. W. Dick, who is dead in his home in Oklahoma City, is better known in Ardmore than in any other city.
He was a genius. He was an organizer. He had a big mind. Ardmore was incorporated in 1898 and elected a mayor or two but there was no law under which they could collect taxes or do any kind of improvement work and the city remained dormant.
One election the people wrote on their ballots the name of R. W. Dick, a lawyer about the city who had tried a few divorce cases but who was known better as a school teacher.
R. W. Dick, in that election, was chosen mayor of Ardmore. He took his election seriously. He began to look about to see what he could do. Ardmore had nothing. It was a big overgrown country town with no water system and no sewer system and no way to raise revenue to build such improvements. The case looked hopeless.
This was Indian Territory. There was no state government, no law, no order, no roads. This is the situation that Bob Dick went up against. He began by making a deal with the Indians to sell him a block of land where the city lake is at $1 an acre. He begged his friends to put up the money to buy the land and to start a dam for a lake.
He took Sidney Suggs and Charles Campbell and went to Washington and succeeded in getting legislation through congress to permit the collection of taxes and the voting of bonds for public improvements. After the legislation was obtained Ardmore blossomed with modern improvements. The men who subscribed funds to start the work were paid back out of city revenues.
The city widened its streets in some instances, it put in water and sewers and did paving, the old school houses were razed and good ones built and Ardmore became a city.
In the first state administration when every prisoner we had was in some other state, and when it became necessary that the state of Oklahoma should own a prison and keep its own law violators, Governor Charles N. Haskell chose the genius who had done so much for Ardmore and R. W. Dick was told to build a penitentiary.
This was done at McAlester and again Bob Dick made good in his huge undertaking. A prison was built, prisoners were brought home and placed under their own roofs and that institution still stands as a monument to the genius of Robert W. Dick. Dick came to Ardmore from Van Alstyne, Texas, at the beginning of this city. He and H. H. Brown were law partners for a time. The firm was Dick and Brown. Then he was a partner with Robert E. Lee under the firm name of Dick and Lee. His family of girls was raised here. Mrs. Dick was always active in the First Christian church.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday January 17, 1946 in Oklahoma City.
Most people in this area has never heard of Pumpkin Creek. I know I hadn’t until T&T Reader, Don Davidson, told me about it back in October 2001. The area was an archeological find in 1965, and evidence indicates the site was occupied while humans made tools from high quality stone found there and then departed the site, returning when additional stone tools were needed. 95% of the site has been eroded away over the centuries but some archeological finds were discovered and are now at Sam Noble Museum of Natural History. Below is the email Don Davidson sent me in 2001 along with an interesting story.
“Butch: I read with interest your account in the last T and T about the bandits who held up the stagecoach near Cheek and hide the gold in a stash nearby. Growing up in Oklahoma I heard most of my life about stashes of gold hidden by various outlaws in south central Oklahoma all the way from the Arbuckles to Red River. One early morning in 1952 after a heavy overnight rain my father-in-law, Bert Paschal, and I crossed Pumpkin Creek which was running hub-cap deep. We drove up a muddy slope and down the other side to a wire gap gate near a tributary to Pumpkin Creek. We were going to cut firewood. I got out of the truck and opened the gate. All of a sudden I saw Bert leap out of the truck and go to his knees with his nose almost touching the ground. I thought he had gone berserk. What he saw in the early morning sun was a reflection from a gold coin resting on a little mud pedestal. We surmised it must have washed downstream during the rainstorm that night from a stash of gold somewhere up that tributary. Bert and I spent the rest of the day intently looking up and down the full length of that little creek. We found a lot of things, but no gold. We didn’t cut any firewood that day either. For the next twenty some years for the rest of Bert’s life, he and I on any occasion we could, would spend hours looking up and down that little creek trying to find that stash of gold. We never found it. Bert owned and operated Two Lakes Skyway Courts, later changed to Paschall’s Village, located at the southeast corner of Lake Murray State Park.” -Don Davidson, Brenham, Texas
There is more on Pumpkin Creek in the Archive section further down.
We stopped at Turner Falls last Saturday. The water flow has really slowed the past 90 days.
This is a picture taken last June. Big difference.
In a little over 30 days we have gone from about 12 turkeys to 8 or 9 strolling through our backyard.
1892 photo of Comanche Chief Quanah Parker and his wife Tonasa.
A Reader asked if I had the Priddy’s Salad Dressing mentioned in last week’s newsletter. Yes I do. It was sent to me over 10 years ago, so here it is again.
We stopped in at AJ’s SD Grill in Sulphur last weekend. Really a neat place to eat, atmosphere was great, and the employees really took care of the customers. Filled my ice tea glass up 3 times without me even asking.
A few pavers I sandblasted the past week.
The probiotic I started 30 days ago is building up the friendly flora in my stomach, and the gut fat is fading away. If you really want to get rid of that belly fat I truly believe the probiotics is a “must have”.
Someone mentioned to me their electric bill is larger in the winter than in the summer because they have an all-electric home. Electricity is their only way of heating the house in the dead of winter. That’s all the more reason to own a Okie Power Saver. And OG&E continues to report each week I am in the “Efficient group”. I have only been placed in this group since I installed my Okie Power Saver. My Okie Power Savers, are also a FULL house surge protector.
Q. Where in Oklahoma was the first permanent white settlement?
A. Salina, Oklahoma in Mayes County in 1796
Q. Which Oklahoma born icon fought Bruce Lee in the 1975 flick Way of the Dragon?
A. (answer in next week’s T&T)
From This and That newsletter archives of October 20, 2001:
I ventured down south into Love county last Saturday and visited with a most interesting individual by the name of H.W. McKinney Jr. Mr. McKinney is a retired teacher and for years ran a store next door to his house selling Ashley Wood Stoves. He told me back in the 1980s he sold the top of the line Ashley stove for $275 each. When Reagan’s EPA director sent him a letter, telling him to immediately sell the non-catalytic stoves or else, because they were polluting the environment, he decided to sell out. H.W. said he didn’t believe people would pay the much higher prices for the catalytic wood stoves. He’s pretty much retired now, but did give me a tour of his woodworking shop. Here’s some photos I took of Mr. McKinney and his shop.
One interesting thing H.W. showed me was a photo of his great great great Grandfather, Colin McKinney. Colin county, Texas is named after him, as is the county seat in that county, McKinney. So as you can guess, H.W. has done a lot of genealogy research on his family tree. H.W. also is a founder of the Love county historical society and an authority on Love county history. I asked him if he’d heard of an airport just north of his house of long ago. He told me the air field operated from about 1931 to 1940 just 2 1/2 miles north of Highway 32 and Scenic 77. The landing strip was owned by the son of Marietta, Oklahoma druggist Ray Kelly and frequented by planes belonging to A&M’s (now OSU) Flying Farmers of Oklahoma.
This is a map showing where the Ray Kelly air field was located, on the Ward Ranch, NE of Marietta. Copy and Paste this GPS into Google maps or Bing maps will take you to the location. 33.977514, -97.097792
Just a building foundation (red brick) is about all that’s left of the airfield.
During our conversation, Mr McKinney, being a teacher and historian, enlightened me on something I’ve wondered about for many years. Around 1880 my great grandfather Howard Carmon, his wife Ada Jacobs Carmon, and one daughter left Huntingdon, PA and moved to Gainesville, Texas. I have wondered why they would pull up stakes in PA and move to Texas, leaving behind the rest of the Carmon family. H.W. said it was for free or nearly free land. Gainesville was the first town the train stopped at when traveling south, making Gainesville, Texas one of the most active stations in the U.S. People settling in Gainesville were ready when the time came for Oklahoma to be opened up. So maybe that is the reason my ancestors left Pennsylvania.
“Hi Butch, I want to thank you for this site and working so hard on it. My grandfather and grandmother lived and I believe were married in Ardmore. I believe that it was then in Pickens County, Indian Territory. Just recently I found that I have Cherokee blood, through my KEYS grandmother. Your site gives me some insight (no pun intended) into where my grandparents lived and where I still have some distant cousins.” -Richard Crowe, Escondido, California
Pumpkin Creek is located at the latitude and longitude coordinates of 33.9875994, -97.0208432
“Hi Butch: Thanks for the reply inquiring where Pumpkin Creek is located. Here’s how: Get on the Park Road, cross the spillway, cross the dam, go about a mile to where the road forks. Take the right fork which will take you to the southeast corner of Lake Murray State Park. Turn right like you are going to Enville. Go about a mile and turn left. Go about a mile where you will go down a long hill and cross a bridge. That is Pumpkin Creek. It is in Love County. I’m also sending you a URL which will show a map of Lake Murray and Pumpkin Creek. Be sure and scroll south and southeast until you reach the southeast corner of Lake Murray State Park. There on the right side you will see Pumpkin Creek. Are you going to go look for the gold stash? -Don Davidson, Brenham, Texas
Pumpkin Creek Map
“The place where I work is not like the places you mentioned in your T&T. The place where I work is not a rock quarry. We are a sand plant. We are a mining operation. We have a lake dug by using a “stripping crew”. The lake starts filling with water, and a dredge is placed in the lake. The dredge is a large boat with a cutter head on it. Kind of like a drill bit. The cutter head goes into the water about 40 feet or more and drills down and sucks up sand and rock. Then the sand and rock are pumped through pipes floating on top of the water to a plant where the sand and rock are separated depending on size. The different materials go through a “shaker”. The shaker consists of different screens which separates the different sizes of materials. Theses materials then go down conveyor belts to different piles. We make concrete sand (which is tested 3 times a day to make sure it is spec) and we make masonry sand. The rock that we have is strictly native rock that comes from the ground through the dredge. We do not blast like they do in limestone quarries. Our native rock is then loaded through a crusher and crushed into 3/8″ pea gravel. Right now we have 2 plants running and making approximately 3,000 tons of materials a day. On a good day we normally ship out about 3,000 to 5,000 tons a day, but things have really slowed down due to the large amounts of rain in the past month. Construction normally slows down this time of year anyway. But it is really a neat thing to watch. Here is the Lattimore Materials website:”
Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..
“Robert Ward’s Grocery was started in 1939 when my folks, Robert and Delphinia (Caldwell) Ward moved the three of us from Milo to “Ragtown” (Wirt). The store was in an old, long sheet-iron building just across the street north of the last location of the Post Office. My sister Novena came along in 1040 and brother Jim in 1946, and Daddy and Momma (and later I) worked up quite a nice, though ram shackled looking country credit grocery store before my dad died of liver cancer on October 4, 1954. Without Daddy, and with me starting to college in January, 1955, we were unable to make a “go” of the store any longer due to having too few family members to furnish the required labor, so we closed down completely sometime in 1956, ending about a 17-year run in a little town, and other even smaller communities nearby, full of great people, and the Dundee Schools. Even though most of the buildings in the area including the school are now gone and I hardly get back down there any more, that community of three or four square miles is what I always think of when “home” is mentioned!” -Keith Ward, Oklahoma City
“Great stuff last week’s T&T! Photos of Jerry’s Gun Shop are pretty amazing. I have not been in the new store, but I think now I really do need to drop in there. I well remember the kind of dark and cramped former quarters of Jerry’s. New place looks fantastic! A wonderful collection of local memorabilia he has.” -David
“This is a item I conjured up based on last week’s TnT edition regarding Sheriff Floyd Randolph.” -Bob McCrory
Hi Butch… enjoyed the piece on the gun shop and especially the items mentioned regarding Floyd Randolph …I remember him and all of his friends back in the late 1930’s and early 40’s and …I remember posting his election posters on power poles for my step grandfather Jim Duston who was a close friend of Randolph. I also remember visiting Mr. Randolph at his saddle shop out south of town in later years. Jim Duston was in law enforcement in the early 1900’s even before my father, Ardmore Police detective Buddie Moorhead, was killed in 1931. After my father’s death my mother married Fount Duston, son of Jim and he was the only, father I ever knew. He died in the fire and explosion at the refinery in 1952 when I was in the Navy. -Jack Moorhead
Facebook is the Single Biggest Reason Your Cell Phone Battery is Dead.
“While reading your gun store story a Luke’s Music Store sign was posted. My dad Walter Eugene Staples was the Maytag repairman. Somehow with only one arm he was able to repair the Maytags. I was small but I remember they had a gas motor that was started by a pedal kind of like a motorcycle is started.” -Ron Staples
“I saw that you added the salad dressing recipe from Priddy’s in last week’s T&T. I attended Ardmore High School and remember lunches there. My favorite was the pimento cheese spread sandwich. Any chance of getting that recipe?” -Nelda Agrusa, California
The Wilson News, 1-19-1917
Several physicians were called Saturday to the store of C. P. Hall to attend a woman who had been overcome with some mysterious malady. She was placed in a bed in the Hall show window.
Dr. Wear diagnosed the woman’s case and pronounced it asphyxiation caused by the nearness of gas, the franchise for which was granted Tuesday. Others say she was petrified when told about plots of ground in a blackjack thicket 25×150 selling for $3,500.
1-26-1917 – “Mystery Solved” – The case of the woman in C. P. Hall’s show window baffled New Wilson M. D.s, is now made plain. Monday morning there were two in the bed where there had been but one before. Both mother and baby are doing well. “New Cotton Buyer” – A son was born to Mr. and Mrs. B. M. Willingham, Monday morning at 9 o’clock. Both mother and son are doing nicely. The young one has been christened B. M. Junior. Senior Willingham is still very nervous, but physicians say he will recover.
Wilson Historical Museum hours are: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Don’t Let The Rain Come Down – 1964
Oh, no, don’t let the rain come down
My roof’s got a hole in it and I might drown
Oh, yes, my roof’s got a hole in it and I might drown
See everyone next week!
Butch and Jill Bridges
PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443
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Vicious Dog Attacks in Oklahoma
Bells of Oklahoma
Carter County Courthouse Paver Project
Ardmore High School Criterions Online
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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 Government Website
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