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Vol 19  Issue 982  November 19, 2015

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

Email: butchbridges@oklahomahistory.net

Phone: 580-490-6823

April 19, 1918
Corsicana Semi-Weekly Light from Corsicana, Texas ? Page 11


Oklahoma Papers Tells About Killing of Rufe Highnote
The Ardmoreite, published at Ardmore, Carter county, Oklahoma, near where Rufus P. Highnote was killed, in its issue of April 8th, give the following about the killing.

The Ardmoreite says an information has been filed in the county court against Bud Ballew, Carter County deputy sheriff, charging him with the shooting of R. E. Highnote, at Wirt, Saturday night. The names of 33 witnesses for the State are indorsed on the back of the information. The preliminary hearing was set for 2 o?clock tomorrow afternoon. Highnote was night watchman at Wirt and recently complaint as to his action had reached Sheriff Buck Garrett. Being at Wirt last Tuesday or Wednesday, the sheriff had a talk with Highnote and told him he would have to take his commission as special deputy away from him. Highnote said it was at his house, but he would get it later and give it to some of the boys to bring in to the sheriff. Highnote was then carrying three guns, and the sheriff told him he would have to take off the guns, as he did not want to see him in trouble over a pistol case.

Sheriff Was Notified
Following that conversation with Highnote the sheriff continued to receive complaints about Highnote, and he told Ballew to take up the commission and see that Highnote no longer carried a gun. Saturday afternoon, while the sheriff was in the parade he saw a brother of Oscar Kyle, who was killed in the Frisco yards, in front of the Ardmoreite office, and told him to meet him at the jail at 4 o?clock. They were at that time sitting on the jail steps when a telephone call came from Wirt to the sheriff telling him that Highnote was holding people up in the streets and that they wanted him to come to Wirt at once.

Bud Ballew came across the street at the time and the sheriff asked him where he was going, and he replied that he was going to Healdton. Garrett told him to go to Wirt to investigate the trouble, get Highnote?s commission, and take the guns from him. Ballew went to Wirt, and on reaching there saw Highnote. He asked him for the commission, and Highnote said it was at his house, but he would go and get it. They started in the car, when Highnote said he wanted to go to the calaboose, as some of the lights were not working right.

Shooting Occurs in Dark Corner
Leaving the car near the jail, he and Highnote went on and Highnote entered the jail, saying he would light the gas. He then said he believed he would not. He then lighted it and then said he believed he would turn it out, when Ballew told him to leave it burn and he could turn it out when he came back. They were in a small, dark alleyway at the jail, and when starting to his house Highnote wanted to turn around a dark corner, when Ballew asked him to go the other way, and he said it was best to go that way.

When just around the corner he whirled quickly and with his left hand drew a pistol and shot at Ballew. As he drew his gun Ballew grabbed for it. He did not get it, but he struck Highnote?s wrist, and this probably saved his life, as a hole where the bullet struck a board shows that it passed very close to Ballew. The latter then drew his gun and shot Highnote.

Ballew then notified the sheriff of the shooting and said he was starting for Ardmore. Sheriff Garrett left at once and went to Wirt and brought Ballew back with him. They went back to the place Sunday and the sheriff made a full investigation of the circumstances surrounding the case and questioned all who knew anything about it.

Sheriff Makes Statement
Sheriff Garrett said today that there had been much trouble with night watchmen at Wirt; that after two had been discharged Highnote was selected by the business men?s committee and he gave him a special commission, against his better judgment; that Highnote boasted of having killed 27 men. The sheriff said he had killed six or seven to his personal knowledge. He said Highnote?s duties were to watch at night for fires and burglars, but he had a mania for finding escaped convicts and bad men, wanted all over the world. Highnote operated a detective agency at Healdton which he advertised freely. He placed a sign, about six feet square on the calaboose at Wirt, reading, ?Hotel Ragtown. Rates $10 per day.? The sheriff instructed his deputies to tear it down.

At the time of the shooting Highnote was said to have carried three revolvers. He had two full sized 45?s in holsters on a belt and a 45 automatic in his trousers pocket. He drew one of the big guns with his left hand when he shot at Ballew and the other was found to be cocked when his body was picked up. Highnote is reported to have been going to the motion picture shows and making speeches. Only the other night he told the crowd he was a little man, ?but here is the difference,? he said, pulling the two big guns around in front, that all might see he carried them.

Word came to the sheriff Saturday that Highnote had held a man up on the street, cutting down on him with a gun and telling him if he moved a hand he would blow his head off. He was said to have held up another man that day in the same manner. Highnote was about sixty years of age and a few days ago was married to a young girl. He claimed to have been over much of the world, and was given to boasting at all times. He claimed to know all the bad men in the country and frequently telephoned the sheriff?s office asking for a requisition to some other State, where he wanted to go to get a noted criminal.

The same paper under date of April 10, has the following about the preliminary trial of Bud Ballew, the man charged with the Highnote killing:

Bud Ballew charged with the killing of R. P. Highnote, at Wirt, last Saturday night, was given a preliminary hearing in the County Court yesterday afternoon and was held without bail, for trial in the district court.

In rendering this decision Judge Thomas W. Champion said: ??It is evident from the evidence in this case that no law has been violated, but that society and the law have to be protected. It is unfortunate that in order to do this it became necessary to take human life. No man wants to be obliged to kill another. It is the first duty of every citizen to protect himself, and this duty is not taken from him when he becomes an officer. It is his duty not only to do that but it is his further duty to protect society and the lives of other people. I think the defendant has done society and the people of that community a favor. When a person is discharged on a preliminary hearing, any person may at any time, ten years or twenty years later, charge him again with the offense, and in this case it is the defendant?s desire, and his right that he be held to await a trial in the district court, where his case may be tried before twelve men.?

Rufus P. Highnote is buried in Corsicana, Texas  CLICK HERE

October 1955
Tom wages said he recently learned the alligator caught at Lake Murray by a lady fisherman became a resident of the lake buy some shenanigans of his grandsons, Jerry Foster and Robert Lindsay. They saw the alligator in a sort of basket affair and decided to have some fun with it by prodding it with a stick. It escaped and disappeared into the lake.

I just learn about another gravity hill in Oklahoma similar to Magnetic Hill here in north Carter County. It is located south of Bartlesville on Gap Road at the Matoaka Switch where Gravity Hill has been a source of local lore and mystique for decades now. According to the locals, the hill in question is unique because it defies the laws of gravity. If you park your car facing downhill and put it in neutral, you?ll be surprised as your car starts rolling backward, which is uphill.

Video of Gravity Hill south of Bartlesville.

Some pavers I sandblasted the past week.



I made the paver below for Jill’s cousin, Kimberly Bernardy Colby in California


You can find gas prices for a particular Oklahoma town by entering the name or zip code in the GasBuddy search box.


The probiotic I take continues to amaze me week after week. I wish I would have found out about it long ago. I continue to see a reduction in my gut and I feel better than I have in years. If you really want to get rid of that belly fat I truly believe 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 an Okie Power Saver. And OG&E continues to report each week I am in the “Efficient group”. I have only been placed in this efficient group since I installed my Okie Power Saver last April. My Okie Power Savers are also a FULL house surge protector. You say you have brown-outs?  All the more reason to own a Power Saver unit.


Q.  Oklahoma became the state song in what year?
A.   When Oklahoma became a state in 1907, we didn’t have an official state song. Then, in 1935, Mrs. Harriet Parker Camden of Kingfisher wrote the music and words to a song she titled “Oklahoma – A Toast.” The song became a local hit, so much so that the state legislature on March 26, 1935, named this song the official song of the state of Oklahoma.

Q.  The first batch of Girl Scout cookies were sold in what Oklahoma town?
A.  (answer in next week’s T&T)

From This and That newsletter archives of November 17, 2001:Last week I was in the market for some roofing on a project I was working on, and I found 40 squares for sale in the Shoppers Paradise. I called the phone number listed in the ad to find out more. After talking with the lady, I found out her name was Sally Roberts of Ardmore, a friend of mine! Anyway, we made a deal and I bought all the roofing. Why I’m telling this is because Sally has had her same phone number since phone numbers in Ardmore were just 4 digits. I think it was in the early 50s her phone number was 6111. Later the phone company added “CApitol 3” before the 6111, but we still told the operator the number, who dialed the number for us. This would have made Sally’s phone number CA3-6111. I believe in the early 60s the phone company switched to Rotary Dial and the number was changed from CA3 to 223 and the rest is history. At least that’s the way I remember it, maybe someone else will comment.
Construction crews are remodeling an Ardmore landmark. It’s the old Conoco service station at 1st and “D” Southwest. It’s last operator was Jessie Justice.
The date is the early morning hours of July 8, 1953 and Tulsa resident Walter Forsythe robbed at gunpoint a service station in Troy, Oklahoma (Johnston county). Law enforcement would put out an APB (All Points Bulletin) on the robbery. Ardmore police officers Orville “O.C.” Wallis and Buck Houchin would setup on old Highway 70 east and wait. In a few minutes the suspect vehicle, a 1953 Chevrolet, came into Ardmore at a high rate of speed, and Wallis and Houchin would take pursuit. The high speed chase through the northeast part of Ardmore would end up in the driveway of Pratts Food Store, with shots being fired. Below is link to complete story.
“Butch, Ed said the Model A didn’t have wooden spokes, but the Model T did.”
“Hey Butch, ‘I’ve been getting behind on my e-mail reading, but I just read this T&T about buried gold at Pumpkin Creek or something to that sort. I remember my grandfather, Harold Robinson, used to tell me that legend had it that the James brothers were on the run and passed through my family’s property and had to bury their stolen goods on it somewhere. He said that when he was a kid, they would catch people sneaking onto the property to try and find it. I remember once when I was in high school, I saw some men walking down our creek (Wilson Creek) with shovels. They scared me to death and I went and hid indoors. Never saw anyone else though. We lived just east of where the old Red Everett store was. I never did get the wild hair to go look for the loot myself, I was always too busy out with my .22 shooting at things like old bottles and such. I don’t know if anyone else knows of the legend, but I figured I would pass it along before I forgot it.”
“Dear Butch, During my high school years (1932-1935), cruising Main St. was the in thing to do. As soon as our dates picked us up we headed for Main St.. We would drive the 4 or 5 blocks to the railroad tracks, circle around and start all over again. Some of the cars were 2-door coupes, Packards, Pierce Arrows and Marmons. Some of the cars had rumble seats so we could get two or three couples in the car. The Pierce Arrow had little seats that pulled out and made extra seating for those in back. We would honk at people we knew and stop at “The Pharmacy” for a cherry Coke. There were always a group of boys hanging around (we called them drugstore cowboys) and they were the boys that chose not to have dates. We always had stags for our dances. Also we would park down by the train depot and watch the 9PM passenger train come through. In fact this brings to mind how whoever double-dated with Maria Jane Hall and her steady, Guy Cobb, would have to meet the 9PM train and wait on her corsage. Guy always ordered Maria a orchid corsage from OKC for our big formal dances at Dornick Hills Country Club. Thank you for your newsletter.” -Tweed Stonum Machock
“Hi Butch, I apologize for not writing sooner to tell you about the tour and wiener roast at Brown Springs (last saturday) . We all missed your being there. It was a MUCH nicer climb this time, and we took lots of time in looking around. We noted a headstone that looked as if someone had tried to remove it, no doubt it was too heavy. I found “Sheep-Showers” and enticed the guild members to eat some of them. They were skeptical at first, but after trying them, said they were good. Do you know what they are? A couple of mysteries this time. 14 year old Alex Eden found an Algebra book in the graveyard. It was from his own class, and was very mangled. It had been shot clear through several times (a very thick book,) and had burn marks around the edges. It also had other piercings that went all the way through the book, but what had made the piercings was impossible to determine. The book appeared to have been violently attacked. We left it as we found it. Another strange thing; Some of the guild members spoke with a man at the springs, (he said he was 70 years old and that he came to Brown springs regularly to act as “caretaker” of the area.) hmmmm. …..He had a lawn mower and said he kept the grass mowed. He lives in Munster, TX. Odd? Why would anyone, especially a senior citizen come so far to perform a service no one asked him to do? And his “caretaking” service did NOT extend to picking up the trash and litter that is always around the springs. A final note; He “thanked” our group for touring the area, as if HE owned it! Ha! I thought that was strange, since WE were the locals, and he the non-local! Oh well, so much for our “mysteries.” As we were standing near the twin pipes, Janita Black mentioned the picture we’d taken on the last tour in June of that spot… the one we called the “photo of the hanging man.” Remember that? I wrote you about it and asked what you thought about it. You replied that you didn’t think much of it…because you knew the man……… WHAT man, Butch? And also, there IS no tree there….and for as far back as I can remember, (and I am old,) there never has been one…where the photo showed one to be! Please write me all you recall about this photo of you. It seemed you were looking at where the twin pipes were…but what, or who IS that person to your left, who appears to be hanging from a tree? I’m dying to hear what you know about this! …ah yes, You really missed a wonderful meal. Earl dug a circular pit, put up a central block of wood, then stacked smaller limbs on it, like a tipi. It was a great bonfire and perfect for cooking wieners, marshmallows and “smores.” We ate outdoors beside the crackling fire. What fun! Wish so much you could have come.”

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..“I hate to hear that they are planning to demolish the Sonic on Grand!! I, too, spent lots of time there as a teenager and probably more in my late 20’s & early 30’s as a mom. My son and I would eat Sonic every payday. It was as much fun to sit in the stalls then and watch folks go by as it was in high school in the mid-70’s. I know that progress must happen at times, but there’s also something sad about taking away our history.” -Kathi George, Springdale, Arkansas (AHS class of ’75, my son was class of ’96)

I am trying to locate any relatives of the individual in the attached photos. This picture was hanging in my mother’s Aunt Loreine Faison Torgerson’s house and my mother, Rita Sprekelmeyer Lamb says she thinks it may have been a relative of Theo Torgerson. I would very much like to locate a relative of whoever this is so I can give them the picture. My parents (Rita and Kenneth Lamb) took possession of the picture when Aunt Loreine died many, many years ago as none of the other relatives knew the person or wanted the picture. They said they took it because it was in a neat frame with convex glass!  Any help you or your readers may provide is greatly appreciated! Anyone who wishes may email me at ljlaok@gmail.com
Thanks!” -Laura J. Lamb Atchley

“Butch, The Sonic may have opened a year earlier than what you showed. I turned 16 in September, 1962 and it seems like it had been there more than just a few months. When Tricia and I were in Ardmore for my 50th reunion in September, I was telling her about the drag up Grand to G. G to Main, then Main to Washington, around the Exchange National Bank and then back to the Sonic before crossing 77 and dragging the Super Dog. The car and a driver’s license meant independence to every teenager. I saw some crazy things happen at the Sonic and Super Dog during my three years in high school.

Before the Sonic, that property was home to one of the two trampoline parks in Ardmore. The other was located across Grand Ave from Ten Pin about where the Tastee Freeze was located later. The trampolines were mounted at ground level over individual pits. That was a fad that didn’t last long.Don’t forget the little plastic animals that came on the lips of the cups at the Sonic.” -Monroe Cameron

Springer Christmas Parade ? Saturday ? December 12, 2015
Open to antique cars, bikes, ATV, floats, bands, walkers and horse groups. Entry fee is one new unwrapped toy. If you want to participate in the parade, please meet in the Springer School parking lot on the South side at 12:30 PM and the parade will start at 1:00 PM. Volunteers are welcome and greatly appreciated. Come and enjoy the parade and join everyone at the Community Center for refreshments after the parade.

The Daily Ardmoreite January 15, 1947


Dr. Walter Hardy Tuesday night was awarded a 50-year pin in Masonry by Ardmore Lodge No. 31. The pin is a small lapel pin, one the doctor can wear every day with pride. There were many members of the lodge present when the presentation was made by Grand Master M. M. Bramlett.

It was the fourteenth pin of the kind given personally by Mr. Bramlett in the past year but the only one given in Ardmore. The Grand Master said of all the pins he had given he did not think any other deserved it quite so much as Dr. Hardy.He has been an outstanding man in medicine and surgery in the state of Oklahoma and the community of Ardmore and Carter county have grown up around him as their most honored citizen. Many times has he faced the wind and the rain and the sleet to get to patients in the old days. He went, never asking about fees, intent only to relieve pain and save life. He was forgetful of self in the rounds of doing the work of a country practitioner. After some years of early day practice he built a hospital and for a lifetime he has had a hospital equipped to do the best work in the entire state. It is this kind of man that Masonry honored Tuesday night with a coveted pin naming its owner as having been a Mason for a period of 50 years. Such an honor comes to few men and such an honor comes to none more worthy to wear it than Dr. Walter Hardy.

Museum Memories
The Wilson News
January 26, 1917


New Wilson will have natural gas in a few days. The main is now within one-half mile of town and work is being pushed with all possible speed.

The franchise was voted on January 16 by an overwhelming majority. This promptness on the part of the gas company proves that they have faith in the future of New Wilson. The company will probably be delivering gas to consumers within ten days.

The telegraph crew of the Texas Company is now building the line along the pipe line from Wilson to Sherman, Texas. This pipeline will be about 65 miles long from the station here to Sherman, Texas.Wings to be strapped to the arms and legs to enable skaters to make use of the wind, from the subject of a recent patent.

Visit us at the Wilson Museum. Online: WHM – Wilson Historical Museum or at the museum. Hours: Tues., Thurs., Fri., Sat. 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

We got 1 and 8/10ths of rain here south of Lone Grove this week.

?October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and faces.? ―J.K. Rowling

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges
Ardmore Oklahoma
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 Government Website

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