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Vol 19  Issue 985 December 10, 2015

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

Email: butchbridges@oklahomahistory.net

Phone: 580-490-6823

This week we have had beautiful weather here in Southern Oklahoma.  I’m sure winter is on the way, and some weather models are predicting snow here on Christmas Day. A white Christmas would be nice.

North of Tishomingo is Bromide, Oklahoma. Jimmie Martin has created a webpage on his hometown with Bromide history.


In 1920 oil was discovered near Burbank, Oklahoma which led to 30 boom towns springing up almost overnight. The wildest of the new towns was called Whizbang – a place where robbery and murder were common and vigilante justice ruled. Messengers sent to the oilfields in Whizbang were known to gallop at full speed without stopping to get safely through the rowdy town. Learn more about this Wild West ghost town that is part of Osage County’s rich history in this great video from the Oklahoma Ghost Towns.

Cushing oil field 1915 was the largest oil field in the world


Oklahoma Ghost Towns


Some pavers I sandblasted the past week


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


Hope everyone made it through the Thanksgiving holidays without gaining to many pounds from all the good food.  I can’t believe all the food and sweets I ate and I didn’t gain a one single pound. I attribute the NO GAIN to the Perfect Probiotic by Probiotic America I have been taking everyday. My stomach fat continues to melt away 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”.


The past month I bet I’ve had the electricity blink Off and the back On about once a week. So far I’ve had no damage to the electronics in the house thanks to my Okie Power Saver. 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.  What state was the last one to declare Christmas a legal Holiday?
A.  Oklahoma was the last state in 1907. Alabama was the first state in the United States to officially recognize Christmas in 1836.

Q. What and where in Oklahoma is the Jed Tower located?
A.  (answer in next week’s T&T)

From This and That newsletter archives of December 8, 2001:

“Butch, my Dad owned the Sooner Foods store when it was robbed and Bobby Rudisill was shot and killed. One of the interesting inside stories was that Mr. Red the night watchman heard something in the back of the store and unlocked the front door and ran onto North Washington St. street to stop a police car driving by, he then went back and locked himself back in and continued working. When my Dad asked him why he didn’t call the police he responded that he hadn’t learned to use the new dial phones yet.”
“Hi Butch! Enjoy your weekly ‘epistles!’ every Saturday and the history and happenings that you dig up! It all brings back memories. I recall during the early days of WW11 our family all going down to the train station and ‘seeing off’ my uncle, Johnny Dixon to war. Johnny had left his mark in the art world at O.U. and around the Ardmore area. There is still a Johnny Dixon award for talented artists from what I understand. Johnny went off to war and never came back, alive, his head severed in Germany by a shell as they were marching along. His brother, Andrew came back, I guess in 1945 or ’46, and bought $600 in Christmas trees for resale. I remember him standing down on main street selling those trees in the cold, and they only brought about $600 total. The man he had bought them from misrepresented the total. Such a waste on both counts. Johnny was a fine artist, and Andy had a brilliant mind, even if he was ‘taken’ on the tree deal. His son later helped IBM develop the computer. Our family lost people in all three services , the army, navy and the air force who never made it back. But their memory lives on, as does our freedom!”  -Bob Taylor, RT Ranch, in the heart of Missouri.
Ardmore, Oklahoma 1975 looking east on 3rd NE.
1. “Big Swimming Pool” (Community Swimming Pool)
2. Dr. J.J. Boyd’s Office (sugar pill doctor)
3. Fibre Reduction Company
4. Ardmore Plumbing and across the street north is their 2nd warehouse/office (4b)
5. Hudson-Houston Lumber Yard Number 2
6. Cashway Lumber Company
7. Otis Ivey’s old service station
8. Vanderburg Grocery and Barber Shop
9. Joe Brown Company
10. Betty Brown’s House of Health
11. Grady Hobson’s Family Store
12. Vanderburg’s old home place on 3rd NE
13. A.D. Wilkinson Printer
14. Ardmore Electric
15. Ritter Bicycle Repair Shop (a vacant lot)


Close-up of Cashway Lumber Company at 3rd and A NE where the Saturday sales are held today.

“We had a wonderful Pearl Harbor Day parade here in New Orleans today. 12 of the living 59 national medal of honor winners from WWII rode in the parade. What an experience to see, They also dedicated and opened the second phase, Pacific Theatre of Operations, of our National D-Day Museum. This was the started by historian Stephen Ambrose (biographer of Eisenhower and Lewis and Clark) with assistance from Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. We are real fortunate to have such a living memorial. Keep up the good work and congratulations on your Christmas tree.”
“Butch, I really enjoyed seeing the picture of Hotel Ardmore. I worked at Grissom’s Drug Store in the SE corner of the building in 1946. Later, my mother worked in the coffee shop in the NE corner. Also, I don’t know why I have never told you about a bell at Hickory Hill Baptist Church at Fittstown. It is an Indian church North and West of Fittstown. Drive north of Fittstown about 1 1/2 miles and you will see a sign that says Hickory Hill Baptist Church. Just follow the road.”
“Hi Butch, I always love your weekly e-mails; but the tea discussion hit home as well as the discussion on telephones, old and new. When I lived in Oklahoma, I thought there was nothing but iced tea until I baby sat for a lady who taught me to enjoy hot tea. Now, no one better think of taking my tea away. I live about 75 miles from a gourmet shop and when I have to cross the Bridge, I always buy one or another of the flavors. I like several kinds. On the telephones; I wish they could expand our lines or something; as I have to dial l-area code-208 or 64l- and then the four digits JUST FOR MY NEXT-DOOR NEIGHBOR!! At least all of our lines are underground. My daughter 35 miles away does not have to use all the numbers for anyone in her whole town. Keep up the good work.”
“Butch, I could not resist giving you a little Oklahoma history after seeing all of the e-mails about old telephone numbers. The telephone company for the Gene Autry area was the Hardy Telephone company owned and operated by Noble & Lena Hardy. I have the original files they used at the time they sold the business in 1956. They used 3 by 5 cards kept in a small metal box as there permanent records of who had service (the persons name), the billing address, telephone number, the installation date, and the rate charged. As an example my folks had two numbers, one for our general store and one for home. Our phones were installed on June 2, 1947. Our billing rate was $3.50 for the store and $2.75 for our home. There was a rate increase on April 20,1954 and the rates went up too $4.00 and $3.00. (Party lines cost $2.75 and had numbers like J-2 ) Our phone number was 54-2(2 rings) for the store and 54-3(3 rings) for our home. To show you how uncomplicated things were in those days our Post Office box number was 54. Now for the rest of the story. In 1956 the Air Force Base was planning to build 750 homes on the west side of Gene Autry starting in September 1956 and to be completed 14 months later. They required dial telephone service. I have a letter dated April 23, 1954 from a Major Craig, Asst Adjutant at Langley Air Force Base Virginia to Royce Gauntt (of then Lone Grove) detailing the needs of the Air Force for telephone service in the Gene Autry area and requesting their capabilities. The Air Force expected 95% of the residents in the housing units to want telephone service. They also expected the need for 20% to be single-party lines, 60% to be two-party service and 20% to be four-party service. With this need Noble and Lena decided at there age they did not want to borrow money from the REA and put in the new service. Thus enters Royce Gauntt. He decided to purchase the telephone company and made a deal with the Hardy’s. As everyone knows the deal for the housing fell through and the base decided to close shortly thereafter. Royce and Noble cancelled the contract and then made another deal for the same price ($10,000) but as part of the deal Noble agreed to stay on for a while and run the operations for which he received $1.50 per hour and $.06 per mile for his truck. The new telephone company became know as the Chickasaw Telephone Company. While it was not part of the deal Royce Gauntt never charged Noble & Lena for a telephone call anywhere for as long as they lived. He was a good person. It is interesting to look at the billing cards and remember all the great people who lived around Gene Autry in those days. Life was certainly different in the days when you could just pick up your phone and crank the handle and when Lena Hardy ( who was the switchboard operator) answered just say “Miss Lena do you know where my Mother is?” and she would tell you, and ring the location “IF” they had a phone……..Hope you enjoyed.” -Richard Haney
“In regard to the telephone numbers; my dad, Orval Wood, worked for the telephone company in Healdton and our number was 7. I remember going through the office as a kid and seeing the operators working. Marie Kiplinger was the chief operator at the time. I have one of the old oscillating fans that used to blow on them to rotate the air as they didn’t have air conditioning.”
“I understand the train that travelled from Ardmore to Durant was called the DINKY during the late thirties. My wife recalls taking it in 1940 to hear Eleanor Roosevelt speak at the University in Durant. It was long gone when I arrived in 1949.In 1949 the hamburger Inn was still on the west side of Washington street next to the post office. The Bowling Alley was located on “A” street between Main and Broadway, it burned in 1950.” -Bill O’Heran

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..“Good evening, Butch! The latest newsletter had a couple of reprints from 2001 dealing with operator-assisted phone exchanges, including the statement “I bet there were operators just like that in the southern part of the state.” I can report that there definitely were, still going strong during the time I was a reporter for the Ardmoreite (fall 1954 to fall 1955). When I covered the Woodford Pie Supper and called in the story to WKY-TV from a phone in the Woodford School, it was one of the ancient hand-cranked-ringer type and it connected me to the switchboard operator in Springer. And before I left Ardmore, that switchboard got replaced by a touch-tone dial system. As I recall, it was the next to last such exchange in the state!” -Jim Kyle

“My photo gallery of the Choctaw PowWow at Durant, Oklahoma December 6, 2015.” -Doug Williams

1950s Christmas medley of songs

Let There Be Peace on Earth was written by Sy Miller and Bill Jackson in 1955.

Let There Be Peace on Earth and let it begin with me.
Let There Be Peace on Earth, the peace that was meant to be!
With God as our Father, brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother in perfect harmony.

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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