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Vol 20 Issue 1036  December 1, 2016

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

Email: [email protected], Phone: 580-490-6823

This week a childhood friend, Tommy Elmore, from the NE was inquiring about some info on the 700 ranch that was Ardmore’s first residence. I pulled out my copy of Sally Gray’s book and here is the story:

Before the arrival of the railroad, the log cabin at the 700 Ranch, built about 1879, was thought to have been the only house constructed for habitation by white people between Gainesville and Sherman, Texas on the south and Fort Arbuckle in Indian Territory on the North. Ardmore first wooden residence, it was said to have been more of a place of rendezvous than a home or ranch headquarters. Cal Stewart, who worked for the Washington brothers in the 1880s, in an interview with Ardmore historian Paul Frame, describe it as a place where crews of cowboys moved in and out depending upon the time of year and type of work they were engaged in near the vicinity. Others, however, recalled having visited Bill Washington at the house and also with Washington’s foreman, Arthur James, who live there with his family.

For almost a century, a remnant of the 700 ranch house could be seen at the southwest corner of G Street and 2nd Avenue Southeast. Pete Nugent, who owns the house in later years, sold it to Oscar key, then bought it back again. Although lacking water and sewer connections the old ranch house was usually rented. In 1957, it was entered into the tax roll for $15, the lowest valuation in the city. Later, after the structure had suffered complete deterioration, a replica of the original double log house with a breezeway or “dog trot” between the two sections was built near Hardy Murphy Coliseum. Then the decision was made in 1991 to move this production to the grounds of the Greater Southwest Historical Museum. Strangely enough, the original site of Ardmore’s first dwelling has never been marked in any manner and it is known to very few. -Sally Gray, Territory Town, The Ardmore Story

Photo of the original (now long gone) 700 ranch house on G Street SE.


October 1963
Ratliff City residents voted to incorporate their town by a 34 to 10 margin during an election on Tuesday October 29th another election on November 26th will select town officers.

October 1963
Danny Alexander, 12, made the mistake of drinking water from the wrong creek, and contacted typhoid fever. He was taken to a hospital in Sherman, Texas and has been absent from school since early September.

The old Tahlequah, Oklahoma depot 1987.


Engine 1108 at the Hardy Murphy Coliseum has been sandblasted, painted, and will be moved to the Ardmore depot probably sometime in first part of next year.


As of today, December 1st, there is a new sheriff in Carter County. Chris Bryant assumed his office this morning. As some of you know, Chris has helped me numerous times at the airpark memorial through the years with projects, grounds maintaining and upkeep. I’m looking forward to working with Chris. Below is a plaque I sandblasted for Chris’ office and I gave it to him this morning. Throttle up!


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


Q.  Where is a whimsical tower inspired by the space age and the Mobius strip located?
A.  It is called the Playtower and located in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

Q.  Where in Oklahoma is the only museum in the U.S. dedicated to women pilots?
A.  (answer in next week’s T&T)

From This and That newsletter archives of November 30, 2002

Thanksgiving afternoon I was going through Pauls Valley, Oklahoma and stop at the depot downtown. They have a locomotive and caboose on display to the north of the depot. Cabooses are now almost a thing of the past. Very seldom will you see one at the back end of a train going by. There is one thing missing in these photos, the train’s bell. I guess it must have been removed by scavengers long ago, or hopefully it is on display somewhere in Pauls Valley.

Ardmore lost an historian last week. I know he didn’t consider himself an historian since he was a professional photographer, but to me he was an historian. All his life he took photos of southern Oklahoma, recording on Kodak film, people, places and things and now those photos are part of history. Some of you 200 plus T&T Readers who have my T&T History CD may have noticed there is a Folder named JoyceFranks on it. Some of the 20 photos in that Folder were collected by Joyce just as keepsakes. And others were actual photos he had taken over the years. Joyce came by to see me several times the past year and brought with him his brown manila envelope with photos he’d saved. We go through them one by one and have the best conversations two history buffs could have. He’d tell me little tidbits of info on a photo that only he alone could know. He’d pull out one photo, show it to me and say remember this one? Sometimes I did, and sometimes he’d have to tell the story behind the photo. Joyce would let me pick out the photos that interested me the most, and scan them. If all the photos Joyce had taken could be burned to a CD, it would be the most comprehensive piece of southern Oklahoma history imaginable. There are a lot of us going to miss you, but you’ll live on in your photos. And if I could inscribe an epitaph at the bottom of Joyce Franks’ tombstone, it would be just two words. “Everybody’s Friend”. If your out there somewhere looking down and reading this, and I believe you are, thanks Joyce for being everybody’s friend.
“In the Daily Ardmoreite (Nov. 18), there was an article about how the severity of the winter weather can be predicted using the kernel of a persimmon. If you cut open the kernel (seed), there will be one of 3 shapes inside : a knife, a fork or a spoon – each mean different types of weather prediction. According to the article, if it is knife-shaped expect bitter, icy winds; fork-shaped – relatively mild winter with light powdery snow; and for the spoon-shape, lots of snow to shovel. This year, the inside of the kernel is spoon-shaped, so I guess (if the folklore is correct), we better get those snow shovels out. I personally would rather have lots of snow in the place of what we usually have…sleet and freezing rain.”
“This is Lighthouse Assembly of God baptism service probably at Lake Murray in the 50’s.


Left to right: Henry Guess, John Guess, Harve Guess and Bill Guess. You wrote about Bill Guess, the police officer in the early 30’s. And Henry Guess was shot at the Blue Front Cafe in 1947 on Caddo Street in Ardmore.



Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..Replies from some of my Facebook friends when I mentioned the persimmon seed and predicted snow:

“Rabbits a plenty here with thick fur and owls constantly hollering up for food at night that’s a bad sign for a rough winter according to what I was taught years ago by a neighbor. So start winterizing everything around we have started stocking up on stew meat and heating supplies here.” -Johnnye Belinda Carriker-Bewley at Faxon, Oklahoma (south of Lawton)”Nature is pretty amazing. The old-timers learned a lot just by observing the animals. If the squirrels around my house are any indication of how bad a winter it’s going to be, it’s going to be pretty bad because they ate everything they could find. There’s not one pecan or pinecone left on any of my trees!” -Douglas Crowson at Madill, Oklahoma

“My Dad always went by that. We had a big persimmon tree and I never saw it fail. Like Mr. Crowson said he also watched the animals.” -Bill Butler, Ardmore

“My grandson they opened 10 persimmons and they were all spoons.” -Kelly McGuire, Marietta, Oklahoma

“Here too, with the squirrels. Never saw them gnaw through the green hull of pecans before, but they have stripped my tree. Several people have told me they did that to their pecans too.” -Diane Patrick Armstrong, Ardmore”Farmers Almanac said Texas & Oklahoma should expect a dry, warmer than usual Winter.” -Scott Bumgarner, Sherman, Texas

Springer Christmas Parade ? Saturday ? December 10, 2016
Open to antique cars, bikes, ATV, floats, walkers and horse groups. Entry fee is one (1) new unwrapped toy. Participants in the parade please meet in the Springer School parking lot on the South side of the school 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.

One of my diatribes that may be of interest ——–

CRAF – Cold War Program

Not generally known, the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, CRAF was a 1950s top secret program whereby all airplanes with range enuf to fly the Atlantic would be “federalized” to support Europe in the event Soviets invaded Western Europe. All such airplanes of airlines were fitted with IFF systems (ID Friend or Foe) which could be ground-interrogated & automatically respond, the signal changed daily. CRAF’s purpose was to evacuate civilians from & transport military personnel & cargo to Europe.

I was one of five people in Pan Am that managed our part of CRAF & was investigated for security clearance. I was impressed with the secret nature of our work, don’t mention its existence, only discuss within on a need-to-know basis, extreme penalties for violation, etc. I only knew the ID of one other in Pan Am I had to work with.

Pan Am & TWA were the only U.S. airlines serving Europe. Pan Am would staff & operate Keflavik, Iceland; London, England & Brussels, Belgium, our other points in Germany, etc. only to be evacuated. TWA would operate Paris, Rome, Santa Maria, Azores. My job was to develop the equipment, tooling & manpower requirements for our locations. I was to become Maintenance Chief at Keflavik, to handle a calculated 19 flights daily each direction — quite a build-up from our then-scheduled two a week.

It was understood that draft legislation existed to be enacted when/if the whistle blew to permit the drafting of personnel to staff the active locations, people who would be put aboard outbound flights without delay. This was serious business & for me, enuf I went to Keflavik again to survey the situation with the future possibilities in mind —-

Looking back, I never saw evidence of our plans being enacted, the equipment being stockpiled at locations — if CRAF were activated, our planning would have been for naught & personnel sent in the field without support —– not without historical precedent, at least one of which I was involved that Gov’t failure to follow thru resulted in failure — that floperoo the subject of another story.

Years later, 1981 after I had retired & moved home to Oklahoma, I got a call from Pan Am’s Director of Security saying I had to come back to NY for a ‘security debriefing’; I had retired without that requirement. He was insistent & as we talked, I figured he had no ID as to what/why my security clearance was for – or whether it was still active. I explained per the above what it was all about & he decided that was debriefing enuf.” -Bob McCrory

At the link below are 10 more scans of old photographs this week. -Robert Hensley

One photo from the above 10 I want to bring out, is the old photograph of Hargrove College in Ardmore. There were two Hargrove College’s in early day Ardmore. The first one a D and 10 NW. There is a plaque that was placed there by the Oklahoma Methodist Historical Society in 1964 which states, “Hargrove College 1895-1914. A Methodist college once stood here, begun by the City of Ardmore it was given to the Indian Mission Conference of the Methodist Church, named in honor of Bishop Robert K. Hargrove. In 1907 the school burned but was rebuilt north of the city. It exerted a vital religious & educational influence throughout the area.”


The second location was on Chickasaw Blvd where Carter Seminary would later be located (now the Chickasaw Health Clinic).

Hargrove College in 1909 at the Chickasaw Blvd location.


I’m not sure what year or the location the photo below was taken, but if I were a betting man, I’d bet at 10th and D NW.


Cold! If the thermometer had been an inch longer we’d have frozen to death. -Mark Twain

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges
Nashobish Ikana
PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443

Vicious Dog Attacks in Oklahoma
Bells of Oklahoma
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

All previous issues of This & That can be found on my Website.
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