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Vol 20  Issue 991   January 21, 2016

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

Email: butchbridges@oklahomahistory.net

Phone: 580-490-6823

I received an email last week along with a photo about Ardmore’s world renown trick roper Hardy Murphy.

This is a “Tuck’s” postcard of Hardy Murphy and Silver Cloud. The back of the card reads “Hardy Murphy of Ardmore, Oklahoma and his trained horse Silver Cloud are presenting a special attraction at Tex Austin’s World Championship Rodeo at the White City Stadium June 9th to July 6th. Silver Cloud is claimed to be the world’s greatest educated horse.” -Robert Hensley

Hardy Murphy, the man of whom the Ardmore fairgrounds Coliseum was named, what’s perhaps perhaps Ardmore is best known ambassador of goodwill in this country and abroad. Hardy was born in 1903 in Gainesville Texas but spent most of his life in Ardmore living with his grandparents the Tom Olivers, early Ardmore pioneers. He was a world famous rodeo entertainer owned the noted horse “Old buck”, a Spanish Palomino, who was Hardy’s partner in the show. The two won blue ribbons in every event in the National Horse Show in Houston, which opened up performances in the Chicago Stadium, Madison Square Gardens in New York City, Boston Gardens, and a command performance before the Queen of England, and royalty of France and Germany. For ten years 1930 – 1940 the two held top spots at the Madison Square Gardens Rodeo.

Hardy and “Old Buck” made famous in pantomime the painting “The end of the Trail.” They were the inspiration for the popular ballad “Gold Mine in the Sky”, and Frank Luther’s a “Cowboy’s Best Friend”, was dedicated to the pair. At age 34, March 3, 1957 “Old Buck” died, ending a legend that perhaps will never be repeated. He is a appropriately buried on the grounds of Hardy Murphy Coliseum in Ardmore where he performed so many times adjacent to the Santa Fe train. “Old Buck” had an understudy, “Silver Cloud”, that Hardly purchased from Leon Daube and Silver Cloud became almost as famous.

When Hardy was not performing he was a real estate broker in Ardmore. His activities indicate his love for this city, and his interest in the preservation of history. He was the originator and regular sponsor of Ardmore’s Birthday Party each July 28th and co-originator of the Junior Chamber of Junior Chamber of Commerce and the Ardmore Round-up Club, a director of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, one of the twelve commissioners in Oklahoma representing the semi-centennial Fifty Years of Progress in 1957, headed many local drives for organizations to benefit others, helped fund and was chairman of the Ardmore Real Estate Board, and it was through his efforts that Ardmore’s first structure, the 700 Ranch Building was restored and move to the Coliseum grounds.

Hardy was married to Elizabeth Jamison Murphy, who is a descendant of the first pioneers of this city. Elizabeth’s grandfather was the first physician in Ardmore. Hardy died in 1961 and will be remembered by future generations of Ardmore for his many accomplishments and betterment of the place he loved as home. –Indian Territory and Carter County Pioneers book 1983

The Daily Ardmoreite November 18, 1942
Popularity of Hardy Murphy Retains Hold
He has returned to Madison Square Rodeo for nine years.
The Daily Oklahoma carried a half page story and pictures Sunday featuring Hardy Murphy, Ardmore, and other Oklahomans who have appeared in Madison Square Garden the past two weeks.
Twenty-three Oklahomans have been listed on the official program for the annual fall rodeo, the youngest representative of this state present perhaps being Thomas Hardy, Murphy’s 4-year-old son.
According to Lucille McKenzie Clancy, writer of the article, one of the most popular features of the rodeo year after year is furnished by Murphy, with his horse, “Buck.” No other horse act ever has played the Garden more than twice, but Hardy Murphy with Buck has come back for nine years.
For these nine years Murphy and Buck have acted out a pantomime named “The Fatal Prairie Dog Hole” with the immense Garden darkened and the single spotlight on the man and horse. When Buck breaks his leg and Murphy must kill his best friend while the best friend looks up with begging eyes, women weep and strong men get a lump in their throats.
“When I was a boy I saw events like that happen, and never forgot it,” Murphy explained. His show first was put on in Chicago in 1931.
Mrs. Jim Eskew Jr., and her baby daughter, Madonna Louise, from Ardmore, accompanied her husband to the show. Junior Eskew is one of the featured performers in the special act known as “Cowboy trick and fancy roping exhibition.” He thrills the audience with his rope jumping and twirling exhibitions and also the wild cow milking contest in which he came out only one second behind the performer who won the top rating in that field. Mrs. Eskew is the former Miss Mary Louise Randolph, daughter of Sheriff and Mrs. Floyd Randolph.
C. J. Shellenberger, Marietta, who was injured at a rodeo early in the spring, got back in shape for the New York show and his brother, David Shellenberger, also of Marietta, entered in the bareback bronc riding and bull riding contests. A brace has been keeping C. J.’s injured leg from further hurt.
Mrs. Murphy accompanied her husband to New York as she has on all other trips since their marriage several years ago.




This submitted photo was taken last weekend of Turner Falls adorned with the snow and ice.


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


I started a new regime of Coconut Oil in my hot tea and coffee along with my Probiotic I have been taking everyday. I lost 3 pounds in 3 days since starting the coconut oil.



If you are like many and have an all electric home, you’re electric bill may be higher in the winter than in the summer. Several friends are finding out my Okie Power Saver is a great way to reduce that electric bill and save money year round.


Q.  Located in the scenic, hilly woodlands of the Sans Bois Mountains of Oklahoma, what state park and adjoining wildlife management area covers more than 8,000 acres and includes three lakes. The park resembles a magical forest.
A.   Robbers Cave State Park at Wilburton, Oklahoma

Q. What does the Zip in zipcode stand for?
A.  (answer in next week’s T&T)

From This and That newsletter archives of January 19, 2002:

When I’m traveling around southern Oklahoma, I’m always on the lookout for that perfect barbecue sandwich or smoked brisket sandwich. For many years a lot of folks in this area has known one of the best places to buy fresh vegetables is Farmers Market down on Mill Street SE. When I was down there this past week picking up a few things, I stopped by the meat market section and visited with my old friend Eugene Justice. I was looking over the meats and seen their sign for smoked brisket sandwich, and told them to fix one to go. When I got home and opened that sack up, I think its the biggest smoked brisket sandwich I ever saw! In fact, it was so big I cut the thing in half and saved the other half to eat the next day! Boy, you talk about the most tender brisket you ever ate, it just melted in my mouth. Here is a pic of Eugene working in the meat market section of Farmers Market here in Ardmore.

A Reader told me this week she took her son swimming at Devils Den back in the 60s, and he got a leach on his leg! She said it scared her to death, rushed home, and asked her mother if she should take him to the hospital. Her mom said that was not necessary, and to just pull the leach off her son’s leg. It bled. What an experience. Does anyone know if there are still leaches in this areas creek or ponds? I didn’t know we still had them around here.
“Butch, Someone wrote and asked where Club Willow was. If my memory serves me right it was right across the street from the Skyview drive in. In fact I think it is where the SOWC water maintenance building is now. I remember coming out of the Skyview after watching Your Cheating Heart and it seems that Hank Williams Jr. was playing there.”
“Funny you should mention Devil’s Den. Just a few years ago a real estate lady in Tishomingo took me in there for an afternoon of picture taking. I’ll send you three for now, and if you want more let me know. At the time I was there they had some big plans for the place, but apparently nothing developed.”  -Glen Burke


“This displaced Okie always looks forward to your newsletter. The items this week about The Devil’s Den reminded me of a favorite fishing hole of my husband’s at Tishomingo–The Butcher Pen. Our children and I were less than enthusiastic–it was usually littered with broken glass,trash, buzzing with flies–no place to play or picnic–but my husband loved it, had loved it since his parents took him there in the 30’s. He claimed he could catch more fish there in 30 minutes than anywhere else all day. After we moved to the Texas coast, he convinced us to take a camping trip to Lake Texhoma. He promised he knew a place we would all love, wonderful camping, etc. etc. We drove long into the night and when the sun rose–guess where he had parked–at the Butcher Pen! Is it still there? Do husbands still love it as much as wives hate it? Truthfully, I’m so homesick for Oklahoma at the moment, would welcome a trip to the Butcher Pen. (But don’t tell my husband.)”
“Butch, the Blue Bonnet was on Caddo about 150 feet north of Main street. It was a beer bar about 1950/53. Thanks for the good write up this week.”
“butch, I really enjoy your T &Y each week. Look forward to it every Sat. I want to question the park near Tishomingo. We use to go to a Ballard Park near Tish. It was a fun place to go and picnic and it had a skating rink and swimming pool back in the 40’s and 50’s. Devil’s Den is over near Wilburton, Ok. It is still in operation. We had a family reunion there a few years ago. Also, back when my daughter was in the 2nd or 3rd grade, she was ask at school who our family doctor was. She told them Dr. Boyd. I had recently been to him for poison ivy–at $1:00 for a bottle of his special medicine. Thanks again for your time and effort.”
“The Pharoah, Oklahoma high school was on Highway 75 just south of I-40. It was near a little settlement called “Pharoah”? It had the inscription High School over the front door. Note the two turrets over the front door. I wonder if they at one time held a bell or chimes of some kinds.”
“The Oklahoma City Police Department has finally gotten around to creating one of their own website just recently and have it online. http://www.okc.gov/okcpd/

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..“More about Architect J.B. White — one of his major works is the now Ardmoreite building, corner Broadway & B st NW, built originally in 1930 as the Gilbert Building, for a time had a movie theater. His family home at 900 9th Ave NW, facing the playground & tennis courts. Above the garage his draftsmen worked. I live two blocks North & few years ago, walking by, telling the then owner of its history, tells me he had found a stash of old blueprints in the attic — JBW’s daughter & my Mother were lifelong best friends, graduating Ardmore High School in 1921, had their 70th HS reunion over the phone, she tells me as I was reporting on my 50th 1941 reunion in 1991. I turned 92 few days ago.” -Bob McCrory

Thanks for all you do Butch! It’s a great service to our community!

I’d like to invite your readers to the Gene Autry, Oklahoma Museum’s FREE Monthly Family Movie Night. It’s the second Saturday of each month at 6pm. We show 1 episode of the Gene Autry TV Show followed by one Gene Autry Feature Movie. It’s a great way for those who remember Saturday’s at the movies with the rest of the family! Wholesome and you can’t beat the price!Leslei Fisher, Executive Director

Abandoned Oklahoma website

Thanks for including our little shed build on your website last week.
Reading your comments about your pallet shed-building pages getting so many hits was really interesting. I guess there must be a lot of people world-wide who would like to build a shed of some kind from recycled materials that are readily available at little or no cost.

In your other email you mention about the roofline, and wrapping the roof material on and getting it fixed. So I done a little diagram which is attached, showing how we did ours. Like you say, it was a bit of trouble figuring it out, as I’d not done one before. (I am one of those guys who like to make a sketch or a drawing on paper to help me figure out how I’m going to do something, so I had to have a couple of attempts before I felt I’d gotten it right enough to be waterproof).

So far as the stuff on the outside goes, that is weatherboard taken from old fence sections which had been discarded. We call it larch lap fencing over here, although it’s not all larch wood nowadays. We know a guy who puts up new garden fences for folks around here, and he is happy that we take away old stuff from his trash pile. Some of it is quite good stuff, full 6′ x 6′ sections, but most has to be broken up to get the better lengths of weatherboarding out. It generally rots off at the bottom first, as you’d expect.

Well, guess that’s about it for now, again many thanks for including my shed build right in there with the others. If any folks have enquiries about it anytime, you are welcome to forward them my email address. Like you, I like to help out folks if I can.Have a good 2016!
Keith in the UK

With a severe winter blizzard descending on the east coast and my kinfolk and friends…..

“Every mile is two in winter.”

See everyone next week!

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

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

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