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Vol 20  Issue 998   March 10, 2016

Email: butchbridges@oklahomahistory.net

Phone: 580-490-6823

Thomas McClure ‘Mack’ Fraser (1912-1986) was Carter County Commissioner for District 3 from 1959 to 1978. Before statehood the Fraser family home was located where the Carter County Courthouse parking lot is now (south of courthouse). Mack’s father, David Stoddard Fraser, opened Fraser and Sons Grocery-Wholesale Meats at 419 East Main in 1918. About 1936 Mack’s father continued operation of the meat market at 501 East Main along with Mack and his other son Louis Edwin, known as ‘Mutt’. If there is one thing I will always remember Fraser’s Meat Market for, it will be their delicious chili. My mother wouldn’t buy any other brand. Jon Hargrave’s father-in-law, Edward G. Bice, was the person who taught Mack and Mutt how to make that famous chili. Mr. Bice was known by his friends as Tobe, but he will always be remembered as the man who shared with the Fraser boys the secret of how to make the most delicious chili in southern Oklahoma. I remember in the 1960s Ernest Brown of the Hamburger Inn bought all his meat from Frasers Meat Market on East Main. Mr. Brown knew if you wanted quality hamburger patties, you had to start with quality meat and Fraser’s was the only place to buy it. During Mack Fraser’s tenure in office he was instrumental in the formation of the Southern Oklahoma Ambulance Service in 1962, served on its board, and continually fought for funding of the ambulance service. Before Mack’s death in 1986, I transported him several times in the ambulance. Mack was a friend to many, especially the poor and the elderly, and he was a friend to me.

This is a photo of Thomas ‘Mack’ Fraser from his 1974 county commissioner campaign card.


This is Mack’s campaign card and one thing I want to point out is that small copyrighted union label with the 8 next to it under the words Carter County. The 8 signified the printers were part of the 2,300 member Union headquarters in St Louis, Missouri. The logo was used by printing companies like Ardmore’s Sprekelmeyer Printing back in those days to signify the printers were members of their Union. Back in those days, if you didn’t have your campaign materials printed at a “union shop” you were already out on a limb and chances of being elected were slim.


Here is a close-up of that union label.


Rock Quarry south of Davis, Oklahoma. Photo from Murray County by Opal Hartsill Brown.


Photograph of the old Bishop’s Restaurant in Okmulgee, Oklahoma before the entire block burned.


1919 photo of peach pickers of Logan County, Oklahoma


Story of a witch buried near Skiatook, Oklahoma.


February 1932
F.J. Trimmer, who left Carter County for Texas, is moving back. He was farming near Haskell City, Texas when he decided southern Oklahoma is the place for all good men to live and he bundled up and moved back. He and his family came in a truck, but he has nine mules and two wagons on the road. His home will be southeast of Lone Grove.

February 1932
A little boy’s chatter told Tulsa officers that they held the wife and son of Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd, and that the Oklahoma bad man had been within 100 feet of capture in a dawn raid on a Tulsa residence.

February 1963
The worst of Oklahoma’s second cold wave in a week appeared to be over. The biting slice of winter set the thermometer to zero and below in many parts of the state. Adding to the trouble was a freezing mist and highways quickly covered with a slick glaze.

February 1956
A special meeting of the State Highway Commission was called for the opening of bids on a $400,000 plus bridge building project at the Red River, Oklahoma-Texas boundary, south of Marietta. Engineers estimated cost of $412,870 dollars with each state paying half.

February 1956
Ardmore City Commissioner Joe Taylor was forcibly yanked from a District Court anteroom Saturday by two State Crime Bureau agents and taken to Pauls Valley under guard. His wife, Josephine, barely managed to kiss her husband goodbye through a window of the car door before he was whisked off. Taylor was visibly shaken by the ordeal on the way to the car. Friends of Taylor posted bond of $20,000. But before Taylor could go free, Texas Rangers served warrants on him and he was returned to jail.

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


My regime of Coconut Oil in my hot tea and coffee along with my Probiotic I have been taking everyday is working great. My blood pressure is really down since taking a teaspoon a day in my hot tea. Plus it has been working a miracle on my skin blemishes, etc. the past month.



In the summer months 60% or more of your electric bill can be attributed to the air conditioner running day and night to keep your house cool. Several of my friends have found out how to reduce those high electric bills by maybe 15% or more. The Okie Power Saver takes difference of the watts you are being billed for, and what you are actually using, and recycles those watts. The Okie Power Saver is a great way to reduce that electric bill and save money year round.


Q.  Where in Oklahoma is Bathtub Rocks?
A.   Tahlequah, Oklahoma

Q. Where in Oklahoma is the National Rod & Custom Car Hall of Fame museum?
A.  (answer in next week’s T&T)

From This and That newsletter archives of March 9, 2002:

I was looking around the old Tivoli theater this week. Crews are busy inside re-modeling and getting ready to open it to local talent shows and

This week I received an surprise letter in the mail! It was from Ruby Billingsley in Lone Grove, Oklahoma. Enclosed was a copy of her grandmother’s doctor’s charges back in 1956. Her five day hospital stay was at $3.00 a day for doctor visits! Reminds me of 1970 when I worked for the ambulance service and we charged $22.50 to take you to the hospital. Prices have sure changed over the years. Ruby’s grandmother’s doctor was Lyman Veazey, M.D. (1904-1988) whose office was in the Bowman Building on Stanley SW in 1956. Phone 180.

This is the letter I received this week from Ruby Billingsley:

“Dear Butch, I really enjoy your weekly history on the net. I can relate to a lot of the places talked about. My hometown is Ravia, but live in Lone Grove now. I can’t hardly wait till Thursday night to read this week’s this n that. History was my favorite subject in school.

I have been going through some things at my mother’s. She has had to move in with us now. This is a copy of my grandmother’s hospital bill from 1956 I wanted to share with you (didn’t know how to send it over the internet). Also noticed the 3 cent stamp on the envelope.

I have been going through school censuses in Johnston county. I was told that before there were counties there were lots of records kept in Ardmore by the County Clerks Office. I wonder if anyone is allowed to search those records? I love searching for family history. Thank you for your weekly this n that and keep up the good work.

I believe my grandmother passed away in 1958. She is buried at Troy. I have lots of family buried there. It is ok if you would like to share this with your readers. Thank you.” signed: Ruby Billingsley, Lone Grove, Oklahoma
Puny Sparger’s Justice of the Peace office was located on the landing between the first floor and second floor of the Carter County courthouse around 1951 or 1952. The Sheriff’s Courthouse Security Officer is now located in Puny Sparger’s old office.
This week the widow of my uncle Paul Bridges, who died overseas in World World II, placed a paver memorial brick at the War Memorial on Main Street in Ardmore.

The Daily Ardmoreite:
December 28, 1909 – Ardmore City Lake to be the largest body of water in the state
January 3, 1910 – Photo of George Selvidge, owner Peoples Building and Loan
January 3, 1910 – Photo of Ardmoreite Lee Cruce for Governor
January 5, 1910 – Court House site ready for building
January 7, 1910 – Deputy Sheriff W.E. Landrum resigns to run for office of sheriff
“Hi Butch. This T&T I think is the best thing that has come along since sliced bread. There were three articles in this weeks that I have first hand knowledge of. The service station across the hyw. from Evelyn’s Chicken In The Rough that had the talking bird was operated by C.A ( Bub ) McGee. It was an Apco Station. The bird was a Hill Minor. His name was Scrappy. Bub also bought another Miner bird and his name was Phil. Now for the funny part. Scrappy had a voice that sounded like a man, Phil’s voice sounded like a woman. (Have to use your imagination here.) You could put the cover on the cages and they would start talking and would have you laughing and in tears. The Junior Goodson fight at the Avalon Club is a fact. He and Bob Kirkpatrick were floor bouncers and they both got cut up pretty bad. Bob and his wife owned a place on 12th. ave. just on the west side of the place that had Fried Pies. But was named Kirkpatrick’s Cafe. Bob and his wife divorced. She sold it. Later it was called the 12th.Street Lounge. On the Waco Turner poject at Dornick Hill’s Golf and Country Club. Also a true story I was working there for A.B. Craighead. He was the greens keeper. My salary was $0.75 per hour When Mr. Turner started his project my salary along with the other guy’s working were raised to $ 1.25 per hour. Among us guy’s working there the joke was How Many Barrels Of Money Waco would open that day. I don’t remember the exact year but it was between 1950 &1954. I went into the Army in Jan.1954 Otto Pal did run for sheriff two or three times. Mr. Enoch Watterson may have the details. They ran for the office I believe twice. Enoch was the sheriff for several terms. I knew Enoch fairly well. The person that mentioned The Tivoli Theater. Do you remember the Ritz. It changed name to the Park Theater. and the Paramount that was on the south side of main across from the Park Theater. Then how about the Globe Theater that was on the east side of Washington and on the North side of Main. Mr. Bridges keep up the good work, it is fantastic.”
“Butch, I remember Puny Sparger..He wasn’t puny at all..Big man..He ran Tinys Cafe on Main..There are a million stories that could be told about what happened at the “wagon yard” behind Daubes Dept. Store..Quite a gathering place..Shorty Sloan patrolled it on foot of course..Bloody Caddo was also on his beat..That night stick was hard and he would use it often..R.D. Richards may have been one of Waco Turner’s Drillers..Does anyone know if Waco was a brother to Roy J. and Ray Turner? I watched the building of Lake Murray and thought if I ever got to be big enough to operate a Fresno, I’d be set for life..I played *-ball and snooker with Junior Goodson..He was the bouncer at the Wagon Wheel on 70E.. Does anyone remember: Little Dan the Whiskey Man? Happy Trails.” -Bud
“Hi Butch. I don’t recall Otto Powell actually winning an election. He was a “burley” person and I recall the stuff about him being illiterate. I never saw him without a pair of overalls on, blue ones, not the ones with stripes. As I recall, he actually lived a little south of Wilson, “in the country (as if Wilson isn’t country?)” and he did “plough his way to town”. He wanted to be sheriff, but never made it. I have wondered all of these years what kind of an office holder he would have made.”

“Butch, since it has not been mentioned in your ramblings, I have to say that one of the best restaurants in Ardmore was Bullock’s Steak House. It was located on the southeast corner of Broadway and Commerce. It was directly behind the service station that was operated by Charles Buckholtz. Bob Bullock was the proprietor, and one of the nicest gentleman that you could know. His son has been a DJ for several years for KVSO radio (Bob Boykin). Saturday mornings were great for coffee and conversation. Charles Buckholtz’s brother (Everett Buckholtz) operated the Texaco station on the northeast corner of that same intersection. Another great place to eat was Charlie’s Big Little Place just west of the old Hotel Ardmore. Charlie Priddy was the owner. He was always good for some interesting twists on the art.”
“Hi Butch. I was going back thru and reading the T&T again. I had commented on the article on the Junior Goodson Fight. The person said he thought that it occurred maybe in the 60’s. I would put the time between 1950 & 1954. One of my very close friends Virgil Kirkpatrick was the son of Bob Kirkpatrick that was trying to help Junior. That is where I got the info that Bob also was cut up bad. I lost touch of Virgil after I was drafted in to the Army Jan.1954.”
“Butch, your picture of the old outhouse reminds me of the one my folks had. They also had a rooster that loved to catch you in there and would jump you when you came out. We kept a supply of rocks or dirt clods to pelt him with so we could get back to the house. My older brother finally killed him with a rock he threw at him. Also here in Grandfield, Oklahoma last night we had some terrible cold wind. All day we had had some misty rain. Guess what? It froze and we were without electricity from about 10:30 last night til 4:50 this morning. The lines are still coated with ice.” 
-Minnie Lou Whittington (December 18, 1934 – December 10, 2014)
“Butch, just opened up the article you have on the internet about the Ardmoreite Bldg. My grandfather, J.B. White, made the plans for it. When it was almost ready to open my uncle, Latham White, who was also one of the architects, had to go up to the top floor to check on something and he took me. There was already Masonic decorations up there and I remember a very large chair and lots of beautiful maroon velvet. I also remember attending movies in the auditorium in later years. My Uncle Don told me of an incident while it was being built but I have never been able to look in the old copies of the Ardmoreite to prove it. He said that the balcony strength was questioned. My grandfather sent for the steel man from Oklahoma City and he assured him it would support a crowd. Papa went to John Easley, the Ardmoreite editor, and a good friend and told him he was going to test it and Mr. Easley told him it would be printed in the Ardmoreite. They put full dry cement bags on the floor and had all the men who worked on the building to stand on that. A photographer from the Ardmoreite came and took a picture which was printed in the paper. I would like to be able to secure a copy of the paper.”  jmaxey@mesh.net
“Hate to see Kriet’s store go out of business. I worked there in the toy department (White’s Auto Store) in 1947. Made $21 per week. Mr Yerby was manager. Elizabeth Minzes and I worked on the mezzanine floor.”
“My old memory works better when I read the T&T each weekend. Your Grandpa Bridges had a cafe just north of the Tivoli Theater ((Tivoli is the new name). Ira Bridges’ cafe was named Yellow Jacket. The folks that charged their meals and were not able to pay their debts. because of depression, often called the “Yellow Jacket Cafe , a place where you got stung!! Many times in those years the group I buddied with could put their pennies together to come up with 10 cents, the cost of admittance to the theater. One kid could pay the 10 cents charge to get in. Then he would go behind the stage, open the rear door and let the rest of the gang in free thru the back door!! !Lots of fun when we didn’t get caught. We enjoy all your T&T stories. Recently I enjoyed the Gilstrap News in T&T. Your dad, “Battleship” and your uncle “Junior” played High School football with Sid. Sid’s younger brother, Lynn sold papers as did Sid. I left Ardmore in the early 40’s, so I do recognize many T&T stories (history) regarding Ardmore tales “back-then”. -Doyle Bridges
“Do you have any Bells in Ellis county (Gage, Oklahoma)? In Gage, Oklahoma, Ellis County there may be a possible Bell sitting at the Gage Church of Christ. I found a picture of it in “History of Northwest Oklahoma” when I was looking for something else at the Oklahoma Historical Society. I haven’t been to Gage yet to take a picture of this Bell to see if it still exists, but I will sometime. On pg 2 of the History of Northwest Oklahoma (printed around 1996), it states…. “Church Bell Historic Site In Gage — Gage Church of Christ Bell — Children as well as adults are intrigued by the old cast iron bell on display in front of the Gage Church of Christ building. The church building was built in 1902 with a belfry in it. The old bell hung in the bell tower until about 1960, when members of the church had it torn down. The bell is very heavy. The belfry had deteriorated, due to old age and church members were afraid it was becoming dangerous. Children were always wanting to ring the bell, which was done by pulling on a long heavy rope. “Church bells have been used over the years for many things. Early bells summoned soldiers to arms as well as Christians to church. There are many old customs connected with the use of the church bells, At one time in history, the bell was rung for the dying and later it was rung after a death. “Bells were used as time pieces. Not everyone had a watch or clock, as we do today, so one hour before church services, they rang the bell to remind people it was time to get ready for church. There are people in the Gage congregation today, who remember when the bell rang for that purpose. Church bells are becoming a thing of the past, but will always be a part of our history. Visitors in Gage often stop to examine the old bell, which was re-mounted on a cement slab not long ago.”

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..“Butch, Reading last weeks This and That, about the restoration work done on the White House during the Truman administration, reminded me of seeing at the Truman Library in Independence where people could purchase kits of White House bricks to build a fireplace. The kits came with enough bricks to build a fireplace in your home complete with instructions. To the best of my recollection the kits cost $100.” -Greg DeBerry

“In your newsletter last week you ask where the bathtub rocks where located in Oklahoma. They are just outside Tahlequah, Oklahoma or at least that?s where I remember them. But did you also know there are a lot of them located where I grew up. A small creek but with some holes. That look just like a bath tub. They call the creek, Chicken creek tubs. I have not seen them for about 30 years. But I am sure they still will be there.” -Billy G McBride Jr.

“I am looking for any pictures and or information on the barbers and employees of the old Art Barber Shop which was located next door to Priddy’s Grill on Main Street. I am especially interested in pictures and information on the man who used to shine shoes there he was called Turkey but I think his name was James Jones. I have attached a picture of a clay sketch I have done of him from memory. I got my first hair cut there in the late 40’s and remained a customer until I moved out of state in late 1969. I remember Turkey especially . The other barbers I recall were Richard Birch (who I believe owned the shop), Son Watkins, Alvin Martens.

I recall that there was an article in the Ardmoreite when Richard Birch retired and closed the shop. There were pictures of some of the barbers, Richard and one of Turkey. Of course I do not remember the date of this article and that apparently is the only way to find it without searching page at a time, year at a time, at the Chickasaw Library. So any help family, friends… anyone could give me would be greatly appreciated.” -Bill Crosby, Dallas, TX  bcrosby500@yahoo.com


The Daily Ardmoreite
October 12, 1952

Lack of Geology Knowledge Was Contributing Factor in Area’s First Oil Well in ’06

Oil producers place great store on the word of the geologists in regard to drilling for new oil, but according to one story, one of the world’s greatest oil fields was discovered because a man didn’t know much about geology.

The field was the Healdton area and it was said that no oil could be in the area. The Santa Fe had drilled a well in 1906 near Wheeler, east of Healdton a few miles, getting a lot of gas and some heavy oil. Other wells were drilled nearby.

A short distance west of the Wheeler wells was a well defined geologic fault line. Men in the fields said there could be no oil west of the fault.But a man named Nichols, working for the Red River Oil Company, did not know this. The fault meant nothing to him, and he drilled beyond it and discovered the great Healdton field.

As you know, I am still on the hunt for this Walnut Cemetery in Murray County. A cousin of mine visited it in I believe 1931. Her mother took stenography notes on where it was located and they took pictures. I am attaching that stenography description, along a picture of what I believe is that very small graveyard, with just a handful of graves at the time. Also fyi I have several pictures of Greenhill Cemetery in Davis and wow, what a difference from now. It was woody and wild looking back then. Hoping it might spark a clue.

Some folks have suggested that it is the Howell Cemetery but I think this is a different one from the Howell. http://www.interment.net/data/us/ok/murray/howell/howell.htm

Candace Gregory


Museum Memories
Compiled by Melinda Taylor
The Wilson News
February 2, 1917


The Yale Theater is to have a new manager, Adolph Honegger, of Adolph and Raymond, the high-class acrobatic team that played here last November, will take charge of the playhouse in March. For the summer months a ventilating system will be put in or an airdome erected for the convenience of his summer patrons. Later a modern and up-to-date theater will be built that will accommodate all kinds of shows.

Mr. Honegger began his career as a show man when quite young. His first work was with a circus, where he soon developed into one of the best ground acrobats in the country. Then going into vaudeville he appeared in the largest theaters in America, Europe and Australia. Mr. Honegger’s work brought him to New Wilson and being favorably impressed with the town he decided to locate here.

Mr. Homegger has a one year lease on the theater with the privilege of renewal. Many surprises are promised the amusement seeking people of New Wilson.

— Carter Oil Company is building a power house and other buildings to house their supplies on the Rogers’ farm. They are also erecting a number of tenant houses for their employees.

Visit us at the museum. We have an excellent genealogy library with thousands of obituaries. WHM – Wilson Historical Museum Hours: Tues., Thurs., Fri., Sat. 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

WHM – Wilson Historical Museum


“When I find myself fading, I close my eyes and realize my friends are my energy.” -anonymous

See everyone next week!

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