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Vol 21  Issue 1046  February 9, 2017

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

Email: butchbridges@oklahomahistory.net, Phone: 580-490-6823

Travis Ritter who dealt in insurance was truly gifted. His jokes were accomplished with perfect timing and an inspired sense of ridiculous. Lighting the heater of a friend’s office on a hot August day and watching the friend swear and curse the weather was a minor triumph. Mrs. Ritter who should have known better was once the victim of her husband’s humor. He telephoned her to say that he was bringing an out-of-town client home to dinner. “He is very hard of hearing,” she was told. “You will have to talk very loud to him.” His instructions to the friend were, “my wife is very deaf,” you will have to yell at her to be understood. What a loud evening it was, and strangely enough did not end in divorce. But the crowning achievement in his long career came about on a hunting trip with a group of friends. He had asked permission of a local rancher to hunt on his land. Permission was granted, though the rancher had a request of his own. “Travis, I have an old white horse out there that needs to be put down but I’ve had him since he was a colt and I just can’t do it.” “Will you do it for me while you’re hunting in that pasture today?” Ritter agreed and on the specified day the men went out with their guns hoping to come across some quail. As the Rancher had said, the old white horse was in the pasture and he did look pathetic. Ritter raised his gun and dropped the animal. His friends were horrified. “Why in the world did you do that,” they asked. “I’ve never shot a horse before,” Ritter said, then whirling around to face them with a demented expression on his face he continued, “come to think of it I’ve never shot a man either.” All records were broken as they ran for cover.  -Sally Gray, Territory Town, The Ardmore Story published 2006

This week has been a busy week for me. Last Monday I started work fulltime in the Information Technology department at the Michelin plant here in Ardmore, doing what I like best, computers. I’m averaging over 4,500 steps a day in that huge tire building plant (over 1,900 employees), but loving every minute of it.

A glimpse into the past:
Dec 16, 1921
Broom Factory
E. D. Crites, proprietor of the Ardmore Broom Company, who came here from Lawton a short time ago, has his new factory at 6th and I Street Southwest completed and is making brooms at this time. For the present he has only a small force at work but he has supplies on hand for making many thousands of brooms and as soon as the first of the year arrives he will place salesmen on the road and will begin pushing his business. The factory as completed has a capacity of fifty dozen brooms a day and as the business grows new units will be added. Mr. Crites has in stock broomcorn which came from Pauls Valley and Lindsay but he wants to encourage local farmers to raise the product here to supply his factory and those who rail at his place will be given instructions how to care for their crop so it will be salable. Since 1890 Mr. Crites has been in the same line of business and has operated in the towns of Lawton and Wichita Falls. He has transferred all his interests here and owns his home and his factory. He has customers who for years have been handling his brooms in seven states of the union. His plant is equipped with the most modern machinery, his brooms are turned out under his personal supervision and they ought to be the best product on the market. As a mark of appreciation for the courtesies extended him by the Chamber of Commerce, Secretary Barron is to be presented with a large broom which it is said will be large enough to sweep Ardmore clean.

December 1962
Hunters in this area brought down 58 bucks breaking the old record of 42 set in 1961. Sunday’s biggest kill was by Bill Putman, a 12 pointer that weighed 148 pounds.

December 1989
In a deal concluded this week the Lone Grove Ledger has purchased Quality Printing Company. Quality Printing was established in 1982 under the ownership of Ron and Barbara Henry.

December 1932
Two little girls in Tishomingo are undergoing treatment for bites received from a dog suffering with rabies. The dog also bit two cows, including one cow that belong to Reverend Cummings. Mayor A. T. Evans instructed the City Marshall to shoot on sight all dogs found running at large within the City.

December 1932
Snowy weather and chilly winds do not blend well with tales of turtle trapping and summer fishing but turtle hunters at Battle Springs Lake near Cheek last month caught 298 turtles in one day with 8 nets. The average weight of the turtles was 3 pounds. Altogether they captured 1,235 Turtles from area lakes over a 15-day period. That’s nearly seven tons of turtles caught with appetites consistent with their size. “The reason there are so many turtles ruining the fishing game season is they live a long life,” said the Dwight Bell, game warden.

December 1932
Ardmore airport near Springer swept by merciless winds and unprotected from the chill of winter, recorded a low reading of 5 degrees above zero on Saturday morning.

Some pavers I recently sandblasted.



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 in Oklahoma is a petrified 250 Million year old, now extinct, tree?
A.  The Callixylon tree Ada Oklahoma on the East Central College campus.

Q. Where does the oldest person in Oklahoma reside?
A. Answer in next week’s newsletter

Below is from This and That newsletter archives of February 4, 2005

Speaking of someone making it into the big leagues, I received a music CD in the mail this week from Ruby Beaver. Ruby lives in Tishomingo and has written a number of songs, and they can now be heard on CD. The only place you can get Ruby Beaver’s CD is from her. They are $10 each which includes postage to your door.

IN HER OWN WORDS: “I was born to Tim and Gracie Ward in Coleman, Oklahoma and graduated High School in Milburn, Oklahoma. I worked for several government agencies including IRS for 13 years. I founded and operated Beaver Tax Service for twenty plus years in Tishomingo. I have always written songs but no one saw them until the 80s. My husband was playing in a band and I started writing songs for them to sing. I made one swipe at the Nashville Music scene and was encouraged, but I could not handle two businesses at the same time. I put my notebooks full of songs away and three years ago, after I had sold my business, I dragged my music out and began a catalog of songs. I was lucky to find a publisher for a traditional country song writer. I write the lyrics and compose the music altogether, sing them with piano or guitar accompaniment, mail them to a record company to make a demo for me, then off to the publisher to sell them for me. I now have two publishers, and 19 songs that are on demos. It has become a full time job.” -Ruby Beaver

“hearing the word roundhouse brought back a memory, one of the rr turntables was located on the east side of F St SW just north of the tracks that parallel Moore SW I never saw the roundhouse, or at least I dont remember it, but it must have been a very interesting item for a young boy to watch”
“I didn’t see Wood (Chief) Marris’ name mentioned in your T&T a month or so ago, but if you ever knew him you would know that Ardmore lost a real friend at his passing. I worked with Chief at OG&E, and he was always a humorous mess to be around. He always talked about half English and half Choctaw and just about everything he ever said come out funny. Chief was almost 99 years old at his death. The last time I visited him at the Sulphur Veteran’s Center he was just so alert. You wouldn’t have ever known that he was so old. His eyes were bright, and everything he said or asked was so pertinent. He asked about all his old OG&E buddies, but I told him he was almost the last one because most of the ones he asked about had already passed away. When my older son, Derin, was about 3 or 4 years old I went to Chief’s house to borrow a tool. I asked Derin if he wanted to go with me to the Indian’s house to get the tool. Of course, he said yeah Daddy, but when we got to Chiefs shop door Derin sort of hid behind me and when Chief came out with the tool Derin peeked out from behind me and looked up at Chief. Derin, was always a little timid around folks he didn’t know, but when I called him an Indian Derin was really afraid. He said so innocently, “Daddy is he wild?. Chief got the biggest kick out of this remark, and every time after that when he saw Derin and me he always referred to him as his little Indian fighter. To a great American — Wood (Chief) Marris 1906-2005

“My wife and I stayed in Jefferson TX for a weekend, and took a ghost walk of the town. They said that it was always rumored that tunnels ran under the town, and a few years ago they found them. Unfortunately, these were used for transporting slaves into the river town, but is still interesting.”
“My Grandparents, Thomas and Olivia S. Griffin homesteaded the old ONM&P line that ran where Grand Avenue in early 1900 where the old Roundhouse was located. My Grandfather died in 1907 and in early 1920’s Olivia S. Griffin sold this land to the railroad to build the Roundhouse. If you ever find a picture of the old Roundhouse, I hope you are able to share it with all of us because I would also treasure seeing it, too.” -Nell A. Lewis

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..“Butch, As a youngster back in the early 60’s my grandparents lived in Ada, home of the petrified tree. I remember my brother and I going to the tree, which was just a few blocks from my grandparents home, on the ECU campus. I hadn’t thought about that tree in decades until I read your trivia question last week.” -Greg DeBerry

“Butch, There is a petrified tree here in Ada at Wintersmith Park.” -Bruce

Q. Where in Oklahoma is a petrified 250 Million year old, now extinct, tree?
A: Nowhere. God created the Earth around 6,000 years ago.

Folder of postcards and cabinet photographs from the past  -Robert Hensley

Let’s go back to Milburn USA,
See old friends on Settlers day,
Talk about the good old times,
Childhood day of yours and mine,
We hauled hay in the sun all day,
In good old Milburn USA.

-Ruby Beaver, Tishomingo, Oklahoma

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges
Nashobish Ikana
PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443https://oklahomahistory.net

Vicious Dog Attacks in Oklahoma
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