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Vol 21  Issue 1,056 April 20, 2017

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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

A Glimpse Into The Past

At noon Monday, January 14, 1974 a southbound Amtrak passenger train jumped the track at the depot here in Ardmore. Myself and Bill Lewis were on duty at the ambulance service. When we arrived at the station, several of the cars were off the track and tilting at a 45 degree angle toward to east. The cars would have completely fell over on their side, except they were held in this precarious position by those cars that were still upright on the rails. The thing I remember most working that accident was how everything was leaning so when we were inside the cars, that both myself and Bill Lewis developed equilibrium problems because everything was leaning sideways. Weird. We had to break windows out of the passenger cars and extricate the victims on emergency stretchers or spineboards out the windows to waiting rescuers. This is a pic of some of those helping with the rescue, include District Attorney Special Investigator Wayne Warthen, City Electrician James Blalock, and Respiratory Therapist Bill Allen of the Ardmore Adventist Hospital. Also there was my co-worker Joe Pack of the ambulance service, but on this day he was working part-time at the Ardmore Hospital in Respiratory Therapy and he and Bill Allen responded with a second ambulance.


A Reader sent in a file of a baseball them from this area, but not sure where. His grandfather, Alex Simpson, is the next to last on the right front row. Maybe someone recognizes this team/uniforms?


I have enlarged the photo 400% and can almost make out the writing on this guys jersey.


It is a great day in Sulphur as we commemorate our long-standing partnership with the National Park Service and celebrate the opening of a beautiful new tourist attraction in Murray County. Standing 35 feet tall and spanning 195 feet across Rock Creek, the new Inkana Bridge offers visitors a convenient path to walk or ride bicycles between the Chickasaw National Recreation Area and the Chickasaw Cultural Center.


Funeral rites for Dr. Dow Taylor, veteran physician of territorial days, who suffered a stroke, and died Wednesday Mar 8, 1933 at Supply, Oklahoma where he was superintendent of the Western Oklahoma Hospital, were Sunday March 12th. Dr Taylor was born May 16, 1874. He came to Woodford and started a practice in 1898, following graduation at Memphis, Tennessee. Be was married twice. His first wife, Miss Vergie Mecham, died in 1901. He later married Miss Emma Scott, a teacher in the Woodford system. They had three children, Paul, John Preston, and Katharine.

A flagstone I sandblasted last Saturday. Turned out nice. A relative of Charles Forrest is taking it all the way to Kansas.


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

Q. The only skeleton museum in the U.S. is located where in Oklahoma?
A.  The Museum of Osteology, located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is a unique educational experience. Focusing on the form and function of the skeletal system, this 7000 square ft. museum displays hundreds of skulls and skeletons from all corners of the world. Exhibits include adaptation, locomotion, classification and diversity of the vertebrate kingdom.

Q. Oklahoma’s version of the Bermuda Triangle, called the Shaman’s Portal, is located where in Oklahoma?
A. Answer in next week’s newsletter

Below is from This and That newsletter archives of April 14, 2005

I received a good ole handwritten letter this week all the way from Overbrook, Oklahoma via the post office. Overbrook is about ten miles south of Ardmore on Highway 77 at the Carter county/Love county line. Albert Cullum wrote in telling where the old Equal Rights School was located. He remembers passing by it many times years ago. Most of you will recall we talked about the Equal Rights School a couple of weeks ago, and a Reader wrote in wondering where the school was located. Grover Wells called me this week and he too knew exactly where this piece of history was located years ago. Its about 3/4 miles west of Highway 77 north of Ardmore on the old Pruitt Road. The old school was located just right after you go under I-35 and the road curves back to the north. About the only thing left of the Equal Rights School is the cellar. This is a photo of the Equal Rights school back in 1923.



Have you heard of Camp Doniphan in Oklahoma? Do fret, neither have I until this week when a Reader in Texas brought it to my attention. It was located at Ft Sill (Lawton).
Last week I forget to mention/show this building next to that humongus tree house east of Ardmore. The unique thing about this building is it has a sod roof, several inches thick.

Here is an interesting article sent to me in PDF format. You will need Acrobat Reader see view it. It is about the murder of U.S. Marshal R.W. Cathey of Pauls Valley. It even speaks about the infamous defense attorney Moman Pruiett along with his pic. The article was published in last Sunday’s Pauls Valley Democrat.

“Butch, I am forwarding this message from my son. You might be interested in following the link to abandoned airports. I thought of you as the old Ardmore Airport near Springer is listed with some history. History of the old original Wiley Post airport at May Ave and Britton road in Okc. might also be of interest. Keep up the good work with T&T. I always look forward to getting it.” -Roy Miller
“My mother was born in 1915. When she and her family crossed the Red River in a covered wagon, they forded the river without a ferry. Mother recalls how scared she was of quick sand. I enjoy your stories and reading about folks from way back when.”

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

“I have a bell story for you…..Last weekend we were visiting my father-in-law in Austin. He is in a veterans health care facility there. While in his room, I struck up a conversation with his roommate, an Air Force veteran named Mr. Butler. It seems Mr. Butler used to work for a company called Schulmerich Bells. He knew the man who installed the original bells in the Presbyterian church here in Ardmore. He was also part of the team that serviced the bells while they were still played as “real” bells, and he also helped install and service the electronic carillons that are currently in use. He is now legally blind, but his mind was pretty sharp, and his knowledge of bells was amazing. You would have enjoyed that visit!!” -Kerry Tully

Dear Friends,
I hope you will consider attending the Cowboy Way Film and Music Festival in my home town of Gene Autry, OK, May 5-6-7, 2017. I will be performing at 4pm on Friday (with Call of the West), 2:15 and 8pm on Saturday plus 1:15 on Sunday. Sons of the Pioneers will be there at 8pm on Friday night. Rex Allen, Jr. will do several shows during the festival including the big Saturday night show with me and Jody Miller of “Queen of the House” fame. There will be many other musicians and singers performing during the festival. Some of the film stars appearing include the Virginian himself, James Drury, plus his co-stars Roberta Shore and Gary Clarke. Also appearing will be TV star Bruce Boxlietner and other film stars. And many fans will be happy to see comedian John Buttram, nephew of Gene Autry’s sidekick Pat Buttram. There will also be Chuckwagon food and lots of western memorabilia, Arts and Crafts. For reservations, call 580-294-3335 or 580-768-5559. Or you might want to pull up: http://www.GeneAutryOKMuseum.org and click on Register. PLEASE REGISTER BEFORE MAY 1 WHEN THE ADMISSION PRICE WILL INCREASE.
Hope to see you there.
Les Gilliam
“The Oklahoma Balladeer”

“Howdy Butch. I am apart of the Texas A&M Speleological Society, and I will be traveling to Turner Falls soon. I had been to the area a few years back and that is where I actually became very interested and eager to start caving. I heard of the cave at the head of Honey Creek, but had neither the time nor the equipment to go explore it. I am emailing you to see if they have gated this cave yet? Many of the caves I researched in Texas became gated due to some undesirables destroying parts of the cave, and although I hope this wouldn’t be an issue for Bitter Enders, there is still a chance. Hoping you might have information about the caves accessibility, and if there are any other lesser known caves in the area?” -Hayden

Kindness costs nothing, but pays big dividends.

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges
“Friends Make Life Worth Living”
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