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Vol 21  Issue 1,057  April 27, 2017

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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

A Glimpse Into The Past

American Glycerin and American Torpedo Co
224 11th NW Phone 218 Ardmore, Oklahoma
An Ardmore business around 1937
Submitted by: Leroy “Mac” McDaniel (1926-2005)
of Mannsville, Oklahoma

Before WWII the United States was trying to locate and have in reserve all of the oil, rubber and some other commodities it could get hold of. Nearly all of the major oil companies had “land” offices in Ardmore. These offices were staffed with petroleum engineers and geologist. Their job was to contact people in certain locals and buy their mineral rights. Every few months a different oil company seismograph crew would arrive in town. Their job was to drill small holes in the ground and set off explosives and record the data about rock structure and sand structure in the ground. This information could pretty much tell the experts exactly where they could drill for oil or gas.

There was a man that was transferred into the Ardmore area by the name of “Ace” Swoap. He was an employee of the E.I. DuPont Company, in the explosives division. He operated out of his residence. His wife took all phone calls and listed them on his service board. He had a warehouse out in the country away from all farm houses, business and live stock. He was the one that handled the nitro-glycerin. He would go to his warehouse and load the “torpedoes” with nitro and place the torpedoes on his truck in an inverted channel iron rack. The amount of nitro in each torpedo would vary depending upon the requirement by the oil company. They would be strapped down for the transportation to the well site. When he would arrive at the seismograph well site he would very, very gently lower the torpedo by an electrical cord down into the ground. The seismograph crew would tell him how far down into the ground they wanted the torpedo lowered. The electrical cord was measured and when the torpedoes was at the desired depth the cord would be tied off and hooked into an electrical charger. Then the charge would be detonated and the seismograph crew would get their data from a bank of machines on the big truck they all had. It became a standing joke around Ardmore that when you saw a cloud of dust coming, you would get off the highway and give “Ace” the “right-of-way”.

April 1957
Gene Autry’s appearance in the Southern Oklahoma World’s Championship Rodeo here Wednesday through Saturday will be a sort of homecoming for the famous weste4r film and music  star. Born in Tioga Texas, Autry grew up near the small town of Ravia in Johnston County.

April 1989
OHP troooper John Haynie was resting at home following a gunshot would to this right thigh. Hanie is commander of the OHP Tactical Assault Team. He was shot during a domestic dispute near Anadarko after a man had barricaded himself in a house with several weapons.

Ardmore Main Street 1945


Turner Falls Curio Shop 1950s


A couple of pavers I sandblasted the other day.



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

Q. Oklahoma’s version of the Bermuda Triangle, called the Shaman’s Portal, is located where in Oklahoma?
A. Located in Beavers Dunes State Park near Beaver, Oklahoma, the portal is known as “Oklahoma’s Bermuda Triangle.” Several people have reportedly disappeared in this portal. The theory? Legend has it that it is a UFO crash site and all the people that had reports about it can no longer be found or contacted…as in disappeared.

Q. Where in Oklahoma is the the state’s largest outdoor swimming pool (the size of 5 football fields) that is spring fed from a lake?
A. Answer in next week’s newsletter

Below is from This and That newsletter archives of April 26, 2005

Several of those in our HAM Radio group went to Babe’s Tamales in Davis last Saturday for lunch. She started the business as a drive-through in 1986 and then turned it into a sit down eatery in 1990. Babe sure puts out some good Mexican food. I ordered her special of day, and it all cost less than $5 including the drink. Her tamales are just like Pick’s Tamales when it was located on Highway 77 at the south edge of Davis.


“hello Mr. Bridges, recently there was an article in your pages that referred to the ferry located at the riverside and Delaware communities. the ferry that Mr. Swadlenak purchased was the one that originally belonged to my great-grandfather and then to his son who was doc Elliott. my great-grandfather got the ferry from Mr. Tuck. I would like to know if maybe some of your readers might know if some of Mr. Swadlenaks’ family might have some of the history about the ferry that they would be willing to share with me. I know very little about my great-grandfather other than the fact that he did own the ferry at one time. his name was Raborn Elliott and he was supposed to have been one of the people that was killed while operating the ferry. I have searched for information to prove or disprove this but to no avail. I also know that he was suppose to have died sometime in 1904 while operating the ferry, but that too is all I know about his death. if anyone has some information on this i would greatly appreciate the help. i really like the articles that you put in your pages and i look forward to each and every one that i get each week. Thank you.” -betty daniels
Coffee Song by Frank Sinatra

Way down among Brazilians
Coffee beans grow by the billions
So they’ve got to find those extra cups to fill
They’ve got an awful lot of coffee in Brazil

You can’t get cherry soda
Cause they’ve got to fill that quota
And the way things are I’ll bet they never will
They’ve got a zillion tons of coffee in Brazil

No tea or tomato juice
You’ll see no potato juice
The planters down in Santos all say no no no

The politician’s daughter
Was accused of drinking water
And was fined a great big fifty dollar bill
They’ve got an awful lot of coffee in Brazil

You date a girl and find out later
She smells just like a percolator
Her perfume was made right on the grill
Why they could percolate the ocean in Brazil

And when their ham and eggs need savor
Coffee ketchup gives ’em flavor
Coffee pickles way outsell the dill
Why they put coffee in the coffee in Brazil

So your lead to the local color
Serving coffee with a cruller
Dunking doesn’t take a lot of skill
They’ve got an awful lot of coffee in Brazil


Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

“The picture below is a baseball them from this area, the jerseys have Ardmore printed on them. My grandfather, Alex Simpson, is the next to last on the right front row. I know nothing about the team other then Ardmore written on the jerseys, and would appreciate any info on them.” -Blake


“Hi Butch, Forgotten Airports in latest T&T brought one up from memory lane, no runway, more a grass pasture people called the old airfield. Best I can recall it was about half mile East of now Walmart’s, around 1932 we rode our bicycles out there where airplanes once took off & landed. There was little evidence left of it other than a skeleton of building maybe once a hangar. Probably early 1920s or before, possibly where the body of Bud Ballew was flown in from Texas.” -Bob McCrory

From my 2002 newsletter: “That would probably be Dorsey Askew who was a partner with Arthur “Art” Oakley at the Oakley-Askew Airport that operated 1921-1933 north of Ardmore. The airport hanger burned, Feb. 7, 1933, and was not rebuilt. Askew left the partnership in 1926 when he took a job flying mail from Dallas to Chicago for United Airlines. He was the first pilot to fly mail from Dallas to Chicago. I have information that he died unexpectedly sometime later but don’t know whether he died from natural causes or crashed. Askew and Oakley were WWI pilots.” – Gary Simmons

In 1924 the Oakley-Askew airport hanger was in the SE corner of Locust Street NW and Chickasaw Blvd.

The Daily Ardmoreite, May 11, 1922:  Former Carter County Deputy Sheriff Bud Ballew’s body was removed to an undertaker’s establishment at Wichita Falls, where it was embalmed, and, in the mean time, his friends were communicated with here in Ardmore. The tragedy took place at 1:35 o’clock on Friday afternoon, all parties agree. On word of the killing reaching Ardmore, Ballew’s friends secured the use of the ambulance plane of the Hardy Sanitarium, and in it Pilot Askew and Undertaker Herbert Harvey flew to Wichita Falls, leaving here at 3:15 Friday afternoon. The remains had been brought to the landing field there, and a good sized crowd had gathered to witness the unusual method of transporting a corpse. The remains were placed in the cock-pit of the plane where patients are placed to be brought to the hospital and the return flight was made, the party arriving at Ardmore at 8:00 o’clock, being just about dark. The body was taken to the Harvey Bros Undertaking Parlors and at once a stream of people filled the institution for purpose of viewing the remains. This crowd continued to visit the undertaker’s rooms all day Saturday, and even during the rain of Sunday morning.

Dr Hardy established the first air ambulance in Oklahoma in 1922.

“Butch — There’s a new book out by Dallasite, Rusty Williams, entitled “The Red River Bridge War”. It tells the story of the Red River crossing between Denison, Texas and Durant, Oklahoma. It’s a fascinating tale of the history of the ferry crossing there in the 1800s up to the time they had a toll bridge at that location until they built a fine new bridge there in 1931. The new bridge remained closed after it was built for a period of time due to an agreement entered into by the governor of Texas. The populous became enraged when they wouldn’t open the bridge to traffic and it nearly developed into open warfare between Oklahoma and Texas. It’s a “must read” for your loyal followers. Go to the following Amazon website below for more details.” -Dick Lindsly, Dallas, Texas
Click here for Amazon

“I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” -J. Wellington Wimpy – 1932


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