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Vol 21  Issue 1,060  May 18, 2017

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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

A Glimpse Into The Past

Dr. W. M. Anderson (1867-1954) was the first resident veterinarian in Ardmore, Indian Territory and the surrounding territory arriving in 1901. He practice 53 years in Ardmore and was a true pioneer of his profession.

He loved all animals and dedicated himself and his talents to the healing of the sick and injured domesticated animals. When Oklahoma established its Board of Veterinarian Medical Examiners he was issued the veterinarian’s certificate No. 22 July 3, 1913.

He became a member of the Oklahoma Graduate Veterinarian Association in July 1915. He was among the first in the area to purchase a Model T Ford and used it wherever it was possible. He had an uncanny sense of direction and always got through to those in need. The government then accepted (or conscripted) the services of Dr. Anderson for the Calvary and Artillery Remount Office in obtaining horses and mules which were physically fit for use in the service. His inspection and approval was required on every animal purchased in the area.

The then vacant yards, buildings, and sheds of the old Laidlaw Lumber Company, southeast corner of Washington and Broadway, served as a local remount station and as auxiliary office for Dr. Anderson and his crew.

In 1915 the first animal hospital in clinic with built in Ardmore. Operating first from an office in the T. B. Cathey Livery stable and then the John M. Hartnett breeding training, and sales barn. Dr. Anderson built an Animal Hospital & Clinic facing the east side of the Central Park. He finished moving into the new building the night before the big explosion of September 1915.

The old building on East Broadway was demolished while the south wall of the new building was only jarred out of plumb. By 1925 he had outgrown the Central Park location causing him to build a larger red brick hospital just south of the Coca-Cola building on South Washington. His later years were mainly spent in the care of small animals.

Much has been written about the country doctor and his dedication to humanity. It would be quiet difficult to put into words the eulogy due to the pioneer veterinarian who braved the cold, heat, the mud, in the dark of the night, the impossible roads, ruthless bandits and their discomfort strange barns, pastures, and cribs to get to their patients to give comfort and healing to the pain ridden dumb animals who were frightened and unable to tell where they hurt or how.
-Sally Gray, Territory Town, The Ardmore Story published 2006

Dr. W. M. Anderson on Find-A-Grave.

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. Who was the Oklahoman 100+ years ago that would catch wolves by jumping off a horse?
A. In the early 1900s, Jack Abernathy, known as “Catch-’em-alive Jack,” would catch wolves by jumping off a horse, shoving his hand in the wolf’s mouth so it was unable to bite down, and then hold it down until it became docile. He performed this trick for Teddy Roosevelt during a hunt in Oklahoma in 1905. Roosevelt had a movie made to take back to the East Coast with him. He said, “My friends wouldn’t believe what I saw in Oklahoma.”

Q. Where in Oklahoma is the “twin house” located?
A. Answer in next week’s newsletter

Below is from This and That newsletter archives of May 12, 2005

I have mentioned several times the past nine years how so different the landscape in southern Oklahoma was around 1900 in regard to trees. There is a mention in the Mailbag below confirming there were no trees in Ardmore and surrounding area during the turn of the century.

July 1947 – Mrs. Frank Floyd, 408 C Street Southeast, was born in Pickens county, I.T., two miles from Ardmore, Feb. 22, 1890, and has never lived any other place. She remembers when there were no trees from her home to Ardmore.
July 16, 1947
J. W. MOORE, Healdton, lays claim to the right to be called one of the pioneer citizens of this state and backs it up with some interesting facts. Both he and his wife are long-time residents of Oklahoma. They will have been married 39 years next October. Moore was born April 28, 1897, two miles north of what was known as Chagris, I.T. He went to his first school in a log cabin with split logs for benches and a dirt floor. The only school book they had was the blue back speller. His father, E.P. MOORE, was a country school teacher who came here in 1885. “I have seen Ardmore when it had dirt side walks and streets,” Moore says, “then board side walks and on to paved streets and cement side walks to the best town in the state, with the exception, of course, of Healdton, where I have lived for 60 years. This hardy pioneer remembers when he had to get up at 5a.m. and stay up until sunrise to keep the deer and wild turkeys out of their garden and watermelon patch. His father was one of the first subscribers to the Ardmoreite before it became a daily paper. He has missed but a few issues of the paper which he calls “the best in the state”. Mrs. Moore was born near Ardmore in 1889. Her maiden name was WILLIE BLEVINS.
I noticed where Ardmore is celebrating her 60th anniversary on July 28, so I will try to be there as I was born near Ardmore in 1881, and lived two miles south of the old coal mines. Spent my boyhood days there and it seems like home to me. My parents are buried in the cemetery there. My father helped to build the road into Ardmore. I hope to meet some of the old timers if any are left. I hope you will give this to the committee on arrangements. E.E. GRAHAM, 727 East Tenth st., Ada, OK
From the files of the Daily Ardmoreite July 27, 1927
W. S. SPEARS turned the first shovelful of dirt for the new Orthodox Baptist church. Miss SALLY SMITH left for her home in Utica, NY after visiting Miss BETTY THOMPSON. Mrs. PAUL T. MORRELL and her sister-in-law, Miss MYRTLE MORELL, left for a week’s stay in Dallas. Mrs. JAMES MAY was home from a Dallas trip. Mrs. ISADORE COHEN, Washington, D.C., was the houseguest of Mr. and Mrs. J. ROBISON. Mr. & Mrs. MIKE MADDEN moved to a new home at 322 Twelfth avenue northwest.

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

In Honolulu 1943 another Pan Am mechanic and I bought a 1929 Harley Davidson in rather sad condition. The generator was bad, among other things. I was able to repair the generator and we got quite a few miles of touring out of it. It was Model JDH. The Harley JD was famous in its own right. The JDH was a racing version of the basic machine, few of which were made. Today it would be worth a small fortune. My partner in ownership got transferred to Canton Island and I eventually sold the Harley for $100. We had paid $80 for it and I sent him his $50. He was very unhappy that I had let it go but I was getting ready to leave for San Francisco and didn’t consider it worthwhile to try to ship it back.

In 1944 back to San Francisco from Honolulu, I bought my Indian new gov’t shaft drive motorcycle. The war was on and cars scarce. Car owners had gasoline rationing. On my way to work I passed a car wrecking yard that had an old Studebaker out front. It appeared in good condition. I stopped and inquired if it was for sale. Well, yes and no. It was in an estate that should be settled any time now. I left my name and address and a week or so later I got a post card that he could sell the car.

It was a 1924 Studebaker in very good condition, with two spare tires and eight ply tires on the ground. I was pleased that he only wanted $35 for it. Although in fine condition, it was a gas hog and the rationed two gallons a week wouldn’t go far. I lived about seven miles from work and I could only drive it two days. I applied for more gas and got a minor increase because I had a rider who lived at the same place I did.

Apparently in 1924 gasoline required a lot of coaxing to make it burn properly in cold weather. The primitive design of the old car was such that it had heaters that could pass the carburetor intake air over the hot exhaust pipe plus a means of warming the fuel-air mixture between the carburetor and the engine. I had heard of people running cars on kerosene but never met anyone who had actually converted a car to do it. I decided it should be possible and I would do it.

Back to the place where I bought the car and bought a Ford Model T carburetor and intake manifold. I bored a hole in the Studebaker intake manifold, cut the mount flange off the Ford manifold and had it welded on the Stude manifold. This permitted having two carburetors. I added a one gallon tank made from an airplane hydraulic oil can, and rigged controls so the small tank and Ford carburetor ran on gasoline. Kerosene went into the original Studebaker tank and fuel system. The result was better than I had dared hope for.

It had to start on gasoline and required that the engine be warmed up good to run well on kerosene. It was about three blocks from where I lived to the highway to work. I would start and run on gasoline the first few minutes, then start cutting in the kerosene and reducing the gasoline. This was done with the accelerator and throttle controls. By the time I had gone about half mile I was on kerosene only. At highway speeds it ran as well on kerosene as it did on gasoline. When I went into San Francisco, I had to cut in more of the gasoline because the engine lost heat at slow city speeds.

Kerosene cost ten cents a gallon and was ration free. I had all the gas I needed for both the car and my motorcycle. I drove the old Studebaker for almost a year until I transferred to New York in 1945. I then sold it for what I paid for it, $35.

I lived in San Mateo & shared a room with another mechanic who also bought Indian shaft drive motorcycle. With my kerosene Studebaker we were rolling in unused gas ration coupons & decided on a trip to Oklahoma.

Sidebar Note: It was understood that the main reason for gas rationing was to keep people on the job in war production rather than use their new affluence traveling —

On arrow straight & level High way 66 in So. California, I was tooling along at about 45 mph (war time speed limit was 35 to save wear of tires) when I was rear-ended. — Fighting to regain control I came to a stop with my co-traveler just behind me. I asked what the hell happened, he says “I fell asleep”.

In Oklahoma stayed with my G-Parents, my Parents working submarine construction at Mare Island CA, No. San Francisco Bay, we were welcomed by girls I had graduated with. We enjoyed great popularity, supply & demand wise, being that most males our age were drafted or away in war work. On the return, we went thru Colorado & our puny 45 cid engines gasped for breath at the 12K’ altitude of Monarch Pass.

I had traded my gutless Indian shaft drive (even after machining .050″ off the cylinder heads) for an almost hot-rod 1940 Chief.

I transferred from San Francisco to New York in June 1945 and went to Africa in June 1946. During the time I was in New York I lived in a boarding house and spent my time working, studying, playing with motorcycles and with girls. I had brought my Indian motorcycle with me from the west coast and bought a 1930 Nash sedan so as to have a car. The boarding house was overlooking La Guardia airport where I worked. Most of the occupants were young workers at the airport, both men and women. Food was good and the price was affordable, $12 a week as I recall. That sounds cheap today (1996) but when one is earning only about $50 a week, it is a sizeable portion of total income.

I had the 1930 Nash for “formal” and for work my 1940 Indian Chief motorcycle. I rode my motorcycle most of the time. I only had about a mile and a half to go to work and could make that in a short time. An exception was in the winter. I rode it in ice and snow, but very slow and carefully. Fortunately it was easy to start in cold weather. The car would start OK but driving only three miles a day would not keep the battery up. I recall driving the car to work two or three times only in the worst weather. Thinking back, at age 76, even now I can recall how invigorating it was to ride the motorcycle when the temperature was ten or fifteen degrees, sometimes with ice and snow on the streets.

Just before I went to Africa in 1946 I rode my 1940 Indian Chief to Oklahoma & back. Note worthy, on return somewhere in PA nowhere my engine quit. Dead battery. Past several miles nothing so I walked ahead, fortunately there was a general store over the next hill. I bought a 6 volt fence battery, with my emergency kit wired
it in for ignition & hit the road again. I had a leak in my big tank & had to fill the small tank every 50 miles or so. On the the new PA Turnpike I laid down on the tank & opened it up for its 150 or so miles. Paying my bill on exit the clerk remarked “71 mph, fastest so far today” — that after a couple fuel stops.

Sidebar Comment — Back in the day we got transferred around a lot & often left our car or cycle with someone to sell. I did & did the same for others several times, no documentation, just trust. I never heard of a default.

I think 1949, back in NY a while, someone left his Indian mini military bike for me to sell. I rode it for a while & its 30.5 engine was all the more impotent in its military config.No motorcycles till my second childhood sets in, 1982 retired back in OK built my house on the lot where I was born, G-Parents old house torn down years before. The long-dormant motor bug comes alive & I buy a 500 cc Yamaha with far better performance than my old shaft drive Indian. Soon I traded it in on a 750 which was a good performer but still wanting more & better went to a Honda Gold Wing that I rode 13,000 miles. Local narrow country road an oncoming truck hogged the road & I moved over almost to a six ditch, down to slowest, I saw the driver’s eyes as he passed, obviously stoned out of his gourd, probably didn’t even see me —– That brought back to mind a couple other close ones & decided to heed the apparent message & sold it in 1986, thus ending my motor adventures. – Robert McCroy

In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present. He whose face gives no light, shall never become a star. Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself. Your path is illuminated by the light, yet darkness lets the stars shine bright. -Francis Bacon

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