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Vol 21  Issue 1,073 August 17, 2017

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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


Excerpts from James Clark’s book A Journey Through the Mind of a Lawyer:

“My wife begged not to go with those killers, but I paid her no mind. It was a lot like playing army when I was a kid. I wanted to get in on the action. I had some experience hunting deer with a 30-06 rifle, so I loaded up. We found the two guys we planned to kill, and their big dog alerted them, so they started firing at us. Bullets were whizzing by my head. I never got off one shot! Now I’m charged with murder in this Mayberry town of Durant, Oklahoma. Stupid.”

So said Pete Kaye, my client from Huntsville, Texas, an underworld character out of Houston.

“The deadly carnage in Madill, Oklahoma had resulted in two young men from different walks of life, whose lives were hanging in the balance depending on emergency medical care. Trooper Walter Crow, fighting for his life from multiple gunshot wounds fired by a killer who Crow had stopped in downtown Madill for a routine traffic violation, sought a personal favor from his patrol supervisor, a lieutenant who along with me, hovered nearby. “If that guy is still alive,” Walter Crow said, “then wheel me alongside him and loan me your firearm. I’ll put him out of his misery.”

We both wept at this, as Crow passed out and was hurried to surgery.

If you’re a native Ardmoreite you should get your hands on James’ book. You can purchase a copy at The Bookseller on Main street of Ardmore to read the complete story on the above excerpt, and a lot more true stories like it in James’ 500 page book!


I received my AmazonDNA results back this week. I’m 69% Great Britain and 22% Scandinavian (and 9% other). There is a lot more info but it will take me time to research it all, including the 1,384 cousins listed.


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 the world is there an oil well on Main Street?
A.  Barnsdall, Oklahoma

Q. Where in Oklahoma is there a Gravity Hill besides west of Springer, Oklahoma?
A. Answer in next week’s newsletter

Below is from This and That newsletter archives of August 18, 2005

We’ve had a lot of rain this week in southern Oklahoma, and as a result Turner Falls 18 miles north of Ardmore in the Arbuckle Mountains has water falling down the falls by the buckets full. A Reader sent these in to me, I wish they were a little larger, but they are still great pics of this spectacular show!

Here is an interesting newspaper clipping passed along to me by a Reader. It tells about the building costs of the theater at the Ardmore Air Force Base in 1954. E. B. Bush Construction Company in Oklahoma City was the low bidder at $79,242.

In August 1954 the old 1108 steam locomotive was moved from the Ardmore depot where it had been setting since it was brought in, to its now resting place next to the Hardy Murphy Coliseum on Lake Murray Drive. Now 50 years later there is only one thing to do, move it back to the depot at East Main and the railroad tracks. I hope the movers and shakers in this town will start on the project and place this sentimental piece of Ardmore history at the depot. I know there is someone in this area, just like oilman Waco Turner and his work crew and equipment did in 1954, that will help get the locomotive moved to the depot. In the “Great Explosion of 1915” it brought doctors and nurses at full speed to town to help save Ardmoreites, now we need to save it.


Nellie Combe of Shawnee sent in a pic of an old coke bottle. But this is what is called a Chief coke bottle since it has a picture of an Indian Chief on it.

“Hi Butch, My wife and spent last weekend in Mt. View Arkansas. To those not familiar with Mt. View it is the folk music capital of the world. It is built on a court house square. The local people, weather permitting can be found around the square every day from noon on playing music. It is nothing planned they just gather around and start playing. There is also a state park north of town called the Ozark Folk Center which is a small silver dollar city type place. They also have music day and night in the big auditorium. We went to see Ralph Stanley who put on a great show. We took some pictures of some instruments handmade by the locals that actually will tune and play like store bought instruments. The fiddle is made from a table leg and cigar box. The guitars are a soap box and a turn of the century soap box, the banjo is made from a gourd. They are fun to play.” -James and Nancy Singleterry
“Butch, Here are some I remember(s) that some of your readers might have some information on: Ardmore Police Department, Boy Scout Troop 111, (NE Housing Project) in the early 70’s, initiated and supported by then District Judge Brown. The little hamburger shop across from the High School in 1950s, called the “Bop Shop.” Store named Candyland (magazine, funny books, candy etc) just across the street from Hamburger Inn and The Hobo camp near the Healdton Y, on Hwy 70 east, The Ringling railroad split at that point one track going to Ringling and the other to Healdton.”
“Here is an old oil field photo taken near Wilson, Ok. The wagon is an eight wheel, iron tire wagon used to haul heavy loads. The wagon is loaded with a steam boiler which was used in the oil field during that time. Note, in the background is a standard derrick with a walking beam pump jack.”
I received an email from Ardmoreite Charlie Williams this week. He’s a history buff and collector of anything pertaining to Ardmore and southern Oklahoma. The older man in the photo was Cole Younger (1844-1916). Cole Younger would become one of the most recognized names in outlaws in the late 1800s, especially following the civil war years. His name was connected to other outlaws such as Jessie James, Frank James, Belle Star, the Quantrill gang of outlaws and others. Cole Younger was known throughout the West as a badman.

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

Mr. McCrory’s note in the last week’s This and That brought back some memories of my own.

My maternal grandfather “retired” from farming out south of Wilson and moved south of Ardmore just outside the gates of Rose Hill. His was one of those out in the country or as yet undeveloped parts of the city. They had gas, water and electricity and an outhouse. He and my dad installed his first indoor facility along with a septic tank and laterals about the time I was 10-11 years old (1952-53 or somewhere around there). Grandmother had that old black pot and wash board for laundry and making lye soap right up to that same time frame. I still have the wash board.

When they first moved they built a two room house with a sleeping porch. Over time and all after I was old enough to remember it happening they added a bed room, wash room, bath room with a shower, a front porch and enclosed the sleeping porch basically into a guest room.

During the tornado of 1946 I was visiting them while my folks were tending to my younger sister who had cerebral palsy. None of us knew it had stormed that night and when I ran out the back door the next morning I fell about two feet face first into the yard. The house had twisted on the foundation and the corners were displaced about a foot and a half, just enough for me to not have any steps going out. The one death attributed to that storm occurred less than a mile from our place.

Grandad’s one and only auto was his ’35 Chevrolet standard that he bought new and I ended up with it when he passed in my senior year at AHS. I drove it to high school and off to MIT (Murray in Tishomingo). I found the sales receipt in the door pocket for $534.00

We still had an “ice box” at our place on C Street SE until after the war when appliances were getting built again. Uncle John was delivering Colvert’s milk door-to-door via a horse drawn wagon about that same time.

Dad’s parents passed with 6 months of one another in the winter of ’49-’50. Soon after that grandad gave us a quarter acre next to his house. Dad and mom built a three bedroom house there and only hired the electrical work done by a neighbor who ran his own AC business. They did all the rest themselves and with no mortgage. It still stands much as it did when dad sold it, or it did the last time I passed by.

Much like Mr. McCrory, we had rabbit and squirrel and farm pond catfish but we also raised a yearling steer every time the milk cow came in heat, a barrow and a hundred fryers each year as well as about a half an acre of corn, beans, turnips, beets, okra, peas, etc. Grandmother claimed we harvested everything about that hog but the squeal.

With the addition of a full size freezer and my mom and grandmothers canning abilities, that meat and produce would last us through the winter as well as adding a little extra spending money selling extra okra to the city folk. -T. E. (Thal) McGinness. Conroe, TX
An eating place was usually called a ‘Cafe’. Restaurant was high tone for the big cities. We also had ‘Drive Ins’ where girls ‘car hops’ came out and took your order – and you ate in the car. They had a tray that hooked on your window, you rolled up the glass a little, a prop below held it up. If you wanted more of something you honked or blink your headlights. Today’s Sonic is the update but the ’30s drive-ins also had sit down service inside. ‘Pig Stands’ for BBQ were also common. I don’t recall one in Ardmore but we always stopped at the one in Pauls Valley when we went to OK City.

The main downtown eatery was Earl’s Cafe just West of the Palace theater (later Tivoli). Across Main Street about where the Chamber of Commerce is now between D & E was the Green Frog, a popular drive-in.

Behind the Palace on B Street was Bill Vaughan’s. Good plate lunch was 35 cents. My Dad ran the Conoco station half block away on B & Broadway. Hungry people would try to bum a quarter off him. He would give them a note and send them to Bill Vaughan and settle for it later.

Further out just off Broadway at highway 77 (now Commerce) was Priddy’s, the most popular drive-in and teen hang out. Further down 77 just South of the ‘Old Soldiers Home’ was Puny’s. Puny a huge man, over six foot & 300 pounds plus, was a great people person and long time operator of eateries up thru WW2 on Main St just off Caddo (A Street NE). Hamburger Inn was across Washington from the then Post Office. Their three inch hamburgers, meat fried with onions, for a nickel were great. Most of their biz was thru a window on the street but they did have a counter inside with a few stools.

1930s hamburgers (15 cents) came in ‘regular’ with meat, onion and mustard and ‘educated’, lettuce, tomato and mayo. French fries hadn’t been invented, at least in name – they were ‘shoe string potatoes’. Chicken fried steak was then called breaded veal cutlet and was a highlight of my Grandmother’s life at Puny’s. I know more about his place because my Dad owned the building. Small T bone steak was 65 cents, large 85. I remember Puny telling my Dad, all the eateries were about to raise the coffee price from a nickel to a dime because ‘you just can’t make it any more on a nickel’.

Drinks were water, coffee and ‘sody pop’. Tea was uncommon, ice tea something you had at home and ice coffee unheard of. The bottle drinks were like today, Coke, Dr Pepper and various flavors plus names like Nehi, Grapette. I don’t remember Pepsi Cola then but there were Royal Crown and Double Cola twice as big as Coke for your nickel.

Salad – there was poke salad, some kind of plant but nobody ate that. Potato salad was always at summer outings. Lettuce with tomatoes, etc like today hadn’t been discovered. I think it awaited oil/vinegar dressing. Salad dressing was mayonnaise like today that came in a jar. Later in WW2 a local eatery was doing big biz with oil/vinegar salad dressing. The then Air Base bought some and analyzed it, finding the olive oil cut with mineral oil – which almost resulted in some free room and board for him. His place was put off limits for a while, I heard. I didn’t live here 1942-1981.

On Caddo, (now A Street NE) East side, off Main Street, was a kind of farmer’s market. A convenient place where farmers brought in wagons loaded of whatever was in season. I recall my Grandfather having a discussion with a farmer who wanted seven cents for his cantaloupes rather than the usual nickel. Watermelons priced from a dime up, for what we called ‘knots’, the size of a basket ball. You got a pretty good melon for a quarter.

Ice cream was the big treat for us kids. We had a freezer that Mom put the egg custard in, surround with cracked ice and rock salt, then you cranked the handle forever till you felt it freezing – hard to turn. The ‘dasher’, a part inside where the ice cream made, was great to get to lick the dasher. Two ice plants in town, just over the tracks on 1st SE and D NW about where the 1st National Bank drive thru is now. My Grandfather would get 25 lbs block of ice put on the front bumper of his Model A Ford to take it home. By mid ’30s there were ‘double dip’ icecream cones in 3 flavors, huge double dip for a nickel.

There was free food if you had a garden or raised chickens. Free food big-time 4th of July, 1933 at Sulphur – a public buffalo barbecue. People came from far and wide, crowds ‘you couldn’t stir ’em with a stick’ at the then Vendome swimming pool area. Strong in memory, my Mother’s uncle and family drove from South Texas on their way to Yellowstone. Their brand new Chevrolet was stolen so they spent most of the summer in Sulphur. There was a public barbecue at Ardmore fair grounds sometime after that – but my recall fails. -Robert McCrory———————————————–
Butch, I really enjoyed the remembrances of Robert McCrory. Much of it dovetails with my childhood memories of growing up in Ardmore and spending every summer with my grandparents in Amber, near Chickasha. Thanks for sharing them with us. -Bruce———————————————–
Friends of the Park will be the topic of the program at the Arbuckle Historical Society Museum this Monday, August 21 at 7:00 p.m. Debbie Sharp will talk about the organization that was established to help the Chickasaw National Recreation Area in a number of ways including increasing public awareness regarding the park and its missions. The group also volunteers in various ways to help this Oklahoma “oasis” that Sulphur citizens love and enjoy. The public is invited to attend the presentation at no charge. The museum is located in the old City Hall located at 402 W. Muskogee in Sulphur, Oklahoma. Everyone is welcome!
Loose Caboose Festival Explore
All aboard! The Loose Caboose Festival in Purcell, Oklahoma can?t be missed! On Saturday, September 2, spend the day browsing booths of beautiful art, crafts, antiques and collectibles with the family. Enjoy the sounds of live music and the flavors of local wine, too!
“Workers took down the tent over the Mercy train today in preparation for moving the train downtown Saturday August 26th. It will be a historical event just like when the train was moved to the grounds of the Hardy Murphy coliseum in August 1954. It will be interesting to see what route they take to deliver the train downtown this time on the bed of a truck with a flatbed trailer made especially for the train so it won’t tip over during the move.” -Robert Hensley
“Got the memorial paver installed at the memorial at Falls Creek. Thanks to the Falls Creek crew, and Butch Bridges, he got it engraved in one day. They are having 100th year anniversary this month, so hundreds of people will see and remember the sacrifice our Troopers have given.” -Roy Rogers, OHP retired

The old Chinese Restaurant east of Marietta, Oklahoma on Highway 32 at Hickory Creek. Most called it the Chinaman’s Restaurant.


“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” -Ralph Waldo EmersonSee everyone next week!Butch and Jill Bridges“Friends Make Life Worth Living”PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443https://oklahomahistory.netVicious 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