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Vol 21  Issue 1,085 November 9, 2017

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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

This week marks my 9th month of full time employment working on computers at the Michelin Tire Plant in Ardmore.  With a thousand computers scattered all over the plant it has been a real test on me some days. Some days I get home and all I want to do is rest in the recliner and watch the news and weather. Believe me, with that many computers there is never a dull moment. And walking, with over 1.5 million square feet, I think I’ve walked more the last 9 months than I have in my whole life. I have really enjoyed working at Michelin the past 9 months, and learning so much, and working around so many people, some of them going all the way back to my childhood days in northeast Ardmore. It really is like one big family those 8 hours each day I am there. Someday, when I do leave, I’m going to take with me some great memories and the great friendships I’ve made with this new chapter in my life. God is good.



In 1928 the Pillsbury Mill established a branch at Enid, Oklahoma when it was discovered that the mills needed the high-protein, hard winter wheat grown in the Enid area. As of 1961 the Pillsbury Four Mill is the largest in the state. It was constructed to produce at least 8,800 barrels of flour daily. Much storage space is also provided in Enid one of the largest wheat elevators in the world is located there. Large flour mills were also located in El Reno, Alva, Yukon, Ada, Kingfisher, Perry, Chickasha, Shawnee Stillwater, Edmond, Blackwell, Ardmore and Ponca City. Smaller establishments located in other towns produced both flour and feed. -Harlow’s Oklahoma History 1961


Bluebonnet Feed Mill in Ardmore, Oklahoma


Ardmore’s Skyview Theater coming attractions, 1972 – I was going thru a box of my old “stuff” and ran across these. Hope you and your readers will enjoy them. -Denny & Sandy Alexander



Post Oak School south of Wilson, Oklahoma.


Marietta, Oklahoma depot 1922


First female Ardmore police officer, Mary Flynn Lorenzen



Northern Alabama. Chickasaw country. I’m getting closer thanks to my DNA test at Ancestry.com


September 1933
Despite strong headwinds throughout most of the western circuit and a hundred miles of heavy mud roads in the east last night, the Golden Ford on a 10,000 mile test over Oklahoma roads has set a new record of 17.9 miles to a gallon. Those mud roads between Antlers and Atoka made use of 2nd gear frequently which cut the mileage on gasoline. So great where the crowds which turned out to see the Golden Ford, police escorts were provided. All along the route hundreds of Spectators have gathered to see the automobile.

September 1933
Houston Texas. Along a 200-mile section the Texas coast today was bracing itself against what was expected to be one of the worst hurricanes to ever blow in from the Gulf. Many residents between Corpus Christi and Freeport have been evacuated ahead of the Category 5 hurricane.

September 1989
Carter County Courthouse employees raised a furor last week when it was learned three County employees, and only three County employees, two Commissioners secretaries and the county safety director would be getting raises of $100 a month.

Some pavers I sandblasted this week.


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 most successful killing submarine in history, sinking 15 Japanese ships in WWII, is on display where in Oklahoma?
A.  The U.S.S. Batfish is on display at Muskogee, Oklahoma.
http://www.405magazine.com/September-2016/Oklahomas-WWII-Submarine/Q.   Where in Oklahoma are 50,000 items on display of the Wild West, ranging from riding saddles to Native American artifacts? But the bulk is a private collection of firearms dating as far back as the 14th century.
A. Answer in next week’s newsletterBelow is from This and That newsletter archives of November 3, 2005

Last Saturday when I as in Marietta I stopped by 705 West Main street in Marietta, Oklahoma (Love county) is owned by Dale Throckmartin. I had been told they make a great hamburger, so when I was in Marietta I stopped by and bought a medium burger. And yes sir’ee makes a great hamburger for a couple bucks on the menu. I’ll be stopping in there again soon!



At 1220 North Washington in Ardmore is Burgers and Fries. I decided to stop by and try one of their ‘regular’ hamburgers this week. I looked on the menu and didn’t actually see a “regular” hamburger listed, so I order the Double Hamburger. Boy, you talk about a heavenly delight. This was really a great burger right down to the last bite! And it was almost more than I could eat… all for $2.99! Randy Boatright and his father, Wayne, started the eatery in November 1975 at 13th and North Washington and its been there ever since. After his father’s death in 1987 Randy would eventually become the sole owner. In the late 1970s the Boatrights did have a second hamburger place for a few years at Grand and K Street NW where the Chickasaw Smoke Shop is located today. If you’re ever on North Washington, stop by the Burgers and Fries for some great food, I promise you, you won’t be disappointed!

As promised in my last T&T, here is the recipe used by Willie Sharp when she was the cook at the Ardmore high school cafeteria. Everyone just loved those cinnamon rolls when she worked there in the 1950s 1960s, and early 1970s. My long time friend from the northeast part of Ardmore mentioned how when he worked as a student at the snack bar in the mornings before school, parents would bring the kids to school, send them inside the cafeteria with extra money to get 4 or 5 cinnamon rolls, and have their kid bring them back out to the car. And off the adults went to eat their own delicious cinnamon rolls just like the students!


Several times the past couple years the question has been raised as to what Carter county deputy sheriff Bud Ballew’s real name may be or if Bud is his real name. No one has been able to answer that question, even on his tombstone it just says Bud. Well, this week the answer came! His great grand daughter in Mississippi sent me an email about something else, and you know me, I thought, here’s my only chance to find the answer to the question. Ok everyone, you can say you learned it first here, cause it sure ain’t on the Net, you can’t even google it. Are you ready? Bud Ballew’s real name is David Martello Ballew. Here is a photograph of deputy sheriff Bud Ballew on the left and Sheriff Buck Garrett on the right.
I heard on the news this week the big dirt mound at Norman on the east side of I-35 is being removedk. Another piece of Oklahoma history gone. Here is an email I received about 3 years ago about this well known mound of dirt:

“Butch: I know “the big dirt mound at Norman, Oklahoma” very well. I watched them build it in early 1942. We lived on a farm a few miles southwest of Moore, population 499. WW II had just started. I was 14 years old. We could see “the big dirt mound” grow daily. We wondered what it was. They were busy building the Naval Air Training Station north of Norman. We knew it had something to do with the Navy Base but could not imagine what it was for. At the time there was no IH-35, just the interurban tracks from Oklahoma City to Norman. Highway 77 then was a couple of miles east of “the mound”. It was much later that we learned it was a firing range for the Navy and “the dirt mound” served as the backstop for the lead bullets. Moore was only about three miles north. I wonder how many rounds went over the mound and fell somewhere around Moore. The Navy took the 320-acre farm across the road from our farm on what is now Santa Fe. It was already fairly flat and they made it into a landing strip for the Navy pilot trainees to practice doing touch and go landings in their yellow Stearman PT-17 open cockpit biplanes. I remember there being as many as twenty or thirty of them at a time flying around and around from daylight to dark practicing touch and go landings. It wasn’t very long until one of them smacked into the ground. My dad jumped into the 1929 Windsor and went tearing across the landing strip to rescue the pilot while I ran a quarter of a mile to the nearest neighbor who had a telephone to call the Naval Station. This happened twice more before the Navy built a crash and aid station at the north end. A lot of the WW II Navy pilots trained on that landing strip. A few years later I enlisted and served in the Army Paratroopers.” -Don Davidson, Brenham, Texas.

This is a photo I took in the early 1970s of that famous dirt mound in Norman. In those days you can see there was no overpass nearby or commercial buildings up and down the Interstate. I took his picture with a Kodak 35mm camera.
“Butch, I am greatly indebted to your reader, Mark Coe, who has confirmed that I am not losing my mind, at least not yet. For years, my old buddy, Ancel Cook (now deceased) and I talked about attending Roy Rogers and Dale Evans public wedding at the Civic Auditorium on Jan 1, 1948, paying 50 cents admission with the Sons of the Pioneers singing. Recently, their daughter, Cheryl Rogers Barnett was quoted as saying my story was not true. My thanks to Mark Coe for confirming my story. Does anyone else remember this event? Also, I think maybe Dale being on crutches was at the Premier of the movie, Home in Oklahoma, held in 1946 at the Civic Auditorium or the Tivoli Theater. Does anyone remember the Premier? Thanks. -Les Gilliam
Mr. Bridges, My name is Wilma Pruitt. My husband & I ran onto your website & found something we had been searching for, for quite some time. His Grandfather owned Pruitt’s Grocery. His Great-Grandfather was M.E. “Babe” Pruitt who was a Berwyn Constable in 1930. We have a very neat article about how Babe was shot by a man of color & how the “Pruitt” Men got revenge. The article came from “The Daily Ardmoreite” Dated Monday, Oct. 13,1930 “PRUITT KILLS SLAYER OF BROTHER”. We also found that there is a road in Ardmore named after Wesley’s Great-Great-Grandfather “Byrd Pruitt”, Bryd Pruitt Road, off of Gene Autry Rd. The funny thing is, Wesley was born & raised in Wooster, AR. I have lived in MO my whole life. My father was born in Rudy, AR and raised in Wapanucka, OK, not far from Ardmore. My grandfather William Edward Shown(DeShawn, Shone) was a Sheriff in & around the same area, Atoka, Tish, Madill, etc. I have hunted for things about my family, with no luck, but there seems to be a ton on Wesley’s family. I just wanted to thank you for your skills & time you have invested in the Website, as I’m sure it was not an easy task. If you know or have any info. on either of our family’s I would love to see or read it!! By the way, our son, we named, Bay Wesley Pruitt, after his Great-Great-Great-Grandfather. We were told when I was Carrying him, that “Babe’s” name was Bay, not Babe & that it must have been misprinted back then. We have “Babe’s” Police Cross with the inscription on the back reading, (“M.E. “Babe” Pruitt, Gene Autry Constable, Oct. 12, 1930). What a awesome, and honorable heirloom to pass on to our son!! My grandmother’s name was Dovey May Shown, Maiden (Miller) was half Choctaw & Cherokee. My Grandfather was William Edward Shown. The story goes, that before Grandpa became an officer, a neighbor became unruly with him & Grandpa stuck the man with a pitchfork. Horrible, I know. My Dad says, Grandpa spent time in jail, but eventually did get released. Dad also says that at some point, Grandpa changed our last name from DeShawn to Shawn, then Shown. If I knew how to research without getting on some site that wants you to pay them, I would. So, if you have any suggestions, send them my way. My husband would like to come down & do some research there, & I have an uncle in Madill, so maybe we’ll run into you! Thanks again. -Wilma & Wesley Pruitt, Cole Camp, Missouri
RE: Coleman Jones – “Butch, I found the attached article in the Ardmoreite archives on microfilm at the Chickasaw Library. It had a couple of photos that I wish would have copied clearer from the microfilm but they didn’t. Anyway, thought you and your readers might enjoy the article. Also pulled a copy of his obituary. I wonder who his cousins would be and if they would have any photos of him when Colman Jones was younger. I hear he was quite dapper and a very snappy dresser back in the day. I heard he was very neat and particular about his appearance back then. Wish I wouldn’t have been so young back in the 1970s as he would have been an interesting fellow to talk to.” -Laura J. Lamb Atchley


Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

Butch: I have read many of your articles about Hardy Sanitarium. Here is another: On August 15, 1945 I was in Hardy Sanitarium having my tonsils removed. I still remember the horrible smell of the ether rag they placed over my face to anesthetize me. When I regained consciousness in my room a nurse came in and asked if I wanted something to drink . My throat felt like parched sandpaper and I asked if I could have ice cream. She told me I couldn’t have any yet because it would make me sick. Just about that time I heard the church bells down the street start to ring. In a matter of moments bells were ringing all over town. I heard nurses and doctors in the hallway shouting “The war is over, we have won the war”. About that time the doctor who removed my tonsils came in the room. He also asked me if I wanted anything to drink. I told him no, that I had asked for ice cream, but the nurse said I couldn’t have any. The doctor turned to the nurse who was standing near the doorway and said “Bring this boy some ice cream.” What a nice way for the war to end for a seven year old boy. -James (Jim) Guess
Hi Butch, with ref to last week’s T&T posting, “the rest of the story” from my 93 year old memory —

Lyndall McCrory was my first cousin. I was 9 years old when he went to the pen far a killing during a fight. About 12 years older than me, he had been in trouble growing up, the son of a wealthy father who said he put “$16,000 in the hands of the governor” to get him a pardon. As a kid I loved him as he was kind to me. I left Ardmore 1942 & only saw him a few times after that. People who knew him either hated him or thought he had hung the moon — nothing in between. He had inherited his father’s 10K acre ranch, cheated is sister out of her share, who didn’t care, being wealthy on her own. With no other legal heirs, although a couple kids by a mistress, was obsessed in later life with the belief of everyone trying to get what he owned. I retired here in Ardmore in 1981 & only had one contact with him on his death bed ca. 1990s. He left his entire 10 million estate in a Foundation which has been a source of grants, nothing to individuals. I was told by a preacher he had got religion in his last hours. Now with the distance of time, I think of him as bad news. -Bob McCrory
This is my Great Grandfather Sid Pruitt’s store in Wilson OK, on Rotary across the street from present day Alexander-Gray Funeral Home. Pictured are (L to R): Albert Lee Bates, His wife Beatrice Bates and her father Joseph Sidney Pruitt. Probably taken around 1916-17.

Butch I posted a picture of my Grandfathers store yesterday that had considerable damage. Well I found a Facebook page where they repair photos for free: Random Acts of Kindness Photo Restoration Group. Here are before and after pictures of Sid Pruitt’s Grocery Store. I hope that maybe some of your other readers with damaged photos can use this free service. Thank you. -Rick Burris


Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. -Thomas Edison

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges“Friends Make Life Worth Living”PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443


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