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Vol 21  Issue 1,089  December 7, 2017

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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

In 1914 an exclusive auto shop located on North Washington directly east of the U.S. post office was owned by Oscar L Ritter, an Ardmore resident.

In 1915 one-half interest in the business was acquired by Arthur Charles Sies from Portville, New York. Arthur was a self-trained machinist and a traveling musician with a show that closed in Ardmore. At the time of purchase he was employed by Flynn Machine Shop and Foundry of Ardmore located where the grain elevator stands, working 12 hours a day, 6 days a week and receiving $1 per day. The new firm became known as Ritter and Sies Machine Shop and remained under that name until 1920.

In 1920 Ernest M. Jameson, an Ardmore resident since 1896, a musician and bookkeeper for Ritter and Sies, purchase the Ritter 1/2 interest in the business and the name Sies Machine Shop was given the new partnership. Subsequently the business telephone No. 1000, moved into the building at 106-108 East Broadway own by William “Bill” A. Pride, owner and manager of a sheet metal shop next door.

Work performed by Sies Machine Company during the early years was automotive repair,small metal parts repair and manufacture, gas and welding, and farm equipment repair and manufacture.

The shop Personnel were known in Oklahoma and neighboring states for their inventive ability and knowledge about machinery with high-quality work and time estimates in the manufacture and repair of metal parts.

Working hours were 10 hours per day and 6 days a week. Sies later established a new working trend of 8 hours a day, 4 days a week, with half day Wednesday and Saturday and time and 1/2 for over 40 hours with the same rate of pay as previous 10 and 12 hour days, 6 days a week. This was not taken lightly by his competitors.

Notable accomplishments, 1915 to 1926 (No. 1) Design and construction. W.B. Eagle, owner across from the company, needing a better way to crack shells from pecans. Design and construction of the machine far exceeded expectations of increased productivity. (No 2) Design and construction a machine for boring and honing large engine cylinders up to 8 inches diameter used oil field and ice plant engines. The machine was powered by a 1923 Dodge automobile engine converted by Seis to use natural gas as fuel.

Sies specialized in cutting worn gears and was sought throughout the United States for his ability. The company did heavy machine shop work and always had the light out for the oil fields to come there for their work. To take care of the fields to come there for their work. To take care of the fields required a big shop, skilled workman and big machinery, and that was an emergency well met.

The company employs numerous machinist, apprentice machinist, welders, blacksmiths, automobile mechanics, and general repairmen. William “Bill” Barnett, blacksmith, automobile mechanic and general repair man was employed by the company in 1914 by Ritter and Sies and working there approximately 40 years. In 1953, Arthor C. Sies sold his 1/2 interest in Sies Machine Shop and retired with the following words: “I don’t intend to lift anything heavier than a fishing pole.”

-From the 1983 Indian Territory and Carter County Pioneers Book


October 1957
Oklahoma Civil Defense director Tom Brett announced that Carter County is the first county in the state to be selected for a pilot study in the field of reception center facilities for evacuees in the event of a man-made type disaster. Locally the survival staff is under the direction of Jack Adams, County Civil Defense head, and Mrs. J. L. Putman, state civil Defense staff member.

October 1957
Jack Birch and V. S. Watson recently guided three “cavemen” through the Wild Woman Cave in the Arbuckle Mountains, said to be the largest cave in the state. For a time there was thought to be only one entrance, a small opening covered by water. But a smoke bomb was fired and the three more entrances were found. Honey Creek runs through Wild Woman Cave before it rises to the surface and reaches Turner Falls.

October 1933
Bonnie Hammer, formerly of Brock, and nephew, Wood Hammer, are operating a store at Courtney, and they say they like it since taking over the establishment a year ago.

A brick and a piece of flagstone 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 longest river is the Beaver/North Canadian River (752 miles). What is the 2nd longest river in Oklahoma?
A.  The Red River is the second longest (570 miles) in Oklahoma.

Q. Where is the world’s largest deposit of alabaster?
A. Answer in next week’s newsletterBelow is from This and That newsletter archives of December 8, 2005

About three weeks ago I was in Sulphur, Oklahoma and stopped by Poor Girls Cafe for one of their great hamburgers. The cafe is located just one block north of the traffic light in downtown Sulphur. Their hamburger at $2.55 is a real deal and it’s delicious!

Forty years ago the clapper from the Velma-Alma school bell was stolen as a prank. About 4 weeks ago a T&T Reader sent me an email saying the clapper as finally been returned to its place in the bell which is on display at the Barbara Wood Elementary School in Velma-Alma. Velma-Alma, Oklahoma is just a few miles east of Duncan in Stephens county near the Carter county line.

Here is an overview of the 1928 Seth Thomas Tower Clock in the dome of the Carter County Courthouse. This bell is really the second bell in the dome. The first one was installed in 1910 when the courthouse was complete, but it never kept correct time, so in 1928 the County Commissioners replaced it with the Seth Thomas clock. There are only two other courthouses in Oklahoma that have working clocks in their dome. So needless to say we have something to be proud of here….. a real piece of Carter county history.


“Regarding the “TATER PIE” song, I am sure you can hear a bit of it by going to www.walmart.com music section and ask for: “BOOT HEEL DRAG” The MGM years, this album is by Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys. The song is #40 on this album and its called “TATER PIE”.” -John from Joliet, IL
“Hi Ya Butch, I read your comments and viewed your photos of the Gainesville, Texas courthouse, the fried pie company, and “Elvis.” Your photos were like a homecoming to me. As a youngster during the early 40’s I visited the Gainesville courthouse several times as a visitor to view court scenes and listen to the defense and prosecuting lawyers talk to the jury. I even tried one time to slide down the fire slide attached to the courthouse but was prevented by a bailiff. During those days benches circled the Gainesville courthouse. On Saturdays, and holidays, the farmers and their wives came to town. While the farmer wives shopped at the local stores some of their husbands, and locals, sat on the benches and told stories. I loved to listen to them tell their tales. I had recognized that much wisdom could be learned from the aged. While listening to others some of the men whittled while others spat out their tobacco juice. Alas, some years later, the benches were removed from around the courthouse. Even the hugh spittoon that use to sit in the middle of the waiting room at the local train station was removed. Kresses was the most popular store in downtown Gainesville (it was only a short distance from the courthouse) because coffee sold for only a nickel a cup, and of course, it was a 5, 10 and 25 cent store at that time. I remember when Kresses raised their price of coffee from 5 cents to 10 cents. Many of the farmers revolted, saying “Why, I ain’t about to pay 10 cents for a cup of coffee.” Their wives refused to shop at the store. Kresses held out for only a couple of weeks before returning to the old price of coffee to 5 cents. The farmers and their wives were their income.” -Grant West
Indians waiting for payment …… First National Bank, Eufaula, IT
“Butch, Maybe you have already covered the area around Provence. In the 1940’s our family used to visit in Provence, between Ardmore and Dickson, south of Highway 70. Province had a two room grade school which was near their cemetery. Sometimes we would ride the Frisco train to Provence and in the evening ride it back to Ardmore. We had to flag it down to get it to stop. Frisco ran a train from Ardmore to Hope, Arkansas, once a day. We called it “The Dinkey”, sometimes it had one car and sometimes two cars. Near the track was a hill, which the locals called “Tater Hill,” because they thought it looked like a potato, I guess. Does anyone else remember Provence ?” -Bill Spearman

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas,
With every Christmas card I write,
May your days be merry and bright,
And may all your Christmases be white.

-Irving Berlin, 1942

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