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Vol 22  Issue 1,097  February 1, 2018

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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

We have sure been experiencing some crazy weather the last couple weeks. A week ago the temp was down to 4 degrees above zero, today its 75 degrees outside! I saw the eclipse early Wednesday morning, beautiful. The photo below was taken by Freddy Neighbors at Fletcher, Oklahoma.


January 1934
In a barred and bulletproof special prison coach attached to a regular passenger train, George “Machine Gun” Kelly was started for Leavenworth Federal penitentiary. Eight officers, each with machine guns guarded Kelly, who has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

January 1934
Approximately 1,000 men returned to work on the Lake Murray project from Carter County. It is believed that each man will be allowed at least 5 days work each 30 days under the new plan at $2.40 wages per day.

January 1958
Paul Heartsill was suspended as Carter County Commissioner pending a jury trial January 22nd on an ouster petition, Joe B. Champion, an attorney for Heartsill, says an application for a writ of prohibition from Heartsill from being ousted or suspended was being prepared for the State Supreme Court. Judge Sam Sullivan of Durant order the suspension.

January 1983
The first edition, January 5th 1983. A hearty hello to Lone Grove citizens from The Ledger staff. This addition, our first, marks the debut of a weekly publication designed to inform and entertain you. We hope you enjoy your first copy of the Lone Grove Ledger.

A piece of granite 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.  What town in Oklahoma is equidistant from Los Angeles and New York City?
A.   Oklahoma City

Q. Where in Oklahoma was the states first permanent white settlement?
A. Answer in next week’s newsletterBelow is from This and That newsletter archives of February 9, 2006

One time in particular sticks in my mind concerning the circus coming to Ardmore. I was just out of high school here and working for Pace Electric Motor Repair at 24 4th NE (SW corner of A NE and 4th. I was working there for Walter S. Bailey repairing electric motors when the circus was in town. It was about 3pm on a Tuesday and the circus boss came in with a burned out electric hoist they used (along with the elephant’s help) to put up the big tent. He said we got to have this fixed in order to get the big tent up before showtime the next day. Walter Bailey told him it was quitting time, but if he could talk me into working after hours, that I could. So I agreed and worked to 11pm repairing that big electric hoist and the circus boss gave me a $100 bill just for myself. All this took place about 1968 or 1969.

That circus boss asked me just before leaving Pace Electric if I was going to the circus, I said yes. He told me to find him when I get there and he’d see I got something nice from one of the tents. When I arrived Friday evening a circus employee pointed me toward the boss, and true to his word, he took me to a tent and said I could pick anything I wanted to take home. It was one of those games where you had play and win, to get a prize. I picked the biggest stuffed bear they had, and away I went. lol

I liked the poem written by John Herriott for Turtle Benson on his circus life.
50 miles east of Ardmore is the college town of Durant, Oklahoma and Geo’s Drive-In. When it comes to hamburgers, I have to put this eatery near the top of the best I’ve ate. It’s still ran the old fashioned way by owner Paul Lovan, and has been since George Bryant first opened the business in 1947. There are lots of car hops keeping a watchful eye on everyone parked out front and on the side. They are continually running back and forth waiting on the customers hand and foot. They even bring a salt shaker to you on the tray. Below is a pic of that great tasting $2.39 cent hamburger!. If your near Durant this is one hamburger I highly recommend! You’ll find this hamburger just 3 or 4 blocks north of downtown Durant (Highway 70) on the main drive to Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

1963, Live Bait, Ardmore, Oklahoma

Cottingham Bait Store 906 Lake Murray Drive
Davis Bait Shop 935 Lake Murray Drive
Art Modesto Bait Shop 966 Lake Murray Drive
Norman’s Bait Shop 1005 Lake Murray Drive
Tipps Grocery 720 Lake Murray Drive
Whitehurst Bros Fish Bait 320 Lake Murray Drive
“Butch, some of your readers might enjoy this picture of Lincoln School’s 9th grade class of 1908.” -Charles Smith
“Your reader’s stories of great tasting brick chili reminds me of another brick chili provider in 1951-1957. Wayne Pittman’s dad at the Pittman Grocery in the 1100 block of 4th Street N. E. made some of the greatest chili. The store was on the NW corner at M Street. The city bus route came southbound down L Street all the way to 3rd N. E. then turned back west toward town, remember? Back to the chili, Wayne’s dad would serve up fresh chili in white cardboard containers that looked like todays Chinese “to go” boxes. He packaged and sold the rest in bricks from the meat cooler. Heat it up, get a fresh box of saltine crackers and a cold glass of Colvert’s milk, sprinkle in a little white or sweet purple onion and you had a gourmet dinner. I loved that store, my 20″ bicycle would just glide right up to the edge of Pittman’s front porch, lean the handle bars over against it, step off my bike and walk right into the store. His Mom was always there to greet the customers. I would often buy a chocolate soldier, a Mason’s Root Beer or a Grapette soda. From the candy selection I would get the little tiny wax coke bottles full of colored water or a fake pack of white sugar stick cigarettes that were red on one end to simulate the glow of a real cigarette. A lot of times Wayne would be out back playing basketball with some of the older neighborhood kids, usually those from Douglas High School that lived on 6th Street and beyond to the North. Wayne was the only kid I knew back then that had his own goal with a net. At my house, 1123 5th Street N. E., we had an old bushel basket nailed to the side of the smokehouse. How can a brick of chili cause such a flood of old memories?” -Dennis Medrick
“Don’t necessarily wish to serve as spokesman for anyone but do consider myself a chilihead. I have always liked the old brick chili and am sure that’s just what Crits Cafe used in preparing their Red Top Stew in Ardmores days of yore. That being said, I have long been enamored of my own homemade Chili. I use the Wick Fowler 2 Alarm Chili Kit (I cut the pepper in half ’cause I like One Alarm better). It takes about an hour and a half to prepare and the end result is brick chili custom made to my own particular taste. It is consistently good if you follow the directions on the package. You can duplicate brick chili, grease and all, with regular ground beef or make it healthier with the lower fat ground beef. Any that’s left over from a previous meal works well as Chilibuns or on Coney Islands (Chilidogs). If you can’t find good brick chili or just don’t like what’s available locally I suggest the ‘Do it Yourself” method.” -Harold Burton, Ardmore, OK
“Hi Butch: Your story last week about Key Feed Store closing caught my interest. My parents, Bunk and Thelma Thompson, did business with Rufus Gable when I was a child. Nath Key’s parents, Oscar and Oma, were long-time friends of my parents also. Oma Key worked in the store, too, as did Mrs. Gable, their daughter Joyce, and Nath’s wife, Jackie. Nath was an honest man and a true friend to my family. Am I remembering correctly that Gable’s store started out across the street north of the present store, facing Broadway?” -Nell Thompson Hull, Plano, Texas
“Hi Butch. I finally found that Fort Arbuckle marker located slightly west of the Indian meridian intersection with hwy 53. Guess that farm on the corner there is actually built over the old fort. This marker says the Indian meridian is a mile south which would put it out in a pasture somewhere south of 53. This is all about 4 or 5 miles west of I-35 I think.” -Jon


Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

“Hi Butch, I enjoyed last weeks information that dinosaur bones were only found in two places in Oklahoma. In 1967 while working on the construction of I-35 just south of the Carter County line in the Arbuckle Mountains I found a large petrified bone where we had dynamited and was hauling the rocks to the south and using for fill. By this time any other bones had already been hauled off. My daughter kept this bone in her science room until she retired and she thinks now her daughter-in-law has it in her classroom in Enid.” -Ray Davis, Wilson, Oklahoma
“My father Walter Staples was the Maytag repairman at Luke’s Music and Appliance store on Main Street for years and I remember the gasoline engines that you started like a motorcycle.” -Ron
“2017 was a great year for the “Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields” website. Thanks to historical material contributed by Lee Corbin, Kevin Walsh, Ron Plante, Brian Rehwinkel, and hundreds of other aviation history buffs, entries for an additional 117 airfields have been added to the website in the past year. This brings the site’s coverage to a total of 2,269 airfields, across all 50 states. It includes new additions describing former airfields such as Blesch Field WI, Estelline Municipal Airport SD, Madison North St Airport WI, Higgins Airfield MT, Original Gallup Airport NM, Wilkinsburg Airport PA, Bootheel Flying Service Airfield MO, Garland’s Seaplane Base MI, Valley Forge Airport PA, Gringo Pass Airfield AZ, and updates to many others. If you have applicable material about a former airfield, particularly pictures, please let me know. And I truly appreciate financial donations, without which the site could not continue.” -Paul Freeman

“Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared.” -Eddie Rickenbacker

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