PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402
Email: email@example.com, Phone: 580-490-6823
Okmulgee Oklahoma Police Department – 1908
Henry Klaber, Assistant Chief. Killed in the line of duty
Okmulgee Police Department
On Sunday, November 15, 1908, Jimmy Grayson had filed a complaint against a black gunsmith named Newt Decker over an argument about a day’s catch of fish. Chief Klaber and Grayson went to Decker’s house at Second and Creek Street. As the men approached the house, Decker, an expert shot, ran out shooting with guns in both hands. The Chief was shot in the throat and died soon after. Two brothers, Ralph and Felix Chapman, ran to Chief Klaber’s aid, firing at Decker with the fallen officer’s gun. Decker shot and killed both brothers then ran back in his house. Other officers responded and the gunfight lasted over an hour with over 500 shots being fired. Okmulgee County Deputy Sheriff Edgar Robinson was also killed with two other officers wounded as well as three bystanders. The officers finally set the house next to Decker’s on fire. The fire spread to Decker’s house. As Decker came to the door he was shot and fell back inside the house to burn to death. Chief Klaber, 39, was survived by his wife and four children.
William Edgar Robinson, Sheriff, Killed in the line of duty
Okmulgee County Sheriff’s Office
Newt Decker, a black man, and Jimmy Grayson, a Creek Freedman, got into an argument over a day’s catch of fish on Sunday, November 15, 1908. Both men had been drinking. Grayson made a complaint with the Assistant Chief of Police Henry Klaber. Grayson and Klaber made a search for Decker and found him in a shack at 2nd and Creek streets in Okmulgee.
Decker was a gunsmith by trade and a crack shot with a rifle and pistol. Decker, on seeing the police approach, burst out the front door with a pistol in each hand. Decker shot Assistant Chief Klaber in the throat without warning. Grayson ran for help. Two brothers, Felix and Ralph Chapman, were deputized by Assistant Chief Klaber to assist him. When they saw Chief Klaber shot and dying, they picked up his gun and fired at Decker. Decker returned fire and killed both brothers. Police Chief Dick Farr road up and tried to assist the fallen Klaber. Decker shot Farr in the right shoulder. Chief Farr took a shot at Decker with his left hand and felt he struck Decker because he saw him whirl around as he fired.
Undaunted, Decker wounded Chief Farr again in the arm. Edgar Robinson, the first elected Sheriff of Okmulgee County, arrived on the scene and was shortly shot dead by Decker. The battle lasted more than an hour with an excess of 500 shots being fired. As they couldn’t get too close to Decker’s house, they set fire to the house next door with coal oil. After Decker’s house caught on fire, Decker came to the door. He was hit by gunfire and fell back into the flames.
Five men died: Decker, Assistant Chief Klaber, the two Chapman brothers and Sheriff Robinson. Chief Farr and a deputy sheriff were wounded along with six bystanders.
Sheriff Robinson was survived by his wife and two young children.
Ford Bradshaw, wild shooting smart aleck who fancies himself as outlaw king of the Cookson Hills died today in a stream of lead. “He thought he was a bad man,” said Deputy Bill Harper.
The Oklahoma Highway commission announced the last obstacle has been cleared for construction of a four-lane highway 4 miles east and 4 miles west of Lone Grove on U.S. 70. Original plans called for a “limited access.” That was changed to a “free road.”You’ll never forget a visit to this one of a kind elephant ranch in Oklahoma.
Last week I posted a digital recording of a record in the display case at the Michelin Plant. Last week’s played to slow (33rpm?), and it sounds better at 45rpm. Michelin (Uniroyal back in 1981) gave all the employees the record for Christmas. The songwriter/singer’s name is not on the lable. Maybe someone out there will remember who sang the song???
A couple of bricks I sandblasted last week. The first one I got some rain water on it just before I snapped the picture.
Q. This one small Oklahoma town has more outdoor attractions than any other place in the state. Where is the town?
A. Davis, Oklahoma
Q. Where in Oklahoma is a Kayak Park hiding?
A. Answer in next week’s newsletterBelow is from This and That newsletter archives of March 30, 2006
“Butch, From my mother’s postcard collection, here are three more looks at some of Ardmore’s Selvidge Business College students. Check out the open framed typewriters in the typing class. Best regards, and thanks for all you do with This and That. You have brightened many lives with dear memories.” -Don Gwynne in Arlington, TX
“Butch, When I was a kid on the farm, we used to eagerly wait for the ripening of the field corn so we could enjoy what my family always referred to as “Roshuneers”. I always thought that a strange name for corn, but it was not until years later that I discovered that it was only the peculiar Scots-Irish pronunciation of the term “Roasting Ears”. It was imported by my family, direct from the hills of North Carolina and Tennessee where the preferred method of cooking fresh corn was to lay the ears, still in the shuck, on a bed of hot coals in the fireplace. Hence, any ear of corn still in the milk stage and tender enough to be eaten was referred to as a Roasting Ear….or, a Roshuneer. I suspect a whole study could be done on words like that and “marbleaid” that we use, or used to use.” -Ed Walt
Hi Butch. T&T no. 475 carried a photo of the old railroad bridge across the Washita River, between Berwyn (Gene Autry) and Big Canyon. The bridge in the photo was subsequently replaced by the less elegant structure shown in the accompanying photo which was taken by Dwayne Stevens (from almost the same position). I’m wondering whether any of your readers know when the old bridge was replaced, and whether anyone has more photos of the old bridge. (Apologies to Dwayne for using his photo without permission.) Best regards, -Ron McFarlane. Australia firstname.lastname@example.org
“Hi Butch, I been told that my Grandmother Allie (Mayberry) Cape went to school at Rocky Point School, somewhere around Sulphur, Ok., between 1907 and 1915. I have searched the internet and can not find any listing about the school or where it might have been. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Also, in 1950’s does anyone remember a saw mill south of Sulphur on the old Dougherty Rd. Does anyone has a photo of it? I would love to have a copy made of it. The saw mill belonged to Jessie Cape, aka, Jess or J. F. Cape. Thank you” -Danny Thompson email@example.com
“Butch: I notice you have had quite a lot of discussion about the drag race strip just inside Lake Murray Park, which is now the Downtown Ardmore Airport. My deceased husband, A.N. (Shorty) Almon, was very instrumental in getting the club started and also obtained the dirt work for the strip. I noticed a question as to who did the dirt work. Mr. Whitaker, who was the father of Robert Whitaker, who lives on McLish S.W., did this work. My husband persuaded him to do this and he very graciously did it. I’m not sure if it was free gratis. Probably was because the club certainly had no money. He raced there many times. I can’t remember exactly which car or cars he raced in, but I very vividly remember we had a brand new 1957 Chevrolet (first new car we had owned at that time) and he decided he would race it, and did, but in the process ruined the transmission in it. I was not a happy camper about that situation, but he fixed it and we had the car several years. This was a pretty popular place back then since there wasn’t a whole lot of things to do in Ardmore other than Lake Murray and Lake Texoma. Still enjoying your T&T. Thanks for all the time and effort you put into it.” -Jerry Almon
Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..
I have a question. Do you know where I might find a map of Carter County, Oklahoma for the year 1918-1920? I have tried the Ardmore Public Library and the courthouse. Neither were of any help. With your multiple contacts, maybe someone will know of such. -Mike———————————————–
Do you have any pictures of Ardmore’s Colston Building from the early years? The building is 100 years old this month. We will be having a party/reception Thursday 4/29 at 10am in the Colston building.
A. The Simpson building (Colston Bldg) was a project of Ardmore oilman Roy M. Johnson and Burton A. Simpson. By the way, several area history buffs have been trying to figure out of there really are the initials or the name of B. A. Simpson somewhere on the outside brick walls, as local folklore has it. The photo below was taken in 1918 the year it opened.
From last week’s newsletter:
Carter County Only
I recently received a complete copy of unclaimed insurance. It appears that insurance companies are permitted to hold unclaimed insurance rather than sending it to the state office. This list contains amounts ranging from $437.49 thru $25,376.06. The state limited the size of their data files and the one attached is just for the larger individual amounts (the balance are in two other files not attached).
Notice there are several business names on this list – do them a favor and let them know that they have unclaimed funds.
Many of the individuals are deceased so one would need to search for next-of-kin through obituary or court records. -Larry Stephens
Mr Bridges, You have me in your listing last week as being owed a decent amount of money. How do I follow up and get in touch with Larry Stephens? This couldn’t come at a better time. Thank you for your time.
Hi Butch. Going thru some of my moms stuff n found this pic. Thought you might enjoy. Feel free to share. Its Ardmore’s first baseball team, The Ardmore Reds. -Randy Harvey
“Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it.” -Abraham Lincoln
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