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Vol 22  Issue 1,119  July 5, 2018

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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

Last Friday evening, July 1st, Ardmore could have lost another piece of history.  A lady trying to escape during a police chase lost control of her car at West Main and A Street SW and hit the front of the Colston Building which housed the Citizens Bank and other offices in the upper floors.






The Simpson building was built in 1918 and a project of Ardmore oil man Roy M. Johnson and Burton A. Simpson.  Below is a picture I took in 2002. Something missing from the photo which has been a part of the outside appearance in the 1950s is the 110 air conditioning units that used to stick out of the windows.


The building was originally heated by coal fired boilers. There are old electric generators in the basement. These things are huge.


Another interesting piece of still working history in the basement is the water pressure driven service elevator. It’s still used today to move things from the basement to the sidewalk on the outside of the building on the west side.



There are still three old safes in the basement too.


And let’s not forget the old 1918 mailbox on the first floor by the elevator. This mailbox is a collector box for mail dropped through a chute from the upper floors of the building. The chute runs all the way down to the first floor mailbox. So tenants on the upper floors of the building, just walk over to the south wall by the elevator, place their letters in the mail drop, and the letters drop all the way down a chute to the first floor mailbox. Each day the downtown letter carrier picks up mail from the first floor box.


By the way, several area history buffs have been trying to figure out if there really are the initials or the name of B. A. Simpson somewhere on the outside brick walls, as local folklore has it.

May 1934
There will be elections for both Constable and Justice of the Peace in Lone Grove next week. Candidates for Justice of the Peace are A.J. Cook and Lee B. Drummond. Running for constable are Willie Watson, George Beheren, C.C. Scantlin, Bence Tanner, and Walter Coffey.

Q.  Back in the day automobiles were narrow and so were the cars that drove on Oklahoma highways. Where in Oklahoma is there still a stretch of old highway, only 9 feet wide, from those bygone days?
A.   The nine foot wide segment of highway is on Route 66 located between Afton and Miami, Oklahoma

Q.  Where in Oklahoma is there a wolf sanctuary?
A.  Answer in next week’s newsletter

Some pavers I sandblasted recently.



Below is from This and That newsletter archives of July 6, 2006

Roy Kendrick of Perry, Oklahoma sent in some scans of a 1928 Oklahoma state highway map. Its interesting to look at all the dirt roads and highways back then compared to now. Back in the early 60s I remember 3rd NE from North Washington to I Street NE (in front of Jess Hickman’s laundry mat), always being concrete. But from I NE on east out 3rd was dirt.

“Some of the traffic regulations mentioned on the back said that speed limits for passenger vehicles outside of city limits was 35 MPH. Speed limits for trucks vary with the load. Vehicle on the right has the right of way. Spot lights are prohibited. Out of state commercial vehicles must have Oklahoma license immediately upon entering the state but non-resident other vehicles were allowed 60 days before being required to obtain a license from this state. Also, no vehicle or other object wider than 90 inches shall enter a highway except that traction engines may be 110 inches wide.” -Roy




“Butch, It is obvious that you have hidden some pictures because I cannot find them… However, would you direct me to where the splendid shots are from the top of the Carter County Courthouse? We have our 50th coming up in Oct and I want to tout (again) your site and these pictures.
“Hello Butch. After spending some time in the U.S. NAVY, coming home for a few months, my Father made a towing trailer, loaded it up and we headed for California. When my father was stationed in California he visited his brother who had moved out there in 1941 so it wasn’t like we didn’t have someplace to go. In 1957 I had joined the US Air force. I was finishing up with my training and tech school by the end of June I was just waiting on transfer orders. My parents were taking an Oklahoma/Kansas vacation and decided to take my finance and I would meet them at the big family reunion in Ponca City, Okla. Then in Stillwater on July 5th. my finance and I were joined together in marriage by a Justice of the Peace, Mr. O. C. Whipple. It was the first time that my now wife had ever been out of California. So I was not only born in Stillwater, I was married in Stillwater although I had not been there for a visit in three years. Mr. O.C.Whipple not only married my wife and I, he married my parents 25 years before.” -Tom Galloway
Propane business owner recalls rough beginnings. Sam Enderby was a young man with a good idea. The 88-year-old Gainesville resident and long-time Cooke County businessman remembers he had an plan for bringing the first propane-powered tractor to this part of Texas. In the 1930s tractors ran on gasoline. Enderby thought converting gas-powered tractor engines to propane power made sense. He got the idea from his mother’s propane stove. His parents had just acquired the stove and Enderby’s mother cooked Thanksgiving dinner for nearly 100 people on it. The whole family was impressed by the efficiency of propane. So when his father bought a brand new Farmall tractor, he wondered if he could make the tractor run more efficiently on liquid propane gas.
Q. Butch, What does the U.C.V. stand for on the back of the markers in the cemetery?

A. United Confederate Volunteer
Dec 29, 2005 T&T: “Mr. Bridges, When researching some more of my folks I came across one of the Law officers memorials about a cousin’s husband. Louis Hervill who was killed along with a constable W Arthur Hood in Addington 28 Jan 1928. The 1920 census list Louis with wife Laura, two children and his father in law Jim Blalock, my great uncle. I not being that familiar with the area didn’t find a Newspaper with any stories of the shooting or where there was a trial. Do you know what papers I should try. I have a photo of Louis and wife on their wedding day, but it is on a tape and converted to DVD and I have never taken a photo from a DVD to print. I would be glad to furnish that portion of the DVD to the Historical folks if they wish. I would also like to make contact with who ever gave the information to the Historical Society about him.” -Taylor F Crowe
Here is a vintage advertising blotter from Woerz Bros’ Florists in Ardmore, OK. Probably in the 1930’s or ’40’s. Phone number was 995.

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

I assume this related to our Ardmore. It’s the only one with a military base. While digging around the web, I found this on a NASA website


One of the documents there is about air defense planning. It’s about surface-to-air missiles to counter the Soviet threat during the early/mid 50’s – the middle of the cold war. Ardmore was on a list of planned sites for Talos short-range interceptor missiles. The base would have become active in Jan. of ’63. The plans turned out to be a bit too expensive, and most of the planned bases were never built.

Hey Butch, I know you are always looking for eating places, I read in the Ardmoreite yesterday about The Taste, 217 W Main in Marietta. Went there for lunch today, unbelievable! They have a Facebook page and they are also on Yelp. If you go what ever you have will be good BUT save room for the Bananas Foster! Just and FYI, tonight they are have surf and turf, Chef Rodney is a really nice guy, get service, all in the family! I think it will become your new favorite! -Paul

Hot as Hades

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