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Vol 22  Issue 1,123 August 2, 2018

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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

January 14, 1946 – Robert W. “Bob” Dick, First Mayor Ardmore, Dies

His Work for City And Many Improvements He Accomplished Are Recalled by Death

R. W. Dick, who is dead in his home in Oklahoma City, is better known in Ardmore than in any other city.

He was a genius. He was an organizer. He had a big mind. Ardmore was incorporated in 1898 and elected a mayor or two but there was no law under which they could collect taxes or do any kind of improvement work and the city remained dormant.

One election the people wrote on their ballots the name of R. W. Dick, a lawyer about the city who had tried a few divorce cases but who was known better as a school teacher.

R. W. Dick, in that election, was chosen mayor of Ardmore. He took his election seriously. He began to look about to see what he could do. Ardmore had nothing. It was a big overgrown country town with no water system and no sewer system and no way to raise revenue to build such improvements. The case looked hopeless.

This was Indian Territory. There was no state government, no law, no order, no roads. This is the situation that Bob Dick went up against. He began by making a deal with the Indians to sell him a block of land where the city lake is at $1 an acre. He begged his friends to put up the money to buy the land and to start a dam for a lake.

He took Sidney Suggs and Charles Campbell and went to Washington and succeeded in getting legislation through congress to permit the collection of taxes and the voting of bonds for public improvements. After the legislation was obtained Ardmore blossomed with modern improvements. The men who subscribed funds to start the work were paid back out of city revenues.

The city widened its streets in some instances, it put in water and sewers and did paving, the old school houses were razed and good ones built and Ardmore became a city.

In the first state administration when every prisoner we had was in some other state, and when it became necessary that the state of Oklahoma should own a prison and keep its own law violators, Governor Charles N. Haskell chose the genius who had done so much for Ardmore and R. W. Dick was told to build a penitentiary.

This was done at McAlester and again Bob Dick made good in his huge undertaking. A prison was built, prisoners were brought home and placed under their own roofs and that institution still stands as a monument to the genius of Robert W. Dick. Dick came to Ardmore from Van Alstyne, Texas, at the beginning of this city. He and H. H. Brown were law partners for a time. The firm was Dick and Brown. Then he was a partner with Robert E. Lee under the firm name of Dick and Lee. His family of girls was raised here. Mrs. Dick was always active in the First Christian church.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday January 17, 1946 in Oklahoma City.

June 1958
In the running for Lone Grove Constable are Claudius Baker, Clinton Bennett, Valton Jones, Lawrence Blaylock, and Ernest Smith. A new voting system requires only an identity card to receive a ballot.

June 1958
With the Mercury registering 103 degrees on Wednesday the hot winds wrought considerable damage to row crops especially corn.

June 1934
John Smith 60 veteran Love County peace officer is sought in the fatal shooting of Sam Randolph, love County sheriff in Thackerville. Randolph, shot through the heart, died within a few seconds after the encounter. Smith has not turned himself in to the Love County Jail, which is occupied by the deceased Sheriff’s family. The shooting took place in the General Store at Thackerville, operated by Turner Pinkston. Smith came into the room, he and Randolph, who was already there, exchanged a few words, and Randolph slapped him. Smith fired and Randolph toppled to the ground. Randolph’s son said ill feelings started after the sheriff opposed the opponent of Smith as Thackerville Constable by Love County Commissioners.

Q.  Where in Oklahoma is a dude ranch where guests come for the day or stay as long as seven nights. The visit would include activities such as tomahawk throwing and lassoing, there’s a slingshot range, horseshoes, and hiking, too?
A.   Meadowlake Ranch at Sand Springs, Oklahoma

Q.  Where in Oklahoma is a cheese house that features a store, deli, and cafe with a unique atmosphere that will transport you back in time. With 50 varieties of cheeses, this cheese house has it all! They’ve got all the basics, and you’ll find unique flavors like Scorpion Cheddar Cheese, Horseradish Cheddar or Bermuda Onion.
A.  Answer in next week’s newsletter

Below is from This and That newsletter archives of August 3, 2006

I was in Miami, Oklahoma last week and found some interesting pieces of history in that area. Miami, Oklahoma is in the far northeast part of the state, just before you get to the Missouri line. This is a pic I snapped of downtown Miami.
While there we stopped at the Miami Library to check my email and when I got through I asked where to get an old fashion hamburger, and a couple of teenagers immediately agreed….. Ku Ku’s. So off to Ku Ku’s we went. Ku Ku’s Drive In’s were originally started in 1963 as a chain outfit with restaurants scattered around the country. Gene Waylan of Miami opened his hamburger restaurant in 1965 and still operates the last Ku Ku’s in the U.S. We were lucky enough to catch Gene at his eatery and he had some interesting info to pass along. Here is a pic I took of Gene standing beside a New York TImes newspaper that even mentioned his great burgers back in 2004 along with some other great places along Route 66.



Of course I couldn’t leave Ku Ku’s without taking a picture of their famous hamburger. But I had not yet mastered all the settings of my new Olympus Stylus 710 digital camera and the picture came out a little blurry. But I think you will get the idea, this was really a great hamburger!
Another piece of history on the wall of Gene’s restaurant beside the New York Times clipping was a photo of local resident Dean Walker. Dean could stand with his feet turned 180 degrees and pointing behind him.
Just so everyone understands, Miami, Oklahoma is not pronounced like Miami, FL. Those T&T readers in other states will know how us ‘locals’ say Miami, Oklahoma. (pronounced my-ah-MUH)
The last of the original nine foot wide pavement or whats left of it in OK. A must if your to truly experience RT66. Originally dirt, then rolled gravel between granite blocks it was paved in concrete then asphalt later on. Nine feet wide it was.
I found a big bell in the town of Grove, Oklahoma at the Grace Baptist Church. The plaque on the side of the concrete base says the bell is in memory of Wendell Crume.
And just south of Grove a few miles in a community known as Delaware I found another smaller bell inside a belfry on top of the old “community building” (its no longer in use). Next to the building a few feet to the south is a concrete memorial that reads: “In memory of Frank G. Fuller, A community builder, Oct 13, 1938”
A couple of years ago a friend was telling me about a very unusual rock about 8 miles north of Milburn, Oklahoma at the highway’s “T” intersection (just about a half mile or so south of Highway 7 on the east side of the road). Now you talk about an eye catcher.

“Dear Butch, Reading this issue of T&T reminded me of one of my favorite hamburger haunts while growing up in Ardmore, Bill & Barb’s. It was originally located on US 70 East (
now Hyw 199 east), just west of the bypass. Then it moved to North Washington and 13th, I think. It was next to a grocery store on the west side of the street. They served the largest hamburger I had ever seen at the time. And they was good.” -Monroe Cameron

“Butch, thought you would like a copy of this, its a pic of Buck Hale (now deceased) in front of his sawmill at Gene Autry.
Aug 3O, 2006 Oilpatch Mania for Aug 3rd.
Last week when I wrote about Pooleville, it occurred to me that it would be interesting to write about all of the communities that started springing up in Picken’s and later Carter Co. All of this information is coming from Mary Frost’s Thesis in preparation for her Master’s Degree at OU. “Early settlements were made in the Washita Valley, in the neighborhood of the present Berwyn. In 1870 a ferry known as Henderson’s Ferry was established on the Washita River. A store was opened and a village which was called Lou grew up. Later the name of the town was changed to Dresden. When the railroad was built through the region in 1887, the station near by was given the name Berwyn. In 1941, Berwyn was changed to Gene Autry, to honor the motion picture actor who has recently acquired a ranch in that neighborhood. The old village of Lou or Dresden has disappeared. Another settlement which was important in the early life of the county was Newport, fifteen miles northwest of Ardmore. It was located in a good farming region; and after statehood it became a custom to start the biennial political campaigns with a rally at Newport, since it was a central point. A free barbeque was provided, and people came from all over the county. Often state candidates were present. Each candidate was given a chance to state his platform, and some pretentious oratory was heard. The meetings were good examples of ‘grass roots’ politics, for a majority of the audiences were country people. The population of the community has decreased with industrialization in the county. The town of Lone Grove grew up in a farm and ranch region on the prairies west of Ardmore in the 1880’s. It had sufficient population to become an incorporated village under the Curtis Act of 1898. Its population has increased greatly, but the town still maintains a trade territory. It has one of the large consolidated schools of the county. Hewitt was also one of the pioneer settlements in the western part of the county. A community and school existed there by 1885. When the Ringling Railroad was built to Ringling, in 1913, Hewitt was passed by and the new town of Wilson was built. The name Hewitt has been preserved in one of the largest oil fields in the county. The town of Ardmore was founded in 1887, when the Santa Fe railroad extended its line to that point north from Gainesville, Texas, and established a station there. The location chosen for the town was on the 700 Ranch property owned by Richard McLish, A.B. Roff, and L.P. Atkins. The town sprang up around the buildings of the old ranch, which stood as a landmark for many years. The only other dwelling in the neighborhood was on the homestead of the Stephen B. Douglas family, which had been built in 2886. This house also came within the limits of the town. The first store in Ardmore was built by Frank and B.B. Frensley. It was a general merchandise store, which drew trade from Indians and settlers in the vicinity. The building was finished on July 28, 1887, a date chosen later to be celebrated as the birthday of Ardmore. (They just had their celebration last week.) Other stores and buildings were hurriedly put up, and the town appeared almost overnight. It extended east and west from the Santa Fe Depot (which was still a boxcar). It rapidly became the market for the products from the surrounding country, replacing Gainesville and other towns of north Texas. By 1890 a town of 2,000 stood where pastures, fields and forest had been a few months before. Blacksmith shops and livery stables were among the first business establishments. The first blacksmiths were a Mr. Conahan and Joe Moody. J.H.Staffenburg established the first tailor shop. Pioneer doctors in Ardmore were Dr. Yarbrough, Dr. J.N. McNeese, Dr. A.J. Woolverton, Dr. Frederick P. Von Keller, a native of Alsace Lorraine, and Dr. Hardy. Most of these men spent the remainder of their lives in Ardmore and gave much time and effort to its development. Dr. Hardy and Dr. McNeese founded the first hospital between Oklahoma City and Fort Worth, Texas. Early in the history of the town, Dr. Von Keller established a hospital which has continued to the present. (Remember this Thesis was written in 1942) The Von Keller and Hardy hospitals have afforded hospitalization facilities to almost the whole of Southern Oklahoma. (Remember this was written in 1942). -Kenneth Eck
“My friend in KY looked out her window at her horses and saw this little fawn ..later on when the horses moved on the doe came and gathered her youngster up and moved on as well. Feel free to add these to your newsletter if you want to. I just thought they were too nice not to pass along.” -Licia from Florida


Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

“Anyone have any photos of the original swimming pool on 3rd N.E? I worked there as a kid picking up trash so I could swim free. I was hired by Gordon Studervant as office staff. George Holloway later took over management of the pool and I worked for him and his wife, Elaine, several years as a lifeguard but I have no photos from all those fantastic years.” -Jay
Seems to me there is a Purgatory creek up around and west of Nowata. Don’t think it’s all that long. It’s the run over from a small dammed up lake.
A Trip Down Market Street, San Franscisco, CA 1906

“Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.” -Mark Twain

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