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Vol 23  Issue 1,151 February 14, 2019

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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

City Shoe Shop, Ardmore, Oklahoma

The City Shoe Shop opened in Ardmore in the depression year 1929. The owners were Neville “Ned” Sutton an Alf T. Dye. The initial location was 203 West Main. The early days store of Henry Dixon had closed in 1928, due to his poor health, and both men had trained under Mr. Dixon. Fortunately, during the Depression Years, people could have their boots and shoes repaired at a very reasonable rate, and since there was no money for new shoes, the business was able to survive on repairs primarily. The business later moved to 207 West Main, where it remained until 1980. The economy improved, and business boomed in the following years. Boots were made for Gene Autry, Buck Garrett, Bud Ballew, Dow Brazil, and many other well-known personalities. During World War II, the officers at AFS discovered that Ned could make officer field boots which were very comfortable and identical in looks to the ones they were issued, which were very uncomfortable. Consequently, for years he was flooded with orders by these Air Force officers.

Later Elf Dyer sold his portion of the business to Carl Scholz, and he was partner with Ned for many years. Each handmade pair of boots and shoes was a work of art, and the ranchers and farmers enjoyed the bright colors and unusual designs. Ave Sutton helped at times and stitching the patterns. In June 1947, Ned retired, and sold his portion also to Carl Scholz, who became the sole owner of City Shoe Shop. Later, Carl Scholz sold the shop to Sid Kennedy. In 1975 a young man, Greg Dudley, who had learned to make boots with Ben Dye of Davis (Ned Sutton had taught Ben Dye to make boots) came to work for Sidney Kennedy for 2 years. In May 1981, Greg purchased the shop and is now the owner and operator. Greg started the boot & shoe business at age 13. He is married to Jane (Nicholas) Dudley, and they have one daughter, Laura Beth.
Indian Territory and Carter County Pioneers book 1982

December 1983
Raymond Whitson was honored by County officers for 25 years of service as a member of the District 3 staff. Wilson has served as head mechanic at the District 3 Carter County Barn for all of that time. Whitson, who will be 75 years old on January 30th, said he has no plans to retire.

December 1958
Jack Burch, the caveman, was telling about discovering a new cave in the Arbuckle’s, but nothing in comparison to the huge Wild Woman Cave. Burch thinks that cave surpasses Carlsbad Cavern, in some places.

Q.  Take an unforgettable drive in Oklahoma to the top of the world’s highest hill. One thing Oklahoma has in its hat of things to brag about is “home to the highest hill.” Where in Oklahoma is this hill located?
A.  Cavanal Hill is located near Poteau, Oklahoma, and is billed by the local chamber of commerce as the tallest hill in the world at 1,999 feet.

Q.  Where is it illegal to eat someone else’s hamburger when they are not looking?
A.  Answer in next week’s newsletter

This week I received an interesting publication. The book is Memories of Walter and Theatus Sessions. The book is 125 pages in length and packed with information and photos of the Sessions family starting with their school days at Ingram Lane School near Zaneis school in western Carter County.


There will be a book signing party on March 2, 2019 in Stillwater. Below is an invitation to anyone interested in attending. The party is RSVP so the Sessions can plan on how many to prepare for as lunch will be served 11:30am at 1116 E. Hanson Street there in Stillwater. marshateague@gmail.com


Some pavers I sandblasted recently




Below is from This and That newsletter archives of February 15, 2007

“Hi Butch, Re: the new Catholic Church in Marietta, the general contractor is our own Bill Fields of Craftco Builders here in Ardmore. You might know his father-in-law, former county treasurer Mike McComber.”


“Butch, here is a picture of the river bridge on the east side of the Airpark by Annie Conway’s place after it had burned, circa 1950. The man in the cowboy hat is I believe my grandfather Frank Rountree, they were standing on a walking trail made to get across the river. If you zoom in there is an old Ford pickup on the hill. The bridge was converted to a Bailey bridge later by the Air Force.” -Doug Williams

Find Open Source alternatives to commercial software.
“My name is John Gow. jag25_136@hotmail.com I lived in Ardmore and went to junior high and high school there in the late 60s and early 70s, though I haven’t lived in Ardmore for many years. I learned of your publication from a man in Australia, Ron McFarlane, while talking with him about railroads in Ardmore in the 1960s. He is a big fan of the Santa Fe Railroad through the Pauls Valley and Ardmore area and has been creating a model railroad in its image. In high school I was likewise a big fan of the railroads in Ardmore (or anywhere, for that matter) and had taken a lot of photos of trains in the area at that time. I told him as much as I could remember of what the railroad operations were like at the time, and also sent him some of my photos. He told me of your publication and said you might be interested in seeing the photos as well, so here are a few. If you’re interested I have more. Some info on the photos:

1) This is Santa Fe’s southbound Texas Chief, arriving at the Ardmore station in 1971. The Texas Chief was a passenger train that ran daily between Chicago and Houston. It had a baggage car, chair cars, sleeping cars, a full lounge car (what the Santa Fe called a “Big Dome Lounge”, as it had a glass bubble top and you sat up inside the dome, almost like you were sitting on top of the train), and a full-service dining car serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The southbound train was scheduled to arrive in Ardmore about 11:30am. This station still stands of course, and now serves Amtrak’s Heartland Flyer. To the left of the train in the parking lot you can see the beginning of a grass median. This was actually a rose garden, maintained for many years by the Ardmore Garden Club, as an enhancement for travelers arriving and departing Ardmore.


2) Here is another view of the southbound Texas Chief coming into Ardmore in 1971. This photo was taken looking north from the MLK Viaduct, though at that time it was called the 5th Street Viaduct. There is a northbound freight train on the right waiting for the passenger train to pass before it moves out onto the mainline to continue to Oklahoma City and beyond.


3) Here is the northbound Texas Chief in the Ardmore station, stopping on its way to Oklahoma City, Wichita, Kansas City, and Chicago. The passenger cars are Santa Fe’s “Hi-Level Chair Cars”, a 2 story type of car with an upstairs and a downstairs. Amazingly these durable, comfortable cars are still in use on Amtraks’ Heartland Flyer which continues to serve Ardmore today. The northbound train was scheduled to arrive in Ardmore about 3:15pm.


4) This is Santa Fe’s branchline freight train that ran from Ardmore to Healdton and Ringling. The train is shown leaving Ardmore in March 1971 westbound to Healdton and has just crossed Sunset road on the southwest side of Ardmore. At this time the little train ran 2 times a week, on Tuesday and Saturday. The new Uniroyal Tire Plant (at this time it was brand new) is about a mile and a half ahead and is still served by this rail line, though the line beyond the tire plant to Healdton and Ringling was abandoned long ago.


5) This is a photo of a Frisco Railroad freight train, a rare sight in Ardmore. The Frisco had a branch line that ran to Ardmore from Durant and Madill. It had passenger service until 1953, with a small passenger train running daily between Ardmore and Hugo, Oklahoma. That was a distant memory however, even at the time of this photo, 1971, when the line saw little use. This train is facing south and is shown in south Ardmore. The Blue Bonnet Grain elevators are about a mile behind, and the train has just crossed Washington Ave, just south of where Washington intersects with Stanley.


6) This is the Frisco Railroads’ Freight Depot, shown in 1988 when I was in Ardmore for a visit several years after the Frisco abandoned its line to Ardmore. I believe the building was used by a plumbing company for awhile, but it has since been torn down. It’s too bad, as it had a classic late 19th century railroad architecture style. In the extreme right side of the photo you can see the red roof of the main Ardmore depot, which serves Amtraks’ Heartland Flyer.


7) The Frisco depot was on the first street that runs parallel to the railroad tracks one block west of the existing Ardmore depot. It’s been awhile so I’m struggling a little with the street name. I think it is Caddo Street, and the freight depot was on the east side of the street, just south of where it intersects with Broadway. It was torn down some time in the early 90s. I’ve included another pic of it from a different angle, taken at the same time as the other in 1988.


Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

Butch, Seeing Ernestine Ulmer’s quote about dessert reminded me of one of the board members when I was at Carl Albert Indian Health Facility here in Ada about 20 years ago. We were eating dinner one evening before the board meeting began and he ate his dessert first before he ate the main course. I was amused by that, as he was about 75 at the time and it was somewhat, to me, unusual to eat dessert first.

He noticed me smile at him and he laughed and explained why he did that.

It seems he had attended Chilocco Agricultural School, about 20 miles of Ponca City on Chilocco Creek. It was in the Cherokee Strip and the Cherokees had donated over 8,500 acres to them to make the agricultural training and education program possible. Originally only “students” from five of the Plains Tribes were enrolled but eventually members of many tribes attended there. It was open from 1884 to 1980.

Anyway, when he was a pre-teenager, the older students would steal his dessert from him as he ate his main meal. He soon grew tired of that so he developed the habit of eating his dessert first so he would not lose it to others. Almost seventy years later, he still did the same thing. I no longer found it odd as it made perfect sense to me after he told his story. We all enjoyed the story and found it somewhat amusing, but with a tinge of sadness, too. Since then, sometimes I eat my dessert first, too.

We are all products of our environment as well as our genetic makeup, aren’t we?

“Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.” -Ernestine Ulmer

Regarding the Ardmore fire from 1895. I got a little curious about how much that fire would cost today: the damages estimated at $700,000 in 1895, with today’s inflation would be akin to $20,936,083.33 in 2019.  -Kathi George, Springdale, Arkansas

“The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it in your back pocket.” -Will Rogers

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