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Vol 23  Issue 1,157   March 28, 2019

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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

Early Electrical Contractor George Virgil Hunter

When the Carter County Courthouse was dedicated in April 1911 George Virgil Hunter (1885-1951) was there. He had installed the thermostats and the clock in the courthouse dome for the Johnson Service Company of Kansas City.

The Johnson company manufactured and installed thermostats, heating and steam boiler equipment all over the United States, and for the next five years, Virg, (Dutch as he was called by childhood friends) did installing for them in Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas.

When the explosion occurred in September 1915, Virg was in Texas. Unable to contact his family, knowing they lived within 3 blocks of where the railroad tank car of the casing head gasoline exploded, and not knowing what he would find when he reached Ardmore, he came in on the train of Mercy bringing doctors and nurses from Texas.

Virgil found his home unlivable. He remained in Ardmore long enough to get his family re-established, then return to Texas to complete the job he was working on. Being tired of being continually on the road away from his family, Virg returned to Ardmore to go into business on his own. Entering a contractual agreement with his brother-in-law, Lee A. Daniel, they established a shop that hired and use the best electricians in Ardmore; Cecil Baber, Paul Phillips, J. J. Stansel and Johnny Wheeler, who went into the Navy when the war broke out. All of these subsequently started their own successful businesses.

Most of the homes in Ardmore were then lighted by either kerosene lamps or gas lights with mantels.

The Consumer Light and Power Company begin putting light power lines down some of the alleys. Lee Daniel was by then in the service, and Virgil contracted on his own. He had 45 jobs going at one time and could have had 200 if he could have handled them. An old letterhead reads, Hunter Electric Company.

Electrical metallic tubing (conduit) is used today but in earlier years knobs and tubes were used. Hunter would order these assembled porcelain tubes by the barrel. It became the job of Virgil Hunter’s son, Val, to put the knobs and tubes together. The upper ends and the lower parts were slid on a big spike of a nail and held there by leather washers or gaskets to expedite their use on the job. They were used to prevent fires. A hole would be drilled in the attic crawl space wall, these tubes inserted, and the wires pulled through the tubes to prevent the electrical wires from ever touching the structure.

Some of the better known jobs G.V. Hunter installed were the Indian School (Bloomfield Academy), the First Baptist Church in Ardmore, and later the OG&E Sub-station in Wynnewood.
Indian Territory and Carter County Pioneers book 1982

February 1935
Wiley Post charge today that nearly 2 pounds of steel filings and powdered emery were placed in the engine of his airplane probably at the instigation of another pilot to cause the failure of his recent projected Stratosphere flight across the continent. The substances caused the engine to overheat after he had been in the air for 50 minutes.

February 1959
A Tulsa woman, accused of selling whiskey to a deputy sheriff won freedom during her trial in Common Pleas Court because of an old state law which provides a woman is not responsible for her acts committed in her husband’s presence because a woman could be acting under the coercion of her husband.

February 2004
Bill McLaughlin is the new District #1 Carter County Commissioner. McLaughlin, a Democrat, beat Republican Lindle Flatt by a count of 1,021 to 746 in yesterday’s vote to fill the seat that was formerly held by the late Joe Dean McReynolds. McLaughlin will serve the remaining three years of McReynolds term.

Q.  Where in a Oklahoma town is a spot said to be the “gateway to the underworld?”
A.  Spencer, Oklahoma just outside OKC.

Q.  Where is the fried onion burger capital of the world?
A.  Answer in next week’s newsletter

Below is a couple markers I made this week. This first one is Kelly a Chiwiener dog




Below is from This and That newsletter archives of March 29, 2007

The following is a photo of Jefferson School in SE Ardmore taken around 1948. The picture was sent in by Jerry Brown in CA.
Here is the link to the search program HardDiskSearch
“Thanks for the photo and article about Paul Frame. His thesis about Ardmore’s history is located in the collections of the University of Oklahoma Libraries. Go to your local library and have them request the book for you via interlibrary loan. It’s a great read.” -Mark Coe
“Butch. Here are 2 post cards of the June 16, 1915, Healdton tank fire.” -Grover Wells

“Butch— From 1957 until 1959 I was in the Army and assigned to the U.S Army Helicopter Square Dance Team. The lowest ranking man there and naturally the GOFER. I rigged, changed the oil, dressed up the choppers and whatever need to be done. I was the fellow in the white uniform that put the hoops, the barrels as well as hooking up the 4 foot in diameter Yo Yo. This was the Army’s precision flying team. They were organized at Ft Sill Oklahoma and Later moved to Ft. Rucker Alabama. 1956 the first shows were performed at Max Westheimer Field in Norman and Labor day at Will Rogers in Oklahoma City. I was wondering if any of the folks out there might have been at those show and maybe took some pictures. I would appreciate any photos, for that was a job to me and I didn’t take the first picture. Ned Gilliand from down at Boyd, Texas wrote a book and has a lot of personal photos in it. The name is Dancing Rotors by Harry E [Ned] Gilliand and can be found by just typing this into the net.” -Taylor F Crowe floydcrowe@yahoo.com
The Wilson News Clippings from Spring 1915:
February 25 – “Freak Pigs” J. M. Spencer brought a couple of freak pigs into town yesterday morning. We use the plural because in the main part they were two distinct bodies, but there was but one head. The bodies were joined back to back. There were eight normal pigs in the litter. The freak was dead when Mr. Spencer found it.
March 18 – Tuesday morning’s train from the east was delayed by a derailed car near Hewitt. The rains have made the ground so soft that it is a wonder that a new road like this has not had alot of such trouble and we can only account for the absence of those track troubles by the fact that the road has a most efficient and able operating crew working under first-class management.
April 18 – Uncle Frank Jernigan, with a crew of men, is opening the section line one-half mile west of town leading to Reck. This line will be opened to the Love County line as fast as possible.
April 18 – A large audience witnessed the baptizing last Sunday afternoon at Dr. Darling’s bathing pool. Those baptized were Mr. and Miss Baker, Eva and Marle DeMent, Mesdames Hill, Van Doren, Dowdy and Gardner. These were converts from the revival meeting recently held at the Methodist church. Mr. Gilliam did the baptizing. -Mindy Taylor
“Thought you might be interested. Here’s the link to several old Oklahoma maps.” -Jim Dyer
“Met some folks from Ardmore in my hometown of Hope, Arkansas, and I told them I played baseball there in the summer of 1957, under Manager J. C. Dunn. They advised me get in touch with you. I am wondering if you have in your archives anything about the 1957 team. We won the league championship that year, which was the last year of the Sooner State League. I enjoyed Ardmore very much; have not been back since 57 but am thinking about coming your way in the near future. I would appreciate your response on this very much.” -Wayne Johns ewj@arkansas.net

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

Butch. Here is a picture of the Montgomery Ward Service Dept when it was down across from where Dotson’s Florist is! My Mom was the only lady there back then! She worked for Wards Service Dept for many many years! Her name was Bernice Ford! Maybe some readers can give me names of some of the guys! -Betty Ford Dighton
“I bought 3 tickets for CATS the musical in OKC for Friday, May 24, 2019 before I knew that Brayden’s graduation date is the same day! If anyone is interested in buying them I will sell for the same price I paid for them. $382” -Melinda Horn Taylor

“Singing In The Rain” 1952

I’m singing in the rain
Just singing in the rain
What a glorious feeling
I’m happy again

I’m laughing at clouds
So dark up above
‘Cause the sun’s in my heart
And I’m ready for love

Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the place
Come on with the rain
I’ve a smile on my face

I’ll walk down the lane
With a happy refrain
‘Cause I’m singing
Just singing in the rain

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