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Vol 23  Issue 1,163 May 9, 2019

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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

Dixon Boot Company

Henry Jefferson Dixon who was a barber, meat cutter, and bootmaker in San Angelo and Brownwood Texas, opened the Dixon Boot Company in Ardmore in 1898. The company was located at various times on North Washington, #25; just north of the Tivoli Theater; and #5 West Main. The first shop was so small that the company saying was that, “you had to be back out to turn around.” The business steadily grew until he had many boot makers and shoe repairman working under him, most of whom he had trained. He started his stepson, Richard Taylor, at age 6 with minor jobs, and by age 12, he was doing the work of a man. Two sons, Andrew and Noble, we’re taught the trade, and have followed in their father’s step throughout their life, as has also Richard. All three have made boots for rodeo and movie personalities, and many other celebrities. Dixon taught Ned and Jim Sutton and his son-in-law Delton Shilling the trade, and many others through the years. One of his students and workers was Sead Weldon, a deaf-mute who followed this trade all his life. Dixon knew the death mute sign language perfectly, thus had no problem with communication. He also spoke Spanish fluently.

Dixon Boot Company continue to serve the community and widespread localities’ needs until 1928. Mr. Dixon’s health was failing, and the company ceased to function. Boot making was a most important trade to the developing frontier town, as the farmer and rancher alike could not function without a good pair of boots. Dixon filled this need well, and provided for the future of the men he trained.March 2004
“The Last of the Pony Soldiers” will hit newsstands soon, according to local author, Jim Bell. Bell wrote the book in collaboration with Coloradan Joyce Caldwell.

March 1984
County Commissioners paid $150,000 for property on South Washington Street to build a new jail. Voters approved a 2.9 million bond issue to build the jail last November.March 1984
Mr. And Mrs. Horace Crow started green energy in Lone Grove with a 100-foot Tower, wind energy program in conjunction with Oklahoma Gas & Electric.

March 1959
A 65 cent hamburger is a little too rich for his blood, said Senator Tom Tipps, who is urging a special senate committee be named to study prices and terms of the Lake Murray Lodge lease. Tipps said the price of hamburgers is $0.65 and rooms at the lodge start at $9. He wants prices to be lowered so that average people can go down there.March 1935
Claudius Baker, convicted on charge of driving an automobile while under the influence of intoxicating liquor was giving a 9-month term to the penitentiary.

Q.  The longest jail term in the U.S. to a single person on multiple counts, was to a Oklahoma child rapist. Who was sentenced to a total of 30,000 years; 5,000 years for each of the six counts against him?
A.  1994 – Jurors sentenced Charles Scott Robinson, accused of sexually assaulting a 3-year-old girl, to 5,000 years on each count. The minimum sentence the jury could have imposed was 20 years on each count.

Q.  The lowest temperature ever recorded was in what Oklahoma town?
A.  Answer in next week’s newsletter

Below is a grave marker and a paver I made this week.



Below is from This and That newsletter archives of May 10, 2007

Last week Tom Arnold was in town from Tulsa and stopped by for a visit. Tom’s grandfather and father ran the Arnold Monument and Vault Company years ago on C Street SE. His grandfather Lee Arnold started the business as Ardmore Surface Vault Company in the 1920s at 1000 C Street SE.
The photo below was taken about April 1942 when Tom’s grandfather, Lee Arnold, already had the burial vault company relocated to 1309 C Street SE and added some monuments to the display. Tom’s parents are in the picture about 3 years before they were married in July 1945. His dad went to Camp Bowie right after the picture was taken, and then went to Cape Town, Africa in October 1942, finally ending up in Cairo, Egypt. When Tom’s father, Artie, returned after the war he began the monument business full time.

This is how the monument yard and burial vault company looked from 1950 to about 1965. The photo was probably taken about 1963 or 1964, based on the truck, the types and designs of the monuments, etc. in the picture, and the long Arnold and Craddock sign that stretched the length of the building was torn off by high winds in about 1965. They bought a 1964 1-1/2 ton truck in 1966 or 1967. Tom remembers when they picked it up, it did not have the custom bed needed for the monument business, it was installed later. It was just the back frame of the truck, with wide gaps in the steel frame.
One very interesting monument by Artie Arnold back in 1955 was the Infant Jesus statue in Prague, Oklahoma. Tom’s father Artie did the engraving on it. The Prague newspaper clipping below is from the August 10, 1955 issue.





It always saddens me when I see a long time family business close like the Arnold’s monument company. They played an important part in the everyday lives of so many families all over southern Oklahoma. My family was no different, the Arnolds made the grave covers used on our plot at Rose Hill cemetery. When they ceased making these certain type of grave covers, no one stepped forward to continue that line. I remember asking Newman Craddock (1907-1997) back around 1980 about getting a couple of them made and this is what Newman told me. After Artie Arnold’s death in 1972, an Indian employee by the name of Erie Taylor (1913-1989) continued making the grave covers for about another two years. But as Newman told me, the covers are very labor intensive to make, and no one could be found who really wanted to do the work. So these particular style of covers ceased to be made in Ardmore. If anyone can find a picture of Erie Taylor, I’d like to have it for the T&T.

About a year ago we talked about a private bell collection near Durant, Oklahoma. This bell collection has to be the only one like it in the state of Oklahoma. Dan and Patty Wells has accumulated some of the most magnificent bells to be found. Jill and I could only stand there in awe as we gazed on these beautiful bells. Dan is quite the handyman and repairs any bells they find that are broken or have missing parts, then installs them on bases around the yard. Of course, the real driving force behind the bells is Patty, and she sits inside the house, looking out any window she chooses, and admires their beauty.

Dan and Patty gave us the royal tour, showing so many of their handiworks besides the bells. The Wells were the most gracious couple, and Jill and I will never forget the hospitality they showed us during our visit to their place.

This is a picture of Dan installing a large bell.

This is a pic I snapped of Patty and Dan standing in front of one of their larger bells. That’s quite an impressive bell, and you should hear the beautiful church tone ring it has when Dan rang it.
A Reader sent in a couple of photos this week taken about 1956 of the old Scotta’s Florist and Nursery. It was located on the west side of the High Rise complex across the street. The first photo with the 4 men are (left to right) Bill Lynn, Gerald Anderson, Ollie Taylor, Paul Coffman.

WWI Draft Registration
Name: David M Ballew (Bud Ballew)
City: Not Stated
County: Carter
State: Oklahoma
Birth Date: 5 Sep 1877
Race: White
Roll: 1851693
Draft Board: 0

Name: David M Ballew
Birth: abt 1878 – Texas
Residence: 1900 – Lone Grove, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory.
Name: David M Ballew
Spouse: Fannie
Birth: abt 1880 – Texas
Residence: 1910 – Lone Grove, Carter, Oklahoma
Name: David M Ballew
Spouse: Fanny M
Birth: abt 1878 – Texas
Residence: 1920 – Wilson, Carter, Oklahoma

Name: David M. Ballew
Birth: abt 1878 – Texas
Residence: 1880 – Eastland, Texas
Name: David M Ballew
Birth: 1877 – Fannin, Texas, USA
Death: 1924 – Wichita Falls, Texas, USA
Marriage: 17 Apr 1900
Parents: Bryant Young Ballew , Malinda A Seabourn
Spouse: Fannie Harper
“I just talked with my friend east of town. He used to live at Reck. He knew exactly about the Reck water well. The water was very cold and very brackish. Terrible to drink. They played ball right there at the well. Reck had a Post Office from Jan. 25, 1892 until June 21,1919 according to the book Oklahoma Place Names by George H. Shirk.” -Hazel Letterman, Madill
“I grew up in Sasakwa and Konawa. Vamoosa, Oklahoma is located almost between these two towns. It is a burial custom of the Seminole tribe. I am of the Seminole and Choctaw decent and grew up mostly with the Seminoles. The house protects the person buried there and personal items were buried along with the deceased. This custom is not as popular with the younger Seminole generation, but while growing up I have seen this custom in action. Sometimes pots, pans, quilt or whatever the favorite food of the person was buried with them. I am not sure, but I think the bags may hold some personal items or it may be a medicine bag. As for the medicine bag, I am not familiar with why it is buried with them, but I do know that if a loved one dies, you are supposed to take a bath in “medicine” to help with the grieving process.” -Leona M. Mars

Note: I was told there is a sign at the front gate of the Vamoosa cemetery now that reads “no more house covers permitted”. -Butch
The Wilson News (submitted by Mindy Taylor)
June 16, 1915
During last Monday’s storm, lightning struck five oil tanks in the Healdton field, setting fire to the oil. The Dundee-Samoset Companies lost a 16,000 barrel tank; the Coline Co. a 55,000 barrel tank; three other smaller tanks were lost. The sky was black with the dense smoke from th burning for several days.

The Wilson News
June 16, 1915
Wilson Men Inventors
R. H. Reed and J. L. Long, two of Wilson’s business men, have invented and patented an apparatus for prevention of fire from lightning to oil tanks.
The prime cause of fire loss in the oil field is usually due to lightning striking gas, which rises from the tanks to a high point in the air above. When lightning strikes the gas the fire follows the gas down to the oil in the tank and sets it afire.
Messrs. Reed and Long claim to have an apparatus that will carry this gas away from the tanks to a trap on the ground, where it can be used or stored. At least the claim is that it can be so controlled that the damage of fire from this source is reduced to the minimum. The inventors go to Tulsa next week, where they will demonstrate their invention before a gathering of oil men and insurance people.

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

Several members in that 1939 Salvation Army photo are my grandparents, Lola Pearl and Thomas Paul Hattensty and two of their sons, my uncles James and T.P. I wanted to identify those by putting their names on the photo. -Jenell Gist Noel
This is a convention pin from 1908 for the Dallas, Texas Elks National Convention. The bottom of the pin reads Come to Ardmore for the best Asphalt. Best Paving On Earth. Ardmore, Oklahoma #648. It looks like either a members photo or a piece of Ardmore Asphalt from the asphalt mine goes in the circle. -Robert Hensley

I Believe – 1953 – words and music by Erwin Drake, Irvin Graham, Jimmy Shirl, Al Stillman from the urging of Jane Froman of Columbia, Missouri

I believe, for every drop of rain that falls,
A flower grows…

I believe that somewhere in the darkest night,
A candle glows…

I believe for everyone who goes astray,
Someone will come, to show the way,
I believe, I believe…

I believe, above the storm the smallest prayer,
Will still be heard…

I believe, that someone in the great somewhere,
Hears every word…

Every time I hear a newborn baby cry,
Or touch a leaf, or see the sky,
Then I know why, I believe!


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