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Vol 23  Issue 1,173   July 18, 2019

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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

J.C. Penney Company

The nationwide chain of J. C. Penney company was founded by a man who is known worldwide, not just for his quality of merchandise, but for his faithfulness in the tithing to his God. This chain first opened in Ardmore in the year 1918 and was located in the IOOF building at the northwest corner of Broadway and North Washington streets.

In 1929 a young man brought his wife and came to Ardmore to manage the store. This man was A.E. “Eddie” Plume, and he began the most unusual tour of service. He loved Ardmore, and the people of Ardmore loved him, resulting in a managership lasting 31 years, a very remarkable record. Shortly after Mr. Plume arrived J. C. Penney company moved to 211 West Main, where the store remained for 47 years. Mr. Plume retired in 1960.

In 1977 the old store on Main Street burned. This area has become a needed parking lot, and the east wall has been painted with a mural of an early day Ardmore scene. Penneys temporarily moved into buildings at 127 West Main and #13 West Main. In 1978 Dick Spier became the manager of the Ardmore store.

When plans for the new Mountain View Mall were announced, to be located on North Commerce across the street west from the hospitals, J.C. Penney Company made plans to enlarge and relocate in the mall. In 1980 a spacious and attractive store was opened, indicating Penny’s face in the future growth of Ardmore and Southern Oklahoma, and complimenting their 64 years of continuous business.

June 1935
With the assessed valuation of Carter County reduced from 36 million in 1929 to 18 million for 1934. It looks as if there will be radical trimming of aides in various county departments.

June 1959
The new Horace H. Sayre Army Reserve Center was dedicated on Sunday March 31st. Sayre was the commanding officer of the Company E 111th Engineers Regiment. The new center is located on Highway 77 north of the Veterans Home.

June 1959
I snaking, roaring black funnel lashed Carter County on Tuesday, June 2nd, injuring eight persons, destroying four homes and buildings and damaging several others.

June 1959
Prairie Dog Town north of Wert recently lost its founder and protector when Oll Keck died. He turned the first pair of dogs loose, and protected them with a trusty shotgun. Now there must be 50,000 of them, regular pest.

Q.  What country’s flag was the first to fly over Oklahoma?
A.   Spain in 1541 and a total of 14 flags

Q.  Where in Oklahoma is the Butterfly Forest?
A.  Answer in next week’s newsletter

Some pavers I made the past week.




Below is from This and That newsletter archives of July 19, 2007

Sasakwa, Oklahoma is pretty much dried up compared to when it was in its heyday nearly 100 years ago. Sasakwa’s City Hall is still standing, barely…..
This is looking south down Sasakwa’s Main street.
There is one business in Sasakwa on the highway by the name of Walton’s County Store. Its where people in that area stop for groceries, and I see from the sign out front hunters can get buy required permits for hunting deer in season.
This is the Seminole county courthouse. Its a beautiful building inside and out. One thing that caught my attention was the revolving door at the courthouse entrance. Don’t see many revolving doors anymore. The old Ardmore Hotel on Main Street had a revolving door at the front entrance. It was removed when the building was remodeled into the present day Lincoln Center Building.
Across the street from the courthouse in Wewoka was a nice antique store Jill had to check out called The Gatsby. It’s been ran by 3 generations of the same family.  I did get a laugh out of one item in the Gatsby…. a quote on a pillow.
This is a pic of Jill paying out at the cashier. It takes her a while to go through a store like the Gatsby, but she’s got a real eye for a winner.
Southwest of Seminole is Maud, Oklahoma. In Maude we found a 1928 building with two bells mounted in front, so I had to stop and take a pic. In the window was a 1939 Maud Daily Enterprise newspaper. Maud must have been a thriving town back then, to have a daily newspaper.

One thing I noticed in the wee town of Maud, last Saturday they had the cheapest gas of all the towns we went through…. $3.04 a gallon. Go figure. Here is a pic looking down Main Street.

Leaving Maud we traveled southeast to Konawa, Oklahoma where I spotted a big bell mounted in front of the First United Methodist Church, and you know me, I had to stop and take some pictures. Its a beautiful old cast iron bell.
A home in southwest Ardmore was bulldozed this week to make way for more parking for the First Baptist Church. This is a photo of the home that was located at 108 D SW before being torn down.
“In your last newsletter someone asked where the water from Turner Falls originated. I think I can answer that. When I was in the Boy Scouts in Ardmore back in the fifties all the camping was done at Lake Murray. My friends and I always liked to camp in the Arbuckle Mountains. We did a lot of exploring there, especially in caves. One weekend we decided we wanted to find out where the water for the falls came from. We camped up above the falls and then followed the stream back from the falls. A few miles back from the falls (I don?t know how many, but it wasn?t a long hike) we came to a cave. The water was coming out of the cave. We were able to get into the cave and explore it. We went back into the cave as far as we could and finally got to a point where it was full of water. We returned several times and explored that cave and others close by. In dry seasons we could get further into the cave than we could in wet, rainy seasons. Someone had painted a name on the cave. It was called ?Bitter Enders?. The guys who went with me most were Grady Nickolson, Marion Patton and Lawrence Stallcup. We had a lot of fun in those days exploring the mountains and caves.” -Herb Linder
“Butch, the headwaters for Turner falls originates in a cave SW of the falls a few miles. The water flows from an underground river out of the cave. I have been in this cave many times. The name of the cave is Bitter Enders. It is what we call a wet cave. Meaning it fills up when water table rises. Not a good place to take shelter from a rain storm.” -Rome Ingle, Tulsa

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

Hi Butch, Regarding the real Paradise Vista, PBS has a series, American Experience, which has an episode called “Everglades.” This episode explores the history of man trying to drain the Everglades, and the big real estate boom of the 20s is dealt with in detail, including Paradise Vista. I thought you might be interested. -Cindy
Enjoyed the mention of Cowboy Pink Williams in the last issue. Found a good story about him. https://mem55.typepad.com/caddo_my_home_town/2018/04/cowboy-pink-williams-vs-the-united-states-post-office.html
Q. I ran across this photo of this church tower just off of Highway 9A, south of Eufaula, Oklahoma. Does anyone know any of its story? -John Welcher

A. This appears to be part of a new housing development near the lake.
Are their any black diamond watermelons on the roadsides yet? I’m headed to Sulphur this weekend and want to carry one up there for the wife’s recently widowed uncle. -Thal

“Raising kids is like being pecked to death by a chicken.”

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