Ardmore, Oklahoma, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402
Email: [email protected], Phone: 580-490-6823
C. B. “Tobe” Bee
C.B. Tobe Bee was considered one of the outstanding experts on freight rates in the United States. He was born in 1882 in Texas and very little is known of his early life except that his father died early, leaving the mother Mattie Bee to care for two sons Tobe and Ham P. Bee.
Mattie Bee was married later to District Judge Stillwill H. Russell of Ardmore. Thus Tobe and Ham spent their early years in Ardmore and went to school here. Stillwell Russell was a kind man and was considered an excellent judge. He obviously was a good father to the boys, and they were close to him, as evidenced by the writing on the accompanying photo. Judge Russell was born in 1846 and died in 1914. His wife Mattie Bee Russell was born in 1861 and died in 1935. They are both buried in Rose Hill Cemetery in Ardmore. Ham P. was born in 1880 and died in 1932
Tobe studied law in was a practicing attorney in southern Oklahoma for a number of years. Also he was railroad Freight agent in Mexico for a time. In 1907 one month after statehood, Tobe joined the Oklahoma Corporation Commission as its principal rate counselor. The inequality of freight rates was one of early Oklahoma’s more serious problems. He spent 45 years with the commission, and appeared in every important rate case or transportation investigation before the Interstate Commerce Commission or the Congress of the United States during that time.
Tobe was never married. His closest friends were Harold and Gladys Wallace of Ardmore and their family.
For his unusual and outstanding service to the State of Oklahoma, he was honored as an inductee into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1953. Two months later after this honor Tobe died suddenly of a heart attack. He is buried in Ardmore in Rosehill Cemetery.
Photo of Tobe Bee
Note, at the bottom of Judge Russell’s picture he wrote and gave to Tobe: “Dear Tobe, if true to yourself you can not be false to anyone. Often do we think of you and often wish for you.”
Your affectionate daddy
Stillwell H. Russell
December 12th 1903
Ardmore, Indian Territory
The first Carter County District Judge and step-father of Tobe Russell.
-Indian Territory and Carter County Pioneers book 1982
Walker Athletic Field, 1721 McLish SW, Ardmore, OK
This was in 1939 before West Broadway was continued on west from downtown Ardmore and made a jog in front of Walker Stadium as it does today. I think this map may help clear up how back then the address was McLish SW. The old Highway 70 continued east on McLish until it reached E Street SW, then turned north on E Street, crossed West Main, and continued on north to 12th and E Street NW. Then it turned west on 12th NW and connected to Highway 77 north. I can’t find my map right now where it shows 70 East continuing on east of town.
The Carter County Health Department will soon be moving into new quarters. Commissioners approved purchase of the old Winn-Dixie building on South Washington in 1997. The building cost $250,000. Renovation will cost in the neighborhood of 2.5 million, with the Noble Foundation and the Oklahoma Hospital Foundation each donating $400,000.
A heated argument erupted between James Godwin, District 2 commissioner, and members of the Excise Board after Godwin asked to discuss the matters after a meeting was finished. It’s difficult “to discuss some matters in the public meeting” when the press is always present and taking notes. The discussion centered around Commissioners asking for a salary of $2,261.66 per month, the maximum allowed for elected officials, and board members previously approved $2,000 per month.
There were also provisions in the Commissioners county budget to reduce the number of sheriff deputies to five, and restrict their travel to 2,500 miles per month. Both measures were voted down by exercise board members. Sheriff Denny said one trip to California to pick up a prisoner can wipe out a deputy’s mileage for that month.
The Carter County Free Fair board today said it will not pay any rent at the fairgrounds, for a free fair, and Ardmore City Manager Robert Craven said if that’s the case there will probably be no fair this year. Cavins told the board members there is an ordinance that calls for $100 per day to use the Coliseum, and $20 per day to use the livestock chutes. Fair secretary J.P. Taylor told Cavins Oklahoma statue 101 says the fair board cannot pay rent for fee fair facilities. He also noted the fair board the fair board cannot be sued, but the city can be sued.
Sure not 80+ meat markets today in Ardmore. 1939
Q. Where in Oklahoma is the Purple Church? This evil place in Oklahoma will make your blood turn cold.
A. The Purple Church is located in the small town of Spencer, just outside of Oklahoma City. It’s known as one of the most haunted places in the state and is said to be a gateway to the underworld.
Q. Where in Oklahoma can animal lovers can go and get up close and personal…and it’s not the zoo? Its an interactive exotic animal park that is home to lions, tigers, leopards, bears, snakes, alligators, kangaroos, lemurs and many more animals.
A. Answer in next week’s newsletter
Below is from This and That newsletter archives of September 27, 2007
Dr. Brewster Higley (born 1822 in Indiana) wrote the words to the song “Home on the Range” when he lived in Kansas. The song was published in a Kirwin, Kansas newspaper in 1873 and would become a favorite song along the cattle trails. First published in 1910, the author never saw a copy nor received a cent of royalty. His last home was in Shawnee, Oklahoma.
Home on the Range was not labeled an American frontier ballad until 1934 when Sam Moanfeldt, a New York attorney traced the song’s authorship to Dr. Brewster Higley. A skilled surgeon practicing in Kansas, Higley composed the song before 1872, and the tune was quickly adopted by the cowboys involved in the long trail drives north form Texas. Many herds of cattle were calmed on stormy nights by its words and music. Later, in 1886, Higley and his family moved to Shawnee, where he died in 1911.
A historical marker is located (or used to be) on the east side of Highway 18 at Fairview Cemetery on North Harrison Street in Shawnee. It would be interesting to know if this marker is still in place recognizing Dr. Higley and his famous song Home on the Range. I have Readers in Shawnee, maybe we will hear from them on the present day situation of the above mentioned historical marker, and hopefully a picture.
The website below has a lot of info on Dr. Higley, along with photos, audio recordings, and history about Home on the Range. There are several audio songs you can listen to (must have RealAudio Player installed).
Eolian. In western Carter county. Post office established March 23, 1904, and named changed to Joiner, May 17, 1909. Its name comes from Aeolus, the Greek god of the wind. -Oklahoma Placenames by George H. Shirk
“Butch: It really saddened me to read of the passing of Gerald Cobb: I had visited him on a few occasions while in Las Vegas and we would talk about the days he was sheriff and I on the police dept. Unknown to many was that for a short period of time he was a member of the police dept. then ran for sheriff. He ran using his full name Gerald Theo Cobb, I remember him telling me he used Theo for two reasons one it lengthened the name on the ballot making it stand out more and the other many folks remembered his dad whom was a Oklahoma Highway patrolman and killed while investigating a traffic accident in western carter county. Our second home in Ardmore was on 5th Ave SW and was purchased from his mother in the late 50s. It was the Cobb home place. After he was elected to office he approached me to see if I would serve as one of his deputies, after thinking about it I decided to pass it up and stay with the police dept. mainly for the benefits which included a retirement. Gerald then hired John Smithers who had been working with the police dept. My supervisor on the PD was Lawton Smithers a brother of John. Gerald failed to seek a second term as he had enrolled in classes to get his law degree, which by the way he did. He told me he would only practice civil law and wanted no part of the criminal element ever again. Yes the passing of Gerald brings back many pleasant memories.” -Richard D. (Rick) Feiler APD retired
“Butch I read your newsletter today and someone asked about the Rock Quarry near Atoka. I lived in Atoka in the 50’s when I was young and my Grandfather worked in Stringtown, near Atoka and he drove a Rock crusher or whatever it was they dug the rocks out of the Quarry with. I believe that is what the person was asking about. It was in Stringtown. My Grandfather was John Pardue and he went to Stringtown every day to work there in the Rock Quarry. Not sure what the machine he drove was called. My Grandmother was a waitress in Atoka then at one of the cafe’s. Her name was Stella.” -Bobbie (Wilson) Diiorio –Houston Texas
“I found something interesting, you may have heard of it but I hadn’t until we went to trying to get the history of our church, which by the way will be celebrating, 100 years, Sept 30! The church was first called, Eolian Baptist Church. Then it was changed to Joiner Baptist Church the in the mid to late 30’s it was moved just about 1/2 to 3/4 miles West of it’s present location, and the name was again changed, this time to Zaneis Baptist Church. It was located closer to Zaneis School. We didn’t know why it was called Eolian Baptist Church, but after looking up the name Eolian in the “Oklahoma Place Names”, by George Shirk, I found this insert.. Eolian – in Western Carter County post office established March 23,1904, and named changed to Joiner, May 17,1909. It’s name come from Aeolus, the Greek god of the wind. Joiner formerly name Eolian, In Western Carter county near Wilson. Post office name changed to Joiner. May 17, 1909 and discontinued April 15, 1918. Named for C. M. Joiner, local oil producer. I thought that was some interesting facts.. do you know anything about the community of Eolian? I know approx. Where it is, but had never heard of it. Please let me know if you have any info on those two towns I would like to know. I new about Joiner, but never Eolian. And our church’s 100th Anniversary is Sept 30. All day celebration with Bible Conference going through Wed night. Come one come All.” -Lee Thompson————————————————————————-
“Your mention in the last T&T about the delicious hamburgers served at the “Mom & Pop” place at the southeast corner of Lake Murray State Park piqued my interest. A little history about the place: In the 1930’s my in-laws, Bert and Mable Paschall, owned land at the southeast corner of the newly formed Lake Murray State Park. Prior to WW II they built a weekend cabin a quarter of a mile west of the present location. A gravel road was the only access to Lake Murray then. There was no road exit from the park at the southeast corner. They parked their car on the park side of the fence and crossed over on a stile Bert built. He later donated the right-of-way to the county and state for an exit at the southeast corner. In 1946 they built the cafe-store and twelve double motel units. The original name was “Two Lakes Skyway Courts.” It had a landing strip across the road west of the store. After two plane accidents causing injuries and in one instance death Bert closed the landing strip and planted peanuts. He changed the name to “Paschall Village”, and sold cabin sites. One side of the building was a fast food cafe specializing in hamburgers, sandwiches, and cold drinks. The other side was a convenience store selling all kinds of picnic and camping supplies as well as fishing, boating, and hunting items. At the south side of the store was a minnow and bait stand with an ice house. Gasoline was dispensed from a single pump out front. In the summer months they catered to the fishing, boating, and water skiing enthusiasts. In the fall and winter the cafe was a favorite gathering place for quail, duck and deer hunters. Bert also had a small kennel where he boarded and trained bird dogs. Bert and Mable operated the place until 1970 when they sold it. Mable died in 1975 and Bert died in 1977. I know nothing about the place since, except sometime after Bert’s death it burned. I assume the current owners rebuilt on the original location. The photo in T&T looks very much like the original building.” – Don Davidson, Brenham, Texas
“Hopefully the two articles below will present the business side and the legend side of the Wapanucka quarry. I did think it was interesting to find out that the courthouse in Madill was built with limestone from the Wapanucka quarry. I have memories of that courthouse when I was invited to travel on Carl Albert’s campaign bus as we went across the 3rd Congressional district on his last run for office. I remember stopping at the Madill courthouse where Speaker Albert gave a campaign speech. Former Governor Raymond Gary came out for the campaign speech that evening. I remember the shoe shine stands in the front lobby of the courthouse. I wonder if they are still there. There’s not much on the internet about Bugaboo Canyon’s legends. I do have books with information about this little known landmark in Oklahoma.” -Gerald Whitworth, Glenpool
Oklahoma map where Bugaboo Canyon in Atoka county is located. https://oklahomahistory.net/ttphotos7a/BugabooCanyonMap.jpg
Reading information on the Wapanuka quarry
Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..
About 20 years ago someone online with common interests sent a photo of a group of lawmen that possibly date to the days of Indian Territory. One of the men in the photo– standing at far right, a badge pinned under his neck, resembles James T. Staples, one of Ardmore well known citizens at that time. Sally Grey wrote a book a number of years ago on the history of Ardmore entitled: “Territorial Town: The Story of Ardmore.”
The photo is attached. Would you or anyone “out there” know anything about this photo, and whether James T. Staples was at one time a lawman in those parts?
A number of years ago you told me the name of the white mutt in the picture of the Ardmore Police during the time of Buck Garret. That account was lost along with my archives, but I would love to know what that dog’s name was even now!
NOTE: Buck Garrett’s dog was named Nuisance.
Would you happen to know whether Buck Garret is related to Pat Garret, of Billy the Kid fame?
Thanks for your wonderful newsletters!
Robert W. Hunnicutt
Lives in Vail, AZ, but will always be an Oklahoman!
This is a photo of a Conoco gas station back in 1920’s on the NE corner of D st SW and 1st Ave SW. It is a lawyer office today. Notice behind the Goddard center where it was the Chickasaw Lumber Company. Maybe you can provide some information on the gas station such as name of owner. There are men sitting out front of it that look like they worked there. It is a rare old photo of one of our town’s business. -Robert Hensley
Wooden nickel from Bert Walker’s gas station located in SE corner of E Street NW and 12th NW in Ardmore, Ok. -Robert Hensley
Note: How well I remember Bert Walker’s gas station. Back in the early 1970’s I was driving the ’67 white Chevy station wagon ambulance going east on 12th Street riding on a thick layer of ice. I was going to fast, and could not make the jog at 12th and E street. I went between the two isles of gas pumps finally getting stopped between two gas pumps, barely missing them. My partner, Robert “Bob” Vernon, was riding in the passenger’s seat. When he saw what he thought was about to happen, he just slumped way down in the seat and I remember Bob saying as we approached the gas pumps, “ohhhh noooo.” -Butch Bridges
Since our Razorback baseball stadium is Baum-Walker Stadium, I got a little curious when I read your story of Henry & Regina Baum and started to do a little genealogy sleuthing this morning to see if there might be a connection to Henry to Charles Baum, who our baseball stadium was originally named for. While I have not found a connection to those 2 gentlemen yet, I did discover that Regina was not Henry’s first wife. He was actually married to a lady named Emiley who died in 1916, 3 years before he married Regina. And sadly, they had lost 3 children, who are also buried at Mount Zion Cemetery with Emiley, Henry & Regina and several other folks named Baum. I’ve not connected any of them to Henry Baum of Ardmore— yet, but it is a possibility as they were all of Jewish origin. In fact, Henry & Regina’s marriage was officiated by a Rabbi from Oklahoma City on Jan. 19, 1919. Also, Henry was 20 years older than Regina. Not sure if he & Emiley had other children besides the 3 who passed away in 1903, 1905 & 1906. Scratch that!! They did have another daughter, Irene, born in 1907. So she would have been almost 10 when her mother passed. I would assume that Regina probably raised her as her own.
Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who ever have been, and ever shall be, animated by the same passions, and thus they necessarily have the same results. –Machiavelli 1469-1527
See everyone next week!
Butch and Jill Bridges
“Friends Make Life Worth Living”Ardmore, Oklahoma
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