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Vol 24  Issue 1,207  March 12, 2020

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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

A Glimpse into the Past

Emma Jean Anthis, M.D.
Wilson, Oklahoma

I was born in Mounds, Indian Territory, September 21, 1906, and when four months old, moved to Muskogee. I received my M.D. degree in 1932, the last Oklahoma University class that could start a practice without interning. I did, however, take a Rotating internship at the University and the Crippled Children’s Hospitals which were the beginning of the Medical Science Center in Oklahoma City, after which I spent a year in Boston. The internship, considered quite an honor, paid $10.00 a month.

In July, 1934, we began private practice in Wilson, Oklahoma, in the deepest years of the Depression and the greatest change in my way of life. We rented an empty building on Main Street, partitioned the front half into a waiting room and doctor’s offices, the back half into a one large room with a walled-off kitchen and bath. I painted the cement floor black and put white rugs on it; made an artificial fireplace on the east wall; and draperies to look like a window on the west wall. Mattresses on wood frames were covered like couches. The only ventilation was a door at the back alley and a door on the main street. The electric company was home-owned and went off for hours several times weekly. There were only two electric refrigerators in town. Neither was mine. I had a top lid old Coca-Cola box that held ice and little more. Only last month I saw a woman in Ardmore I recognized instantly. She owned one of the electric ice boxes. We also had to have gas lights and sterilizers. A little 10-inch electric fan which jumped around unless on several thicknesses of paper generated more heat than cool, but helped psychologically.

Literally, no one had any money, medical bills were often paid on account by six eggs, a chicken, and one time by a live pig. I kept rate accounts, which look unbelievable. Delivery fees were $25.00, which included nine months prenatal and six weeks post-natal care. If the infant was a boy, the circumcision was “thrown in free”. Many patients refused pre-natal care and some were insulted when I insisted on a blood test and used another doctor. It was not a law then. Often I’d be awakened by a pounding on the door, where I’d meet a strange man wanting me to make a call on his wife. On inquiring, all I could find out was, “My wife’s sick.” Sometimes I’d go through heavy dry sand almost to Red River to find the woman, a complete stranger, having labor pains. Going to an almost totally male medical school was a breeze compared to being a woman doctor in a small town. I had people come in my office and say, when I asked if I could help them, “No, we just wanted to see what you looked like”, and they did and they left.

I believe it was in 1938 or 1939, that I was elected President of the Carter County Medical Society, which met each month in a room over Colvert’s Dairy. They were good enough to let us use it free. Dr. J. Hoyle Carlock was Secretary, and we tried to have interesting specialists each month enlighten us on the newest findings in their field. As I am writing this, it occurs to me that it might have been unusual for me to have been elected to such an office. It was all so new I didn’t think of it at that time.

Looking back now, the first twelve years I practiced were truly more of an art than a science. There were none of the wonder drugs we are now accustomed to. I shall never forget people cooking onions and making a hot poultice for pneumonia or their use of fresh cow dung for caked breasts, two of the medications (along with Calomel) that I never learned the art of using. That same year we moved 10 miles to Healdton, to be nearer my husband’s family, who were not too well. We lived in a real house, and had separate offices in a drug store for free. Times were a lot better then: the books showed charges of one dollar for an office call, two dollars for a house call. About the year the United States entered World War ll, office calls were two dollars, house calls three dollars, and were often paid in cash.

The war left the town of Healdton with me being the only M.D. in town, except for two much older doctors. Healdton was then, as now, a center for the National Guard and for many oil companies. Since I did urine tests and had an X-Ray machine, and since no one had gas to go elsewhere, it felt it my lot to do all the Army exams as well as the company exams and injuries for all the major oil companies. It took long hours and much work. In fact, for about four years, most of my practice was for male patients, many of whom still use me, as do their sons and grandsons. However, a few confessed later that had they known they were coming to a woman to take the company exam, as much as they needed the job, they would have turned down the chance to get it.

About 22 years ago, knowing I was developing symptoms of Muscular Dystrophy, which my father had, I built an office with that in mind-no steps and very easy to see patients quickly. For several years I drove to Oklahoma City on my day off and joined other doctors in the Art of Psychiatry. We had many famous lecturers and after awhile began having patients of our own at the Medical Center. This I really enjoyed, and continued until a Municipal Hospital was built in Healdton. I had to give up something, but I truly missed Psychiatry. As I write this, I think of the wonderful things that have happened to Medicine and the things yet to come. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Although somewhat limited, now being on crutches, from the amount and kind of things I can do, I could never retire from such a fulfilled life.
By Emma Jean Anthis
-Indian Territory and Carter County Pioneers book 1982

December 1994
Communications have improved since the installation of a 180 ft radio tower at the new Long Grove City Hall. Erected by Chance Communications, the tower was paid for with approximately $1,500 from the fire department, $1,000 in private donations, and $2,600 from the City.

December 1935
The Grand Jury is embarrassed by the failure to have the necessary funds on hand with which to cash warrants issued our teachers in the latter part of the school term.

December 1935
Police officers are encouraging pupils to search for the bodies of two missing men, L. A. Simpson and his son who are believed to be victims of the crazed killer, Comer. I feel the children of the school could not do more humane act than help to locate these men who have been taking taken away from their families, and no one knows where they are. There will be a reward of $250 to $500 paid to the school that finds these men. This money can be used in any way the school board sees fit.

The first batch of Girl Scout Cookies were sold in Muskogee. They sold their first batch as part of a service project and the trend caught on.

More languages can be heard in Oklahoma than in all of Europe.

The biggest export from Oklahoma is airplane parts. Tulsa is home to the largest airline maintenance base in the world, which serves as the global maintenance and engineering headquarters for American Airlines.

Q.  Where in Oklahoma is the Winganon Space Capsule?
A.  On a stretch of road between Talala and Winganon, Oklahoma in Rogers County.

Q.  Where is the most dangerous 5 mile stretch of highway in Oklahoma?
A.  Answer in next week’s newsletter

Below is from This and That newsletter archives of March 13, 2008

There is a small natural history museum that is presented from the creation stand point. Admission is free. They have lots of fossils and artifact. They have some interesting replicas of dinosaurs and other unusual things. They have several stuffed animals from Oklahoma on the walls. There are 11 display cases of things to see and lots of charts and posters to read. We have a theater area for watching videos and DVDs that will seat approximately 30 people. Open Saturdays from 10:00to 4:00 or you can schedule a visit for some other day except for Sunday by calling Billy or Delie Gordon at 580-924-0803. They are located 6 miles south of the bank in Bokchito, OK which is 14 miles east of Durant on Hwy. 70. Our address is 3290 SR 22, Bokchito, OK 74726
Butch over east of Lebanon, Oklahoma is this old building named the Burney Institute.  I guess it was an Indian school at one time.

“Butch in response to a letter from my cousin Roy Barnes this is the two Oil Springs cemeteries on record. I have heard about the Goddard ranch cemeteries and I will try and catalog them.” -Doug

36. OIL SPRING CEMETERY is located in the far northwest part of Carter county. It is a black cemetery and very well kept. It is on the south side of highway 7 in Range 2W, Township 1S, Section 9.

37. OIL SPRINGS CEMETERY is located on the Harry Coleman Ranch in the west part of the county. It is on the west side of Junior Murray road in Range 2W, Township 3S, Section 7. Cannot be seen from the road and the road to the cemetery passes through Coleman’s yard.
“I didn’t think to tell you last week but at one time there was a historical marker where the hotel used to be at Oil Springs. The last time I hunted there an oil company had done a bunch of dozing there and I couldn’t find it. The Love cemetery is easy to get to. It is on the other side of the creek and you can drive right to it. We had to go to the hotel site from the south end of the hunting area and the last time I was there the private land we had to cross had a locked gate.”

Directions: When you come out of Marietta going east on 32 that first big curve that turns back north you go around it and there is a road that goes west. It was 5 mile section line road at the time. You run into private land with a locked gate the last time I tried to go in. It goes in to the south end of the Hickory Creek public hunting area. You couldn’t drive on the hunting area you had to walk. If you go to Your right down the fence you come to a corner where the fence turns back North. The Historical marker was in that corner until the oil company did a bunch of dozer work and I couldn’t find it again. The cemetery is farther north and you can drive to it from the West side of the hunting area.
There was also a natural oil spring at the old Peter Maytubby place, about six miles northwest of the present town of Caddo, Bryan County, Oklahoma. Years ago a hotel was opened at Maytubby Springs, and the place became well known as a resort in this country and the surrounding states.
“When you get to the web page on the following link, click on “Initial point of Oklahoma” on the left side of the page.” -Duane Stevens
The Wilson News by Mindy Taylor
Dancing is getting to be quite popular here. Most every night after the show the chairs are removed and a big dance is pulled off by the young folks of the city. Come out and watch them “tango”.
Quite a lot of booze was captured last night by Charley Jones and Frank James, almost every one that was on the streets had to go through the ordeal of being searched, several walking saloons were raided and the goods confiscated.
Wilson Has a Booster Club
The later part of last week the merchants of Wilson organized what is to be known as the business mens booster club, with P. W. McKay, Pres. W. B. Barnett, Sec. This organization will be a big benefit to Wilson and is something we have long been in need of.
The merchants of New Wilson, in keeping abreast of the times, has set aside the 2nd Monday of every month as a trades day for the farmers of this community.
Wilson Museum Hours: Tues. Thurs., Fri., Sat. 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

Hi Butch,

Lois Proctor from the Bookseller in Ardmore recently sent me the photo of the Ringling depot from 1941 that was posted on your site, as well as a link to your newsletter.

I was soon hooked and spent an afternoon reading back issues of This and That. I’m a retired cop in Wisconsin, so the crime stories were especially interesting to me. I’m in the process of writing a book about John Ringling and his two nephews, Johnny and Henry. It would be impossible to write their story without a basic understanding of Ardmore, and I am trying to become more familiar with Oklahoma and the oil business. At least JR’s piece of Oklahoma because I find the oil business overwhelming.

I don’t know if you’re familiar with Taylor Gordon’s book Born to Be, but he worked for John Ringling for several years around 1915 as a valet and cook on Ringling’s private rail car, the Wisconsin. Gordon visited Ardmore at least once in 1915. I am sure of the date because they traveled on to Houston and heard about the tanker explosion back in Ardmore.

Taylor makes several references to a friend and business associate of Ringling’s who is traveling with him from NYC to Ardmore, Houston and Sarasota. He is only identified at C.C. Wilson. Having failed to find the name in circus sources, I was hoping Wilson was an oilman. So thanks to Lois, I’m hoping some of your Readers can help me. Just a first name would help in my search.

Thank you for the time. And thank you for the great resource for local history and some interesting stories.

-Jim in Madison, Wisconsin

“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” -J.K. Rowling

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges

“Friends Make Life Worth Living”PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443


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