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A Glimpse Into The Past
Ardmore, Oklahoma October 1955
Ardmore Air Force Base cancelled “open house” to be held October 6, 1955 due to a number of cases of infectious mononucleosis or glandular fever. The disease called flu like symptoms and were spread by respiratory means. At least that is what the general public was told as the reason for the “open house” cancellation.
The base had a problem with an unrecognizable respiratory infection that was affecting many base personnel. Many of the hospital staff were infected by patients. The deputy surgeon of the 18th Air Force assumed temporary command of the hospital and medical personnel from Federal, State and local offices going to identify and contain the outbreak. The base was closed to all air traffic October 1st to prevent spread to other 18th Air Force bases. It was open to “official business” October 4th, then opens completely October 8th when the virus declined and patients recovered.
Forward Note: Ardmore Air Force Base will be remembered by the medical profession due to the sickness being identified in 1957 as “Ardmore Syndrome”.
Mrs. Opal Rexroat Kenney, daughter of Senator UT Rexroat, was granted a divorce from husband, Ludie Kenney. Miss Kenny was given custody of her small child. No alimony was asked. Opal Rexroat disappeared on New Year’s Day 1923 after eloping with Ludie Kenny. They were found hiding out in on a ranch in New Mexico and brought back to Carter County by farmer Sheriff Buck Garrett. Opal was arrested, for assisting and abetting a fugitive from Justice, Ludie Kenney Kenny. Ludie Kenney was accused of bigotry bigamy. Opel Kenny is a very rich woman.
A Ford car driven by Miss Elizabeth Garrison and with five young lady passengers riding in the vehicle collided with a vehicle driven by Captain W. J. Easter, Salvation Army officer. The Ford was just demolished but no serious injuries were suffered by any of the young ladies.
Mr. And Mrs. Joe Watson our patients at the Hardy Sanitarium with burns received this morning. Mrs Watson was burned from her ankles to her head. She was dressing her baby when one of her little one’s garments caught fire and in getting the infant to safety, her own clothes became ablaze. Mr. Watson was badly burned rescuing his wife. The baby is escaped injury.
An 80 gallon copper still and 14 barrels of mash were found in a raid near the Cheek School. A fire was blazing under the boilers, but operators of the still have not yet been identified.
Thirteen homicides occurred in Carter County in 1926, 22 more than in 1925. Half the cases tried in 1926, three defendants were found not guilty, one received a new trial after conviction, one was given a 90-day sentence, and 3 had hung juries. 9 murder cases are pending.
Q. The 9 Best Places To Hide In Oklahoma In The Event Of A Zombie Apocalypse?
A. An abandoned farm in rural Oklahoma. Atop Black Mesa – the highest point in the state. In the town of Beaver, Oklahoma – A.K.A. “No Man’s Land.” Behind the walls of Fort Gibson. And four more.
Q. Where in Oklahoma is Elephant Rock Nature Park?
A. Answer in next week’s newsletter
Below is from This and That newsletter archives of April 3, 2008
Have any of you heard of Ketchum’s Bluff? Probably not. I know I never heard of it so this adventure into our adjoining county to the west was a new experience for me. About 45 miles west of Marietta, Oklahoma just over in Jefferson county on Highway 32 is a sign, just a sign, nothing else, that reads: OSCAR with an arrow pointing south down a very narrow patchy blacktop and partly dirt road. Oscar, Oklahoma is located down this road about halfway between Highway 32 and the Red River. There is no town of Oscar today, only a couple of houses and places where you can see where building used to be, including an old wrought iron fence and gate at that “T” intersection where Oscar used to be.
When we reached the spot where the road turns back west, you know you were close to the Red River, very close, but you couldn’t see it because of rolling hills between the dirt road and the river. We stopped in front of this dilapidated and run down cinder block building, not sure what it was used for years ago, but it was in sad shape and uninhabitable.
It was here you had to park as close to the fence as possible to allow any passing cars by, then we crawled over the fence and gate, and proceeded to walk south toward the river. After going just a few feet you came to the top of the hill, and there was Ketchum’s Bluff. What a magnificent sight, I can not describe it here in words. But I took a few pictures…….
And just a few 100 yards east of Ketchum’s Bluff is “burned out bridge road” that connected Oscar, Oklahoma to Nocona, Texas years ago. This bridge has been talked about in past issues of T&T back in 2003.
Tony King has a website with more pictures he took of the Ketchum’s bluff area and closeups of the old bridge while floating down the Red River back in October 2007.
Tony made his trip down the Red River last Fall in his most unusual boat named The Good Ship Sandfly. Boy, I would give a hamburger to make that same voyage in his boat today and view the scenic beauty he saw from the water.
I stopped by Doc and Lou Godwin’s home this week on 15th NW here in Ardmore and snapped a picture of their Statue of Liberty. This is quite impressive as you will see in the photo below, and quite a statement by the Godwins to their beliefs in this country.
“Hi Butch, First I will say that we really enjoy “This and That” very much and regarding your story of the bridge on Concord road I am wondering where the name East Anadarche Creek came from. The original Blevins road was named for my dad and I was saddened to see it had been changed not long ago when I drove by the home place. I almost drowned at that bridge as a small child while trying to walk out on ice going home from school. A older boy took me and my brother home walking about 1/4 of a mile in our icy clothes, mother put us onto a feather bed, made us a hot Watkins liniment tonic and we never even had a sniffle. I loved that bridge. Keep up the writing.” firstname.lastname@example.org
“Right-handed shovel reminded me of the day I was asked to work as a Derrick hand with a drilling crew and they told me to be careful with that left handed chain. I thought they were joking but sure enough, when I threw the chain with my right and, it came back and dang near knocked me off the derrick floor. It only took me one time at that for me to understand why it was a left handed chain. Guess Jill and I have something in common now that we can talk about – BESIDES YOU!!!” LOL -Poss in Korea
“Butch, I’m an old timer who grew up at Provence during the depression of the thirties. I can remember hard times and it has been a teacher for life. I am James W. (Buddy) Fair, son of the late A.D. Fair a former old Carter County jailer. A nephew of the late Pete Fair, former Carter County Deputy that retired from A.P.D. My grandpa was Justice of Peace James W. Fair of Carter County for more than 20 years. “This and That” brings back lots of fond memories and some not so fond. That is life so we take what comes our way. My first 8 years of school was at Provence and the last graduating class before it consolidated with Dickson School after World War II. I’m glad I was born in 1932 not 1942-1952 or any other time. I know what it is not to have gas, lights or running water and everything that these late models take for granted but I admit I wouldn’t want to return. I appreciate who I am and what I can afford and by the grace of God I can know where I am going when this life is over. Besides the depression being a good teacher so was the Army.” -J.W. Fair
“I remember Reagan, Oklahoma. Pennington creek flowed through there. The skating rink was built over the creek which flowed on south, part of it being diverted under the rink, into the swimming pool, out the pool, over a water wheel and back into the main part of the creek which then continued on to and past the west side of Tishomingo. I’m sure the last 50 years has clouded part of my memory, but I spent a many an hour in the rink and the pool. It was a fish hatchery then, as well as now. The only cabins I recall were the houses, mostly built of rock, were for the manager and for offices.”
“Hey Butch: Great pics of the oak gall. There are many species (800+ in the USA) of gall wasp and each seems to have a particular tree, branch or leaf that they like to use to lay their eggs. The adults lay their eggs in a hole that they chew into the branch or leaf. The tree reacts to the intrusion by growing a gall like the one pictured. There are several theories as to why the tree grows the gall. The hatchling larva of the gall wasp feed on the tissue in the gall before exiting the gall via small holes.”
Don Whitton, Registrar
Oklahoma City Zoo
Q. How did the Tower Motel get its name?
A. The Tower Motel and Restaurant were named after the Tower Heights housing addition which was just west of the motel. There was also a Tower Gulf gas station and Tower Drive-In theater.
Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..
When I was in grade school during WW II, we would exchange Mills for candy. It would take 10 Mills to equal a penny. As I recall, there were 1 Mill, 5 Mill and I believe 25 Mills. Maybe other denominations also.
That Whataburger coffee mug was probably one of the most popular menu items that is no longer available is the nickel coffee. The nickel coffee mug promotion began on April 1, 1983; customers purchased a special 99-cent mug and got refills for 5 cents. The promotion was supposed to last a year but continued until 1997. The price was raised to 25 cents in 1993 and they switch to a plastic mug. It was one of the most popular promotions the company ever offered.
Does anybody remember the two different stores that was in the area of the buried panel truck body, one was on the east bound side of U.S. Highway 70 just past Cottonwood creek on the corner of that county road. The other one was where the new west bound lanes were added just past Cottonwood creek. Also, in that area was the office of the Coon Hunters Association. -Larry Paul
Butch: That old panel truck was somebody’s storm shelter when it was buried there. I’ll bet you could find more or similar if you looked around. My neighbor had a section of 6 foot pipe buried into the side of a dirt mound on her property back in the ’50’s.
T. E. (Thal) McGinness
My dad had a filling station in the 1940’s and standing by the cash register were two spindles. The mills had a hole in the center and I only remember a gray mill (1/10 of a penny) and a silver. Mill (1/2 of a penny). Later, after the war had started, both were replaced with paper mills. -Dan Holder
Unidentified couple at the Downing Studio in Ardmore, IT – Robert Hensley
Blue River north of Tishomingo, Oklahoma
Compiled by Melinda Taylor
The Wilson News
March 16, 1917
Twenty Good Rules
1. Every child and adult can be helpful in fighting disease. School children can help by complying with the following rules:
2. Do not spit except in a spittoon or on a piece of cloth or a handkerchief used for that purpose alone. On your return home have the cloth burned or put in water until ready for wash.
3. Never spit on a slate, floor, sidewalk or playground.
4. Do not put your fingers in your mouth.
5. Do not pick your nose, nor wipe it on your hand or sleeve.
6. Do not wet your fingers in your mouth when turning the leaves of a book.
7. Do not put pencils in your mouth, nor wet them with your lips.
8. Do not put money in your mouth.
9. Do not put pens in your mouth.
10. Do not put anything in your mouth except food and drink.
11. Do not swap apples, candy, chewing gum, whistles, blowers, harps, or anything that is put in the mouth or that comes in contact with the lips.
12. Peel or wash all fruit before eating.
13. Never cough or sneeze in another person’s face.
14. Keep your face, hands and fingernails clean.
15. Wash your hands with soap and water before each meal.
16. Do not eat bread or other articles of diet that has been exposed to flies.
17. Be just as careful and clean about your person at home as in school.
18. Learn to love fresh air and sunshine.
19. Learn to breathe deeply and do it often.
20. Scrub your teeth with a toothbrush after each meal. Scrub your teeth each morning before going to school with an antiseptic solution which can be easily prepared by combining half teaspoon full carbolic acid with one pint of water.
Wilson Historical Museum closed at this time due to Corona Virus. Hours: Tues., Thurs., Fri., Sat. 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. or online at www.wilsonhistoricalmuseum.org
The Daily Ardmoreite
May 19, 1949
Indian John McCarty likes to tell a story of a runaway on the streets of Ardmore in the early days when horses and buggies were used. A frightened animal hitched to a buggy began to run away with the driver seated in the buggy on West Main street. The animal which took fright at a newspaper blown under his feet sped east on Main until he reached the former E. T. Foster store when he encountered other horses and buggies and he made a sudden stop rather than run into them. The stop was so sudden that the man in the buggy was catapulted over the horse’s head and landed in another buggy to which was hitched another nervous animal and he broke away from his moorings and proceeded down the street at race horse speed. Thus an early day citizen whose name is lost in antiquity was given an exciting relay race that sped him from about where Hotel Ardmore is to the Santa Fe railway station.
Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. -Desmond Tutu
See everyone next week!
Butch and Jill Bridges
“Friends Make Life Worth Living
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Vicious Dog Attacks in Oklahoma
Oklahoma Bells: https://oklahomahistory.net/bellpage.html
Bill Hamm’s Cemetery Database
American Flyers Memorial Fund – Administration Webpage
Ardmore Army Air Field/Ardmore Air Force Website
Carter County Government Website
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