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Vol 24  Issue 1,212 April 16, 2020

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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

A Glimpse Into The Past

Randolph, Oklahoma

There was a guy named Bob Rogers and his wife that lived at Randolph, Oklahoma where the track from the west lead into the north-south line. They lived on top of the mountain, east of the intersection. In 1947 they skipped the country, in the middle of the night. Older people used to use the term “the hoot owls got them.” They owned the Madill National Bank, $10,000. No one has heard from them since. Even their kids never heard from them. They left everything they had plus all their hogs. That’s where all those wild hogs came from that roams the Washita bottoms.

Randolph Oklahoma was located in southern Johnston county 5 miles southwest of Tishomingo. Randolph was a post office from September 5, 1901 until June the 30, 1919. It was named for Thomas Randolph, Frisco railroad official. Randolph was a small town on the Washita River at the junction of the Frisco and Rock Island railroads. It was 7 miles north of Madill, the nearest banking point. J.B. Chastaine moved to Randolph before statehood. He bought a general store from a Mr. Craig. Soon he also built a modern five-star cotton gin, a large sawmill and planer, a large gristmill, where he ground flour and meal. Later he bought up existing buildings in Randolph and built others. These included the post office, a hotel, feed store, pool hall, blacksmith shop, drug store and a small building used as a subscription school.

The Frisco Railroad ran North and South. The Frisco section house was on the east side of the tracks. North and east of there, was the Rock Island section house. It burned about 1914 and was not rebuilt. Later in 1914 the Rock Island had a large train wreck. The cars were filled with dynamite. They did not explode. Inside the point of the triangle where the two railroads came together and crossed was the depot. it served both railroads. North of the Frisco section house was a round table used for turning the engines around to return south. This was later moved and a cattle yard and loading shoots were built at this location. A new hotel was built near the railroad station. It housed the post office and cafe. There was a steam driven merry-go-round in a clearing about a mile west on the north side of the Rock Island tracks. The clearing was used for picnics baseball games and carnivals. The war came in 1917 and several young men from the community enlisted or were drafted. Hobos were quite numerous. They usually asked for a job in exchange for food. Even with all the strangers and hobos coming in there was no vandalism. The houses were never locked. In 1926 an oil rig was setup on the 10-acre cotton patch about 500 yards west of the town. -From a story by J.B. Chastaine Jr in Johnson County History 1979

U.S. Marshal Dow Braziel and Deputy Sheriff Bud Ballew
Ardmore, Oklahoma

There was bad blood between these two guys back in 1919 when Dow Braziel was gunned down at the California Cafe on East Main and Mill Street (old Stolfa Hardware). Early that morning on January 19, 1919 the shoot-out between Dow Braziel, Bud Ballew and Ardmore Chief of Police, Les Segler, left Dow Braziel dead on the floor. Ballew and Segler were arrested and Ballew brought to trial, but Ballew beat the case. But that is not the end of the story.

In events that some say made a connection back to January 19, 1919…. Les Segler lost his life in a gun battle with the brother of Dow Braziel, Bob Braziel, in Ft Worth, Texas in 1920. Bud Ballew was a short stocky man with fiery red hair. Dow Braziel was the 13th man to die from a bullet from Ballew’s gun, but Braziel would be the last person killed by Ballew. Ex Deputy Sheriff Bud Ballew would lose his life.



January 2004
Fire destroyed a mobile home on Buckskin Road South of Lone Grove on January 22nd. According to Carter County Sheriff Harvey Burkhart, the fire claimed the life of a transient, who apparently was asleep when the flames broke out. The name of the deceased will not be released until relatives are found.

January 1983
A driver escaped with a broken leg after his semi went airborne off the Cottonwood Creek bridge. His rig took 120 ft of concrete railing with it before it plunged off the side of the bridge and overturned in the creek bed. The truck was loaded with about 35,000 lbs of peanuts. The peanuts were dumped into the creek.

January 1952
Women of Carter County who had hopes of serving on a district court jury for the forthcoming docket of criminal cases will have to wait until the next term of court unless the present panel is exhausted. For the first time in history, women will be eligible to sit on a criminal jury and court observers hope that at least one woman will get to sit on one of the nine cases set for trial

January 1952
Lonnie Rooney says the Brock farm-to-market road will be started soon. It will begin at Taliaferro store on Highway 70 and go south to Brock.

January 1927
Apparently hopelessly deadlocked, a jury in District Court but still debating whether William Oakman shot Link Taylor in the defense of his life near the town of Woodford. The jurors took several ballots last night but were unable to agree on a verdict.

Storm damage at Caddo, Oklahoma (north of Durant). 4/12/20



Q.  Where in Oklahoma is the Pawnee Bill Ranch?
A.  The Pawnee Bill Ranch and Museum was the home of Wild West Show entertainer, Gordon W. “Pawnee Bill” Lillie. It’s located on 500 of the original 2,000 acres in Pawnee, Oklahoma. CLICK HERE

Q. What small Oklahoma town has more outdoor attractions than any other place in the state?
A.  Answer in next week’s newsletter

Below is from This and That newsletter archives of April 17, 2008

Bromide, Oklahoma: if you walk north up that grassy path to the left of the building you will come to a spot where the spring still flows from the earth. If you were just a casual passerby you’d never know these remnants of a bygone days was there.  As you can see, there is a mineral layer of sediment, sulphur mostly, that still there in the running waters.


One of the residents we met on the north edge of Bromide was Bill Sandusky. At nearly 80 years young, Bill has many a story to tell about his Bromide.  But even more interesting then his stories is his handworks all around his yard.  Bill is one heck of a welder and metal worker, and has made 1,000s of unusual and one of a kind pieces of art from all kinds of metals.


And just a little further north of Bill’s house down a very narrow, dirt road, covered with trees and vines you come to a hill.  The locals call it Cactus Hill and if you could see all the cactus growing on it, you’d know why they call it by that name.  There is MUCH more cactus than this picture shows.

And on the west edge of Bromide still stands a 2-seater outhouse.
Anna Marie Wilson at Lone Grove sent me a newspaper clipping from the October 23, 2000 issue of the Lone Grove Ledger.  The clipping talks about only 7 one-lane pony bridges still existed in Carter county at that time.  Most of you will remember we talked 3 weeks ago about one of those bridges being removed on Concord Road.
“Butch, This Albino Pigeon showed up in our yard today and hung around most of the day. I managed to get some close shots of him as he is very tame. You can see the pink eyes and feet and the ruff of feathers around his neck. Quite unusual.” -Dwane


“I’m really enjoying your Southern Oklahoma History lessons. I don’t mean to be picky but the fellow picking up scrap metal from Oscar, OK was called Screwdriver Bill not Scrap Metal Bill. As far as is known his real name was a mystery but he was called Bill Smith by some and rumor had it that he did have a family that he had left some place. He wore several layers of clothing year round and his pants were bib overalls, all well crusted from the oil field and ???. His money was in Bull Durham tobacco sacks and it was said every pocket had money. He wasn’t known for bathing so anyone giving him a ride required that he get in the back of their pickup or “turtle hull” of the car. They said in winter he slept in an empty oil tank down in the oil field, in summer out under the stars where ever he got sleepy and if it was raining he covered with a piece of tin. He went through the trash bins of the grocery stores to glean their discarded fruit, vegetables, whatever he could salvage to eat. When he was found, at least a couple of days deceased, some of my relatives dug his grave and they buried him at night. His grave is in the Ryan Cemetery as Will Smith 1895-1963, the name “Screwdriver Bill” is included on the marker.”
“I found these Luna Moths in SE Ardmore on a tomato cage we had sitting down by the garden.  I was amazed at their size and the colors they have.  They were beautiful, you can only see one as they were sitting face to face, I assume they were mating but they stayed there for several hours.  I ran home and got my camera, today they were gone.  I hope to find the eggs they lay (on the underneath part of a leaf).  I wish I could watch for the caterpillars too hatch but who knows?  I’ll be watching to see if I can find them.  I looked them up on the net and it is very interesting to read about them.”
The Wilson News submitted by Mindy Taylor
As Others See Wilson
Below is an article clipped from the Ardmore Statesman:
   A visit to New Wilson during the past week was quite a revelation. That city had been counted by many as among the down-and-outers last spring when the oil industry was at such a low ebb, but its present appearance is far from that of a waster.
   The streets on last Tuesday were thronged with vehicles and people, the stores were doing a lively business and the town bore a strong resemblance to “the days of 1913”.
   As an evidence of its enterprise and thrift, a number of new dwellings have recently been erected and others are said to be under contract.  The city recently voted a bond issue of $25,000 of which $20,000 is to be used in putting in water works and $5,000 for providing lights.  Water will be obtained by means of deep wells and the opinion of experts is that an abundant supply can be gotten through this means.  Another evidence of prosperity and business energy is the formation of a Commercial club, which was perfected the past week.
   Wilson is surrounded by an excellent farming country, and is near enough to the oil fields to draw a large trade there from.  A big tank farm is building two miles east of the town, and a well is being drilled two or three miles south.  Should the latter be a producer, New Wilson will at once become the metropolis on the Ringling road.  But “take as she lays” Wilson is a good live enterprising burg with a bright prospect before her.

Wilson Historical Museum Hours: Tues. Thurs., Fri., Sat. : 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Great place for a field trip!

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

This is a picture that I made out at El Reno, Oklahoma. It is the “Original” headquarters of General Philip H. Sheridan of the Civil War era. You can read about him at Wikipedia. This was his headquarters at Fort Reno. It was moved to El Reno in 1959. The building sit on the south side of the post. There is a lot of history out at Fort Reno. The post cemetery is just west of the post. There are some interesting characters from that era buried out there. For example, Custer’s head scout, Ben Clark, Chalk, the Indian scout and soldiers from the Indian uprising and wars of 1874. -Cecil Elliott
Ardmore oil refinery postcard 1923 -Robert Hensley

It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose yours. -Harry S. Truman 1958

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges

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


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