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Vol 24  Issue 1,214  April 30, 2020

Ardmore, Oklahoma

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

A Glimpse Into The Past

Saturday June 28, 2003 T&T Weekly Vol 7 Issue 323

Last week in the Mailbag a Reader was inquiring about an asphalt pit located west of I-35 on Prairie Valley Road. And low and behold, T&T Reader Ruby Martin called me who knew all about it. She lives in that area, and this is the info she passed on to me: The pit is located about 1/2 mile west of Prairie Valley road and Kings Road on the south side of Prairie Valley Rd. The last few weeks Allen and Janet Jones has been putting in a fish bait business on the property and there is a new gravel road leading south to their business and the old asphalt pit. Ruby said when she and her older brothers were teenagers, her brother’s would tell her about going swimming in that pit back around 1940. What happened was the crews working the “slip” to dig out the asphalt hit the water table, and within one day the over 50 feet pit filled with water. After that day, asphalt operations were abandoned. This hitting water incident would have happened about 1937 or 1938.

Ruby had a 1929 newspaper clipping from The Daily Ardmoreite telling about the asphalt pit being sold to a company up north. In the article it was claimed the asphalt was the finest quality to be found anywhere in the United States. This newspaper clipping was from the July 24, 1929 issue of the newspaper. So the asphalt was only mined about another nine years after that sale. Ruby told me when her older brothers went swimming in the old asphalt pit, that the water was really clear and cold. And she was told a person could put 15 school buses in that water filled pit and never see one above water.

Here are some pixs of the old asphalt pit and Jones Bait Company I took (2003).






Durant, Oklahoma stockyards


February 1952
Dr. Joe Walker, a veterinarian, has been stricken with Anthrax as a result of examining a cow which died January 19th, and which he performed an autopsy on. He is taking heavy doses of penicillin and other antibiotics and he’s expected to recover. Before discovery of these drugs, no treatment was effective.

February 1927
County officers in years past have captured whiskey stills in practically every conceivable place but it remained for deputies to add a new angle to the game last night. They captured a boiler, caps and bottles for a copper still on an automobile near Lone Grove. Tom Hargreve and F.R. and Turner Orum were arrested for investigation, although officers are scratching their heads as to what charges can be placed against the three Madill men

February 1927
The memorial tree to Charles Ringer and the honor tree to O.K. Darden will be planted at the courthouse. The memory plates that will be placed near each tree will be properly engraved and will be placed on the trees by members of the Ryonis Club.

Q.  During WWII the ‘WAVES” had a training ‘ship’ on what Oklahoma campus?
A.  Oklahoma A&M College.  The training for the initial group of enlisted women began on October 9, 1942.

Q.  What town in Oklahoma has over 100,000 used and rare books?
A.  Answer in next week’s newsletter

Below is from This and That newsletter archives of May 1, 2008

The Daily Ardmoreite, May 11, 1922:  Bud Ballew’s body was removed to an undertaker’s establishment at Wichita Falls, where it was embalmed, and, in the mean time, his friends were communicated with here in Ardmore. The tragedy took place at 1:35 o’clock on Friday afternoon, all parties agree. On word of the killing reaching Ardmore, Ballew’s friends secured the use of the ambulance plane of the Hardy Sanitarium, and in it Pilot Askew and Undertaker Herbert Harvey flew to Wichita Falls, leaving here at 3:15 Friday afternoon. The remains had been brought to the landing field there, and a good sized crowd had gathered to witness the unusual method of transporting a corpse. The remains were placed in the cock-pit of the plane where patients are placed to be brought to the hospital and the return flight was made, the party arriving at Ardmore at 8:00 o’clock, being just about dark. The body was taken to the Harvey Bros Undertaking Parlors and at once a stream of people filled the institution for purpose of viewing the remains. This crowd continued to visit the undertaker’s rooms all day Saturday, and even during the rain of Sunday morning.

In 1924 the Oakley-Askew airport hanger was in the SE corner of Locust Street NW and Chickasaw Blvd.
A Reader brought me a book about Bromide, Oklahoma this week.  The author, Marshal Don Mitchell, grew up in Bromide, Oklahoma before he left at age 19 for the service.  I did several searches for Don’s book “Bromide Oklahoma Centennial – From Boastown to Ghostown’ on the web and I could not find a single copy, not even at http://www.abesbook.com .  The only place it looks like it a copy can be had is at Don Mitchell’s website (see below).  As I thumbed through the book, I can see Don has done a tremendous amount of research on Bromide’s history.  And photos, the book is packed from cover to cover with photograph after photograph about Bromide (over 250 pages).  When we were visiting Bromide a few weeks ago, there was not a lot left of the town.  But when you read through Don’s book, one can see Bromide during its glory days, with all the commerce and people and hustle and bustle. Bromide did not turn into a ghost town when the mineral bath houses lost their appeal, but it almost did.


I ran across a name I’d never heard this week from Oklahoma’s past.  Her name was Lucyle Richards.  Lucyle was born in Pushmataha county, Oklahoma back around 1909.  Lucyle became a ferry pilot for the United States war effort, hauling bombers from the U.S. to Britain for use in the European Theater.  After the war, Lucyle went back to the rodeo, becoming the women’s saddle bronc champion from 1951-57. When it came to trick horse riding, Lucyle was right up there with the greatest.
I received in the mail this week a flyer from the genealogy society at Madill on their upcoming Grand Opening of Museum of Southern Oklahoma. The event takes place on Saturday May 10, 2008 from 10am to 4pm.

“Butch, Rose Chapel was somewhere West of Springer. I read somewhere that it was SW, but I?m not certain. My aunt told me it was in the foothills of the Arbuckles, but that covers a lot of ground.” -Jim Hubbell, Texas

This photograph was taken around 1914. The boy in the dark jacket holding a cap in the front row is my uncle, Charlie Selfridge (1905-1919). The little girl on the far right is my aunt, Jenny Selfridge Byrom (1908-2002).




“Butch I have never failed to put the nail along side my tomato plants….it works. One year….I thought that was foolish and guess what, one morning, all of my plants were cut down (cut worms). It does work. I never plant any tomatoes unless I have my nails with me. It really is dangerous to leave them overnite without the nail.”  -Kenneth
“Hey Butch,  Enjoyed the pictures of the Gilbert building.  My first memories of that place were as little kid in the ’50s going to see Dr. Carlock.  It seemed spooky in those early years since I was always afraid I’d be given an injection.  Later my mother would perform in plays there for the Little Theater group and I got to see the Spanish guitarist Carlos Montoya in that auditorium.  I never did understand the significance of the Viking head though. Later when I was in jr. high school I would go eat lunch at the soda fountain just inside the entrance and go to dances at the YWCA on the next block.”  -Dave Coulter, Denton, Texas
“Hi Butch: I read your article where you mentioned an occurrence of gilsonite in Oklahoma south of Sulphur, Oklahoma . “I am a petroleum engineering, University of Oklahoma, 1952, after the navy. Some will remember the times. There are numerous occurrence of gilsonite in Oklahoma. Most are at the southern flanks of the Arbuckle Mountains. One large one mine was between Loco and Alma in Carter County. It operated for several years around the years of 1917. I also found gilsonite in Alfalfa, Count, North of the city of Helena. That occurrence was on the banks of the old inland lake that made the Great Salt Plains of Oklahoma. I walked along the escarpment of the ancient lake and found numerous chucks of gilsonite. Apparently the ancient lake was flooded with petroleum from reservoirs that eroded out of the ground. The sun baked the petroleum until it was solid like coal but would melt and flow like oil when heated. The largest production of gilsonite was in Utah about 30 miles south east of Vernal, Utah. Gilsonite was produced there for years by Union Oil Company. The gilsonite was used for news print. Then the news print would smear on anything it touched.  Finally news print is really an ink and the gilsonite mines were abandoned. However, the last time I was there the pits were still opened but not supervised.” -W. Carey Hardy
“Butch,  We used to swim in an asphalt pit about where you described 5 miles south of Sulphur then turn right (south or west)  and go about 2 or 3 miles and on the right 20 yards from the road are high walls and a deep pool we jumped off those cliffs and into the water the water always had an oily film on it. (you can see the high walls and pool from the road. The pit is just a half mile or so from the Holly Lake community in case you want to go there. the only other asphalt pits that I knew of were just south and west of the lake Arbuckle dam- my dad worked there from time to time That was Southern Rock Asphalt company and was in business until around 1959 or 60 There was a train spur there that took the Asphalt to Dougherty Max Myers (sp) was the engineer.”  -George Peveto

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

I am searching for a photograph of Ardmore City Marshal/Chief of Police A. S. “Lon” Pulliam. I have found many newspaper articles of his time in Ardmore but no photos. Do you know if any exist or where I may locate one. I am hoping to find one that shows him wearing a badge. I am an Oklahoma law enforcement collector and own a Marshal badge believed to have been worn by him.
Thank you for any assistance you may provide.
Ronnie Jackson
You forgot to add that your Cousin’s parents owned Ford’s Cleaners in Davis where Dale, Roy, Gabby, and the Sons of the Pioneers brought the clothes there were going to wear at Roy and Dale’s wedding to be cleaned. They asked for a rush job and while they waited my Step-dad (Ford) told my Brother to tell me to get all my Roy Rogers comic books and come over to the Cleaners. When I got there, there stood Roy, Dale, Gabby, and a couple of the Sons of the Pioneers; Roy sat me up on the counter and signed all the comics I could gather to bring to the Cleaners. He signed them Roy Rogers and Trigger; this was before he and Dale started signing them Happy Trails. Later that day my Step-dad took me out to the Ranch and Roy let me sit on Trigger. Jump ahead to 1987 and our Daughter (Jennifer) was in preschool in Seoul, Korea. Her Teacher asked the students to bring in something of someone famous; I wrote a letter to Roy and Dale asking them for a photo; two weeks later a letter arrived and inside was a photo of Roy, Dale, and their favorite cat sitting in their den. Still have the photo somewhere in one of our many albums along with the letter. -Poss Bridges in Norman
Q. What was that great bbq place on N. Commerce, east side, by Braums next to Buttons Auto? It was in the late 50s?

A. Young’s Smokehouse
The Daily Ardmoreite
When the choir of the Carter seminary rendered a song program at the Presbyterian church prayer meeting last Wednesday night Principal Louis Larson, remarked that Carter seminary was still receiving a small sum of money each year from the estate of George Washington.  He left a bequest in his will for Indian education and more than 160 years after his death it is still being used for that cause.

The Daily Ardmoreite
Marble Work On New Tivoli Same As Courthouse
   Many of the contractors who worked on the new Tivoli Theater and the recently opened Tower Drive In on the superhighway have extended congratulations to the Lowensteins for their marvelous contribution to the entertainment world of Southern Oklahoma.  Among those that expressed their heartiest congratulations was the Oklahoma Tile company of Oklahoma City.  The company was established in 1904 and has done many jobs in both tile and marble in this area.
   Among their most outstanding jobs in Ardmore was the marble work in the Carter county courthouse.  A special congratulation was extended to Harry Lowenstein from James W. Harding Jr., vice president of the company.

Museum Memories
Compiled by Melinda Taylor
The Wilson News
Moving time seems to be the order from “Ragtown” to “New Town” (Healdton) as the roads are almost impassable on account of the shacks being transported.
The large well recently brought in on the Vernon Collins lease in Section 16-4-3 is producing 2,000 barrels a day.
Claude Bell, lease foreman for the Vernon Collins people, was hurt seriously while cranking his Ford Sunday at Wirt.
A fire in Rag Town, Sunday destroyed about one-fourth of the town.
Notice: Notice is hereby given that on March 30, 1917, there will be let to the lowest bidder, the contract for the erection of the Town Hall of New Wilson, Oklahoma. Said hall to cost not more than $6,000 so bids must be made accordingly.
Ad: The Royal Cafe-Big Dinners and Suppers .35 each.
Visit us online at www.wilsonhistoricalmuseum.org

“When the Snow is on the Roses” by Sonny James 1972

Now the golden sun can see us kiss
every summer day we’ll love like this
And when the snow is on the roses
when the bluebirds flown away
In my arms we’ll both remember
all the love we share today

As we walk along the silvery shore
vows we make will last forever more
When the snow is on the roses
when the summer stars are gone
One more summer will be over
but our love will still go on

When the snow is on the roses
when the bluebirds flown away
In my arms well both remember
all the love we share today
All the love we share today


See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges

Lone Grove, Oklahoma