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Vol 24  Issue 1,215   May 7, 2020

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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

A Glimpse Into The Past

When Bill Dalton Was A Scourge

“They’re bringing Dalton in on a wagon.” That was the news which reached an excited but relieved Ardmore back in 1894. Bill Dalton had been killed.

For weeks in the spring of that year officers had known that a band of thieves had centered headquarters in the country between Healdton and Elk (now Pooleville), Oklahoma and the section had been closely scanned since the big bank robbery by the Dalton Gang at Longview, Texas.

A man who called himself Herbert Wallace, and two strange women, came to Ardmore on Thursday, June 7th and soon they poured some $200 into the merchants’ tills. The women gave their names as Mrs. Brown and Miss Pruitt.

As the trio moved about, watchful deputies shadowed them and nabbed Wallace at the express office where he obtained a package. The package contained three gallons of whisky and, in the style of the day, Wallace was arrested on a charge of “introducing.” He and his companions were jailed.

The officers found that the visitors had bought an unusual amount of rifle cartridges, dress goods, jewelry, groceries and a complete camping outfit.

Almost at once Deputy Lindsey and Deputy W. B. Freeman, who had made this arrest, formed a posse. The members were Los Hart, J. H. Leatherman, C. R. Denton, J. M. Reynolds, D. E. Booker, W. C. Freeman, W. H. Glover and E. W. Roberts.

The group rode all night and arrived at Wallace’s house near Elk (Pooleville) about 8 a.m. the next day. The deputies divided into two groups, each taking a ridge from which the surrounding area could be observed.

A couple of times during the study of the surroundings the two groups mistook each other for intruders and a tragedy of the two squads firing on each other narrowly was averted.

Soon children came out of the house to play and women appeared in the yard. A slow advance was made by the deputies and within 200 yards of the house a woman driving a herd of calves come upon one of the squads.

After her first surprise she beat a hasty retreat to the house. The officers closed in just as Dalton sprang through a rear window right under the barrel of Hart’s gun.
“Surrender,” Hart called.

The fugitive had a different idea and dashed for the nearby timber. Hart gave Dalton another chance to give up, but the outlaw only reached for his gun. Hart fired a shot and a bullet went straight into Dalton who crumpled and made but one convulsive movement, to turn over from his face to his back.

Lindsey spied an armed figure at a window and fired, but the figure disappeared and was not located, Lindsey ordered the women to leave the house and they took shelter in the barn. Officers entered but found the place uninhibited. Everything was in order. A money sack with the brand of the Longview bank was found and about $1 ,700 recovered. Money lay about with no attempt of concealment.

On Dalton was found $285. His identity was established by a pack of letters found in the trunk of Mrs. Dalton, alias Brown.

As the wagon bearing the body of Dalton come to a point about five miles from town the cortege come upon Mrs. Dalton and Miss Pruitt who had been returning to the hideout.

Mrs. Dalton denied knowing the dead man but later, when her composure broke, she admitted he was Dalton and was her husband.

Practically all Ardmore turned out to form a reception party for the officers and the dead outlaw. More than I,000 crowded around the old Apollo’s undertaking parlor on Ardmore’s Main Street to view the remains of one of the West’s most notorious figures.

All that day and for a full week, folks come in from miles around to look at the body and to stand around discussing the capture. Some said it wasn’t Dalton, however, others who had seen him identified the remains. Longview bank officials also tabbed the dead man as the one who had robbed their bank. -The History of Carter County book 1957


February 1952
Women have come into their own in Carter County. For the first time in history, a woman, Mrs. Haney Virden, has been allowed to sit on a jury. She was selected as a juror in the case of Samuel Lewis vs. Otto Cesar, a damaged action suit. Mrs. Virden is a sister of Otto McClurg, the messenger boy who perished during the Ardmore explosion in 1915. Otto was riding a bicycle across the Santa Fe tracks when flames from the explosion set him afire. He rode for some distance, a living, moving torch.

February 1927
The Criminal Court of Appeals affirmed the sentence of Walter Coffey, who is under a 15 year sentence for manslaughter in connection with the fatal shooting of Otto Gould in 1921. The defendant, who was at the time of the slaying the Constable of Lone Grove, attempted to stop a car in which Gould was riding at a point 1 mile west of Lone Grove and when the driver of the car failed to stop, Coffey fired.

Q.  What town in Oklahoma has over 100,000 used and rare books?
A.  Books Galore in Duncan, Oklahoma. It’s located on Main Street and is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Q.  Who was Oklahoma’s first native born governor?
A.  Answer in next week’s newsletter

Below is from This and That newsletter archives of May 8, 2008

About a month ago we had a picture of an old parking meeting that is on display at J.A.C.S Trailers at Lake Murray Drive and Springdale Road.  I reader wrote in to say this particular meter was not one used by the City of Ardmore. Below is a meter actual used as a parking meter in Ardmore years ago.
Below is a class photograph taken at Berwyn School 1948-1949 (now Gene Autry).
The Wilson News 1-20-1916
Well! Well! So we are to say good-bye to the telephone bill collector. The Pioneer Telephone Company announces that in the future collection will be made by mail. Well, with all due respect to the pleasant collectors who have graced our office each month bearing to us a calm request for the “necessary wherewithal,” we are glad to see the new system installed. The old system of collecting by sending people around to offices and homes had its disagreeable side, the disappearance of which will be marked with pleasure by the subscribers. For there wasn’t any fun in having some one drop into your office to present a bill to you when you were busy at something else. And maybe you couldn’t bother with paying the bill at just that minute. this is true of housekeepers, who forgetful of the coming bill would often be without the money to pay. Then they would ask the collector to call again. Under the new system you get the bill through the mail, you know when to expect it, and then you are given ten days in which to send a check through the mail or to call at the telephone office and pay there. At any time during that period set by the Company, a long enough period too, we may pay that bill. We shall miss the regular visit of the collector, but we are glad that the Pioneer Telephone Company has started this new system.

We now have some Cornish, OK newspapers from the early 1900s on display. The public is welcome to come look through them at the Wilson Historical Museum. Hours – Tues., Thurs., Fri., Sat: 10:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

Q. Who owned the Hole In The Wall beer joint north of Marietta?

A. David Shellenberger owned it first, he held the chili cookoffs. Dale Lyons owned it next.
Otipoby Comanche Cemetery at Ft Sill, Oklahoma
Chief Chihuahua’s Final Resting Place at Ft Sill, Oklahoma
The teacher in the first picture of Chappell Hill School is Miss Ruby. That is all I know she lived with my grandparents. She took my mother to school with her everyday eve though Mother was not old enough to go to school. Miss Ruby was probably the main influence for my mother becoming a teacher. -Roberta
Stolfa Broothers Hardware Store, Ardmore, Territory. This is 4 1/2 feet tall, made of wood. What was this used for? -Robert Hensley




In God we trust, everyone else pays cash.

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges

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


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