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Vol 24  Issue 1,231 August 27, 2020

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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

A Glimpse Into The Past

Clarence Carnes was born in Daisy, Oklahoma, the oldest of five children. He was sentenced to life imprisonment at the age of 19 for the murder of a garage attendant during an attempted hold-up. In early 1945, he escaped from the Granite Reformatory with a number of other prisoners, but was recaptured and sentenced to an additional 99 years for a kidnapping carried out while he was on the run. He was recaptured in April 1945 and sent to Leavenworth, but made another attempt to escape while in the custody of the United States Marshals Service and was transferred to Alcatraz along with an additional 5-year sentence.

Below is a video a friend of mine made and in it he gives a tour of the cemetery and talks about Clarence Carnes.

June 1969
Jess Kirby Craddock, a 10 year old boy, drowned in a pond about 50 yards from his home. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Craddock. They own a home 1 mile east and 3.5 miles north of Lone Grove. The boy was found about 9 a.m. after two boys, thought to be the victim’s brothers, notified of neighbor that he had gone down in the water. The three boys were said to be swimming when the accident occurred. The boy’s grandfather, Bill Vaughn, said the boy could not swim.

June 1926
F. M. Dudley, County Attorney, today filed a motion for judgment for $100,000 on the pleadings given by the Amsterdam Casualty Company, bondsman for Fred Haynie, former Carter County Treasurer who is now serving a sentence of 31 years for embezzlement.

A picture of probably the most beautiful bronze bell in Carter County was sent to me this week. The bell is made by the Buckeye bell foundry in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1852 by G. W. Coffin.

The factory originated in Nottingham England in 1777, when Thomas Hedderly founded a bell factory. His son and grandson continued the business in Philadelphia for several years. George Hanks bought the business from Henry Hedderly and in turn George Coffin acquired the business from George Hanks.

George Coffin founded the Buckeye Bell Foundry in 1837 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The foundry created the most ornate bells ever made in the United States. During the Civil War, the foundry produced cannons to support the war effort.

Van Duzen was apprenticed to George Coffin and by 1865 he and his partner, Mr. Tift, bought the company from Mr. Coffin. Van Duzen changed the name from two words to one word, Vanduzen. The partners owned the company until 1894, when Vanduzen became the sole owner.

To improve the sound of the bell, Vanduzen changed the shape of the bell. Their bells had a unique mounting with a disc used to hold the bell to the yoke. The company had a warranty on bells weighing more than 120 pounds not to crack for 10 years from the date of sale.

This company has the distinction of having founded the largest bell ever cast in America and the largest bell mounted in a regular swinging church bell in the world. The exact weight of that bell was 27,390 pounds. With the mounting, the bell weighs about 35,000 pounds and hangs in the tower of St Francis de Salles Roman Catholic Church in Cincinnati, OH. And to think I was in Cincinnati last Fall and what I would have give to see that bell!

The bell factory closed its doors in the early 1950’s.





A couple I sandblasted this week.



Q. Rock Mary was a distinguished landmark along the California Road. Where is the Rock Mary?
A.  Rock Mary, in Caddo County, Oklahoma, was a prominent landmark on the California Road. It was named in 1849 for Mary Conway, the then 17-year-old niece of James Sevier Conway, the Governor of Arkansas. Mary was the eldest daughter of Dr. John R. Conway, a prominent physician and surveyor, who emigrated to California with his wife and 10 children.


Q.  What governor wore an “Okie” button?
A.  Answer in next week’s newsletter

Below is from This and That newsletter archives of August 28, 2008

The Daily Ardmoreite, August 1924 – For some time protest as been going up from local motorist, over the price charged for gasoline in Ardmore, compared with other places. The Chamber of Commerce took the matter up recently to see why the condition existed. The Secretary has findings which lead him to believe prices will be adjusted to a more equitable basis within the next few days.
“Some of the information on the Osbornes (Ray and Dorothy) rang a bell. I too lived on Davis Street (1013) went to Charles Evans and knew Ray and Dorothy, as well as their daughter Mary Elizabeth. They lived a couple of doors east of my house. I often went to the Skelly station to buy a coke and just talk. I do remember they had a dog named Tag, after the tagoline oil. There was a oilfield pumper who stopped there every day and I remember riding out to the leases near Lake Neustadt with him from time to time. I have a feeling that Jackie Ricketts and I knew each other but my old memory has failed me on that.” -Ron Staples, Chickasha, Oklahoma
“It was Dollar’s Drug Store owned by Ira Dollar. It was located on Main Street in Healdton. It had a soda fountain, pharmacy, and Doctor’s office. I hope this helps.”
I received a request this week asking if anyone knows where the old Fox townsite was located before the town was moved to where it is today. If you know, send in an email.

Fox is a small community in NW Carter County, Oklahoma. The post office was established January 25, 1894. It was named for Frank M. Fox of the Chickasaw Nation.

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

I guess that by now you may have seen where they are tearing down Fort Reno! They claim the buildings are unsafe – which they are. Here is the problem with that. There are fences around most of that to keep people out. Why did they wait until the area was closed to everyone for two weeks do to COVID 19 and then do this demolition undetected? Maybe they wanted to cancel out some of Oklahoma History – good or bad. They don’t want to celebrate the land run of 1889, which had connections to Fort Reno. Remember, you also made mention to Darlington Indian Agency a while back. This had connections to Fort Reno.

Council Grove is where the Indians and the government had talks. If you go down NW 10th by Lake Overholser, at the stop light, is a street going north into the park. Maiden Lane, I might be wrong on the exact name. On the west side of the street – Maiden Lane, you will see a marker, kind of hidden, that tells about Fort Reno and J S Phelps and the talks with the Indians. The marker has been there since 1941. The surrounding area by the dam was where timber was cut for a lot of the buildings at Fort Reno! I guess that they used the water to run the mills. The dam wasn’t built yet. I think the dam was built in 1922 – 1924 time frame. The dam broke a few years later and flooded a good part of OKC.

Google Fort Reno. It is interesting. This should make for a good history lesson.


George Washington is the only president who didn’t blame the previous administration for his troubles.

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges

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


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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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