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Vol 24  Issue 1,233    September 10, 2020

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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

A Glimpse Into The Past

John Henry Rutledge and wife, Lillie Magnolia White Rutledge, lived in the Halletsville-Rosebud, Texas area where the Rutledges had lived for many years. The recollections of their eldest son were of the family living in Denison, Texas, where John Henry was a brakeman on the railroad.

Following an accident resulting in a badly broken foot, John Rutledge bought two mules and moved to Wapanucka, Indian Territory where he started a successful farming venture. With him was old “Doc” a former salve of John’s father.

Later, John and a man called Roundtree went to Paducah to investigate agricultural reports of one and a half bales of cotton to an acre. In the Fall, the two families settled on a section of land the men had bought. The following year the land was broken and planted in cotton, kaffir corn and maize. Rains were delayed for 18 months. The seed sent up shoots in the Fall of the year. High winds cut down the cotton, and the grains died at about the height of 15 inches. Financially ruined, the families began the return trip to East Texas.

In the Rutledge family there were Felix, Myrtle, Jessie, and Charlie and the baby, Leona. They arrived in Ardmore, Oklahoma where they stopped at the Central Wagon Yard, west of what is now Central Park. There they spend the winter. John suffered from rheumatism, found it impossible to work.

The City of Ardmore was hiring teams for building of city streets in 1908. Felix, now a large boy of twelve, became the driver of the family team. His team was placed between two other teams to prevent a runaway, and he began to earn the family a living.

After the job was completed, the family moved into a house on Main Street, three blocks west of the wagon yard. In all, the family had been in Ardmore for about a year before finding the five acres on Park Street S.E and Springdale Road. which became the family home for three generations. It was here that Mary, Joseph Floyd, Modene, Gladys, Helen and Dorothy were born.

As the boys grew, they helped their dad in farming and working a place of one hundred sixty acres belonging to a Mr. Poland on Caddo Creek, 14 miles north of Ardmore where cattle, alfalfa and hogs were raised. Later they found work gathering milk cows in the city and driving them to the pasture on the home place, returning them at milking time. The boys were paid in silver dollars which their mother kept in a wash pan. Mary, the youngest, found them great fun to play with.

John held a lifetime lease on the Anderson property from Park Street to the section line now known as “P” Street. This area included that property now occupied by the Chickasaw Housing Project at 4th and Park.

John Rutledge and “Cap” Wittingham gave land for the building of Park Street to enable the school children’s bus to pick them up. Later, pecan trees lined the east side of Park Street, running the length of the Rutledge property. It was here that John and Lillie lived and died. In 1977, that area now occupied by the Sunshine Industries, Incorporated Training Center for handicapped citizens, was given in memory of John H. and Lillie Rutledge who spent a lifetime helping others less fortunate than themselves.
-from the Indian Territory and Carter County Pioneers Book 1983.

And now some added history: My aunt, Marie Carmon Pruitt, for a short period of time was married into the Rutledge family to Harlan McGuire Boyd, which produced a daughter, Joyce Boyd Brakebill. Though Marie’s first marriage did not last but a short time, I remember as a youngster visiting the Rutledge place at Park and Springdale Road. Myrtle Saylor Rutledge (husband was Jessie Lee Rutledge) owned a black with red trim 1955 Chrysler New Yorker sedan and the air conditioning went out on it, this would have been about 1967. Myrtle Rutledge brought the car to me to repair the air conditioning since I did that kind of work, and I remember sitting in the back seat of that car, and how big it was, huge in my young eyes.

July 1926
Those Wilson residents who paid their county taxes to the now-defunct City State Bank of Wilson will not be absolved of paying the taxes again. When the bank was declared insolvent, the money tied up in the bank’s assets were distributed through legal channels. The county was not considered one of the receivers. Wilson individuals will have to pay your county taxes again or be considered delinquent in payments.

July 1950
Mrs. Irene Woods is the Carter County Home Demonstration Agent.

July 1982
District attorney Ron Worthen hired two new assistant DA’s including the first woman to hold a position in this area- Maria Malowney. Malowney’s responsibilities will be primarily in the area of criminal cases. “She’s very intelligent”, said Worthen. “I think she’ll develop into an excellent trial lawyer. She is a graduate of OU in journalism and received her law degree from Oklahoma City University. The other new hire is David Webb who will work out of Marshall County.

July 1982
Former Murray County Commissioners Bird Lance Jr. and Jimmy Harold Primrose were sentenced in federal court to jail for a combined 29 years and 9 months. They were also ordered to pay $78,077 in fines and restitution. Those are the harshest sentences todate in the investigation into county commissioners purchasing practices across the state.

1923 – South Side Studio, Babies and School Work a Specialty, 7 1/2 South Washington, at rear of State National Bank, Mrs Stevens, Proprietor, Ardmore, Oklahoma

1923- Ardmore Pharmacy, 10-12 Simpson Building, Ardmore, Oklahoma

1923- New England Cafeteria, 232 West Main, Ardmore, Oklahoma

1923 – Drs Shackleford, Practicing Osteopathy and E.R.A. (Electronic Reaction to Abrams), 320 North Washington, Ardmore, Oklahoma

1923 – Cornelia E. Washington (1868-1924), Principal, Washington School (2nd Ward School), Ardmore, Oklahoma

1923 – It Pays To Own a Hupmobile. Hudge-James Motor Co, Ardmore, Oklahoma

1923 – Brown Printing Company, owners Herschel T. Nisbett (1879 -1949) and Richard B. Brown, 6 East Main, Ardmore, Oklahoma

1923 – Excelsior Laundry, Max W. Whittington, owner, 16 years successful business in Ardmore, Oklahoma

1923 – Carroll’s Cafe, 11 North Washington, J. C. Carroll, owner

1923 – Ardmore Abstract Company, W.S. Wolverton and Son, oldest abstract company in southern Oklahoma., 22 years of continuous business, Ardmore, Oklahoma

1923 – Ardmore Wall Paper and Paint Company, owner Theo Torgerson (1859-1946) opposite Ardmore Hotel at 304 West Main, Ardmore, Oklahoma

My new lifetime web hosting site is coming right along. I had more files/folders to upload then I thought, 22 years worth, like 10s of thousands. Going to take some time to fine tune it with links to everything. So when you click on the link below, don’t think there is not much there, there are tons of history just like on my present website, I just have to create links to all of it.

The website (oklahomahistory.net) I’ve had for 22 years I will let expire on March 26, 2021, so it will really be history at that time. The website below will take its place.


Q. What town was the site of the oldest Catholic parish in the Indian Territory, the oldest chapter of the Freemasons in Oklahoma, and the oldest chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star in Oklahoma? The city was settled by the Choctaw and named in 1867.
A.  Atoka, Oklahoma

Q.  What was the “Bone Dry Law”?
A.  Answer in next week’s newsletter

Below is from This and That newsletter archives of September 11, 2008

I received an interesting email this week, it was from the ggg granddaugher of Nelson Chigley, who helped establish Davis, Oklahoma by providing some of his 2,000 acres.  One of the historical places in Davis is the old Chigley mansion.  The email asked if I knew where Nelson Chigley was buried, and after some searching around the net, I gave up.  I could not find his burial place.  In a second email the writer’s family has been told Nelson Chigley may be buried beneath the house, which was a Chickasaw custom back in those day to many people of Chickasaw decent. Does anyone have any info on this?  If he is buried beneath the old Chigley mansion, I would hope the Chickasaw Nation assume responsibility of the property and the preservation of this great Chickasaw leader. Nelson Chigley and his family is the first name listed on the 1893 Chickasaw Pay Roll.
In last week’s T&T we posted a picture of the old railroad bunkhouse located at 4th and F NW.  I had a visitor drop by this week to tell me he was born in that very house.  Jim Rozzell told me he was born in the house many moons ago. They moved when he was about 3 or 4 years old, so he doesn’t remember anything about Effie Sparks old home. As the saying goes, it’s a small world.
“Ardmoreite Fielding Grigsby is doing his best to keep the nostalgia for old radios alive and well in his home in Ardmore”

“Yes! Delaware Punch! It was bottled by the Dr Pepper plant in Ardmore. Also, they bottled a drink called B-1 Lemon and Lime Soda. Anyone remember it? It was a competitor to 7-Up. Before B-1, Dr Pepper also bottled 7-Up. I don’t know why it was dropped and later replaced with B-1.” -Bill Bow https://oklahomahistory.net/ttphotos8a/DelawarePunch.jpg
“Butch, Last week Ardmore lost a very special person in a motorcycle accident. Robert Hightower was a minister and a lawmen of many years. He had been the associate pastor at the First Baptist of Ardmore and had opened a new church to reach many lost souls that who had not found God in their life. Robert was a friend to all and help change many people and their lives. The Ardmore Police Department had an Honor Guard for his service. Ardmore has lost a great friend to all. Robert told me one time “Bind up close together and let God enable us to help one another on our earthly journey”. -Larry Martin, Florida
Building Lake Texhoma
“Hi Butch, Some of your T&T readers might remember this. I got this in an email. I had forgotten all about it but I remember when it happened. ” -Roy Miller, Okc

Grady the Cow (c. 1943 – July, 1961) became famous for being the 1,200-pound cow stuck inside a storage silo on a farm in Yukon, Oklahoma in 1949.
The Ringling Road The Ringling Road was the railroad line that started in Ardmore and went across Southern Oklahoma to Lawton. The name of the railroad company was the Oklahoma, New Mexico and Pacific Railway Co. and the company was controlled by John Ringling of the famous Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus. Construction on this new line began on May 1, 1913 in Ardmore, OK. The line passed through Lone Grove, Hewitt and New Wilson with the end of the line being finished in Ringling by January of 1914. At first it was thought the depot for this area would be in the town of Hewitt. At the time, Hewitt was a thriving community with a school, a bank, a newspaper and several churches along with a dozen or so businesses, but the Hewitt plan did not work out. The depot was, instead, established in “New Wilson”, which was named after John Ringling’s secretary, Charles Wilson, although there are rumors that it may have been named after President Wilson. New Wilson was quickly platted and lots sold rapidly. The people of Hewitt had the foresight to see a greater potential for commerce in New Wilson and most of them literally picked up and moved their homes and businesses to New Wilson. To add to the excitement of a new railroad line, a new town and a new depot, the oil fields had just begun to boom in Carter County. The Ringling Road, which was originally planned for the purpose of serving farmers in the area, was soon serving the oil companies as well. By January 11, 1914 Wilson had a population of 800 people, but even more mules and horses. The mules and horses served as teams to transport oil field pipe and equipment from the train to the outlying oil fields. There were approximately 500 teams of mules and horses in or near Wilson that were used for this purpose.



Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..Can you name any of the movies or shows this Oklahoma actor was in? -Rhett Warren


Butch, I always look forward to your newsletter, but this week’s was extra special as I LOVE TRAINS!!! 

My grandfather, C.B. Kuykendall was section line foreman for the Frisco Railroad from 1910 until his death in 1951. As section line foreman his responsibilities covered the tracks from Sulphur, OK to Denison, TX. Over the years, he and his family lived in many of the “section line houses” along the tracks (Sulphur, Ravia, Kingston, OK and Denison, TX). All of his seven children were born in these houses (6 in Ravia & 1 in Kingston). He saw many changes over the years from steam to diesel engines and hand-pumped section line cars to motor cars.

Many of my cherished memories are associated with my grandparents and the Frisco Railroad.

1. In Denison, TX, sitting on the wooden stairs that led down to the railroad tracks and waiting for my grandfather to come by on his section-line motor car headed to the depot at the end of a long day. (see photo)

2. Getting up in the middle of the night in Ravia, OK with my grandmother. Then going down to the depot and waiting for train. She would stand by the tracks waving a lantern. The train would stop and we jumped on and rode to Denison, TX.

3. Walking the rails to the depot in Denison and watching the engine be turned for a return trip north in the roundhouse.

Below is a little history of “Frisco”. I have also attached some photos and how the Frisco emblem got its logo.
-Jadean Paschall Fackrell”The St. Louis–San Francisco Railway (reporting markSLSF), also known as the “Frisco”, was a railroad that operated in the Midwest and South Central U.S. from 1876 to April 17, 1980. At the end of 1970, it operated 4,547 miles (7,318 km) of road on 6,574 miles (10,580 km) of track, not including subsidiaries Quanah, Acme and Pacific Railway or the Alabama, Tennessee and Northern Railroad; that year, it reported 12,795 million ton-miles of revenue freight and no passengers. It was purchased and absorbed into the Burlington Northern Railroad in 1980.[2] Despite its name, it never came close to San Francisco.”  



Hey Butch, I grabbed a couple pics of a bell today. Thought of you and your list. On the south edge of the campus at Moyers School, Moyers, Oklahoma. -David Cathey


Ardmore’s undertaker Thomas C. Bridgeman, born Feb 23, 1858, died June 21, 1926 in Ardmore, Oklahoma. He is entombed in the Apple Mausoleum, located at the corner of C & Fourth (Legal is Block 55, Lot 8) in Rose Hill Cemetery.

Believe you can and you’re halfway there. -Theodore Roosevelt

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges“Friends Make Life Worth Living”Lone Grove, Oklahoma


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