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Vol 25  Issue 1,253  December January 28, 2021

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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

“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us
What we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”

A Glimpse Into The Past

Methodist Church – Wilson, Oklahoma

The Methodist Church of Wilson, was organized in 1892 by Rev L. H. Stuckey of old Hewitt, located about a mile east of Wilson. First place of worship was a log house located south of Hewitt.

In about 1893 the congregation worshipped in a building in Hewitt which served also as a schoolhouse and a Masonic Hall; Rev D. E. Shaffer was pastor. Sometime after statehood the people built a little one-room church house which moved to Wilson in 1914 (the year of the Oklahoma, New Mexico and Pacific Railroad was built through this section.) Reverend J. S. Sessums was pastor.

The building was located on the same spot where the present building stands. It burned in January of 1920 while R. P. Davis was pastor. The congregation held services in the City Hall in an old show building on Main Street while awaiting other quarters.

Church present church was built in 1920 or 1921 under the supervision of the pastor Reverend J. W. Cole. It was built under much difficulty, the money was raised by serving dinners and refreshments.

The first parsonage was what is now the Rotary Hall. The present parsonage was built in 1921. Other early day pastors were Tommason, Cleveland Reagin, H. B. Wilson and M. P. Timberlake.

This bit of history was written by Robert D. Ragland, Jr., as one of the requirements for earning the God and Country award in the Boy Scout organization. Much of the information was given by early settlers. One of them was Mrs. E. S. Dement.
-from Carter County History book 1957


https://secureservercdn.net/ Red River

The tenth largest river in the U.S., in volume of water carried, is the Red River. This river rises in the high lands of the Texas panhandle, and is 1,360 miles long. For over half of its length, the river forms the boundary between Oklahoma and Texas, then travels through Arkansas, Louisiana, and empties into the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico. The river is navigable to Fulton, Arkansas, (455 miles). The Red River was important to the early residents of Indian Territory. Several early trading posts were established along its banks, and a number of ferries were operated by well known Indian families. ln the Chickasaw Nation, the Red River formed the entire southern boundary of this tribe. Most of this boundary was occupied by Pickens County, the subject of this volume, which was by far the most extensive county of the four. This important river has played an integral part in the history of the area, and continues to be important in its steady growth.
-from Indian Territory and Carter County Pioneers book 1982

December 1951
Healdton City Marshall Bill Ratliff was painfully but not seriously wounded when he was shot in the leg in a fight with Clyde Heald. Heald is in the county jail.

December 1927
Jeff D. O’Brien, 66, pioneer citizen of this section died at his home Monday morning of a heart attack. O’Brien was a member of the Board of County Commissioners for the past 2 and 1/2 years, entering upon a six-year term last July. He came to Lone Grove more than 40 years ago, and was engaged in farming and the stock business, and later on, a cotton gin.

December 1927
O. J. Armstrong became sold on the pecan idea several years ago. He now has one of the largest projects in the southwest on his Bear Creek farm near Milo.

As of today we have reached more people about unclaimed property totaling over $557,430.77. And the search continues.

So with the above being said, how long has it been since you checked your name or a family member’s name? Its easy to do a search at the Oklahoma State Treasurer link below. I think every state in the union has a unclaimed property website through the respective state treasures website.

Q. How many square miles does Oklahoma contain?
A.  Oklahoma is the 20th-largest state in the United States, covering an area of 69,899 square miles, with 68,595 square miles of land and 1,304 square miles of water.

Q.  What outlaw gang robbed a train in Wharton (Perry) in 1891?
A.  Answer in next week’s newsletter

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

At #4 East Main in Ardmore is Cooks Paint. For 40 years the building was covered with sheetmetal on the outside. Workers have removed the sheetmetal on the outside walls to reveal some old Ardmore history was exposed. -Robert Hensley


Springer, Indian Territory. Dr. Daniel P. McDowell was my Great Grandfather and was appointed U. S. Postmaster by the President. The current Main Street was named McDowell St. when he lived there. The glass front post office boxes are on display at the Greater Southwest Historical Museum in Ardmore. -Dana Pruitt Boyd

Below is from This and That newsletter archives of January 22, 2009

A Reader wrote in this week asking if I had any pictures of the old Santa Fe Freight Depot that used to sit straight south of the Ardmore Depot, south side of Main Street.  That particular building is one my grandfather Stanley Carmon built back in the 1920s or 1930s.  When Ardmore photographer Joyce Franks was alive, he loaned me an aerial photo of this part of Main Street to scan. It is the dark building in the lower left (my grandfather used dark red bricks from Ada for nearly all the buildings and schools he constructed all over southern Oklahoma).

Two places in the photo that catches my eye right off is the old Pepsi plant in the lower right hand side.  And then the dark brick building in front of the courthouse that used to be a car dealership.
Ardmore Santa Fe Freight Depot Aerial
A couple weeks ago I created a new webpage on the ‘Caves Around Turner Falls’ since we’ve had so much interest, and email stories, over the years.  One of the most talked about of the caves is Wild Woman Cave near Nebo, Oklahoma in the Arbuckle Mountains.  This week a Reader sent in photos of that cave, taken just this month!


There were 7 Townships in Carter county. They were Graham, Hewitt, Akers, Lone Grove, Berwyn, Morgan and Wilson. Wilson Township covered the southeast part of Carter county, where the “old city of Wilson” was located. The New Wilson would later be located in the southwest part of the county in Hewitt Township. Morgan Township covered an area around Ardmore.  Here is a map I posted in 2002 of the townships in Carter County.
“Juanita Tate of Ardmore just published a biography of Edmund Pickens, her great-grandfather and first elected Chickasaw chief. I just received my copy in the mail today so I can’t give you a book report.

Pickens was a young man with a wife and children when they were forced to Oklahoma Territory during the Removal of 1836. He helped develop the the Chickasaw Constitution in 1856 and served in the Chickasaw Senate from 1857-1861. It was later that he became the first elected Chickasaw chief before his death in 1885. Lois Proctor at the Bookseller on Main Street has autographed copies of the book for sale.” -Monroe Cameron
“Hi Butch, I lived just east of Dripping Springs back in 1941. I lived just across from the old Doc Johnson’s White Rock Farm. Used to swim and fish in a large pond that was on the property. We had a float made out of 55 gallon drums we used as a way of transportation around the pond. They had horses on the ranch that we used to ride. I was back in Oklahoma a few years ago and drove by the old farm. The pond is dry now with trees grown up over it. I still have many memories of my boyhood around the old farm. The old farmhouse is still there. Your article about Dripping Springs made me remember . Really enjoy your history. Keep up the good work.” -Orie Edward
“I have thought of another very old store that was north of 199 on the Homer Duke Road. It was called the “Blue Hole” store. Sandy/Sand Creek made a sharp bend and formed a rather deep hole of water hence the name Blue Hole. The old store site is located on the west side of the Homer Duke Rd. across from the old Blackjack School. The actual location of the old store is west of the Blackjack School down the hill near the creek. The last time I was there was about 25-30 years ago and the old well was still visible. There must have been a blacksmith shop as well for there was many pieces of scrap iron such as horseshoes, nails, pieces of chain, etc. Does anyone remember the Blue Hole store? My dad remembered it as a boy. He was born in 1902. He remembers driving some cattle from near Provence north to Berwyn and stopping at the Blue Hole store.”
“Butch: The wooden Nickel you showed. That was a wooden nickel designed by Osh. Cameron and Rick Feiler. It was a “Give-Away” to those who attended the 4th and final Ardmore Coin show sponsored by the Ardmore Coin Club. The first show was held in 1961 and held at the Ardmore Chamber of commerce back in the meeting room, I believe the second show was also held there. The 3rd and 4th shows were held at Lake Murray Lodge in the meeting room south of the eating area. Some of the members were Ed Hannum, Katie Bevins, Ed Luke, Jim Gaskins, Ida Yaffe, Billie Zak Graybill, Gary Lynch a junior member, and 5 or 6 out of towners whose names slip me. At one time membership was about 30 adult members and about 5 junior members. There was always one or two walk-ins who just came to look and see what was going on, we also had some junior club members. The club met once a month on Tuesdays so as not to conflict with church night. A door prize was always awarded in the form of a coin or token. The club met for about 5 years and interest finally was lost. This is only the second wooden nickel I know of from Ardmore. I have heard rumors of others, One issued by Luke’s Music store, One by the (Bruce Harris Sports Club), One by Tom Tipps when when he was a Senator, and another by Broadway Cab.”

The Wilson News
June 29, 1916
Knocked Unconscious While Asleep

Last Tuesday night while Erie Hassell, a printer at this office, was asleep in the back of the office someone entered the back door and proceeded to do him up in good style.  From the looks of the lick in the eye the prowler must have used a sand bag. Erie could not remember anything about what happened.  He said that he thought he heard someone at the door and that he got out of bed and started for the door, but that was as far as he could remember.  When he woke up he was laying in bed with a big gash cut under the eye.  The motive of the prowler was evidently robbery, but we can’t figure out why any sane man would ever go to a printing office to get money.  He certainly was an amateur. The attack on Mr. Hassell was certainly a cowardly affair, and should the guilty person be caught, we don’t know of any punishment that would be bad enough for him.
Korean War Era Veteran’s book now available at the Wilson, Oklahoma Museum.

Cold! If the thermometer had been an inch longer we’d have frozen to death. -Mark Twain

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges

“Friends Make Life Worth Living”Ardmore, Oklahoma


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Vicious Dog Attacks in Oklahoma
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