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Vol 25  Issue 1,266 April 29, 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

Springer, Oklahoma Airport

“The airport at Springer (where the county barn is now) was owned by the city of Ardmore but due to its location, it was probably called the Springer airport more often than the Ardmore airport. I am not sure of the year it was opened, probably in the early 1930s. It was there for many years until it was relocated to Ardmore Industrial Airpark after the base closed. While at Springer, several individuals operated the field. Arthur Oakley moved there after the Oakley-Askew airport ceased operation when the hanger burned.

Dorsey Askew, no longer a partner with Oakley, had taken a job in 1926 flying US Mail with United Air Lines. He was the first pilot to fly mail between Dallas and Chicago. John Heasty and his wife, Veda, managed the airport during the early 40s. While they were there, it was one of a few fields in the southwest who contracted to train flight instructors for the Army Air Corps. The program was known as the Advanced Civilian Pilot Training Program. Individuals from various geographic areas who wanted to be Army Air Corps civilian instructors paid $500 a month for the four month course and were certified as such when they finished. Three Ardmore men who were known to complete the program were Walter Adrian “Heavy” Broughton, William Kenny and Kenneth Johnson.

There may have been others. Aircraft mechanics who kept the aircraft in top shape for the program included Walter Adrian “Heavy” Broughton, also a top-notch licensed airframe and engine specialist (Ardmore), Connie Brewer (Shawnee), Floyd Greer (Ardmore), and Tommy Kennedy (Wilson). Charles Kincaid, Timothy Kincaid, John Heasty, Veda Heasty and Evelyn Heasty, John’s sister, were flight instructors. The Heastys operated ten aircraft, several of the planes were Beech D-17 Staggerwings.

When the war began, Mr. Heasty was appointed Group Commander of the Civil Air Patrol in early January 1942 by Moss Patterson, Oklahoma CAP Commander. When Bob Goddard returned from the Army Air Force following WWII, he assumed operation of the field. Walter Adrian “Heavy” Broughton was his chief A&E person. Why the nickname “Heavy” —Mr. Broughton has never been heavy. Several ex-fighter pilots, recently discharged from the Air Corps, frequented the airport and exchanged war stories about their contributions to the war effort. Mr. Broughton, listening to the stories, went about his work never saying anything about his service time. Eventually, they asked what he did in the war. He said “I flew in the heavies.” From that point on, Walter Adrain became “Heavy” Broughton. Mr. Broughton later became Mr. Goddard’s Paddle-G Ranch manager until his retirement. During the 1950s, the runways were in bad shape and were actually dangerous unless you were familiar with the bad areas.

The Civil Aeronautics Administration, later FAA, eventually cited the city to do something about it. When the Air Force left Ardmore in 1959, the city was compensated for damage to the Ardmore Air Force Base runways in the amount of $93,500. This fund, plus $9,400 from the Oklahoma Right-of-Way Department, was designated by the City Commission to make necessary improvements at Springer. Hamp L. Caron was operator of the airport at that time and operated it until the early 1960s. The Downtown Executive Airport and the Lake Murray Airport were both opened in the mid-1960s. The Ardmore Municipal Airport is still located at the Ardmore Industrial Airpark. A stipulation, in the release of the base to the city, was that it shall be maintained as an airport. The fixed base operator there is Lakeland Aviation. Maybe some of the readers can fill in the gaps as to dates and airport managers.” -Gary Simmons Feb 2003

1922 – Cook Paint and Varnish was located at 100 East Main
1926 – Theatorium Theater was at 114 West Main
1926 – Adelphus Theater was at 117 West Main
1926 – Harvey Brothers Funeral Parlor was located at 300 West Main
1928 – Randol Building was at 101 East Main (west side of Daubes)
1928 – Greenberg’s Jewelry 117 East Main (east of Daubes) Max, Ralphael and Sophie Greenberg
1930 – Dixie Motor Coach Station was located at 300 West Main
1930 – Mary E. Green and Sarah M. Green, a teacher, lived at 203 London Street in SE Ardmore
London Street – From GC&SF (Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway) southeast to Fifth Avenue, 1 south of Moore Street.

March 1927
Ingram Henry killed a rattlesnake that is said to have been 6 feet long and had nine rattlers. Those who saw the snake said it was the largest ever seen in this part of the state.

March 1927
The rain fall on Sunday measured 2.65 inches that follows the 1.4 inches received the previous Wednesday. Jud Pruitt says the accompanying hail cut corn stalks off even with the ground. Many gardens were also wiped out, and fences are washed away in many low places.

March 1927
Bob Lawrence of Pooleville, said the recent rain was the heaviest in that section in several years. In Bear Creek bottom, many large logs washed about by floodwaters that had never been removed before. Battle Creek is on a rampage today, and it said to be higher than it has ever been.

March 1927
A lawsuit seeking to recover $50,000 from the railroad and Lonnie Looney has been filed in District Court by J. H. Smithers, Lila Smithers, and Pernie Smithers, In the death of Carey Smithers, who was killed at a railroad crossing 3 months ago. Carey was the son of J. H. and Lela and the husband of Perni. The suit alleges that Carey Smithers was riding in an automobile with Looney when it collided with a train. Both the train and automobile, according to the plaintiff were traveling at an excessive rate of speed, and the stop signal at the crossing was not working when the accident occurred.

I received the following request today, maybe someone will remember this knife maker at Lake Murray.

“Butch, I was talking to my wife about a man who camped each summer on the east side of Lake Murray and made knives out of old files. I think his name was Bridges and he was almost blind. Any relation?”

Waurika is known for its yearly rattlesnake festival. This year’s (held April 8th) was reported as one of the best and biggest. This is a historical marker at Waurika.


A couple grave markers I made.



As of today we have reached area people about unclaimed property totaling over $775,500. 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.  What president attended the dedication of Skyline Drive in 1961?
A.  John F. Kennedy

Q.  Where is Oklahoma’s largest kid playground?
A.  Answer in next week’s newsletter

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

Ramblings of an Olderly person——-Bees Beeing Bees
In 1969 I started a 39 year career with The Daily Ardmoreite. In 1975 I replaced the late Willard Proctor as Circulation Manager where i spent so much of my life training and enjoying time spent with hundreds of carriers that are now part of the economic development of our fine city. Sorry I have digressed from the bees. I immediately made friends with the Bee Man of Ardmore,E.L. Morton who worked at The Ardmoreite. He had a dozen or so bee hives and was looking to enlarge his business. A doctor in the western part of the state was in ill health and wanted to sell his hives which was estimated to be around 500 hives. E.L. bought them sight unseen but before he could take him around to see all the places he had hives he passed on leaving just a map of where they were. For the next year or so I would spend weekends with E.L. Locating bees. The biggest group was at Davidson, Okla which is about as far west as you can go on Highway 70 and is on the banks of the Red River. We loaded up with a camper on E.L. ‘s pickup and a 16 ft. trailer one Saturday morning and arrived at our destination about 9 a.m. We had white coveralls with a helmet and face screen that zippered to the coveralls. Well, as we loaded the 120 hives everything was going swell until a bee beeing a bee managed to crawl up under his coveralls and get under his face covering. E.L.s natural instinct was to unzip his face covering and let the bee out. The problem with that was there were millions of bees wanting to get in. I had to overpower him to stop this temporary loss of sanity. Well the bee beeing a bee stung him on the neck and we went about our task. We were loaded and headed back home by about 2;30. We had to keep our equipment on because there was 200 or more bees in our cab. As we were pulling into Grandfield, OK. I looked back and there was a black cloud of bees following us. We pulled into a gas station there and E.L. suggested I go next door and get some burgers. Well, we found out very quickly we were unwelcome in that town as the men inside the station locked the door and motioned us to leave. E.L. slipped a $20 bill under the door and asked them to turn the pump on. After getting the gas and burgers we headed for home. How you might ask did we eat with the face masks unzippered with a cab full of bees. My response to that would be “very carefully”! -Jim Hefley
Document Oklahoma House of Representatives, First Legislature12/05/1908 submitted by Robert Hensley

Below is from This and That newsletter archives of April 30, 2009

“Butch, Terri and I drove up to Mountain Lake for a while today and I shot a few photos of the Dam. The old walk way under the Dam is closed now but I remember walking through it back in the early days. On the West end of the walk way are three metal plates with construction dates and names, etc. as shown in the attached photos. To get to the walk way you have to wade through a brier patch and work your way through the rocks. I asked permission from the keeper at the office first and he said it was ok but just to be careful and watch for snakes. I managed to get in there and get my pictures but I didn’t stay very long.” -Dwane Stevens






The most dangerous cake recipe

4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
a small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again. Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts (high). The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don’t be alarmed!

Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.  EAT! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous).

And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world? Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night!

(See pictures below)





The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.  -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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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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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