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Vol 25  Issue 1,280 August 5, 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

Service Pipeline Company Station was located 1 and 1/2 miles south of Wirt. The original station was built in 1914 and consisted of two steam pumps operated by five steam boilers. They were later replaced by a diesel station consisting of three 250 horsepower Snow and one 350 horsepower M&S engine driving reciprocating pumps. The new modern semi automatic electric station, consisting of 2,000 horsepower electric motors connected to centrifugal pumps replaced the old station in 1953.

The first chief station engineer at this station was Tom Blake. Present station personnel consist of E. A. Carmichael, chief station engineer, and station engineers W. F. Spears, W. T. Hill, D. J. Tate, R. L. Hammond and T. L. Stephens. Some of these old timers have been connected with service pipeline company 37 years and vividly remember Ragtown before it became Wirt.

During this period Service Pipeline Company has maintained a pipeline crew in this area. The employees have been active in participating with employees of other companies in promoting and encouraging the contributions made by the oil industry to the high standards of living which are enjoyed today by every citizen. -from Carter County History book 1957



June 1968
Ardmore was announced as the site for a new 75 million-dollar Uniroyal Tire plant on June 21st after consideration of some sixty possible locations in four states. The new plant will employ more than 1,300 employees in full operation, with a payroll of more than 10 million. According to early estimates, it will cost the citizens of Ardmore 1.4 million to provide water and sewer services and access street to the plant.

June 1968
A Wilson man is in very serious condition following a car-train collision Tuesday afternoon at the west edge of Lone Grove. Wayne Ray Colson, 24, was hurt when his 1968 Chevrolet plowed into a train at the crossing on Highway 70. Colson apparently never saw the approaching train nor the flashing warning signals. His car was dragged 172 feet down the track before the train halted.

June 1951
Ardmore Airfield, located near Gene Autry, it’s scheduled for reactivation by the Air Force. Congress has been requested to earmark 14 million dollars for the construction of the field to serve a troop carrier wing. The plans call for complete rebuilding of the field. When finished within the next two years, three hundred officers, 2500 a list of men and two hundred civilian employees are slated for assignment there.

June 1951
Byron Gordon Nichols, 41, electrician, was literally “burned to a crisp” late Tuesday while working on a 7200 volt power line in the bayou field west of Lone Grove. Nichols died instantly when he was knocked from the pole on which he was replacing a fuse. He apparently thought the line on which he was working was a 3-phase circuit with one empty line. It wasn’t empty. The full force of the 7200 volts went through his body.

June 1927
O.K. Darden, County Commissioner, and his new bride Mrs. Henrietta (Doss) Darden, are receiving congratulations. Darden is a pioneer of this section. He came to Lone Grove from Texas more than 35 years ago. The bride and bridegroom have known each other for 30 years. She is the daughter of A.  Heflin, pioneer of Carter County, and a sister of Dr. Emmett Heflin of Oklahoma City. They will continue to live in Lone Grove where Mrs. Darden owns and operates a drugstore.

Earl Miller was a cabinet maker and home builder. His house and shop was at 115 D Street NW in Ardmore.


This week we went over the Million Dollar mark. We’re now over the $1,002,000.00 dollar mark. sometimes progress is slow locating people or their kin with unclaimed insurance money at the State Treasurers office in OKC but we are making a difference in people’s lives. And the search continues….

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.  Where was Oklahoma’s most profitable gold mine located?
A.   The only area of proven gold production lies in the Wichita Mountains. Beginning around 1890 prospectors found abandoned Spanish mine workings and evidence of considerable gold, silver, and copper mineralization in the Wichita Mountains area. Meers, Oklahoma was founded as a gold mining town in 1901, it was named for mine operator Andrew J. Meers. But it cost more to produce the gold then it was worth.

Q.  What year did the sale of alcohol in Oklahoma become legal?
A.  Answer in next week’s newsletter

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

Q. Butch, I am trying to find the address of the Quintin Little building back in the 1950’s? The building up on north Commerce that recently sold was I think built by Jud in the early 80’s. Many of the oil businesses where listed as being in the “Little Bldg.” in a 1953 phone book I have BUT, there is no street address? -Paul

A.  #10 West Main – Sometimes when I have a letter to mail, instead of walking across the street to the post office from work, I walk north a block to the Simpson Building (1917) later the Little Building, and now the Colston Building, at Main and “A” street SW. The Simpson building was a project of Ardmore oil man Roy M. Johnson.

There is an old mailbox in the Colston building’s lobby by the elevators. I would assume the mailbox is as old as the building itself, 1917. And this mailbox is a collector box for mail dropped through a chute from the upper floors of the building. The chute runs all the way down to the first floor mailbox. So tenants on the upper floors of the building, just walk over to the south wall by the elevator, place their letters in the maildrop, and the letters drop all the way down a chute to the first floor mailbox. Each day the downtown letter carrier picks up mail from the first floor box. Anyway, yes, sometimes I walk over to the Colston Building to mail a letter, there is just something about dropping that letter in this old mailbox this is almost as old as Ardmore.

I’ve spoke about the Colston Building several times the past few years. They have the old electric generators in the basement, and the still working water pressure driven service elevator in the basement too.
I grew up in the Dewitt home on 519 Wolverton in Ardmore in the 70’s & 80’s. Anyway I saw your write up in the This and That newsletter and thought you might like to see one of the original cigar tins that we found in the crawl space under the house which was located in the basement. Can’t believe I still have it. It’s really rusted out on one side so I didn’t photograph that side. It’s in “glad I got a tetanus shot” condition on that side. lol
When I was in Jr. Hi. I had a paper route and delivered a paper to Mrs. Buck Garrett at her rooming house next to the High School. I had to knock on her door every Sat. Morning and collect for the paper. I was kinda afraid of the stern looking lady who came to the door but she was always nice and paid for the paper. -Herb Linder, class of ’54
We we wondering if any of the readers remembered Don Pettijohn who drove around the countryside in the 1930’s picking up dry cleaning for a cleaners in Ardmore. One day of the week he drove around Graham picking it up, and brought it back the next week. We looked forward to his coming because he played our piano and sang “On the Big Rock Candy Mountain”, plus other songs. We were hoping someone
might have known him and could tell us about his life. He was so friendly and nice. -Elisabeth and Marjorie
I read your history posting today. Your mention of the I-35 construction reminded me of a funny story! Before I-35 was completed around Purcell there was a stop light in the middle of town. A man and his wife was returning late at night from Lake Texoma in a pickup with a camper on the back. The man decided he could rest back in the camper as his wife drove back to the OKC area. When his wife stopped at the light, he looked around and didn’t see anyone, so he exited the camper intending on joining his wife in the pickup cab. But the light turned green and she sped away leaving him standing in the street in his underwear. When the wife arrived at home, she opened the camper door and found that he was missing. In the mean time, the man manages to find the police station and call home. -Larry G. Stephens

Below is from This and That newsletter archives of July 30, 2009“Hey Butch, The quarry face shown in last weeks T&T (picture by Lynn McCumber) is the old Dolese Rayford Quarry, located on the Flying L Ranch south of Davis, Oklahoma. This quarry was opened by Metropolitan Paving Company of Oklahoma City to furnish crushed stone for their asphalt plant in Okc as well as other commercial sales. Dolese bought the quarry about 1950 and operated it until it was closed. I am not sure of the date it was closed but could have been sometime in the 1970’s. Alas ! Rayford and Big Canyon are long gone and they have very pleasant memories for me as I spent 13 happy years at Big Canyon.”  -Roy Miller, OKChttps://oklahomahistory.net/ttphotos9a/WashitaValley071309.jpg

“Butch, here are some picture of the Park Hill Presbyterian Church bell. It’s located just southeast of Tahlequah. It was cast in 1847, destroyed by fire in 1886, then re-cast in 1889. This church was established in 1843 as a mission for the Cherokee nation. One of the principal contributors for the bell was then Chief of the Cherokee Nation, John Ross. The church is only about a mile from the John Ross cemetery where he and a good number of his family are buried. Thought everyone might enjoy these pictures.”  -Lynn McCumberhttps://oklahomahistory.net/ttphotos9a/ParkHillPresbyBell09a.jpg



“That is a very interesting bronze bell near Tahlequah, Oklahoma! Obviously it has suffered some damage since recasting – a significant crack through the waist, plus a broken & welded yoke. But the story which the inscription tells is unusual. Excellent photos, too.” -Carl Zimmerman
From the Archives 85 years ago
Contributed by Melinda Taylor
11-18-1913 ~ A Masonic Lodge building, two stories high is to be erected at once in Wilson by the Masons of Hewitt, who yesterday closed a deal for lots on which to erect the building. This is the first secret order to commence a building in Wilson, but practically all of the church organizations have secured locations to be put up in the near future.
4-14-1914 ~ New Wilson, the infant city on the line of the ONM&P, is proud of the new high school building just completed. When the town was first organized, it was decided to invest ten thousand dollars in a new high school building. Each room is equipped with its own heating plant, which makes each independent of the other. Prof. A. A. Rogers will be the head of the school, and will be assisted by Mrs. A. A. Rogers, Miss Florence Corley, Miss Ruth Hewitt, Miss Marian Prater, Miss Alice Woods, and Miss Helen Goff.
11-11-1914 ~ Wilson is the “Wonder city of Carter County, the fastest growing place in the state at the present time.” Only in an oilfield where faith has been followed by rapid development could a town grow so fast within sixty days time. With the telegraph service being installed by the Ringling Railroad, and a complete telephone system throughout the town and surrounding country now in operation, Wilson is in direct connection with the entire world. Wilson now has 800 people and 500 teams. Everything that goes to the Healdton field must come to Wilson by train. The town has four lumber yards, three oil supply houses, two hotels, a half dozen restaurants, a steam laundry and a moving picture man in town.
12- 8-1914 ~ New Wilson. Mr. foster has just completed a hotel on the west side of town which will be known as the Teamster’s Beanery. Miss Shannon of Marietta has built one of the finest rooming houses in the city. Rhodes Brothers of Stroud have purchased the dry goods business of Mobley, the tailor. Work will soon begin on the grading of the streets and oil will be sprinkled daily, which will be one of the greatest boosts for our little city of nearly 3,000 people.
Museum Memories
Contributed by Melinda Taylor
The Wilson News
Last Saturday night about 9’oclock fire was discovered in the new gin just completed by Todd Bros. and before anyone could get to it it was in a mass of flames, burning just like kindling wood. The building and machinery was completely destroyed, and owing to the fact that it was not quite completed, no insurance had been taken out.
There was a good deal of talk that it had been set on fire, but no clue could be found of the guilty parties if it was work of incinderies.

The case of S.P.B. charged with burning the gin of Todd Bros. came to trial Monday. The County Attorney throwed it out on the charge that there was no evidence. About forty men were called from here as witnesses.

~ Wilson Historical Museum opened Tues., Thurs., Fri., Sat. 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

When one has tasted watermelon he knows what the angels eat. -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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