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Vol 25  Issue 1,287     September 23, 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

The Community and the Airmen – 1957

The feeling that Ardmore had been lacking in recreational, social, recreational, cultural activities which affect the morale of the Air Force personnel and their dependents resulted in the establishment of Ardmore Air Base Activities Incorporated, the first totally independent, incorporated community program between a city and an Air Force base in the United States.

This organization assists Air Force personnel in establishing themselves and their families in the community and provides a means through which assistance can be provided these personnel in their daily lives in the community with their work in the Air Force.

Working in cooperation with Raymond C Morrison, director of community services for the Air Force, brigadier Cecil H Childre, Col. Marion Hubble, George Norman, and Capt Francis Satterlee from the airbase, Ardmore Chamber of Commerce and a committee under the leadership Everet Dunlap, and Rhys Evans, completed the organization to start operation September 1955. The Retail Merchants Committee of the Commerce of Commerce undertook the responsibility of financing the committee the first four months until it could be included in the Community Chest budget.

The first 9 member board of directors included John C. Caldwell, President; Sam Noble, Vice President; Raymond Colvert Jr., secretary-treasurer; J. Dewey Clemens, Gus Hendix, Quintin Little, Brigadier General Cecil M. Childre, base commander; Abe Jolly, Ardmore Mayor, for mayor, and Reverend Karl Moore, Ministerial Alliance.

Art Spencer was employed as a full-time coordinator making him the second in the United States to hold such a position. State Board of Trustees remain the same for the second year of operation exception of Rev. Ira Williams replacing Rev. Moore as president of Ministerial Alliance.

The Board of Trustees of Ardmore Air Base Activities, Incorporated entered to an agreement with the United Fund as part of its 1957 budget.

The committees, each with a co-chairman, military and civilian, consist of the following: Community Services: Law Enforcement, Public Relations, and Recreation. Membership air Force personnel same responsibilities. In the community in the community.

Membership on each of these committees includes Air Force personnel and civilians with the some responsibility on the base and in the community.
-from the book The History of Carter County 1957

Still finding people in Oklahoma with unclaimed money. We’re now over the $1,240,000.00 dollar mark. Sometimes progress is slow locating people or their kin with unclaimed insurance money at the State Treasurers office in OKC but we keep trying and we are making a difference in people’s lives.

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 city was Brad Pitt born in?
A.   Shawnee. December 18, 1963

Q.  Where is the largest quilt shop in Oklahoma?
A.  Answer in next week’s newsletter

Robert Hensley send in a remarkable piece of Ardmore history this week. Its a letter mailed from the Ardmore Army Airbase at Gene Autry and postmarked 1943. Since the latter was sent by seargent in the army at the airbase it needed no stamp. He just wrote FREE in the upper left hand corner where normally a stamp would go.


Another photo Robert Hensley sent is was the Plainview School back in the 1930s. Photos like this are called cabinet photographs. Really neat.


A photo of The Ardmoreite Band during Indian Territory (before statehood 1907).


Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

Hi Butch, first off let me thank you and commend you on a excellent Newsletter always look forward to it. I am a long time postal history collector of Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory, I was born and raised in Bokchito. George Shirk was my early mentor on collecting and appreciating postal history. That said your comment on Catontonment Gibson as the first post office In Oklahoma is not correct. The first post office was at Miller Court House in McCurtain County it opened September 5, 1824 later closed 1838. The site was very near Shawnee town. Just thought you would like to know and again thank you for a wonderful newsletter. -Larry Merolla
Thanks Butch. I really enjoyed reading today’s T & T. Brought back lots of memories. Matt Alexander was a friend of my grandfather’s and he used to carry me around on his shoulders to watch the circus setting up its tents. What a treat for a 4-5 year old! Thanks for being so faithful in writing and sending these weekly treats. -Nancy Coffman Wilson

Below is from This and That newsletter archives of September 24, 2009

The Daily Ardmoreite, April 25, 1918


City’s Distinguished Guest Spent Time Quietly, Resting – Program at Convention Hall Begins at 8:30 O’clock

Miss Margaret Woodrow Wilson (1886-1944), daughter of President Woodrow Wilson, came to Ardmore at noon today and will be heard in concert tomorrow night at Convention Hall, under the auspices of the Lions Club. Miss Wilson is accompanied by her personal friend and chaperone, Mrs. Ross David of New York City.

Everything is being placed in readiness for the concert. Convention Hall will be attractively decorated and judging from reservations made at the City Drug Store, a capacity audience will greet Ardmore’s distinguished guest.

The program will be followed by an informal reception and everyone in attendance will have the opportunity of meeting Miss Wilson.

Miss Wilson, on her arrival today was feeling somewhat indisposed and during her stay in Ardmore will spend the time very quietly in her apartment.

The visit of the president’s daughter to Ardmore is fraught with unusual interest, and it is a matter for congratulation, that this town was included in her itinerary. She has been engaged in singing for soldiers in training camps and cantonments throughout the country since leaving Washington, February 26, and her tour will continue until June 1.

Star Spangled Banner sung by Margaret Woodrow Wilson 1912


My Old Kentucky Home sung by Margaret Woodrow Wilson 1917

“Butch, Did you know there is an Alpaca ranch on the east side of Ardmore? George and Judy Davenport are owners of the Smokey Ridge Alpacas ranch.

Alpacas are such delightful animals and just as friendly as they come. This is a chance for folks to get a close up look at them, and also feel what luxurious fleece they have. Also on hand will be a lady from Davis who will demonstrate spinning alpaca fleece.

Alpacas are cousins to the llamas, and are beautiful, intelligent animals. They weigh between 150 and 200 pounds and stand 36 inches at the withers. Alpacas produce a luxurious fiber that is stronger, warmer, and lighter than wool and is frequently compared to cashmere. The United States first commercially imported alpacas in 1984. Currently, there are over 100,000 registered alpacas in North America.

You can visit their Web site.”
http://www.coxok.com/sra/ or contact George at ccwinnies@yahoo.com
Q. “I found a reference to a book entitled “The Man from Yesterday” in the This and That newsletter from 2003. There was no author mentioned. Can you help me find more information about the book and is the book still in print?” -Sue
A. The author of the book ‘The Man of Yesterday’ was Mary Holland McNeish Kinkaid (1861 – 1948). Written in 1908 and printed by F. A. Stokes Company (318 pages). The book is centered around Tishomingo, Oklahoma. I found several for sale on www.abebooks.com and www.alibris.com

“When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” -Franklin D. Roosevelt

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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