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Vol 25  Issue 1,298    December 9, 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 Daily Ardmoreite
April 23, 1966

Survivor Tales of Landing
Before a wobbling, tilting Electra burst apart Friday night on an Oklahoma hill, it left one survivor time to worry.

I’ve ridden in a lot of planes but never one that acted like that, said Private James Gorman, 20, of Bellerose New York from a bed in Ardmore Hospital.
The plane wobbled, then banked right, then banked left, he said, moving his orange face from side to side. Then there was a bash, and a bright light flash. My seat came over on top of me and there was fire all around.

Private Gorman, painfully conscious throughout the tragedy in which 81 died, was able to speak over long distance telephone to his parents in Bellerose New York. He suffered burns about his face, hands, arms and feet. One shoe was ripped off by the impact.

Trapped by the toppled seat and his still-buckled seat belt, Gorman managed to free himself and escape. I didn’t have to climb out, I just walked away, there wasn’t any plane. Groans were all that he heard.
Seeing that his closest buddy was still alive, he turned to aid a Negro man who was lying about 4 inches from the flame. Four or five seats were piled on top of him. I tried to pull him out but my hands were burned and I wasn’t helping much. Finally I just kicked him as far away from the fire as I could.

A farmer, or so Gorman supposed since he wore dungarees, appeared on the scene and help free the trapped man. He had me hold the flashlight while he worked at it. Then he had me lie down and I waited until they put a blanket over me.

Gorman managed a smile while the man in the next bed trash and moaned. “No I ain’t going by plane anymore. And if they say fly, I’m running the other way.

Asked if he had any of his buddies aboard, Gorman said, just 20 of them.

The Daily Ardmoreite
June 4, 1908
Stringing Trolley Wires
Heroic effort made to have car service by June 29th. A force of hands are engaged at work in stringing the trolley wires on Main Street. As announced in the Ardmoreite, the cars will be running on or before June 29th. It is the intention of the company to hurry the work of construction to a finish so as cars may be running over the entire system. Should the people not have cars over the entire line by June 29th, before the fall season opens a streetcar service will be maintained over the entire system as has been contemplated by the management of the company.

Still finding people in Oklahoma with unclaimed money. We’re now over the $1.7 Million dollars. Sometimes progress is slow locating people or their kin with unclaimed insurance money at the State Treasurers office in OKC but we keep moving forward.

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.

If you have Facebook, I created a new Page called Southern Oklahoma Unclaimed Insurance Money. The only Post that will go on that page is names and towns of people we are looking for with unclaimed money;


Q.  True West Magazine recently named this museum the top museum in the country in their “Cowboys, Indians, Lawmen, and Outlaws” category. Where is this ranch/museum located in Oklahoma?
A.  True West Magazine recently named The Pawnee Bill Ranch and Museum the top museum in the country in their “Cowboys, Indians, Lawmen, and Outlaws” category. The museum is dedicated to preserving the history of the American West and visitors are welcomed to come explore everything there is to offer here in Pawnee. Address: 1141 Pawnee Bill Road, Pawnee, OK, 74058

Q.  What Oklahoma city ranks second in the United States for total number of American Indian residents?
A.  Answer in next week’s newsletter

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

Butch, I am sure someone has already replied, but the article last week says the Healdton mine is at Miami, Oklahoma. It is definitely misleading… I was thinking the same thing until I read back over the story. -Lisa
Butch: RE Last Week’s Newsletter: The only Jennie Selfridge I ever knew was my mother. Even though she taught at several schools, I don’t ever remember her mentioning Prairie Valley. I never heard of any of her cousins with that name.

If it was her, I am unhappy that they got rid of all the Jack rabbits. I haven’t seen one in years although we still had some when I was a kid. We do have plenty of crows.

I don’t know if I told you, but if you Google Jennie Selfridge, you will get interviews with pioneers and Indians that she did for the University of Oklahoma. -Roberta
Q:  When did Winchell’s Donuts close on West Broadway?
A:  Built by Winchell’s new in the mid 1970s. Closed in 1992

Below is from This and That newsletter archives of December 10, 2009The Wilson Post – December 19, 1968

Pieces of iron are to be found scattered around the Carter county courthouse at Ardmore these days. The County Commissioners say when and if it is ever assembled, it will be an elevator. The elevator was purchased from the old Stephens county courthouse sometime ago for $500. Workman moved it piece by piece to Ardmore, but then there was another ‘hitch’ in plans.

It seems that the county commissioners have been unsuccessful in finding a contractor that wants to take the job of assembling the elevator. Some come around and looked it over and leave. They don’t even have an estimate.

Meanwhile, you have to be careful when walking around the corridors at the courthouse. You just might run over a piece of an elevator. The old elevator has ‘been shot’ – and besides they need a new one that will go all the way to the fourth floor which is in the process of being a reality.
A picture of an old house on Newport Road not far from U.S. 70 was sent in this week. They were wondering if anyone recognized the house and knew any history on it. I’m sure there is a story there.
Norris Chapel School inquiry. I have drew a map where the Norris Chapel school was located years ago. It is right against the west fence of SORDS landfill east of Ardmore…. on the west side of the SORDS property line. The school is on private property. The easiest way to get to it is go to the west end of SORDS Road and look on the west side of their fence.
“Butch, During a Thanksgiving get together with my children, they remembered their Grandfather Jimmie Lewis (an Ardmore grocer 1925-1960) using the term “calaboose” as meaning jail. My son’s online investigation took him to this interesting site. Maybe others might find it of interest.” -Jerry Lewis

“Butch, I don?t know if you remember that my late husband used to build small buildings (18 to 24 inches tall). He has been dead 35 years so you may have been too young to notice such things then. The Ardmoreite did a very nice article about him and his buildings. I donated several of them to the Ardmore Museum and one of them was the Chickasaw Lumber Co. He obtained a picture of the building (I think from Mac McGalliard) and built it from that. He had a whole frontier town. I sold some of the buildings to a friend of his as I did not have room to store them. I saved some of them and my daughter has them in her home. He used to make farm houses and barns to take to the Arts and Crafts Show every year. One year a lady came in to buy one and they had all been sold. She started crying so Hurmon went home and built her one. The late Ida Williams had one that she used in her Christmas decorating.” -Frances Dunlap
“Butch, this photo was sent to me a few years back. She said it was taken around the Ardmore area but not sure exactly where, maybe on the Santa Fe line or maybe on the Ringling line. She and I both would like to know more info about it. If memory serves me correctly she said one of her relatives was involved in the cleanup work. Maybe one of your readers will recall something about it. I haven’t been able to come up with anything on it. Thanks.”  -Dwane Stevens
The Provence School was located east of Ardmore in what is now the northern part of the Provence Cemetery. It would have sat just on the north side of the original cemetery but the cemetery as expanded and taken in where the school once sat.”

“Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.” –Alice Morse Earle

See everyone next week!

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


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