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Vol 26  Issue 1,303   January 13, 2022

Ardmore, Oklahoma

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.”

The Washita River

The Washita River formed the entire north and east boundary of Pickens County and Chickasaw Nation days. This River rises in the panhandle of Texas and spends most of its course traveling through the western and south-central Oklahoma.

It empties into the Red River as one of its major tributaries. After the formation of Lake Texoma on the Red River, the Washita arm has become one of the major portions of this great lake. The Washita River has been a most important economic factor to Pickens and Carter County. The bottom land along its course is among the most fertile valleys in the world. It supports major crops of peanuts, corn, soybeans, family gardens, and it one time helped Ardmore become the nation’s largest inland cotton market.

As the river passes through the Arbuckle Mountains, it forms a most picturesque valley, and is a favorite view for visitors and residents alike.

Within a 15-mile-long area on the Washita River, almost 6,000 Arapaho, Cheyenne, Comanche, Kiowa, and Kiowa-Apache Indians had struck encampments near present-day Cheyenne, Oklahoma, on the Washita River in 1868. There, peaceful Chief Black Kettle’s camp included 250 to 300 of his followers.

The Battle of the Washita (November 1868), in which Gen. George A. Custer attacked an encampment of the Cheyenne people, took place near Cheyenne.

I had a request this week for buildings on100 Block East Main. I’ve tried to create a map, but vague on some names. Can anyone help me out here? Point out mistakes, add names, etc.?


Downtown Berwyn, Oklahoma (now Gene Autry) in 1911


Explore The Oklahoma History Center Like Never Before On This Virtual Tour

Located across the street from the Governor’s Mansion in Oklahoma City, the OK History Museum sits on 18 acres and is known as a Smithsonian-quality museum that’s home to our state’s history. Right now they are closed, but you can explore over 215,000 square feet like never before on this virtual tour. Check it out below, then click the link below to take your own online tour.


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.  What Oklahoma governor was called “Honest Tom”?
A.  Thompson Ferguson https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=FE018

Q.  What town in Oklahoma of less than 1,000 residents, has been struck with one tragedy after another, the residents believe their town is cursed?
A.  Answer in next week’s newsletter

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

Butch, Enjoyed the photo of the old Ardmore High School.

Most folks do not realize that the first public high school in Oklahoma was in Ardmore. It was at N. Washington and Broadway.

It had been King’s College a “subscription” school, meaning it charged a tuition fee. When the decision was made to create a public school system, the owner leased the building to Ardmore as the high school until one could be built. In addition to the high school, there were four elementary schools, one in each ward.  -Tom Walker

Below is from This and That newsletter archives of January 14, 2010

“Butch, There are some of us who have a very vivid memory of an event that happened when we were so young that we can’t understand how we could remember it at such an early age. Well, a few weeks ago, one of your readers, Gene Womack, had an article in “This ‘n That” which not only reminded me of the event but, pin pointed the exact time of it, which I did not remember. His Father, Henry Womack, told the story of in 1929 & 1930 ” From December until February” you did not see the ground because of so much snow and ice. MY MEMORY.
We lived about a mile and a half south of ORR in Love County. I was (now I know) three years old at the time and it was Jan or Feb 1930. One night our house caught on fire and my Mother carried my baby sister and me away from the house and put us on a quilt “ON TOP OF THE DEEP SNOW & ICE” where I was in charge of taking care of my baby sister. The two points that I remember as vivid as if it were yesterday are: 1. Seeing my Mother and Father running in and out of the burning house carrying things out. 2. Trying to stop my sister from crying sitting on that deep snow and ice.
Thanks, Gene, for identifying a point in my life. One never knows what will come out of Butch Bridges’ “This ‘n That”. Thanks, Butch.” -Edgar Wallace
“Butch as I recall, the long building that you have identified as Hudson-Houston Lumber actually was Lumberman’s Millwork and Supply warehouse. Lumberman’s and Hudson Houston were owned by the same people and both businesses used the same property. The east side and center of that yard were used by Hudson-Houston and identified as Yard #2. The unidentified business on the north side, across the street from Ardmore Plumbing also belonged to Hudson-Houston and I’m not real sure but I think it was called Yard #3. They made specialty items there such as window sashes cabinet doors odd size doors etc. When the railroad decided to add more tracks through this area, Ardmore Plumbing moved to its current location and Yard #3 was incorporated into Lumberman’s current location on Refinery Road. I also remember that the house on the north side across from Fiber Reduction was a boarding house and the home north of the swimming pool was where Floyd Vanderburg lived. One last note, we noticed that the photo must have been taken around 3:30-4:00 in the afternoon because students are walking in the street.” -Joe Baker
“Hey Butch, hope you and Jill had a blessed Christmas. Do you remember when the Joe Brown Company ON 3rd NE) was the Royal Crown Bottling Company and the OK Iron and Metal (on 3rd) was Jake’s Junk Yard? That was a day or two ago. Enjoy your news/history letter.”   -David Willingham
“The building to the north of Ardmore Plumbing belonged to us and was a yard for plastic pipe, sheet metal and our company trucks were parked there. We purchased the land from Hudson Houston.”  -Phil McAnally, Ardmore Plumbing
“Just a note of thanks for your great newsletter, Butch. I’m not a lifer in Ardmore like a lot of you are, but I have loved living here the last 10 yrs and I appreciate all the information I get from your website and newsletters. There’s no way I can remember everything I read but enjoy it none the less. Keep on keeping on.”  -John Moore
From Arizona Highways magazine Nov 1994.
Ardmoreite Bombs Naco, Arizona throwing Washington D.C. into a “Tizzy”, President sends in troops.
-By Tom Kuhn

I am closing in on Patrick Murphy, the pilot who dropped bombs on Naco, Arizona for Mexican rebels during the 1929 Revolution.  Murphy needs to be found so history can be set straight.

The attacks made the front page of the “New York Times” three days running, and threw Washington D.C. into a tizzy. They marked the first time the contiguous United States was bombed by the air by a foreign power. The rebels meant to bombard Naco, in Sonora, Mexico and missed. Murphy apologized, but the bombing of the Arizona town continued.

When the revolution collapsed a month later, Murphy avoided a Mexican firing squad by crossing into the U.S. at Nogales, AZ where he was jailed briefly. After his release, he ducked out of sight. He hasn’t been reported since.

Patrick Murphy appears in an undated photo to be in his late 30’s. He lived in ARDMORE, OKLAHOMA where he may have learned to fly.   3 more pages of info describing the battle and damage are in the magazine.

-Magazine article found by Larry O’Gwin, Sun City, AZ / Sulphur, OK
From 2002 T&T:  “Where exactly is the Cole Cemetery located? I know it is located north of Ardmore but that covers quite a territory. Les Segler, Ardmore Police Chief 1919, is buried at the Cole Cemetery (formally Yates cemetery).”


“Butch, where I work in Ardmore we had the boss to bring us in some wild persimmons, cause we had heard the old Indian tale. Knife was bad and rainy, fork was going the be icy and rainy, the spoon was for lots of snow and ice for the winter. When we opened them they were all spoons. I have talked to alot of my Indian friends and they all go by this. I thought it was kinda neat that we have had all this snow since we have opened the seed. We did this in Oct. or Nov. Happy New Year to you and Jill.”  -Pat EvansImmediately after WWI, 10 ships were built and named for 10 cities in the U. S.
3 of those cities were located in OK…..

The Daily Ardmoreite December 13, 1918

Oklahoma Has Three of Ten Cities That Won Naming of Ships
Kansas City, MO., Dec. 12 – When the ship “City of Lincoln” slips from her ways, Miss Mae Pershing, sister of Gen. John J. Pershing, will be her sponsor, according to an announcement made by the publicity department of the Tenth Federal Reserve District.
The announcement accompanied that of the choice of names and sponsors made by the ten cities in the Tenth Federal Reserve District which won the honor of naming ten ships to be built under the direction of the United Sates Shipping Board, by being the first ten cities in the district to report subscriptions to the Fourth Liberty Loan from twenty percent of their population.
Following is the list of the honor cities, the names chosen, and the sponsors who will christen them and it will be observed that three of the ten cities are in Oklahoma;
Vinita, Okla., “Vinita,” Miss Clyde Thompson (I googled and did not find any info on the USS Vinita)Las Vegas, N. M., “Las Vegas,’ Miss Helen V. Kelly
Salina, Kans., “Salina,” Mrs. Robert J. Laubengayer
Sapulpa, Okla., “Sapulpa,” Mrs. J. W. Hoover
Hutchinson, Kans., “City of Hutchinson,” Miss Vera Gano
Colorado Springs, “City of Colorado,” Miss Anne Shober
Lincoln, Neb., “City of Lincolne,” Miss Mae Pershing
Oklahoma City, Okla., “Oklahoma City,” Miss Elizabeth Ames
Kansas City, Kans., “Wyandotte,” women war workers to name sponsor
Denver, Colo., “City of Denver,” Mrs. James H. Baker

I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -Albert Einstein

See everyone next week!

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


Vicious Dog Attacks in Oklahoma
Oklahoma Bells: https://oklahomahistory.net/bellpage.html
Bill Hamm’s Cemetery Database
American Flyers Memorial Fund – Administration Webpage
Ardmore Army Air Field/Ardmore Air Force Website
Carter County Government Website