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Vol 26 Issue 1,323 June 2, 2022

I was glad some turned out to see the procession bringing Seaman First Class Billy Turner home after 80 years. Billy was killed in WWII during the bombing of the U.S.S. Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor and just recently, through DNA tests, was his remains identified. The escort started at DFW and continued to Ardmore, then traveling up and down both Main Street and West Broadway. The procession continuing to Lone Grove and then to Wilson, Oklahoma funeral home. I am reminded of an email friend who was born in Ardmore on D Street SW and an email she sent me back in October 2001.

“My name is Tweed Stonum Machock (1915-2012) and I was born in Ardmore, OK. 1915 at 315 F. St. S.W. My earliest remembrance from my childhood is of Mrs. Byron Drew’s son Walter Drew’s funeral. I remember standing on our front porch and holding my Mother’s hand as the military procession marched past our home. I recall band music and the flag draped casket. Walter was killed in World War 1. Many times when visiting Rose Hill Cemetery and seeing the life size statue of Walter Drew I’m flooded with memories of my childhood days. Thank you for this newsletter, for I will write again.”

Lieutenant Walter Drew was the first soldier killed in WWI from Carter County. Lieut Drew died in action in 1918 but his body was not returned to Ardmore until 1921 for burial at Rosehill Cemetery. We must never forget the price so many paid for us to live in the land of the free.

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

On this Memorial Day I am thinking about the 10th Mountain Division that was formed during WWII because today it is snowing here and has been since yesterday.  We have received 10+ inches of snow at the house since it began.
Camp Hale was established in the mountains of Colorado a short distance north of Leadville in 1942.  It was the first mountain warfare unit in US history and the National Ski Patrol was the only non-governmental organization to recruit for the military.  Today you can visit the site and see where they were trained.  There are no buildings remaining but you can look at Google Maps and see where all the buildings were located.  Thee are fragments of foundations and the area is well signed.
Before the Army had the camp built, they went to the city fathers of Leadville and told them they would have to clean up the town because they were establishing the new camp near the town and Leadville was the first place soldiers would head on leave.
Leadville had grown up as a mining camp and was home to about 500 soiled doves who plied their trade in town.  In fact, there were three red light districts in Leadville at one time. -Monroe in MT

Q.   How many flags have flown over Oklahoma?
A. Answer in next week’s newsletter

From My Archives – June 3, 2010

“Hi Butch, T&T – memory lane again. Couple of entries Architect J.B. White and Mary Niblack.  J.B. White lived at 902 B St NW, couple blocks from me. Nice house still today. In back is a double garage with room upstairs where his draftsmen worked. On B St & Broadway where the Ardmoreite is now, is White’s latest and greatest in Ardmore, The Gilbert Building. We were fairly close to the family, my Mother and a White daughter graduated high school together in 1921.

Attached is photo of my aunt’s 1910 teacher’s certificate signed by Mary Niblack – County Superintendent. As a kid, 1930s, I remember the Mary Niblack school house on that road about a mile South of now Springdale Road. I recall it as a vacant building, simple square two stories sitting back from the road on the West side.” -Bob McCrory


“Hi Butch, T&T mentioned the ‘mom & pop’ grocery stores that existed in early Ardmore. Within 3 to 4 minutes walk from where I lived and now live were Holmes, Bulard, Martin and Besaw early 1930s and all gone by end of that decade.

Several changes account for it. Old owners go to their rewards, competion by larger retailers and probably more so the changes in food handling, packaging and variety. Holmes store at A street & 11th avenue. NW was pretty typical of them. It was smaller than our double garage, nothing 20th century, no electricity, no phone, refrigeration, etc. He had an ice box with ‘sody pop’ and very little in stock, nothing perishable, only packaged items, some canned goods and penny candy. He also had a barrel of kerosene, then called ‘coal oil’. My grandmother had a gallon can with a fine little spout on it she kept plugged by sticking a potato over it – sent me with a nickel to get it filled now and them. I imagine most business of these little stores was in items of immediate need when the housewife ran out of something – or of people living hand to mouth in the depression with only enough money to buy the basics in the smallest quantities.

Households bought food more in bulk quantities than today, big sack of flour, 50 pounds of potatoes, etc. There were few prepared products but there were Corn Flakes, Shredded Wheat, Post Toasties and Grape Nuts. Today there are scores of breakfast foods. Milk was delivered for eleven cents a quart which was so expensive my Dad bought a cow. My task was to lead her down to the vacant block across from Holmes store and stake her out for the day to graze. After a few months the cow went dry and he traded her to the dairyman for milk to be delivered. Pasteurization of milk was only from Colvert’s or Tom Cooper’s. My aunt almost died of typhoid which converted us all to Colvert’s. Sliced bread arrived early ’30s. Before that you had to slice your own. There was a John Small’s bakery on Washington, North of Broadway. They sold day-old bread for a nickel – half the price of fresh bread at Safeway.

Food was precious. I recall when the government shot hundreds of cattle to keep the price of beef up, my Dad brought home a lot of fresh beef that my Mother and Grandmother canned and we ate for months. Many people had a garden out back where they raised seasonable veggies and often a chicken yard where they produced eggs and Sunday dinner now and then. Keeping live stock in Ardmore was quite common, cows, horses, goats. chickens.

Safeway opened Ardmore’s first ‘Supermarket’ on SE corner of Broadway and D NW mid 30’s. The term supermarket didn’t exist then – at least in Ardmore. They had boys who carried your groceries out to your car. I recall my Mother’s pained comment that these two bags (as big as paper bags got) cost SIX DOLLARS. That was for a week, four adults and us two kids. It was supplemented somewhat by my grandfather stopping now and then for perishables at Newman-Boucher’s, a big grocery store, 3rd ave and Caddo.

That’s how my disconnected memory recalls it. Memory lane isn’t an improved road – especially mine.”  -Bob McCrory 1926-2018

“Hi Butch, I have a story for you about a rubber band. You probably won’t believe this. My husband was in the military so we spent five years in Germany. We ordered a new Mercedes Benz and had it about two years before we came back state side. We went to California for a few years then he had to go to Viet Nam. We moved back to Madill for me and the boys to stay while he was gone. One day I started to town with my boys and two nephews and at the first stop sign (out in the country) I lost my gears. That is a silly feeling. The stick shift on the steering column was like a spoon in a cup of coffee. It fell down into the lower position. It was in second gear so I slowly got it moved across the highway to a place where we could park. My nephew got out and under the hood where the gears were we found they had slipped apart. He got it back together and it held together with a hair pin and a rubber band. We drove that car while John was gone and then all the way to California again without a hitch. We went to Fort Ord and they had a dealer there. Now I won’t say it was a little rubber band, but a small piece of elastic. LOL”  -Hazel Letterman, Madill

“Butch:  Don’t know if I have ever told you, but I worked for a guy whose name was Gene Feliciano back in the early to middle ’60s. He was a bricklayer, and a jack of all trades. He built the first motor hotel in Sulphur after the old original one burned back in the early ’60s.

He came from California and was married to an aunt at that time of mine. We hauled many, many old used bricks from Sulphur that came from that old Artesian Hotel to a few acres just east of Davis. Gene paid anyone a penny a brick to clean them with a hatchet and stack them, and a thousand bricks a day was fairly easy to complete, thus 10.00 a day.

He also contracted to buy all of the old brick out of the Ardmore Sanitarium after it was torn down. I loaded many a brick into the back of a bob-tail truck one summer that we picked up there at that old site in Ardmore. We had another brick yard located a few miles out at the end of main street, if I remember correctly. Me and some guy hauled those bricks to people who were building new homes back then. Many of the old Ardmore Sanitarium bricks are actually in the makeup of several homes in the Ardmore area.

Back then Gene would pay a penny a brick to clean and stack, and then sell those used brick to home builders for six to ten cents a brick. Back then used brick was worth or cost more than new brick.  Remembering Olden Times.”   -Scott Bumgarner, Sherman, TX

“Hey Butch I wanted to let you know we added some more ole time radio such as Westerns, History & comedy. I thought your Readers might enjoy.” Thanks.”
-Big Al http://www.BigAlWeekley.com/

The Daily Ardmoreite May 27, 1919
Zela May Davis of Marietta has the distinction of being the first girl to have flown over Ardmore. The aeroplane in which she was a passenger Saturday, made the trip from Marietta in 15 minutes coming and 11 minutes on the return. It was planned that Miss Davis should accompany the aviator yesterday on a flight to Madill.

The Daily Ardmoreite June 3, 1919
Stephen A. Douglas, Who With His Father Founded Ardmore, Laid To Rest This Afternoon

Stephen A. Douglas died at 2:30 o’clock this afternoon at his home 825 Douglas boulevard, after an illness of several weeks. Funeral services were scheduled to be held at 4 o’clock this afternoon, conducted by the Rev. C. C. Weith, pastor of First Presbyterian church, with burial in Rose Hill cemetery. Mr. Douglas was born in Jefferson City Mo., Oct. 31, 1862. With his father, George B. Douglas, he went to Texas in 1876. In 1884 they came to what was then the Indian Territory, establishing a ranch on what is now South Washington street in Ardmore. They erected a double log cabin on the site just below the present Ardmore Oil and Milling company. The Douglas home was the first home built in this locality. Shortly after they had established themselves here, surveyors for the Santa Fe Railway Company passed the survey directly through the dwelling, necessitating its removal. They moved the house about 200 yards east of its original location. Within a short time, the railway station was built at its present location, and named Ardmore. While the survey was being made and roadbeds laid, the railroad men procured their water supply from a well which Mr. Douglas and his father had dug, and Mr. Douglas who had been a blacksmith, shod all the horses for them.

Once Owned the Ardmoreite
In 1885 Mr. Douglas married Miss Maude Carnel of Gainesville, Texas. He remained there a short while, engaging in architectural work. Returning to Ardmore, he continued in this line of work temporarily. He purchased the Ardmoreite in 1894 from its founders, having charge of the paper about a year and a half. He sold it to Col. Sidney Suggs, who owned and operated it for 20 years.

Mr. Douglas organized the first political club ever formed in what is now the state of Oklahoma. The organization was called the Lincoln Club of Ardmore, and from it was perfected the republican party in old Indian Territory and later in the state. Through its organization his associates found political preferment. C. M. Campbell was appointed United States court clerk, with Mr. Douglas as his deputy. W. B. Johnson was appointed United States attorney. Capt. J. S. Hammer was made postmaster, and later United States marshal. Judge John Hinkle became United States commissioner. Mr. Douglas later was appointed postmaster by President Roosevelt shortly after the latter succeeded President McKinley. Upon the election of Mr. Roosevelt as president, Mr. Douglas was re-appointed postmaster, serving nine years consecutively.

Helped Build State Capitol
While serving as postmaster, Mr. Douglas was elected by the legislature as the republican member of the state capitol commission. By executive order of Governor Williams, Mr. Douglas was placed in active charge of the construction of the capitol. He devoted his entire time to the construction work. After the completion of the building, the members of the commission met at intervals. Mr. Douglas’ name is enrolled on the large marble tablet in the rotunda of the capitol, and it is said that he remarked: “This will be my monument.” Tribute From His Brother Col. Clarence B. Douglas, general secretary of the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce, who came to Ardmore to be at the deathbed of his brother, paid Stephen A. Douglas this morning the following tribute, in an interview with an Ardmoreite reporter:

“He lived an ideal life, and died, as a man would want to die, an ideal death. He was at home with all his relatives and friends, surrounding him, and he went to sleep as a child. He lived to see his dreams come true, a splendid city built where he and his family pioneered and were the first settlers. He lived to see a great commonwealth created out of the Indian country, and in the construction of the state capitol of which he was in active charge, he built an enduring monument to his memory. You cannot write the history of his city, the history of the post office department in his territory a, a history of the judiciary of this state or territory, nor can you write the official history of the state which he helped to create, without giving to his name an important chapter. He served the department of justice; the post office department and the state for more than 20 years in important official capacities and with credit to his name.”

Rests in Pioneer Cemetery
His body will rest in the cemetery that was selected by him and his father when the first death occurred in Ardmore. It is at the foot of the street named for him, Douglas boulevard. The active pallbearers are Joe M. London, G. J. Sandlin, Louis H. Boyd, Mike Gorman, J. B. Boone, and A. C. Young. Honorary pallbearers are W. B. Johnson, W. I., Cruce, William Green, Judge Hinkle, Charles Durie and Charles Anderson. Mr. Douglas in survived by his widow, three brothers, Clarence B. Douglas of Tulsa, Frank Douglas of Tecumseh, and Ashley Douglas, Ardmore, and a sister, Mrs. C. F. McDonald of El Reno, all of whom were with him at the time of his death. With them are Mrs. Clarence B. Douglas and two sons, Knight and Damon, Mrs. Frank Douglas, Mr. McDonald, Mrs. Ashley Douglas and Robert Carnel of Gainesville, brother of Mrs. Douglas. A number of out-of-town friends also came to attend the funeral. Many telegrams of sympathy and condolence have been received, among them being one to Mrs. Douglas, from A. N. Leecraft, state treasurer as follows: “Beg to extend deepest sympathy in the passing of your splendid husband. The state has sustained the loss of a sincere public servant, whose labors on the state capitol commission will endure as a monument to his honest and faithfulness.”“I am directed by Governor Robertson to express to you his deepest sympathy on the death of your husband. All of the departments of the state capitol join in expressing regret at this sad news. He was a splendid type of manhood whose loss will be deeply felt.”  (Signed H. R. Christopher – Secretary to Gov. Robertson)

How beautiful is the rain!
After the dust and the heat,
In the broad and fiery street,
In the narrow lane,
How beautiful is the rain!

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Rain in Summer

See everyone next Thursday!

Butch and Jill Bridges
236 Timber Road
Ardmore, Oklahoma