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Vol 26 Issue 1,346 November 17, 2022

Carter County Courthouse Clock

When I retired from the courthouse in June 2015 the 1928 clock in the dome was working fine. Sometime in the past year or two the clock developed a problem and stopped running. Thanks to my Edmond friend, Stephen Nelson, now living in Oregon, he put me in touch with his horologists friends in Ft Worth and their Lone Star Chapter 124 of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors. Stephen Nelson was the president of the National Clock Tower Association when he lived in Edmond and I knew he’d come to the rescue.

A couple weeks ago Brian Schmidt, president, and Tom Hefner of Chapter 124 in Ft Worth came to Ardmore to check out the clock problem. They found several serious problems needing corrected. One problem even required the help of 4C Machine and Fabrication on Refinery Road (the old Taylor Machine shop). 4C Machine fixed the part and Kalub Miller and his crew got it re-installed. In no time the clock was back up and runing thanks to Brian and Tom.

Brian and Tom will still have to make a couple more trips to Ardmore and take care of some details and fine tuning, but the clock will run again.

Of course none of this would have happened if County Commissioner Joe David McReynolds had not give his nod of approval for his courthouse crew; Kalub Miller, Jay Christian and David Jeter and their help with this effort.

But Ardmore also owes a big Thank You to the Ardmore Masonic Lodge for making a donation to the Ft Worth chapter for the help from Brian and Tom. The Ft Worth Lone Star Chapter 142 has 335 members and help whenever they can with tower clock problems in north Texas and southern Oklahoma. The Ardmore Masons were the driving force to get the courthouse built in 1910 and a cornerstone is in the NW corner of the courthouse in recognition of their committment. The courthouse in Marietta was also built thanks to the efforts of the Masons.

Below is a link to a webpage I started in 1997 on the courthouse clock along with recently added current photos at the bottom of the webpage.

Speaking of tower clocks, below is a link to 1996 photos and info I put together on the tower clock in the dome of the Cooke County courthouse at Gainesville.

In 1930 one of the greatest mysteries of this county took place. What really happened to District Judge Andrew Hardy’s wife, Ruth Hardy? Read all about this at the link below.


I had looked off and on over the years in my nearly 30,000 photos for the above picture I took 8 years ago on Caddo Street here in Ardmore. I couldn’t find it. Finally re-discovered the photo this week. I have very little info on the business. Anyone shed some light on the history of this business? All I have been told is Mike Word and Derek/Sarah Gardner were owners.

1910 – Crown Bottling Works and Candy Factory was located in the NE corner of South Washington and 1st Street (across the street north from the sheriffs office)

I have scanned the pages in the Airpark Memorial guest registry. They are not exactly in cronological order as people kinda signed where they could find an open space on a page. I did my best.

Q. What Oklahoma abandoned school was used as a biological weapons test site?
A.  The site was the old Chilocco Indian School located off US Highway 77 and E0018 Road in Newkirk. Weapons testing occurred sometime in 2018.

Q. Where in Oklahoma is the tallest playground in the sky?
A. Answer in next week’s newsletter

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG….

Q. Where can I buy an American flag like the military gave to my dad when he passed? -Rhonda

A. Tim Longest at his realty office #7 West Broadway has an assortment of quality U.S. Flags. These flags are made in Oklahoma City not China. (MIO)

Below is a picture I have of probably the first Ardmore Fire Department ladder truck back before 1900. -Jovita

Request: Anyone know where a copy can be obtain of the Choctaw-Chickasaw Dance Songs Vol. I and II vinyl produced by Buster Ned and Sweetland Productions in the 1970s?

I am trying to locate a story you had about the “Ruby Hardy” Mystery on your website.  It was about a trial of a judge Hardy (or his brother ) of the shooting of his wife Ruby Hardy who lived in Ardmore.  Maybe it was his brother who was being tried, not the judge.  I can’t remember.  -Victor

Below is from my Vol 3, Issue 135 November 20, 1999 newsletter:

Two days ago, Thursday, the wind really got up here in Ardmore. We have 12 pecan trees around the courthouse. The past couple of weeks, the pecans haven’t been falling all that much. But when that wind hit (up to 30 mph) they really started falling. Thursday around noon I bet there were at least 12 people gathering the pecans on the courthouse lawn. Me and James (in maintenance) have been gathering them nearly every morning too. We have nearly a box full now at the county commissioners office for visitors who stop by.

On the west side of the courthouse (front entrance) there is a granite stone on the ground by the sidewalk. It reads: “O.K. Darden, Pioneer in Pecan Improvement”. O.K. Darden was one of the first county commissioners here from 1907 – 1912 and a promoter of pecans as a good cash crop for the area. By looking at all the pecan trees in this county, it looks like his endeavor paid off. The best tree is on the northwest side. Most of the trees are what I call ‘papershell native pecans”.

A friend brought by an old map of Love county, Oklahoma this week. Marietta is the county seat of Love county located in south-central Oklahoma along the Red River. Looks like there were about 12 ferry crossings across the Red River many years ago. I see on the map the ferry crossing by Browns Springs was called Browns Ferry. But the springs is given the name Refuge Springs. I notice on the map south of Ardmore on Highway 77 just over into Love county is “Adam Jimmy House”. I wonder what that was??? I may need to make a little trip south and check that out! If any of you see something on the map that reminds you of bygone days, I’d like to hear about it!

I noticed on the map above the community of Enville, Oklahoma (eastern Love county). I was searching some old newspaper archives the other day around 1917, and read a paragraph about Enville. For several years the black bear was thought to be extinct in the Enville area. But in 1917 a farmer near Enville shot and killed a black bear. Interesting. But I’m sure they are gone now. Sad.

At Enville, Oklahoma in Love County

This week the sheriffs office here had their jail management program updated to a Windows format, and ready for the year 2000. The company who produces the software, Evercom Jail Booking, sent their rep Paul from their Dallas office up here this week to do the update. Paul did a great job and the employees are excited and learning all the updated features of their jail booking program.
note: The sheriffs office no longer uses the program by Evercom.

Before 1907 (Statehood) Ardmore boasted a skating rink like has never been since. It was called the Royal Roller Rink and was located where the old Hotel Ardmore sit, present day Lincoln Center stands (now Bank First & Trust). The building was 10,200 square feet, with a seating capacity for 2,500 people and had 500 roller skates.

The new cupola on top of the courthouse is now lighted. If you are in the area and happen to be downtown at night, drive by and see how beautitful the dome is with the light in the cupola!

Ardmoreite Robert Hensley sent in a 1910 postcard he has of the Fourth of July Parade in Ardmore. Really nice.

“Discovered sometime recently that sure came in handy while I was away from home. I could still check my emails and get your column. A friend told me to go to mailstart.com and when it came up all I had to do was enter my email name and my password. I could read the mail, then elect to save, forward, reply or delete it. I have used it while I am switching my ISP, that way I don’t miss any email while I notify everyone of the change of email address.”

“Hi Butch, have been enjoying your paper the last couple of weeks that we have been receiving it. I just wanted to mention about the Scivally family. I wouldn’t argue the point but what research I have been able to uncover is that in the late 1800″s the Scivally family did own some property on what is now the LAZY S RANCH. I have heard that the Scivally’s called their place the “Flying “V” Ranch”. I have seen the Flying V painted on and old barn where a new addition had been added on. The information I have is that the Cal Washburn family purchased the ranch from the Scivally’s about the turn of the century. Cal Washburn’s son C.F. once told me that his father purchased a herd of cattle out of North Texas from the estate of Col. C.C. Slaughter who branded the” Lazy S “on all of his cattle in Texas. At one time this brand was on more cattle in Texas than any other brand. In Texas it is also sometimes referred to and a” Long S”. C.F. told me that his father Cal liked the brand on the cattle and adopted it to use on his cattle. That is the story I have been able to uncover on how the LAZY S RANCH got it’s name. The Washburn family later sold the ranch and moved to Hennepin. The “Lazy S ” brand stayed here and they acquired another brand.” -Tom Rankin Sr. General Manager LAZY S RANCH Springer, OK

Q. Hello Butch…. Do you have a picture of the old swinging bridge in Tishomingo??? I seem to recall a year or so ago something be said about it.
A. Yes, I have several, below is the best one I have.

“When I was in high school (early 60’s), I can remember hearing tales of the Milburn, Oklahoma lights. We planned to go there every Saturday night; however, some good-lookin hunk usually drove down Healdton (OK) Main Street and diverted our attention. We never did get to go see the Milburn lights but I’ve always remembered. We were not deterred, however, when we heard about the Wapanucka, Oklahoma train wreck. Remember that one? It was a trainload of beer… surely you remember. I think every young person this side of the Mississippi heard about it. By the time we got there, however, it was cordoned off. We never saw the train, never saw the beer but we sure did meet a lot of people from all over the place! Now, really… that was the best part about it!”

Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none. -William Shakespeare

See everyone next Thursday!

Butch and Jill Bridges
Ardmore, OK