The first Hambuger Inn was across the street from where it is now at #32 North Washington, the year 1938. When Jimmy Brown, nephew of owner Ernest Brown, ran it he sent me the history below:
The original place moved across the street in 1946 to 23 N. Washington, Ardmore where it still stands today, ran by my uncle, Ernest Brown, along his wife, Aunt Lillian. H sold it to me (Jimmy Brown) in 1970. So here goes, from my perspective, and as told to me by my uncle Ernest.
Hamburger Inn: Founded 1938. Uncle Ernest came to Ardmore in a model A Ford with a dream and $800.00 from Frederick, Oklahoma. He rented the building (I don’t know from whom, but it must of been a cafe) as it had 6 stools.
It first was open 24/7 and Chock Thompson started with uncle Ernest, and was still there in 1970 when I bought it, and retired from bad health in about 1978. Chock was a work horse, weighed only about 100 lbs soaking wet, and as told by my uncle, quite the scrapper back in the day. The airbase was in full swing back then and a lot of tipsy solders would come to fill up on the Hamburgers, and chili to sober up. (Where they got their whisky, I guess you would have to ask the bootleggers.)
Tommy Craighead even worked at Hamburger Inn, a very prominent Businessman now, and was always a good friend to me. uncle Ernest’s Hamburger Inn was a great success. He bought 40 acres, out of the City Limits back then, on what is now Woodbine Way, for $300.00. Sold his first lot for $6,000 and they went up from there, I wish I remembered how much he sold the last one for.
He showed me his books when he sold it to me, and in 1938 he paid taxes on $38,000. Now that was super great back then. Then it increased every year right up to the present time, 1970. It made the salary of $1,300 I was making in my 4th year at Chevron Refinery in Pascagoula, Mississippi as a senior tech in the lab. Uncle Ernest sold me the Hamburger Inn, lock, stock and barrel for $40,000. He carried the note. Stayed with me and my son’s Mom for 6 months. She made the pies.
Ok, lets back up now, the original location was across the street from where it is now at #32 North Washington (1947). Hamburgers were 5 cents, 6 for a quarter. The present location, 27 N. Washington, was built in 1955. Chock, His Wife, Oleta, twins Jean and Lawana Stewart, and Cecile Johnson were still working there when I bought it in 1970, Hamburgers were 20 cents, fries 15 cents, Cokes 5 cents. The school kids would flood the place from lunch break at 11:30am to 1pm (I think) (they staggered lunch periods). Anyway the kids could get a burger, fries, and a Coke for 42 cents including tax.
I made a lot of friends from 1970-1981, and still friends today. There are too many stories and history here to share it all at one time. I sold the business to Don Jackson (Kentucky Fried Chicken) for $100,000 and other considerations, he in turn leased it to my first cousin, Denease and Edd Braum until 1991 when I bought it back again for 2 years. -submitted by Jimmy Dale Brown (died 2020)
The I-35 corridor in Ardmore sure has changed since May 1969. In this aerial I-35 is so new its still not even open for traffic yet. The only thing clearly visible in the SW corner of the interchange is Oklahoma’s transporation (DOT) equipment facility.
Below is an aerial view of the Ardmore Adventist Hospital taken in May 1969. One can see a small part of the Memorial Hospital on the left. On the right is English Village tourist court and in the forground from Adventist Hospital is the old Vonkeller Hospital at 12th and North Commerce.
Frisco lines , Engine 504, Ardmore, Oklahoma. Now located in Silver Dollar City at Branson, Missouri. -Robert Hensley
HAM Radio Talk
209. 03/09/23 11:15am M3GCA Alan in Sheffield England
210. 03/09/23 8:30pm KD9WQZ Elija in Greenville, IL
211. 03/10/23 9:00pm KC8GDW Bill in St Clairsville, OH
212. 03/11/23 7:45am MI7HMD Darren in Northern Ireland
213. 03/14/23 11:30am F4HWG Pony in France
214. 03/15/23 9:45pm VK6BQQ Reg in Jandakot, Australia
Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG….
An automobile in Ardmore was hit by a train circa 1920 to 30’s, Fonville studio photo Ardmore, Oklahoma. -submitted by Robert Hensley
Below is from my Vol 4, Issue 152 March 16, 2000 newsletter:
I had a heart touching phone conversation with one of the survivors of the 1966 American Flyers aircrash. Terry Mayer was 19 years old when that plane went down northeast of Ardmore. He said he spent a total of 18 months in the hospital from his injuries, most of that time at Ft Sill, Oklahoma. At the time of the crash Terry lived in Star City, Arkansas. He now resides in Plattsmouth, Nebraska. Terry said the accident haunts him everyday and he will never get over the pain and anguish that night.
“I am enjoying your “T&T” each Saturday as it is forwarded to me and I forward it onward. It has tied old friends and brought new friends together. Thank you. Would you please, add me to your mailing list. I am so thankful that you have reached out to our community, which is stretched across the world, for a memorial for the ones in the Arbuckle Mountains crash. It was so devastating, not to mention the families involved. Ardmore came to a single mindedness that day. I want to make my pledge of $25 and will send the check on the first of April. It’s not much, but it is what I can do. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share in this wonderful act of love. Thank you, again.”
Just 7 miles west of here is Lone Grove, Oklahoma. They have a weekly newspaper called The Lone Grove Ledger. Each week there is a column in it about things that happened in the county. One part is “85 Years Ago” and I love to read it, it has so much history of long ago. This past week they listed towns in Carter county that existed 85 years ago, but no longer. I found several Carter county towns I didn’t recognize… Boland, Monk, Loam, Homer, and Chargis. It also lists towns that no longer exist in Love, Marshall, Murray and Johnston counties.
The second Hargrove College was located at the Carter Seminary on Chickasaw Blvd NW. It burned down in 1957
“If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how – the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what’s said against me won’t amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference.” -Abraham Lincoln
See everyone next week!
Butch and Jill Bridges