A Home Grown Home Page

Home of the This and That Newsletters

Vol 28 Issue 1,405 January 4, 2024

Crowd is gathered in Ardmore on August 4, 1913, at Grand Avenue and C Street, N.W. to witness the driving of the first spike into the Ringling Railroad line.  Gov. Lee Cruce, seen at the left with a sledgehammer, prepared to swing and Jake Hamon, on the right in the white suit. 

Mr. Hamon was a partner in the railroad with John Ringling. 

Creation: Date: Aug. 4, 1913
This photograph is part of the collection entitled: William A. McGalliard Historical Collection and was provided by the Ardmore Public Library to The Gateway to Oklahoma History, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. 

From the Mailbag

Your continuing tribute to Ham Radio always brings back fond memories. As you know, my uncle was a ”hammer” in OKC. He was Ivan S. Miller, W5HFU (Huge, Fat, and Ugly). I spent my college years in his home while working on my degree. I fondly remember whenever returning to the house in the wee hours, I would hear that familiar chatter coming from his Ham Shack. Like your tribute to the ”hammer” in your last newsletter, my uncle also provided a service via Ham Radio. He would ”phone patch” parents of military service members to their sons and daughters overseas. This was the only way the vast majority of folks were able to talk to their children in military service overseas. I still remember my Dad and myself being able to talk to my brother while he was stationed on the Antarctic during his Navy flyboy days back in the early 60s due to the efforts of my Uncle Ivan and his high voltage Ham Shack. -Steve Miller

1987 Centennial (Ardmore was established in 1887)
Ardmore Police Department photo. 37 years ago!

Row 1: Ptlmn David Reed, Plmn Rick Reynolds, Ptlmn Richard Harriman, Chaplin Steve Harris, Ptlmn Jerry Pearce, Ptlmn Doug Inman, Ptlmn Dennis Brocks, Ptlmn Stephen Sanders

Row 2: Jailor Betty Steinbach, Jailor Fay Richardson, Jailor Kay Bryant, Cpt Larry Cavner, Cpt Ed Burton, Det Mark Turner, Det George Elisee, Chief Bill Culley, Asst Chief David Willingham, Det Butch Kinslow, Det Ted Montgomery, Cpt Jimmy Royal, Cpt Robert Musgrove, Disp Lou Pickens, Disp Susie Norman

Row 3: Ptlmn Kenny Morgan, Animal Contral John Ryan, Animal Control Joe Fine, Ptlmn Marc Sanders, Disp Cathy Pearce, Disp Cathy Price, Ptlpn Lisa Letamendi, Ptmn Chester Carter, Sgt OC Garza, Sgt Dennis Adams, Ptlmn Johnny Johnson, Ptlpn Sharon Amos, Det Kenneth Aldridge, Sgt Larry Hignight, Ptlmn Milton Anthony, Ptlmn Jackie Ricketts, Ptlmn Bryan Burton, Ptlmn Leroy Johnson, Ptlmn Ricky McGee, Jailor Vicki Douglas, Ptlmn Darrell McMillan, Ptlmn Gary Morgan, Reserve Ptlmn Mike Shurley

Not Pictured: Secretary Terry Bland, Secretary Teresa Freeman, Clerk Natalie Jordan, Clerk Vicki Williams, Youth Court Director Phillip Kraft, Disp Sharon Garza, Reserve Ptlmn Sam Hignight, Reserve Ptlmn Jack Tulley, Ptlmn Tom Williams

HAM Talk by KC5JVT via Echolink

The past couple days I have been researching how to keep my HAM radio working when we have no power grid, no electricty, no cell towers no cellphones, and no internet. I feel I could continue receiving/transmitting “forever” since a year ago I bought a solar powered Power Bank. This little device should keep my HAM walkie talkie powered up for as long as there is a sun for recharging.

But I want more than the above, something that will power more than my walkie talkie. I found a youtube video that probably answers my question using what is called digital mode (he suggests one of four different units). But this is being a “Prepper” is new to me, so a lot more research on my part. Here is a link to the 45 minute video.

Hope to hear some of the local HAM’ers on the Arbuckle 970 Net Sunday night check-ins!

Below is the last two Sunday evening check-ins on the local Arbuckle 970 Net

Below is from my newsletter
Issue 194 January 6, 2001

From the Love County, Oklahoma History book:

Ferry crossings were numerous along the winding Red River with it’s treacherous quicksand. Locations were sometimes changed. Franchises were awarded by the Chickasaw Nation and ferry crossing fares were usually high. Judge Overton Love’s son-in-law, Bill Fletcher, is credited with the first ferry. Locations are hard to pinpoint, but an attempt is made on the historical map and the ferry is listed by an owner’s name. The Arendell Ferry was run by Captain Miller. Another partner, Jones, operated the Texas landing. The Bill Elliot Ferry changed hands after he was stabbed to death. A man named Tuck had a string of seven ferries at one time. Ferries were also known by location: Illinois Bend, Horseshoe Bend, Sivells Bend, Southbend, or by destination: Marysville, Dexter, or Gainesville. The Ferries along the border of Love County were: Courtney Flats Ferry, Arendell Ferry, Campbell Ferry, Keltner Ferry, Sorrell Ferry, Scanlin Ferry, Rector Ferry, Burney Ferry, Sivell Cable Ferry, Thacker Ferry, Watts Ferry, Mealer Ferry, Bill Elliot Ferry, Sacra Ferry, Brown Ferry, Fisher Ferry, Roff Ferry, Tuck Ferry, Fletcher Ferry, Beff-Pin Ferry, Tipton’s Ferry. There very well could have been more, but these are the ones that are known about by the writer.


A familiar landmark for many years was the Tuck’s Ferry as it moved back and forth from the north bank of Red River to the south bank transporting people, cargo, wagons and teams and later automobiles. Tuck’s Ferry, built, owned and operated by John Martin Tuck, was placed at the Red River crossing, eight miles southeast of Marietta in the Jordan community in 1888 and remained in use until 1932 when it was last operated by Doc Elliott. Tuck built other boats for other operators and the story goes that at one time he owned five ferries on Red River at various points. The Ferry was 40 feet long with two ramps, each 10 feet long, and about 12 feet wide. His grandson, James R. Tuck, Marlow, said that his grandfather could put four model T’s on at once or two wagons and teams. The charge after World War 1 was $1.00 per car, 75 cents for a wagon and team and 25 cents for a horseback rider. The Ferry operated on a cable which was firmly staked on top of a hill on the Oklahoma side and on the Texas side was attached to a big Cottonwood tree. A trolley was attached to the cable and rope from the trolley went down to windlasses. The operator would angle the boat into the current and the current pushed the boat across the river. When the current wasn’t strong enough, a cedar pole was used to pole it across.

I have a surprise for everyone! Until early Sunday morning (the 7th 2001) a copy of the Carter County Assessor’s land records will be temporarily online for testing purposes. This will give many of you a sort of sneak preview of things to come, until the permanent website is online soon. Keep in mind this website is not completely finished. There are still some records to be added or updated, pictures to be added (some 7,000), and other fine tuning before it’s creator, Steve Hamm, has it completely ready. Until then, feel free to check it out til Sunday morning the 7th.

“Remember Priddy’s also had a restaurant in Oklahoma City as late as the 1950’s. Served great cheeseburgers.”

“Your readers might want to know that there were several Priddy brothers who were in the restaurant business. Louis was the one that made hamburgers and moved to Okla. City and Charlie had a little cafe here and Woody and Fred were the two that had a restaurant and then made the salads and salad dressings. J. C. had the filling station on Commerce.”

“Butch the picture of New Healdton would have been about 8 months. into 1917. I was born in Kansas and moved to Healdton when I was 9 mos. old, came in on the railroad from Topeka to Ardmore and Ardmore to Healdton arriving here in November. My dad said I was about the same age as the new town, when I got here. So that would have made the picture date about August.The caption said the town was 6 mos. old when the pic was taken. My father was already here, and being a carpenter he helped build a lot of the buildings. We lived in the Flag Hotel until he could rent a place to live. I may be all wrong but I think the calculations are pretty close. I have lived here all of my life except for the time I was in the Navy and the time in college. I think it is a great town.” -lorraine

“Hi, Butch! Merry Christmas (belated) and Happy New Year (actually, truly the new millenium)! Sorry I have been so inactive lately…car problems, tree pushed through roof (hello new roof) and my precious little 95 year old Mother had to go to the nursing center due to back, hip & leg problems. There has been time to do very little but I NEVER miss reading your T&T and still enjoy it immensely. Through all the time that I have been receiving T&T and listening to people having problems getting the photos, I have never had a problem. However, last week, I could not get any of the photos and this week, I could get only the icy tree photos. What am I doing wrong or what could my problem be? Do you have any ideas? Also, you might like to know that you really do get a lot of mileage out of Kenneth Eck’s column (Oilpatch Mania) in the Healdton Herald. He has mentioned you and T&T several times. Also, just thought you’d like to know that my top priority (as of your newsletter this morning) is to run up to the Total Station at Ratliff City to get a grapette. Please tell that writer “thanks, Thanks, THANKS!!!” And, thanks again for bringing so much pleasure to so many… you have a special place in our hearts.” -Phyllis

“Hi Butch, Sorry to hear about the power outage that you suffered in Oklahoma. Luckily we haven’t had any ice storms in western New York. . . yet ! I’m glad that I don’t have to rely on only electric. I had that option when I moved here, and considered it because Arcade Electric is publicly owned and dirt cheap. But when you have to face the ‘down side’ of Mother Nature, it’s nice to have at least one utility you can still access. I noticed in your ‘mailbag’ that the price of gas there is $1.16 ! I wish we could say the same. Prices here in western New York run $1.50 – $1.65 depending on where you go. And if you want to save a few more cents per gallon you can take a trip to the Indian Reservation. I do enjoy reading all the information that you include in the T&T. I’ve never been to Oklahoma, and it’s interesting to hear how people in other areas of the country live and deal with things. Thanks for bringing another year of T&T to all of us ! And, Happy New Year to You and Yours!” Nancy in New York

“The Alligator find near Lebanon, Oklahoma reminds me of the one that was found in a pond on the Lang farm south of Lone Grove, Oklahoma on Cheek Road about 15 years ago. I think it was a whopper 10 ft. ??? In the early 1960S a fellow in Lone Grove (now deceased) brought a few alligators back from Florida with him. One of them bit my Ex Wife on the ankle and died in about 30 minutes. She may have stepped on it though. I have always wondered what happened to all those other Alligators. I had a welcome email from one of your T&T people. I sure was glad that they put me onto their web site.” -Ken

“Do you remember going to the Zoo there in Ardmore? It had alligators in it.”

As 2023 came to a close I reflected back on the years and how each week this little newsletter brought us all together. I thought about the reader in west Texas who stopped her Friday nights house cleaning routine to read her issue of T&T. I thought about the reader who printed out seven copies each Saturday to mail to seven friends who didn’t have a computer. I thought about the lady who printed out each newsletter each week and took it to the nursing home where her mother was a resident, and read it to her.

I thought about the 80+ year old former Postmaster from Wilson who’s daughter printed it out every Saturday to mail, so her mother could read it. I thought about the reader in Germany who hasn’t been back home to Healdton in 30 years who is looking for any news from here. I thought about the reader who grew up with me in the northeast and was poor as Job’s turkey, and how we made it through. I thought about the reader who gave $25 to the American Flyers memorial he would never live to see. I thought about the reader who’s brother died with 92 others in that American Flyeres plane crash, how her family had waited 35 years, and how the readers of this little newsletter made the memorial possible.

I thought about the reader who said since childhood he always wanted to go up in the Carter County courthouse dome and see that clock, but never could because of polio, and the web pictures made it possible for him. I thought about the reader in England who wanted to know how far “five blocks was”. And I thought about the reader in Ireland who wrote in just this week to ask “what is Wally World”. There’s the Healdton man who was living and teaching school in New York City. He said my newsletter had just arrived at his classroom computer with a picture of a hamburger. He showed the picture to his class and they spent the whole hour talking about burgers. He said they can not find hamburgers like we have in NYC. And I don’t want to forget my 2nd cousin Donnie Bridges who in 1999 wrote a song “Brown Springs At Night” and included it on his Album “An Ardmore Afternoon”. You can listen to these two songs and more at the link below.

I must mention the 71 friends who 2 years ago donated enough money so my oklahomahistory.net website woould be paid up until April 6, 2032. I doubt I’ll still be around come 2032, but then it will be someone else’s job to keep all this history alive and online. I could go on and on and on about the thousands of emails I’ve received the past 27 years. But this is for sure, I appreciate all of my friends out there. and I hope 2024 is a good one for us all.

See everyone next Thursday!

Butch and Jill Bridges
Ardmore, Oklahoma