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Vol 28 Issue 1,410 February 8, 2024

Sept 23, 1917. The Daily Ardmoreite: The completion of Ardmore’s new Convention Hall and its opening to the public in a concert by the Chamber of Commerce Band on Wednesday night of this week are events of importance in the development of Ardmore. This city has come to be one of recognized consequence and as such many conventions are being voted for here the coming year, the last one being the State Federation of Labor, which met at Oklahoma City the past week. The United Commercial Travelers is another convention of importance which has been secured. This hall will be used for the series of concerts by the operatic stars which will be given this season, beginning with Paul Althouse, tenor, on October 15.

Ardmore’s Convention Hall has a seating capacity of nearly 2,500, is well arranged, has a commodious stage, dressing rooms and ante-rooms. In the basement there is provision for a kitchen and dining room to be used on special occasions. The general plan and design of the building has been most happily conceived and fits it for the use of the community in many fields of activity.

The general contractor for the building was R. J. Redpath and Co. The sheet metal work was done by A. C. Holman and the plumbing was the work of Hoffman and Co.

Location: 216 West Broadway Ardmore OK

The new Wilson, Oklahoma depot 1914 (3 months old)

I’ve walked by this hitching post 100s of time in the 1980s and 1990s. It’s located at 4th and I Street SW in Ardmore.

John Joseph Stolfa 1866-1971

I enjoy sandblasting these pavers.

From the Mailbag

Does any have or know where a 1957 Graham OK school Criterion may be?

If you are over 65 and complaining about a few aches and pains, think again ……. 92% of people in the world didn’t even get that opportunity!! So be pleased with your situation and be happy.

I was reading in your newsletter under Oklahoma News about the UFO Scare in August, 1965. My family and I lived in El Dorado KS and on this August evening had left our home and going north to Potwin, a small town, when all at once something flashing very bright lights came in sight, darting here and there. We stopped the car, along with another car, and got out to watch. It stayed in view a few minutes, sort of hovering, then darting quickly, then left going south. I’m guessing it was a part of what OK and other states witnessed. Quite exciting and kind of scary too. -Elisabeth

HAM Talk by KC5JVT via Echolink

I got my Ed Fong $50 antenna installed on my metal roof last week and it’s working fine. It’s a “J-Pole” but not like any I knew from years ago, it’s made of a 5′ PVC pipe. Hopefully someday I can get it moved to my 40′ antenna next to my house. I’m too old to climb up it now, so that’s my dilemma. 🙁

Last Sunday Neil Mayo KC5AMX of Sulphur, OK checked-in to the 970 Net at 8pm. Neil told us about a GMRS Repeater in the Arbuckle Mountains. I know very little about the GMRS license and what it entails. It’s different then a HAM license. It is not a HAM radio license.
A GMRS license is $35.00 for 10 years, and does not require a test like HAM
GMRS Licenses are issued within 24 – 48 hours
50 watts of transmission power max
The GMRS Repeater is reachable in an area about 75 miles radius of Turner Falls. As far south as the Red River and as far north as Purcell.
Immediate family members are the licensee’s spouse, children, grandchildren, stepchildren, parents, grandparents, stepparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and in-laws can use the same license of the owner.
There is no protocols to follow like with HAM radio. Just talk. Simple.
A GMRS Net is held very Sunday night at 9pm on Channel 20 on 462.675 with a output tone of 136.5.

Below is a list of last Sunday’s HAM radio check-ins on the Arbuckle 970 Repeater.

Below is from my newsletter dated
February 10, 2001 – Issue 199

Cornish, Oklahoma is located at the southwest edge of Ringling, Oklahoma. It has been there since before statehood, before there was a Ringling. When you turn south on Highway 89 off Highway 70 Cornish is a community making up several blocks south of Highway 70. They have a Main Street sign, but it is a shame there is no sign designating the area Cornish. If you turn west on Cornish Main Street, go a couple blocks, you’ll find beside the road what is called the “wishing well”. Its been there for maybe 100 years. This is a photo I took last weekend of the wishing well.

A reader called me this week who grew up in Ravia, Oklahoma. Ravia is about 20 miles east of Ardmore over in Johnston county. She said as you leave Ravia, travel about a mile, just past the curve is a house with a well house in the front yard (on the old highway). She said the well originally started out around 1910 as a mine shaft to gold. The owners were able to mine quite a bit of gold, but the water came in so fast, they finally gave up, so today its just a water well. She knew of four more mine shafts in the Ravia area where gold was mined.

Another Reader brought to my attention this week about a little oddity that used to be on the west side of I-35 as you are coming south out of the Arbuckle Mountains north of Ardmore. Her husband took a photo of it about 15 years or more ago and we are wondering if its still up there on the west side of I-35. It’s an unusual rock formation in the Arbuckle Mountains, if you look at it closely, you can see what resembles a map of the United States. She said there used to be a sign beside the interstate, but the sign is long gone. Does anyone know if that rock formation is still there? Here’s a photo her husband took, not real clear, but its all we have right now.

THE MENA WALTERS STORY: Everyone loves a mystery, and did I learn about one this week that piqued my interest. A resident in Houston, Texas sent me email inquiring about a Mena Walters. Mena Walters died in Houston, TX on April 21, 1923. The newspaper of that day said she was to be transferred to Ardmore, Oklahoma for burial. But for unknown reasons that never happened. Instead she was buried in the space next to this man’s grandmother. All these years this man’s family thought that was a vacant burial space in their family lot. But through cemetery records, they now know that is not the case. This man in Houston was able to get a death certificate on Mena Walters, but it gave no further details to this mystery…. no parent’s names, no next of kin, nothing. Even Mena’s place of birth and date was marked “unknown”. There was a Mrs. Grade Seigel listed as an informant on the death certificate. No one in this man’s family ever heard of Grade Seigel either. What a mystery. I wonder what could be the connection between Mena Walters and Ardmore? Why was she not sent to Ardmore for burial as stated in the Houston Chronicle? Does anyone remember Mena Walters?

“Butch – Just some trivia for you. Kerosene is also called COAL oil (it can be made by heating coal and distilling the vapor). 

Q. “Butch: The person who wrote in about the unidentified man that was burned to death in the 1950’s in the automobile in the Arbuckle Mountains may remember that the dead person was thought to be a hitchhiker that was picked up and murdered. The killer fled the scene after setting the car on fire and apparently wanted the law to believe it was the killers body. I recall the name, David Fred Hagler, as being part of the case. I don’t recall if the dead person was ever identified, however, I believe Hagler was the owner/driver of the automobile.”

A. In February 2001 we talked about (first time) an unidentified man buried 26 paces straight north of the Main gate in Green Hill Cemetery at Davis, Oklahoma. David Fred Hagler, Jr. of Ft Worth was charged with the murder in an insurance collection scam. This all took place in 1945 and to this day the grave remains unmarked in the cemetery.

Note: My cousin in Norman has always wondered if there was a way to get a DNA sample from the 1945 corpse buried above and send it in for testing and maybe identification.

“Messages about the Germans who were POWs during WWII in Oklahoma calls to mind my entry on page 35 of THE BRIDGES OF OKLAHOMA, wherein I noted that Ira Esco Bridges, Sr., supervised some of them in 1943 when Esco was a cook in the mess hall at the Will Rogers Field in Oklahoma City. One of the prisoners liked Esco so well that he wrote from Germany after being repatriated following the War. As I wrote, (to paraphrase Will Rogers), “Esco never met a man who didn’t like him.” My father.”

“butch, It was the Bill & Alice Likins Flying “L” Ranch (before the Healey’s). The old original rock Ranch House where Roy and Dale Evans were married burned years ago.”

Next week (Feb 2001) will mark the 200th issue of T&T. I never dreamed nearly five years ago, with a start of only 12 email friends, I’d have the readership that is here today. You don’t know how humbling it is to churn out this newsletter each week and several thousand people are waiting to read it. I appreciate each and every one of you. I hope we have many more good times together in the months ahead. And somehow along the way, we can share some history and even preserve some for posterity too.

My weekly newsletter goes to over 5,000 today.

I have a Queen Ann Lamp and many years ago I went to Stolfa Hardware and
they sold me a new part for the wick, I got home and it wouldn’t fit.
Went back the next day and they were closed forever (Oct 2004)!  Hardware store put the rusty old one in trash. I still have the lamp and have tried to find a new part for it. Any suggestions?

In searching your older newsletters, I came across the photo below by Dwane Stevens in 2003. That is Walnut Creek on the left and Cottonwood Creek on the right. About a quarter of a mile west, on the banks of Demi John Creek, was where we lived when I was born in 1949. When my father, Frank, was hired by Sam Noble to work for Samedan Oil, the family had been staying with relatives in Lone Grove. Mr. Noble personally owned the property on the Demijohn and it had an abandoned house that he offered to my family to live in. He paid for a water well and an electric line to be installed. We lived there until 1952 when Dad was promoted to assistant production foreman and we moved up the hill to the Samedan oil camp on what is now Texaco Road. Shortly before we moved, my oldest sister was watching the three younger ones one summer day when she decided we could walk up the railroad tracks to our Great Uncle, Athol Payne’s house at the corner of Myall Road and Falcon Rd, just over a mile. Of course, we walked across this bridge, the danger of which was not lost on my parents. I was not 3 years old, so I’m sure my sister carried me most of the way. My Aunt Mary assumed that Mom knew we were there and took us to make sand castles in Cottonwood Creek below their home. We had a great day! Not so much for mom and dad.   -Chuck


“There are no blueprints for friendships, each one is custom made.” –Robert Scotellaro

See everyone next Thursday!

Butch and Jill Bridges
Ardmore, Oklahoma