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Vol 28 Issue 1,427 June 6, 2024

The Ardmore Depot opened to rail passengers in August 1917 as a joint effort between the Santa Fe Railway and a now-extinct branch of the Rock Island Railroad. In 1998 BNSF, the successor to the Santa Fe, sold the depot to the Ardmore Main Street Authority for $1 and sold the land for $20,000. In exchange, the Main Street Authority agreed to provide a facility for BNSF. The depot building is now fronted by the beautifully landscaped Depot Park. The park opened in 2022 and is designed to host community events and simply provide a green respite for residents and visitors alike. A focal point of the park is The Mercy Train #1108, a locomotive that played a storied part in Ardmore’s past during the Great Explosion of 1915.

Ardmore native Sylvan Goldman invents the worlds first shopping cart June 4, 1937.


In last week’s newsletter we had a newspaper clipping about Betty Stone as the keeper of Ardmore’s cemetery records decades ago. The reason I did not find her in Find-A-Grave was because Betty is buried in the private cemetery of Bailey-Ward cemetery. Below is a link to Betty’s obituary.


Does anyone remember a Mildred Brown of Ardmore? We need to unite these old 1945 letters to Mildred with any of her surviving relatives. Please let me know.

The month of May was a busy month for me trying to located Oklahomans with unclaimed insurance at the State Treasurers Office in OKC. The names below are the people I’ve worked to find to let them know about money that is due them. It’s been a rewarding hobby the past 4 years for me to say the least.

Clay & Marjorie Titsworth of Tecumseh, OK $15,437.40
Joan Oneal/O’Neal of Tecumseh, OK $37,517.13
Chester Arthur Desmond of Madill (over 8 accounts)
Lannette Jordan of Catoosa OK $121,162.22
David Davis of Ardmore $28,057.70
Ashley Freeman of Welch $30,000
Michael R. Gunter, Tecumseh OK $43,683.62
William Crowder of Stigler OK $7,618.09
*Michael R. Gunter, Tecumseh OK $43,683.62
Beatrice McFarland of Tatums, OK $1,291.56
*Gary Lewis of Healdton, $18,670.98
*Dixie Butler of Lone Grove OK $2,912.91
*Frank Watson of Ardmore has $7,460.74
*Dee Morgan of Mangum, OK. $4,533.37
Raymond and Georgia Hammon of Healdton
Monte C. Cotton of Ardmore $2,816.80
*Irving Bolds of Marietta, who has $2,399.70
*Gloria Day of Ardmore $1,349.99*
Winnie Daniels of Ardmore. There is $5,398
Zemo Collins of Ardmore $1,272

-a star * by the name denotes I may have made contact, hopefully

Q. How does one search for names at the State’s website?

A. You can go to the State’s website and enter the info into the search boxes. Example: you can enter LAST NAME=Remington and TOWN=Bartlesville and it will display all those with that last name in that town with unclaimed insurance. https://apps.ok.gov/unclaimed/

HAM Talk by KC5JVT via Echolink

We had probably a record number of HAMs check in to the Boredom Breaker repeater yesterday, 74 check-Ins. The Boredom Beaker Net is held everyday, 7 days a week from 12 noon to 2:00pm Oklahoma time out of Claremore, Oklahoma

From this week’s Mailbag

I tried to locate a James E Ewing’s family at Hennepin without luck, but when googling, I discovered some history that you might use in your weekly.  Did you know that the citizens voted to move the town to a different county?  To seal the deal, someone torched the school house that night. -Larry

Note: Hennepin is an unincorporated community along State Highway 7 in extreme southern Garvin County, Oklahoma, United States, near the point where Carter, Garvin and Murray counties intersect. Hennepin County was named for Father Louis Hennepin, a member of Lasalle’s Louisiana Expedition.

In last weeks T&T was an article about Will Rogers horse.  He was born at Oolagah, Oklahoma.  There is a very nice museum in Claremore, OK. -Rick Woodbridge


Below is the old Methodist Church of Ardmore. -Steve Miller

The original red brick church was located in the southeast corner for B Street NW and West Broadway

For a history of First Methodist Church of Ardmore. TAP HERE

Below is a picture of the Hick’ry House BBQ that was located on South Commerce.

The newsletter jail tunnel article brought back fun memories of the
jail and courthouse.  As you know, my brother Tom was a Carter County
fixture starting with his days with Judge Brown & Dillard and ending
with his days as the Administrator of the Carter County Detention
Center.  There were many fun stories associated with the Sheriffs and
Judges through these years.  Tom was known to play a joke or two >
nobody was safe.  Judge Dillard had a potted plant that had died, and
all that remained was the soil.  Everyone kept trying to get him to
plant something else in place of the plant that had died.  Tom
appropriated some marijuana seeds, and secretly planted them in Judge
Dillard’s barren pot.  Tom teamed up with Courthouse folks to make
sure the pot was watered on a regular basis.  The seeds turned into
plants that were doing quite well, and the Judge thought they were
tomato plants.  It became quite the buzz around the courthouse as the
plants began to flourish.  James Clark couldn’t resist the temptation
to needle the Judge about the plant.  He paid the Judge a visit
concerning another matter, and commented on Judge Dillard’s green
thumb project.  The Judge said that it was the result of a discarded
tomato, so he kept watering it.  James Clark responded with:  ”Judge,
I don’t think those are tomato plants…….that’s marijuana you’ve
got there !”  The Judge let out a LOUD exclamation:  ”TOM MILLER !”

As I said, nobody was safe.  Tom appropriated some marijuana incense
that was used to train law enforcement types on what marijuana smells
like when being smoked.  He lit the incense and placed it in the a/c
vent ducts of the jail.  Sheriff Bill Noland came running out of his
office and shouted:  ”WHO’S SMOKING MARIJUANA IN MY JAIL ?!”
Another joke at the expense of Bill Noland involved the jail tunnel:
Tom appropriated a life-sized liquor-store cardboard cutout of George
Dickle pointing a six-shooter.  It was an advertising promo showing
George Dickle in a shootout with Jack Daniels.  Tom took the cut-out
and placed it at the darkened end of the jail tunnel.  He then
retrieved Bill Noland, telling him that there was someone that
urgently needed to speak to him.  Tom knew how jumpy Bill could get,
as he went through 2 tours in Nam.  As they proceeded down the tunnel,
Tom kept  Bill distracted with conversation.  Tom stopped suddenly and
pointed to the darkened end of the tunnel.  Bill, upon seeing the
shadowy figure pointing a gun, immediately drew his weapon.  Tom was
sucking wind as he laughed so hard, unable to speak.  Bill was not
-submitted by Steve Miller

Below is from my newsletter dated
June 2, 2001 – Issue 215

Last Sunday evening, May 27th, about 11pm, probably the worst storm I’ve ever been in, came roaring through southern Oklahoma and Ardmore. The straight line winds were clocked at 92 miles per hour. Resulted in power and water outages all over the area. Damage from the strong winds could be seen everywhere. Thankfully no one was killed. My part of Ardmore was without water for two days and electricity for three days

In southeastern Oklahoma is Pushmataha county. The county seat is Antlers. Antlers has one claim to fame that probably not other county in the state of Oklahoma has….. I’ve been told The City of Antlers has the one and only traffic light in the entire county. Rumor had it during the past few years that Clayton, Oklahoma in the northern part of Pushmataha county was going to get a signal light, but that has not happened according to my sources. I wonder if there is any other county in Oklahoma with only one traffic light? Here is a photo of the famous and lonely traffic light in Antlers!

A friend brought up an interesting question this week. Remember the nursery rhyme, “Picking up paw paws, put ’em in your basket?” (Okies said, “put ’em in your pocket.”) What is a paw paw and why would anyone want to pick them up? Well, come to find out they really do exist in the real world, and the fruit taste like vanilla custard. Now I could eat that everyday!

“Butch~ thanks for another interesting installment of This n That. What do you know about the history of the Chickasaw Lake Club that is east of Ardmore. I know a great deal about it because my grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. J.A. (Ott) Chambers were the hosts and caretakers there for many years and as I child, I spent many wonderful days and nights there. It broke my heart when the house burned a few years back. I would love to hear of any particular events or memories from anyone concerning this most wonderful place, especially back from the time it was built until about the late 1950’s.”

“Butch: attached is a picture of a bridge we called the “Iron Banister Bridge.” Is was in the Murray 23 area, on Oklahoma’s Highway 22 (SE of Tishomingo in Johnston county). The bridge is no longer there. But I scanned the entire page, and you can get a general idea of how I have written my memories with the pictures of yesterday. They will be left for my children or grandsons or who ever.”

Butch: Here is the only documentation I have that once there was a school called Murray 23. And it is not a picture as per say, it is a photo copy of one made on a copy machine. I don’t recall who sent it to me or even the year. But I think someone found it at the Museum in Tishomingo or in the Historical building in Oklahoma City. But I have had it for a long time, but would like to find a better one.

“Hello Butch, Just wanted to let you know that I was looking at your Home Page and I clicked on the Memorial Hospital (Coaster). There to my surprise was a photo of my youngest sister Jean Wages.(now deceased) If you find another of this coasters, please get it for me.”

“My Mother also told me the story of the young boy who was taken to the Von Keller hospital in a farm wagon. I was born in July of 1932 and this young boy was my older brother. He was 12 years old at the time and his appendix had burst. The doctor told my father that he was almost certain that my brother would die. After waiting four days they operated. The doctor told my father he could stay with my brother while the operated. He just couldn’t do it so my uncle stayed with him. One month later he went home healed. I know the point of the story was about the good health care received even back then. Amazing how we are all connected. That brother is now 81 years old and still plays tennis in Florida. Really enjoy T&T and am a faithful reader.”

From a Distance God Is Watching Us. -Bette Midler


See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges
Ardmore, Oklahoma