This and That Newsletter
A Weekly Publication

Vol 14  Issue 727      Circulation 5,000       December 30, 2010

PO Box 11

Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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The Hamburger King, Ardmore, Oklahoma, 1904

"Give me one all the way."  If you had walked into an Ardmore restaurant and said that in the early 1900's there is no telling what you would have gotten.  But it would not have been a hamburger.  For the hamburger were just one of the now familiar things that had not appeared on the scene.

Bob Biggs (1868-1926) gathered up his small family at Yukon Oklahoma in 1900 and headed to Ardmore to seek a job and establish a home. Some time after his arrival, Biggs struck up a casual conversation with a man who had been on a trip to a large city.  One of the wonders he described was a sandwich, made on the spot and served hot, the hamburger was becoming a sensation in some parts of the nation.

Biggs thought he saw an opportunity, although it is always hard to tackle something that is brand new in the hope it will please the somewhat tradition-bound public. Using the imagination of both men and the memory of the traveler, the two sat down and designed a pushcart with serving counter, shelves and grill heated by a gasoline burner.

Biggs piled up all the money he had and got all he could from friends and relatives.  He was still $12 short of what he needed to get started.  So he tried Ardmore businessmen for a loan.  Most were unimpressed.  It was amusing to reflect on what would happen if there was a chance to establish a hamburger business in a town with no hamburgers today for a few dollars. But there is always one who will try new things.  A Grocer named Carr put up the $12 and the cart soon started rolling.

Bob set up his push cart at the corner of Main and Mill most of the time, but one good thing about the business was that it could be moved if business was slack at the home stand.

The year was 1904, Ardmore was young and the citizens took the tasty meal for a nickel.  What better advertisement could there be than a sizzling of the griddle and the distinctive aroma that greeted passerby?

Well, hamburgers are still around, some better than others. There has been many a fortune made on them. They were largely responsible for the advent of the drive-in cafe and the small walk-in lunch counter. Other concoctions have been successful, but the hamburger remains the king of the grab-a-lunch trade, followed closely by the hot dog or coney island.

As for Bob Biggs, in four short years he ahd not only repaid his small debts, but was the owner of a shiny new restaurant at the corner where he first had his pushcart, Main and Mill Street. Bob's Place served juicy hamburgers, either plain or 'educated'. The place was also known as the Horseshoe Restaurant, because of its large, horseshoe shaped counter.

The man who came to Ardmore looking for work found himself owner of a profitable business providing work for several other persons, and with the distinction of being the father of Ardmore hamburgers. - from The History of Carter County 1957

I've been meaning to put a picture up of the Big Cow (on closer inspection that should be a Bull)  in Ardmore for months.  I finally got around to taking a pic of this Ardmore landmark the other day. Many would not know what in the world is the Big Cow in Ardmore, but us locals knows it's on North Commerce at Mountain View Mall.  The Cow was stolen a couple years ago, but was found about a week later and returned to its rightful place at the Sirloin Stockade Restaurant's parking lot here in Ardmore.

That reminds me of another place I been planning to check over the past couple of weeks. In 1997 I saw a persimmon thicket directly behind McDonald's in the front yard of a house at K NW and West Main here in Ardmore.  I'll try to get by there "next year". lol

From This and That newsletter archives December 1997:

About 30 miles northeast of Ardmore is Sulphur, Oklahoma.  About 7 miles south of Sulphur on the west side of the highway, is this little concrete structure, kinda tucked halfway into the hillside. Few travelers passing by this little building realize it played an important part of Oklahoma's past. Many, many years ago, when the automobile wasn't dependable, the mail service relied on men and horses to get the mail from one point to another. This little, almost obscure building in the hillside was used to keep a fresh horse for the pony express riders.

P.S. When I took the above picture around 1972, there was a home in the background. Today that home is no longer there, and only trees and a hill are seen. Since the highway has been widen the past couple years, I don't know if the little building is still standing or not.

Q.   What Oklahoma town is home to the only authentic Indian City in the United States?
A.   Anadarko, Oklahoma

Q.   What Oklahoma town owns the worlds record for the largest pecan pie ?
A.   (answer in next week's newsletter)

Gas prices today in the Ardmore area......

Some mail from this week's MAILBAG.....

"Butch: The inquiry from a T&T reader about the Glider Room in the old Ardmore Hotel (Lincoln Center) brought back some memories to me. I discussed with Buddy Riesen the other evening about the Glider and the various managers of the basement facility at Lincoln Center. Buddy advised Ray "Dutch" Walker, Jim O'Neal, and Paul Bernard managed the place, over the years which operated under the names of Glider Room, The Mint, and The Downtowner. There was a 4th manager, but his name has slipped my mind." -james clark

"I was reading about your credit card dilemma in last week's issue. I had the same thing happen to me. My issue was with Bank of America in 2008. I had gone to the store to buy some watch batteries and went to check out. My card came back invalid. It was still good for 3 more years - Right!!! I called and got same answer as you got. I had that card for YEARS and always paid in full. I was totally humiliated. I have GOOD credit. Anyway, you aren't the only person that was abused. Now I try to use the cards that I have enough to keep them activated. I want the card when I want to use it. Some of the cards show that I have had the account for over 40 years. I agree, so much for paying on time and having good credit."  -Cecil
"Ardmore's Parade of Christmas lights. I donít mean to brag but we have one of the best light displays second to NONE."  -Doug Williams

1942 - 1943

"We were "transferred" to the great metropolis of St. Louis, Oklahoma.

Actually we moved to "Pop City" about one mile east of St. Louis on the hiway that ran thru town. At this time I never knew how Pop City, got its name, but learned some 50 years later after I had moved to Wilson, Okla.

While working in Wilson, I used a contract welder named Gary Whitener. Gary lived on Dillard Road near Wilson and his next door neighbor was "Slim" Patrick. Mr. Patrick has been deceased several years now. When we were working in Gary's shop doing some fabricating work, Slim would come over and visit with us. He was an old oil field hand retired many years.
Well one day we got to talking about where we had lived in Okla. and I happened to mention "Pop City". Slim allowed that he used to live there. In fact he said I named the town. My curiosity was peaked. How did this happen?

He said there were only two service stations in Pop City. No other stores or buildings. (and this was how I remembered it.) They were across the hiway from each other.

Slim said he was sitting on a bench in front of one of the stores one day, when a man drove up in a car and told Slim he was a government census taker and could Slim help him by telling who all lived here in this settlement. Slim having lived there for sometime told him about everyone he knew that lived there and the man thanked him. As he started to leave, he asked Slim what was the name of this place and Slim said it didn't have a name. The guy said he had to name it something. Well Slim was sitting there looking down at all of the pop bottle lids that had been scattered in the driveway to serve for gravel to keep people from getting stuck.

So he said "You might as well call it Pop City, that's about all we sell here". And that's how it got its name. I must assume this is a true story. I cannot doubt it or can I verify it today. But makes for good telling."  -Ken Updike at Wilson

Butch, We spotted this bald eagle on our drive around Lake Murray on Christmas Day. I don't have a really good zoom on my camera, but it turned out pretty good. I think he was waiting for a duck lunch! -Kerry

The Daily Ardmoreite
February 22, 1919
W. Frank Bishop, jailor at the county jail, needed a new blotter, a book in which to record the coming and going of persons coming under his care to guard and safely keep in jail until the law, through some of its devious channels, should turn them loose, and not caring to ask the wealthy county of Carter to provide a book, he gathered up an old one found on the premises. It proved to be a very large book, one provided by the United States, when the congress in its wisdom had created a federal court to be holden at Ardmore, Indian Territory. The book was ruled, printed and intended for the purpose of keeping a record of the payrolls of criers, bailiffs and others drawing a per diem by reason of their connection with the court.  Later the book was used to keep a record of prisoners in and out of the old federal jail, now the structure used by Carter county as a jail and which was presented to it by congress, following statehood. The book shows that it was first used during the October term, 1890, of the United States district court for the southern district of Indian Territory, sitting at Ardmore, and the first entry made in it is that of the name of Andrew Nelson and the next one D. J. Kendall, both court criers.  There are the names of many more court criers and bailiffs, and on the outer edge appears their names, were the receipted for the money they received for their services. On the first page of the book appear the names of three jury commissioners.  They were J. B. Spragins, Benjamin W. Carter and Joseph W. Gibson.  That was at the October term, 1890, more than twenty-eight years ago.

"Friends, You could probably guess the date of our New Years Eve Dance. Yes, that's right. It is this Friday, December 31, 2010. This will be our 3rd consecutive year for me and my Silver Lake Band to be at the Prairie Rose Chuckwagon Supper in Benton, Kansas for New Years Eve. The gates open at 5pm, Chuckwagon Supper at 6:30pm, Concert by the Prairie Rose Rangers at 7:45pm and the New Years Eve Dance at 9pm. You have the option of the Chuckwagon Supper and Rangerís concert only - or our New Years Eve Dance/Concert only. But if you want both, there is a big discount on the ticket price. So please call 316-778-2121 for reservations and directions, and come join us for a great way to sing and dance out the old year and bring in 2011.  Remember, you donít have to dance if you prefer to sit and pat your foot. And I invite you to sing along, as long as you are singing the same song I am singing!!!"  -Les Gilliam, The Oklahoma Balladeer
I took these pictures of some bald eagles I saw at Ringling, Oklahoma last week.  -Doug Williams

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man. ~Benjamin Franklin

Auld Lang Syne (theme from movie Waterloo Bridge)

See everyone next year!

Butch and Jill Bridges
Nashobish Ikana
PO Box 11
Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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Ardmore High School Criterions Online
Oklahoma Bells:
American Flyers Memorial Fund - Administration Webpage
Official American Flyers Memorial Website
Ardmore Army Air Field/Ardmore Air Force Base Website
Mirror Site of the Ardmore Army Air Field/Ardmore Air Force Website
Carter county schools, past and present
Carter County Government Website
Ardmore School Criterions

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