Cecil Elliott in Oklahoma City called
the other day and reminded me of a grave at Fort Reno cemetery. I had visited Ft
Reno in 2009 which is located NW of Oklahoma City. The cemetery has a section
for U.S. Army soldiers who are buried there.
And there is another section of the
cemetery where WWII Italian and German POWs are buried who died while
incarcerated at Ft Reno.
Off to the side of the cemetery, all by itself, is
a single grave marker that catches one's eye. A grave marker with coins on top
of the grave stone.
Here is the photo Cecil Elliott took
of Mr. Wah's tombstone. You can see the coins visitors have placed on the top of
You see, Wee Gan Wah worked at the
Fort Reno Laundry. He slept by himself in the back of the
laundry, saving his money so he could bring his family to the U.S. from China.
Before he could accomplish this, he was murdered at the laundry during a holdup.
Wee Gan Wah was born in December 1863
in China. He came to the United States in 1881. Mr. Wah could not read or write,
but he did speak English. He lived with another Chinese man named Guig Yee, who
was a cook at the fort.
Two soldiers dressed like women came
to his door and wanted to come in. He would not let them in and they left. About
30 minutes later, around 10:00 o'clock, while he was working in his laundry, he
was shot. Wee Gan Wah had $360 in his house and robbery was probably the reason
for the murder. He died November 16, 1901 in the Fort Reno Hospital.
Fort Reno Post Cemetery , El Reno,
Historians recall hidden "Chinese
underground" under Oklahoma City streets.
I received an email last week with an
attached photo I had never seen before. Back around 1900 there was a family by
the name of Stanley in Ardmore. The same family that Stanley SW is named after.
Henry A. and his wife, Lela, were prominent teachers and educators in Ardmore
and nearby towns of Madill and Marietta. Lela established a private school
in the home at 1023 Stanley Boulevard which grew as it became known for quality
education. At its height, her school encompassed kindergarten through seventh
grade. Lela taught until she was 88 years old, twice moving her school to
smaller locations, the last being 121 K Street NW.
Attached to Pat Corcoran's email this
week was a photo of the H.A. and Lela Stanley's home. Mrs. Stanley also held
classes for students in her home.
Henry and Lela Stanley's home place
still stands today. Here is a photo taken in 2004.
Someone shared this picture of the
Willis Bridge south of Madill, Oklahoma across Lake Texoma this week. After all
the rains, area lakes are really up, including Lake Murray.
Below is the 1980 roster of the Charles
Evans 5th grade in Ardmore, Oklahoma
I bought a Kill-A-Watt electricity
usage monitor from Amazon this week. Over the next few weeks I'll be report on
here how much electricity is used by different appliances and the cost per month
to run that appliance. The directions says for accurate reporting the
electricity usage the monitor needs to be plugged in for several days. I will
have some good reports for the next issue, starting with the clothes washer.
A couple of pavers I've sandblasted this
Even though I have not lost any more
weight in 4 weeks since dropping down to 177 pounds, I'm still getting the
benefit of the extra energy and all. If anyone wants to try it
give me a holler. "I'll meet you at the
Walmart mailbox!" Join us and check
it all out at the link below.
Hot days just around the
corner, my OKie Power Saver will help keep my electric bill as low
as possible when I crank up the air conditioning this summer. I'm ready to combat that sky high electric bill. I
have created a webpage to tell more about the OKie Power Saver at the link
below. You really have nothing to lose except a high electric bill to try the
power saver. I am guaranteeing the unit to save you money or your money back.
Give me a holler for more information.
Q. The first peace treaty
negotiated between the United States and Plains Indian tribes?
A. Treaty of Camp Holmes 1835 near Lexington in Cleveland County, Oklahoma
Q. Where in Oklahoma might one pick
up hourglass (selenite) crystals?
A. (answer in next week's T&T)
From This and That
newsletter archives of May 13, 2000:
In the 1950s the courthouse here in Ardmore
employed a janitor by the name of James Harris "Harry" Gaines. A reader sent me
his photo this week to share with everyone.
"Butch I go through Idabel, Oklahoma about
3 times a year and I think they paint new murals about every year. They are
really some pretty drawings and the artist does a great job."
"Dear Sir. How odd. Not too long ago I
found a picture of my father in Homecoming at Vanoss High School. Teasing him
about it, he replied he was king two years in a row "thank you very much"! I
asked about the young lady and he said her name and that she died in a plane
crash, and had been a stewardess. Then he said she was a really nice person.
Something stuck with me and while browsing the AZ boards (I grew up in AZ) on
GenForum I saw reference to a crash. I called my mother and asked the woman's
name and she said "Wanda Stonecipher". Then I found her name on your page."
"The person who said the revolving door
was at the Ardmore Hotel was definitely correct. I remember as a child going
there just to go through those doors. It was hardly a trip to town if we didn't
walk up there and go through those doors, maybe several times. Weren't there
some at the office building that was next to the old Exchange National Bank too?
Seems like I remember them too. Boy you could get a good "Cherry
Phosphate" at the fountain there. Those were the simple days when a kid could go
to town and be safe."
Note: In July 2007 I took this picture of the revolving door
at the Seminole County Courthouse at Wewoka, Oklahoma.
I was saddened last week when I heard about
the death of Ardmoreite L.T. "Red" Kitchens. When I asked in my T&T February
26th for donations to the American Flyers Memorial, L.T. Kitchens was the fourth
person to respond with a donation. I'd like to share with everyone the email Mr.
Kitchens sent me that Saturday:
"Please put us on your list for $25.00
contribution. I was foreman for American Flyers Airline meeting the airplane on
a through flight from California. I heard the airplane as it was making an
approach. The ceiling was low and I heard an explosion. I called the tower to
find out if they still had contact with the airplane, which they didn't. I
called and notified my boss and told him that I thought the airplane had gone
down. He came out and we went by car to the sight. We were the first car there.
At which time we looked for the aircraft form 1 and also the flight data
recorder. Death and destruction was everywhere. The airplane had hit in a herd
of cattle and people and cattle were scattered and burning. It's not a sight you
would EVER forget. Also, I personally knew the flight crew as well. It was
unbelievable. My name is L.T. Kitchens, 1950 Hawkins St. Ardmore, OK. 73401"
I never met Mr. Kitchens. But through the
power of email and a tragedy that took place 33 years ago, our paths crossed. He
did not live to see the memorial to completion. But I know on the day the
dedication ceremony is held, Mr. Kitchens will be there with us.
Gas prices today in the Ardmore
Non-ethanol gas (pure gas) stations
in the Ardmore area.
Some mail from this week's MAILBAG.....
"The bottles are all from Ardmore. The Tom Cooper and Colvert's
bottles are self evident. The middle bottle is from the Ardmore Coca-Cola
bottling plant, and is the old six-and-a-half ounce size. And I'm sure more than
a few of your readers tuned in to Rudy Dockray." -Mark Coe
Springer Volunteer Fire Department
Bar-B-Q Saturday May 16, 2015 – 6:00 PM
Join us at the Springer, Oklahoma Community/ Storm Shelter for the annual
Springer Volunteer Fire Department BBQ along with a dance and pie/cake auction.
Bring your lawn chairs, sit back and enjoy the music!
"Butch, Here is whimsical article about raising
chickens without a blueprint from the Kingman, AZ newspaper
that you might enjoy." -Ted Edwards
"Some of your older readers will recall the traditional
"Oratorical Contests" at Ardmore High School. I am not sure when the contest
ended but, it was a tradition for several years. The oratorical debates
(contest) were held in the auditorium in the evening. I don't ever recall
attending the debates but, the fun always began after the contest.
Traditionally, the upper classmen (seniors and maybe juniors) would go hunting
around town to locate the lower classmates (sophomores) and carry them to far
out places like the cemetery or Lake Murray and make them walk back to town.
This was pretty wild and ornery back then but, no one ever got hurt and guzzling
beer or smoking anything were not a part of it, just teenagers being kinda
One such occasion when I was a sophomore, Wade Henry, an Ardmore
High track star was chasing me. I ran so hard and fast that I out ran him for a
block or so before he caught me. If I remember accurately, I believe Carl
Atkinson was with Wade. They corralled probably 3 to 5 of me and my buddies and
hauled us out somewhere to walk back. I think the walk back with my buddies,
talking about how we out witted those upper classmen for a while was the most
fun. If you try to understand why they did that and we did it in later years for
the same reasons, you will become frustrated. There was no purpose, just living
as teenagers during the late 40s and 50s. Don't ask me what the debates were
about.... never attended one that I recall." -Dale Young
Our task must be to free ourselves...
by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the
whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein
See everyone next
Butch and Jill Bridges
PO Box 11
Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402