This and That Newsletter

Vol 13  Issue 630     Circulation 5,000      February 19, 2009

PO Box 2

Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

email address:

580-657-8616 (not a toll free number)

'Was Justice Denied In Ada' by Chuck Parsons

"This will probably be the final word on the 4 men who were murdered in Ada, Oklahoma on April 19, 1909 by a mob of Masons who lynched 4 innocent men accused of the murder of rancher A.A. Bobbitt.  No one was ever arrested for the crime."

The above caption is from Chuck Parson's newest publication which has just received from the printers.  Only 200 were printed, and I assure you those 200 will not last long.  They probably won't even last until the April 19th OKOLHA Rendezvous in Ada, so don't wait until then thinking you will pick up a copy there, as they may be gone by that time.  Chuck has done extensive research on the infamous Ada hanging and is probably the number one authority on the story that made headlines all over the country back in 1909.  So, if you want to know 'the rest of the story' on the Ada hanging, get your hands on one of these 5 1/2  X 9 inch booklets, which is 65 pages with numerous photos.  The cost is a low $12.50 which includes postage.  To order call Herman Kirkwood, President of OKOLHA, in Oklahoma City at 405-946--2096 or email Herman at

I received a letter this week in the mail from Phillip Crow in Ventura, California.  He has been researching the Crow surname for a some time now, and enclosed a picture he took of a mural painted on the side of a building in Ringling, Oklahoma in 2007.  The mural is of a sunflower and watermelon patch and reads: "Old Crows Welcome".  Phillip was wondering if anyone has more info on the mural, like who painted it (maybe a Crow family member?), etc.  Phillip's father, Ernest Melton Crow, was born in Foster, I.T. in 1905, and spoke of some Crow cousin who lived in Lone Grove many years ago and even had a few photos of them in Lone Grove. Phillip's father left Oklahoma in 1923 for California, never to return to his birthplace. The man kneeling beside the mural is Phillip Crow, and he would like to hear from anyone who has more information on the Crows of Lone Grove, or info on the mural.

A Reader sent in a 1912 photo of the Provence/Smyrna school students.

Since last week's T&T there has been many more photos, including a number of aerial photos, added to the Lone Grove Tornado folder.

I mentioned a couple weeks ago we are wanting some hens for egg laying.  I told Jill when I get the chicken coop built, we will get up around 5:00am some Sunday morning and go the Trade Days at Sulphur, Oklahoma and buy about 4 Barred Rock pullets (around 6 months old). So the past couple of Saturdays I have been clearing off some land to the west of our home and gathering wood pallets to make that chicken coop. Below is a link to the what I call the 'first level' of the shed (the coop part will be off to the left of the shed).  I will add a 2nd level in a few days which will make the walls 84 inches high.

Ten cheapest places to buy gas in the Ardmore area......

Oklahoma History Boards!

Q.   Who was the first governor of Oklahoma?
A.   George Steele

Q.   What governor said "Oklahoma is OK"?
A.   (answer in next week's T&T)

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

"I am hoping someone can tell us more about the 'big fish' in Lake Eufaula. I have heard stories that several divers went down in the water and came up with gray hair. Any info on these stories would be appreciated." -Sheila in Ada
"With all the interest in the caves in this area, there is one I have not seen mentioned in the T&T . It is locally know as "Mystic Cave". It is located on "Rock Prairie".. two or three miles East of the old community of Nebo and Hwy 177. This property is now owned by the Mahard Egg Company and they do not welcome visitors. As a young men, my close friend Bill McGiboney and I visited the cave several times.  The McGiboney farm was on Oil Creek about 1/2 mile S.E. of the old Nebo store, so Bill knew that area very well. The entrance to the cave was at just a hole in a little knoll of rocks and brush.

At one time there was a chain ladder leading down to the floor of the one small room. A small stream flowed thru this room and into a hole in what I would call the South wall of the cave. The hole was large enough for a person to enter but Bill & I never had the necessary gear to go any further. (Nor did we want to.) Legend has it that spelunkers entered the hole and explored down stream. How far, I don't know. It is said that in one room, there was a steel pipe which came thru the top of the room and extended into the water ad ended just short of the bottom of the stream. It was to a windmill on the surface. On one of our visits, I was wearing an old US Army field jacket and the big side pockets were full of oats. (not oatmeal but oats as they grow, in the husk.") I put the oats into the stream. We later found some of the oats floating in "Blue Springs" and also in "Buck Irwin Springs." Both springs are on Chapman Ranch property near the twin silos. The water flowing from Blue Springs goes into Oil Creek on McGiboney property. Oil creek starts several miles north and is a small, weak stream until the Blue Springs and several other springs flow into it. It is an excellent fishing stream. Lots of Bass, "Goggle Eye" and Bream."  -Bill Uhles

"Butch, there seems to be some debate about the location of wild woman cave. it is located approximately 8 miles NW of Springer  in the W 1/2 SW 1/4 NW 1/4 SW 1/4 of Sect 32 Range 1 East Township 2 South of Murray county.  Most USGS maps show the cave. It is as described some of the passages are 2 ft tall to 25 feet tall and very wet."
"Butch I was walking past the Tivoli theater and I looked up and saw the line of different colored brick where it was rebuilt and remembered about the time the movie house burned.  We had to go to the Park for a while and endure the rats."  -Doug

"Butch: This is a sight I think most of your readers would really enjoy. some history, some entertainment. Sure brings back a lot of memories!" -HL (Hoot) Gilbert

"I'm trying to find any information on my great great uncle   John Garnet Hesterly (J G)........I have found some documentation he was living in Tishomingo around 1905    and that he was also in Ardmore  working as a land man for the Santa Fe Railroad......I have an extensive collection of photo's he took around this area from the late 1800's to 1910.......I have attached one that has Ardmore 2/5/1906. I am looking for any information about my great great uncle, John Garnet Hesterly (J G).....he lived in and around Tishomingo from about 1880- 1915....He was a photographer, I have many many early photo's from Tishomingo's beginnings......I have attached one of Indians on a Reservation....the photo is labeled Ardmore 2/5/1906......I know this one is from Ardmore but I have many of Tishomingo as well.......If anyone has any information on him please let me know." -Jeff Inman, Fort Worth, Texas

"Butch, Just wanted to give your T&T readers a heads up on the Oklahombres 20th Anniversary Spring Rendezvous on April 25 & 26 at Madill and surrounding area. Oklahombres is Oklahoma's premier lawmen and outlaws history research organization. Start planning now to attend. We hope to see everyone there as Oklahombres celebrates 20 years of researching, preserving and sharing Oklahoma's rich history of lawmen and outlaws. Here is the tentative agenda:

Saturday, April 25, 2009

9:30 AM - Reception at Woman?s Center building at the Marshall County Fairgrounds hosted by Marshall County Historical Society and the town of Madill - Welcome=2 0address by Madill Mayor.

10 AM - Local historian Dale Wren will speak on old lawmen of the area and the Lynn/Long gunfight.
Kingston Chief of Police John Canoe will speak on lawmen and outlaws of Marshall County circa 1900 - 1939.

11:30 AM - Book signing by the authors of our group and local historians.

Noon ? Lunch - Food will be served on site by the ladies of the historical society for a small individual price or you may dine at the local BBQ joint where a room has been reser ved so folks have a choice.

1 PM - Private Tour of the Corner Drug Store where Lynn/Long shootout took place followed by a reenactment of gunfight performed by descendants of State Crime Bureau Agent Crockett Long.

2 PM - Tour of the Museum of Southern Oklahoma followed by an address given by the Museum director concerning area history. A special photography exhibit regarding Lawmen and Outlaws of the area will be on display.

3 PM - Back to fairgrounds building for a speech by R. D. Morgan on Bonnie and Clyde in Oklahoma with a special emphasis on the Stringtown incident and the death of Atoka County Deputy Sheriff Eugene Moore.

4 PM ? Oklahombres Board Meeting.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

9 AM - Visit to Madill Cemetery, final resting place of Wiley Lynn and lay a wreath at the grave of State Crime Bureau Agent Crockett Long.

10 AM - Auto-Caravan Tour to final resting place of Deputy Eugene Moore in Calera (A few miles south of Durant) for wreath laying ceremony. Tour ends except for those wishing to join us in a visit to the new memorial at Stringtown honoring Deputy Eugene Moore

We are very fortunate to have the Marshall County Historical Society host our 20th Anniversary Rendezvous. Several descendants of Clyde and Blanche Barrow will be attending the event as will other interested parties from out of state."  -Dennis Lippe

Chickasaw National Recreation Area - Photos & Multimedia (U.S. National Park Service)

"Dear Sulphurites - present and past, Yesterday, I attended Lincoln Bridge reenactment. Sadly, I forgot my camera. It was a beautiful Feb. 12, 2009 afternoon and American flags were flying from the four turrets of the bridge. Folding chairs were set up between the road and the bridge and there was a very nice crowd. Many were parents and grandparents of the third graders who presented the Gettysburg Address. So the park must know the secret to getting a crowd ---- have kids perform!

Current park Supt. Bruce Noble gave the welcome. It was good to hear those words "Platt National Park" spoken again. He presented some interesting facts about the bridge. It was finished on Feb. 11, 1909 and was dedicated the next day which was Lincoln's 100 birthday. It took about 80 days to complete and specifications included the statement that it must accommodate a "carriage and four proceeding at a full gallop". The cost was about $3000.00. Supt. Noble said that that amortized to about $40.00 cost per year and that seemed like quite a bargain. (I have rounded the figures since I was not taking exact notes.) Mr. Noble quoted Platt National Park's first superintendent, Mr. Albert Green, who spoke on that dedication day. "It is not a thing apart - it is as if it had grown there and been made when the rugged banks of the stream and trees were made." Mr. Noble stated that the bridge is the only structure remaining from the time of the founding of the park. Other structures are from the days of the Civil Conservation Corps.

At yesterday's ceremony, the American Legion Color Guard presented the flags and led the pledge. Regrets at not being able to attend were read from U.S. Sen. Tom Cole and OK Rep. Wes Hilliard. Mike Cruz spoke, representing the City of Sulphur. He stated that without the town there might not be a park and without the park the town might not be much of a town. As a personal touch, he noted that five generations of his family had enjoyed the bridge and each generation of children had enjoyed climbing up and down the steps of the four turrets.

At the original ceremony, the Gettysburg Address was read. Yesterday one of our six third grade classes recited the Gettysburg Address. Wearing paper black top hats, the children stepped to the microphone one at a time and each recited a section of the Address. Some of the boys had black painted beards made from the rims of paper plates covered with cotton balls.

A reenactment of the christening of the bridge was next. A woman dressed in the style of women's fashion in Lincoln's time stood at the top of one of the turrets. Her dark hair was in a bun and her dress was blue with a high neck and a black band at the waist. Think of all the pictures you have seen of Mary Lincoln and you'll have a good of what this young lady looked like. At the original ceremony, the bridge was christened with water from one of the mineral springs. Yesterday the water was in one of the Platt National Park crockery jugs that can be purchased at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area Nature Center. The jug was inside a burgundy cloth bag to prevent broken crockery from falling to the ground. She pronounced that the bridge was christened the Lincoln Bridge and hit the bag against the outside of the turret. The water flowed down the grey stone wall.

Longtime residents with an imaginative mind could squint their eyes and almost see what it must have been like on February 12 in the year 1909. The trees were much smaller, everyday life was much different, and the glory days of Sulphur lay ahead. Let's hope that the people of Sulphur can have vision, work cooperatively, and perhaps we can have glory days again."

Below is the link to see a 1910 color postcard of the bridge.

-Mary Lou DeFratus Heltzel

"Caddo Creek bridge on Mt. Washington Road.  Looking south, the entrance to Beaver Academy Road is immediately past the bridge on the right.  You can see some of the limbs of the large pecan trees where they were sawed trying to clear the road to get into (and out of) the area.  Due to the amount of tree damage, the east end of Beaver Academy Road was blocked into the early morning hours. The west end of the road (State Highway 77) was closed due to the construction of the new Caddo Creek bridge and, of course, the downed power lines would have made it impassable had it been open."  -Neal
"Here's a photo of where an unoccupied home stood before the Tornado. Notice the concrete slab in the background, right side of photo (scroll photo over to see it if viewing with Outlook Express) where the home was. The slab was slicked off completely by the Tornado, not a stick of wood remains, no pipes, wiring, nothing. I stitched together three photos to get a wide angle view. The thick grass caught in the brush came from round bales of hay that were on the opposite side of the paved road. This was just south of our house. (Butch, this would be location number 12 on your Tornado tracking map.)"  -Dwane Stevens

"I think the path actually went just north of the intersection of Prairie Valley and Kings Rd. instead of just south as shown . There was an empty house that was completely destroyed just north of the intersection and on the East side of Kings Rd. I've marked it with a number 12. Also the Lacey Family two story home was destroyed just SW of that same intersection and I've marked it with a number 11. My house is marked with number 13 (no damage).

Oh yeah, there is a Jones Wholesale Bait and Fish Hatchery business on the south side of Prairie Valley. It doesn't look to have been hit but I marked it with 10."  -Dwane Stevens  
Tornado tracking map

Fort Sill, Oklahoma ? Geronimo. The name alone evokes an iconic, Western American image of the defiant Apache warrior.

"I'm in the process of making a website with photos of some of the railroads of our area. I've been granted special permission to use photos from a good friend of mine, Ken Fitzgerald, who is a rail historian and professional photographer. He shot some wonderful photos of the very last train to run on the old Ringling Road (originally the Oklahoma, New Mexico and Pacific). The website is not very fancy since this is the first time I've ever tried to create one, plus I don't know what I'm doing but at least it seems to be working. Be sure and try the slide show feature in the photo albums. I'm still working on the site so check back again for more added photos. Some of your readers might like to see the photos."  -Dwane Stevens

Links to some of my photos on webshots:

The Daily Ardmoreite
   William H. Owens, the "human Fly," who climbs the face walls of the tallest buildings is in the city and will give an open-air exhibit at Main and B streets tonight at 7 o-clock.  Owens will climb the face of the Princess Theater building, making the assent with no assistance other than his hands and feet.  The Carter county commissioners have engaged Owens to climb the courthouse Wednesday evening and unfurl an American flag from the staff above the court house dome.

The Daily Ardmoreite
   The new fire apparatus, which was tested some time ago, was declared to meet requirements and G. W. Croom, city clerk, was ordered to pay $19,800 out of city funds.  A two-story brick building will be constructed on East Main street and one of the new fire motors installed there to take care of east Ardmore.  A new concrete floor will be placed in the old station and repairs and improvements will be made on the city hall.
   The paving on West Main street and on Broadway is to be completed within a day or two, according to the report made to the commissioners.  All paving companies are said to be rushing their contracts.  Difficulty in getting material has been the occasion of many delays.

The Daily Ardmoreite. Monday, March 7, 1910. Cope, Oklahoma: Cope is a pleasant little town, one grocery store, post office and a blacksmith shop, a good school house.

Cope. Formerly Darthie. In northeastern Johnston county, 2 miles west of Wapanucka. Post office named changed to Cope February 4, 1902, and discontinued December 31, 1913. Named for Henry T. Cope, first postmaster.  -Oklahoma Place Names

Healdton Herald
From the column Reminiscences of Early Days in Indian Territory by W. F. McKnight:

T. J. POLLOCK lived east of the post office several miles where state senator TOM REXROAT once lived. They were good friends and neighbors and they attended together debates and entertainments in the old Iron Top school house where Rexroat taught school. T. J. Pollock was prominent in the Farmers Union, farmed and raised livestock, later elected to state legislature, on the side of the working man.

Healdton Herald
May 4, 1933
From the column Reminiscences of Early Days in Indian Territory by W. F. McKnight:

The building of the Santa Fe RR across Indian Territory, establishing Ardmore, soon the JIM ORME store did not have to depend on hauling supplies from Gainesville, Texas. The Healdton  post office got mail from Ardmore instead of Spanish Fort, Texas. The first automobile to carry the mail was propelled by steam like a locomotive, creating trouble with horse and mule teams. Post offices were established at Lone Grove, Cornish, Dixie, Velma, Chagris, Loco, Graham and Fox. Postmasters at Healdton in the order of their service were: E. S. MASON, J. W. ORME, Dr. J. A. GORDON, W. F. MCKNIGHT, C. H. HEALD, B. C. HEALD, and the present one J. H. SPARKS.

The first schools were subscription schools. A teacher would visit a neighborhood where there was a schoolhouse and solicit parents to pay tuition per month. One of the first subscription schools was two miles east of Healdton on Walnut Creek, covered with corrugated iron, called the Iron Top school. The first teacher was old CAPTAIN CHAMBERS, with a peculiar trait. He was a lover of hounds and a pack followed him to school each day, where they stayed on the school grounds, then after school, they followed him home.There were two things that rendered Iron Top famous, one was that U. T. REXROAT was a teacher and Rev. BRAD HAYS preached there.

In life, all good things come hard, but wisdom is the hardest to come by.  -Lucille Ball 1911-1989

I Love Lucy - Vitameatavegamin

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges

PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443

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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

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