Sunday, November 25, 2012

"Remember When" from May 1933

Current newspapers often run brief “Remember When” columns in which they recap news from past years. In Tillman County’s early decades, newspapers did the same thing.
The following “Twice Told Tales in Tillman County” is from The Frederick Press, May 19, 1933, and looks back on county news from 30 years ago (1903), 20 years ago (1913) and 10 years ago (1923).
NOTE: This content was transcribed from a microfilm copy of the May 19, 1933 Press, and legibility of some content, particularly names and numbers, was sometimes poor. In some instances, therefore, spelling of names and dates (especially birth dates) may be transcribed incorrectly.

From The Frederick Press, May 19, 1933

Twice Told Tales in Tillman County

30 Years ago (1903)
Mrs. George Decker went to Lawton Saturday to remain until after commencement. Her daughter, Lucretia, is one of the high school graduates and expects to spend the summer with her parents on the claim southeast of Frederick.
Mrs. Louise Triloff, who has been keeping house for her son, R.H. Wessel, editor of the Enterprise, for the past two months, departed Wednesday for her home at Sterling.
The People’s Drug store placed its phonograph in front of the telephone receiver Sunday when connections were made with Vernon, Hobart and other points. Those stations reported they could hear the music perfectly.
Robert A. Weathers, a lawyer of Cordell, arrived this week.
L.J. Sears received supplies for the weather stations in time to register Sunday’s rainfall and found it was 2.55 inches. He resides 2 ½ miles southwest of Frederick.
D.E. Dilts, residing southeast of Frederick, is irrigating his half-acre garden by means of a windmill and 45-barrel tank. The cabbage, tomatoes, lettuce and other vegetables which he planted are doing nicely.
The Rose Hill correspondent says that settlers of that locality feel very kindly towards Mr. and Mrs. J.B. Walts for taking their organ to the singing. [NOTE: Rose Hill was located three miles east and one mile north of Frederick].
Wood & Zumwalt recently sold two buggies to Ira Holloman and one to George McHugh.
The Alpian correspondent reports Mrs. O.W. Conrad has nearly 100 little chickens with eight or 10 more broods to hatch soon. [NOTE: Alpian was located six miles west and one mile north of Frederick].

20 Years ago (1913)
Twenty years ago May 23, Dr. C.B. Ball and Dr. C.B. Shannon came to Frederick from Oklahoma City and opened dentistry offices.
Mrs. J.E. Arrington and young son who have been visiting her parents, Mrs. And Mrs. J.E. Hines, departed Saturday for their home at Indianola.
When E.W. Conley, rural route carrier, arrived at the E.L. Box residence, six miles southeast of town, Tuesday, he noticed the house on fire and made a record-breaking trip on his motorcycle a quarter of a mile where he got Reed Box and took him to the scene. They were soon reinforced by Warren Jones, owner of the farm, and another son of E.L. Box’s. Water was obtained from a cistern but this was too slow a process, and the house was destroyed together with most of the household goods.
A daughter, weighing 7 ¾ pounds, was born to Atty. and Mrs. J.E. Williams Tuesday.
Walter Wright returned from Denton, Texas, Sunday where he was called by the sickness of his father, pioneer resident of the place. The elder is afflicted with cancer, but has changed his method of treatment, and when Walter left he was on the mend.
Several Frederick Shriners attended the imperial council at Dallas, Texas, this week, including W.W. Rogers, John Carr, W.D. King, A.M. Pritchard, Wm. Ray, R.J. Harris and J.H. Beard, Jr.
Ladies of the Methodist church at Oake’s chapel, five miles west and two south of Frederick, will serve dinner at the B.R. Byrns’s sale Tuesday.
G.B. Hawkins from southwest of Frederick, who has been sick with pneumonia the past month, is again able to be around.
First load of alfalfa from the 1913 crop was brot to town May 13, having been grown by M.S. Fentress from west of Frederick and sold for $9 a ton.
Among the 35 births reported for April by Dr. H.L. Roberts, county health officer, are the following: To Mr. and Mrs. J.L. Griffin, April 3, a boy; to Mr. and Mrs. L.T. Hutton, April 23, a boy; to Mr. and Mrs. D.A. Wynn, April 5, a boy; to Mr. and Mrs. John Ham, Davidson, April 23, a boy; to Mr. and Mrs. Jack Wofford, Davidsion, April 13, a boy; to Mrs. and Mrs. J.B. Peter, Davidson, April 3, a girl; to Mr. and Mrs. A.L. Reffner, Manitou, April 24, a girl; to Mr. and Mrs. G.H. Maricia, Grandfield, April 4, a boy; to Mr. and Mrs. D. Hammond, Grandfield, April 3, a girl; to Mr. and Mrs. Percy Burke, Hollister, April 22, a girl; to Mr. and Mrs. J.M. Hickerson, Davidson, April 13, a boy; to Mrs. and Mrs. G.W. Johnston, Grandfield, April 25, a boy; to Mr. and Mrs. F. Dudenhoeffer, Grandfield, April 27, a boy.
Deaths the past month included the following: Joanna Bondurant, 75, Frederick, in grippe; Cora Esther Russell, 13, Manitou, tonsillitis; Miller Ethel Powell, 21, appendicitis; Livie Alexander, 5, Frederick, pneumonia; Malisia Givens, 67, Manitou, apoplexy; James Cox, 12, Loveland, appendicitis; Rexter Kinder, 5, Frederick, measles; Mrs. E.J. Briscoe, 53, Frederick, pneumonia.
Machinery of the old alfalfa mill, which has been an eye-sore to the city, has been shipped to Woodson, Texas, having been bought in by the Southwestern Lumber Co., which has a mortgage on the property.

10 Years Ago (1923)
Frederick high school will close May 13 when these 54 young people will be given diplomas: Ethel Alexander, Jack Harper, Rena Jack Blackmon, Pearl Eady, Thomas Lovelace, Jennie Comer, Carl Jones, Winnie Smith, Hubert Gilbreath, Robert Cull, Irby Fry, Sallie Wilson, Lawrence Johnson, Gertrude Trendley, Merel Russell, Louise Rowe, Ina Mae Wages, Dale Culver, Fred Brown, Velma Renick, Opal Witherspoon, Lucile Wagers, Melba Kemp, Merle Perkins, Ruby Flood, Floye Stinson, Helen Muller, Dora Alexander, Velma Tanner, Ione Johnson, Zelma Walker, Cressie Emmick, Leona Emmick, Porter, Griffin, Ruth Dodson, Alma Scheller, Dean Hanes, Faith Brown, Tressie Pearson, Dovie Bagwell, Wilborn Hemphill, Wilbur Hershey, Bertha Taylor, Marie Wilson, Wyndola Coates, Abbie Parks, Herbert Smithers, Waneta Lewis, Willie Mae Canton, Velma Southall, Virgil Woodward, Mart Dodson, Forrest Carter, Clara Matheson. Baccalaureate sermon will be given by Rev. A.S. Cameron, presiding elder of the Lawton district of the Methodist church.
The best fat cattle marketed in Oklahoma City May 1 were shipped by R.M. Dosher of near Tipton, consisting of two cars of Hereford heifer yearlings which averaged 671 pounds each and brought $8.75 per 100.
W.C. Newland of New York city, who has been visiting his mother, Mrs. J.G. Newland, and brother Jack Newland and family, left Monday for Ft. Worth, Texas.
W.L. Walker of Hollister has again been elected a director of the Oklahoma Wheat Growers’ association.
City Clerk D.W. Womack swore in these new council members Tuesday night: E.J. Cowen and J.D. Moore, 1st ward; A. Lair and A.M. Banta, 2nd ward; D.M. Long and Robert Calvert, 3rd ward; T.A. Lovelace and R.L. Christian, 4th ward.
These seniors were given diplomas at the completion of Consolidated No. 3 school Thursday night: Edna McClug, Zita Mae Wolfe, Verna Perryman, Nellie Taylor, Gladys Maxfield, Beulah Barnes, Ruth Randolph. Rev. W.B. Higgins, pastor of the Frederick Christian church, gave the commencement address. [NOTE: Consolidated No. 3 was Henderson School and was located five miles south of Frederick.]

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Frederick Movie Theatres

Sent as a column to The Frederick Press and The Frederick Leader, September 21, 2010
Frederick Movie Theatres Provided Entertainment
Before cable television, computers and video games, entertainment often meant going to the movies. Most little towns in the Midwest had at least one movie theatre. Frederick had several.
In 1976, Carolyn Watson Maxwell Tharp researched and wrote a great article on the history of Frederick movie theatres for the History of Tillman County, VOL. II. In the article, Carolyn listed movie theatres from Frederick’s history. They included the Open-Air, Gem, Majestic, Criterion, People’s, Queen, A-Mus-U, Grand, Sunset, Okla, Ritz, and, of course, the Ramona.
During the heyday of the Frederick theatres in 1940s, four movie houses operated in Frederick and an easy estimate is that more than 1,000 people attended movies in those establishments every week.
Frederick’s first two movie theatres were “air-dromes” – open-air movie theatres that had no roofs. One was located on South 9th Street and the other was on the southeast corner of what later became the Tillman County Courthouse Square.
Other early theatres were the Majestic on South 9th, across the street from the Ramona, and the People’s Theatre which was located in the 100 block of West Grand on the south side of the street. The People’s Theatre burned in a big fire.
By the 1950s, Frederick’s four theatres were the Ritz, the Okla, the Ramona, and the Sunset Drive In.
The Okla was located in the 100 block of West Grand in the building that now houses McIntyre Insurance Agency. Prior to being the Okla, the theatre had been named the Criterion and the Queen under previous owners. The Okla was in business for about 10 years.
The Ritz was located in the 100 block of North Main on the west side of the street. It featured a stage area in front of the screen and hosted live performances, appearances by celebrities such as Gene Autry and Smiley Burnett, and novel acts such as a boxing match between a man and kangaroo.
Before becoming the Ritz, the theatre operated as the Gem.
The Ritz closed in the late 1950s. The building that housed the theatre was destroyed in a major fire in February 1974 that burned much of the 100 block of North Main.
The Sunset Drive In operated for just a few years in the early 1950s at North 15th and Highview, current site of the Bible Baptist Church. That location was in the country then. It featured a concession area and huge searchlights that scanned the nighttime sky to attract attention.
The Sunset’s giant movie screen blew away in a storm in spring 1955 and it was not rebuilt.
The Ramona, located on South 9th Street, was the original site of the much smaller A-Mus-U Theatre. In 1929, the A-Mus-U site and an adjacent building were leveled to build the spectacular Ramona. It was built in elaborate Mediterranean style and billed as “The Showplace of the Southwest”. The Ramona included features that rivaled any theatre this side of Oklahoma City.
The Ramona was owned by James B. (Barney) Beard, then president of the First National Bank. The theatre was named for his daughter Ramona.
NOTE: Carolyn Tharp’s long 1976 article about Frederick theatres includes a great deal of history, stories, and interviews about the historic theatres. It is fascinating reading, and can be found on page 145 of History of Tillman County, VOL. II.

Joe Wynn is a member of the Tillman County Historical Society Board of Directors.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Spit N Argue domino club for senior men

All photos are from a faded worn clipping of The Frederick Daily Leader, January 1963

Spit N Argue Club was Frederick Hangout for Men
The Spit N Argue Club was a longtime hangout for many of Frederick’s older men.
If was a place for friendly banter, discussion and analysis of all kinds, and dominoes… ALWAYS dominoes!
The Spit N Argue clubhouse was located at the north end of Pioneer Park in an area that is now included in Frederick’s Pioneer Townsite Museum. The old clubhouse stood at the location where the museum’s shop is now located.
It was a feature of Frederick from 1957 until the 1970s.
Charlotte McPherson recently shared a yellowed, torn clipping about the Spit N Argue club that she found in an old scrapbook. The clipping is undated, but based on TV schedules that were printed on it’s opposite side, it apparently appeared in the Frederick Leader during the first week of January, 1963.
It was written by Madge Dombrowski, Frederick photographer and longtime correspondent to local and area newspapers.

Spit And Argue Club in 6th Year
By Madge Dombrowski

One of the most popular places in Frederick for retired men is the Spit and Argue Club located in the Pioneer Park.
This club was organized six years ago, with Arthur McAfee as the sparkplug for the project. He built the building and is serving as president of the group again this year.
The clubhouse is open ot any man wishing to come play dominoes, visit or just sit and kibitz. The specialty of the house is dominoes though, with the building filled to capacity most of the time. In the summertime, tables are moved outside under the cool shade of the big trees, and the games and visiting are continued there.
McAfee realized the need for a place where retired men could go for recration. Owen Fry, mayor of Frederick at that time, had a one room building moved into the park and this was the beginning. IN 1957, McAfee, a member of the City Council for years, volunteered to build a larger building if the council would vote a provision for the material – and the first stone building was built.
McAfee claims it was the best money he ever spent – donating his time for that building. For his efforts, he was given a ‘Life Membership’.
He has sen it grow from year to year and today it is a most popular spot. Former mayors Allen Byrn and Glenn Dobbs did much for the club, and this year, Mayor John Stacy and the City Council voted to add another room and rest room to the building.
The first officers of the club were:
L.L. Harper, president; Raymond Rich, vice-president; and Albert Smith, secretary-treasurer.
The club has dues of 50 cents per member per month. With this money, they buy get well cares and funeral wreaths for members who experience illness, loss or who pass away.