Thursday, July 26, 2007

Bromide and our water featured in TFT Newsletter

Butch Bridges publishes a weekly Internet newsletter about the greater Ardmore area. Subscriptions are free just send email to with the word "Subscribe" in the subject line.

Here is an article from this weeks T&T about Bromide

Hi Butch and Jill, Congratulations on your upcoming anniversary! Sorry I missed you when you were here in Medicine Park. Hope you'll come back again soon, 'cause everything is changing so rapidly! Several years ago I went to Wapanucka, Oklahoma to visit my Dad's nephew and neices (my cousins). They took me all around the countryside and told me of stories regarding my grandparents and my Dad. One story was told about a spring that flowed with bromide. It was said to have healing powers, so President Hoover came to the spring once to drink from it. The spring still flows, altho it's more of a trickle today than it is a spring. I also believe it is condensed bromide, because it tastes plum awful!!!! I was almost afraid that the taste indicated it was poisonous! (my knees quit hurting after I drank it though.) Then my cousin took me to the old school where my Dad went as a youngster. I walked inside (it's been closed for years) and expected to find a piece of memorabilia........... I found a spoon struck in a wall crack and an ink well....... I was in heaven! I could just imagine my dad eating jam with that spoon and dipping his pen in the ink well for some story he was told to write. I kept these with the treasures I have that remind me of my Dad. Times were certainly different back when Dad was a boy. I'll write about that some other time. Enjoying the "Summertime" in the Wichita Mountains." -Joy Willingham

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Bromide native!... you gotta have this if you love Bromide, Oklahoma

In 1977 John Morris published his book, "Ghost Towns of Oklahoma". Bromide was one of the 130 portrayed in his book. He gave special recognition of Bromide on the back cover of his book. Bromide was a booming health resort and in 1911 when the railroad came to Bromide carrying multi-millionaire Robert Galbreath's oil money, the town seemed destined to boom. And it did, for a while.

Bromide is my hometown. My wife and I started the research for this book in 1993, when we visited the Oklahoma Historical Society and copied most of the Bromide Herald issues which were from 1911 to 1915. We recieved permission to use photos from four private collections. We did extensive research of the Indian Territory, the Chickasaws and Choctaws at the National Archives here in Fort Worth. They had the only 1908 town site map of Bromide I could find. We were able to do some research of the early rodeo days in Bromide at the Cowboy Hall of Fame Archives in Oklahoma City. Also a lot of this rodeo information was found in the Herald. And finally a lot of help about the Indian Territory history came from the Chickasaw Council House Museum and the Johnston County Historical Society both located in Tishomingo Oklahoma. The book is 25.00 plus shipping.

This 239 page book, "Bromide Oklahoma Centennial, From Boastown to Ghostown Our Hometown is 8 & 1/2" by 11" soft cover. It contains well over 200 photographs and many documents. "My story" runs through-out but is mostly the last part of the book.

Click here to order book

Bromide is the Blogmaster's hometown to! On the Post Office lists in the book: WL Martin is my dad William Laverne Martin 1900-1955 who spent his whole life in his beloved Johnston county and died on a cold night in December 31st in 1955 on our farm across from Camp Simpson. He has spent most of his life as a cowboy and rufneck. My thanks to the authors of this book. I will treasure my copy.

Friday, June 15, 2007


Visit the third best opinion blog in North Newcastle, Oklahoma


Friday, May 04, 2007

Friend of Bromide Sherman Barnes writes...

Oh, really? Good gods, it's a small world, eh? ;]

I would have been the tall skinny red haired kid with the .22 and the
big red dog that used to spend his summers up there at Eddy and
Tommy's between about 1968 and 1973, if you lived there then. [I'm 47
now. It has been awhile.]

I don't have any pictures, I'm afraid. I moved from Texas recently
and passed the family photo albumns to my Dad's cousin, Jo Autrey for
safe keeping - didn't want to take any chance of those bits of family
history getting lost while I was relocating.

I don't have many notable annecdotes from that time. I started going
there to visit with my dad when I was eight, and later on, he'd put
me on the Continental Trailways by myself to ride up to Durant where
Eddy would pick me up in that old, black, pickup truck he had had
forever. Or my dad's sister would drive me and the dogs up when I was
able to take them. I mostly spent the summers until going back to
Dallas, anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months at a time,
doing the usual kids stuff: wandering around the area with a .22 and
fishing rod and my dogs [rabbit and rattlesnake hunting mostly], or
hiking the several miles down to Delaware Creek to fish bass out of
the underhangs and camp overnight. Sometimes with my cousin from
Talequah, most often by myself.

Mostly just good times... I used to love being out by myself as a kid
and prowling those hills behind the store and looking for the old
springs and stuff. And usually getting smacked on the nehind when I
got back because it was supposedly dangerous from all of the snakes
in those chalk hills... although I very seldom saw a rattler or
copperhead, and I looked real hard. ;) [You know how kids are]

One thing that hits me is how times have changed: can you imagine a
9-10 year old being able to travel by himself on Trailways or
Greyhound with a .22 rifle and a .410 in a case today? Without having
everyone come completely unhinged? Back then, no one raised an eyebrow at it.

I don't know if any of them are left there, as I lost track of a lot
of that part of the family in later years, but we used to have some
relatives in Bromide Junction up the road: mostly Greens and Speares
family. I seem to recall that that was where my adopted grandfather,
Granddad Winkler was living when he passed on in his late 80's/early
90's. My father was raised by the Winklers, and spent part of his
early life on the Gillespie ranch down on the Blue River.

If I recall correctly, that was when there was still a bit of a town
left in Bromide: general store, gas station, post office, and
something else. Last time I visited was in 1984 before Eddy passed
on, and it seems that the only thing left was the general store. I
used to walk up to that store a few times a week with my .22 and buy
cokes from the big red coke cooler and .22 long rifle cartridges and
.410 shells at the counter as a kid. Don't know if there's anything
left of the town of Bromide, or in Bromide Junction now?

According to Jo, one of our cousins on the Winkler side of the family
was Sheriff in Johnston County for some time... don't recall if I
ever met him. If we had, it would have been while we were very young
and I'm not remembering.

It's very good to hear from you. And very interesting to find your website.

If I get settled where I can take care of the family albums without
having to worry about them getting damaged or lost, I'll see if I
can't dig out some photos from there and scan them in to the computer
to send to you. We did have some of Tommy and Eddy, and of my dad with them.

Thank you for writing me back,
- Sherman Barnes

At 09:39 AM 5/4/2007, you wrote:
>It is great to hear from you. I knew the Councils our acres were
>just down the road from them across the road from the Scout camp.
>Send me a story about your summers triips to Bromide with dates and
>lot of names and pictures and I will post it on the site.
>I work part time for the State GOP, I am 70 and still have kin in Bromide
>----- Original Message ----- From: "Sherman Barnes"
>Sent: Friday, May 04, 2007 2:11 AM
>Subject: Bromide Oklahoma
>>Dear Mr. Martin,
>>I discovered your Bromide, Oklahoma page, "Bromides" while
>>attempting to do some research into the parts of Oklahoma where I
>>spent my summers growing up as a child and young teen. My father,
>>Jack T. Barnes was originally from Bromide, and I used to spend my
>>summers there with my great aunt and uncle. Long time ago, at this point.
>>I was curious on reading through your site, and thought I would
>>email to ask if you were acquainted with my uncle, Eddy Council and
>>his wife Tommy Council? They had a small ranch located just outside
>>of the main junction of Bromide for a large number of years until
>>my uncle's death in the late 80's/early 90's.
>>I hope this email isn't an imposition.
>>Thank you,
>>- Sherman Barnes